Neutron The New Behringer Semi-Modular Synthesizer

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Post by nomadjames » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:39 am

Amen!
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Post by Panason » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:11 pm

I was just saying that the hardware quality doesn't have to be bad to make it cheap. Mass manufacturing in China (with wage slaves) is what makes it cheap.

Moog synths and all that fancy modular stuff would (or could) be cheaper if they were made in China as well.

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Post by Muzone » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:04 pm

Panason wrote:...Mass manufacturing in China (with wage slaves) is what makes it cheap.
getting dangerously close to politics here, but I'm not sure you fully understand the concept of a 'wage slave' ?

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Post by raised eyebrows » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:09 pm

starthief wrote:I sure hope nobody having a go at Behringer for manufacturing in China, or using cheap parts, uses any products from Roland, Yamaha, Apple, Intel, AMD... oh wait :hmm:

There are very few manufacturers that don't try to minimize their expenses either by using the cheapest available parts, underpaying their labor, exerting pressure on their suppliers if they're big enough, lobbying for looser regulations (and again doing their best to screw over labor), etc.

Until someone manages to document exactly how Behringer is substantially worse for their workers than everyone else is, and/or exhorts people to also avoid other instrumeent manufacturers for the same reasons, it's just empty trash-talk.
i don't think you need to prove that Behringer is uniquely 'evil' or whatever to laud the labor practices of Moog Music; whether or not Behringer runs their factories to the standards practiced by other large corporations, we certainly DO know that Moog is an employee owned company which surely pays its workers significantly more than Behringer does. It honestly drives me nuts when (esp on the other music forum which shall not be named) people act as if this is a totally unimportant fact when drooling over behringer's prices; I don't judge anyone for using whatever tools they can afford (and I own an ipad etc so i'm certainly complicit), but I do think that supporting a company which treats its workers well is something that I am willing to pay a premium for; I do my best to support worker-owned companies and establishments whenever possible despite the fact that I don't make much money. I don't think everyone needs to do that, but I also think it's silly to handwave away such differences in service of some sort of 'greedy moog is getting RICH off of us poor musicians' narrative (which Uli rather sneakily encouraged with a number of his posts on Gearslutz)(oops i named the other forum).

And for what it's worth: Factory workers in Zhongshan protest dangerous working conditions
About 80 percent of the workforce had complained of dizziness, headaches, coughing, weakness and blurred vision since the factory relocated to a new facility in September. They said the production lines were sealed, causing them to directly inhale the fumes, which workers suspected were a lingering residue from the factory renovation... Workers bought their own testing devices and discovered that levels of dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde were three to ten times the recommended safe level. Workers then contacted the local work safety department on 28 November, and after an investigation, the government told the workers on 4 December that their suspicions were correct.
Eurotec Electronics is owned by Music Group, one of the world’s largest audio equipment manufacturers, making products for global brands like Behringer and Midas.
VS

Moog Music Gives Employees More Control
At the Moog synthesizer factory in Asheville, N.C., on Tuesday, Michael Adams, the company’s owner and chief executive, wanted to share some life-changing news with the entire staff.

“I’ve sold half the company,” he told them.

Anxious silence descended among the tight-knit group, many of whom feel a familial loyalty to the business, which has been likened to Willy Wonka’s factory for electronic musicians.

Then Mr. Adams revealed the buyer.

“I sold it to you,” he said, to a relieved wave of whoops, applause and happy tears, according to employees present.

Siobhan Robinson, a production scheduler who started as an office manager 10 years ago, could only talk through her sniffles and giddy laughs. “This provides for my family; this is all we have,” she said.

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Post by raised eyebrows » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:13 pm

(BTW that said - I'm not suggesting that no one should buy Behringer gear, just that there are valid reasons for people to have questions about the means by which their prices are made so low, and to determine for themselves whether that matters to them. The Neutron looks interesting, FWIW, and I do applaud Behringer for taking some risks and building a new affordable semi-modular)

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Post by nomadjames » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:01 pm

Muzone wrote:
Panason wrote:...Mass manufacturing in China (with wage slaves) is what makes it cheap.
getting dangerously close to politics here, but I'm not sure you fully understand the concept of a 'wage slave' ?

Old school Shadowrun slang?
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Post by Koekepan » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:30 pm

raised eyebrows wrote:i don't think you need to prove that Behringer is uniquely 'evil' or whatever to laud the labor practices of Moog Music; whether or not Behringer runs their factories to the standards practiced by other large corporations, we certainly DO know that Moog is an employee owned company which surely pays its workers significantly more than Behringer does. It honestly drives me nuts when (esp on the other music forum which shall not be named) people act as if this is a totally unimportant fact when drooling over behringer's prices; I don't judge anyone for using whatever tools they can afford (and I own an ipad etc so i'm certainly complicit), but I do think that supporting a company which treats its workers well is something that I am willing to pay a premium for; I do my best to support worker-owned companies and establishments whenever possible despite the fact that I don't make much money. I don't think everyone needs to do that, but I also think it's silly to handwave away such differences in service of some sort of 'greedy moog is getting RICH off of us poor musicians' narrative (which Uli rather sneakily encouraged with a number of his posts on Gearslutz)(oops i named the other forum).
I take a completely different view.

I don't have the option of going to the store and buying a sack full of good feelings and fluffy bunny moments. All the hard-earned cash I can drag along (which is depressingly little) can only be exchanged for synths, sequencers, mixers, cables and so on.

The proof of this is that once I've made the music, mixed it down, put it on a CD (or whatever) and played it for someone else, the only fluffy bunnies involved come from the music. I can't put HapiFeelz(tm) on a CD because I didn't buy any HapiFeelz(tm) in the first place. It's not on the shelf.

The net result is that if I'm paying more money for a device that will give me an adequate sound (by my ear - the only measure that matters) then I'm engaging in an act of charity. Charity that, quite frankly, I can't afford.

Not one synth in my studio cost me as much as a Sub Phatty, and everything over $200 is not only polyphonic, but multitimbral. The suggestion that I should buy a DFAM for the price of a Blofeld is - well, it's otherworldly. I'm not in the business of spending money as a political statement in favour of a particular model of labour. I spend money to build the very best studio, for the very best music that I possibly can make.

Now, does this mean that I encourage exploitation of the weeping proletariat while champagne-swilling capitalist cannibals laugh? No. I'm quite happy to have all businesses and industries kept to high standards of conduct - but I'm not the police. I'm not the government. I'm not even on some kind of labour board. I'm the poor schlub who gets to peer at what's on the shelf, and count the money in his fist.

So I vote for good public policy, and I spend for efficiency. On that front, Uli can run a clean factory or pay fines and penalties. And I'll buy smart.

If I want something semi-modular, and there isn't a Volca semi-modular, this Neutron might be a good buy.

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Post by nomadjames » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:40 pm



I want this thing so bad.
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Post by deb76 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:07 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8otT2YQsGCY
I like this it. The work on the envelope reminds me of my old EMS Synthi AKS. I ordered the Model D Behringer and I will order the Neutron. It is a set 700 euros TTC with multiple possibilities ...

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Post by MindMachine » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:30 am

kindredlost wrote:
Howie_Doodat wrote:.. at least you'll get some early oberheim, roland, seq circuits and mem moog sounds out of it.
Or PAIA Proteus. :hihi:
9V battery not included! :mrgreen:

Man you brought back some memories. I used to save every new catalog. Remember their blue Drum voice module? Man it looked sick. I'm sure it sounded like crap (former Phlanger, Gnome, Oz owner).

Glad to see more normalled synths in production, but seems odd for Behringer. Maybe this will turn the music world more modular. Amen.
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Post by Rex Coil 7 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:43 am

numan7 wrote:.... * neutron is a monosynth (so it's more like the sci pro one). it only needs to stay in tune with itself -
This notion is simply factually incorrect.

It would only need to "stay in tune with itself" if it is the sole instrument in a given song or performance.

In a band setting it also must stay in tune with guitars, basses, other synths, organs (such as a vintage Hammond which has no ability to be tuned ... meaning all of the instruments in the band must be able to tune to the Hammond), computers (VSTs), the song as a whole, the singer, as well as the drums ... Yes, good drummers actually know how to tune their drums and frequently do.

So you're going to have to rethink that statement.
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Post by MindMachine » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:44 am

Rex Coil 7 wrote:
numan7 wrote:.... * neutron is a monosynth (so it's more like the sci pro one). it only needs to stay in tune with itself -
This notion is simply factually incorrect.

It would only need to "stay in tune with itself" if it is the sole instrument in a given song or performance.

In a band setting it also must stay in tune with guitars, basses, other synths, organs (such as a vintage Hammond which has no ability to be tuned ... meaning all of the instruments in the band must be able to tune to the Hammond), computers (VSTs), the song as a whole, the singer, as well as the drums ... Yes, good drummers actually know how to tune their drums and frequently do.

So you're going to have to rethink that statement.
Like when I played trombone in a section and the concert director said I was out of tune. I made them tune to me. :hihi:
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Post by gentle_attack » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:16 am

raised eyebrows wrote:Moog Music Gives Employees More Control
At the Moog synthesizer factory in Asheville, N.C., on Tuesday, Michael Adams, the company’s owner and chief executive, wanted to share some life-changing news with the entire staff.

“I’ve sold half the company,” he told them.

Anxious silence descended among the tight-knit group, many of whom feel a familial loyalty to the business, which has been likened to Willy Wonka’s factory for electronic musicians.

Then Mr. Adams revealed the buyer.

“I sold it to you,” he said, to a relieved wave of whoops, applause and happy tears, according to employees present.

Siobhan Robinson, a production scheduler who started as an office manager 10 years ago, could only talk through her sniffles and giddy laughs. “This provides for my family; this is all we have,” she said.
It's pretty cool when owners decide they've made enough and want out, and want the family they created to not only keep their jobs, but continue the company as they see fit...

buuuuut
(1) don't act like this is the norm
(2) even at Moog there were an infinite amount of time over the life of the company before that moment where they DIDN'T do that, and one guy owned it and was calling the shots.
(3) If I spent my money and effort on a company I would say it was absurd to suggest I "owe it" to my company to treat them a certain way (so long as what I did was legal) much less give them part of the company. If you don't like your job, there's infinity jobs out there minus the one you (have/hate) out there.


--end note: I actually do empathize with what you were selling :) and that's why mass produced Chinese shit never or extremely rarely hits cult status, and hand made Moogerfoogers are worth 95% of their MSRP after years in service. It's just unfair to knock kids working 2 jobs who want a Boog D because there's a LE Moog D thats 12x as expensive.
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Post by thevegasnerve » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:34 am

Almost all of us have no idea of the culture or working environment of these firms. We are speculating based on a few articles etc.. I think it’s likely Moog provides a better workplace, but it’s all relative. And even fewer have any concept of running a business. What we do know is that Moog makes a very nice product, I love my whole fooger collection and the Mother32s are a joy to play. The foogers will outlast me I suspect. I do think the Neutron is the most interesting of all Behringers products. Their history is spotty but may be improving.

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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:12 pm

Not to put too fine a point on it, but a lot of the bits and pieces of all those cottage industry eurorack modules y'all love so much are made in China. All the hardware is made in China. The PCBs are made in China. All the knobs and panel bits and pieces are made in China (or Taiwan). All of the electronic components are made in China (except some of the ICs, which are made in Malaysia or the Philippines). (OK, the panels are typically made in Ohio.)

Unless you live off the grid in a treehouse in the forest, I would bet that 90% of everything you own is made, partially or wholly, in China. So why get all self-righteous about Behringer? The Chinese middle class is the fastest growing demographic on the planet -- it turns out that the average Chinese person wants a bit of affluence, just like the average Westerner -- so why is this bad?
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Post by Funky40 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:08 pm

gentle_attack wrote:
It's pretty cool when owners decide they've made enough and want out, and want the family they created to not only keep their jobs, but continue the company as they see fit...
ha, this one looks 180° the other way around to me.
honestly, it looks not good. More like: the rich bail out while they can and aslong they can find a stupid one...........

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Post by numan7 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:23 pm

Rex Coil 7 wrote:[t would only need to "stay in tune with itself" if it is the sole instrument in a given song or performance.

In a band setting it also must stay in tune with guitars, basses, other synths, organs (such as a vintage Hammond which has no ability to be tuned ... meaning all of the instruments in the band must be able to tune to the Hammond), computers (VSTs), the song as a whole, the singer, as well as the drums ... Yes, good drummers actually know how to tune their drums and frequently do..
when a mono-synth "stays in tune with itself", this means that its pitch is stable over time. and since it is a mono-synth, its midi and frequency cv only control one voice.

(so you don't need to worry about voices going out of tune with respect to master pitch as on a polysynth.)

playing in band settings, or whatever, then is dead simple. just use the pitch controls on the mono-synth to transpose to whatever key the band is playing in.

(so the statement was factually correct. and i don't need to re-think anything.)


cheers

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Post by Panason » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:13 am

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
Unless you live off the grid in a treehouse in the forest, I would bet that 90% of everything you own is made, partially or wholly, in China. So why get all self-righteous about Behringer? The Chinese middle class is the fastest growing demographic on the planet -- it turns out that the average Chinese person wants a bit of affluence, just like the average Westerner -- so why is this bad?
Not being self-righteous but here's some food for thought... the info about Chinese manufacturing is later in the video. Behringer are just one of many (peanuts compared to the likes of Samsung and Apple) and we're all implicated... I haven't researched the matter to know if everything there is factually correct so I won't be able to discuss this video.

[video][/video]

Anyway... to get back to the topic :despair: is there any info on the MIDI implementation? Are any of the synth's parameters controllable with MIDI CCs?

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Post by starthief » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:35 pm

Gaz Williams did a livestream with it. He doesn't have the modular mindset and wasn't quite sure about some of the features (like VCA bias) but still, I found this video useful. Good sound quality and a nice clear listen to various parts of the synth in near-isolation.

[video][/video]

Pretty great oscillators, and morphing between shapes is a nice touch. Good filter. Much less whiney BBD than on the previous version that DivKid and some others were sent -- I wonder if they slapped a lowpass on it as well as doubling the stages.

I'd been having second thoughts about getting one unless I could try it myself, but I'm back in the yes camp.

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Post by dubonaire » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:53 am

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:Not to put too fine a point on it, but a lot of the bits and pieces of all those cottage industry eurorack modules y'all love so much are made in China. All the hardware is made in China. The PCBs are made in China. All the knobs and panel bits and pieces are made in China (or Taiwan). All of the electronic components are made in China (except some of the ICs, which are made in Malaysia or the Philippines). (OK, the panels are typically made in Ohio.)

Unless you live off the grid in a treehouse in the forest, I would bet that 90% of everything you own is made, partially or wholly, in China. So why get all self-righteous about Behringer? The Chinese middle class is the fastest growing demographic on the planet -- it turns out that the average Chinese person wants a bit of affluence, just like the average Westerner -- so why is this bad?
I agree with your general position and it's a point that should be made, but I think it's more complex than that. It's a bit like the one true scotsman fallacy. Many of your choices are comprised so don't make any ethical choices or you are a hypocrite. If we took that approach our morals and ethics would collapse.

As consumers we can influence by making obvious choices. It's obvious not to wear baby fur seal or eat shark fin soup and they are easy choices to make. For some it might be easy to not buy Behringer because there is a lot of information on its manufacturing complexes and they can choose to buy other equipment. Given Behringer's volume, consumer choices may not influence the company's behaviour but talking about it on public forums is healthy.

It turns out the average Chinese person wants fair, safe and healthy working conditions as well. That's part and parcel of most westerners' affluence. And that's why Behringer's workers went on strike late last year. Actually the biggest threat to profiting from cheap Chinese factory labour is the increasing sophistication and expectations of the workers themselves.

From what I've read about Berhinger management culture it's everything you rail against. One of the differences with Behringer, regardless of any ethical issues, is there is a risk it will drive a race to the bottom, a market in which only companies with its economies of scale can survive. I think that happened before in this industry, and it resulted in a largely unremarkable decade or two of mediocre electronic musical instruments.

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Post by D Rock » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:07 am

I can't wait to get my hands on one of these. Going to be my starting point for modular with a behringer model D. Plan to get a few VCAs and wasp filter to start. :guinness:

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Post by DREIPOLAR » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:28 am

id like to remind you all that the original idea of eurorack by dieter doepfer was super affordable analog for everybody! that has turned into a nerd economy "here let me show you my super nerdy gizmo and while im at it let me charge you as much as possible for it".

schippmann right now charges 800 euro for a single filter which of course is excellent but this seems to be a very unhealthy relationship between cost and function. there is nothing wrong with nerds making lot of $$ with gizmos but if behringer gets into it there is at least an alternative. plus the model D is proof that super high quality analog audio COULD be built cheaply and all eurorack addicts are being milked badly.

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Post by dubonaire » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:55 am

lilakmonoke wrote:id like to remind you all that the original idea of eurorack by dieter doepfer was super affordable analog for everybody! that has turned into a nerd economy "here let me show you my super nerdy gizmo and while im at it let me charge you as much as possible for it".

schippmann right now charges 800 euro for a single filter which of course is excellent but this seems to be a very unhealthy relationship between cost and function. there is nothing wrong with nerds making lot of $$ with gizmos but if behringer gets into it there is at least an alternative. plus the model D is proof that super high quality analog audio COULD be built cheaply and all eurorack addicts are being milked badly.
I don't think you can compare Doepfer to Behringer. Dieter Doepfer still provides the company's tech support.

Schippmann filters were expensive before Schippmann entered eurorack. No one has to buy a Schippmann filter. And there already are cheap alternatives to Schippmann, like Doepfer, as you point out.

Schippmann filters were expensive before Schippmann entered eurorack. No one has to buy a Schippmann filter.

The reason the model D is cheap is because of economies of scale. It doesn't mean small manufacturers can make them that cheaply. It's a bulk retail financial model. Large numbers X small margins, and vertically integrated supply chain (including the voice chips), versus low numbers X larger margins. I'm happy for those small manufacturers to make a profit. I certainly wouldn't work for free.

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Post by Panason » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:31 am

lilakmonoke wrote:id like to remind you all that the original idea of eurorack by dieter doepfer was super affordable analog for everybody! that has turned into a nerd economy "here let me show you my super nerdy gizmo and while im at it let me charge you as much as possible for it".
I'm inclined to agree. I believe these "boutique" (I can't stand that term) manufacturers are charging a "hip factor" premium.... with (IMO ridiculously pretentious) names like "Ornament & Crime", "Iteritas", "Cocoquantus" etc there is clearly a particular target market for these things and it has to do with a sort of next level analog trendiness. Many people believe that the more money they throw at (relatively) obscure gear the better their music will be.. And so we have people asking things like "how can I make a fat bass sound with my modular" - apparently ignoring the fact that you can make humongously obese bass with a DX7 (sine waves!) that you would never get with analogue systems.

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Post by dubonaire » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:46 am

Panason wrote:
lilakmonoke wrote:id like to remind you all that the original idea of eurorack by dieter doepfer was super affordable analog for everybody! that has turned into a nerd economy "here let me show you my super nerdy gizmo and while im at it let me charge you as much as possible for it".
I'm inclined to agree. I believe these "boutique" (I can't stand that term) manufacturers are charging a "hip factor" premium.... with (IMO ridiculously pretentious) names like "Ornament & Crime", "Iteritas", "Cocoquantus" etc there is clearly a particular target market for these things and it has to do with a sort of next level analog trendiness. Many people believe that the more money they throw at (relatively) obscure gear the better their music will be.. And so we have people asking things like "how can I make a fat bass sound with my modular" - apparently ignoring the fact that you can make humongously obese bass with a DX7 (sine waves!) that you would never get with analogue systems.
I like how you name a bunch of digital modules as next level analog trendiness. At least know what you are talking about if you are going to go on a rant. No one is forcing you to buy these modules, why get so upset, or do you just want to :youkids: ? If so take it to Gearslutz.
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