Behringer DeepMind 12 by JimmyLoops
There's so much that's been covered already, I think I'll just offer a review with some specific points to explain why I find the DM12 to be such a great Polysynth.
Quick background. I've been playing over 20 years. Owned tons of polysynths, analog and digital and hybrid. Juno 60, virus ti, jp8000, jd800, Moog LP, DSI mopho, Bass Station2, Peak, OB6, Rev2, and The DM12, to name a few.
The one thing that has me coming back to this thing is the ability to route stuff to the effect parameters. This is a HUGE advantage from a sound design perspective. Lets face it, today's polysynth are pretty much expected to have some great on-board effects, with just a few pretentious exceptions that I won't even mention.
Because of great assortment of effects built into the DM12, I was able to take this thing WAY outa the normal analog "juno-esque" sound. It became my little monster. While I'd like to put together a video of just the crunchier, edgier, and wackier side of the DM12, but I can't because I have 2 boys, 3 y/o and 8 months, who demand my attention most of every passing second when I'm home. In the free time I'd rather be designing new patches and jamming. The highlight videos are a byproduct of the prior sessions. So what I'm getting at is you'll just have to sort through by using the shortcuts in the description or watch the whole thing. I guarantee you that you haven't heard many patches like these. Consider these' videos the "audio portion" of the review. Feel free to read the rest after you cue it up.
So back to the modulation of effects. The big winners are the decimator delay and modulation delay, as they've become almost a template for building incredibly far-out-there sounds. The big "win" here is that the decimator delay can just be used as a discrete filter if you want it to. It'll do a clean low pass, band pass, or high pass filter. there's a tiny delay because it's dsp and not a real filter, but most times it'll keep up with your intent, just as long as it's not routed to the sequencer at 170 bpm with 16th notes opening and closing it. (the filter). The other settings are flexible. That's the beauty. You can turn down all the crush, bit reducer. Then you can reduce the delay time to 7 ms or 1 ms or 13 ms for left and right delay times. Then turn the time ratio so they're not the same left vs right. One side 1/2, the other side 4/3 or something along those lines. The stereo field gets wide, the sound changes in trippy, unsettling ways. Route the LFO's, Envelopes, Velocity or aftertouch, or even the mod wheel and Sequencer to any of these parameters on the decimator, and holy **** things get crazy. Then add in some modulation delay because of it's soft reverb, dual routings for processing within itself (parallel and serial), which makes it sort of a swiss army knife delay, reverb, and chorus unit. That's right, it's another chorus. Try reducing delay times to 13 ms, turn up modulation w/ speed around 12 o clock, ratio at 1/2 to spread things out even further. balance between that and the reverb and then mix as you wish relative to the dry signal. Presto.
Compressor is great too, and I use it 70% of the time or more. So many other great effects that do neat things. you gotta try em out. Distortion and modulation galore. There's just too many to cover. So much potential. It's up to you to start routing and exploring. (or try PULSE?)
Sound design Adventure:
Try just setting all the modulators to Mod wheel. Then just dive in the mod matrix and twist away at the destination choices and cycle thought em, while moving the mod wheel around. something cool is destined to happen. (not a bad way to find new ideas). That doesn't happen much anymore, because the DM12 is pure inspiration, so I often think of something in my head first, as sort of a theoretical patch, then I set up to do it once I'm back home. The DM12 sparks that imagination in me, both in front of it, and away.
The sound quality is decent. It'll require some use of the compressor if you want a punchy fat sound, or if you're raw-doggin it as far as sound goes (no effects at all, you pretentious twat, you), it'll at least take a nice interface with good cables for you to prevent a background hiss from getting on your nerves, and that'll be a result of having to turn up the volume to max, because this thing is too god damn quiet without some assists. Try doing a patch with just the pulse width square (the "other" oscillator #1 ) with the DCO mode set to transparent, and boost turned OFF. Now switch to a patch with a compressor on it and 3 way effect path. You'll get a loud awakening perhaps. I should mention too, If hiss is something that irritates the **** out of you, AND coincidentally you're also someone who is turned off by the idea that their signal path might not be purely "analog" all the way through, then the DM12 is not for you. Go purchase some eurorack modules and leave us polysynth enthusiasts (musicians) alone to enjoy our analog DCO polysynth(...with digital effects and signal paths to help us hear it, lol) - Really, who the f*** cares, if it's making good results. Ok rant is almost over.
The only other gripe I had with the DM12, and half synths out there is that the stock presets blow. unimaginative. stale. completely lacking in inspirational material. no soul or charisma, except just a few.
MajorOSC's PULSE collection, as well as a few GEOSynth "Deeper" soundsets will do you well if you're just picking one up. I can promise you, that you won't find a single sound in the stock presets that come close to the alternatives I just mentioned
Lastly, if you're thinking of using this in a band or live-tronica setup, do yourself a favor and pick up an expression pedal.
Also, for Behringer, next time you make a synth that is built on the foundation of a classic like a juno, throw us all a bone and just include one additional Oscillator and LFO. More is More.
Verdict: DM12 for me, is a 8/10 for being completely unpredictable in so many great ways, having obsurd amount of mod destinations (including perameters of the effects themselves), and an overall enjoyable and VERY analog-y classic sound. DM12 does what you want it to do and does it in nicely. Few synths come close to being as good from a feature and capability perspective. The Peak puts the DM12 into it's place in terms of sound quality, but there's tons the DM12 can do that the peak and summit cannot. If you're on the fence for a DM12, go ahead and pull the trigger. You won't be disappointed. This thing is deep.