I’m primarily a guitar player, but I like to incorporate synth sounds into my music sometimes. Previously I’ve used vst plugins or synths on my ipad. Vst plugins I found to be unsatisfying and annoying to configure/edit sounds. Too much menu diving and mouse clicking. I got better results from the iPad synths…. But I was left with envy at all those people on YouTube with their hardware midi setups grooving away. So I wondered if investing in a real piece if hardware would be worth it for me.
It took me a long while to settle on the deepmind 6. From my research it seemed to have the right amount of ‘twiddlability’ to be satisfying to use.
I wasn’t wrong I’m happy to say… but also importantly it comes with a ton of ready made patches that you can instantly twiddle and work out how they are done… or simply use them. This is good… because you have all the options that a serious synth player demands, but less of a learning curve to get going. I was making obnoxious noises within seconds of plugging it in!
Construction wise, behringer have done a good job. Most of the chassis is metal with what appear to be fairly classy wooden sides. It’s heavy and reassuring. It does have a fairly noisy fan, but I expected this.
So being no synth expert, I’ll try and explain how I’m using it. So it is an analog sythesiser, but all the settings (so far as I can make out) are saveable as patches. What is also cool, and I didn’t expect, is that when I hook it up to my DAW to sequence the deepmind, it also records all the automation of sliders and other controls on the unit. So you can create a full performance in layers. This is an awesome thing. Endless fun trying the sequenced parts with different sounds and settings.
Syncing it to your DAW is very easy too. I’ve not worked out how to make the DAW the master for tempo yet, so I’m setting that manually for now. Not a problem for my use case in a recording setting.
The sounds are very good in the this machine and work well in a mix. Better for me than trying to get vst patches to sit well. I’m sure that’s due to my own inexperience with it, but this works well instantly. I find it easier to mix everything as audio for some reason.
Ok so one down side is that the audio outputs are a little noisy. This is not a deal breaker for me. This is a real analog piece of kit and for me it’s part of its charm. Practically speaking though it doesn’t affect any productions I’ve done with this so far. It’s not noticeable in the tracks. I’m just aware when I have the deepmind hooked up to my studio mixer I have a little electronic hum that isn’t usually there. So I press the mute switch on that input… job done. I do that anyway. I have everything hooked up to my mixer and mute them when I’m not recording them.
This unit offers the kind of sounds that I grew up listening to from the 70s and 80s, but I think your imagination would be the main limiting factor here. This machine is very powerful. Also it’s clear that the team that designed it really put a lot of thought into how it will be used in different setups. It’s also just incredibly fun and satisfying to move a slider and the sounds instantly changes.
So in conclusion, this is a great way to get into analog synthesis with enough options to let you grow as you become more proficient. I’m very happy with it.