We have been suitably impressed by the range of synths coming out from Behringer of late and the Neutron is no exception. It is a semi-modular synth but we reckon the diversity served-up by its onboard controls puts it on par with a fully-modular analog synth.
It is incredibly well built, slim and low profile despite not being the most compact of options available. Given that it is a euro-rack design like many new models on the market it will essentially be compatible with the majority of racks and equipment you want to hook up, it measures 80HP.
Fully analog, with some notorious technology harbored within, it gives you all the tools of an authentic synthesizer. The Analog signals are smoother and move better because of the natural fluidity of the analog waveform.
Comparably a digital signal is a little more jittery, as it is generated from finite numbers sequentially. No matter how finely programmed, there will always be steps because the points between numbers are technically infinite in reality.
The Neutron synth has a simple layout, that provides 36 rotaries and 7 buttons. It consists of 2 core oscillators which are paraphonic and it offers up 56 patch points which makes it wonderfully flexible. They come with default patching but you can obviously change the routing as you like.
In essence, you have 32 inputs and 24 outputs. The thing can be used straight out of the box with the default routes by a complete beginner, or you can override the routes and throw in your own patches as you see (or hear) fit.
The oscillators are 2 CEM 3340's, they have a range of 3 octaves. You can set their frequency from a fixed-frequency or tune them. You get square, pulse, saw, triangle and sine waveforms to select between and you can get even more creative by mixing adjacent wave types. They can be hard synced or you can use the second oscillator as a sub.
The paraphonic nature allows the pitch of the oscillator to be coupled to share triggering elements. This lets you control the pitches independently like a duo or polyphonic synth but the notes are then shared structurally.
Both oscillators have a punchy sound they can be wildly morphed. The input and output patch points are of course voltage controlled which allows you great freedom of expression. It has a multi-mode filter with a low-pass and high-pass VCF, there are 2 ASDR amp envelopes and an LFO which can be adjusted from slow to halfway audibly.
You can increase the width of the signals and the envelope depth play with the resonance and modulation. There are drive tone and level dials in the overdrive bay and you can play with the attack rate and glide.
You can get some nice Moog-sounding bass lines going. The time settings are great the delays have good scope and you can adjust tempo with the slew and portamento controls. They allow you to slide into notes with great fluidity and dynamics.
The knobs are all good-quality but they can be knocked be warned. There are MIDI In and MIDI Thru jacks as well as USB/MIDI so you can sample anything you like.
The Neutron from Behringer is a semi-modular synth with a Eurorack construction, that provides high-quality dual 3340 analog oscillators. They can be used paraphonically and feature 5 different wave-forms to choose from.
Each has its own pulse width settings and tone modulation to adjust. There are 2 analog ADSR generators for VCF and VCA and an LFO with the same 5 separate forms to play with.
It benefits from predestined patch-routes that you can use in a stand-alone manner but it also has a large patch bay, so you can get hands-on and tweak it all yourself. There are 56 total patch inputs/outputs, all voltage controlled. It is competitively priced and packs a lot of features in for the cash.
+ Paraphonic dual oscillator semi-modular synth.
+ All analog circuitry and hardware.
+ 80HP Eurorack design.
+ Durably made.
+ 5 wave-forms, 2 ASDR envelopes high and low pass filtering.
+ Noise generator and an overdrive circuit
+ Multi-stage analog delay.
+ 32 input/24 output patch bay.
+ MIDI in and Thru as well as USB/MIDI connections.
- No complimentary patch cables.
- The delays bleed a little even at zero because of the analog circuitry.
Why We Like It
It is a great piece of tech, we love the retro Bucket Brigade Delays and overdrive settings. With an extensive patch bay, it goes beyond a lot of the competition. Semi-modular synths are very popular and this one offers more than most.
It also gives good value for money retailing below a lot of the top competitors. It essentially has 3 filter modes and is laid out in a user-friendly manner, you can stick to the manufactured routing or break the mold and get patching your own.
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