Behringer 2600

99

Semi-modular analog synthesizer

  • Monophonic
  • 3 VCOs with adjustable pulse width
  • Oscillator 1 with outputs for sawtooth and pulse
  • Oscillators 2 and 3 with switchable oscillator synchronization and outputs for triangle, sawtooth, sine and pulse
  • Low-pass filter with resonance and 2 switchable filter characteristics
  • Noise generator
  • Ring modulator
  • Sample & Hold stage
  • Preamp and envelope follower for external signals
  • Voltage processor
  • ADSR envelope
  • AR envelope
  • Stereo VCA with adjustable panorama
  • Mixable reverb effect
  • Extensive modulation options for oscillators and filters are possible thanks to a specified signal path and free interconnection of all sections via patch sockets (3.5 mm jack)
  • Stereo line output: 2x 6.3 mm jack
  • Stereo headphone output: 3.5 mm jack
  • Footswitch inputs for Interval Latch and Portamento: 6.3 mm jack
  • MIDI In / Thru
  • USB-B port
  • Format: 19"/ 8 U
  • Includes external power supply (12 V DC, 2000 mA)
available since November 2020
Item number 505590
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Design 19"
Polyphony 1
Sound Generation Analogue
Storage Medium None
USB-port Yes
Effects Yes
Arpeggiator No
Number of Analog Outputs 2
Digital Output No
Display No
Optional Expansions None
Special Features Semi-modular
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$485
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Modern version of a semi-modular classic

The original on which Behringer’s 2600 is based was an extremely popular synthesizer when it hit the market in the 1970s and is today considered a true classic. With its semi-modular structure, duophonic mode, separate keyboard, and of course its wealth of sonic possibilities, this legendary synth was ground-breaking for its time and inspired the likes of Herbie Hancock, Vince Clark, and Joe Zawinul to explore completely new possibilities of musical expression, many of which ended up in classic recordings. The Behringer 2600, a new, modernised, and compact version of the original classic, was developed in collaboration with British analogue guru AMSynths and retains all the sonic capabilities of its illustrious predecessor. Each original circuit has been painstakingly recreated to contemporary standards, and its format has been reduced from the original to fit into a 19" rack. The Behringer 2600 retains all the features of the original and has added functionalities of its own, such as MIDI, dimmable LED faders, and a digital reverb. And like the original, the Behringer 2600 can be directly connected to other modular synthesizers and analogue sequencers, and thus become an integral part of a much larger and more powerful system.

Duophonic analogue synthesizer

The 2600 is a powerful analogue synthesizer with three oscillators and two switchable LFOs which can be assigned to a VCO or even used independently. The Behringer 2600 includes differential VCA inputs, an ADSR envelope section with scaling options, and other functions such as noise generators, S&H (Sample and Hold), and an assignable low-pass filter as well as an inverter option on the voltage processor. The LFO and portamento sections, which in the case of the original were located on a separate keyboard, are also integrated into the main chassis, and the original’s spring reverb unit has been replaced here by a commensurate digital emulation. The main signal path and the assignments of each modulation are conveniently controlled via faders, which can also be visualised via LED colour indicators. For greater flexibility, the signal flow can be modified via patch connections and expanded with external devices. Another feature of the 2600 is its Duo Voice Mode, which uses a second oscillator to play two notes simultaneously whereas the original 2600 was exclusively monophonic.

An affordable and successful replica

For most people, owning the illustrious original seemed like an unobtainable dream – until now, that is. The original units are very rarely available anymore, and when they are, they are prohibitively expensive. DIY projects do exist and crop up from time to time, but they require a lot of time and expertise to build – and also come with a high-end price tag. The Behringer 2600 offers an affordable version of the classic synth for the first time, and it can be picked up by small studios or taken on tour without hesitation. This versatile synthesizer will appeal mainly to musicians who are familiar with the semi-modular concept, with a view to integrating it into a larger, more complex environment. The original can be heard in many famous production recordings that span Prog Rock, Fusion, and Electronic. This modern version will also naturally suit all of those styles, and it is also a noteworthy figure in the field of sound design and SFX – the “voice” of Star Wars’ robot hero, R2-D2, being a prime example.

About Behringer

The company, which was founded in Germany by Uli Behringer and now manufactures its products in China, has been known for affordable and great-value equipment since its very first product, the Studio Exciter F. An array of mixing consoles (such as the Eurodesk MX8000), signal processors, and later sound amplification and monitoring equipment, has made it possible for countless musicians to fit out their home studios, practice rooms, and mobile PAs within budget limits that were previously unthinkable. The acquisition of other companies, including Midas, Klark Teknik, and TC Electronic, meant that new product groups were added - and also resulted in the technical expertise of these companies being incorporated into product development.

Compact rack synth

As a semi-modular synthesizer, the 2600 can play to its strengths in a modular setup by expanding on them. In the studio, it will link up perfectly with a multitrack analogue sequencer to rhythmically control not only the oscillators but also an array of other functions. The Behringer 2600 can also interact with other modular systems, thereby expanding its capabilities via additional sound and control modules. The original, though “portable”, was housed in a rather bulky and heavy “suitcase” for transport. The Behringer 2600, on the other hand, can be built into a conventional 19" transport case and easily taken to live gigs. The Behringer 2600 is also an extremely capable and expressive standalone instrument, even outside a modular context. Its flexible and clear structure allows sound and modulation patterns to be quickly and intuitively created, either directly on the main chassis or via external performance-oriented devices.

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Great price-sound ratio.. but missing some key elements?
Precursor 11.04.2022
Great machine, the sound is pretty unique. I never played with a real 2600 but it's a close match. However it's close in the sense a plugin would emulate it. It's not as nasty, gritty or ugly as the sounds that I am familliar with from the real deal.

Okay I know that was probably what you wanted to know.. but there is more about this machine that makes it worthwhile. Especially because it's quite "clean" and "friendly" sounding it is really easy to make sounds that fit right into your mix. There's barely any processing needed for the sounds to work in a mix, or as a layer for something digital or even another synth. I'm using it a lot paired with my modular which is a nice match.

The oscillators sound good, but not expensive like a Dixie module or some other specified modular voice. (I know they are very different, but bear with me. It's about the quality of the sound) They do sound better than digital oscillators.

The filter is pretty neat, I like how they sound, good character, nice sweep and easy to tune to something fun.

The noise sounds great, I use it a lot, it has different options all sound good.

The spring reverb is very warm and full. It's a good sound but it will fill up your mix quite quickly so you can't really use it on everything. It also doesn't sound like a spring so much as just a reverb with a specific sound.

So far so good, most of this synthesizer just sounds good. Except... the envelopes. I know they have supposedly fixed this in the "Gray Meanie" version of the Behringer 2600, but on this unit it it's simply awful. It's almost unusable, I don't know... I am almost always using another envelope for the amplitude. It kinda works with the filter, but the reality is it just can't go very short or snappy which is really annoying. I would be using it way more often if this was fixed. I wonder if there will be some firmware upgrade at some point that addresses this.
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DK
Excellent Synth
David Kellett 08.11.2021
This is a great synth. I have a modular system plus several semi modulars but the 2600 is a thing all to itsself. You can approach it as a semi modular but it’s really like a modular system in itself. Yes it can make noise straight out the box as it has normaled connections but once you get the patch cables out it really gets interesting. It’s clear to see why the original ARP was so revered the design is just so flexible and it has a “sound” all of its own.
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Interesting
Robert7183 29.09.2021
This is probably not for the fainthearted. i have quite a few analog synths but this was the most devilish one to get to work (get a sound from it) straight out of the box. It had me stumped for quite a while. Just dont panic and send it back - you need to understand quite a lot about the controls to get going and not get confused. Once you get going its great. You do need a tuner if you dont have perfect pitch and you want to get it in tune with other gear. Tuning it is not as easy as on other analogs. Having said that, its a fun instrument to play once you get the hang of it.
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Brings back memories!
Rob2695 31.10.2021
Excellent reproduction with upgrades! Brings me back to the mid 70's. Thomman's service is excellent!
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