Behringer Brains

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
AnX
KVRAF
9618 posts since 17 Nov, 2015

Post Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:58 am

didn't arturia use this in the microfreak?

KVRAF

Topic Starter

8001 posts since 16 Oct, 2006

Post Tue Jun 15, 2021 11:00 am

Urs wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 6:17 am
Confirms my observation that they do not really understand the instruments they clone.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Always thought you would design and produce us a hardware synth Urs... just do it man a desktop Zebra will do for now :D :lol: :lol: :lol:

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KVRAF
5782 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Tue Jun 15, 2021 1:18 pm

AnX wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:58 am
didn't arturia use this in the microfreak?
Yes, but for the most part they did a much better job with it. For one thing, they actually designed something new and just incorporated the open-source code into it, instead of building a shitty clone.

Their mistake was claiming that it was in collaboration with Mutable Instruments, which it wasn't. If I remember the story right, they invited Emilie to briefly look at a near-finished product, but they didn't want her input. And she implied (on the MI forum, I don't know what she said to Arturia if anything) that she didn't like the visual design, the name, or how the Plaits oscillators were integrated into the system. Things like knob range/curve constants that were tweaked for the Plaits hardware were less than ideal on the Microfreak. It would have been a better product if they Arturia had consulted with her instead of just copy-pasting code.

Personally I think they made some weird choices for which algorithms to include, too.

They later added some Noise Engineering algorithms, and actually worked with NE to do so, which is a big step up. Although honestly, I think their Virt Vereor plugins (in beta) blow away the Microfreak versions.

(I still like Microfreak on the whole though.)

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KVRAF
6979 posts since 18 Aug, 2007 from NYC

Post Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:18 pm

This was a strange reveal for a “new’ product.

It’s just wrong. Even the red and green Christmas colors are wrong.

It’s very cheap, which I think is very sad to see because it’ll be hard to compete with.

As someone new to eurorack I think they definitely screwed up by making it larger than Plaits. New users will be their target market but this misses on some key points.

KVRAF
7711 posts since 2 Dec, 2004 from North Wales

Post Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:44 pm

I own Plaits but I do t have any problem with this module.

There is no issue incorporating open source code, many have already done it, there are many MI clone modules that are more of a direct copy of the MI hardware as well. This deviates (they are being criticised for copying and not copying the original) and adds some extra sounds and a display for a lot less money.

Too big? No, you actually had room to operate the knobs unlike many small but cramped modules. Usb shouldn’t be on the front? Rubbish, who wants to take a module out of a case just to update firmware!

20 synth engines under CV control I Eurorack with a nice display for £120…I would have bought it in a heartbeat when I was starting out….if I didn’t already own Plaits I would buy it now.
PC, Studio One, BWS, Live, FL Studio, Renoise, Reason, X32 Desk, Hardware Synths, Drum Machines + Eurorack, TD27 V Drums, Guitars & Basses

KVRAF
1729 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Post Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:58 pm

SLiC wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:44 pm
Usb shouldn’t be on the front? Rubbish, who wants to take a module out of a case just to update firmware!
  • Me? It's not a big deal
  • Plaits can be firmware-updated using the audio inputs, no extra port needed. Much more convenient.

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KVRAF
6979 posts since 18 Aug, 2007 from NYC

Post Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:10 pm

I think the conversation about a larger company like Berhinger building from open source is fair game. The fact that it’s permissible is not in dispute.

KVRAF
7711 posts since 2 Dec, 2004 from North Wales

Post Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:27 pm

imrae wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:58 pm
Plaits can be firmware-updated using the audio inputs, no extra port needed. Much more convenient.
I have a lot of MI stuff, it is not more convenient trying to update it by injecting audio signals of the right volume (to avoid data loss or distortion), It's fiddley at best....there are 100's of posts on Wiggler and others about people struggling with this. I cant think of anything more continent than USB with a dedicated firmware update and configuration program!

It's also likely (based on say Behringer Model D and Neutron) that the USB will also be USB Midi in and offers all sorts of other options in the future. Its definitely worth having, B have added the extra port, more voices and a nice screen for half the cost, so not much to complain about really!
PC, Studio One, BWS, Live, FL Studio, Renoise, Reason, X32 Desk, Hardware Synths, Drum Machines + Eurorack, TD27 V Drums, Guitars & Basses

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KVRAF
9079 posts since 3 Feb, 2003 from Finland, Espoo

Post Fri Jun 18, 2021 2:19 am

SLiC wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:27 pm
imrae wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:58 pm
Plaits can be firmware-updated using the audio inputs, no extra port needed. Much more convenient.
I have a lot of MI stuff, it is not more convenient trying to update it by injecting audio signals of the right volume (to avoid data loss or distortion), It's fiddley at best....there are 100's of posts on Wiggler and others about people struggling with this. I cant think of anything more continent than USB with a dedicated firmware update and configuration program!

It's also likely (based on say Behringer Model D and Neutron) that the USB will also be USB Midi in and offers all sorts of other options in the future. Its definitely worth having, B have added the extra port, more voices and a nice screen for half the cost, so not much to complain about really!
.. just take a look at how much problems people have with upgrading firmware on Behringer Neutron. Just because it has an USB it doesn't mean it's easy. I'm pretty tech savvy and I could not ever get the Neutron updated using a windows computer. Only once I tried their Mac installer did I get the firmware updated properly. To add to the confusion, some people have had the exact opposite issue.

My point is: It's going to be fiddly no matter what, especially when it is a company like Behringer who doesn't really give a toss.
"Wisdom is wisdom, regardless of the idiot who said it." -an idiot

KVRAF
5382 posts since 24 May, 2002 from Tutukaka, New Zealand

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 5:12 pm

TBH I quite like many of the sounds it puts out. It just seems a bit odd. If I was going to get into modular stuff (prolly will some day - I already have semi-modular gear) I would want CV stuff. I just can't see me wanting digital gubbins for what is effectively the analogue nirvana. I know that some digital sources can do what analogue can't, but supersaws and what sounds very much like PWM digital on a modular? And digital percussion - can't see what advantage it gives over CV in terms of modular? Horses for courses I suppose. A trance kid on a giant modular is just a picture I can't see in my head.

To me that sounds like a module that would sit very nicely in a pre-made Behringer synth rather than a modular.

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KVRAF
5782 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Thu Jun 24, 2021 4:26 am

kritikon wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 5:12 pm
TBH I quite like many of the sounds it puts out. It just seems a bit odd.

...

To me that sounds like a module that would sit very nicely in a pre-made Behringer synth rather than a modular.
It's a clone of Mutable Instruments Plaits, a super popular module. Which has already been cloned dozens of times because it's open-source hardware and software (though clones were not the main intent of open-sourcing it; Mutable Instruments code has contributed quite a bit to many projects now). And "in a pre-made synth" has also already been done, in the Arturia Microfreak which uses a lot of the same code.

I was a beta tester of the original module. My personal take was, it's a clever design, works really well as an exciter for Rings, and as a standalone voice or as part of a larger patch (it's not just a "preset machine" like some people seem to think; there's nothing stopping you from using it as a standard oscillator). For my own purposes, it was a little redundant.

I do have a Microfreak and I feel like it's pretty much its own thing character-wise, not really "Plaits in a keyboard." Behringer could have made their own version of a synth based on these oscillator models, with their own filters and modulation sources and whatever, and it would have been a lot more interesting than this.

Plaits was designed specifically to not need a display... and B added a scope just for the eye candy (which can't monitor external signals).

All Mutable digital modules have an audio bootloader with no need for a USB connection for firmware updates (and the code for this has been used gratefully by other module developers) -- and firmware updates are not very common anyway. But B decided not to use that, nor to put a micro USB connector on the back board which is also pretty standard, and instead stick a big honking USB B connector on the front panel.

Sometimes bigger clones are a good idea -- the Supercell variant of Clouds adds dedicated knobs for every function, attenuverters for every input, separate input and output gain, etc. What a "bigger Plaits" should have gained was an attenuverter for Harmonics, and maybe dedicated knobs (and CV?) for the decay time and VCA/LPG balance. But this version just got useless junk instead.

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