Behringer Announces DeepMind 12 Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer Pricing

behringer-deepmind-12-analog-synthesizerThis morning, Uli Behringer revealed a couple of the remaining “big details” of the upcoming DeepMind 12 12-voice polyphonic synthesizer.

“I have now made the decision to offer the DeepMind12 at a recommended sales price of US$ 999.99,” announced Behringer. “I have a feeling your dealer might drop the 99 cents.”

Behringer also says that he expects the DeepMind 12 to ship in late 2016.

The DeepMind12 synth has been teased out over the past month in a series of videos, and has sparked a great deal of discussion and speculation in the synth community as to the instrument’s features and capabilities. While not all of the product’s specifications have been announced, we do know that it has 12 analog voices, a full-size keyboard, 2 DCO’s per voice, built-in-WiFi, a built-in effects section, and an iPad patch editor.

Here’s Behringer’s full statement:

behringer-deepmind-12-synthesizer“Dear all,

again sorry to keep you waiting with the price announcement. I am aware I may have lost some friends in this process:-)

Please allow me to explain the reason why this has taken so long:

We are a very different company as we don’t set pricing based on what we believe a customer would be willing to pay for our product, or where competitive products are priced at.
We simply set pricing based on a “bottom up” approach where we calculate the component prices, add manufacturing cost plus a slim margin that we need to in order to hire more people and buy new equipment.

Because of the huge demand for the DeepMind12, we went back to our component suppliers and asked for a higher discount in return for higher purchase volumes. We then approached our distribution partners again and asked what their orders would be, if we would lower pricing. We did this a few rounds until we reached rock bottom pricing. And that’s where we are now.

During the development of the DeepMind12, we involved a lot of synthesizer experts, producers, musicians but also synth magazines. Of course, we were constantly asked what the price would be, but at the same time repeatedly told not to make it too affordable as otherwise the public perception of the instrument would be impacted.
Since the competition sits around US$ 2,000, the general recommendation was not to offer it below US$ 1,500 and everyone would be happy.

As you all know, I built my first synthesizer UB1 when I was 16, but it unfortunately got lost during an office relocation and for the following 40 years I always wanted to build a synth again.

Some years ago our amazing people and world-class engineers at Midas in Manchester learned about my dream and decided to actually built a synthesizer for me.

Initially the synth started as a Juno 106 inspiration but later literally grew into a monster as our guys kept on adding features on a weekly basis (I am sure they are still adding more).
I mentioned earlier, if there is a product that deserves the name “feature creep”, then it’s the DeepMind12 and I am absolutely serious!

Since I started Behringer 27 years ago, my philosophy was always to offer amazing products at incredible prices and that’s what we built our company on.
In this spirit, it is no surprise that I also like to see this synth in the hands of many of you guys and hope the DeepMind12 will inspire you as much as it inspires me. I can’t wait to hear the great songs you will compose and share with the community.

I have now made the decision to offer the DeepMind12 at a recommended sales price of US$ 999.99 (I have a feeling your dealer might drop the 99 cents).*

Getting this instruments into the hands of as many musicians as possible is a dream come true. At the risk of being ridiculed for showing my emotions, this is a very happy moment in my life and I like to thank first and foremost my friends Pete Sadler, Rob Belcham and all our incredible crew in MUSIC Innovation Manchester plus all other 4,000 people in MUSIC. I will never forget this.

We are planning to ship the first units towards the end of the year. While we will do everything we can do ramp up production, please be patient as we don’t know yet how we can fill all these backorders.

Once again thank you all – you guys are great!


Previous Synthtopia articles about DeepMind 12 are here. We’ll share additional details as they become available.

via GearSlutz

78 thoughts on “Behringer Announces DeepMind 12 Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer Pricing

    1. Excellent musician type marketing. It is so radical that it blows greed out of the water.

      Certainly a model all companies interested in the advancement of music should follow, instead of the dollar.

      I own two pieces. I am constantly amazed at the build quality and pricing. The two never made sense until I read your statement. I would never let these pieces go for any price.

      I had such roundabouts on big company boards with them pushing from greed down. A person I got to know over this constant numbers game gave a huge insight into the works of the big guy’s convoluted strategy.

      This guy, whose invention is still being used in the company’s mainstay 2016 Rocket Ship at 8500$. Cancel that, as of 2015 no longer able to advertise said invention.

      None would have been possible without this one person’s contribution. He did tell me via email, his closest friend’s, when told how much per unit he was receiving, gasped in horror.

      He never told me but I would assume a penny on a dollar is way over what he got per unit.

      Bearing in mind. He had all patented. Also, none of the units from the first built and released in 1994 could have been conceived without his invention.

      As I wrote this, I checked for accuracy currently. This man was not only a genius but apparently a businessman. Whether it was following the advice of his wife, his own or a combination, there was an end date. I looked up the initial company and I saw no mention of his invention in the first companies 2015 new equipment releases.

      With the chance of revealing material that is or might be privileged information I stop here. I truly liked this guy.

      Although our posts were heated. He worked for an absolute greed oriented company. I do not think there is another company I know of that has Behringer’s morals.

      I applaud Behringer’s business plan. I go by the retail price and the superb build of Behringer’s equipment as my sole proof of the way a company should treat its customers.

      This is overly long but I have to add, after some 16 years after purchase, there is not even a dirty spot in any jack or pot.

      What a simply great attitude.

    1. I thought there was no way in he** it would come in at anything under $1599, and frankly, I’m incredulous Behringer will hit this price point. Though, I certainly hope they do!

  1. This will assuredly place many other synth makers under tremendous pressure. Here are some thoughts.

    DSI – Dave Smith and his ever piece meal strategy of incremental improvements and claim of quality vs quantity ceases at once. Namely, how to make such a claim when DSI offers 1 year warranties vs Beringer’s 3, and that fact that at $999, DP12 seems years ahead of any offering from DSI. Economies of scale are clearly at play here, and resoundingly in Behringer’s favour, still DSI and others failed at the value proposition because they didn’t need to offer one. Now it is crammed down their throats.

    Moog – A poly synth should have been their one and only objective, yet for years they have toiled in mono and paraphonic/duophonic nonsense when they had the engineering know how and name recognition to make headway. Obviously they would never be able to compete with this price point, still the years of regurgitating the same technology finally caught up with them.

    Roland/Korg/Yamaha – They have the resources, the question, do they have the stomach and risk tolerance to take on Behringer.

    Modal – The only true synth maker to offer anything new in the last decade, and yet I am afraid their creations and viability is at risk. I own two of their synths and they are magnificent, yet the price point of Behringer, begins to the blur the lines of quality vs quantity. This is another Behringer X32 moment I am afraid, and this is the only I hope is unscathed, yet unlikely as they are on the opposite end of the value proposition when you negate quality build.

    Elektron – They may want to rethink their pricing, 4 voice architecture and difficult UI.

    1. I’m as interested as the next person in this synth but I wouldn’t go too far overboard in thinking there will be a revolution.

      The 12 voices are great but we’ve not yet really heard this thing properly. Do the effects stand out or are they cheezy? How flexible is it in sound design? Does it mostly cop a Juno sound or does it push that boundary into some modern arena? What do the ins and outs look like? How flexible are the sequencers and arpeggiator? How well integrated can it be with DAWs? Just midi or can it send sound direct over USB? How does it feel to play? Do the knobs and keyboard feel flimsy or does it feel roadworthy?

      Lots of interesting facts to come out yet but man, that price is pretty nice for what it promises to deliver.

      1. Also, it’s Behringer. I like the idea of the synth, but would never buy one solely based on the brand.

        Likewise, I can imagine where this will hurt the synthesizer industry in the long run because it’s hugely competitive in terms of price to spec ratio. But I can ALSO imagine where it won’t make a difference. The Mini/Microbrute didn’t kill the Moog. Behringer knock off guitar pedals and mixing boards didn’t kill the companies who’s products they cloned.

    2. I don’t think it will put a that serious pressure on the other manufacturers – rather I guess that they will simply have to move slightly outside their comfort zone and be little more creative perhaps offering more power with some hybrid technologies. DM12 is not multitimbral and no MPE support so there still is room for manoeuvre.

      1. I would wait until this is released to see if it is even worth the hype before I would call it a game changer.

        1. Guys, you’re all forgetting something here… “Behringer”

          Not exactly a brand that is renowned for quality.

    3. I agree, except for Korg: unfortunately they currently do not have enough cashflow to deliver full-size keys (expect a 1500€ Korg analogue polysynth with 24 voices and microKorg keys).
      Just joking, I love Korg. But the DeepMind definitely deserves to be bought.

  2. !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Finally! A balanced price in the world of synthesis! A little more info and I’m tempted to preorder 🙂

  3. We need specs and raw demo videos.

    Otherwise this is a Timbre Wolf run through 4 layers of TC Electronics effects.

      1. We heard it layered with all the effects.

        Even floppy haired whats his name said the effects really make the sound.

    1. you know, there may come a day when a Timbre Wolf with 4 layers of TC effects might sound awesome. A Hammond without tubes and a leslie is not much to write home about. With? it s the sound of god.

  4. Wow…I was considering getting a Korg Minilogue, but this blows it out the water! 12 voices?! And it’s in homage to the Roland Juno 106, but on steroids. Very interesting!

  5. I’ll need to see more demos- especially of filters and envelopes, but so far, this looking like it could be my first analog synth purchase in a LONG time.

    I might wait for the table-top version.

  6. Really surprised at the amount of interest for this from the cheapest (pro) audio mass market company today

  7. I don’t understand all the negative push I have seen with people complaining that it doesn’t cost enough –

    1. The thought is that the cheaper it costs, the cheaper it feels and sounds. However, in economies of scale that Behringer has the ability to reach, this really shouldn’t be the case. I’d be more concerned with the QA process. Hopefully Uli will make quality as big a concern as price. He’s done well over the last few years to bring Behringer out of the quality hole it was in, but it only takes one product as anticipated as this to tear that all down. I hope the launch goes great and the synth is everything we’re all hoping for it to be. I’ve already contacted my dealer and let him know I want to be in on the first run.

        1. I would not agree that a $5K instrument would be the same as a $0.5K synth.

          Per Uli, the price is based on manufacture cost + set % markup.
          That being said, a $5K synth would have costlier components (i.e. AB pots cost more than Alpha pots/ through hole parts cost more than surface mount), and probably a higher cost build.

          I hope they found the right quality vs. cost ratio for the DM12 to be a lifetime instrument.

    1. If you use logic in your channel strip under midi fx is a chord trigger which allows you to play a chord by only hitting one note at a time. Thats what I use! 🙂

  8. Sphere 6 ” Roland/Korg/Yamaha – They have the resources, the question, do they have the stomach and risk tolerance to take on Behringer.”

    Err I think this Behringer attempt to take these guys on. The might of Yamaha cannot be matched, the legacy of Roland is astounding, the originality of Korg is unmatched. Behringer has none of these or demonstrated much originality. I’m not knocking DM12 as ultimately you can hype up a tin whistle as much as you like but once delivered to users the true test starts. With NAMM coming soon do you think other manufacturers have been twiddling there thumbs? I bet there will be great stuff to come. Criticising MOOG is unbelievable, put one of their synths next to DM12 and discuss. We can direct this all day but time will tell. I’m sure people are expecting this to be awful in reality but if it’s ok will be claiming this to be a revolution.

    Final word how much of this is actually analog, why not reveal all now? Price point makes complete sense but I smell a rat in there

  9. Time for Moog to lash back with 8 note polyphony in a competitively priced synth module!… with after touch. … And letter mini keys!

    1. Why would Moog go poly when they have such a firm foot in mono? Just because they could build a poly doesn’t mean it would help their business. The Moog bass synth sound is everywhere. The Polymoog sound is just here and there. From what I recall, Gary Numan and Genesis (on And Then There Were Three…) delivered the only albums that used the Polymoog in a unique and memorable way. I assume what Moog learned was “let’s stick to mono.”

  10. Cmon seriously you cant compare DSI manufacturing principles – DSI choose to have them made in SF (where workers salaries are obviously higher and they get toilet breaks), Compare that to synths assembled in China or god know where, where they are paid peanuts and no toilet breaks.

    I would rather live in a world where synth assembly workers get toilet breaks – this “race” to the bottom price is disturbing

    1. James,

      I absolutely concur with you that the work and living conditions of DSI and most likely other European and American based synth maker employees are better than that of Behringer’s. Yet the greater argument here is not merely economics or the price point of the DM12, rather which company is actually pushing and moving the science behind the sound, and therefore the potential sonic capabilities.

      Moog and DSI are stuck in the past.

      1. Umm. Behringer is set to release an analog hybrid synth similar to machines from the heyday of polysynths in the mid 1980s. That’s as firmly stuck in the past as you can get.

        To see true innovation, you have to look at what’s going on in the modular market — there are some brilliant digital devices from the likes of Mutable and Audio Damage (along with a half dozen others) that give a glimpse into the future of hardware synthesis.

        The Behringer polysynth is simply a retread of ideas we’ve seen before a few dozen times.

    2. Oh that’s why Roland went with the TB nomenclature…..
      got it….superior worker employment relations in Japan in the seventies.

    3. Labour cost are usually less than 20% of the production costs in a modern production facility. It means one could manufactur a DM12 in SF at a list price of below $1200. The problem with companies like Moog and DSI is, that their business modells got stuck in the 70s. They are not able to cut down production costs or grand extended warranty, because that would mean to move away from their old-fashioned manufacturing style.

        1. Manufacturing style and sound has no connection. I think it’s just related to the history behind the names Moog and DSI.

        2. Yes the same old fashioned methods used to build the Memorymoog. Yep, an awesome mono synth…poly was never in tune (even after numerous tuning mods/updates). Oh, and don’t forget the internal fan…..reeeal old skool!

      1. Moog can’t cut down their production costs because they want their employees to make a descent living, does everyone really think this even remotely compares to Uli Behringer? How much are Behringer employees being paid?–Also do you think Behringer employees care about synthesizers? Do you see Behringer sponsored synth events , meet-ups or does anyone on this thread see Behringer helping to develop synth culture? Just because a product is cheaper, and arguably more powerful doesn’t mean its a good thing for music culture. I personally would be embarrassed to use a Behringer synth live. Also your idea of producing a DM12 in SF for $1200 is hysterical- –people in SF need to make more than 10 US dollars a day…

    4. Asian shipping prices are expected to increase by 40% by Q4 16. This product will be impacted by that (it’s big and might be heavy). So it will be tough to keep to this aggressive pricing. Still I would imagine that a low cost – real sounding – analog synth like this would grow the market. There will still be plenty of space for moog and DSI. The PRO-02 is a 2k mono synth. But boy is it amazing. Nothing like it anywhere at any price.

  11. Comparing a 12-voice DCO based synth to even a 1-voice VCO based synth does not make sense to me. Analog 4, you’re on notice. DSI, you’re on notice. Moog – not so much, still the reigning “pure analog” champ.

    Dig away!

  12. if the synth strikes like a bomb it could the synth-market forever change I am thinking of two scenarios, the first one would be when Roland/ Korg / Yamaha raise the white-flag with tears in their eyes! And the second they would fight what would more probable and good for the market!!!

  13. Pretty darn cool for something with this architecture and control.

    Gonna shake up the industry to be sure.

  14. I’ll continue to support manufacturers like Moog and DSI instead of buying Chinese-made products. Moog has a tiny company with only 62 employees and is in the process of becoming entirely employee-owned. As for Behringer? Well, their stuff is manufactured by thousands of workers in the Zhongshan Eurotec factory complex nicknamed Behringer City in Zhongshan, China. Great for the bottom line, not so great for ensuring that we still have manufacturing and assembly know-how in Europe or North America.

    So, yes, you can buy an analog hybrid polysynth for $999.95. But it’s made in China by people who live in factory dorms and work 6 days a week.

  15. For the price point they are offering, I have reservations about build quality. We shall see. I also hope that it feels decent to play; I’d hate to see a good synth engine married to a horrible keybed.

    I have a lot of DSI and Moog stuff, and great digital new stuff from Roland and Korg. I think this product will cause DSI to re-examine a few things, but I don’t think this thing really competes sonically or functionally with their high end stuff like the Prophet 12, Prophet 6 or OB 6. I DO see this impacting their DCO based stuff like the Mopho X4 and probably the Prophet 08. The addition of proper FX is nice.

    The moment I heard the first teasers, I thought that this thing had captured the Roland sound. It reminded me of my old JP-6 and my 106, so it was interesting to later hear that it was originally inspired by the 106 and then kind of blossomed from there.

    A 106 is a great, if simple, synthesizer, so if this thing starts there, and has a few added functions, I think it will be a big hit on its own. This is the synthesizer Roland SHOULD have been working on.

  16. Well done by Behringer there. I’m not sure that it will shake up other manufacturers a lot though. Compared to the scale of most other electronic markets, consumerstuff etc… – electronic musical instruments is a very limited market. Behringers way of calculating their price tag is in this respect a very healthy one. And they have shown themselves as stayers in a world where companies come and go. They have even saved some companies by taking over ownership. Marketing a polyphonic synthesizer that many more of us can afford must be deemed purely positive. Manufacturing methods have improved greatly on just about all electronical products during the last decades – I’m not worried about build quality. It’s like people have forgot the problems they used to have with their CS-80’s, Memorymoogs – not to mention the Polymoog. 😀 Yet – this will not stop people from buying Moogs and DSI-stuff. It only means that everybody may have a Behringer too. 🙂

  17. I’d love to know if there are compromises in factory employee conditions and environmental impact when pricing something like this so far beneath the competition. This stuff actually matters.

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