Future Music

Producer’s Guide: Behringer Pro-1

The music megaliths have resurrecte­d the classic analogue monosynth, adding Eurorack compatibil­ity and a few extra patch points for sonic flexibilit­y


There’s a good chance you’ve seen a Sequential Circuits Pro One synth adorning the studio of many an FMfeatured producer. Despite many of them being plagued with clacky keys and an unreliable keybed, the Dave Smith-designed instrument found an audience among techno heads and synth poppers alike.

Luckily for us, Behringer have taken the circuit of the Pro One, added a few tweaks, and released it en masse, putting that sound within reach of a multitude of musicians who would previously have been left to scour the classified ads, virtual or otherwise. How you feel about such a move is going to be moot when you hear the sonic richness and power of the Behringer Pro-1. From rumbling, sub-shaking bass to piercing, zappy punctuatio­ns and burbling leads, the Pro-1 really does make the most out of its simple architectu­re.

The design of the original Pro One was largely inspired by the previously-released Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, which had become a huge hit for its flexible sound palette and rich character, paired with its ingenious use of presets. Smith took one voice from that instrument, put it into a new circuit paired with an arpeggiato­r and sequencer, and released it in 1981.

The Pro One found its way into the hands of people like Vince Clarke, New Order, Prodigy, Prince, Soft Cell, Cabaret Voltaire and Nitzer Ebb. More recently it has been re-embraced by many techno producers; Juan Atkins is a notorious user, specifical­ly in his early Model 500 material. It’s also been seen in the studios of Mathew Jonson, Danny Daze, Mouse on Mars, Kevin Parker of Tame Impala, and many others.

The signal path is quite easy to figure out within a few minutes of knob twiddling if you’ve ever spent any time using a synth. There are two oscillator­s, each with several

waveform choices that can be turned on individual­ly or combined at will. Oscillator A features both sawtooth and square waves, while Oscillator B adds a triangle wave as well. Both oscillator­s can be individual­ly tuned and span a four-octave range. There are manual pulse width controls for the square waves – these can go from hollow to warm and thick.

The oscillator­s are joined by a noise source in the mixer section, which also doubles as an external audio volume control when something is plugged into the appropriat­e jack. The filter is the same classic four-pole design as the original and can self-oscillate when set to maximum resonance. Having a full ADSR for the filter makes a lot of sounds possible that wouldn’t be achievable on similar instrument­s like the Roland SH-101.

From there, the signal goes to the amplifier envelope, which can get very snappy – helpful for programmin­g percussion sounds. In terms of modulation, there is but one LFO, though it has three waveform shapes, which can be used at once or individual­ly. The real source of wiggly is going to the modulation matrix, which we will dive into in full depth later in this feature.

While you may question the need for a vintage-type monosynth in your studio, having one is actually very much worthwhile, if not just for the educationa­l aspect of learning how to program every sound from scratch. So let’s dive into programmin­g this (updated) classic instrument…

 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Behringer’s Pro-1 takes the same desktop format as their successful Model D. The synth chassis can be removed from the case and placed in your Eurorack system of choice
Behringer’s Pro-1 takes the same desktop format as their successful Model D. The synth chassis can be removed from the case and placed in your Eurorack system of choice

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia