Wait a minute, has Behringer come up with a new feature on a module we haven’t seen before? Perfect Pitch PP1 extracts pitch from audio and sends it to MIDI and CV outputs.
Perfect Pitch PP1
You see, this is the problem when your modus operandi is to blatantly copy existing modules. When you then release something new, no one is going to believe you. I’ve searched through ModularGrid and googled the concept of pitch-to-MIDI conversion in Eurorack, and I can’t find anything else that does this….. exactly.
There are plenty of envelope followers out there that extract the shape of an audio input and output it as a CV envelope – but the PP1 doesn’t actually do this. There are even some modules I’ve seen that extract pitch, the Verbos Real World Interface is one recent example, but none of them sends it out as MIDI.
We’re three paragraphs in, and we haven’t even talked about what the module does because we have to navigate all this shit that Behringer radiates when it chooses to replicate an existing product. The Abacus (clone of Maths) is a perfect example of how Behringer undermines itself. They take the perfectly good idea of creating a function generator, and rather than build something interesting, different or fun, they just copy the best-selling one on the market from a boutique maker and undercut the price by 200 quid. This causes a fair bit of annoyance, anger and furious social media posting among large sections of the modular community. Maybe that’s good marketing, I don’t know. I believe that if Behringer did ANYTHING innovative, it would be happily accepted by the whole community. We all know that synths and modular are based on people copying and sharing circuits and designs – no one minds that; it’s just that the rule of thumb is don’t be an arsehole about it, don’t copy – innovate. And then people would talk about the interesting things the module did rather than how unpleasant Behringer is, and they would, in my view, sell a whole lot more.
So, here we are in paragraph four – what does the PP1 do? You plug in a mic or guitar, and the PP1 detects the pitch and gate length and squirts it out over both MIDI and CV. It’s like pitch-to-MIDI software but in a Eurorack module. You could control oscillators with your voice or add MIDI to a synth that doesn’t have it. Feed it some rhythmic audio and pull the gates off to run your modular or your DAW via USB. It’s potentially a really interesting connection between your modular and your computer or another synth. You could use all the randomness of a modular synth and have it play a MIDI synth or software synth. That’s pretty cool, although it’s a shame it only pulls out a gate and not a whole envelope.
Behringer could be the greatest makers of synths on the planet if they just stopped with the ripoffs. PP1 is a decent product and a good example of doing it right, assuming it’s not just another ripoff of a product I haven’t found yet.
- Behringer website.