by Rob Puricelli | 4,4 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 5 Minutes
Behringer BX700

Behringer BX700  ·  Source: Behringer

Behringer Polysource

Behringer Polysource  ·  Source: Behringer

Behringer 2-XM

Behringer 2-XM  ·  Source: Behringer

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Not known for releasing information on their forthcoming products in a conventional way, Behringer’s social media manager decided to try a different delivery style over the weekend, teasing two possible future products and updating us on one we already knew about. Read on for more details…

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It can be said that Behringer has a “unique” way of dealing with news and information dissemination. They shun the regular music technology press, us included, believing that we are some kind of evil cabal of “paid-for” reviewers and “naysayers”. Instead, they use their social media presence to spread the word. And that word can often be haphazard and disjointed. But hey ho, we work with what we’re given.

Behringer has a propensity to tease a myriad ideas and products, some that exist, others (mostly) that do not. For example, it has been a few years since they “revealed” their alleged take on the Yamaha CS-80. All quiet on THAT front at the time of going to press. I could list many more, but I just don’t have the time or inclination. I’m also aware of my excessive use of “quotation marks”! Let’s see what entered the Behringer pipeline…

2-XM

Behringer teased the Oberheim TVS-inspired 2-XM some time ago and then it all went quiet. Maybe this had something to do with the shenanigans surrounding their acquisition of the Oberheim brand and subsequent handing back to Tom himself. Apparently, it is now ready for production. Housed in their now familiar desktop box that can also be Eurorack-mounted, the 2-XM could be a very affordable way of getting something that looks like a TVS into your rig. Whether it sounds anything like it is yet to be seen. As always, we’re devoid of any audio examples. Expect the price to be in the Neutron ballpark.

Behringer 2-XM

Behringer 2-XM · Source: Behringer

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Behringer Model D
Behringer Model D
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Polysource

The Moog back catalogue has inspired numerous products in the Behringer range. It now seems that they’ve turned their attention to the Moog Source, albeit in a polyphonic way. Released in 1981, the OG Source was a monophonic bass monster. It supplied the bass for ‘Blue Monday’ by New Order, was all over ‘Eliminator’ by ZZ Top, was “played” by Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode and kinda looked cool. Sadly, despite it being the first Moog to feature user patch memory storage, its membrane controls pre-dated those of the DX7 and were even less useful on an analogue synth.

Behringer seems to have repurposed the front panel from their recent Poly-800 and, in a moment of originality, replaced those membrane switches with actual knobs and switches. Oh, and it’s 8-voice polyphonic but seemingly has a mono output, just like the Pro-800. Would a stereo out be too much to ask for?

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But because this is a prototype/mock-up we have no idea how it sounds and if it gives the original a run for its money. Can you see a theme emerging here?

Behringer Polysource

Behringer Polysource · Source: Behringer

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Behringer Pro-800
Behringer Pro-800
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BX700

If I had a penny for every person who has asked me my opinion on this next prototype, I’d be a rich man. Ok, maybe I could buy a decent round for the Gearnews team meeting instead. Either way, as the Gearnews digital synth guy, I’ve been pushed for a comment on this. Ever since Behringer successfully bid on and acquired some of Tears For Fears’ old gear, which included a very tatty and somewhat broken Yamaha DX1, Behringer fans have been pushing for an FM-inspired unit. It now seems they have taken the bait and we have the BX700.

Don’t expect a 32-note polyphonic FM behemoth. Instead, what we have is something more akin to the DX200 of the 1990s. I have to put it out there right now that the form factor is as ugly as sin. We’ve seen this before in other still-to-be-made prototypes. It was butters then, and it is butters now. Inside this unit, however, is an FM synth with a CS-80-inspired filter and a drum machine. Now, quite why you’d want a filter on an FM synth is a little beyond me. Unless, of course, you’re struggling with making decent sounds with FM. It has been known. And they fail to say which CS-80-inspired filter they’ve put in there. As for the drum machine element, there’s no info on whether it’s FM-based or uses samples.

One part that they failed to go into any detail on was the presence of the B-Ray. No, it can’t play back your Marvel movie collection. Instead, it seems to be sporting Behringer’s take on the Roland D-Beam. As someone who is ALL about the expressivity of FM, this could potentially yield some interesting outcomes. Another positive aspect is the slightly larger screen, compared to the others we’ve seen on similarly designed units.

But you know what I’m going to say, don’t you? Yup… just a prototype, nothing else to go on, could become a thing, could be consigned to the dustbin. We shall see.

Behringer BX700

Behringer BX700 · Source: Behringer

In Conclusion

Behringer march to the beat of their own drum, the self-proclaimed saviour of the synthesist with a tight budget. Aside from the 2-XM, the other two units may not ever see the light of day, or may change drastically when they do. Like low-cost airline Ryanair, they don’t seem to care what people say about them, just that they are saying stuff about them. I look forward to seeing what they do with these. And when they do do something with them, you can be sure to hear about it here.

Behringer BX700

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10 responses to “Behringer continues the rumour mill with prototypes and an update”

    Diki Ross says:
    2

    Polysource 8 voices and a mono output?

    Hard pass…

    iixorb says:
    0

    BX700 – if they can achieve better polyphony than the Volca FM (at least 16 note polyphony like a DX7) and make it patch-compatible with DX7 sysex dumps, AND keep it below £150, then I think this could be a winner. But why stop at one ‘DX7’ engine… It’s 2023. Probably 2024 before this gets launched (if they do it). It should have 8 ‘DX7’ engines in there, like a TX816. That should sound incredible. Visuals need some work, though!!

    Richard Lawler says:
    0

    Why not take the time and inclination to audit Behringer’s information accuracy? How often and how timely is their follow through on their various forms of product announcements. If they were a publicly traded company their actions might be illegal for misleading their investors. Their bluffs and others actions may also not be entirely legal in that they are forms of false advertising and may inhibit competition. Journalists should hold companies that make fake product announcements accountable. But be careful Uli is known to bite.

      Marc says:
      1

      I disagree it’s fake product announcements – they are sharing their Research and Development with the community. One – to gauge interest. Two – because it’s research not all products go to market for many different reasons such as it not sounding good enough or being too expensive to mass produce. All companies do this but normally not shared with the general public.

      Neil says:
      0

      In fairness, I’m more comfortable with this than what Roland keep doing: announcing a stupid, useless, improbable little thing and actually putting it in the shops.

    Chris L says:
    0

    seems like it could be a good option for anyone who missed out on the Opsix 50% deal last year.

    otto says:
    0

    it would be nice if they just finished something instead of showing prototype after prototype of possibilities- it’s hard to get excited about anything I see from them because i’ve seen so many not come to fruition-

    Confuse us, he say.... says:
    0

    Yeah, the Opsix sort of did it first (yes, I have heard of the DX7, I meant modernly). Dropped by Korg, maybe Behringer should make an Opseven? With a Hydrasynth poly aftertouch keybie, and a T-Rec sequencer, maybe. Nah. A clone of the ill-fated PolyMoog instead?

    Fred says:
    0

    That BX700 is ugly as sin. I hope they make some facelift changes.

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