Uli Behringer has sent the industry into a frenzy over his proposed Minimoog clone. He stunned us all with the Deep Mind 12 synthesizer and now he has a taste for it, he’s set his sights on the classic of all classics, the Minimoog Model D.
Uli Behringer seems to have enjoyed the connection he’s created with the synth community during the development of the Deep Mind 12. It’s as if he can’t quite contain his enthusiasm at finally getting to do something that he says was always at the heart of him getting into the business. So why we’ve had to put up with budget mixers, outboard gear and speakers for so long is anyone’s guess. Perhaps the answer lies in the acquisition of expertise. The Deep Mind 12 came out of the labs of Midas in Manchester who were acquired by “Music Group” (parent company chaired by Uli) in 2009. I imagine it’s the success and reception for that product, plus those Midas engineers realising Uli’s vision for low cost and low margin synthesizers.
Uli has said,
Our primary customer is not the well-off doctor or lawyer, but the people with much less income. I was a struggling musician myself when I started my business 30 years ago and I made it my mission in life to enable musicians to pursue their musical dreams without financial obstacles.
Fair play to him, he does seem to have accomplished that, and we’re all the better for it.
All this new information comes from his social platform of choice – Gearslutz.com. He talks very generally about what would be involved in cloning a Minimoog and how they appreciate the feedback. They will make what people want them to make. It’s difficult to gauge exactly how far into the process they are. Maybe Uli was reading the forum and just thought it would be cool to do and so entered the conversation. He did respond directly to someone else’s suggestion of making it Eurorack compatible, saying that one of their engineers had had similar thoughts, so that suggests it’s already well underway.
Gearslutz.com is full of people with opinions and so the pages are filling up with all sorts of those. If this does actually impact the design process then it really is a unique and interesting way of working. Giving people what they want – what a novel idea!
Uli also got into a “discussion” with a Moog enthusiast over the lead content of the soldering process. This is a man who is passionate about the subject unafraid to enter the fray of online arguments. It makes for an interesting read.
Apparently, it’s not a problem to clone a Minimoog. The designs are old enough to be patent free and so anyone could put one together. In a recent video, Uli said that he was planning to build synths from $50 up. He also mentioned that the Minimoog only has about $200 worth of components in it. A statement that I’m sure would make Moog Music shudder. So the rumour is that Behringer could possibly knock their Model D out for less that $500. That would be completely mad. Many others talk about how Uli won’t be able to resist stacking it full of features like they have with the Deep Mind 12. That could push it towards the $1000 mark.
So far it’s all talk and possibilities. But since the Deep Mind 12 turned out to be a properly decent synth then I think we’ve all got a bit more time for Behringer and what they are capable of.
You can follow the discussion here: Gearslutz.com – Uli’s post is on page 3.