Sound Designer Jexus On The Behringer Pro-800

Sound designer Jexus has released a collection of 100+ patches for the Behringer Pro-800 synthesizer, a Eurorack synth module, based on the Sequential Circuits Prophet 600.

As usual with Jexus’s patch libraries, the Behringer PRO-800 sound library is a comprehensive and creative exploration of the sound design possibilities of the Pro-800.

Here’s part 2 of the Behringer PRO-800 sound library demo:

Jexus also shared some pros and cons of the synth, with build quality being a strike against the Behringer synth:

“When it finally arrived to my doorstep and I took it out of the box and started to mess with it, my first impressions were… very bad. The quality of the product seemed low – there was a totally loose screw in the panel which I had to fix into its place. The blister buttons were hard to press. Also, it seemed to me like too many of the synth’s features were hidden in the menu – and the menu parameters were only accessible via the questionable membrane buttons (guess what – just like in the original Prophet 600!;) Then some ghost editing started to happen and make the display go crazy with random values.”

Another con noted was the Pro-800’s accuracy in recreating the original Prophet 600 sound, noting:

“The Pro-800 definitely sounds like a clone of Prophet-600, but does not sound 100% like the real Prophet-600. Simple structures sound pretty identical, but the further you go into the wacky territory, the more obvious the nuances become. The most striking difference is that the Prophet-600 is brighter, while the Pro-800 sounds a bit darker & more stable (unorganic) in comparison.”

On the positive side, though, Jexus says that the Pro-800 sounds good, judged on its own merits:

“The significant amount of real-time controls made me concentrate on pure sound design and, step by step, I forgot about all these issues. The more I played the thing, the faster my disappointment gave way to enjoyment.

The synth sounded cool in its own right and it had a fair share of engine goodies that I needed: filter FM, oscillator FM and random LFO, to name a few. I really dig synths that sound a bit metallic and a bit raspy, not too thick and not too clean. And the Pro-800 has all these qualities in its timbre.

Pricing and Availability

The Jexus Behringer PRO-800 sound library is available now for $14.90 (USD) / €13.90 (EUR) / £12.90 (GBP).

16 thoughts on “Sound Designer Jexus On The Behringer Pro-800

  1. Its a shame that the build quality is so weak, because he sure does show off the voice well and its a pretty good one. I had a Prophet 600 and it was mostly a winner. Would someone else please clone this version for $200-$300 more and put some proper controls on it? 😛

    1. PCB production costs next to nothing conpared to hardware (including non-budget pots and buttons). The fact that it feels so cheap is because this is where the cuts can be done compared to typically priced competitors.

      Makes me curious if the reasonably priced Oberheim poly actually has some decent feel to it, as it looks like they’re not cheapening out on that one as much as many of their other products.

    2. It’s a bit odd of Jexus to complain about the build quality. For the price, the build quality is excellent, and at this price it’s surely no surprise that it’s not premium.

      (What bothered/bothers me more is that the firmware was so unfinished, since it’s not rocket science by now, and they had time to fix it while they were waiting for the components. I think it’s better now.)

      1. I don’t think he’s complaining or expressing surprise. He gives the synth a score of 2/3 for build quality which on his scale stands for “good enough”. This is higher than his modwave or microfreak reviews.

  2. Personally, I think that this may be an example of a somewhat typical one-off Behringer build issue. I’ve had my Pro-800 for a few months now and I haven’t experienced hardware issues similar to the author. Never having worked with membrane switches before, I have nothing to compare the ones on the 800 to. Also, I never owned a Prophet 600. I am, however very satisfies with the performance of the one Sweetwater sent me, and for the price, the Pro-800 still represents the vest value currently available for a polyphonic analog synth. However, since it appears the the UB-Xa is going to arrive with an actual street price of $999, that last statement might need to be revised.

  3. No disrespect to Jexus, because he gets a very nice sound of this, but I do wonder generally why people buy patches like this.

    It’s not hard to program most sounds from scratch on the Pro 800 since it is so simple. You almost don’t even need patch memories. Just learn what the knobs do, there are hardly any of them. It’s different from a post-1983 synth.

    Sometimes people say that they buy patch libraries to learn how to do stuff. But when the Pro 800 came out, it had no editor. So if you bought a patch library then you had no way of learning from it, since you couldn’t see what the patch was made of. Nonetheless there were several patch libraries on sale by various people! I didn’t understand this at all. Please, reply and help me understand it.

    Well, now there is swumpf’s Pro 800 editor, which is free. If the reason for paying for patches is to learn by looking at them in swumpf’s editor, I recommend to donate to swumpf as well as paying the patch designers.

    1. You can be very knowledgeable about synthesis and still enjoy synth packs, new sounds can inspire you in new ways,
      It’s like saying that since you are a music creator you don’t listen to other people’s music, synth packs are a pack of ideas and the amount of ideas is endless.
      and you can still learn from them without editors by just moving one knob at a time and understanding where it was before by listening.
      I usually prefer to tweak presets and I use my “synthesis abilities” to tweak them to my taste. but it’s all depends what you care about, the end result or yourself (or your abilities compared to others)

    2. Why do you buy bread? It’s really easy to bake it yourself. You have an oven in your home, and the ingredients are cheap. Maybe you don’t have time to bake. Or lack the knowledge. Perhaps you like the taste of other people’s bread better. Or you are simply not interested in baking and just want to eat. See, same with synth patches for some of us.

    3. I understand what you mean, but “It’s not hard to program most sounds from scratch on the Pro 800 since it is so simple” is just not true to me. It would take a lifetime of experience with old 80’s polysynths to come up with some sounds, at least a certain nuance to them. That said I find those preset packs f*cking expensive. At a much lower price I’d buy them all just out of curiosity.

  4. Goddamnit. I just sold my Pro-800, cause i got tired of waiting for someone to make decent presets for it. And now this comes out.

    Why I didnt want to create sounds myself? In order to use the Pro-800, you have to go all in on MIDI CC bs. It’s horrible to use, and life is too short.

  5. I got a Pro-800 and I think for the money it’s built reasonably well. The pots have a satisfying turn to them, but DO wobble if you nudge them. Otherwise, the unit seems solid and with the latest firmware, it’s responding in a way I like. Specifically, the envelopes have several response curves that overcome the limitations of the original. I think for $400 it’s a shockingly good buy and it definitely has that vintage tone and feel.

    I went and bought the Ultimate Patches collection for not much money and now have banks 2,3, and 4 populated with great, usable sounds. I’m sure I’ll edit and overwrite many patches as time goes on but they DO save a lot of time with these collections that cover sounds from classic to contemporary. Having velocity control over the filter and amp is a highlight and also makes this instrument more expressive than many comparable synths from the vintage era.

    I feel conflicted about the company but it was just too damned good a deal to pass up while I was in the States. I can’t deny that it’s a great, capable polysynth at an unbeatable price. I have to recommend that everyone at least check it out before spending many times more money on similarly spec’d vintage synths.

  6. Re build quality – I often wonder how Behringer get to make such cheap products and why they ate not always well constructed. I wonder if there is a way to find out who makes their products and how much they get paid?

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