Behringer Neutron Synthesizer Behind The Scenes

In the second episode of the Behringer R&D video series, designers Pete Sadler & Rob Belcham discuss some of the ‘ethos’ behind their new Neutron synthesizer.

The Behringer Neutron synthesizer is an analog semi-modular synth module, in the style of the Moog Mother-32 (a Eurorack synth voice that is normalized so that it can work with or without patch cables).

Pricing and Availability

Official specifications and pricing are to be announced.

56 thoughts on “Behringer Neutron Synthesizer Behind The Scenes

    1. People are always asking for patch memory on straight analog synths and patchable synths!

      I understand how that might be cool, but I’m not sure if they understand the contradictions inherent in what they’re asking for.

      When does adding patch memory to something like the Moog Model D end up turning it into a Voyager?

      1. On the matrixbrute, there is a button you can press to instantly switch from desired patch to “what the knobs currently display.”

        Conversely, I can load up my Sub37 VST and instantly see the knob settings of each preset.

        Which makes my response to your question: “never.”

        1. Behringer are naturally trying to keep the price point as low as possibly to make Neutron a good entry point monosynth, As nice a luxury that patch storage is, the simple architecture of this synth means you should be able to quickly whip up the sounds you’re looking for anyway.

        2. The MatrixBrute & the Sub 37 both use the Voyager’s approach – using encoders, so the knobs never match what your patch is.

          Nothing wrong with that, but it’s completely different than designing a straight analog synth that uses pots, instead of encoders.

          And, arguably, comparing the MatrixBrute or Sub 37 to a cheap analog from Behringer isn’t really an apples to apples comparison.

          Behringer can make cheap ass synth by knowing what corners to cut. The result is a good, cheap synth, but there isn’t any doubt that they’re cutting corners.

          I’m actually a lot more excited by the Neutron – without patch memory – than by the Model D. The Neutron looks to be a much capable and interesting synth, and doesn’t rely on ripping off the look of another company’s gear. Unfortunately, ripping off Moog’s look is probably required to get the Behringer D’s price down as low as it is. If they had actually used an original look and name, they wouldn’t sell to the people that want a ‘cheap Moog’.

          1. Yes Behringer is probably always cutting corners. But while it might not be “build like a tank” (though it looks pretty sturdy in the first movies) have you considered the fact that in the technology state of 2018 it is not the hardest thing in the world to build a synthesizer and that prices asked by some other manufacturers are the exact opposite as in “a bit over the top”? So while everyone is talking Behringer bad , somehow no one mentions that some others might be the exact opposite, as in selling a fictionary myth of “craftmanship” while making some extra bucks? What i am saying is in not way meant as an attack or ironic on what you say. Just a thought. I am not a native english speaker so forgive my way of writing.

          2. While I’m not convinced by the styling of the Behringer Model D… I don’t think a lot of people will pass it in some form and think, that must be a MiniMoog, and a cheap one, therefor I should buy it.
            I don’t think Berhinger will sell a lot of units because of the somewhat minimoogish looks in a completely different format.
            People will have heard of it, or will stumble across it and read about it, and find out what it is…

            And it is a cheap Minimoog Model D, that is what it is, in a technical sense, no matter what I would have looked like and been called. And people that had heard of it or stumbled across it somehow would have found that out, and be as interested, as they are now.

              1. Yes, but that was not what I was debating.
                I was debating that it would not sell a lot of units because of its particular styling that has some similarities with a Minimoog Model D.

                They would have still sold units, even if it looked nothing like the Model D, and was called something completely different.
                It is not selling because it looks a bit like a Model D, it is selling because it is in technical sense a cheap version of the Model D.
                It would have been selling even if it was called Behringer Fat 24, and had the styling of a doepfer module, as long as it was still known that it was a Model D clone, and that is widespread information.
                In real life it is quite small, thus doesn’t really look like a Model D. Looks more like a Roland Boutique.

                If the preorders of 20 000 are all delivered and kept by the buyers, it will actually be one of the better selling synths in the history.
                I think it will end up selling more than that if those pre-orders numbers were correct. Even if some units are returned.

                But for people that are really in to modular, it doesnt offer individual outputs of the OSCs, even less off individual waveforms.
                It doesnt offer CV control of each OSC.
                And so on…
                So it is not really a modular synth.
                But lets hope Berhinger get in to modular, and breaks the filter and OSC out as modular modules, with Modular type of connectivity.

  1. I’ve been annoyed with Behringer publicly calling into question Moog’s business model while then proceeding to use their design in the “D”; and I’m not a fan of your cloning – but the DM12 and now this – great to see.

    So ditch the “cloning” please Behringer – nobody wants it in the long run (they think they do but they’ll be disappointed) – and you don’t need it. _THIS_ – is absolutely excellent. Well done.

    1. I do, I’m pig sick of super expensive re-issued limited editions and the 2nd hand synth market is bonkers price wise. It’s currently about elitist and snob ridden as you can possibly get. Keep up the good work Behringer, keep em clones coming! It’s exaclty the shakeup that the stagnating industry needed. Uli came into the current synth-makers territory to kick ass and chew bubble gum and he’s all outa gum!

      1. The synth industry is anything *but* stagnant. There are hundreds of small manufacturers in existence now that weren’t around 5 years ago, thanks to massive interest in Eurorack.

        Those new manufacturers are beginning to step into semi-modular or desktop systems – often in interesting ways – and they’re creating hundreds of jobs in the USA, Canada and Europe as a result.

        Most of these guys are anything but “elitist and snob-ridden” — they’re hardworking people who are scratching out a living in a tough industry.

        Behringer, on the other hand, is seeking to sneak their way into the old guard elite by attempting to trademark the classic Oberheim logo and even Tom’s name itself, all with the aim of making millions of dollars by manufacturing in a vertically integrated factory complex in China.

        1. Music Group, which owns Behringer, got the rights to the Oberheim name a while ago. There’s nothing illegal about what they are doing. You can try to argue Ethics but then your arguing ethics about a musical instrument which is rather silly.

          No one’s arguing about new companies coming out with new products. The argument is against older companies companies reissuing classic products and charging an obscene amount for them compared to the actual parts cost and effort it takes to make them.

          1. No, the Music Group trademark application received a non-final refusal on October 11, 2017. The two issues: Section 2(a) Refusal – False Connection (because it implies a non-existent relationship between Music Group and Tom and/or the company he founded), and Section 2(c) Refusal – Lack of Consent (because they didn’t get Tom’s approval).

            Uli’s lawyers have six months to respond.

            This is why the UB-Xa has been teased with Behringer branding, rather than with Tom’s name splattered all over it.

            1. Tom doesn’t own the rights to Oberheim as far as I know. That is why he’s new products are TomOberheim and not Oberheim products.

              That doesn’t however mean that Behringer has gotten the rights to the oberheim name.

      2. Does valuing originality, great workmanship, paying people a living wage and quality materials make us ‘elitist and snob ridden’?

        It’s the opposite.

        It’s elitist to think that your need for a cheap synth outweighs the needs of people that want quality instruments, or the needs of people to have jobs that don’t require them to be indentured servants, like the people at Behringer’s factories.

        And the LAST thing we need is for synth companies to be stuck in the mode of copying the 70’s for another 10 years. We can already buy modern knockoffs of most of the great pieces of gear from the 70’s and 80s, and it’s resulting in a generation that wants to relive the 70’s and 80’s instead of coming up with something new.

        People need to get over the need to satisfy their unfulfilled teenage gear lust and move on to more mature interests – and demand more modern instruments that help open up new options.

        Also – it’s super strange to celebrate Behringer making clones on a post about the Neutron, which is the first synth that they’ve introduced that isn’t explicitly based on cloning an old synth. How about we give them kudos for actually doing something original for a change?

        1. Quality materials?
          Metal? Is Behringer metal any worse than Moog metal?
          Plastic? Is behringer plastic any worse than Moog plastic? or Fatar plastic?

          The Moog Music Inc Model D used more material than the Behringer Model D, but I’m not convinced they used higher quality materials.

          Can you prove that Behringer isn’t paying their workers living wages?
          And most synth companies uses components from china. Are the component makers payed living wages? Or does that not matter if it is assembled in the US?

          You claim we can buy modern knockoffs of most 70s and 80s gear… where exactly?
          Unless you count software emulations, and although there are many that would work just as well as hardware, original, re-make or clone in a production, they lack the tactile feedback of the originals, so until we actually do have hardware knockoffs that sound like the originals, that is kinda a false claim.
          Seeing old gear remade, actually helps the industry move on. There are lots of people out there still looking for the vintage classics because they heard so many times they sound so much better than modern products.
          With modern re-makes we can kill some of the cult of those rare vintage instruments, so that most synth entusiats, will no longer have any real desire of owning the vintage rarities so that they are ready to move on to the new products companies come up with.

          1. I agree with most you say. Just wanted to mention the “Metal” part. I bought a stainless metal water boiler for tea making etc cause i did not want plastic. It was a cheap one i will admit but i liked it more than the plastic ones of known manufacturers, it was cheaper than “big names” standing next to it. When i got home i opened the packaging and wanted to boil water. There was a very weird smell. So a friend who has some experience in the industry told me on the phone, that in China they are in some cases using 7th generation of recycled Metal. Meaning that the Metal!…? itself was smelly…. I couldn’t believe it cause i thought “stainless metal” is “stainless metal” what can possibly go wrong? but i found out that even that is not always true. So Metal can have a huge difference to Metal also Plastic comes in many qualities. It`s actually true. It took literally months for the smell to get less

    2. Speak for yourself ! I’ve been using cloned synths for almost 20 years now. I’m not about to stop because you don’t like it. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Leave it to those of us who do.

    3. Moogs business model?
      Do you mean Moog Music Inc, that we have today?
      They cloned the Model D, and called it an re-issue.
      It is in all senses of the word a clone.
      Moog Music Inc, is only Moog Music Inc by name, they used to be another company, but that company bought the rights to the name. It doesn’t matter that the company was Bob Moog’s company.
      The original Moog Music Inc was long since gone as a company that made music electronics, it was just a name.
      And the Patent rights were long since expired as well.
      So there was no company left that could actually re-issue it.
      Have you complained at Moog Music Inc for cloning the Model D?

      And how about the Korg Arp Odyssey?
      As much of a clone that one, as well.

      There are lots of people that want the “clones”.
      And it will most likely be good in the long run. These clones will make classic synths accessible to an audience that would have otherwise not been able to play them and learn them.
      The good thing is that when they are widely available, they will lose some of their cult status, and because of that, synth design, can take a new direction, where people are not locked to the idea, that the best synths were the classics. Much of the cult status of the vintage classics is the rarity of them.

    1. Actually, by now Behringer has sold so many synths that they are one of the big synth companies.
      The synth market isn’t exactly huge… what other brands may have is a history.

  2. he said the 3340 sounded great so I guess that means its curtis chip based. id prob check it out if the price is right, i dont need it but looks interesting.

  3. I sometimes roll my eyes a bit at the modular explosion, because as complex as a patch can be, its too easy to call it “musical” just because its a sound. Then I tell myself to STFU, because all synths are modular to some degree. I just prefer mine in software and two tabletops.

    One thing you have to say for Behringer is that the company is sure colorful.:D I’m amused to realize that I like the idea of >small< synths with patch bays, as well as paraphonics with CV/GATE ports. The best modular music I've heard lately has always been from someone playing just a Buchla or a newer Oberheim 2-Voice, so when I see someone triggering a small Eurorack section from a Minibrute, it feels like the right amount of gear if you're serious about digging into it more deeply. It looks like the Neutron is aiming for its share of that player base. Let's hear it and then see how fiddly-vs.-tough that patch bay is.

  4. maybe not a blatant clone but not far from one, although there’s several semi modular mono synths popping up this seems the closest to an M32 clone out there. but it’s not a huge surprise, this company has been creating low cost alternatives for quite a while and i guess there’s nothing wrong with that. i think why people immediately are up in arms against them is because of the needless press release / ‘leak’ fumbles they have made. but life goes on and there’s tons of options for synth enthusiasts in multiple price ranges which is nice.

    1. Look at the minibrutes, had the synth enginge of that been put inside a small case, as well as been euro-rackable, had it not looked a bit like a Mother 32 as well?
      I’ve seen euro-rack synths with patchbays to the right even before the Mother 32.
      The voice architecture of this is different from the Mother 32.
      So they really aren’t the same.

  5. I’ll eat my foot once they start shipping. We’ve given them so much credit for cloning synths and not enough disparaging remarks regarding their lack of actual product releases. I might be crazy but until its on the shelves, it doesn’t really exist. Kind of like the OP-z from teenage engineering or the Final Fantasy 7 remake to switch it up a bit. Looks good, would be totally awesome but has been in production for a few years now and may never see the light of day.

    Go Behringer…at some point.

    1. Deepmind 12, 12D and 6 have been out for months and people are now getting in their Model D’s. God forbid a company takes some time to ensure their products work correctly and are of proficient quality.

      It takes time to Design, produce, manufacture and ship out a synthesizer. This is barely their second year in the Synth game and they already got some interesting products out and on the horizon.

      1. Some people are getting their D’s where? I preordered mine from Sweetwater within the first hour of the first run of preorders, and its still zilch. I’m about to just cacel as the initial excitement is gone.

        1. There are several of videos on youtube that has gone up lately, and not by the official beta-testers.
          And it seems like they decided to go Europe first this time, unlike with the Deepmind that was US first.
          No one said sweetwater where getting them first. No one has acutlly as far as I know officially stated that the pre-order page should have been put up when it was.

  6. They should then hold off on the Teasers, trailers, demo’s and R&D videos until maybe they are a few months away. With all the press, I’m sure they would update the world when they actually started shipping Model D’s. Just another video to add to their video production budget.

    Strymon just released their first eurorack module, already shipping, not many teasers. They didn’t farm for pre-orders then take another year or so to actually ship. They didn’t just take long to get it right, they locked people in with release dates and didn’t release.

    I’m not against Behringer, just against nonsense.

    1. Nope, Strymon started taking preorders for Magneto a couple of weeks ago. It isn’t shipping, there isn’t even a definite ship date yet (though it’s excepted to be soon)

    2. Strymon announced there module 2 years ago……it has been changed sincethen but the announcement and pictures were there……..

    3. I don’t see how it’s nonsensical to start advertising a synth during development, they want people to know what’s in the pipeline so they might hold off on spending their money on something else before the Neutron comes out. Just don’t watch the promotions if you aren’t interested.

    4. That was a really bad example.
      The strymon was presented some years ago, but they have made changes to it.
      It took strymon longer to finnish that product than it took Behringer to finnish the Model D, at least one year longer.
      Behringer are shipping their 2nd… or third or whatever beta batch of this synth right now. They may make changes to it, but they are probably going to do that quicker than Strymon if they do. They made some small changes to the Model D from the first beta-tester videos if I’m not misstaken. But they also had to set-up an actual production-line, not just single unit production as those that goes to beta-testers.

      I haven’t seen any pre-order pages for this product.
      And I dont think the Sweetwater Model D page was supposed to go up. Perhaps it was planned to that date, but behringer had to reschedule. But I don’t think they planned for a pre-order page, almost 6 months before they were ready to ship.

      And the strymon is up for pre-order, not for shipping.

    5. They ask for input from synth community for thoughts on the prototypes, now although its not possible to please everyone they stand a good chance of getting it right for potential customers with some last minute changes, so can’t blame them for taking this approach.

  7. Ha, arguing about product releases. This is good stuff. I’ve seen so much back and forth about products limited features, or lack thereof. But somehow Behringer slipped through the cracks because they are selling gear at crack prices. I’d just like to save the hoorah for when someone actually has it, like a civilian, uses it and does an unbaised video. Then ill know they are shipping. There is only one review on sweetwater and it says the model d is too light and the buttons are too small.
    So lets be real about riding Behringer’s balls for cheap stuff rather than them being such an awesome company with a great track record.

    1. “So lets be real about riding Behringer’s balls for cheap stuff rather than them being such an awesome company with a great track record.”


      Not sure if you;’re being ironic or something, but Behringer is the only company in the music industry with a 30 year track record of making cheap Chinese knockoffs of whatever happens to be popular. They’ve been sued a couple of times for copying other company’s gear too closely. And just about everybody has used a Behringer mixer that’s noise and has a few bad channels.

      If you haven’t had a Behringer product crap out on you, consider yourself lucky.

      They’ve done some decent gear in the last couple of years, but I’ve never met a professional musician that would consider them an ‘awesome company with a great track record.”

      1. > They’ve been sued a couple of times for copying other company’s gear too closely.

        Like ARP, for example, correct?

        Kind of curious though, anyone commenting on this issue should share their personal experiences with instruments that are actually 50, 40 and 30 years old.

        I’ll start.

        My ARP stuff needed some new parts.

        My Sequential stuff, all Made in USA, is all still working with no problems. Wow. Or WTF. That is crazy. Talk about over built. Who is crazy enough to build things to still work decades after their company goes tits up? Well, the answer is Dave Smith. That’s the man that builds heirloom instruments, unlike 100% of all other people these days.

        My older Yamaha stuff is 50/50 at present.

        My older Roland stuff is 0/100 at present. 100% failure rate, and all Made in Japan. This is a very very bad rate of success and longevity.

        More recent stuff? Who knows. I think open source and full schematics are the way to go. Who does that. Not many.

      2. A case of the TL:DR’s. I’ve had a Behringer mixer crap out after a few months, then just used it for the mic channels for phantom power and said screw the rest.

        My point was that folks are forgiving a company who has been putting out crap for years, just because they are now putting out crap we want versus actually acknowledging their dusty track record and not getting so hype about the new products before release even amidst a long preorder delay with one of these products. Behringer will be behringer, just all of a sudden they are seen as GODS OF GEAR because of the Deepmind, something I rarely see or hear about.

  8. $299 at Musician’s friend and Guitar center, supposedly shipping on 3/16. Just chiming in since I didn’t see price info here. Pre-order at that price is a given 🙂

    1. They are shipping to people that are in no way connected to Behringer.
      I know this from first hand expericence.
      I don’t know what it took to be first on the Musicstore first batch. But now they are sending them out through other retailers as well… But since they are sending them to different retailers.
      Perhaps some retailers haven’t gotten all the units needed to fulfill all pre-orders.

      I guess if behringer keeps this up, they might as well buy their own container ship =)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *