The 2600 - does anybody know how to use it - for musical purposes?

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
User avatar
2321 posts since 13 Jun, 2014

Post Fri Feb 12, 2021 4:45 am

There are also two limited editions of the Behringer 2600, one blue and one grey. Apart from the colours, other differences are a real spring reverb and some changed components to make it sound better.

I don't know of any audio examples or comparisons, so it's difficult to put money on something you've not heard yet.
<list all your stupid gear here>

5321 posts since 24 May, 2002 from Tutukaka, New Zealand

Post Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:04 am

I suspect I'll put money down even if I've never touched one, Just found I can get one for NZ$ 959. (US$ 701 or Euro 577 or GBP500). Which is astounding - they usually charge us double for everything down here. I can make R2D2 dropping a fart sounds for under $1000. Wow! f**k musical sounds - who needs 'em?

3257 posts since 2 Jul, 2005

Post Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:07 am

It was one of the first semi complicated synth I ever used. We had one at school and we made all our drums and effects on the 2600 and sampled it into the ASR. It's much like any modular or semi modular synth, Capable of standard subtractive analog stuff as well as weirder stuff and then the ubiquitous bloody dr who, star wars type silliness. Worth a try. It had some issues with the old hardware and needed more love than some of the stuff from the same era, but it was more flexible and affordable than many things at the time so you ended up seeing them used by lots of people who could not afford a full modular wall of synth.
Even if you just play with a software emulation you can get a good idea how the architecture could be useful. I wouldn't spring for a hardware version myself (barring a huge influx of cash) but I can see why folks that can afford them want one.
Don't F**K with Mr. Zero.

68 posts since 25 May, 2020

Post Fri Apr 02, 2021 12:14 am

Here are some unusual sounds:

68 posts since 25 May, 2020

Post Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:59 am

Another video and my first impressions:

After 5 days with the Gray Meanie B2600 and 10 years with an ARP2600:

- It looks and feels great. Compared with the empty plastic box TD-3 (which I do also have and like), built quality is many levels above.

- So far no problems at all. Midi works, analog connections works...

- You need only a very light touch to use switches and move sliders. Those parts are extremely smooth, which I like a lot. Some people like more the tighter feel of high quality parts. Will sliders and switches work after 3, 7, 10 years...? Only time will tell.

- I was worried about the jacks not being screwed to the panel. Well, when patching cables, the jacks don’t move or feel like they will be broken in no time. So far, so good.

But, that’s a fact, jacks are attached to the PCB, so handle with care, even with more care that jacks on your usual eurack modules. The use of excessive force or side movement will go to the PCB, too. Did Behringer choose this kind of jack attachment right? Again, time will tell.

- Size and look are very pleasant. Big enough to be proud of (Roland and the Boutique series ) and small enough not to take as much space as the original 2600.

- Ideally the B2600 would stand in front of you. It can stand, but for obvious security reasons you want something behind it or use rack ears to avoid accidents. Behringer should have shaped the base in deeper, more stable way or offer an optional metal or wood frame for the B2600 to stand.

- Midi specs are just note on/off and pitch. Come on! This is 2021!

- The sound is very, very 2600. You don’t get to think that’s a wannabe fake. Even more important: it feels like a 2600 when you use it. The range of control and modulation is extremely close to the original if not spot on.

- Does it sound like mine/your/the used by Depeche Mode/JMJ/Tangerine Dream... 2600? There were several 2600 revisions and some of the still working ARP are now almost 50 years old, repaired, out of specs, modded, ...
It’s almost not possible that the B2600 (or the Korg 2600) Sounds exactly like that particular 2600 in that particular record.
Rob Keeble stated that they changed some specs looking for stability and improving on some old parts.
Also don’t forget that many existing 2600 out there had the band-limited filter. Mine had it and the sound was noticeably different: the B2600 filter can be more effective. Would you rather have a crippled real 2600 filter and call it warmer because it can’t be opened beyond a certain frequency? Be my guest.
To me the B2600 sound as close as it gets to an ARP2600 without being a explicit clone.

- The B2600 includes many sound and practical improvements: midi and usb, LFO and Portamento section (originally only available on the optional keyboard), sync for VCO2 and VCO3, more waveform outputs for the VCOs, more PWM control, selectable two filters...
All these differences don’t make the B2600 sound less 2600ish, but they give you new sound options if needed.

- The two filters sound very alike, if not the same with most of the settings. That’s a bummer. In the Korg ODYSSEY, the three filter options do really sound different. They really give you three usable filter colours. Not so much on the B2600. :-(
I would like to know more about this. Maybe after some more time of using the B2600, people will find more practical different uses for both filters...

- Unlike the minimoog, whose saturating filter and VCA can render you with a stupid smile of pleasure, I remember a very unpleasant saturation when opening completely the sliders and sending two or three oscillator of the 2600 to the filter full level. I always had to lower the VCF input levels. My 2600 was as good as new, so I thought that all 2600s would behave that way.
On the B2600, I can send all three VCOs full level and the sound is not distorted like it was on my 2600. Is that an improvement?

- Also, the exponential behaviour of the ADRS envelope to the VCA ist just... “too” exponential? You have to get the slider way past 50% of the range in order to hear something. I think this could be more usable with some calibration.

- The spring reverb is nice, very 3D, but the sound is very different of the original spring sound. So, if you plan to get the special versions only because of the spring reverb, don’t expect the included spring to sound like the original one.
Some jacks on the back to use external spring reverb tanks wouldn’t have add that much to manufacturing costs, but they would let you experiment with different external spring reverbs.

- Considering price, built quality, specs and sound, the B2600 is a bargain. I would recommend it to people with small eurorack systems or people who want to get into modular/eurorack and don’t know where to begin. The independent sections on the 2600 would cost much more money if you’d buy them as individual eurorack modules, plus a case, a midi to cv converter...

As said before, I hope the B2600 is built to last. If this is the case, it’s one of the best things in the synth world in many, many years, imho.

User avatar
3874 posts since 29 Sep, 2010 from Maui

Post Sat Apr 03, 2021 5:35 am

@Friendly Noise nice :tu:

68 posts since 25 May, 2020

Post Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:14 am

pekbro wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 5:35 am
@Friendly Noise nice :tu:
Thanks. :-)

Further explorations:

68 posts since 25 May, 2020

Post Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:37 am

And here is a first try to use the B2600 as a multitimbral sound source. No multitracking!

72 posts since 24 Jan, 2015

Post Sat May 01, 2021 7:55 pm

I do have some ideas for music programs that would allow syncing of rhythm and other things. Basically, one could have some semi-random drums where you control a paddle that knocks a ball against squares or other objects that just make different percussive sounds - sort of like that game 'Reactor'. I saw a video where someone was playing that game and really loved how you could make beats just by making those little squares and other blobs bounce against the sides of the playfield. I figured you could make a program where you just bounce and knock balls or other things against surfaces or other sprites just to make noise.

And what if you could do the same thing for notes? Like make a semi-random arpeggio in various scales? And in another program that could be linked as well, a melody or riff could be programmed much like a TB-303. Another idea would be to make arpeggios where a ball bounces up and down on bars of colour-cycling squares based on the notes.

Maybe there could be LFOs with bouncing dots that change the harmonics as well. What do you think of these ideas?


Topic Starter

5694 posts since 22 Jan, 2005 from Sweden

Post Wed May 12, 2021 1:50 am

Tim Shoebridge often bring something musical in his reviews

Just a few weeks old....

User avatar
1392 posts since 10 Oct, 2018

Post Wed May 12, 2021 2:30 am

Dirt cheap. The blue one would drive me nuts, though.

User avatar
21594 posts since 7 Jan, 2009 from Croatia

Post Wed May 12, 2021 2:58 am

t.noise B2600 videos are gold. Go watch them! (Link is the whole playlist.) ... Y60pa-eyo9

269 posts since 10 Sep, 2008

Post Wed May 12, 2021 4:18 am

5321 posts since 24 May, 2002 from Tutukaka, New Zealand

Post Wed May 12, 2021 6:03 pm

I should have watched these vids before I started playing my 2600. Pretty sure the 2600 gives the more you play it and find out how the f**k it works. Out of the box it's a wonder I got any noise out of it (useable noise, at least). That t.noise one above - that's what confounded me for the first 90 minutes. It's not intuitive that filter has a direct audio mixer output independent to the VCA. Confused the f**k out of me... :?
Seeing some of what these guys are getting out of the 2600 though, it makes me salivate. Just need a few months to get my head around it.

Return to “Hardware (Instruments and Effects)”