It looks like Behringer have accidentally published details of possibly 6 new synthesizer clones and 5 drum machines. A bunch of products appeared under the Synthesizers and Samplers category, with a name and the first few lines of description but no images. They are all “Legendary analog synthesizers”, the WASP DELUXE, 2600, CAT, SYNTHI VCX3, MS-101 in three colours and the K-20.
Update: Apparently it was all a mistake, read the whole story here, or read on to see what it could have meant.
Synthopia were the first to reveal this treasure trove of a leak, although they are seeing them as more of a tease. However, I was able to get a screen grab before Behringer pulled them, presumably after suddenly realising they were live.
So let’s go through them (borrowing some detail from Synthtopia) and point out the obvious subject of their cloning.
WASP DELUXE – Based on the EDP WASP synthesizer. Apparently, the Behringer version (as with all these clones) will match the circuitry, has a purely analog signal path. Dual oscillators with 3 variable shapes, multi-mode VCF, flexible LFO, 2 envelope generators and noise. It has 16-voice Poly Chain, so that’s not polyphony that’s the ability to chain 16 units together to create a polyphonic mega-machine. 29 real-time front panel controls, and USB/MIDI. But most interesting perhaps is that it’s going to be Eurorack compatible in size and shape, like the Behringer Model D.
2600 – This is obviously the ARP 2600, hotly tipped to be Korgs next synthesizer reveal at NAMM 2018. Semi-modular architecture, although no mention of Eurorack sizing. 3 VCO’s multi-mode VCF, a range of modulators, 2 LFOs, noise and a “realistic digital spring reverb” amongst the expected features. 2600 will have 58 front panel controls and 83 patch points.
CAT – inspired by Octave’s The CAT. It’s a dual VCO with 4 variable shapes and a paraphonic mode. Classic filter design, envelopes, noise and LFO. 16-voice Poly Chain like the WASP DELUXE and it can also be dropped into Eurorack. Only 7 front panel controls this time, so this is going to be a smaller and simpler affair.
SYNTHI VCX3 – This is The Putney, the Synthi VCS3. A triple VCO design and everything you’d expect to find including a 16 x 16 pin patch bay, ring modulator and two-axis joystick. 42 front panel controls but I wonder how good it will look. The VCS3 is a distinctly classic design.
MS-101 – in black, grey or blue this has got to be the SH-101. Could it be that the mysterious image we saw back in August is actually genuine? The specs say it has 32 semi-weighted keys and an attachable hand-grip with “guitar strap included”. So that must be it.
K-20 – They say this is a Eurorack version of the Korg MS-20. It’s semi-modular, with all the usual and expected parts along with the 16-voice Poly Chain feature and 36 front panel controls.
Almost all trace of these had vanished before I could get any screen grabs or details, but there’s still a “Drum Machine” entry in the menu tree on the website – it’s just now empty. But according to Synthtopia Behringer are bringing out the following:
RHYTHM DESIGNER RD-808 – anyone would think Behringer were worried about copyright with such a heavily disguised name. This is, of course, the TR-808 clone we’ve been waiting for. You’ve got your 16 sounds, 11 outputs, 64-step sequencer and integrated filter (like the Arturia DrumBrute).
RHYTHM DESIGNER RD-909 – And of course you can’t have an 808 without a 909 to follow it up. 10 sounds, 10 outputs, 64-steps and a dual mode filter.
RHYTHM DESIGNER RD-999 – this one is a bit more of a mystery. Maybe Behringer decided to innovate something themselves or push further towards the DrumBrute. Jomox had an XBASE 999 drum machine which was a mixture of synth and sampled drums. Same sort of specs as the other two but with 17 sounds and 11 outputs.
LMX – a sample based drum machine based on the LinnDrum with 24 sounds and 16 outputs.
OMX – same again but this time based on the Oberheim DMX.
So is that everything?
Apparently not, because Synthanatomy were reporting another product called MAELSTORM which is a desktop analog and digital effects processor and audio interface. It’s got TC Electronic and Klark Teknik effects, MIDAS microphone preamps and a 6×6 USB audio interface. It’s kind of the effects engine from the DeepMind 12 in a box. I haven’t seen this information anywhere else but here.
That’s an extraordinary roster of new machines to deliver in what appears to be one hit. Although the fact that the Behringer Model D was first revealed in March and it still hasn’t arrived does make you wonder if they can deliver what they promise. Latest update on the Model D is apparently January, although Sweetwater have also said March. But who knows what these machines are going to be like or how little they are likely to cost. I’m sure we’ll find out sooner rather than later.