by Robin Vincent | 4,4 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
Behringer Saturn

Behringer Saturn  ·  Source: Behringer Saturn

Behringer Saturn

Behringer Saturn  ·  Source: Behringer


Saturn is the third mini-synth in as many days and is a fascinating take on the Roland Jupiter-8. This one is looking a bit tastier.


Saturn (name may change)

A couple of days ago, the Pro-VS was a bit of shock and looked very odd to me. Then we had the JP-4000 which for me felt a bit more balanced in form. Now we have Saturn which appears to be in the same shell as the Pro-VS but I feel like I’m warming to the whole idea. Maybe we’re seeing the beginning of a range of fabulous sounding, entry-level budget synths that are going to fulfil Behringer’s desire for everyone to be able to afford a synth – that’s no bad thing.

Saturn is a 3-oscillator analogue polyphonic synthesizer with a multi-mode analogue filter, envelopes, LFO, arpeggiator and 16-step motion sequencer. There are 4 selectable waveforms, pulse width modulation, mono, unison and polyphonic playing modes. There’s no mention of how many voices you can run although the conversation in the Facebook comments says that it’s both “polyphonic and paraphonic”. Reading between the lines this is the way Behringer describes their Poly D where you can play each oscillator separately, to give polyphony, but that it routes through the same filter and VCA, and so has paraphonic articulation. It’s a shame it’s not 4-voice like the two previous mini-synths but then they are digital and it’s not so easy or cheap to accomplish with analogue. So, this is a fat Jupiter-style monosynth? Groovy!

Behringer Saturn

Behringer Saturn

It is looking like this is becoming a trend for Behringer to release funky little versions of the big synths they are working on. And Behringer does confirm that they are working on a full-sized synthesizer version of the Jupiter-8. Obviously, the size massively impacts a synthesizer in terms of tactile controls but it’s not that far off a Roland Boutique or Korg Volca and you can do a huge amount with those. At $99 I get the feeling that these are going to sell by the bucket load, and why not? If the sound’s there; if this is an analogue synthesizer with the scope of a Jupiter synthesizer then despite the restrictive controls this could be awesome.

The keyboard isn’t my favourite thing; I don’t like it much on the Modal Skulpt either, but it does give access to a load more controls and at least you’ll be able to play it without any other kit.

I do hope that Behringer develops the SynthTribe app into a fully-fledged MIDI controller and librarian VST plugin for these mini synths as that could really bridge the gap between the front panel controls and the synth engine.

I think this is a form factor we’re going to have to get used to.

  • Behringer Facebook post.
  • More from Behringer.
Image Sources:
  • Behringer Saturn: Behringer
Behringer Saturn

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11 responses to “Saturn: Behringer mini-synth takes on the Jupiter”

    Signal Slammer says:

    Dayum! an essential buy for me? or a step back? is a step back a bad thing? i used to squeeze alot out of a table full of Volcas but moved on to roland devices for more sounds and features. maybe i’ll give this a try because it’s so sexy.
    lol back to basics

    Marcello says:

    The more I see it the more I think Behringer’s marketing is similar to that of Ryanair

      Veng says:

      If that were the case you’d be paying seperately for a bag of knobs and £1 per preset storage slot. But don’t tempt them, its gone all subscription with Roland.

    Djokes Bokes says:

    I suspect this is a precursor to the bigger version. Besides, this gives an opportunity for people with a lower wage to enjoy synthesizers. I like that. Music is for everyone!

      John says:

      agreed. there is a huge market well served by small inexpensive units. PACRIM will go crazy over these.

      my fav is the VS so far though.

    Nickp405 says:

    Looks like a child’s first keyboard toy for a toddler. Yuck, no thanks. This mini synth fad needs to end.

    JB says:

    Just wish they could get hold of some chips and release some stuff, starting with the UB-Xa!

    SirPrimalform says:

    Ok, so this is essentially a Roland flavoured take on the Volca keys sort of architecture. I think it’s a cool idea, I’ll have to keep an ear out to see if it works in practice.

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