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Behringer 2600 first reaction

Posted under Musical Technology at .
Tags:BARP 2600, Behringer, hardware, instrument, music, synthesiser, video

I managed to lay my hands on a secondhand Behringer 2600 Gray Meanie. I’ve never been fortunate enough to have a go on an original ARP . . . any original ARP . . . but from what I’ve seen and heard this seems to be sonically quite close to the original, but smaller, 19″ rackmountable, and even when new, significantly cheaper than any of the older or more recent clones of the ARP 2600. And it has some extra features. So they are perhaps becoming popular.

There are more reviews and videos of the different versions of this than I can count; so many that I’d never get time to play the thing if I watched them all. So I’m not going to cover the detail, just note a few things that come up and see how it works out.

First of these is that it seems nicely produced. This one’s in good secondhand condition. That said, I wonder a little about some of the component choices. I’ve heard the criticism that some Behringer products have unexpected slide potentiometer action, and this seems to be the case here — many of the sliders concentrate their effect at one end, making fine adjustment difficult. I don’t know how that compares to the original.

The extra features compared to the ARP seem to be:

With everything turned up, neither the VCF nor VCA seem to saturate as much as I’d expect. But the final line output can saturate a recording device so you just have to keep the level down a bit and maybe turn the headphones up.

Once past the first hump or two of working out which things have to be turned up to make sounds, this synth seems to have lots of things waiting to be found. Still, after a couple of days with it, I’m a little disappointed to have not found more. Compared to other synths . . . but that doesn’t mean there’s no more there; it’s just how to get at it. In particular the Ring Mod is surprisingly uninteresting compared to others I’ve used; but maybe there’s more options I haven’t tried. The combination of the three VCOs synced is very interesting though. I also find that it’s capable of making some very nice bass tones which don’t reproduce well on small speakers. For which reason, this first sample video I’m doing is best listened to with good headphones or perhaps a PA.

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