behringerarp

Low-cost electronic music gear king Behringer has begun asking a peculiar series of what-if questions on Facebook.

First, they asked, hey, what if we entered synth market? (And, specifically, how many keys it should have and whether it should even be software or hardware.)

Now, here’s a Christmas bombshell: they’re suggesting they might just go and make an ARP Odyssey for $500 with USB/MIDI and multiple filter models. There’s even a mock-up image, above.

This will really come as a surprise at … KORG.

It was only February when KORG announced it would re-release the ARP Odyssey, working with none other than David Friend, the man who led the development of many of the company’s pioneering instruments. Tatsuya Takahashi is also involved in the same effort. And Takahashi, leading the volca, monotron, and littleBits Synth Kit projects, has himself been a leader in making new instruments for a new age.

Now, at the very least, Behringer has deflated (at least hypothetically) KORG’s efforts. And if they go through with what they propose, they could undercut the KORG remake on price.

Appropriately, our friends at Synthtopia respond with a “naughty or nice” poll.

I was trying to think of something to say, but … now, inspired by Behringer’s social media, I can only think in hypothetical questions. Behold:

What will KORG’s remake cost?

Why is Behringer’s so cheap? How will it sound, or feel, versus KORG’s?

Mostly: why is Behringer asking so many hypothetical questions on their Facebook page?

Have they decided they’re doing this, in fact, and they’re teasing us? Are they actually using Facebook polls to make product decisions? Didn’t it worry them that they might tip their hand this way? Is their plan to tip their hand?

Did anyone else notice that German site Amazona.de already pointed out (in 2009) that it’s perfectly possible to make an analog polysynth for 500€? Did anyone spot that it’s one of the top comments on the Behringer post, from November?

Since Behringer hired John Price and the Midas team to develop analog polysynths, why aren’t they making a new polysynth rather than a clone of the ARP Odyssey, something few outside of synth nerd circles have even heard of?

Why do people think that analog is expensive, anyway?

Does Behringer just want everyone at KORG to sweat between now and NAMM? Is this whole thing just intended to mess with KORG’s head?

(Did any of you ever play that theater improv game where you’re only allowed to ask questions? Did you find it satisfying? Do you find yourself flashing back to that experience, right now?

Will I ever be able to speak in complete sentences again, or will we simply begin communicating in questions and polls?

Tune in – early next year – to the exciting conclusion of, what synths will come out in 2015?

  • kooldoktor

    haha, is this the best article in 2014?

  • Jim Aikin

    This whole vintage synth remake thing reminds me of the well-known cowardice of Hollywood studios. Got a blockbuster? Do a sequel! Was it a hit 40 years ago? Do it again with new actors and a new script! Anything to avoid taking chances in a crowded field. “Spiderman VII: The Web Unravels!”

    The Odyssey was never anything but a stripped-down 2600 for those who couldn’t afford the 2600 or were allergic to patch cords. And there are already two or three good 2600 clones in software. (Arturia’s is very good indeed.) In fairness to manufacturers, it’s hard to come up with a good idea for a NEW synth. Pretty much everything that can be done with audio is already being done. Some instruments — the Matrix-12 comes to mind — are welcome additions to the remake roster. The Odyssey is not in that class.

    • Jonathan Adams Leonard

      An Oberheim was what I was thinking too, Jim. An OB8 or Matrix-12 remake would be rad!

      • Zymos

        What about the fact that Oberheim synths are still being manufactured by Tom Oberheim?

        • Jonathan Adams Leonard

          I think it is great…but they are not polysynths.

          • Zymos

            My point is that they are not just some abandoned brand that Behringer can come in and rip off. And his own synths are very high quality, I’d like to think he would never sell his name to a company like Behringer.

          • just passing

            Because Gibson are the very height of tasteful brand maintenance…

          • Zymos

            I’m talking about the SEM that are manufactured by Tom Oberheim himself, no relation to Gibson whatsoever.

          • just passing

            You said “I’d like to think he would never sell his name to a company like Behringer.” And I pointed out that not only might he do so, he has already done so.

            What part of that did you find difficult to grasp?

          • Zymos

            The part that’s not true. His original company went bankrupt, was purchased by one company, which later sold it to Gibson.

      • arick szymecki

        man, an ob8 or even an obxa remake that’s affordable to a normal man?

        it’s actually my dream synth, i’d looove to get my hands on something similar in sound.

    • Well, Jim, you said it best.

      At least with the case of KORG, I can assume there may have been some conversation with David Friend where they identified this as what they wanted to do. But Behringer then going exactly the same direction? I can imagine no reason they’d bring up the Odyssey other than KORG had already announced it.

      I’d like to see someone remake a sequencer, personally…

      • Jim Aikin

        One of my brainstorms (which I will never get around to) is getting the Reason RE SDK and writing a clone of the mighty Serge TKB — still the best analog sequencer ever built. With a few extra features in software, of course.

        • Matthew Battaglia

          Please do this!

          • Jim Aikin

            Oh, dear. As some poet or other once said, “In dreams begin responsibilities.” Your enthusiasm tempts me to consider the idea more seriously. I’ve never actually requested the RE SDK, but a friend sent me the docs on it, so I have a vague idea what’s involved. I’ll have a fresh look at the docs today, if I can find them. No promises … but I do feel there’s still a need for a good step sequencer in Reason. You should be able to control both the start and end steps with a CV, send it a reset-to-start command via CV, switch from forward to backward motion with a CV — all sorts of stuff like that. I could probably do the code. The graphic panel I’m not so sure about.

          • kns

            Yes please make that sequencer for Reason. I will buy it first day of release. We have some cool modular REs. This would be welcomed.

          • Jim Aikin

            I had a look last night at the developer docs. Propellerhead has great documentation … but it’s been 20 years since I learned the basics of C++, and I don’t know Lua at all. If you know an RE developer who would like a product idea, steer him or her my way. (I did mention this concept to Peff and to Matt Black at Jiggery-Pokery. Developers always have plenty of their own ideas. They don’t need submissions.)

          • kns

            You can try these guys. http://redrocksound.ru/
            I think the jiggery guy uses Pitchblende for RE development.

          • Mikhail Myasoedov

            i can help with graphics

    • aaron

      “The Odyssey was never anything but a stripped-down 2600”.
      No. Just, no.

      • Jim Aikin

        Can you elaborate on that, Aaron. My memory is vague … it was 30 years ago. But I do remember having an Odyssey in the Keyboard office (where it was sitting on top of a Yamaha CP-80), and that was my reaction to it. Fewer features, but the same basic design. What am I missing?

        • aaron

          IMO, its just far too simplified of a view. Both are amazing/unique instruments in their own right with their own legacies in synth architecture. Of course they share a history and approach. There are many times where what you say is true, but to apply it here is overkill. Also, if you take what you said … is being a “portable” little brother to the 2600 a BAD thing? That’s a large resounding no.

          If you water things down and apply that logic to their entry into keyboard synthdom then the minimoog was nothing more than a stripped down moog modular. etc.

          Now the Axxe however, that indeed was nothing more than a poor man’s Odyssey. But … even a comparison like that isn’t fair when you sit down and use them. Hell, even the Microbrute is an immensely different experience from the Minibrute despite it’s relationship. Or the MS-10 vs the MS-20, etc. and so on..

    • Newgreyarea

      I don’t think I agree with that analogy. It’s more like if Ford started reproducing their old Mustangs but with a few modern touches. For those of us that could never afford one and don’t want to take on the cost of upkeep on a used/vintage one, these reissues are great! The movie analogy could work if you use Star Wars. Not the prequels and such but the different versions of the originals. THEN the argument could be made to just leave them alone!!
      All this being said, I don’t know if I trust Behringer to make anything worth $500!! Everything I’ve ever owned from them has been crap. I was hoping that buying Midas would up their game but from the few people I’ve spoken too, it’s lowered Midas’ game.

    • Joe

      Geez, this coming from a guy who filled a magazine through the 80s with Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinal, Walter Carlos and other guys unwanted by your readers showing how completely out of touch the editorial staff was with what was happening in the real world. It was the very rare appearance of acts that really mattered and ads that kept me coming back for more editorial torture. You can’t even talk with any credibility about rehashing things.

      • Jim Aikin

        Joe, I generally try not to respond to personal attacks, but I’ll make an exception in your case. In the first place, I was never _the_ editor; I was _an_ editor. I didn’t make the decisions about what went into the magazine. In the second place, you’ve mistaken your own personal taste for the desires or needs of the readership as a whole — a natural human tendency, but not a good tactic in a fact-based discussion. In the third place, you don’t know how to spell Zawinul, and you have referred to “Walter” Carlos rather than to Wendy, a mistake that shows either ignorance or outright bigotry, I won’t try to guess which. In the fourth place, we _did_ do a lot of articles about a wide variety of artists. I could go through my back issue collection and make a list of names as long as my arm.

        And in the fifth place, I agree with you! One of the things I used to say in editorial meetings was, “Caution! Old dead person approaching the cover of Keyboard Magazine!” (Nobody ever paid any attention to me.) There was too much rehashing of a small circle of celebrity keyboard players to suit me. Not to denigrate Chick, Herbie, Joe Z., Keith J., Keith E., or a lot of other great players — but they DID show up on the cover a bit too often. And can you guess why? A desire to sell magazines. Capitalism all too often leads to bad decisions, and there’s a good example of that.

        • Joe

          I’m pretty sure it was a man named Walter that put out “Switched on Bach” and your magazine just loved talking about that album in the 80s along with other relics from the past. Cutting edge your magazine was not under your leadership. And taking kids’ hard earned money for subscriptions and convincing them to buy crap equipment with your glowing reviews was unethical at best and I find it the ultimate act of cowardice to state “I was an editor but had no say”. You still don’t get it and probably never will but it is to be expected as not recognizing one’s own faults is a true “natural human tendency”. Go ahead, Jim…blame other Keyboard Magazine staff; it wasn’t you. It couldn’t have been.

          • Jim Aikin

            You’re a troll, Joe. I’ll ask Peter to 86 you from the blog.

          • I’m just going to leave this comment, because I think Jim’s decades of writing speaks for itself. And, in fact, I vividly remember reading some very critical reviews – and his musical tastes, which diverge greatly from what you’re describing here.

            I’ve heard plenty of criticisms of Keyboard, some deserved, and quite a few of them from Jim himself. (That’s what makes him a pleasure to work with, seriously. He speaks his mind, and he’s often right.) But your description makes it sound like they were actively robbing money from children on the streets.

            One of the things I found going back through Keyboard was that it was often more critical than I remembered – I had a blast re-reading the original review of the MPC60. They weren’t shy about its flaws. They probably helped get some of them fixed.

            There has been a vast range of quality in writing and editing in this industry. My own writing and editing has had such a range. Jim’s stuff I’ve found to be consistently at a high mark. So it’s worth it to me having this argument just to remind people of that.

            But even if what you said about Jim were true, he’s still free to speak his mind and have his own opinions. I rather think you didn’t find a way to argue with the content of what he’s saying and so chose to change topics to what a print magazine was doing 30 years ago.

    • Rupert Chappelle
  • kooldoktor

    haha, is this the best article in 2014?

  • Jim Aikin

    This whole vintage synth remake thing reminds me of the well-known cowardice of Hollywood studios. Got a blockbuster? Do a sequel! Was it a hit 40 years ago? Do it again with new actors and a new script! Anything to avoid taking chances in a crowded field. “Spiderman VII: The Web Unravels!”

    The Odyssey was never anything but a stripped-down 2600 for those who couldn’t afford the 2600 or were allergic to patch cords. And there are already two or three good 2600 clones in software. (Arturia’s is very good indeed.) In fairness to manufacturers, it’s hard to come up with a good idea for a NEW synth. Pretty much everything that can be done with audio is already being done. Some instruments — the Matrix-12 comes to mind — are welcome additions to the remake roster. The Odyssey is not in that class.

    • Jonathan Adams Leonard

      An Oberheim was what I was thinking too, Jim. An OB8 or Matrix-12 remake would be rad!

      • Zymos

        What about the fact that Oberheim synths are still being manufactured by Tom Oberheim?

        • Jonathan Adams Leonard

          I think it is great…but they are not polysynths.

          • Zymos

            My point is that they are not just some abandoned brand that Behringer can come in and rip off. And his own synths are very high quality, I’d like to think he would never sell his name to a company like Behringer.

          • just passing

            Because Gibson are the very height of tasteful brand maintenance…

          • Zymos

            I’m talking about the SEM that are manufactured by Tom Oberheim himself, no relation to Gibson whatsoever.

          • just passing

            You said “I’d like to think he would never sell his name to a company like Behringer.” And I pointed out that not only might he do so, he has already done so.

            What part of that did you find difficult to grasp?

          • Zymos

            The part that’s not true. His original company went bankrupt, was purchased by one company, which later sold it to Gibson.

      • arick szymecki

        man, an ob8 or even an obxa remake that’s affordable to a normal man?

        it’s actually my dream synth, i’d looove to get my hands on something similar in sound.

    • Well, Jim, you said it best.

      At least with the case of KORG, I can assume there may have been some conversation with David Friend where they identified this as what they wanted to do. But Behringer then going exactly the same direction? I can imagine no reason they’d bring up the Odyssey other than KORG had already announced it.

      I’d like to see someone remake a sequencer, personally…

      • Jim Aikin

        One of my brainstorms (which I will never get around to) is getting the Reason RE SDK and writing a clone of the mighty Serge TKB — still the best analog sequencer ever built. With a few extra features in software, of course.

        • Matthew Battaglia

          Please do this!

          • Jim Aikin

            Oh, dear. As some poet or other once said, “In dreams begin responsibilities.” Your enthusiasm tempts me to consider the idea more seriously. I’ve never actually requested the RE SDK, but a friend sent me the docs on it, so I have a vague idea what’s involved. I’ll have a fresh look at the docs today, if I can find them. No promises … but I do feel there’s still a need for a good step sequencer in Reason. You should be able to control both the start and end steps with a CV, send it a reset-to-start command via CV, switch from forward to backward motion with a CV — all sorts of stuff like that. I could probably do the code. The graphic panel I’m not so sure about.

          • kns

            Yes please make that sequencer for Reason. I will buy it first day of release. We have some cool modular REs. This would be welcomed.

          • Jim Aikin

            I had a look last night at the developer docs. Propellerhead has great documentation … but it’s been 20 years since I learned the basics of C++, and I don’t know Lua at all. If you know an RE developer who would like a product idea, steer him or her my way. (I did mention this concept to Peff and to Matt Black at Jiggery-Pokery. Developers always have plenty of their own ideas. They don’t need submissions.)

          • kns

            You can try these guys. http://redrocksound.ru/
            I think the jiggery guy uses Pitchblende for RE development.

          • Mikhail Myasoedov

            i can help with graphics

    • aaron

      “The Odyssey was never anything but a stripped-down 2600”.
      No. Just, no.

      • Jim Aikin

        Can you elaborate on that, Aaron. My memory is vague … it was 30 years ago. But I do remember having an Odyssey in the Keyboard office (where it was sitting on top of a Yamaha CP-80), and that was my reaction to it. Fewer features, but the same basic design. What am I missing?

        • aaron

          IMO, its just far too simplified of a view. Both are amazing/unique instruments in their own right with their own legacies in synth architecture. Of course they share a history and approach. There are many times where what you say is true, but to apply it here is overkill. Also, if you take what you said … is being a “portable” little brother to the 2600 a BAD thing? That’s a large resounding no.

          If you water things down and apply that logic to their entry into keyboard synthdom then the minimoog was nothing more than a stripped down moog modular. etc. You could go on and on with this way of thinking.

          Now the Axxe however, that indeed was nothing more than a poor man’s Odyssey. But … even a comparison like that isn’t fair when you sit down and use them. Hell, even the Microbrute is an immensely different experience from the Minibrute despite it’s relationship. Or the MS-10 vs the MS-20, etc. and so on..

          Now, would I like to see a 2600 re-issue? Hell yeah, but thats a different story.

          I love that people are remaking classic synths in respectable ways. New stuff is not hard to be found. It’s less Hollywood-repeating-the-same-thing – as it was also put – and more akin to the guitar market. It’s taken time, but synths have gained enough traction and history that we now live in that world as well.

          Now.. if only Tom Oberheim would just get with Korg or Arturia or someone so his remaining dreams could be realized on a larger scale and less taxing to him. Son of four voice? Korg SEM? ha. Yes please.

    • Newgreyarea

      I don’t think I agree with that analogy. It’s more like if Ford started reproducing their old Mustangs but with a few modern touches. For those of us that could never afford one and don’t want to take on the cost of upkeep on a used/vintage one, these reissues are great! The movie analogy could work if you use Star Wars. Not the prequels and such but the different versions of the originals. THEN the argument could be made to just leave them alone!!
      All this being said, I don’t know if I trust Behringer to make anything worth $500!! Everything I’ve ever owned from them has been crap. I was hoping that buying Midas would up their game but from the few people I’ve spoken too, it’s lowered Midas’ game.

    • Joe

      Geez, this coming from a guy who filled a magazine through the 80s with Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinal, Walter Carlos and other guys unwanted by your readers showing how completely out of touch the editorial staff was with what was happening in the real world. It was the very rare appearance of acts that really mattered and ads that kept me coming back for more editorial torture. You can’t even talk with any credibility about rehashing things.

      • Jim Aikin

        Joe, I generally try not to respond to personal attacks, but I’ll make an exception in your case. In the first place, I was never _the_ editor; I was _an_ editor. I didn’t make the decisions about what went into the magazine. In the second place, you’ve mistaken your own personal taste for the desires or needs of the readership as a whole — a natural human tendency, but not a good tactic in a fact-based discussion. In the third place, you don’t know how to spell Zawinul, and you have referred to “Walter” Carlos rather than to Wendy, a mistake that shows either ignorance or outright bigotry, I won’t try to guess which. In the fourth place, we _did_ do a lot of articles about a wide variety of artists. I could go through my back issue collection and make a list of names as long as my arm.

        And in the fifth place, I agree with you! One of the things I used to say in editorial meetings was, “Caution! Old dead person approaching the cover of Keyboard Magazine!” (Nobody ever paid any attention to me.) There was too much rehashing of a small circle of celebrity keyboard players to suit me. Not to denigrate Chick, Herbie, Joe Z., Keith J., Keith E., or a lot of other great players — but they DID show up on the cover a bit too often. And can you guess why? A desire to sell magazines. Capitalism all too often leads to bad decisions, and there’s a good example of that.

        • Joe

          I’m pretty sure it was a man named Walter that put out “Switched on Bach” and your magazine just loved talking about that album in the 80s along with other relics from the past. Cutting edge your magazine was not under your leadership. And taking kids’ hard earned money for subscriptions and convincing them to buy crap equipment with your glowing reviews was unethical at best and I find it the ultimate act of cowardice to state “I was an editor but had no say”. You still don’t get it and probably never will but it is to be expected as not recognizing one’s own faults is a true “natural human tendency”. Go ahead, Jim…blame other Keyboard Magazine staff; it wasn’t you. It couldn’t have been.

          • Jim Aikin

            You’re a troll, Joe. I’ll ask Peter to 86 you from the blog.

          • I’m just going to leave this comment, because I think Jim’s decades of writing speaks for itself. And, in fact, I vividly remember reading some very critical reviews – and his musical tastes, which diverge greatly from what you’re describing here.

            I’ve heard plenty of criticisms of Keyboard, some deserved, and quite a few of them from Jim himself. (That’s what makes him a pleasure to work with, seriously. He speaks his mind, and he’s often right.) But your description makes it sound like they were actively robbing money from children on the streets.

            One of the things I found going back through Keyboard was that it was often more critical than I remembered – I had a blast re-reading the original review of the MPC60. They weren’t shy about its flaws. They probably helped get some of them fixed.

            There has been a vast range of quality in writing and editing in this industry. My own writing and editing has had such a range. Jim’s stuff I’ve found to be consistently at a high mark. So it’s worth it to me having this argument just to remind people of that.

            But even if what you said about Jim were true, he’s still free to speak his mind and have his own opinions. I rather think you didn’t find a way to argue with the content of what he’s saying and so chose to change topics to what a print magazine was doing 30 years ago.

    • Rupert Chappelle
  • kooldoktor

    haha, is this the best article in 2014?

  • Jim Aikin

    This whole vintage synth remake thing reminds me of the well-known cowardice of Hollywood studios. Got a blockbuster? Do a sequel! Was it a hit 40 years ago? Do it again with new actors and a new script! Anything to avoid taking chances in a crowded field. “Spiderman VII: The Web Unravels!”

    The Odyssey was never anything but a stripped-down 2600 for those who couldn’t afford the 2600 or were allergic to patch cords. And there are already two or three good 2600 clones in software. (Arturia’s is very good indeed.) In fairness to manufacturers, it’s hard to come up with a good idea for a NEW synth. Pretty much everything that can be done with audio is already being done. Some instruments — the Matrix-12 comes to mind — are welcome additions to the remake roster. The Odyssey is not in that class.

    • Jonathan Adams Leonard

      An Oberheim was what I was thinking too, Jim. An OB8 or Matrix-12 remake would be rad!

      • Zymos

        What about the fact that Oberheim synths are still being manufactured by Tom Oberheim?

        • Jonathan Adams Leonard

          I think it is great…but they are not polysynths.

          • Zymos

            My point is that they are not just some abandoned brand that Behringer can come in and rip off. And his own synths are very high quality, I’d like to think he would never sell his name to a company like Behringer.

          • just passing

            Because Gibson are the very height of tasteful brand maintenance…

          • Zymos

            I’m talking about the SEM that are manufactured by Tom Oberheim himself, no relation to Gibson whatsoever.

          • just passing

            You said “I’d like to think he would never sell his name to a company like Behringer.” And I pointed out that not only might he do so, he has already done so.

            What part of that did you find difficult to grasp?

          • Zymos

            The part that’s not true. His original company went bankrupt, was purchased by one company, which later sold it to Gibson.

      • arick szymecki

        man, an ob8 or even an obxa remake that’s affordable to a normal man?

        it’s actually my dream synth, i’d looove to get my hands on something similar in sound.

    • Well, Jim, you said it best.

      At least with the case of KORG, I can assume there may have been some conversation with David Friend where they identified this as what they wanted to do. But Behringer then going exactly the same direction? I can imagine no reason they’d bring up the Odyssey other than KORG had already announced it.

      I’d like to see someone remake a sequencer, personally…

      • Jim Aikin

        One of my brainstorms (which I will never get around to) is getting the Reason RE SDK and writing a clone of the mighty Serge TKB — still the best analog sequencer ever built. With a few extra features in software, of course.

        • Matthew Battaglia

          Please do this!

          • Jim Aikin

            Oh, dear. As some poet or other once said, “In dreams begin responsibilities.” Your enthusiasm tempts me to consider the idea more seriously. I’ve never actually requested the RE SDK, but a friend sent me the docs on it, so I have a vague idea what’s involved. I’ll have a fresh look at the docs today, if I can find them. No promises … but I do feel there’s still a need for a good step sequencer in Reason. You should be able to control both the start and end steps with a CV, send it a reset-to-start command via CV, switch from forward to backward motion with a CV — all sorts of stuff like that. I could probably do the code. The graphic panel I’m not so sure about.

          • kns

            Yes please make that sequencer for Reason. I will buy it first day of release. We have some cool modular REs. This would be welcomed.

          • Jim Aikin

            I had a look last night at the developer docs. Propellerhead has great documentation … but it’s been 20 years since I learned the basics of C++, and I don’t know Lua at all. If you know an RE developer who would like a product idea, steer him or her my way. (I did mention this concept to Peff and to Matt Black at Jiggery-Pokery. Developers always have plenty of their own ideas. They don’t need submissions.)

          • kns

            You can try these guys. http://redrocksound.ru/
            I think the jiggery guy uses Pitchblende for RE development.

          • Mikhail Myasoedov

            i can help with graphics

    • aaron

      “The Odyssey was never anything but a stripped-down 2600”.
      No. Just, no.

      • Jim Aikin

        Can you elaborate on that, Aaron. My memory is vague … it was 30 years ago. But I do remember having an Odyssey in the Keyboard office (where it was sitting on top of a Yamaha CP-80), and that was my reaction to it. Fewer features, but the same basic design. What am I missing?

        • aaron

          IMO, its just far too simplified of a view. Both are amazing/unique instruments in their own right with their own legacies in synth architecture. Of course they share a history and approach. There are many times where what you say is true, but to apply it here is overkill. Also, if you take what you said … is being a “portable” little brother to the 2600 a BAD thing? That’s a large resounding no.

          If you water things down and apply that logic to their entry into keyboard synthdom then the minimoog was nothing more than a stripped down moog modular. etc. You could go on and on with this way of thinking.

          Now the Axxe however, that indeed was nothing more than a poor man’s Odyssey. But … even a comparison like that isn’t fair when you sit down and use them. Hell, even the Microbrute is an immensely different experience from the Minibrute despite it’s relationship. Or the MS-10 vs the MS-20, etc. and so on..

          Now, would I like to see a 2600 re-issue? Hell yeah, but thats a different story.

          I love that people are remaking classic synths in respectable ways. New stuff is not hard to be found. It’s less Hollywood-repeating-the-same-thing – as it was also put – and more akin to the guitar market. It’s taken time, but synths have gained enough traction and history that we now live in that world as well.

          Now.. if only Tom Oberheim would just get with Korg or Arturia or someone so his remaining dreams could be realized on a larger scale and less taxing to him. Son of four voice? Korg SEM? ha. Yes please.

    • Newgreyarea

      I don’t think I agree with that analogy. It’s more like if Ford started reproducing their old Mustangs but with a few modern touches. For those of us that could never afford one and don’t want to take on the cost of upkeep on a used/vintage one, these reissues are great! The movie analogy could work if you use Star Wars. Not the prequels and such but the different versions of the originals. THEN the argument could be made to just leave them alone!!
      All this being said, I don’t know if I trust Behringer to make anything worth $500!! Everything I’ve ever owned from them has been crap. I was hoping that buying Midas would up their game but from the few people I’ve spoken too, it’s lowered Midas’ game.

    • Joe

      Geez, this coming from a guy who filled a magazine through the 80s with Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinal, Walter Carlos and other guys unwanted by your readers showing how completely out of touch the editorial staff was with what was happening in the real world. It was the very rare appearance of acts that really mattered and ads that kept me coming back for more editorial torture. You can’t even talk with any credibility about rehashing things.

      • Jim Aikin

        Joe, I generally try not to respond to personal attacks, but I’ll make an exception in your case. In the first place, I was never _the_ editor; I was _an_ editor. I didn’t make the decisions about what went into the magazine. In the second place, you’ve mistaken your own personal taste for the desires or needs of the readership as a whole — a natural human tendency, but not a good tactic in a fact-based discussion. In the third place, you don’t know how to spell Zawinul, and you have referred to “Walter” Carlos rather than to Wendy, a mistake that shows either ignorance or outright bigotry, I won’t try to guess which. In the fourth place, we _did_ do a lot of articles about a wide variety of artists. I could go through my back issue collection and make a list of names as long as my arm.

        And in the fifth place, I agree with you! One of the things I used to say in editorial meetings was, “Caution! Old dead person approaching the cover of Keyboard Magazine!” (Nobody ever paid any attention to me.) There was too much rehashing of a small circle of celebrity keyboard players to suit me. Not to denigrate Chick, Herbie, Joe Z., Keith J., Keith E., or a lot of other great players — but they DID show up on the cover a bit too often. And can you guess why? A desire to sell magazines. Capitalism all too often leads to bad decisions, and there’s a good example of that.

        • Joe

          I’m pretty sure it was a man named Walter that put out “Switched on Bach” and your magazine just loved talking about that album in the 80s along with other relics from the past. Cutting edge your magazine was not under your leadership. And taking kids’ hard earned money for subscriptions and convincing them to buy crap equipment with your glowing reviews was unethical at best and I find it the ultimate act of cowardice to state “I was an editor but had no say”. You still don’t get it and probably never will but it is to be expected as not recognizing one’s own faults is a true “natural human tendency”. Go ahead, Jim…blame other Keyboard Magazine staff; it wasn’t you. It couldn’t have been.

          • Jim Aikin

            You’re a troll, Joe. I’ll ask Peter to 86 you from the blog.

          • I’m just going to leave this comment, because I think Jim’s decades of writing speaks for itself. And, in fact, I vividly remember reading some very critical reviews – and his musical tastes, which diverge greatly from what you’re describing here.

            I’ve heard plenty of criticisms of Keyboard, some deserved, and quite a few of them from Jim himself. (That’s what makes him a pleasure to work with, seriously. He speaks his mind, and he’s often right.) But your description makes it sound like they were actively robbing money from children on the streets.

            One of the things I found going back through Keyboard was that it was often more critical than I remembered – I had a blast re-reading the original review of the MPC60. They weren’t shy about its flaws. They probably helped get some of them fixed.

            There has been a vast range of quality in writing and editing in this industry. My own writing and editing has had such a range. Jim’s stuff I’ve found to be consistently at a high mark. So it’s worth it to me having this argument just to remind people of that.

            But even if what you said about Jim were true, he’s still free to speak his mind and have his own opinions. I rather think you didn’t find a way to argue with the content of what he’s saying and so chose to change topics to what a print magazine was doing 30 years ago.

    • Rupert Chappelle
  • What if this kind of thing takes off?

  • What if this kind of thing takes off?

  • What if this kind of thing takes off?

  • David Campbell

    If history means anything, Behringer’s version will vaguely look like the ARP, sound nothing like it, be completely different under the hood, and break down after a couple dozen service hours. But it’ll be cheap.

  • David Campbell

    If history means anything, Behringer’s version will vaguely look like the ARP, sound nothing like it, be completely different under the hood, and break down after a couple dozen service hours. But it’ll be cheap.

  • David Campbell

    If history means anything, Behringer’s version will vaguely look like the ARP, sound nothing like it, be completely different under the hood, and break down after a couple dozen service hours. But it’ll be cheap.

  • Chris Stack

    I predict they will call it the “Iliad”. Remember, you heard it here first 😉

  • Chris Stack

    I predict they will call it the “Iliad”. Remember, you heard it here first 😉

  • Chris Stack

    I predict they will call it the “Iliad”. Remember, you heard it here first 😉

  • aaron

    Me thinks those sliders could be very affordable for a company such as behringer who uses cheap sliders on nearly every product they make.

    It’s pretty damn funny this thing… Behringer makes facebook posts asking people what they want. However, in the board room they just went “What is Korg doing?”

  • aaron

    Me thinks those sliders could be very affordable for a company such as behringer who uses cheap sliders on nearly every product they make.

    It’s pretty damn funny this thing… Behringer makes facebook posts asking people what they want. However, in the board room they just went “What is Korg doing?”

  • aaron

    Me thinks those sliders could be very affordable for a company such as behringer who uses cheap sliders on nearly every product they make.

    It’s pretty damn funny this thing… Behringer makes facebook posts asking people what they want. However, in the board room they just went “What is Korg doing?”

  • heinrichz

    Great, if they manage to make an Odyssey clone for 500 i will get it, i had one of those as my first hardware synth when it came out and really loved it for it’s noisy buzzy sounds.

    • just passing

      Cool. I have no emotional attachment at all to the Odyssey, though, so I wouldn’t buy one. (Also, because I’m looking at a standful of synths in various states of cosmetic disrepair – wonky switches, jumpy knobs, flickery displays – or terminal eccentricity – why doesn’t the Venom play nice with Linux, exactly, M-Audio? – and the computer I’m typing on – which hosts a bunch of synths which will always work, even if the computer dies underneath them, a goodly number of my favourites of which were free, and all of which cost less than £100 in total… and I’m thinking it’s finally time to ditch the hardware for good.)

  • heinrichz

    Great, if they manage to make an Odyssey clone for 500 i will get it, i had one of those as my first hardware synth when it came out and really loved it for it’s noisy buzzy sounds.

    • just passing

      Cool. I have no emotional attachment at all to the Odyssey, though, so I wouldn’t buy one. (Also, because I’m looking at a standful of synths in various states of cosmetic disrepair – wonky switches, jumpy knobs, flickery displays – or terminal eccentricity – why doesn’t the Venom play nice with Linux, exactly, M-Audio? – and the computer I’m typing on – which hosts a bunch of synths which will always work, even if the computer dies underneath them, a goodly number of my favourites of which were free, and all of which cost less than £100 in total… and I’m thinking it’s finally time to ditch the hardware for good.)

  • heinrichz

    Great, if they manage to make an Odyssey clone for 500 i will get it, i had one of those as my first hardware synth when it came out and really loved it for it’s noisy buzzy sounds.

    • just passing

      Cool. I have no emotional attachment at all to the Odyssey, though, so I wouldn’t buy one. (Also, because I’m looking at a standful of synths in various states of cosmetic disrepair – wonky switches, jumpy knobs, flickery displays – or terminal eccentricity – why doesn’t the Venom play nice with Linux, exactly, M-Audio? – and the computer I’m typing on – which hosts a bunch of synths which will always work, even if the computer dies underneath them, a goodly number of my favourites of which were free, and all of which cost less than £100 in total… and I’m thinking it’s finally time to ditch the hardware for good.)

  • Graham Metcalfe

    It’s called FUD. If Beringer can spread Fear, Uncertainty and/or Doubt about Korg’s efforts, it gives them, at least a temporary, leg up on Korg’s marketing efforts.

  • Graham Metcalfe

    It’s called FUD. If Beringer can spread Fear, Uncertainty and/or Doubt about Korg’s efforts, it gives them, at least a temporary, leg up on Korg’s marketing efforts.

  • Graham Metcalfe

    It’s called FUD. If Beringer can spread Fear, Uncertainty and/or Doubt about Korg’s efforts, it gives them, at least a temporary, leg up on Korg’s marketing efforts.

  • angstrom

    What would it be like if a synth company built on what was good about the past but created something totally new to capitalise on the last 40 years of technology? What if that happened? What if synth consumers could stop acting like renaissance fayre cos-players, would that be good? What if we looked at a calendar really closely and noticed that the year is no longer 1972, what should the future look like? Should the future look like 1975, or 1978? What do you think, have your say. Lend your voice to the conversation, share like and repost!?

    • just passing

      > What would it be like if a synth company built on what was good about
      the past but created something totally new to capitalise on the last 40
      years of technology?

      Because by definition, something totally new doesn’t HAVE 40 years of technology to capitalise on. Because it’s, you know, totally new.

      (Sorry if that was your implication. I’m not good with irony.)

      What if companies just made stuff they wanted to make, without focus-grouping us all into mind-numbed conformity and then pretending we’ve been given a choice? If you don’t have enough confidence in your products to make them, companies, why on earth would you expect us to have enough confidence in them to buy them?

      • angstrom

        A synth today CAN capitalise on 40 years of history, it can learn from a Moog Rogue, a wavestation, it can learn from a JP8000, it can learn from an OP1. We know that haptics are good for players, and that some features are best implemented in an analogue signal path.
        It can capitalise on 40 years of technology because in 1972 there wasn’t a 64 bit FFT chip, for example. Or surface mount technology to lower costs of features.

        We could utilise some of these developments to make (for example) a hardware version of NI Prism, complete with a knob per function. That would be new, and unique and build on 40 years of knowledge. It wouldn’t have been possible in 1975, but it would be now.

        • just passing

          Sure, a synth can capitalise on 40 years of synth evolution; it can be a little bit new, maybe even innovative. But it can’t be *totally* new. Which is what you said, and what I was objecting to.

          I could make a similar point about your use of the word “unique” to describe something you’re clearly considering worthy of mass production.

          “We know that … some features are best implemented in an analogue signal path.”

          We don’t know that at all. Some features are *currently easier and cheaper* to implement in analogue – and others are merely tamed demons. But the cost of digital processing power is dropping like a pebble dropped down a black hole, whereas the cost of analogue processing remains more or less constant; that equation only ends one way.

          You could accuse me of pedantry, and you may have a point. But if you can’t even achieve clarity on the simple meaning of simple words, how the hell are you ever going to communicate what you want to those people in a position to build it for you – people for whom detail is necessarily critical, because stuff won’t work without nailing down every last loose end?

    • Elektron are going that route I think. The analog keys and rytm are something like that, too bad not many try to explore new concepts.

      Dave Smith last pro 2 seems to have crazy sequencer and a good mix of analog and digital technology in it.
      I’m sure there are others but definitely Behringer are not inovators, though their digital mixers made with the help of Midas have good reviews, and as they said a team from Midas is helping them for developing synths so we could have nice surprises.

    • heinrichz

      I myself am a bit tired of the current retromania and generally am more interested
      in new concepts, but i also owned many of these classics when they first came out. From that angle i can also say, that as great as this old style gear still is, we also liked it for its innovative impact it had on music production. Besides the old stuff clearily had and still has its limitations and it’s naive to romatizise it endlessly over new digital synths, e.g as much is loved my PPG i also have to say that someting like Serum takes wavetable synthesis much further.

      • Jim Aikin

        I agree, Heinrich. I had the software PPG for a while … I may still have it. Such a twisted design, such a limited sound palette! I can see why having the software version would appeal to people who used to own the hardware (or wish they did). I have the software Wavestation, complete with all of the authentic factory sounds, and there are five or six sounds in there that are actually quite cool. But in the wave sequencing category, the late lamented Steinberg Xphraze (a VST that was lost to the world when Peter Gorges joined Avid) beat the Wavestation all hollow.

  • angstrom

    What would it be like if a synth company built on what was good about the past but created something totally new to capitalise on the last 40 years of technology? What if that happened? What if synth consumers could stop acting like renaissance fayre cos-players, would that be good? What if we looked at a calendar really closely and noticed that the year is no longer 1972, what should the future look like? Should the future look like 1975, or 1978? What do you think, have your say. Lend your voice to the conversation, share like and repost!?

    • just passing

      > What would it be like if a synth company built on what was good about
      the past but created something totally new to capitalise on the last 40
      years of technology?

      Because by definition, something totally new doesn’t HAVE 40 years of technology to capitalise on. Because it’s, you know, totally new.

      (Sorry if that was your implication. I’m not good with irony.)

      What if companies just made stuff they wanted to make, without focus-grouping us all into mind-numbed conformity and then pretending we’ve been given a choice? If you don’t have enough confidence in your products to make them, companies, why on earth would you expect us to have enough confidence in them to buy them?

      • angstrom

        A synth today CAN capitalise on 40 years of history, it can learn from a Moog Rogue, a wavestation, it can learn from a JP8000, it can learn from an OP1. We know that haptics are good for players, and that some features are best implemented in an analogue signal path.
        It can capitalise on 40 years of technology because in 1972 there wasn’t a 64 bit FFT chip, for example. Or surface mount technology to lower costs of features.

        We could utilise some of these developments to make (for example) a hardware version of NI Prism, complete with a knob per function. That would be new, and unique and build on 40 years of knowledge. It wouldn’t have been possible in 1975, but it would be now.

        • just passing

          Sure, a synth can capitalise on 40 years of synth evolution; it can be a little bit new, maybe even innovative. But it can’t be *totally* new. Which is what you said, and what I was objecting to.

          I could make a similar point about your use of the word “unique” to describe something you’re clearly considering worthy of mass production.

          “We know that … some features are best implemented in an analogue signal path.”

          We don’t know that at all. Some features are *currently easier and cheaper* to implement in analogue – and others are merely tamed demons. But the cost of digital processing power is dropping like a pebble dropped down a black hole, whereas the cost of analogue processing remains more or less constant; that equation only ends one way.

          You could accuse me of pedantry, and you may have a point. But if you can’t even achieve clarity on the simple meaning of simple words, how the hell are you ever going to communicate what you want to those people in a position to build it for you – people for whom detail is necessarily critical, because stuff won’t work without nailing down every last loose end?

    • Elektron are going that route I think. The analog keys and rytm are something like that, too bad not many try to explore new concepts.

      Dave Smith last pro 2 seems to have crazy sequencer and a good mix of analog and digital technology in it.
      I’m sure there are others but definitely Behringer are not inovators, though their digital mixers made with the help of Midas have good reviews, and as they said a team from Midas is helping them for developing synths we could have nice surprises.

    • heinrichz

      I myself am a bit tired of the current retromania and generally am more interested
      in new concepts, but i also owned many of these classics when they first came out. From that angle i can also say, that as great as this old style gear still is, we also liked it for its innovative impact it had on music production. Besides the old stuff clearily had and still has its limitations and it’s naive to romatizise it endlessly over new digital synths, e.g as much is loved my PPG i also have to say that someting like Serum takes wavetable synthesis much further.

      • Jim Aikin

        I agree, Heinrich. I had the software PPG for a while … I may still have it. Such a twisted design, such a limited sound palette! I can see why having the software version would appeal to people who used to own the hardware (or wish they did). I have the software Wavestation, complete with all of the authentic factory sounds, and there are five or six sounds in there that are actually quite cool. But in the wave sequencing category, the late lamented Steinberg Xphraze (a VST that was lost to the world when Peter Gorges joined Avid) beat the Wavestation all hollow.

  • What would it be like if a synth company built on what was good about the past but created something totally new to capitalise on the last 40 years of technology? What if that happened? What if synth consumers could stop acting like renaissance fayre cos-players, would that be good? What if we looked at a calendar really closely and noticed that the year is no longer 1972, what should the future look like? Should the future look like 1975, or 1978? What do you think, have your say. Lend your voice to the conversation, share like and repost!?

    • just passing

      > What would it be like if a synth company built on what was good about
      the past but created something totally new to capitalise on the last 40
      years of technology?

      Because by definition, something totally new doesn’t HAVE 40 years of technology to capitalise on. Because it’s, you know, totally new.

      (Sorry if that was your implication. I’m not good with irony.)

      What if companies just made stuff they wanted to make, without focus-grouping us all into mind-numbed conformity and then pretending we’ve been given a choice? If you don’t have enough confidence in your products to make them, companies, why on earth would you expect us to have enough confidence in them to buy them?

      • A synth today CAN capitalise on 40 years of history, it can learn from a Moog Rogue, a wavestation, it can learn from a JP8000, it can learn from an OP1. We know that haptics are good for players, and that some features are best implemented in an analogue signal path.
        It can capitalise on 40 years of technology because in 1972 there wasn’t a 64 bit FFT chip, for example. Or surface mount technology to lower costs of features.

        We could utilise some of these developments to make (for example) a hardware version of NI Prism, complete with a knob per function. That would be new, and unique and build on 40 years of knowledge. It wouldn’t have been possible in 1975, but it would be now.

        • just passing

          Sure, a synth can capitalise on 40 years of synth evolution; it can be a little bit new, maybe even innovative. But it can’t be *totally* new. Which is what you said, and what I was objecting to.

          I could make a similar point about your use of the word “unique” to describe something you’re clearly considering worthy of mass production.

          “We know that … some features are best implemented in an analogue signal path.”

          We don’t know that at all. Some features are *currently easier and cheaper* to implement in analogue – and others are merely tamed demons. But the cost of digital processing power is dropping like a pebble dropped down a black hole, whereas the cost of analogue processing remains more or less constant; that equation only ends one way.

          You could accuse me of pedantry, and you may have a point. But if you can’t even achieve clarity on the simple meaning of simple words, how the hell are you ever going to communicate what you want to those people in a position to build it for you – people for whom detail is necessarily critical, because stuff won’t work without nailing down every last loose end?

    • Yanakyl

      Elektron are going that route I think. The analog keys and rytm are something like that, too bad not many try to explore new concepts.

      Dave Smith last pro 2 seems to have crazy sequencer and a good mix of analog and digital technology in it.
      I’m sure there are others but definitely Behringer are not inovators, though their digital mixers made with the help of Midas have good reviews, and as they said a team from Midas is helping them for developing synths we could have nice surprises.

    • heinrichz

      I myself am a bit tired of the current retromania and generally am more interested
      in new concepts, but i also owned many of these classics when they first came out. From that angle i can also say, that as great as this old style gear still is, we also liked it for its innovative impact it had on music production. Besides the old stuff clearily had and still has its limitations and it’s naive to romatizise it endlessly over new digital synths, e.g as much is loved my PPG i also have to say that someting like Serum takes wavetable synthesis much further.

      • Jim Aikin

        I agree, Heinrich. I had the software PPG for a while … I may still have it. Such a twisted design, such a limited sound palette! I can see why having the software version would appeal to people who used to own the hardware (or wish they did). I have the software Wavestation, complete with all of the authentic factory sounds, and there are five or six sounds in there that are actually quite cool. But in the wave sequencing category, the late lamented Steinberg Xphraze (a VST that was lost to the world when Peter Gorges joined Avid) beat the Wavestation all hollow.

  • Paolo
  • Paolo
  • Paolo
  • bla

    PLEA BEHRINGER PLEASE make a poly synth instead of this over saturated mono market

  • bla

    PLEA BEHRINGER PLEASE make a poly synth instead of this over saturated mono market

  • bla

    PLEA BEHRINGER PLEASE make a poly synth instead of this over saturated mono market

  • brianmoore

    Even if the poly side is just a divide down, it would be SO MUCH MORE welcome than another monosynth…come on!!!!!!

  • brianmoore

    Even if the poly side is just a divide down, it would be SO MUCH MORE welcome than another monosynth…come on!!!!!!

  • brianmoore

    Even if the poly side is just a divide down, it would be SO MUCH MORE welcome than another monosynth…come on!!!!!!

  • Matthew Battaglia

    TBH I actually like the synth remakes. Movie remakes not so much, I think it’s a lot harder to come up with a new synth idea then a new movie idea (millions of books and scripts to choose from). That being said, I love new synths as well. That new prophet line from Dave Smith looks incredible. Also, some of the newer more esoteric euro rack modules from companies like Make Noise amaze me. I wish things like that where being done outside the modular world (I’m not a huge fan of patching).

  • Matthew Battaglia

    TBH I actually like the synth remakes. Movie remakes not so much, I think it’s a lot harder to come up with a new synth idea then a new movie idea (millions of books and scripts to choose from). That being said, I love new synths as well. That new prophet line from Dave Smith looks incredible. Also, some of the newer more esoteric euro rack modules from companies like Make Noise amaze me. I wish things like that where being done outside the modular world (I’m not a huge fan of patching).

  • Matthew Battaglia

    TBH I actually like the synth remakes. Movie remakes not so much, I think it’s a lot harder to come up with a new synth idea then a new movie idea (millions of books and scripts to choose from). That being said, I love new synths as well. That new prophet line from Dave Smith looks incredible. Also, some of the newer more esoteric euro rack modules from companies like Make Noise amaze me. I wish things like that where being done outside the modular world (I’m not a huge fan of patching).

  • I remember working at Mackie and folks groaning at the name Behringer for this exact reason. Don’t get me wrong; I own a couple of their DIs. 🙂

  • I remember working at Mackie and folks groaning at the name Behringer for this exact reason. Don’t get me wrong; I own a couple of their DIs. 🙂

  • I remember working at Mackie and folks groaning at the name Behringer for this exact reason. Don’t get me wrong; I own a couple of their DIs. 🙂

  • everyone with a basic experience knows that buying Behringer is wasting money…. it’s like buying glue down in the chinese store…
    sometimes you need it and for fast and cheap reasons you get, but…

    so no point to talk about, they are not competitors

  • everyone with a basic experience knows that buying Behringer is wasting money…. it’s like buying glue down in the chinese store…
    sometimes you need it and for fast and cheap reasons you get, but…

    so no point to talk about, they are not competitors

  • everyone with a basic experience knows that buying Behringer is wasting money…. it’s like buying glue down in the chinese store…
    sometimes you need it and for fast and cheap reasons you get, but…

    so no point to talk about, they are not competitors

  • Sveinbjorn

    “why aren’t they making a new polysynth rather than a clone of the ARP Odyssey, something few outside of synth nerd circles have even heard of?”

    Marketing a “legend”, even one that most haven’t heard of, is easier than marketing a new product.

  • Sveinbjorn

    “why aren’t they making a new polysynth rather than a clone of the ARP Odyssey, something few outside of synth nerd circles have even heard of?”

    Marketing a “legend”, even one that most haven’t heard of, is easier than marketing a new product.

  • Sveinbjorn

    “why aren’t they making a new polysynth rather than a clone of the ARP Odyssey, something few outside of synth nerd circles have even heard of?”

    Marketing a “legend”, even one that most haven’t heard of, is easier than marketing a new product.