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Behringer now talking about ARP Odyssey Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 31st December 2014
  #541
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grasspike's Avatar
Thanks for joining us Uli, I see all the haters and I am reminded of all the very similar comments about your company when you launched the X32 which is a rock solid mixer and changed the minds of many people

You will do the same thing with synths
Old 31st December 2014
  #542
Gear Addict
 
Uli Behringer's Avatar
 

Dear all,

Thank you for the great comments and questions.

Allow me to give you some background about us entering the synthesizer market.

Over the past few years I have seen that a strong demand for analog synthesizers has resurfaced. This is wonderful, not only because of my personal passion for those instruments, but I always believed that digital synthesizers simply do not match the sound of the legacy analog synthesizers (and there are physical reasons for this).

I grew up with these analog jewels and vividly remember when products such as Juno and Prophet 5 were released. In those days, most of these synthesizers were simply unaffordable not only for me, but most other musicians.
In fact this was a major reason why I built my own synthesizer almost 40 years ago.

Over the years, we have repeatedly been asked by our customers to build synthesizers and in 2010 we decided to move forward with his project. We started a research project and also conducted surveys with a German magazine called amazona.de. We even did a quick rendering to gather feedback about interest in a Juno redesign.

Frankly, the response was overwhelming and we subsequently came up with a detailed plan and roadmap. That included a whole series of classic analog synthesizers, including many popular legacy synthesizers including the Arp Odyssey, Mini Moog, Juno, Prophet 5, etc., but also completely new designs.

In order to pursue our plans, we realized that we needed specific engineering horse power in both the analog and digital domains. On the analog side, because most classic designs are based on Curtis/SSM chips which are no longer available, we looked into replacing these legacy components with equivalent parts with exactly the same functionality. We partnered up with a semiconductor foundry Coolaudio and developed analog and mixed architecture semiconductors such as VCA’s and the highly desirable BBD’s (Bucket Brigade Delay lines) used in analog chorus and delay effects such as the original Juno’s etc.
At the same time we studied the legacy Curtis and SSM chips and we’re in the process of designing our own versions of these highly regarded IC's in collaboration with Coolaudio.

However analog synthesizers only make sense now if you combine them with the control and functionality of today’s synthesizers, so we researched the requirements of a digital control system that would combine the sophistication expected of modern digital synthesizers with the immediacy of classic analog VCO and VCF circuits.
It is my strong belief that the real power of synthesizers only comes to life when you combine the amazing sound of analog with the modern functionality of digital technology - very much a case of combining the best of both worlds.

In recent years we acquired Midas and Klark Teknik, one of the most prestigious mixing console and signal processing companies. 40 years ago it was Midas who built sound systems for Pink Floyd, Supertramp, Frank Zappa and many other world-famous bands. This was exactly the time, when these legendary synthesizers were born.
If you look up Midas and Klark Teknik, you will see that these amazing engineers design not only today’s most respected analog products, but also the industry’s most complex and sophisticated DSP and FPGA based digital mixing consoles and other audio products.

But what does that have to do with Synthesizers?

If you look at modern synthesizers, you will understand that while analog technology has its own challenges, such as component tolerances and parameter drift, thermionic noise etc., the biggest complexity lies on the digital side with storage, sequencer, FX etc.
Luckily, we have not only some of the world’s best digital engineers, but also an analog designer and industry icon called John Price who has over 40 years of analog experience. John is considered a legend in the audio industry and it is no surprise that he loves synthesizers, too.

Leveraging our team of legendary talent, we have now assembled a team of the finest engineers to form our new Synthesizer Division.
However we are also looking to recruit more talent and we invite everyone here to watch out for job openings. It’s a very exciting time as the first prototypes are already playing music and the team is working around the clock to incorporate their new ideas.

You are our biggest collaborator and we will continue to engage you on forums and bounce off ideas to see how you feel about our progress. While we cannot promise to incorporate every idea, we will promise to carefully listen. So feel free and share your ideas.

Our plan is to build several classics and also some completely new concepts - monophonic as well as polyphonic synthesizers and classic analog as well as digital synthesizers.
Will we be making an Odyssey? Frankly, we always had the Odyssey on our roadmap and among the several legacy synthesizers we intend to build, our version of the Odyssey will be different, with full-size keys, multi-mode filters and full digital control, potentially a sequencer and arpeggiator, as well as high-end effects from our award-winning X32 digital mixing console.
At the end more models mean more choices for customers, and that is a good thing.

However we like to manage expectations; since building synthesizers is a complex and long-term project, it will take some time for us to release actual products. But we intend to keep you informed, and hopefully soon we can release the first video of our prototypes.

Finally I would like to thank you for your support and encourage you to communicate with us on the usual forums and our social media sites as we will continue to ask for your opinions.

Happy New Year!

Uli
Old 31st December 2014
  #543
Lives for gear
 
ranzee's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uli Behringer View Post
Dear all,

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Uli Behringer, CEO of the MUSIC Group, umbrella company of the brands Midas, Klark Teknik, Turbosound, Behringer and Bugera.

Our Customer Engagement Manager John DiNiccola which you have seen here a few times asked me to participate. I have been reading this thread with great interest.

We are just celebrating our 25th company anniversary and this is a wonderful opportunity to pursue something I always wanted to do - to build synthesizers.

When I was 16, I built my first analog synthesizer, the UB1, which unfortunately later got lost during a company relocation.
An image of the UB1 can be found here. UB1 Synthesizer

As a classically trained pianist and jazz musician, electronic instruments and synthesizers in particular have always been close to my heart. During my student days I played in bands and later in jazz clubs to make a living. Oscar Peterson has been and still is my absolute piano hero.

I am very excited to see how these classic synthesizers and sounds from the 70's and 80's have regained so much popularity.
During my younger days (and that's long ago), I was the proud owner of a stack of instruments that ranged from Fender Rhodes, to Mini Moog, Siel Orchestra, Hohner Clavinet and of course my UB1 Synthesizer.
In those days, if you owned some of these instruments, you had arrived as a keyboarder. However some of you might also remember that this stuff was so heavy, that unless you had roadies (and I didn't), carrying this equipment to a gig almost broke your fingers. (These were the few moments when you wished you had become a guitar player).

While much has changed in the past 40 years in terms of technology and manufacturing techniques, the desirability of analog sounds has not.
Analog sounds are different and there are physical reasons why these sounds cannot be fully recreated by digital means.

Our focus will be on monophonic as well as polyphonic analog synths, however combined with the power of today's digital control and some great add-on FX.

While we are currently looking into the revival of some classic synthesizers, we are also working on complete new designs. However in order to manage expectations, we are still some time away from releasing a finished product.

Leading this effort will be our world-class Midas R&D team in the UK, where we have incredible talents both on the analog as well as digital side. Best of all, these great people love synthesizers and that is equally important to design great instruments.

I am more than happy to answer questions you might have but kindly ask you to be patient as this is a very busy time around Namm.

Thank you for welcoming me here.

Uli
Hi Uli,

Thank you so much for participating in my thread. I'm sure you'd see there are some diverse opinions here, however, I feel the stronger sentiment here is that we would welcome with open arms some new synths from Behringer.

Although I live in Australia, I have used your products since the late 1990s (my first was a eurodesk, which still works great). I would be more than happy to do local reviews for the benefit of my local Aussies.

Please consider doing an Elka Synthex!!!

Looking forward to the NAMM announcements.
Old 31st December 2014
  #544
Gear Maniac
 
Raised Eyebrows's Avatar
 

Just want to say that regardless of how you feel about behringer as a company, it's pretty awesome to see the head of such a large company directly participating in a thread here; thanks Uli! Personally, the products I've gotten from behringer have been pretty great, though none of them are super expensive or anything (their analog delay and phaser pedals, and their rackmount patchbay) - no QC issues yet, and they all sound great/equivalent to their more expensive counterparts, even if the build quality on the pedals isn't as nice (considering their price, I'm fine with that).

I'm honestly even more excited about the proposed poly synth in the works, but I'm definitely thrilled that another company is throwing their hat in the ring as far as analog synths go (and I'm certainly interested in their take on the Odyssey) - don't know why people would be upset at this prospect. Don't preorder, wait on reviews, and if the products aren't up to snuff the truth will out (see: the disaster that was/is the Rhythm Wolf). Til then, I'm certainly interested and excited (regardless of whether or not I NEED another synth now...)
Old 31st December 2014
  #545
Gear Addict
 
UrbanSynthesis's Avatar
There is soooo much potential regarding this project.

Please consider:

Polyphonic aftertouch
CV control
A modulation delay (like on the Junos)
Frequency modulation
Loopable EGs
OSC Drift or Slop (spares LFOs for other duties)
Dual filters
Pulse width modulation

This is basically my "why wouldn't you include that -____-" list.



Cheers and good luck to you and your team Uli!
Old 31st December 2014
  #546
Lives for gear
 
EofN's Avatar
As I sit here, I am surrounded by gear from different companies and eras, including some very solid pieces from Behringer, the BCF2000 and Ultragraph Pro EQ.

Please keep the quality at this level when you release your new synths.

I am excited by your ambitious plans, I think it will really shake up the synth market a great deal, and provide us with lot's of lovely new gear to play with.

Thank you for listening to your customers!

I will be looking out for your new line of synths with great anticipation!
Old 31st December 2014
  #547
Lives for gear
 
steveswisher's Avatar
 

You've got me excited Mr. Behringer! Show us some videos!
Old 31st December 2014
  #548
Gear Head
Excited indeed!
May I suggest a modern version of a keyboard sampler with analog filters.
A sort of modern DSS-1. But more compact with 37 or 49 keys, fx, knobby, performance oriented, add some fun synthesis. Additive,vector,wavetables. 12bit sampling, Mic input.
If the SSM/Curtis inspired chips sounds right..could be awesome!
Old 31st December 2014
  #549
Lives for gear
 
genetic92's Avatar
 

Thank you kindly Uli for responding. Big respect for engaging on an internet forum. This sounds very very interesting and has so much potential!

Hoping your line of synthesizers will focus on the performance aspact as well as so many new keyboard products dont feel like real instruments anymore. Hearing your background I am sure you understand this. Please take this quote from Vangelis as inspiration:

Quote:
Today, the only thing that matters to synth makers and synth players is the supply of different sounds — nothing else. I think the manufacturers have a responsibility to fit synthesizers with better keyboards so that people get some encouragement to play better, because if all you do is use synths as a source of sounds, you’ll never be a complete performer. You’ll never be a player in the practical sense, you won’t acquire fast reactions.

When Yamaha created the CS-80, I expected them to refine it and improve it, make it lighter, put new sounds on it, but they didn’t."
Thank you.
Old 31st December 2014
  #550
Lives for gear
 
Mushy Mushy's Avatar
 

Bravo Mr Behringer.

Can't wait to see what you come up with.
Old 31st December 2014
  #551
227861
Guest
This is all good for competition. I hope they make it good with good quality parts. Learn from Akai's Rhythm Wolf. Some bad things happened there. Don't make that mistake.

Last edited by 227861; 31st December 2014 at 02:47 PM.. Reason: respect to B
Old 31st December 2014
  #552
Lives for gear
 
Mushy Mushy's Avatar
 

Draven, there was a point when Hyundai didn't make cars, and now look at them. They're up they're with Toyota and Nissan.

It's clear Behringer are putting vast resources (financial and human) behind this, and it's obviously something Uli is extremely passionate about.

Give them a chance dude.
Old 31st December 2014
  #553
227861
Guest
Cool, I was unaware of this. (them putting vast resources behind all this) Thanks for filling me in.

I think this competitive event is good for all of us.

I'm not saying I'm not giving them a chance, just sharing my opinion of what I've seen them produce. Also the product isn't out yet so how can we even say it's going to be good. That's my other point. I think the chance needs to be seen if it's sh#t or not. But like I said I hope for the best.
Old 31st December 2014
  #554
Lives for gear
 
Mushy Mushy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by draven5 View Post
Cool, I was unaware of this. (them putting vast resources behind all this) Thanks for filling me in.

I think this competitive event is good for all of us.
Exactly. Even if you're not interested in a Behringer synth it can only be good for the industry.
Old 31st December 2014
  #555
227861
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mushy Mushy View Post
Exactly. Even if you're not interested in a Behringer synth it can only be good for the industry.
Exactly ....that's what I said.
Old 31st December 2014
  #556
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Mushy Mushy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by draven5 View Post
Exactly ....that's what I said.
Yep exactly
Old 31st December 2014
  #557
227861
Guest
This could really make their company be a good serious player if they can put out some solid analogs. Guess we'll see what happens.
Old 31st December 2014
  #558
Lives for gear
 
acealive's Avatar
Mr. Behringer, thanks for participating in this (in parts rather heated) discussion.

I'm definately excited to see a large company like Behringer enter the analogue synthesizer market.

For my part, I am a content customer, all my Behringer gear has been working well and given me good value for money (VD400, EM600, CC300, UFX1604, VP1, 502, MX400 and others). I love that my UFX1604 lets me record a jamsession on a hard disk with every single track seperated, so that I can mix it later in my DAW.
I am just packing a bag with some portable gear for a jam & recording session on January 2nd, and the EM600 and the VD400 will be in that bag for sure.

While I do not 'need' another monosynth, I would be tempted to purchase something like an Odyssey if it came with a simple step sequencer similar like that of the Microbrute or Volcas which can be started via receiving external gate signals or MIDI Clock. (should also understand Start/Stop via Midi Clock, btw. The Start/Stop signal thing is rather important, some manufacturers simply forgot about that in recent years).

What I am very ecxited about however and looking forward to a great deal is an affordable modern analogue polysnth.
Doesn't have to do much more than a Juno or a Polysix for my taste, all I pretty much need a Poly is to do nice am warm , evolving pad sounds and have at least 6 voice polyphony. Oh and please, don't forget to include enough LFOs. One can never have enough LFOs. At least I can't

I am not familiar with the effects of a X32 mixer, but I read that they are quite good.
To have some standard effects in a synth like chorus and delay is of course a good thing.

regarding such effects, you do have some very nice analogue effects as well like the CC300, which many synth people have in their arsenal.
Personally, also the EM600 (digital delay modelling) is a favorite of mine.
To have effects like that in a synth would be awesome.
If the X32 effects are even better, then bring'em on
Old 31st December 2014
  #559
Gear Nut
Dear Mr. B.
It takes some courage to step into this thread. I'm glad you did. I value and respect your inputs both as a CEO and a musician. I believe you have a rare combination of gifts which is somehow reflected in your line of products.
As a musician hobbyist, I have nothing but praise for you products. They have always proven cheap and reliable over the years.
I'm also glad you finally enter the synths market. I wasn't expecting that and definitely looking forward seeing what you come up with. From the entry level Xenyx to the mighty X32 your company seems to have a tradition providing the best value for the money.
I wish you nothing but the best with this new challenge.
Old 31st December 2014
  #560
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grasspike's Avatar
In a venue I worked at doing FOH live sound 4-5 times a week we had 2 systems for our two auditoriums, one was a $100K+ Yamaha system (not counting amps and speakers) based around the industry standard Yamaha PM5D live sound console with a full blown Yamaha DANTE audio network

the other was based on the Behringer X32, that system which cost 1/10th the price was as good if not better than the Industry Standard Yamaha PM5D System, I actually prefer the X32 interface and the on board DSP effects are really really good, I find the reverbs on the Behringer better than the Yamaha Rev-X reverb that Yamaha holds out as the holy grail for example

I am not alone in this as many live sound people I know were/are very impressed by the X32. The X32 has been a game changer

People can draw whatever opinion they wish about Behringer, however there is probably no other hardware manufacturer in either live sound or music/recording that has spent more money and worked harder to improve the products they put out than Behringer.

They will do the same thing for Synths that they have done for live sound with the X32 platform using the same team from Midas that Uli spent million of dollars to acquire.
Old 31st December 2014
  #561
Lives for gear
 
rasseru's Avatar
A ribbon controller & velocity implementation like on the jp8000 would be brilliant
Old 31st December 2014
  #562
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Soothing Sound's Avatar
Hello Mr. Uli,

Great and noble effort to resurrect some analog legends and bringing more tools to the table, since purchasing a vintage analog these days is becoming a Russian roulette because of the reliability and aging of the components inside + the absurd money sellers ask on ebay...

Others mentioned technical questions, so I'm not hitting that key again.

I'm sure you are aware how the Behringer image looks like in the pro audio market, so here's some suggestions you might consider:

1. The Behringer logo design is terrible, please consider something more modern if you're sticking with it.

2. Since you mentioned the Midas team will be working on the synths, maybe it's a smart move to put the Midas logo on those babies. I think it will be a clever move if you did it.

Midas / Touch / Synths = Win

3. Drop the Behringer name once for all, it's associated in this market with poorly designed equipment, even though in the last few years your equipment is becoming better and better.

Good luck with your quest!
Old 31st December 2014
  #563
227861
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uli Behringer View Post
Will we be making an Odyssey? Frankly, we always had the Odyssey on our roadmap and among the several legacy synthesizers we intend to build, our version of the Odyssey will be different, with full-size keys, multi-mode filters and full digital control, potentially a sequencer and arpeggiator, as well as high-end effects from our award-winning X32 digital mixing console.
At the end more models mean more choices for customers, and that is a good thing.

Uli
This is some awesome stuff to read. Thanks!
Old 31st December 2014
  #564
Lives for gear
 
Muser's Avatar
I was just going to suggest that to Uli
Old 31st December 2014
  #565
Lives for gear
 
atma's Avatar
 

wow, it really is the analog renaissance. never thought i'd live to see such a sea-change. very, very exciting times!

it's also unusually refreshing to see a CEO of a major music tech manufacturer engage directly with consumers.. nearly unheard of.
Old 31st December 2014
  #566
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by atma View Post
wow, it really is the analog renaissance. never thought i'd live to see such a sea-change. very, very exciting times!
.
Old 31st December 2014
  #567
Gear Addict
 

What's just as exciting to me is that they're making the SSM/CEM inspired IC's with the help of Cool Audio. If they sell to other companies like they currently do with their other IC's then there will be many more variety of poly synths coming out!
Old 31st December 2014
  #568
Lives for gear
 

I would rather see a nice Juno-60 or PolySix re-issue than a Arp Odyssey with memories. More complex synths like the Oberheim Matrix series make good use of patch storage because there's so much to set, a JX-3P has a slower interface so you don't want to dial every sound in again and again but I don't miss it on my knobby monophonic analogs.

I have absolutely no clue how you are going to create a completely faithful sounding $400 Arp Odyssey with total digital control, I am under the assumption that a discrete design is much harder to digitally control than a integrated design and a $600 Korg MS-20 without any digital control apart from MIDI note and trigger already seemed to be pretty cheap to me.

Surprise me!
Old 31st December 2014
  #569
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soothing Sound View Post
3. Drop the Behringer name once for all, it's associated in this market with poorly designed equipment, even though in the last few years your equipment is becoming better and better.
Dude, the Behringer name is HIS name. Please don't personally and publicly insult the founder of a company like this. Thank you.
Old 31st December 2014
  #570
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by colusa View Post
Dude, the Behringer name is HIS name. Please don't personally and publicly insult the founder of a company like this. Thank you.
But he has a point. I don't think the instruments division should have the Behringer name.
Much like Boss is to Roland and Vox is now to Korg...
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