MATRIXSYNTH: NAMM2020 - Introducing the Behringer 2600 (Part 2)

Monday, January 20, 2020

NAMM2020 - Introducing the Behringer 2600 (Part 2)


Published on Jan 20, 2020 BEHRINGER

"First look at our 2600 Synthesizer. #NAMM2020"

NAMM2020 - Introducing the Behringer 2600 posts

5 comments:

  1. Behringer have perfected an electronics publishing platform. When will Behringer become the Kindle Desktop Publisher of eurorack where(authors)like me can fabricate a synth through their system?

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  2. I have been trying for years now to get it understood that small things matter. Of course everybody knows that, but it seems that the synth community keeps picking the same small things to notice and as a result, doesn't notice the other small things which are actually leading to the IMO false conclusions.

    So let's talk about a couple small things Rob actually mentioned in the video. The matched SMD expo pairs. (Don't worry, this is *not* going to be an SMD v TH diatribe!) First he mentions that due to them being better matched, they have wider accurate range. He should know better. The matching has only to do with thermal compensation and *not* expo/log conformity. Besides, the 'unmatched' PNP/NPN pairs used by ARP in the originals were good for the same 7-8 octave range he notes in the video. Often even more. Though it's also true that the basic VCO design suffers from inaccurate CV summing over temperature variations and input voltage range. This is a separate thing from the tempco of the pair itself. It has to do with the lack of an opamp on the input, instead summing directly into the expo pair. It is true -as Rob says- that these B-Oscs should have better thermal compensation than the originals, and that's a good thing.

    The next thing Rob mentions is that they 'improved' the speed of the OPAs to get better waveforms, and especially into the higher ranges. WhyTF would you want that!!? Big mistake, IMO. When you clone, you need to adopt the mindset of the original designers. Unfortunately, most people find this *really* hard to do. Especially engineers. Whose job it is to 'improve' things. What makes a synth OSC distinctive is often its waveform's failure to meet the 'ideal' spec for that type, and more importantly, how that waveform changes over the range of expected use! Not to mention that the original 2600 OSCs usually reach easily to 35KHz, with many going even higher. Trying to maintain the waveshapes more accurately to an ideal (Rob didn't actually say they-he did this, but he has written before many times it being part of his 'upgrades' on other projects) up to a higher range is a small thing that leads you to hear 3340 where none is used. It will also later add to the digital reverb in a bad way, but that's another issue.

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  3. The next small thing that Rob mentioned that stung hard was his statement that they balanced the VCA expo and linear CV to have equal effect at similar voltages. Now this is going right to the core of what makes a 2600, and really most synths, the unique and special beasts we love. Always beware when someone tells you they improved the EGs or VCA of a synth. They'll say the EGs are not part of the audio chain, but that's absolutely false in actual practice. Note Rob did *not* say this, he *did* say they improved the VCA response in relation to the EG and AR CV inputs. And it's an easy guess that he also 'upgraded' the OPA in the VCA. As again, that is one of his standard GOTOs. But both of these changes completely change the character of the synth. Not that you can't find the same sounds. Or at least similar. But that you won't find them with the same ease.

    All too often the character is engineered right out of the sound chain. On purpose even. But they don't realize that's what they're doing, because each small change is for the better when looked at alone. And that's how you end up hearing a 101 or 3340 out of a 2600 clone. And the mathematical accuracy of the reverb only adds to the result in a negative way. Did anyone else notice we didn't get any dry sounds?

    Now to be clear, I think this synth sounds good, and is at least somewhere along the ARP arc soundwise. I won't say it's better or worse than an ARP or KORG 2600. But it *is* different. And the saddest part of that -for me- is that based on what Rob told us, there were some small choices made which made that difference bigger than it would otherwise be. Please notice that there's no B-hate in this, only technical explanations for resulting sounds.

    A very large part of what makes the 2600 so great is its gain staging, and how everything fits together in its basic architecture. Thank Alan Pearlman mostly (for he designed the front panel and thus the basic architecture)-and David Friend a little- for that, and then Thank Dennis Colin for putting it all together, using Alan's Expos and his own genius to give us something worth talking about 50 years later.

    Above written in response to someone having seen thisvideo and asking if it was based on 3340's

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  4. To my ears, the demo sounds awful, with the synth failing to stay properly tuned, or at the very least, failing to hit the correct pitches in the first place. At least it doesn't look anything like the real thing.

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  5. Ken,I chalked that up to the digital reverb they've used. Sounds very 'auto-tunish' to me. I don't care that nearly every synth video is ruined with the ubiquitous "just a little reverb/chorus/etc.

    I do care that these clouded up wet sounds are all we get. Nothing dry to accurately assess what any given offer actually presents.

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