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Behringer DS-80 second design

Behringer DS-80 second design  ·  Source: Behringer

Behringer DS-80 second design

Behringer DS-80 second design  ·  Source: Behringer

A couple of weeks ago we saw renders of Behringer’s attempt at a clone of the Yamaha CS-80 polyphonic synthesizer. It took in a lot of the beats of the original but many people were unhappy (as people always are) about the layout. Behringer took these comments on board and has reworked it into a second design that Uli Behringer is offering up for our consideration.

DS-80 design take 2

The biggest criticism of the original design was about that weird bank of mini sliders on the left which we’ve all come to understand as being the classically primitive patch management system that was hidden away under a panel on the CS-80. This was largely deemed as unnecessary in these days of microcontrollers and computerised patch management. Although I’ve also heard it argued that the patch system on the CS-80 was voltage based with all the subtlety, resolution and drift that that implies. Replacing it with a computerised rendering would not be in keeping with the original synthesizer. It’s interesting to note that the DS-80 seems to retain the idea of just 4 user presets, but places them over by a little screen and a data knob which makes you wonder what information that’s going to display.

Behringer DS-80 comparison with first design

Behringer DS-80 comparison with first design (top)

Many of the performance controls that were just above the keyboard on the first DS-80 design are now up on the left were the preset sliders used to be. That looks better but also puts the performance controls far away from where they want to be – right above the keyboard. They’re also persisting with sliders whereas the original CS-80 had paddles for those controls. If you’re trying to replicate an instrument then the way it was played and how you express yourself through it has to be important.

One thing they did get right is that the ribbon controller is now the full width of the keyboard – that’s better!

I imagine we’ll see at least one other iteration of this design before they even entertain the idea of building one. In some ways if they are implementing a computerised patch system then why keep the Tone Selector? It’s authentic and looks great but if you are trying to keep the size of the instrument down and they are just for show then it would perhaps be better to place the performance controls in that space.

We’ll see how things develop.

More information

  • Uli Behringer’s Facebook post.

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Brian
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Nice BAR (big a** ribbon)!


Destinkeys
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Why the strip the entire length of the keyboard? The CS-80 had a five octave keybed with the strip extending for the bottom three octaves. What exactly is the point of a pitch strip in the top two octaves where it’s damn near impossible to use without your left hand crossing over your right? Hopefully, if this is a final render, the strip can be defined to ignore that top two octaves. On the whole, you manipulate the strip with your LH while your RH plays the keys. Personally, I think this is dumb, raising the cost of the unit… Read more »


Chris Mac
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Chris Mac

Oh when will you remaining dinosaurs of the ” We’ll hate everything Behringer create, no matter HOW brilliant it is” give it a rest?!!? The first draft is published and what do we get: ” Oh whinge, whinge, the touch strip is too SHORT!” The second draft is published, and: “Oh whinge, whinge, the touch strip is too LONG!” What are you, the 3 Bears from Goldilocks??!!?? For god’s sake give it a rest, because you’re sounding pretty pathetic! I bet Mr “Destinkeys” thinks the worldwide, record-breaking success of the genius “X32” was a total fluke and that it’s poorly… Read more »


Destinkeys
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Destinkeys

Ever tried decaf? And paragraph breaks..?! Look, it’s simple. Either you’ve played one or you haven’t. If you have, you know it was the ergonomics and controller quality that made it the legend it is. If you haven’t, all you can do is salivate over a clone that might help you convince yourself you are the second coming of Vangelis. And miss what it was that made guys like Vangelis use it in the first place. The rest of your diatribe is utterly invented. I have nothing against Behringer gear, still have some. Try reading before you go off half-cocked,… Read more »


CHRIS MAC
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CHRIS MAC

Well!! So your incisive reply rests on questioning how hyper I sound – and then criticising my grammar?!? How blindingly brilliant must be your wit! Should you actually possess any, that is! Your assertions/ intimations/ inferences/ – – (I want to try and hit-on the correct term! Far be it from me to offend your obvious sensitivities regarding the written word!) – – concerning my “criticism” of your post, leave me almost breathless with disbelief, — whilst, at the same time, wearing a very knowing, and, I happily confess, self-satisfied, smile at your obvious “insight” into my total lack of… Read more »


JRice
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JRice

Aaaaaaaactually, if you squint, you’ll see that the strip **IS** only across the bottom three octaves. There’s space on either side of it, but it looks like only those three have an active strip.

It’s possible that’s some kind of visual artifact, but it would be a seriously odd coincidence if it just HAPPENED to stop at the bottom of the first octave and the top of the third.

So…. yeah?


Richard
Guest

So who’s going to re-issue a CS80 first? Yamaha or Behringer? Yamaha have been openly talking about the concept – but it looks like Behringer are going to kill it for them!


Joe Gerardi
Guest

“but if you are trying to keep the size of the instrument down”

Why would they “try to keep the size of the instrument down?” At 5 octaves on the keybed, there isn’t much they can do to make it smaller, and if they cut it to 4 octave, they’ll lose a lot of real musicians that actually still play the instruments.

..Joe


Keith
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Okay, got to weigh in on this: 1st: YES PLEASE. I’ll take one if it is anything approaching the quality and fidelity of the D. 2nd: regarding the size and position of the ribbon. Having any of the ribbon across the right side of the keyboard doesn’t bother me at all. My left hand crosses over my right while playing just fine. It would be no different than reaching over to adjust a filter cutoff frequency or any other controller that happened to be in that direction while playing. Here’s why that ribbon should be as long as possible –… Read more »


Destinkeys
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Destinkeys

I agree that one of the areas that Behringer could improve on the original is to allow user scaling of the positive and negative voltages of the strip. But at least keep the original as the default. BTW, the actual CS80 went one octave up going from left to right, and dropped into LFO country going right to left. This non-linearity was one of the things that worked so well. You are correct about initial finger placement as zero, but how you used it from there depended a lot on technique. Pitch strips are incredibly flexible tools for sound shaping,… Read more »