It’s been onerous to disregard Behringer on the earth of synths over the previous couple of years. It has launched a relentless marketing campaign of releases, bringing again traditional designs at discount costs. We’re not going to wade into the murky world of ethics, however as a substitute, we’re right here to check out the Professional-1, a trustworthy rack recreation of Sequential Circuits 1981 synthesizer. You’ll, little doubt, have heard it’s resonant tones on many data, with a number of artists corresponding to Thompson Twins, The Prodigy, Depeche Mode, Vince Clarke, and extra utilizing it as their synth of selection. Can this funds model ship the analogue items, and the way does it stack as much as the unique?
Visually, the Professional-1 carefully replicates the unique Sequential Circuits Professional-One faceplate, albeit in a barely smaller body. It feels comparatively sturdy, with a steel physique and detachable pretend wooden aspect panels, simply in case you wish to mount it in a Eurorack case. The pots really feel like good high quality with some resistance that makes it simpler to dial in small adjustments, however the switches let the aspect down as they really feel slightly free and low-cost. In fact, at this worth, we’d fairly the cash went into circuitry than housing.
On to the synth specs, and we have now twin analogue VCOs with three simultaneous waveforms. Each have pulse-width controls, and you may mix the degrees utilizing the mixer part, the place you can even dial in a noise oscillator or an exterior enter sign. You even have a sync swap on Osc A, and the flexibility to show Osc B to low-frequency mode and detach it from the keyboard enter to make use of it as an additional LFO.
With services corresponding to waveshape mixing, oscillator sync and pulse-width management, you will get an honest number of timbres from the Professional-1. Hearken to the sound examples under for examples starting from heat and subby to piercingly brilliant, resonant and nasal.
The triangle wave on Osc B makes a wonderful sub, and if you’d like a cleaner sine wave, you should utilize the succesful 24dB/octave (4-pole) low-pass filter. The filter is characterful and squelchy, and at excessive resonances, it lets you simply pick frequencies, even transferring into self-oscillation. The one draw back with this filter design, like many others, is that you simply lose plenty of low-end as you enhance the resonance, so you need to think about this when designing sounds. The filter has its personal ADSR envelope, and there’s a handy guide a rough envelope for the amplifier, too. And a latest firmware replace has made the amp envelope even snappier.
Lastly, there’s an LFO with three combinable waveshapes, which additionally doubles as an inside clock. The LFO is considered one of three mod sources for the Professional-1’s distinctive modulation part. It takes slightly getting used to, nevertheless it offers you three mod sources (filter envelope, oscillator B and LFO), and 5 locations (pitch and pulse-width for each oscillators and the filter). These might be set to both the Mod Wheel bus or the direct bus.
For instance, you may mix the Filter Envelope and Osc B sources to create a fancy form that modulates oscillator pulse-width. Then you should utilize the LFO by way of the mod wheel to create rhythmic filter actions. There are specific limitations to this technique, nevertheless it’s fast to make use of, and it makes you strive stuff you won’t usually discover.
Fortunately, Behringer has seen match to broaden upon the unique’s sound design capabilities by together with six further CV ins and 5 outs. This allows you to route the filter or amp envelope to resonance or ship the LFO to the exterior enter and play its pitch by way of the keyboard, providing you with a further oscillator. The CV connectivity additionally helps in case you’re seeking to interface the Professional-1 with different modular gear. Though it’s nowhere close to as versatile as Behringer’s semi-modular Neutron synth, it’s a welcome addition on an instrument that in any other case performs it fairly secure in copying the unique Sequential Circuits design.
The CV I/O additionally helps you to create a bit of additional heat. There’s no built-in distortion, however you are able to do the previous trick of feeding the audio output into the exterior enter. It’s important to watch out to not overdo it, however this may produce a nice contact of thickening saturation.
Elsewhere, Drone mode performs a single sustained notice and Repeat mode rhythmically triggers the gate with velocity managed by the LFO/clock or an exterior supply. Retrig selects whether or not the envelopes can be retriggered every time you hit a key when enjoying legato or if the notes will run into one another.
Mono/Poly helps you to swap from the usual monophonic mode to two-note paraphonic mode. This lets you play two notes concurrently, however each sharing the identical filter and VCA. There’s additionally a easy arpeggiator with up and up/down modes and a primary sequencer that allows you to step document two sequences. Each are completely exceedingly easy to make use of. Lastly, you’ve gotten Glide with a traditional mode and an auto mode that solely glides if you play legato.
For connecting to extra trendy studio gear, Professional-1 has each 5-pin MIDI I/O and USB MIDI, which is most welcome. Sadly although, MIDI implementation is restricted, because it solely receives notice and mod wheel messages. Provided that there’s no solution to save presets, it’s a disgrace that full MIDI CC implementation isn’t included, as this might have opened up the potential for saving by way of SysEx. We’d have paid additional for this function. Nevertheless, in case you’re used to utilizing older analogue synths or utilizing the Professional-1 for sound design, coming to the panel recent for every session might not be a difficulty.
Small MIDI and construct points apart, there’s not a lot you may argue with if you’re getting this a lot synth at such a low worth, particularly as a second-hand authentic Professional-One will set you again virtually £2,000. It might be funds in some areas, however sonically that is the actual deal, and it constantly made us smile whereas enjoying. Behringer has taken nice care to get it sounding as near the unique as potential, and it might simply replicate easy traditional patches or make face-melting trendy sounds. And in case your pockets permits, you may even polychain 16 collectively.
- Analogue synth with 2 VCOs
- 3 simultaneous osc shapes and pulse-width
- 4-pole, self-resonating low-pass filter
- Mod matrix with 2 mod busses
- 2 envelope turbines and 1 LFO
- Arpeggiator and 64 notice sequencer
- Eurorack suitable
- Exterior audio enter and CV I/O
- MIDI in/out/via plus USB MIDI