Before the first teaser video hit about 3 weeks ago all we had to go on was a few words and some cryptic images from Peter Grandl of Amazona.de. Peter visited the Midas labs back in November and apparently got to play with a top secret synthesizer. Yesterday he released the entire video of his visit to Midas and his experience with the Behringer synthesizer prototype.
Phat12 to DeepMind12
The synthesizer was originally called the Phat 12. There was a rumour 6 years ago of a Behringer synth called the Phat 108 so I guess that’s where that comes from. I mentioned previously how it resembles the Roland Juno 106 and here Rob Belcham, lead designer, states how their original intention was to recreate the classic 106. However, simply doing a clone was not on the cards. They believed they could do much more, that they could improve on what the Juno offered. Among the list of improvements are stereo VCA’s, pulse width per voice, modulation matrix, 3 envelopes, 2 LFOs, 4 digital effects, aftertouch velocity and all that jazz. For more detail check out the fascinating video below.
The engineers talk about the project with obvious relish. Well, they have been given the opportunity to build their dream synthesizer. We learn other things like the memory size being able to store 256 presets plus additional banks in flash. There’s 2-pole and 4-pole filter, plus a common high pass filter. Each voice has its own LFOs and among many other things the screen can display envelope information. On the connection side it has USB for MIDI, jack audio outputs and a single pedal/CV input which can be driven by CV or gate – which is not particularly comprehensive.
They confirm what I thought I saw in the last video which was an iPad editor app. Apparently it will give control over things you can’t access from the front panel, such as the mod matrix. It will be available on PC, Mac and Android as well. And yes it can be used as a plug-in in your DAW.
Uli weighs in
Uli Behringer certainly appears to be enjoying the reaction and interaction with the community. In response to the many comments and questions he posted the following:
Thank you for the great comments and please allow me to clarify a few matters. The DeepMind12 has 4 integrated FX Engines which can we used simultaneously but also synced to the synthesizer itself. Each engine is loaded with more than 30 high-quality FX algorithms from TC Electronic and Klark Teknik. These are true world-class FX, many of which have been derived from TC Electronic’s acclaimed signal processors as well as Midas’ high-end mixing consoles.
As a world’s first, the DeepMind has built in Wifi and allows for full remote control of nearly all parameters – all through typical tablet apps.
While the price has not been confirmed nor any price indication been given to retailers, we like to manage expectations.
With approx. 4,000 components, the DeepMind12 is one of the most complex synthesizers that has ever been built. Due to its discrete design structure, it has vastly more components than you will likely find in any of the current synthesizers on the market.
While it has always been our company philosophy to work on very small margins, we would however never sacrifice component or manufacturing quality nor sell below cost. Like all our products, the DeepMind12 will come with a 3 Year Warranty program.
These are truly exciting times and thank you for all your interest
From the Facebook DeepMind12 group.
What I’m struck by is the comment from Pete Sadler, head of software, that the brief was that it has to be fun and it has to be good and it’s certainly looking that way. Availability is rumoured for 2017 and the price anywhere from €500 – €1000 but as Uli says they would like to manage expectations. I wonder if anything other than the name has changed since this video was made. I think we now need to wait for the real thing to arrive.