BRAINS has 20 synthesis models pulling in those from the Mutable Instruments Plaits and a few of their own to offer a very versatile VCO.
Up to this point, Behringer’s exploration of modular has taken the form of reviving long-dead modular systems and vintage possibilities and bringing them to the Eurorack format. With BRAINS we have something a bit different, something bolder with some of their own ideas and could be the start of a more up-to-date and inventive range of modules.
However, for the most part, BRAINS has taken on the Open Source capabilities of the Plaits module from Mutable Instruments. Many boutique makers have created clones of Plaits and Arturia used the same synthesis models in their MicroFreak synthesizer so this is not a uniquely Behringer idea. But this is not a clone, or at least not quite, because they have added a little bit of something to the mix.
The number of synthesis options includes Virtual Analog, Waveshaping, 2 Operator FM, Grains (formants) Additive, Chords, Speech, Karplus Strong, Wavetable, Rain, Noise, Dust, Modal Strings, Analog Kick, Snare and Hi-Hat. Those are the oscillators from Plaits. In addition, they’ve added a Supersaw, FM Drum, Cowbell and Toms.
As with the Plaits, each oscillator has two outputs; the main output and an alternative which changes depending on the algorithm. The same Timbre, Harmonics, Freq and Morph controls are there along with the same CV connections and FM input with attenuator.
What’s different is the rather nice looking waveform display and the rather ugly looking USB port which they say is there for firmware updates. They could have squirrelled that way to the back of the module and no one would have minded.
The price is a decent €149.