In a Facebook post Behringer reveals their clone of the Sequential Prophet-5 that they’ve taken all the way to 16 voices – here comes the Pro-16.
Behringer has already cloned the Sequential Pro-One, and so the legendary Prophet-5 was always on the cards as one of the synths they were likely to tackle. I imagine it was probably requested by fans as much as the Jupiter-8 which they revealed yesterday. With the Pro-16 they appear to have matched the layout, style and possibly even the knobs of the original. Pushing the voice count up to 16 is definitely something that people have been crying out for and Sequential came in for a little bit of criticism when they released the Rev4 of the Prophet-5 and Prophet-10 for not taking the voice count further. Adding voice cards is not always that easy to do with analogue synths and I guess the polyphony of the Pro-16 is going to be down to Behringer’s minimisation technology where they’re able to build polyphonic synths in a very small space.
It’s difficult to say exactly what’s in the synth at this stage and if there are any differences or enhancements. There does appear to be an extra triangle waveform on Oscillator A. There does appear to be a knob in the same place the Rev4 Prophet-5 has the “Vintage” knob and the button in the filter section could indicate that they’ve followed Sequentials lead into offering two different filters.
However, there will inevitably be protests because Sequential recently brought the Prophet-5 and Prophet-10 back to life and so the cloning of a current product never feels quite as awesome as the resurrection of a long-dead synth. There are many views on the subject that get played out in the comments of every announcement. The price is rumoured to be around £800 which when compared to the current price of a Prophet-5 at just over 3 grand does give you pause for thought, and the unfortunate realities of business and product encroach on our desires to be groovy and awesome musicians who shouldn’t have to worry about such things.
“We’ll make them all”
A slightly unnerving statement of intent from Behringer on Facebook that they intend to make pretty much every synth that ever was. It feels somehow mad or awesome or maybe a little weird that our synthesizer history is going to be homogenised into 3 forms of mass-produced machines. First, you’ve got the Model D/Neutron desktop and Eurorack format and they’ve already released their Pro-1 in that format. Then there’s the Poly-D/MonoPoly flip-up style with the keyboard and finally the polysynth format that started with the DeepMind and is continuing through the UB-Xa, PolySix, PPG and now the Pro-16. Isn’t part of the attraction of an electronic instrument in the shape and physicality of it? Is something lost if they all largely look and feel the same? Maybe, but then, on the other hand, look – synths!
It’s not entirely true though because we already have Behringer synths that don’t fit the mould like the Odyssey, 2600 and MS-1 so hopefully there’s some room for a bit of imagination.
So, for you, is Behringer’s mission completely awesome or is there a danger of synth fatigue? What happens when we end up having every synth we ever dreamed of? Lets us know in the comments.