The Behringer Model D – A ‘No-Brainer’ Purchase?

In his latest video, Paolo Di Nicolantonio of SynthMania takes a look at the new Behringer Model D – which he describes as a ‘no-brainer’ purchase.

Video Topics:

Behringer Model D unboxing & demo
3:20 3-oscillator sawtooth
4:32 Il Guardiano Del Faro style
5:22 1970s Funk synth bass style
6:42 Rising + white noise
7:41 Funky + filter emphasis
8:28 Classic synth bass
9:52 Fifth sound
11:32 Four tracks of Behringer Model D + drum samples from Cubase

Is the Behringer D a ‘no-brainer’ purchase? Check out the video and share your thoughts in the comments!

38 thoughts on “The Behringer Model D – A ‘No-Brainer’ Purchase?

  1. Thing that bugs me is that there is not mode/setting for NOT re-triggering on note-ups when in mulit-trigger mode. I have communitcated this complaint to Behringer in hopes of a firmware update addition.

  2. Synths like the Bass Station II, Monologue and Mini/Microbrute are no-brainer purchases. They’re all available at incredible prices and the Bass Station and Monologue both offer patch memories.

    The Model D is different. If every manufacturer starts following Behringer’s lead by making copies of other people’s famous releases, we risk entering a dark age of synthesis, where nothing is new and technology stagnates. Roland has already mined the retro market heavily by reissuing their back catalog from the 80s, with mixed success.

    The early models of Behringer’s clone army – the Model D, Pro-One, 808 and 101 – will sell well, but Music Tribe is going to see something interesting in sales. The Model D will sell best, with sales tailing off as they get further into the product line and the gimmick fades. Some obsessive collectors will get them all, of course, but interest will die off for most people as they realize that there are far better instruments out there than the Wasp and Octave Cat.

    1. I’m really sorry but i have to disagree ,currently we have software companies overcharging for their software.
      but Behringer offer real hardware at software prices ,they will win this fight hands down .
      Also it is not a copy it has more functions than the original ,so surpasses what the original was capable of ,,this is fact !

      1. I prefer hardware myself, but there are valid reasons for having quality software, for example, saving space and high portability. I’m on a business trip right now and couldn’t bring a bunch of toys, but can still be creative with the soft synths. The D should not, and in most case will not, be someone’s only synth. I see it as a no brainer pass and spend your hard earned dollars on more capable hardware.

      2. Software companies “overcharge” because only 1 out of 20 users actually pay for the software. Probably more like 1 out of 50.

        1. 1 out of 20 users don’t pay for the software because software companies overcharge. Moog software is amazing, and a fraction of the price of other soft synth offerings.

      3. I love affordable hardware, just much more interested in new devices than copies of classics. The Neutron might be my first Behringer purchase.

        1. The Neutron is the only one really interesting, but it’s not innovative or groundbreaking. Just good choices for architecture. And I’m only sort of interested because a want a cheep compact box for simple but effective bass for my live show that I wouldn’t cry if it got destroyed on a rowdy night club stage.

    2. That’s an interesting take, and I agree with most of what you said. I do agree that there will be diminishing returns as Behringer makes good on their apparent business model of cloning every famous synth and drum machine from the 80’s (on the cheap). And as low-end synth player who recently added a Korg Minilogue and repurchased the Arturia MicroBrute – I totally agree that there are some great sub-$500 analog synths out there that may offer their own bit of flair rather than just copying older pieces of hardware.

      At the same time, I think there are legitimate reasons why someone would be interested in a sub-$500 Behringer or other remake of a vintage piece of hardware. Owning an 80’s era synth isn’t quite the same as owning a vintage guitar from the 60’s – not only are old hardware synths expensive and cumbersome, but if something on them fails, that’s not the type of repair that a lot of players make themselves or even neatly diagnose. So buying a Moog clone that gets 95% of the way there makes sense from the standpoint that at least the thing WORKS. A lot of the Behringer clones will be on items that are out of production, also.

      There’s also the size and connectivity considerations. Roland’s boutique line and the Behringer clones have subtle tweaks to MIDI and USB connectivity that may make them just a bit easier to integrate into a DAW setup than the original. The Eurorack form factor of the Model D appeals to me and a lot of people who are already used to having a setup where you control the synth with an external keyboard or sequencer, and want the “sound module” to be as compact as possible for storage/desk space. Still, there’s something just better about analog synthesis on a piece of hardware, versus a VST or iOS app that makes basically the sounds. Case in point, I have the $20 Moog app that does basically the same thing already, and yet I haven’t really bonded with it, and am interested in picking up the Behringer someday anyway.

      There’s a lot of parallels to the synth world with what has happened in guitar gear. The “analog vs. digital” debate with synths sounds like a lot of the same notes as “tube amp vs. solid state amp” to me. We’ve seen massive movements in digital modeling technology for guitar, but rather than seeking awesome or creative new sounds, a lot of it seems focused on which modeler can best emulate the sound of 1960’s technology from Fender, Marshall, and Vox. Consumers make all kinds of purchasing decisions that are clearly redundant or irrational, but we do this to ourselves. The mere existence of this product and the backlogs of pre-orders seem to indicate there was a market for this.

    3. If hardware manufacturers wish to protect intellectual property they must use
      all the tools available to their disposal: patents, copyrights and trade secrets.
      If they do not use these tools then effectively they declare the technology open
      to copying by others and rely solely on brand name, established market presence/
      channels, support, and build quality/price ratio.

      It is their call but iclaiming that somehow Behringer is doing something shady or that
      this is hurting the sector’s tech innovation is very misleading.

    4. So far as I can gather, the Behringer “clone army” are effectively side passion projects; stuff like the deepMind and neutron are the main focus, and they have some quite interesting stuff going on.

      1. I think they’re also attempts to show people synths can and should be much cheaper than what we are told. They are pretty simple circuits put into a puzzle with a certain order, and shipped out to us. None of the materials are really rare or mysterious anymore, except seemingly to the heads of Roland and Yamaha perhaps heh.

      2. I’d like to point out that the deepmind is (at its heart) a Juno 106 clone that had a tonne of modern control/modulation and voices added during development (‘phat 108’, remember?).

        The deepmind manual even explicitly states that behringer recreated the IR3109 VCF chip used in the Juno 6/60/106 (the 106’s 80017A VCF/VCA is indeed a surface mounted IR3109 with VCA in the one package). Nobody seems to have a problem with that.

        I own a deepmind and I absolutely love it. I also own a Juno 60 that I haven’t used since I got the deepmind. The deepmind is that good in my opinion.

        If the deepmind is the result of behringer’s clone army then props to them. Keep it up.

        And if I hadn’t already built a DIY minimoog then I would absolutely pick up the D. In that situation, the purchase is a ‘no brainer’.

    5. I do not agree. The Minimoog is just like the Hammond, that is a classic rock and pop instrument. It must be available at a reasonable price, just like a Crumar today. Niche synths are another thing.

    6. Behringer brought a $3500 synth sound and make it affordable to those who can’t make that stretch. I call that a win-win any day. A 1960’s Fender Strat is a classic instrument that has been made over and over again, why can’t a Minimoog be the same? Have you checked the going price on an old TR-808? My only beef with Behringer is them stepping on the little guys. I would hate to see Sequential Circuits or even Moogmusic go under, I like those guys.

  3. I am fine with clones if the originals are unobtainable to regular people (me) The clones I support most are the CS-80 and Jupiter 8 but I am interested in 2/3rds of the clones…..but not the D.

  4. Of course the Model D is a no brainer, and NONE of synths mentioned here remotely delivers something like the MIni sound.

    And of course a 350 bucks synth hardly will be the only synth someone owns, or an alternative to software. The question is not even a serious question, as the present backorder gives you a straight answer about it being a no brainer beyond any doubt – although limited to those, who have a clue what it is, and how irreplacable it’s sound and use as hardware synth really is.

    1. I don’t actually care about the Minimoog sound. If I want to fake it, which I almost never do, I’ve got NI Monark.

      I was seriously planning on picking up a Neutron — seems like a fantastic synth for the money — but decided my modular can cover that ground just fine.

      I do love my Microbrute though! I can get some really nice overtones through that filter with the right settings and input (triangle works best).

  5. I don’t get why, after a zillion software clones of the Minimoog nobody complained about, just because somebody makes a hardware clone so many people suddenly get their panties in a bunch.

  6. Of course a Minimoog can only be a no brainer for people who DO care about the Minimoog sound. πŸ™‚

    Monark (one of the many Mini clones on my PC) is a nice fake, but not the real deal, and there are even better sounding software Minis out there IMHO, including Moogs own iPad version.

    And those, who have actually played a real Mini, may be spoilt for all or most of the software clones anyways, which at best come close (which some do!), but never are the real deal , no matter what youtube videos might suggest otherwise. πŸ™‚

    1. I agree, for people looking for that fat huge sound it is now easily obtainable and that is something to celebrate. Many synths have many features, but lose out on the sound! I’m glad after about 5 years of this analog resurgence, a couple people in the industry have really captured many of the best old sounds! Maybe in the next 5 years we’ll get more of the beauties in little packages like this, and next-gen control and saving systems as well. – – imagine synths with standardized touchscreens as nice as on our phones πŸ˜€ we will all be in multi-touch heaven.

  7. Roland deserves to have ALL of their analog synths and drum machines cloned…theyve had their chance. Theyve had their due warning. And delivered their #fail pitiful digital shot at it, whilst steadfastly REFUSING to make what the people want…ie Analog versions…serve it up in their face i say Behringer!

    1. Yes, they have chosen to not listen to what their customers want. I am shocked that a 303 clone hasn’t been announced.

  8. Because plenty of people have made effective affordable 303 clones. Unless behringer could make one for $150

  9. It is pathetic that people complains about behringer making a Minimoog clone. StudioElectronics also did one but no one objected, beacuse it was expensive as well?
    Cheap does not mean it has a lower quality. I got one and it sounds fantastic whether it is a moog copy or not, this is not important, important
    what one can do with it. And next to my bass station 2 (an underrated synth, because it is cheap) it sits very well sonically.

    1. This is a great point. The two camps who are most offended seem to be collectors and brand loyalists. The main issue that people have is how “commercial” and “disrespectful” Behringer has been. Also Behringer is synonymous with poor quality. However, 1) all synths on the market were made for commercial reasons, however rare or expensive they are now on the secondhand market, 2) Behringer is trying to give what many people have expressly stated that they want for nearly a decade (based on personal experience on Gearslutz starting around 2009/2010), and 3) because they are trying to give people what they want, they have to earn the reputation of quality at least enough to keep people interested in buying future products.

      Now, Behringer may have a business perspective that you disagree with, but does that mean that they should not try to deliver the types of instruments that people have been wishing for at a price they can afford? This is about commercial products, so just communicate with your money. If you can afford a Minimoog reissue, go for it. Support the company you want to support. Sell Moog loyalty to your friends, because you believe in their business practice. Tell them about ways that they can afford a Moog, like interest free credit deals through a retailer.

      Meanwhile, Moog seems to be working on reaching out to a market that doesn’t mind spending money on boutique and bespoke gear: the eurorack market. Moog is also working on producing relatively inexpensive options for synthesists, like the Grandmother. In the end, it’s about value: the values you hold and uphold with your dollars, the value a company’s product holds for you, and the value the company sells you on so that you will buy their product.

    2. Hey Emra! I am looking to buy my first synth and the bass station ii was number one on the list but I just haven’t been able to afford one yet. I have never played one but I like how the controls are layed out. Yesterday however, I walked into a music store and they had a model d set up and I Loved it. It was on sale so I can actually afford to get it but can technically get either synth on a no interest credit deal. Anyway, I wanted to ask which you thought might be a better first purchase. ANY help/recommendation would be sooo appreciated. Thank you!

  10. Well, “no brainer” depends on your disposable income! I bought my first “proper” analog synth, a used DSI Mopho, for much less than the price of the Model D and I wouldn’t have been able to afford the Model D’s higher price for a few months at least. Not everyone has the same level of free cash. As it happens I could, now, afford the Model D but I *was* saving for an analog poly, having sold my Mopho. Then along came the Neutron and there went my money πŸ™‚

  11. I think if these clones are reasonably well made and reliable, and sound REALLY close, then you can’t really argue, especially for the price. I have some of the original pieces and even I might want to get some of the clones.

    1. I see that side as well, and don’t disagree. I think it is better to reissue clones of gear that is not already being done by other companies, like Korg with the Odyssey. Roland, OTOH, have had many opportunities to do something proper and professional, and instead put out the Boutiques which sound good but lack proper professional connections and have overly cramped interfaces. I’d rather pay a bit more and get a bit more in their case. With the Model D, I’m conflicted. Moog hasn’t been able to really capture the magic of the original until the Reissue, which is awesome but out of the reach of most folks.

      I will most likely pass on the D because I already have the Reissue, and don’t need to spend another $500 Cdn to get another version of that particular sound. I find the Neutron far more interesting and look forward to checking it out.

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