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the latest Behringer-gate

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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby The Elf » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:07 am

I can agree with what you're saying to a point, but I think that the original manufaturers of these old gems have had long enough to give the people what they want, and have been reluctant to do so. If Behringer are prepared to cut the crap and give us the real deal, then good luck to them.

Roland's despicable 'boutique' range are toys being sold on the back of legacy. I've acually got the VP-03 and its shortcomings even put to the lie that the internals of the original have been precisely modelled in ACB - if I had been in the testing team it would have been sent back in very short order. A child would have spotted the flaws in minutes. Behringer can't do a worse job.

And could we envisage Oberheim resurrecting the OB-Xa?

I agree about the dropped octave from the VP. Silly and annoying, but it is what it is. When I've moaned about such things on these fora I've been told that it doesn't matter and we can 'live with it'. So manufacturers seem now at liberty to give us features we 'can live with' - we reap what we sow...
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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby Rich Hanson » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:37 am

If there is a demand for these instruments and the originators are only willing to give modern virtual facsimiles rather than the real deal, then frankly good luck to Behringer if they are willing to do it instead.

Because of the way I work, I'm not actually that fussed about the missing octave but I understand why others are.
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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:13 am

Expressing a purely personal opinion here, I am heartily sick of all this backward-looking raping of the audio industry's past successes.

My first awareness and subsequent entry into the industry in the late 70s was at a time of great innovation and development. The technology was improving rapidly and being exploited intelligently to create fantastic new tools that did more than ever before, did things that no one had ever imagined before, performed at a better technical level than ever before, and sounded better than ever before. It was a genuinely inspiring time...

Thankfully there are still a few innovative people, companies and products around, but only a few... It seems I mostly see 'new microphones' that are often poor or just dull copies or derivatives of 50 year old 'classics'; loudspeakers that are just cheaper versions of the same old same old; preamps and compressors claiming heritage from designs in the 70s but are often inferior or poorly thought through...

And now we have a mountain of (mostly miniature) synth copies that have been updated with MIDI. Wow!

In most cases, their designers had the opportunity to really move things forward, technically, creatively, and in performance terms, while still taking inspiration from the past to produce genuinely new and inspiring instruments with innovative features and technologies... but they don't.

Why is no one making a modern polysynth with the astonishingly expressive performance and sound generation capabilities of the CS80, for example?

I find it rather depressing that so many across the industry seem only capable of, or interesting in, copying (often without the understanding or build quality) the great works of those that came before them, rather than genuinely moving things forward with fresh thinking.

Rant over... Where's my morning coffee?

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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby Forum Admin » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:17 am

I echo Hugh's sentiment, in his post above. (Might make a good 'Sounding Off'?)
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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby MarkOne » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:33 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:...In most cases, their designers had the opportunity to really move things forward, technically, creatively, and in performance terms, while still taking inspiration from the past to produce genuinely new and inspiring instruments with innovative features and technologies... but they don't.

Why is no one making a modern polysynth with the astonishingly expressive performance and sound generation capabilities of the CS80, for example? ...


With you all the way... And I suspect that many design engineers working for Korg, Yamaha and Roland, et al, feel the same...

But as long as the celeb 'prodoocer'/DJ crowd keep on extolling the virtues of 40 year old gear the kiddies trying to emulate them will want that, or the nearest thing, then the marketing folks at said manufacturers, knowing what they can sell, will dictate where the development teams put their resources...

When synths were new and novel and there was a huge appetite for ever more interesting sound capabilities, there was no problem. If the engineering department came up with a new cutting edge design, the marketeers new there was a ready market for it and it got the funding green light.

Certainly Roland and Yamaha got burned bringing out interesting and different synths that bombed in the market, and Alesis lost a shitload on the Andromeda, and pretty much went bankrupt with the Fusion
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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby Rich Hanson » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:02 pm

I counter that with the argument that there are those of use who were too young at the time these instruments were new, but fell in love with the sound and would now like access to that sound. Unfortunately we can't afford the ridiculous prices of the originals, nor do we have the patience or the money for the maintenance of what is now aging equipment.

New guitars aren't exactly innovative either, the violin hasn't changed for years etc etc, so why get upset about old instrument designs still being used if they are offering sounds that people want?
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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby The Elf » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:12 pm

For some of the re-makes it's simply about satisfying those of us that missed things the first time around, for whatever reason - income and date of birth included.

I never bought an ARP Odyssey when it was current, and by the time I turned my sights to one they were insanely expensive on the secondhand market, even if I did trust 30+ years old electronics. With that in mind I was the ideal customer for a new ARP Odyssey, and (once Korg saw sense and put a real keyboard on it :wink:), I paid my money. I didn't really need new features, or anything clever.

I had a Jupiter 8, and loved it dearly, but the time I spent keeping the thing running was becoming a burden. If Roland would see fit to building me a (proper) new one they'd have my money in a heartbeat.

So I'm not going to complain when anyone throws a recreation out there to soak up the demand. People *want* these things - and the customer is always right.

There *is* innovation happening in the synth world. As an organiser of Synthfest I am very aware of the groundswell, but I am also aware that the sales of such innovative products wouldn't satisfy the likes of the huge multi-nationals.

I just wish that the current market would be discerning enough not to accept half-arsed emulations of these classic instruments, and then convince themselves that their shortcomings are virtues!
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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:21 pm

Rich Hanson wrote:I counter that with the argument that there are those of use who were too young at the time these instruments were new, but fell in love with the sound and would now like access to that sound.

Sure, I understand that, of course. But not only can 'that sound' often be obtained with remarkable fidelity from soft-synths and samplers, there's no reason why they couldn't also be generated in brand new 'inspired' instruments that not only replicate these desirable classic sounds, but also expand the palette with new sounds and new performance controls...

New guitars aren't exactly innovative either, the violin hasn't changed for years etc etc, so why get upset about old instrument designs still being used if they are offering sounds that people want?

That's a very fair point... and yes, I accept that there is a market for cheap Eastern violins and guitars etc even if they sound and play nothing like a Stradivarius or classic vintage Gibson... And there are those musicians who complain vociferously about them too, of course! :-)

But that doesn't change my frustration at the lack of quality, imagination, and invention....

I think the real driving force behind all this is what MarkOne was talking about: it's entirely driven by what the marketing team think will sell in big numbers. The industry is now driven by salesmen and accountants, not engineers and innovators.

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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby Kevin Nolan » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:27 pm

Rich Hanson wrote:I Unfortunately we can't afford the ridiculous prices of the originals,

...so why get upset about old instrument designs still being used if they are offering sounds that people want?

The vast majority of even the original restored classics aren't ridiculous priced. I own loads of vintage (and new synths). They cost in the single thousands of pounds. So do excellent acoustic instruments. The cost is FAR less than even a low cost car; and most will spend more in a year or two on coffee what the cost of a top end restored classic synth - or even a brand new Minimoog - costs. If you want one enough, you can afford one.

That issue is - you are not willing to value those instruments and buy them for those costs. Even the top end CS80s I purchased and had restored were totally cost accountable for every penny. So do not drag in the "ridiculous prices" argument into this issue - if you are not willing to pay for valuable instruments that's completely your right; but it doesn't mean they are over priced - or expensive - when compared to the resources that most people have and compared to other comparable items in the music sphere or beyond.

If you're young and don't earn a lot - then you can't afford most things, let alone synthesizers.


Now, onto the "why get upset". Here's why in this particular instance: It isn't the cloning - that's been going on for years and in some instances it's very welcome. EVEN Behringer's DM12 is an intriguing instrument - the best of the Juno series (DCO/VCF) with NEW innovations added on, in a non-blatant copy.

Subsequent to that release, Uli Behringer personally went on the attack of Moog online. If you find that sort of behaviour acceptable then well and good, but there are those of us who do not tolerate bully tactics like that; and who do legitimately worry about the prospect of a huge company like this - with a tradition of ripping off other company's designs and then releasing cheap low-quality equipment in droves. They have blatantly attempted to undermine the business model of a plethora of smaller synth companies like Moog who put VAST efforts into R&D - and aim to put them out of business.

If you're OK with that then that's a sad indictment of the state of affairs in the tech world. Most of us old enough to remember the 80s' know what a tough business the synth business is - most of the companies of the 70's and 80's went under BECAUSE they were trying to push the envelope. If Behringer get their way, they will flood the market with cheap synths and put smaller synth companies out of business. It happens daily in the computer tech business and he means to do the same here. He's fronting an aggressive organisation.

In any case there are already a plethora of other more legitimate alternatives to give the "sound" you might be after.

There is a real and legitimate issue with Behringer's aggressive stance, theft of other company's expensive R&D efforts (and the hypocrisy of then lying in public about the cost model of such companies) - AND lack of innovation and future thinking from a music tech innovation point of view. They are a nasty, cynical piece of work, and that needs to be called out.
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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby The Elf » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:31 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:The industry is now driven by salesmen and accountants, not engineers and innovators.
To a point I agree, but it's also driven by a generation of buyers prepared to accept cut-down, miniaturised, feature-cut, compromised trash - and even justify it - doing the marketing teams' job for them.

If you can make your accountants happy with a cheap-as-possible digital box that sells, why would you innovate?
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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby Rich Hanson » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:33 pm

Er, for some of us those prices *are* ridiculous, not based on whether the instruments are worth that but based on the contents of our wallets - don't look down your nose at me because I don't have the money to afford those prices. If I had the money to buy a CS80 at the current market rate, I'd jump at the chance. However, I'm comparatively cash poor so whether or not they are worth the money, the fact remains I'm not going to have the wonga to get one.

To you they might be reasonably priced, and I might agree with that too, but the fact remains I CAN'T BLOODY AFFORD THEM! It's not a case of what I value, it's a case of what I can afford to spend.
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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:44 pm

Kevin Nolan wrote:EVEN Behringer's DM12 is an intriguing instrument - the best of the Juno series (DCO/VCF) with NEW innovations added on, in a non-blatant copy.

Yes, I was quite excited by the DM12. It was clearly inspired by 1980s Rolands, but it moved things forward in worthwhile and very welcome way. It wasn't a copy, it was it's own thing and I applauded it on that basis, thinking it was encouraging evidence of Behringer's move away from direct copying and into genuinely new and attractive products... and then they decide to recreate a whole box full of vintage synth copies, and dash all my hopes and expectations in the process... :-(

As for the trend in miniaturised replications, I guess that's partly because of the Japanese fascination with all things miniature, but also because so many musicians today are programmers rather than players. Who needs a full-size, nicely weighted performance-orientated keyboard when all that many required is something for one finger step data entry?

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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby Rich Hanson » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:50 pm

Oh I certainly agree that a new instrument inspired by the VP330 (in the same manner that the DM12 was inspired by the Junos) would be more worthwhile, and I take on board what was said about Uli Behringer's aggressive tactics (I wasn't really aware of this so I didn't want to comment on that).

As for software recreations, they are often excellent, but I have found in recent times that I really do prefer a physical instrument (despite the fact that space and money are strictly limited items in my household!).

To address the price issue again, just because an instrument is inexpensive doesn't mean that it's not worthwhile. Heck, talking about guitars, it's hard (although not impossible) to buy a totally worthless instrument even at the bargain basement end of the market (unlike in the '80s. Marlin, anyone? :D)
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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby BigRedX » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:20 pm

But do you really NEED that CS80? What about it is SO SPECIAL that only a CS80 will do?

These days synth discussions are full of people lusting over over old synths, many of which were hardly desirable when they were new. Roland Bassline? You couldn't give it away in 1983. No one in the early 80s owned a Juno 60 out of choice. You had one because you wanted to play chords but couldn't afford a Jupiter 8, and now because of all those musicians who made do with the Juno 60 and produced some classic recordings with it on, it is desirable and IMO vastly overpriced for what it does.

You would be far better off concentrating on the gear that you do have and making it work for you. After almost 40 years of owning and playing synths, almost any device with the right set of features (2 oscillators, 2 envelope generators, a decent LFO and filter which goes into self oscillation and assignable performance controls or MIDI CC access), can be made to work for me, and AFAICS that's pretty much any synth made in the last 20 years.

Also IME very little musical equipment is really out of financial reach for those who want it badly enough. However most people also want relationships, families, cars, houses, holidays etc. and aren't prepared to make the lifestyle choices required.
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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:00 pm

BigRedX wrote:But do you really NEED that CS80? What about it is SO SPECIAL that only a CS80 will do?

Play one and you'll know! Biggest mistake of my life was to sell mine... :( :frown: :cry: :headbang:

Also IME very little musical equipment is really out of financial reach for those who want it badly enough. However most people also want relationships, families, cars, houses, holidays etc. and aren't prepared to make the lifestyle choices required.

Very true...

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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby baward » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:53 pm

Kevin Nolan wrote:
Rich Hanson wrote:I Unfortunately we can't afford the ridiculous prices of the originals,

...so why get upset about old instrument designs still being used if they are offering sounds that people want?

...there are those of us who do not tolerate bully tactics like that [Behringer's]; and who do legitimately worry about the prospect of a huge company like this - with a tradition of ripping off other company's designs and then releasing cheap low-quality equipment in droves.

...but IMO that's precisely why those of us who don't have much money are attracted by Behringer's cheap products. If you are after a delay pedal, you're rather more likely to buy the (say) £50 Behringer one than a £299 Roland one. So morals tend to take a back seat.

I should add that I am not connected with Behringer in any way, but as Hugh and others have said, "The industry is now driven by salesmen and accountants, not engineers and innovators" which I'll agree is sad.
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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby johnny h » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:03 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Expressing a purely personal opinion here, I am heartily sick of all this backward-looking raping of the audio industry's past successes.

My first awareness and subsequent entry into the industry in the late 70s was at a time of great innovation and development. The technology was improving rapidly and being exploited intelligently to create fantastic new tools that did more than ever before, did things that no one had ever imagined before, performed at a better technical level than ever before, and sounded better than ever before. It was a genuinely inspiring time...
The difference is the money. How much money did Yamaha sink into the GX1 and CS80, FM and physical modelling? Korg with the OASYS project? Synths don't sell like they did in the 70s/80s/90s so ROI is low, especially when people aren't particularly receptive to new ideas and prefer throwback products.
Why is no one making a modern polysynth with the astonishingly expressive performance and sound generation capabilities of the CS80, for example?
In terms of expressive performance, Roli are at least trying. Ok, whoever decided to demo it with a piano sound needs a stern talking to, but with the right sounds its a good product.
I find it rather depressing that so many across the industry seem only capable of, or interesting in, copying (often without the understanding or build quality) the great works of those that came before them, rather than genuinely moving things forward with fresh thinking.
The reverence for the same old same old is beyond tiresome. How many things, hardware or software, do we need that merely tries to sound like a Moog, Juno or 808?

Moog themselves have done almost nothing for decades. They released the Voyager, which in my opinion and the opinion of many people who know their stuff, doesn't sound anywhere near as good as a Minimoog. And as good as the Minimoog was (or is), we should have moved way beyond it by now.

As for Behringer, I've never been a fan of their ethics or products but we'll just have to wait and see how good these new synths are. I don't have much sympathy for these companies who have failed to significantly innovate in 48 or so years, particularly when the people with the brains and passion who built them up have long since departed this mortal coil.
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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby DGL. » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:32 am

If you were wondering why Behringer/Music were recreating the 330, it's because it's Uli's company and he wants one :D
Isn't it nice owning your own company, I suppose this is similar to EMS who only released synths to pay for what they (primarily Peter Zinovieff) wanted in his studio which is no bad thing.
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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby SecretSam » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:11 pm

" If Behringer get their way, they'll put innovative companies like Moog and DSI out of business"




Is Moog an innovative company ? They make some very nice gear with good components, and screw it together properly. This is good. But innovative ? Not any more, really. Or did I miss something ?
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Re: the latest Behringer-gate

Postby johnny h » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:45 pm

SecretSam wrote:" If Behringer get their way, they'll put innovative companies like Moog and DSI out of business"




Is Moog an innovative company ? They make some very nice gear with good components, and screw it together properly. This is good. But innovative ? Not any more, really. Or did I miss something ?
They were 48 years ago. A lot less so in the last couple of decades.
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