Behringer Synth Team Is ‘On Fire’, Working On 20 Synths, Cloning Curtis Chips, Reincarnating Oberheim Classics

Uli Behringer revealed more details about his plans for synth world domination over the weekend, saying:

“We have 4 synthesizer development teams simultaneously working on 20 synths, drum machines etc..

We’ll be creating both innovative new synths as well as reviving classics.

We’re all in and the teams are on fire.”

As part of this, Behringer is cloning classic analog chips as part of their plans, including BBD (delay) and Curtis and SSM (voice chip) designs. The most recent chip clone is a Curtis VCO chip:

“We just received the first batch of our 3340 VCO chip.

It is a 100% exact replica of the Curtis CEM3340 which even includes the 40 year old, 8 micron manufacturing process. It was a difficult and expensive undertaking but we are very pleased with the result as this VCO is considered one of the best sounding oscillators.

We are continuing to invest in reviving other legacy Curtis and SSM semiconductors which will allow us to bring back classic synths – all in the most authentic way. We have also reissued the 3320 filter chip which should be arriving in a few months.”

Behringer parent company MUSIC Group IP Ltd has also applied for trademarks for an Odyssey; Oberheim; OB-Xa; and OSCar synthesizers.

Behringer has previously said that the company plans a complete line of Behringer synthesizers, and teased cheap clones, including a cheap Minimoog Model D clone in Eurorack, an ARP 2600 clone; and Oxford Synthesizer Company OSCar  clone.

Official details on all their planned synths are still to be announced.

via Andreas Markusen, jorge ben, gearslutzsynthanatomy

105 thoughts on “Behringer Synth Team Is ‘On Fire’, Working On 20 Synths, Cloning Curtis Chips, Reincarnating Oberheim Classics

  1. i hope they all have the same format as the minimoog clone. desktop or rack mount(with recessed rear jacks) or eurorack. perfect. could you imagine having a wall of 20 classic synths.

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      1. John are you sure everything is fine with you? Did you just say that an occassional post informing the gearslutz community about the company plans is “too much talk” ? Get your grip on yourself and stop hating.

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    1. I hope they don’t. Small machines are charming and convenient but synths like the OB-XA shouldn’t be reduced to eurorack size. I wouldn’t mind some scaling down but to miniaturize such a great instrument would be a shame. If you’ve never played an OB-XA or similarly sized polysynths you’re missing out, though I feel like an OB-XA could be respectably slimmed without sacrificing too much of its playability. Eurorack would be pointless, especially given their current mockup for their Model D clone. A fair sized desktop unit would be the best option.

      Although I’m interested this all seems kind of tasteless. I like affordable but these are lofty claims. I think this is all building up to what will most likely be disappointment. Fast food synthesizers. Can we honestly expect excellent sounding reproductions for a (very small?) fraction of the cost? I don’t think so. At least not without heavy revising that will leave us greatly underwhelmed. They had those mockups for Odyssey and Juno-106 clones years ago (and these only came about once the news of Korg recreating the Odyssey was out) and it took them a long time to finally see one to fruition. The Deepmind is far from a faithful clone. Simply “inspired by”. Whether or not it’s a good instrument I cannot speak on. I’ve yet to even touch one. Behringer hasn’t had the best reputation though and I think Uli jumping in and claiming that they’re going to dominate the synth world with “what people really want” is a little ridiculous. We hear the bark, now where’s the bite?

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  2. Next week – Uli announces an exact clone of the Behringer Deep Mind 12, calling it “a classic analogue synth I have always loved” . The internet discusses whether it can possibly recapture the unique sonic magic of the original.

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      1. If there’s a K in the logo of your Kasio Keyboard and Watch, then they might well be Klones.

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  3. Hey this is great! I owned literally evey important synth up to the end of the 80’s at which point everybody started dumping them pennies on the dollar and moved into the then new romplers and samplers, I was amongst them.. A lot of time has gone by and we now miss the old technology, but can’t justify paying (my Minimoogs for example) $3500.00 for an instrument we sold for $150.00 in 1988. With these Behringer clones however we’ll be able to get our old synths back at a very reasonable price (as long as these are faithful clones in sound and controls) As an old guy who made his living in the 70’s and 80’s with Moog, Oberheim, ARP, Sequntial Circuts, Roland, and Yamaha analog synths I’m excited ????????

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    1. Bluster, primarily.

      His sort of direct, braggy marketing is a definite turn-off. Let’s see what actually gets released 🙂

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    2. I don’t think he means all 20 will definitely be put into production. More likely, these development teams are experimenting with 20 *potential* products, of which only a handful will actually be put into production. Which isn’t outrageous – that’s just what big companies do. Still, I think “4 teams 20 synths” is an unwise thing mention because it is so easily misinterpreted.

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  4. “We will combine all these synths into one 12’x12′ console called The Mind Mind and it will be $20,” said Uli, laughing maniacally to no one in particular.

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    1. We are indeed. It’s a shame virtually no-one is using them to make great new music instead of Adele or bloody Ed Sheeran…

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  5. Curious to see what they make in the drum machine category. There are plenty of dumb ones out there. I’m hoping they strive for something special.

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  6. OB-XA DEFINITELY interests me, but I’m just going to keep saying it, because I can’t be truly happy in life until I have a joystick and pin matrix to control synthesis.

    VCS3
    Synthi
    Putney

    VCS3
    Synthi
    Putney

    VCS3
    Synthi
    Putney

    VCS3
    Synthi
    Putney

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    1. actually that’s a brilliant thought! not to hate on those dudes doing the new Synthi’s but they are $5,000! they look beautiful and amazing but just like the Moog D, it’s out of range for most people. out of all the suggestions here i think this is the most interesting because the Synthi’s are truly rare with an astronomic price point.

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  7. Ok. I like it!
    There’s just one thing!
    Behringer should get a new brand name for its synth line. Something with a cool looking logo and everything.

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    1. could be a few things, maybe they had to tweak it due to patents in order to mass produce for themselves- maybe they couldn’t purchase in the bulk that they needed so that they needed to reverse engineer in order to make it themselves….

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    2. Because Curtis only started remaking them because they found out Behringer was already in the process of plans on cloning them.

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      1. They had been in talks with Dieter Doepfer and others for years about re-making the 3340 and potentially other chips. So while it’s true that they knew Cool Audio was looking at cloning Doug Curtis’ designs, they also started work on the re-released chips several years ago.

        Uli Behringer seems like a nasty piece of work.

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    3. So they can make a cheaper alternative for mass production. Behringer is a big company and will likely want to produce these things on a scale that Curtis probably can’t keep up with or that Behringer can afford to keep production costs low.

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    4. To make more money money money MONEYYYYY!!! Beheringer Money whaaaaaaa buy buy buy sell sell SELLL

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  8. please clone the mono/poly and the esq1… I would looooove those, I miss my ESQ1 and a smaller one with modern connectivity and more patch memory would be an insta-buy if it was reasonable.

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  9. I hope these will have MPE and custom/microtuning capabilities but I’m not getting my hopes up. If they do implement those features I will buy them all. Do it Behringer It’s not too much to ask for the midi tuning standard and MPE capabilities!

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  10. This sounds like an all out attack on Korg. Didn’t Tatsu mention he was going to Cologne? Willich, home to Behringer’s HQ, is just a 30min train ride away…

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  11. Behringer are noted for releasing their chips via Coolaudio, and as a DIYer it would be very welcome that they continue to do this with their new line of chips.

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  12. Behringer has a nice marketing department, but I do not count on them ‘cloning’ any of the classic synths. I still remember how their ‘cloned’ products sounded in the 90s. However this doesn’t mean their new synths won’t be any fun.

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  13. from the curtis family:

    “Many of you who are active on synth forums have recently contacted us regarding another company’s claim of producing VCO chips that are the equivalent to the CEM3340 that was used in many legendary synthesizers.

    To avoid any confusion, please know that there is only one manufacturer of the authentic CEM3340 designed by my late husband, Doug Curtis. Any claims, use of this product designation, and use of the name Curtis Electromusic by other companies are made without permission from OnChip Systems (our current company name) or the Curtis Family.

    As much as Doug would be humbled and so very happy about the legacy his products enjoy, we can assure you that as a person of the highest integrity he would be deeply saddened by the attempt of others to trade on his name and to make unsubstantiated claims of equivalency to his original inventions.

    In his loving memory and gratitude for the community of musicians and synthesizer enthusiasts, Doug’s family is committed to making his authentic designs available as demand presents itself. Thank you for your continued support of Doug’s analog synthesizer legacy.

    Mary Curtis and our daughters, Ashley and Julia”

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    1. ” to make unsubstantiated claims of equivalency to his original inventions.”

      How do they know they aren’t equivalent? No offense to Dave Curtis or his family but that comes off like something most manufacturers would say to try and discredit another company and keep people from buying their products.

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    2. The key word here is **unsubstantiated**, but I shall point out that the Curtis family seems to be forgetting how inventions are supposed to work to enrich the public domain: when the patents expire, they are free for anyone else to use!

      The patent system does not exist in order to create eternal meal tickets for inventors and their descendants.

      Regarding “demand presenting itself” there has been demand for years and no chips. Now Behringer seems interested in meeting that demand and the Curtises are complaining? Seriously?

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  14. I will never buy this Behringer shit, no matter what it will cost, look like or sound like. This company is not interested in own products, innovation or progress. They need EBIT. Behringer was so long not interested in building synthesizers, cause there was no market. Now there is a market (thanks to Dave Smith, Moog, Roland, Korg, Novation,…) and suddenly Uli Behringer comes along and will show how things work? No man! I say: Invest Your money in products from loyal manufacturers who develop own products over decades. Behringer was, is and will always be crap!

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    1. So Frank, I take it you never buy generic brands of anything? Medications? Food? Clothing? Please. Now we keyboardists can have the same options guitarists have: Can’t afford a Gibson Les Paul? For 75% less, you can have a generic one. Same with Fender Teles and Strats. If you want to save up your money to buy products from the original developers, fine. That’s your choice. I’ve owned several Behringer products and none of them were crap. This is a wonderful opportunity for those of us hobbyists, semi pros, or pros who cannot justify spending $3500 on a monophonic instrument (minimoog reboot) with no patch memory.

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    2. Let me give you an example, why this is incorrect.

      You pay 2000 € for a 6 voice DSI synth. The public inform DSI about bugs and DSI choose only to fix a few of the bugs and move on to the next product and forget about the previously product. Because there is no cash-flow in fixing an already sold synth <- You can check the bug lists here for each product http://dsiforum.org/

      I don’t see why I should support such greediness, where the gap between production price and sales price is too high.

      Saying that Uli´s products is shit because he reduces this gab is untrue in my opinion. There has lately not been enough competition between price and content on this market!

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      1. Its so cool to buy an 2000euro drum machine called tempest and got no firmware updates…

        Sorry never again Dave Smith…

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    3. one example the Behringer X Air series… Is there any company that do something like this? Its cool that you support Dave Smith, Moog, Roland, Korg and Novation. And I guess your are working only with VSTis…

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    4. You can say a lot of Behringer but tell the whole story. Behringer invested in companies at a time no one seems want to known now. Dave Smith for example is using chips made by a company owned by Behringer.

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  15. I’m all for Behringer releasing synths based on designs that are no longer in production or way above the average person’s spending money. Why are people upset about all of this?

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    1. Synth hipsters who don’t want to admit other people into their country club have every reason to be upset at the unwashed masses who might be able to own nice sounding analog gear without spending a fortune.

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    2. I have a Jupiter 8 and jupiter 6 but honestly, I would love for Behringer to produce some classics. I would definitely be a buyer! I don’t care who makes it, as long as it sounds good and I can play JUMP on it.. HA!

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    3. Mainly the synthesizer purists are upset, because they know that the interest in their orignal products will decay. So they try to convince users here, that Ulis products are shit…to re-win the interest in their original products…I find it hilarious fun! 😀

      How can I say this? Because you cannot call something shit before its released.

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  16. oh yeah and please clone the whole Volca line! they’re too expensive! 😉 sorry i couldn’t resist. this thread is awesome, it’s got me constantly flip-flopping between “screw clones by the fat cat company!” and, “hey i’d like a clone of that!” haha. it was said above, great time for synth lovers.

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  17. This is exciting. I don’t care at all for the Deepmind 12 but that won’t stop me from buying an OBXA or Moog clone and giving it a try. I do love my Behringer Truth monitors…

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  18. So most of the 20 synths are mostly recreations of desirable stuff for collectors? This is typical behringer, just reverse engineering stuff that is already popular then using cheap parts and manufacturing to undercut the originators.

    This ain’t the same as a boutique manufacturer that recreates something they love because it is not longer available, this is big greedy corporation that has built it’s reputation on stealing the hard work of others ….

    If they were really serious about coming into the synth industry, they would announce they’re developing 20 all new synths, its not as if they don’t have the resources.

    Will not show support for a company with no integrity …

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  19. The purists probably have nothing to worry about, if the DM12 “enhanced Juno replica” is any indication. All that synth seems to have going for it is specs and a low price tag. Soundwise it’s not the least interesting, and it doesn’t sound much like the synth that was the source of inspiration.

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  20. What made the Yamaha cs-80? There’s a classic sound that no ones looking at reproducing. Probably because it’s pre-chip? I know there were a heap of wires in there.

    I hope they consider making FUN new synths, things that are TOY-like and make you want to play them while you’re watching tv. This would be a broad market. And make me happy.

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    1. What is quality?

      Magic question:
      If I glue a Moog or DSI logo on my Casio VL-tone, will that improve the quality of my Casio synthesizer?

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  21. Why on earth do they believe any of these “clones” are going to sound 10% of the originals ? Even Roland can’t get any close to their originals with their new toys.

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        1. let see
          avengers civil war
          then batman vs superman

          I wonder what batman vs Ozzy ozborn would be like??

          SHANNON

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    1. I’ve not heard the comparison in person, but on Youtube videos the JU-06 is closer to 90% EXACTLY like the 106 it’s based on.

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        1. There are plenty of direct comparison videos on Youtube, but I have to safely assume most of the 106’s in those examples have already undergone their chip replacement.

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          1. makes you wonder if it was on purpose
            so you would have to buy a new piece of gear

            I doubt roland would do that but sylvania is another thing

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  22. Behringer is a wonderful company that makes affordable stuff. Cloning parts doesn’t assure a musical sounding instrument. I’ll believe all the hype when I hear a finished product. The DM-12 is a remarkable achievement of technology, but is not a classic sounding instrument (yet?). Maybe that’s why they’re turning to the clones. I respectfully and sincerely wish them luck. I’ll add that companies like DSI and Moog may have nothing to worry about.

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    1. Actually I disagree, the DM12 sounds great, it’s classic status is assured as it’s already reached enough sales to prove that I believe.

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  23. I am so psyched about this. Being a synthhead is hard when you don’t have the money to buy them, so these lower-priced clones look like an amazing option. I know that some purists will say “it’s nothing like the real thing”, but I don’t have 4,000 to spend on a vintage Minimoog or OB-Xa. And finding an Oscar in perfect condition is almost impossible these days. Having a large lineup of inexpensive synths is just as good as one or two hyper-expensive synths, hence my interest in this as well as the lesser synths of the real era, like the Poly-61, HS-60, RS09, Moog MG-1, and Matrix 6 among others.

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  24. The reporting on this site has absolutely no integrity whatsoever.

    Two posts prior to this article you can find the “Behringer’s Synth Clones Bypass Widow Of Doug Curtis” article

    In which Behringer are demonised as fucking over Curtis’ widow for a cheap

    And here in this article we have him hailed as a champion of the people

    The two articles are one day apart

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    1. Cocker

      Thanks for your feedback.

      Careful readers will note that any positive, subjective comments about Behringer in the article above are direct quotes from Uli Behringer.

      And any negative, subjective comments in the CEM 3340 post are direct quotes from Mary Curtis.

      If you feel that covering different opinions from people in the synth industry, using long direct quotes, somehow lacks integrity, then we disagree.

      We are glad that we’re able to cover these different perspectives, and to provide a platform where readers like you can weigh in on them, too. The amount of interest and discussion on these posts validates that they are newsworthy to our readers.

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  25. Man, so many people are going to start making incredible music once they can get their hands on these synths!!! (Sarcasm.)

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  26. I’m just sort of sick of these re-issues. I think we should be inspired by classic instruments and products and improve on them. The Alesis Andromeda was a step in the right direction. We went from a multi-timbral 16 voice analog monster with features galore..to people clamoring for monophonic, no preset synths. I’m not expecting another Andromeda but I think people should look at creating something new and improving on the past. Much like the Prophet 6 is an updated Prophet 5. Better stability, more presets, better polymod section etc. We should be looking forward with the past in mind and our hearts. Moog should have had a 4 voice phatty by now. Come on.

    If anything should be reissued at a lower price point it should be Emulators, Fairlights and Synclaviers.

    Hell, where is our modern FM based synth in 2017 Yamaha?

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