Behringer Setting Up Synthesizer Division


Behringer CEO Uli Behringer says that the company is setting up a ‘comprehensive Synthesizer Division’, and that they’re hiring 30 people o help with this.

At a post on Gearslutz, Uli Behringer wrote:

The response for this synth has been so overwhelming that we have decided to establish a comprehensive Synthesizer Division. We are currently hiring 30 engineers and product managers in the UK and Canada; feel free to apply.

Please share with us what synths, drum machines, samplers etc. or features you like to have. Be assured we will carefully listen.

uli-behringer-synthUli Behringer also offered some background on his interest in synths and his company’s plans:

When I was a young kid, I built an electric piano/synthesizer called the UB1 (picture right). The synth had two analog oscillators and a filter that was so unstable that at times it acted as an oscillator – and this was not by design.

The keyboard and the massive toggle switches on the right side came out of an EKO organ that didn’t survive the impact of my screwdriver.
The UB1 was nothing great by today’s standards but I believe it is this very keyboard that sparked off my passion for music and electronics and later got me into this wonderful industry.

Unfortunately the UB1 got lost during a factory move and for the past 40 years I always wanted to build a synthesizer again. When I shared my deep passion with the Midas engineering team in Manchester UK a few years ago, I was very surprised how many of these engineers had a tremendous passion for synths, too.

That’s when the “madness” started and there is no other way to describe it as for the past few years these guys literally worked day and night to get it done.

The synthesizer was initially considered a pure “labor of love” project as we had no commercial aspirations. However what was considered a simple synth project, got completely out of hand and sound capabilities plus features got added on a weekly basis.

People constantly heard me say: “Pete, we got to stop this now”, but you can imagine that it had little impact and the team kept on adding and adding. I can’t even remember how many front panel design iterations we went through and I believe the guys are still adding more features as we speak – of course without telling me:-).

Because the team wanted to fulfill my dream and build me a synthesizer, I had no choice than to let them go crazy and I am afraid this is exactly what happened:-).

At the same time, the boys also wanted to have some fun with the marketing so please forgive them for the teasers. I am happy to take the blame!

I like to take the opportunity to thank Pete Sadler, Rob Belcham and the rest of the Midas team from the bottom of my heart for what they have done for me.

Hopefully some more people out there will love the synth as much as I do.

47 thoughts on “Behringer Setting Up Synthesizer Division

  1. So, the teasers were fake? Or at least the synth shown is more in the Moog-Modular prize range because of the added and added and added features? I am disappointed and shame on you Uli if that’s the case.

    1. What are you on about?? Don’t you understand what he’s saying? HE’s saying sorry for the indulgent marketing, not that it’s fake!!

  2. An open, ahem, note to Uli:

    I wish you and your team a great deal of success. The market segment that this synth will find itself in is certainly becoming a crowded one. However, there is always room and interest in a product with great sound that is well built and well supported. If this is indeed a labor of love, prove the naysayers wrong and deliver it with those three attributes. May your company’s foray into the synth market stand out in all of the best ways.


    Eric Harder

  3. If anything figure a way of making a mashup of wavesequencing/ wt modulation with morpheus style zplane filter thatd be killer

  4. Oh, for goodness sake. Someone has to call out this ridiculous PR claim.

    Behringer hasn’t released the instrument, nor have they given us clear information about it. There is no way we can have any sort of “overwhelming response” until the company releases detailed specifications, pricing, audio samples and a release date.

    1. Sure can there be “overwhelming response” although nothing can be purchased. It´s the same as with concept cars. The people who played it live (according to the videos) have reacted and there has been a huge interest in the synth on social media sites. This is certainly “overwhelming response” as opposed to “nobody is interested”.

    2. Well, as a marketing guy I tell you that the teaser campaign was IMO successful. A significant percentage of the community knows now that there is something coming. The worst case is that a potential buyer don’t know about a new product. It’s irrelevant if you like the teaser or not. The response shows that they will have a good start with the product so the company can make further decision for the future as you can see.

      1. Well it worked on me, I haven’t forgotten about it. Iv checked frequently for updates…. most of us have bought something behringer and I think it’s exciting because this is a professional audio company and we have no idea what to expect.

  5. Thank you Sir, Mr. Uli Behringer!

    As an active and proud mbr of Gearslutz, I wanted to personally thank you for taking into account the ideas and suggestions from the GS community!

    We really appreciate it and look forward to this synth! 🙂


    Synth Guru

  6. Has anyone asked him if he had any moral compunction ripping off and profiting from other people’s ideas, designs, names and even color schemes? I’m curious about the new synth but he built his fortune on intellectual theft.

    I’d do it myself but I can’t bear to read Gearslutz for about the last 8 years.

    1. “Has anyone asked him if he had any moral compunction ripping off and profiting from other people’s ideas, designs, names and even color schemes? I’m curious about the new synth but he built his fortune on intellectual theft.”

      Think he’s going to start giving a shit now?

    2. Did anyone ask Alan R. Pearlman if he had any moral compunction ripping off and profiting from Bob Moog’s design with the Minimoog? The ARP Odyssey took the Minimoog’s idea of analog synthesis without patch cords. And so did a lot of other companies. It’s called competition.

      1. Please. I own Moogs and Arps. They sound very different, even with the ripped-off filter, which was a crucial (but single) component in an otherwise different-sounding synth that offered its own innovations and personality. Even if wrong, jacking a filter is different than a wholesale jacking of designs down to the sound-alike model names and look-alike graphics.

        Maybe your reply was trolling. If not, perhaps read (or re-read) “Analog Days” and familiarize yourself with the ARP vs. Moog story (and never-materialized lawsuit). Then open your Sweetwater catalog and start comparing Behringer clones to the products he wholesale jacked. Finally, please come back and tell us what relationship exists between those two situations.

        There’s inspiration, or even creative theft, and there’s bootlegging. As an artist, I believe in voting with my dollar against bootleggers, no matter how tempting the savings. Even if this synth is its own thing, I’m hesitatnt to support this man, although I’m happy to see he’s moved on from being an intellectual bootlegger to having some unique products (courtesy of Midas).

        1. Please yourself. I could accuse you of trolling. Who cares if you’ve owned both? I’ve played both extensively. Moog’s idea of a synth without having to connect the modules was revolutionary. Go do some history reading yourself. At what point does copying someone else cross the line from a different take to outright copying? Well you have your opinion. Not everyone agrees with you, your majesty. Same color schemes? So what? Maybe those color schemes are easier to see.

          1. Dear Uli,

            I think it’s only civil that we’re finally addressing each other properly.

            You asked “At what point does copying someone else cross the line from a different take to outright copying?” To which I would offer: when you are sued by Mackie*, Aphex, BBE, DBX, Drawmer, Roland and Peavey.

            *Ironically, Mackie’s case was thrown out because circuit schematics are not covered by copyright laws – so your straw man argument about ARP “ripping off” Moog would not have stood up in US District Court. Anyway, I suspect you know the difference between Arp vs. Moog and this:


            Check mate,
            Your Majesty

            PS: It’s been fun.

    3. @SQNYC,

      As someone who is keenly interested in this synth, I think I will probably opt to not purchase it. The reasons are as you noted, Uli Behringer not only fleeced intellectual property from various companies, virtually their entire offering is reversed engineered from other makers. They have been sued by Roland, Mackie, Peavy, Yamaha and various others through the years. In fact whilst Uli like’s to state that they moved their design and corporate HQ to Hong Kong to be closer to their manufacturing arm, the reality is they wanted to benefit from Chinese lax intellectual property rights protection and favourable rulings, as most companies were forced to sue them in China, and HK.

      At least he is not in a position to purchase the companies he covets rather than outright theft.

      That said, I hope no one believed that fluff piece of a PR, that was honestly embarrassing. You either actually were keenly involved in this process for commercial release, thus why you were seeking input on Gearslutz and KVR or this was a “labour of love”, which is it? Utter nonsense.

      1. Your opinion about IP is not completely correct. To copy features, technology, ideas etc. is since the beginning of industrialization very common. That’s the reason for establishing patents to keep an advantage over the competitors. But whenever something isn’t IP prodected it’s automatically considered as free to use. However, it is also very common to develop workarounds to existing patents. Sometimes they’re not as good as the original, sometimes better solutions for a problem are discovered. And sometimes these inventions has to be reviewed by a court if they still violate a patent. But this must be done in every country where the infringement happen. So it doesn’t make any sense to move to HK or China with the headquarters or R&D department to avoid these things. Usually it has tax reasons or to save labor costs.

  7. “Please share with us what synths, drum machines, samplers etc. or features you like to have. Be assured we will carefully listen.”

    This sounds so wrong. Use your brain! E.g. a new Roland 16-pad/workstation sampler is right around the corner. According to Gearslutz commenter The Knoq””a Maschine/MPC/Push killer”. Behringer should have come up with something similar.

  8. I think the overwhelming response refered to is based on the “what do you want in a synth from Behringer” – post, that was posted around the time when Korg announced the Oddysey remake.
    Hopefully Behringer will price this synth around the minilogue and give an altenative in the, to many of us, affordable analogue polysynth range.
    That aside here is hoping Behringer will make an affordable analogue drum machine with a matrix controller – inspired by the dm1 for ipad. I’ll be happy to flesh my idea out more, if there in fact is an interest in gathering inspiration amongst users – and of course if there is anybody besides me that would want such a thing:-)
    In the meantime I’ll be looking forward to trying out, and very possibly buying the new Behringer synth as it truly sounds very good – in the teasers.

  9. While being “teased” is a little irritating, if it is great when it is finally released, I will forgive them every thing, especially if I can afford to buy it!

  10. While I have no understanding of Behringer corporate hierarchy, I question this synth project as a back room tinkering where the boss says: “Pete, we got to stop this now”, but you can imagine that it had little impact and the team kept on adding and adding.

    Was, or was not, Mr. Behringer in charge of the team that built this synth, or were rogue elements of his company conspiring against him? just curious, that’s all….

  11. Like or dislike teasers all you want, the great news here is that a big company is setting up a new synth devision! And seems to ask us what we want. These things I like! (if it’s not just marketing-talk off course)
    So Uli, here’s my whishlist:
    affordable 6 voice poly.
    2 osc with detune
    sub osc
    61 keys with (poly)aftertouch.
    2 fx slots with the algorithms from the x32
    or at least: a Dimention-d/Juno style chorus (space-c?) and a delay
    step sequencer with swing
    audio in
    stick instead of pitch and mod wheel
    Solid build, like a tank! (don’t care about the weight, use wood and metals)
    – Thanks and good luck!

  12. More synths are a good thing to me.

    I’d like to see Behringer make the hardware MPC style sampling drum machine that everyone keeps asking for. Something with at least 4 midi outs that lets me sequence all my hardware.

    1. I have not seen allot in midi in behringer except to control their devices, closest to controller have been midi mixer and a foot pedal, although i have been seeing some new keyboard controllers

  13. Two things I’d like to see them make:

    1. Hybrid 6 operator FM + Analog Poly. FM and analog sound so good layered together!

    2. Sampler with analog filters. User multi samples with creamy analog filters would be awesome!

    1. Yes! All I want for Christmas or another equally synthy holiday is a polysynth that supports uploading user sample waveforms or wavetables AND analog filters preferably of the Curtis variety with a modulation matrix from heaven and in-depth MIDI editing.

      Otherwise I might have to get Ensoniq ESQ or SQ80. Modal 12 voice is close to this, but no user waveforms. Multitimbrality and individual outputs would be icing on that synth of deliciousness.

  14. You say: “Please share with us what synths, drum machines, samplers etc. or features you like to have. Be assured we will carefully listen.”

    Dream device from me..

    A synth/sampler pair like the Akai AX-60 – S612.
    Though with HD audio and enough memory for large-ish sound banks (1 gigaByte?)

    Minimum of 8 voices.

    For the synth; per voice it would need 3 oscillators plus input from sampler, at least low pass VCF (preferably two multi-mode!), 3 lfos, 3 ADSR, a matrix modulation routing system, 8×8 with source/destination RGB coloured buttons (most recent selection would have level controlled via data slider), some destinations to sampler (loop start/end)

    Sampler to have 16 playback voices (2 per voice), SD-card storage, wavetable sequences (like Korg Wavestation), one button Record function (for inspirations sake!). Resamples. Reads SFZ-1.0 files.
    Some basic DSP functions for manipulating samples.

    NRPN based parametric editing.

  15. yeah please go for love for synths is so much as the more knobsd it ihas the better anyway it is up to you for the design but analaogue is my love

    1. a sequencer that will sequence other sequences like the sequence entered.. Connected to a synth that will try to emulate whatever sound it is fed through its built in mic or stereo inputs.. of course it samples then too.. In groove box forma

  16. man, id LOVE to see Behringer try to do some knock-off Elektron gear…
    now that would be interesting…
    id buy it. just sayin…

  17. If they are listening,
    I’m only on a budget that allows ‘toy’ synths – think £50 max.

    A new SK-1/VSS30 (with midi) at Pocket Operator/Volca price would be fab.

  18. Just my two cent on this discussion.

    I would like to see in a synthersizer a better integration of effects. They usually acts just as global effects. But I would like to see them fully integrated into the voice structur. Something like a VCE (Vold Controlled Effect), with own ADSR and LFO control over different parameter. The VCE can sit right after VCOs. I can imagine how the sound would’ve been influenced by phaser, flanger, steroizer, or any other modulation effect. Delays and halls that’s only used by one of the VCOs. In case the VCE is after the VFA one can cut out just parts that uses delay or hall. Should give some cool soundscapes.

    Talking about effects, I would like to see also a sequencer that focusses only on effects and effect rountings. I like the Octatrack sequenced effects capabilities. I could imagine an effect-sequencer with mor than just 4 inputs and outputs AND some additional external effect routing capabilities to plug some external gear to it. Well, if it has enough inputs and outputs it could on top acts as a mixing-sequencer as well.

    Elektron Octarack can do it nicely but with just a few I/Os, Roland MX-1 has also nice features, but too much focussed on the Aira products, Dasz seems to go in a similar direction as well. But all of them didn’t follow this route until the end.

  19. @sqnyc: Get real. Fact is that in today’s society (USA being the prime example), innovation is completely stifled by absurd patent laws. What if I owned the patent for an oscillator? Or a low pass
    filter? In the end it’s about what someone (or company) creates as a unique combination of usually standard components. And yes, most of the time there are only a couple of ways which makes sense (seen any square wheels lately?) so you will see some “ideas” rehashed.
    On topic: Would love to see a design with lots of flexibility which would spark a large user community (Raspberry PI) with a solid stable base platform but with the ability to freely assign functions to knobs, create your own functions/filters and other customizations. Looking at the past, there has been plenty designs which have been underpowered (CPU, memory or both) or had flakey software. A stable platform with room for user developed plugins would be my way forward.

    1. @GJ: I agree with the patent madness particular in USA.
      There are some open source synth platforms already available. I tried Patchblocks, which is pretty cool, but just offers 8-bit quality sounds.

  20. wow, 12 voices!?!!?
    i think i’ll put off getting an OB6 until i check this out.
    good on you behringer!
    this could be fuckin amazing.
    With so much going into this, i’m thinking its gonna be
    high end stuff with a price to match, but maybe not….

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