Behringer Crave A Semi-Modular Synthesizer For $199

Behringer today announced the Crave synthesizer – a standalone semi-modular synth design.

According to the company, ‘the new synth combines the best of some of the most famous historical synths of all time – including the celebrated oscillator of the Sequential Prophet 5, the famous Ladder Filter from Moog and the modularity from 1970 modular synths, together with a modern sequencer and arpeggiator.’

Details are still to come, but the Behringer Crave will be priced at US $199.

Update: Here’s an all-Crave synth jam by synthesist Firechild:

92 thoughts on “Behringer Crave A Semi-Modular Synthesizer For $199

    1. Honestly, I thought the sound was a bit thin, and the filter really didn’t make up for it. Something like this really only works when it is part of a larger system, and plugging this into a Eurorack system will be a pain simply due to the fact that it doesn’t fit in the rack. You’d be running some long wires between this and the other Eurorack modules.

    2. A single oscillator with run-of-the-mill waveform options. If you’re shopping for a Behringer, it’s better to spend an extra $100 for the Neutron.

    1. in plain sight. it’s simply copy and paste of their building blocks library they have no doubt created during their recent huge synth cloning effort

      1. Nearly all synths are a copy of Moog‘s VCO-VCF-VCA design in this view. All Sequential Pro models could be called copy and paste too.
        Behringer is rebuilding the Curtis chips, so the surely want to use them…

        1. That was already mentioned multiple times in media: behringer owns companies making chips. Those VCA/VCF chips are also bought by sequential. It is pure business. But at some point you can say that Dave buys his components from Uli.

        2. yes i think they are, apart from “west coast” stuff which never became too popular for a reason (limited practical use) and the Sequential example doesn’t contradict what i’m saying… i was never one of the fanboys of Sequential hailing them as inventors they aren’t if you look closely. but if Dave was such a good customer of Uli i wonder why the latter is trying to destroy his business.

          1. The clone chips Dave Smith uses are not Behringer chips. They are the new runs of actual Curtis chips and they have permission from Curtis to use them. The last article linked on here about it, explains that if you read more than the headline.

            Here’s a link to current makers of Curtis and SSM chips.

            Nice try though.

  1. Man, comparing this to the Volca Modular, it’s the Crave all day. I know people will say stuff about how this isn’t a west coast voice blah blah, but for entry level players who want the fun and learning opportunity of a modular without committing to a case ad several expensive modules, I can’t think of a better piece than this.

    1. It’s like a cheaper Mother 32, if that’s what you want. What make this stand out from a creative perspective? The Volca is more experimental by design, the Crave is a more traditional semi modular synth. I don’t think they are comparable.

      1. it’s two hundred dollars and it’s a synthesizer. the price point alone makes them comparable. you think some 14 y/o kid with grammom’s birthday money is going “hmmmmm…. west coast or east coast???”

            1. Same here, I built my own PAIA at age 14 from the pages of Popular Electronics and old TV parts. I’ve still got my sites set on the UB-Xa and a System 100… and.. maybe a VC340 – although I’m happy with the Roland VP-03 and a Waldorf Streichfett for now.

              1. And I started to try to build a Digisound 80 modular out of pocket money. The PCBs were binned by someone. Even the manual disappeared. When I got the money together properly it was a choice between the E&MM spectrum and an SH09. I didn’t trust my building so I went for………an SH101 because that had just come out. Currently it’s Serge, bananas and 4U. One of the oldest formats has come into my life, funny that.

                John – we are brothers united by the power of modular!!

            1. I do a few around my local area and to be honest not many are interested which to be fair is a reflection of the market as a whole I guess.

  2. Any idea if the Sequences on the unit or the MS101 can be swapped with your computer via USB or Midi sysex? Seems like the big limitation on the Mother32 sequencer was not being able to back up or edit in the computer. Just being able to back up sequences in banks would be amazing and make this a Mother 32 killer which it looks like it was made to be.

    1. I believe that in one of the MS-101 demos they mentioned that there will be an app to manage the sequencer. Since this is supposed to have a similar sequencer, then it seems quite likely.

      1. Behringer are recalling all their initial run units to add a bandpass filter. Because ‘ja of the internet’ can’t imagine buying a new instrument without one. Never mind the fact this is semi-modular and you can patch one in.

        1. All right. Seems like you just hit the jackpot. Can I send you some money for your contribution for helping to make the internet better place and so you couls cut in stone all your comments everywhere?

    1. That’s one hell of a leap. You misread the name and then went conspiracy theory on us. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it has nothing to do with “uncle” Dave Smith.

      1. No conspiracy, man. Nothing to do with Uncle Dave, you are right. No forum hassles, no suits against DSI etc. They use even different oscillators, CRave and Dave, isn’t it? Just open your eyes.

        1. what in the world would forum hassles and lawsuits do to contribute to the naming of this totally unrelated product? and what kind of message would he be sending exactly by giving this synth a name that rhymes with his first name? This synth which is by no stretch a DSI clone or copycat….this design is nearly same as mother 32 with exception of the osc… so that would be a hell of a strange place to place “message” for DSI. But you are right holy shit no one should buy it because it rhymes with Dave.

  3. Amazing. I WAS going to get a Bro-One, but now I am split between the Crave, the MS-101 and the Bro-One. So Behringer is competing with Behringer. But in the end I will probably end up with one of each…

  4. … almost bought a “D”. Then the neutron came out – almost got that. But then the MS-101 was announced and so i waited – and now the crave is here and i quite crave it …

  5. your words burn the air like the names of candy bars.

    your mouth is cold and red
    All in rings around your
    Laugh laughing laughs

    It’s a grind grind

  6. I really don’t understand this approach to releasing products. It’s like, they want to keep you in a perpetual state of waiting for the one that you want to be released. Once its release nears, they tease something newer, cheaper, or just more wtf to wait for.

    1. @ Sicmind – I fully agree, in no way shape or form should a company actually make products in any kind of order based on regular time wasting activities such as research and development, resource strategy, developing proper staffing levels, working with shipping companies/resellers to create adequate supply and selling products during more lucrative times of the year etc.. etc.. Apple should have released all models of the iPhone at once, Nissan should release all car models now even if the current state of technology or any of the above noted “time wasters” doesn’t fully align and make it worth delivering to the masses. Just shove that crap out NOW and let the world move onto the next company!!

      1. Generally, the order is release, then tease. It makes little to no sense to pull attention away from an unreleased product to set the groundwork for a new unreleased product. But thanks for the explanation on how markets work.

        1. Firstly, that’s not nor never been the order. DO they release a movie then tease you about it? Do people go on tour then advertise about it, does anyone make any product or do any service ahead of letting people know its available? Perhaps I’m off on 1 or 2 things done in that matter.. But realistically its 99% done this way and it makes sense why if your a company selling any product or service.

          Take apple, they advertise several products at once that are marketed firstly then released later. The reason? They are letting the public know whats coming and at what price points, cuz each product is not going to be desired or affordable to everyone.

          And lastly, it doesn’t make sense to u because you are not the company doing it over and over and over again, which obviously then marks it as making sense to someone, just not you.

  7. If you want a collection of classic synths may I suggest waiting for the next Arturia sale and getting pretty much all of the models you crave for a pittance. They sound fantastic, capturing the vibe beautifully, do more than the originals, are always being updated, save lots of space, and you won’t be selling them on eBay when they start to crap out. Every one of these Behringer things sound almost exactly the same to me, that is- generic synth, even though the features vary to mock the originals.

    1. @smidi – You are right, don’t ever buy something that you can own out right. (or wait rent/lease based on user agreements.. read em, you never really own what you pay for.)…

      Only buy software that lasts as long as the company making it, or can afford to keep supporting, or only lasts as long as the computer technology it was originally created to reside on is still accessible and or supported/updated.

      I would hate to leave any of my hardware behind that could actually be used by anyone with simple electricity and instead leave behind hard-drives filled with install files, license keys and pdf manuals in hopes that some how someway, that can be read and reused by future computer operating systems.

      I mean doesn’t that happen with old hardware synths anyway? You fire it up after 20 years in a basement and find you need to register it to use it but the company doesn’t support it anymore and so its basically worthless scrap? Of course it does right?

      I’d sell all my gear and go completely into the software utopia, but then someone else would be burdened with these material monsters.

  8. Behringer takes stuff that’s been unavailable for 40 years, makes them more reliable, adds new/modern features, and releases them for less than they originally went for even without adjusting for inflation and people complain that they’re ripping off other people’s work.

    Behringer takes a 2 year old design, gives it a different VCO, and adds a sustain knob (while retaining the switch for some reason) and power button, and people’s minds are blown like they just dropped something new.

    I don’t understand this hobby.

    1. Two years old and still in production. I thought I was the only one that recognized that this thing looks exactly like a Mother 32 with re-arranged front panel components and design.

  9. TBH, i’m interested in the thing as a sequencer perhaps…why not clone 202 and 303 style programing, but with midi and CV out insta buy.

    But also, sequencer CV destinations seem lacking…do i not see a cv trig to step? Hold and start/stop are decent…

  10. Looks nice. However, I’ve become too much of a disciple of the Novation Mono Station. I’d recommend eating raman for a a week or two to save an extra hundred to get the mono-station… Not knocking this. And I may pick it up, but for $100 you can get more powerful options. Granted this has a few really neat party tricks like the midi transpose, etc.

    1. Yeah seriously @Crall I’m with you – so tired of all these companies that make a product that destroys another company. Like the time Toyota made a car and then Porsche went bankrupt or the time Samsung made a cell phone and the iPhone vanished from society’s grasp!! Or the time Korg released the Sq-1 sequencer for $199 and all other companies making sequencers caved.

      What a sad reality 🙁

    2. I’m seriously with you @Crall – reminds me of the time Korg released the SQ-1 for $199 and all other companies making sequencers went bankrupt. Or the time Toyota made a car and destroyed all the other companies making cars too so that we only now have Toyota cars.

      Maybe the government should step in and force companies to only make one product for one price.


  11. Sounds pretty nice for 199. Can’t wait to hear some more interesting demos. Looks like a great addition, I would like to see more battery powered modulars though – freedom to roam is awesome – maybe we will see battery packs coming out for eurorack in the future.

  12. I’m all for affordable and accessible synths but won’t be jumping on the Behringer bandwagon any time soon. Much as I’m tempted by their original synths like Crave and Neutron, I’d rather save up my hard-earned cash and support smaller, indie manufacturers such as Dreadbox. I appreciate that this is a luxury that many cannot afford.

    1. “I appreciate that this is a luxury that many cannot afford.”
      Exactly. Nothing wrong with indie or boutique synths, and it’s also great to have synths that are affordable.

      1. True, although “Nothing wrong” all depends on the working conditions the affordable synths are manufactured in. I’d gladly spend my time working on a boutique synth production line. I’m not so sure I’d enjoy the affordable synth equivalent. I’m no expert but I suspect that affordable might entail some degree of exploitation of cheap labour.

  13. I like how Mehringer videos show their cheap gear in serious studios, an odd choice considering that they’re gunning to put any maker of expensive gear out of business.

    If only people would stop and ask themselves why Meh can make this stuff for so cheap. It’s almost like they have a whole factory full of people in China working for next to nothing.

    Separately: what are they thinking by dumping all these products onto the market at once? Pro-1, Curve, the ARP rip-offs. Is their strategy to sell things for so cheap that you buy several units at once or just to flood the market with so much cheap junk that everybody else goes out of business?

    It’s a race to the bottom and Uli currently holds the lead.

  14. Firechild seems to attract a lot of flak on Synthtopia (though not as much as Behringer I suppose), and maybe he didn’t showcase a lot of modular patching in his demo, but I like hearing people use an instrument in their own musical context. People may love to hate it, but I enjoy Firechild’s sounds and style. Play on, Firechild!

    1. I like his music, too. It’s old-school synthstyle, but he shows off the gear in a good light.

      Remember 5 years ago when every synth intro video had to have a dubstep break down?

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