A Complete Guide To The Behringer K-2 Semi-Modular Synthesizer

The latest XNB video is a complete guide to the Behringer K-2 semi-modular synthesizer.

The Behringer K-2 is a Euro-format knockoff of the classic Korg MS-20, so the majority of this video should apply equally well to the original MS-20 or Korg’s official reissues.

Topics covered:

0:00 – Intro
01:59 – VCO’s & Mixer
09:58 – Filters
17:02 – Envelope Generator 2
27:01 – Modulation Generator
34:33 – Envelope generator 1
39:57 – Cutoff Modulation
46:46 – Conclusion

Part 2 covers the Behringer K-2 patch bay in depth:

Topics covered:

0:00 – Intro
0:42 – Modulation generator & total
05:47 – Freq in,LP & HP Cutoff in
11:03 – Noise generator
14:24 – External signal processor
19:00 – E.Generator 1 out & Rev
24:46 – VCA in/out & Control input
36:58 – Understanding Sample & Hold
43:06 – Using Sample & Hold
50:04 – S-Trigger VS V-Trigger
55:22 – Trig IN & Trig OUT
01:08:24 – Initial gain & EG1 rev
01:13:09 – ESP F-V
01:18:59 – ESP Env Follower
01:23:13 – ESP Trig out
01:25:11 – VCO CV In’s
01:31:22 – Signal & Phones out
01:34:59 – End

If you’ve used the Behringer K-2, leave a comment and share your thoughts on it!

18 thoughts on “A Complete Guide To The Behringer K-2 Semi-Modular Synthesizer

    1. If you have open eyes about what you’re buying with Behringer synths – inexpensive knockoffs – they’re pretty good deals for what you get.

      Some people are positively orgasmic about how great a deal Behringer synths are, which strikes me as kind of funny. But if you have experience with higher end gear from other companies, it’s pretty easy to see where Behringer has cheaped out to keep their prices low.

      1. If you can afford high-end gear then you don’t need cheap.

        If you’re a starving musician (or on a budget) then cheap is nice.

          1. Thanks for the arbitrary advice, not just on synthesizers but your standards for others around you too. I wish I could be a shut-in.

        1. Also, if it sounds good, it is good… what matters is the music you’re doing with, regardless if it’s an expensive piece of gear, or a cheap one. Sure, if you go on tour, then durability and reliability will be factors too, but let’s not forget they’re just tools… and what matters aren’t tools, but the music.

  1. My understanding is this synth is not “euro-format” because it’s not 1v/octave and you actually need a Behringer 961 to make it work with eurorack stuff.

    1. That’s a good point that a lot of people probably don’t understand.

      The K-2 is Eurorack compatible, in that it follows Eurorack physical and power conventions. So you can stick it in your Eurorack case with no problem.

      But the oscillator tracking matches the original MS-20 and uses Hz/V pitch tracking. The MS-20 was released before V/Oct became an established standard, and the K-2 matches the original circuits.

      There are several companies that make MIDI-CV convertors that do Hz/V and there are a lot of keyboards and controllers with CV out that can handle this. So there are Eurorack options for making this work.

      1. If it’s at all like the original then you can patch 1 volt/octave pitch CV into the Total jack to control the synth. The hz/volt is for the pitch tracking off the keyboard.

    2. Technically that’s wrong

      V/Octave is a Moog standard

      Eurorack refers to the 3U panel height and the use of 3.5 mm jacks and sockets

      So with that in mind the K2 is in fact Eurorack format

  2. I get the feeling that B-synths mostly belong in the mini-synth/Boutique-ish category. Taking them on tour is probably not ideal, but if kept safely plugged in at home, you could get a fair number of years from them. Not everyone who likes them can be wrong. Seems to work for Alex Paterson’s recent doings as The Orb. Some people will lose their sh*t if the UB-X *doesn’t* suck.

    My advice: make your base rig more proven brands and use B-synths for seasoning. I’m pretty sure you know if you need a serious (and more pricey) Korg ARP 2600 or if a BARP 2600 will do the job. (I hear you about the Korg/Moog trigger mismatch. I ate the big one over that until I did the math.)

  3. So is it okay for, say Arturia, to make a software version of the Korg MS20? As a retiree, I will buy a Behringer when it suits my needs and budget, no matter the naysayers. Not the K-2 though, because I already own a real Korg MS20.

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