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Berlin School music setup Desktop Synthesizers
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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Berlin School music setup

I am interested in creating ambient and Berlin school music, so I am in the process of setting up my gear.

I was thinking of buying the following 2 synths:

1. Behringer Neutron- Behringer Neutron Semi-Modular Analog Synth | Sweetwater

2. Korg Volca Fm - https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...with-sequencer

Questions
a)What is your opinion about this combination?
b)If I buy only the Behringer Neutron to save cost?
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Not sure about FM.
Arguably a good starting point is the Moog sound, with an analog sequencer.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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spiderman's Avatar
I too would skip the Volca FM for this project. Might use it for something else... but for this I'd save up a little and buy the Arp Odyssey reissue or a Dreadbox Erebus
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Berlin School is heavily Moog sound (modular), with ambient elements like mellotron for choirs and strings.
There are so many Moog synths, I would probably start with one of those.
You can get that subtractive sound from many synths, but Moog is what they used in the 70's and there are affordable Moog synths (like the Mother 32, or Grandmother semi-modular).
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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Thanks for your kind answers, I was thinking about buying the Moog mother 32, however the Behringer Neutron seems to have almost the same operations and it has the half price compared with Moog Mother.

Behringer Neutron = $300.00
Moog Mother 32 = $599.00


Regarding analog sequencer, I was think the Volca FM as a budget choice, so as to escape from computers. Otherwise, I had on my mind, to use a software step sequencer.

What do you say?
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Derp's Avatar
What about saving money and going with the Behringer Model D to pair with the Neutron? I have both and they're both excellent synths. Plus the Model D will get you not the Moog Modular sound per se, but in the same wheelhouse since it's such an excellent MiniMoog clone.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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Your combination of two Behringer synths absolutely makes sense :-)
If I buy the Behringer Neutron now, how can I pair it until I manage to buy the Behringer D model?

I mean can I pair the Behringer Neutron with a midi controller keyboard so as to get sound out of it?
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Sclr's Avatar
Yes. You could also get a Beatstep, beatstep pro or korg sq-1 to sequence with. All those are good and cheap.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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I know that is a silly question but as a newbie I have to ask :-)

If I connect the midi controller with a midi cable directly to the Behringer Neutron then I get sound out of the Behringer or I need a connection to a computer as well?
Old 1 week ago
  #10
RiF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy1 View Post
If I connect the midi controller with a midi cable directly to the Behringer Neutron then I get sound out of the Behringer or I need a connection to a computer as well?
MIDI (from a keyboard or sequencer) into the Neutron will trigger it playing notes. You still need some sort of amplifier and speakers (or headphones) to hear it, though. And note that you will need a mixer if you end up with more than one synth.

And don‘t forget to put the Korg SQ-1 sequencer on your shopping list!

How about this?
- Behringer Neutron or Model D
- Korg Volca keys (for ambient pads). You will want a reverb effect to make it really ambient sounding.
- Korg SQ-1 sequencer for driving the Neutron. Beat Step Pro for more versatility.
- Very small mixer from Behringer or Alesis (Multimix). Maybe with internal FX.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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spiderman's Avatar
Arturia Key Step might be a good entry level purchase too. Gets a little more accurate than SQ-1. More playable for those type lines. Easy to change arpeggios (key to the style). Has CV and MIDI outputs. Etc.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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Derp's Avatar
Yeah, I think for Berlin style, some sort of hardware sequencer will help a ton. If you're planning to get both the Neutron and the Model D, the Beatstep Pro would be perfect since it handles two channels of note sequencing.

EDIT: Also note that with a MIDI interface, your DAW (Ableton, FL Studio, etc.) your computer can act as a sequencer as well.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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Thank you very much for your help, up to now it seems that I am among the following choices:

Sequencer: Beatstep or Beatstep Pro or Korg SQ-1 or DAW with a MIDI interface
Synth: Behringer Neutron
Audio Mixer: Alesis Multimix or Other
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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Derp's Avatar
I'm still of the mindset that you would really enjoy the Behringer Model D as well. Its core tone is great for what you're doing.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Go Model D or Mother 32 (which already has a sequencer).
Old 1 week ago
  #16
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What about any cheap mixer, any budget recommendations? What is important here?
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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The Neutron is a fine synth, but it doesn't/won't sound very Berlin-y.

The Boog or a Mother 32/etc, however, will scratch that itch.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
ValhallaDSP
 
seancostello's Avatar
 

The Mother-32 has a built in sequencer, and a lot of folks have done nice Berlin school tracks using the Mother-32 and a delay or two.

My personal advice is to pony up the extra cash, and get the Moog Grandmother. It has a GREAT sequencer. Only 3 stored sequencers, but 256 steps per sequence, keyboard entry, easy to edit sequences, easy to transpose, syncable to MIDI clock, all sorts of fun stuff. Plus, the synthesis capabilities far outstrip the Mother-32, with a much nicer ADSR envelope, spring reverb, and up to 3 VCOs if you patch in the mod oscillator into the mixer.

I used the Grandmother for a Berlin school sequence in a teaser for an upcoming plugin (apologies for the plugin mongering, but it was recorded at a studio much nicer than mine, so it sounds pretty good):



Another Berlin school example, this time with 2 separate sequences. It's actually the same 8 note sequence, but transposed and triggered out of time for the 2nd instance. I also used the Grandmother for the droney notes.

Old 1 week ago
  #19
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I just ordered the Behringer Neutron and planning of buying another one synth in the near future. Any suggestions for a budget audio mixer to buy? I intend to use it for home recording on laptop and maybe for small scale live sessions.

Thank you!
Old 1 week ago
  #20
You don’t really need a mixer for one synth.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
RiF
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You might want to consider a mixer with a built-in USB audio interface to record directly into your laptop.
Yamaha, Allen&Heath, Soundcraft, Behringer, Alesis (to name a few) all offer those in various prices and sizes.
Old 6 days ago
  #22
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ImJohn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy1 View Post
I am interested in creating ambient and Berlin school
Besides all the good advice you've received so far, also make sure you have a decent delay unit for certain Berlin School type effects, like effectively doubling the the perceived rate of the sequencer more or less. It doesn't have to be a fancy delay, for instance on the low end a used TC Electronic Flashback v1 pedal will work fine or if you want to sync the delay time to the sequencer (depending on your sequencer) consider spending more for something like the Strymon DIG pedal.
Old 4 days ago
  #23
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the behringer model D has got to be a good move.

also: don't think the volca FM is a bad idea, you know.
it's very clean, and you can find some really usable vintage-y
presets if you use Dexed to browse the vast quantities
in BlackWinny's zip. definitely something usable there,
although it will be tricky for 'evolving' sounds, and you have
to get into the mindset of the little box a bit.
Old 4 days ago
  #24
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login's Avatar
Roland SE02: you get the moog sound and a sequencer in a single unit. And it also has effects. If it is your only synth you can use its integrated audio interface to send the audio to the computer if you require it.

Old 4 days ago
  #25
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login's Avatar
Another good option might be an Elektron Analog 4 second hand, you get 4 mono synths in one and they go for great prices used.
Old 19 hours ago
  #26
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Does it make sense to purchase a reverb or delay pedal along with the Behringer Neutron that I am waiting to receive in the next days?

I saw in the description of he device that Neutron already features a delay element onboard.
Old 18 hours ago
  #27
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Check the little digital mixers available today, many include some built in FX.

Behringer, Allen & Heath, Soundcraft, etc.

Or sure, a dedicated Reverb is cool. TC Pedals, OTO, Eventide Space or H9, Strymon... there are loads of them, from $100 to thousands of dollars each.
Old 17 hours ago
  #28
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ImJohn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy1 View Post
Does it make sense to purchase a reverb or delay pedal along with the Behringer Neutron that I am waiting to receive in the next days?

I saw in the description of he device that Neutron already features a delay element onboard.
If you don't have a reverb device I'd pick one of those up but since the Neutron already has a delay built in I'd wait to see how well it works for you before picking up another delay.
Old 8 hours ago
  #29
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Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy1 View Post
Does it make sense to purchase a reverb or delay pedal along with the Behringer Neutron that I am waiting to receive in the next days?

I saw in the description of he device that Neutron already features a delay element onboard.
I don't think it's a bad idea. I got a Synthrotek Verb to fill out the row the Neutron lives on, and they're a great pair.
Old 6 hours ago
  #30
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mekanik's Avatar
 

lexicon mx200 has lots of effects. and it a lot better than anything any mixer has. a lot.
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