Behringer shares the first details of their new Macro synth platform which paves the way for new hybrid Synthesizers (6OP FM synth)
In addition to developing very affordable analog and digital clones, the Behringer team is working on a new digital synth platform.
This week they showed a prototype board that will be the core of an upcoming new Macro Synthesizer series.
Behringer Macro Synth Platform
The board currently has prototype status and is in full development. So far, Behringer has not revealed any details on which technology the platform is based. Possibly on a customizable processor or an FPGA. The latter would be desirable. According to B, it will be a synth platform for many new hybrid synthesizers, called the Macro synth series. So not just pure digital synths.
In doing so, they use engineering methods known from the automotive industry. Instead of developing products from scratch every time, they work with ready-made blocks, which saves them time and money.
Rather than reinventing the wheel every time we start a new synth, we first build platforms, a methodology that is very common in the automotive industry, where several cars share the same chassis, engines, door handles etc.
On the circuit board is a display, 9 knobs, many connection options on the back as well as the first borders for a 2-octave touch keyboard. Behringer says that is designed around their proprietary capacitive sense technology, which is much more sensitive and playable than commercially available technology.
At first glance, it reminds me of the touch keybed of the Arturia MicroFreak, which is also very expressive. The many I/O on the back is very noticeable here and can indicate that this new Synthesizer series offers significantly more features than the mini synths presented, which have an absolute minimum of I/O.
Then, it can also be seen that the developers have loaded the first firmware onto the board. It appears to be a 6-operator FM Synthesizer. So a kind of Yamaha DX-7 inspired FM Synthesizer with expressive control. Behringer says in their FB posting:
“This will be the beginning of a super exciting series of hybrid synths, so powerful that it can run the most complex algorithms as well as several synths in parallel.”
So B works on synthesizers that have more than one synthesizer engine. That sounds a lot like a MicroFreak which also hosts many engines. Will we see MicroFreak-inspired synthesizers from Behringer in the future?
It would be possible or even a PolyFreak, where multiple engines can be addressed at the same time. So for each oscillator an engine. Further, they say:
This is one of the many reasons why we’re so excited about these innovative platforms and building blocks, as they form the foundation for our new generation of disruptive synthesis products. Perhaps in the future we can write firmware that allows you to customize these synths to your preferences.
And they use simulation technologies that allow them to test the complete systems in a virtual environment.
One can be very curious about where the “macro” journey will lead. Will it be a BicroFreak or a new type of Synthesizer? The future will tell us that. But this new posting is interesting to get an insight into how such synths are developed.
Well, that same automotive principle can be seen over at Elektron (and other examples) with their Model seriesd. Actually, this looks very similar to a Digitone/Digitakt. If I get to hear ‘Behringer’s new sequencer meethodology’ later on this product I’ll flip the table but in laughter.
You mentioned the Arturia Minifreak, have you breached and NDA or just mistyped?
sorry of course MicroFreak haha
Uli for prison 2022
Korg’s OpSix/WaveState/ModWave are essentially this kind of thing. They are all effectively different programs running on a Raspberry Pi.