by Robin Vincent | 4,3 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
Behringer AKS Mini

Behringer AKS Mini  ·  Source: Behringer

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Behringer shows us the final version of the VCS3 clone pulled into the playful AKS Mini minisynth. It suggests a summer release date for $99; here’s what we know.

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AKS Mini

We don’t really know anything. The non-appearance of the huge lorry load of minisynths that Behringer was touting this time last year has made us a lot more cautious. Still, we’ve all suffered from supply chain issues and the chip shortage, so perhaps we can cut them a bit of slack.

Anyway, what we have here is a scaled-down version of the EMS VCS3. Behringer has been working on a full-sized clone for some time. We were told it was ready to go last March, but we’ve no further news on that. The AKS Mini sucks in the same three analogue oscillators, filters and other bits and pieces and dresses them in a Volca-style interface. An arpeggiator and motion sequencer is added along with the touch-plate keyboard. The idea is that it captures the sound of the VCS3 in a much more affordable and fun package.

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Front Panel musings

Looking at the front panel we can see that emphasis is given to the detuning of the oscillators. That’s controlled by the rather nice-looking larger knob. Then we have some wave shaping and waveform level controls for saw and square waveforms. It isn’t easy to know exactly how the oscillators work together and whether the third VCO is actually the LFO, but I’m sure the details will be along in time. The filter seems a little under-served, and then we have the overly complex trapezoid envelope, which is certainly authentic. It’s good to see a reverb in there, and I wonder how the polyphony works out. The big thumb joystick is intriguing, and it will be interesting to see what functionality hides behind it.

All in all, these Behringer minisynths are still concepts and possibilities until they actually land into someone’s hands. So while Behringer says they are on target for a summer release, it’s really difficult to summon up any pre-release enthusiasm. We’re happy to get excited about cool new synths, but we’ve learned that you’ve got to wait for them to arrive first. For $99 this does look like a lot of fun.

Behringer AKS Mini

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6 responses to “Behringer AKS Mini: The Putney VCS3 in a minisynth”

    matilda says:
    0

    “For $99 this does look like a lot of fun”

    Looks like more Behringer-flavoured landfill to me…

      Dongleboob says:
      0

      Really? How so? Do you feel that way of Korg Volcas too?
      I’m genuinely asking as I’d like to know.
      I dislike a lot that Behringer does, but I think this looks quite fun.
      My Volca Sample and FM get used a lot more than some of my “proper” synths.
      Just because something is cheap doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t last.

    Diki Ross says:
    0

    I’m waiting to hear about control options. USB? CV?

    Hard pass if none of the above. That touch keyboard will be a nightmare for anything other than the one finger knob twister!

      Marco says:
      0

      The keyboard is just for operators of the Sequenzer. If you want to play by yourself you need to connect a real keyboard via midi. I wish to See this model as a oscillator for modular Systems. So I can connect and use it more flexible.

      Justin Bennitt says:
      0

      There’s a USB C socket on the front panel next to the power button.

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