Music Gear News
The Behringer Neutron is a Wallet-Friendly, All-Analog Semi-Modular Synth
The Behringer Neutron brings semi-modular synthesis within the reach of budget-conscious users, yet it doesn't skimp on features and includes its own 32-in, 24-out patch bay.
2018 has been an exciting year for Behringer in the world of synthesizers. It was only recently at SUPERBOOTH 18 that Behringer revealed the Rhythm Designer RD-808, the Pro-One and the Vocoder VC-340 and, earlier this year, Behringer also gave us a sneak peak at the Neutron: "We're happy to announce the latest analog synthesizer to our instrument lineup, the NEUTRON!"
Now, nearly half a year later, the Behringer Neutron is finally ready to pre-order! The Neutron is (in Behringer's words), a "Paraphonic Analog and Semi-Modular Synthesizer with Dual 3340 VCOs, Multi-Mode VCF, 2 ADSRs, BBD Delay and Overdrive Circuit in a Eurorack Format".
Despite its small price-tag, the Neutron features authentic dual 3340 analog oscillators based on the original Curtis CEM3340 ICs for the creation of some incredibly fat sounds. The Neutron features an all-analog signal path based on VCO and can act as a self-contained unit, or it can be hooked together to external Eurorack devices. The Neutron features an oscillator waveform control that can blend between 5 wave shapes, alongside an individual pulse width/tone modulation control. This gives a wide range of sounds; everything from clean tones to "filthy" sounds.
A self-oscillating, multi-mode VCF with dual output (low pass and high pass) is included alongside an analog ADSR generators for modulation of VCF and VCA. A flexible LFO has five waveform shapes, while a noise generator dramatically expands waveform generation.
To control all of this functionality, 36 controls and 7 buttons provide real-time access to every parameter of the Neutron. An additional overdrive circuit is provided to warm up your sound, along with a multistage analog delay effect with circuitry created with legendary Bucket Brigade technology.
The Neutron features a 32-in, 24-out patch bay, letting users tinker to their heart's content with the internal connections. The semi-modular design, however, means that the default routings are perfectly useable for music creation, meaning less-experienced users can create sounds without the full know-how of modular synthesis.
An audio input allows the Neutron to be used as an audio processor for external sources, while the powerful headphone output and USB/MIDI implementation allow you to get connected in the studio and on stage. An additional patchable audio-rate sample and hold with glide gives the potential for extended creativity.
The Neutron is designed and made in the UK by Behringer. Designers Pete Sadler & Rob Belcham say that "it's a really powerful, little synth."
"The main driving force was we wanted to do something affordable, semi-modular, since we have a lot of interest in semi-modular synths these days. We're fascinated with it ourselves and we wanted to find something that people can use as a starting point to build up their own system.
…We went a bit mad on the patch bay because we wanted to provide everything that was there if you'd bought the modules yourself…
There's a lot of possibilities there and we've certainly had fun with it."
Check out the Behringer R&D video below for a full overview of the design process.
Find out more about the Behringer Neutron
See the complete range of Behringer Synthesizers
By Matt Wilkinson
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