The onslaught of synthesizers has begun with the PRO-800 leading the charge for Behringer’s new wave of affordable classic synths.
It’s taken far longer than anyone expected, years longer in fact, since we were dazzled by Behringer promising “all the synths”. We had a couple of years to enjoy not having Behringer muscle in on every market, but those days are done. Behringer says that they’ve taken preorders in the region of 50,000 from their super-distributors, which is mind-boggling.
The PRO-800 is an 8-voice polyphonic analogue synthesizer with an archaic patch memory system. It’s based on the 1982 Sequential Prophet 600, the little sibling of the Prophet 5. It has 2 VCOs with three waveforms, a lowpass filter with its own ADSR, multi-wave LFO and a Polymod function where the oscillators can modulate each other. You can store up to 400 patches in the classic membrane-style memory pad. It also has an arpeggiator, sequencer and is fully MIDI-ed up. Shame that it comes in that very dull format that they like so much.
It’s pre-orderable now for £349, and I do not doubt that it sounds fantastic. Your man in the video says that polysynths shouldn’t have to cost the earth, and he’s right, but often they do because very few manufacturers have the economies of scale that Behringer does. And sometimes investing in design, development and the working out of something as an instrument rather than a collection of parts is worthwhile. However, the PRO-800 is going to put some fantastic sounds into the hands of many more people who could only dream of owning anything like it.
There’s a lot more to come and while I appreciate the awesome access to synths this is giving us, I still dislike the Behringer way of operating. I’m grown up enough to hold both of those opinions.