Behringer’s thirst for old synths continues with a prototype clone of the Pearl Syncussion SY-1 drum synthesizer and asks their fans if they fancy one? Well, do you?
Pearl Syncussion SY-1
This one feels slightly obscure but according to the comments on their Facebook post the Behringer posse are all in favour of whatever the heck this thing is.
Released in 1979 the SY-1 was the precursor to the more famous and influential Simmons SDSV. It had trigger inputs so it could be played from a pair of drum pads fitted with transducers although you can trigger it from almost anything that makes a sound or generates a voltage. It had two identical channels of percussion-focused synthesis but is famous for that pew-pew disco sound that Simmons embraced a couple of years later.
Each channel had an oscillator with different waveforms that could be shaped by a simple envelope and swept by a pitch sweep control. It also had an LFO, noise generator and Sample & Hold circuit. It’s actually capable of a wide range of percussive and melodic sounds.
It’s been cloned a few times over the years most recently by PsyCo X who offer it in kit form.
Behringer’s prototype takes the two vertically stacked channels and puts them side-by-side to fit into their desktop/Eurorack format of the Model D and Neutron. Otherwise, all the controls appear to be faithfully reproduced and I haven’t spotted any additional features as yet although I’m sure it will have MIDI and USB connections.
For me, the Syncussion is a bit more of a nostalgic curiosity than something I’d want to actively play with but I imagine they’ll be a market for it with the followers of Behringer’s mission to resurrect every synth they can think of.
In the comments to the Facebook post, one commentator asked what they’ll do when they run out of synths to clone, to which Behringer replied, rather ominously, “Wait and see”.
This is just a prototype and I get a feeling we’ll be seeing plenty more before they reach production. There’s a slight danger of prototype fatigue and an increasing number of people commentating that they’d like to have synths that have already been promised in their hands before getting to know about new prototypes. But hey, it’s exciting to have something new to share.