Behringer SDS-3, clone/replica of the iconic Simmons drum Synthesizer

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Behringer previews the SDS-3, a new clone/replica of the iconic Simmons SDS-3 analog drum Synthesizer from 1978.

I don’t know if you guys are ready for a new Behringer yet. This time it’s 100% Gear News. As some have demanded, it should be about synthesizers. Here is exactly what you want.

Behringer has published a preview of the SDS-3, a clone/replica of the iconic Simmons analog drum Synthesizer.

Behringer SDS-6

Behringer SDS-3

SDS-3 is a clone/replica or whatever you want to call it of the Simmons SDS-3 analog drum Synthesizer. Unlike the desktop, cubic original, the replica will come in Eurorack. It’s from 1978, and its analog drum synth engine is inspired by elements of the ARP 2600.

Behringer’s version features four identical drum channels and an additional channel with an LFO for special effects, so like the original vintage unit.

Each drum channel offers a mic input/output and a channel output. The original had the same connections but they were on the back. Putting this on the front is more practical here. For each channel, you get seven parameters: impact click (min/max), pitch (low/high), decay time (short/long), noise/tone, bend level (off/max), effect range (off/max), and channel level slider. 

On the back, you will find further connections for the mix, a pitch pedal input, and decay kill allowing you to cut off the decay phase. There is also MIDI connectivity (out/thru), and a USB socket.

CV connectivity that usually belongs to a  Eurorack module does not exist here. I hope they add CVs to it because it makes it more interesting, especially if you use it with modular synths. For example, with a trigger input on each drum sound, you could trigger them with your sequencer.

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That’s the stuff I love the most. Whenever i get a new prototype on my desk, I’ll set it up and connect it to my speakers.
I can’t tell you how much fun it is to bring one of those new babies to life and listen to them for the first time. This SDS-3 looks and sounds so amazing. That’s what I love about my job:-)

Behringer SDS-6

If you want to learn more about the original Simmons SDS-3, check out Alex Ball’s video

First Impression

An interesting clone/replica of a popular drum Synthesizer. Okay, more popular are the sounds that the Simmons SDS-3 produces. These can be found in a trillion sample libraries. Reproducing these drum sounds on hardware would certainly be interesting again.

Behringer SDS-3 availability and price TBA.

More information will follow here: Behringer

Hardware Synthesizer News


  1. *not* a synth drum fan. but at this price, you could do a whole lot of nutty stuff with one of these and the right mics and locations. Very Cool(tm)

  2. If only this company wasn’t actively trying to insult and offend its customers and partners within the music community, I might actually consider buying their products. Honestly, I have to wonder why you’re still reporting on their products and if you feel pressured to do so. Or maybe it’s just all about the clicks, right?

    • It’s a new Synthesizer product! It’s as simple as that. This is a website about synthesizers and music tech. It is my daily job to report what interests me and readers. Even if the PR/Media is currently going a bit mad, what they announce in the synth sphere remains relevant in the community.

      If its only due of the clicks, I would have turned my website into a pure “best of” article website (“best of hardware synth for 500€, 600€…) that harmonises perfect with SEO of google. Oh yes, I’m making all these super nichy and Eurorack news because of the huuuge clicks they generate 😉

      However, since nobody wants to pay 4.99 or 5.99 a month for a magazine anymore, clicks have become the currency for online media. Just shoveling it down to the clicks is a bit too much of a cliché. Especially in such an extremely niche like synths.

      I don’t know how often you read the website, but almost always I write: I find the ideas of clones/replicas of vintage synths good, but I don’t support copies of existing products. Plus, I’m just reporting about the news

    • Go try run a business Danno then see if you have the same incredibly low threshold for being insulted and offended. In a few weeks you’ll have boycotted everyone! lol

    • Behringer has addressed that now I think… I think it’s time to stop flogging the dead horse and everyone just move on… 🙄

    • I’ve bought many, many thousands in Behringer modular/synths/drum machines, They’ve never given me any trouble. The biggest issue I have is that they don’t have the US snap on adapter with all the PSU wall warts with the appropriate psu’s.

  3. Thanks for the opinion no one asked/cares for Danno. If you have a personal problem with a specific manufacturer please keep it that way: very personal so the internet is doesn’t get full of your useless opinions.

    • There is no such thing as “useless opinions.” Just an opinion different from yours.
      Trying to dismiss others for voicing themself is not making this comment section a better place. Respect others like you would like to be respected.

  4. Interesting, I’m always up for a clone of a vintage equipment that’s long been unavailable.

    I wonder if the mic inputs would work with Eurorack CV signals…

    • absolutely it will – might need an attenuator if you’re doing dynamic stuff to get it into the mic inputs linear sensitivity range.

  5. I imagine Behringers product development works as follows:
    – dept 1 makes a list of all synths Uli has ever liked and wanted
    – PR dept steps in, leaks the news and checks the feedback
    – dept 2 buys one of these synths and reverse engineers them. If they can’t work it out, they hire someone that can. In that case the PR department steps in to praise them. If they refuse or have a disagreement, the PR department steps in to blame them. They check the feedback on the internet.
    – dept 3 is cost controlling. If all agree on the cost,PR leaks again and checks the feedback.
    – dept 4 performs legal checks, looking if someone is bold, patient and rich enough to sue them for any infringements.

    So if it can be made, cost is low enough, they may get high volume with reasonable profit , no one will sue them, and the whole world talks about them whether positive or negative, then the product is approved.

    For all clarity, the above are not facts, it’s just how I imagine their synth product development approval process.

  6. Looking at Alex Ball’s video, a pity Behringer did not improve the design according to his remarks on for instance the pitch knob. But at least there is some form of MIDI.

    I’ll try to make similar tones on the 2600 clones or VST.

  7. When will the behringer syncussion clone come out? I saw they developed one a year or two back, I’d snap one of those up

    • good question! we’re waiting on an update, they have hardware. add one to the 1601 and a 2600 would be cool.

  8. Blah blah something Behringer, and yet again the minority (opinion) becomes the priority. I come here for interesting information about new synths, not people’s ‘strong feelings’ about a manufacturer’s alleged motives. Thanks again to SynthAnatomy for hosting – and yes, if you publish a paper magazine, I’ll gladly subscribe! I miss ‘Keyboard’ very much:)
    On-topic: this looks fantastic! Yet again, Behringer revisits the legacy of electronic music instrument manufacturers who don’t understand and, remarkably, can’t comprehend the significance of their own historical product to the development of electronic music (Yamaha, anyone? Still makes $50K pianos but has zero clue about the significance of the CS80, or “…why anyone would want one, when you can have a Motif!” That’s to you, ‘Bad Mister’ Phil C.) THANK YOU to Uli and to Behringer, clearly a company with a passion for electronic music history, and who actually makes things you can buy? We;re living in the greatest time in history for amazing and affordable synths (and digital pianos, too if synths aren’t your thing)…shut up and PLAY:)

  9. Im pretty sure the “mic” inputs would respond to a Eurorack pulse. I mean, a little piezo can trigger a drum module, Im sure it would work the other way around here.

    • definitely, mic’s are usually only 1/10th of a volt vs eurorack 0-10v. hopefully there some dynamic range to exploit for volume/filtering and that classic “BBBbbooooooo” sound.

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