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Title: Behringer K2 Review

Meta Description: The Behringer K-2 is a similar device made after the Korg MS-20 was produced. The features of the K-2, such as the sound, appearance and texture, are scarily recreated in detail through the Korg MS-20.  The difference in price!

Introduction

Since the announcement of the Korg MS-20, Behringer has been fascinated with this technology and wanted to dig in deep to the very smallest detail as to how the Korg MS-20 was made, through numerous researches and meticulous calculations, Behringer finally came up with the K-2.

Background

Behringer is a company that specializes in the making of audio equipment founded in Germany by a Swizz engineer, Uli Behringer in 1989. This company is situated in Willich, Germany, and in 2007, it was recorded to be the 14th largest music product manufacturers with 3 500 employees. Being a subsidiary of Music Tribe, which is also founded by Uli Behringer, base its headquarters in the Philippines. Since its startup, it has burgeoned, which led to the distribution of its products worldwide (mainly to 130 countries), this German company currently produces its services in its city, called Behringer City, located in Zhongshan, Guangdong, China. The company focuses on the makings of audio and lighting equipment and musical instruments.

Behringer K2

History

This Semi-Modular Analog Synthesizer was brought into musicians’ sights in September 2019. It was made and designed in the United Kingdom, used by literally anyone, to name a few, Daft Punk, Aphex Twin, Arcade Fire and Gorillaz. The very initial progression of the synthesizers developed through a Russian scientist and researcher, Léon Theremin in 1919. He named one of the first electronic musical instruments made by his truly, the Theremin. This primitive and fairly large instrument consisted of an oscillator (one of the very simplest forms) that was played through movement using hand gestures within the surroundings of the antenna connection on the instrument.

The Analog Signal Path: What Makes It Worth Your While?

Constructed with a great focus of the traditional dual VCO, VCF and VCA for the pure outcome of an all-analog circuitry path with Junction Field Effect Transistors (JFETs) and coordinating transistors. This enhances the multiple effects of sounds, the shaping of the sounds, and it produces that first-rate tone quality that you have been looking for. That is the result of having the devotion to every single element that Behringer accomplished.

Two Control Modes from Dual Filters: How Does That Work?

In the typical Korg MS-20 – which was released between 1978 and 1983 – it consists of a diversity in filter synthesizer types, which is what was reconstructed in the Behringer K-2. 2 main filter modes lie within the K-2 signifying the original synthesizers for the generation of filters (first and second). The filtering of the K-2 allows you to play soft, flowing sounds gradually leading up to strong, reverberating sounds.

Monophonic (one note at a time) Synthesizer: How Does This Affect the Sound?

The K-2 has a single-voice analog and 16 polyphonic voices that can be interlinked in the Poly Chain mode. However, if you want to create more potential within the audibility, then all you have to do is just constantly putting more modules onto this mojo-packed machine. Since this synthesizer already contains dual filters and oscillators, an external audio input and patch points, thus, to install an additional synthetic voice, basically plug each K-2 module to the Poly Chain output of the previous unit. On top of all this sugar and spice, which makes it even more astounding is that from the 70s and 80s generation, the K-2 has enhanced significantly in the stability and dependability.

Voltage Controlled Oscillators (VCO): What Does This Do?

There are 4 Dual Voltage Controlled Oscillators (VCO) that contain variable pulse widths and an intonation ring for creating that exceptional tone and sound. To change the VCO1 and VCO 2 stages to obtain that general mix for a variety of sound effects, that is what the VCO mixer gives you the authority to do. With every Oscillator, there are 4 variable waveforms to fuse the tones through VCO 1 and VCO2.

  • The VCO 1 wave silhouette holds the characteristics of sawtooth (including the reverse), triangular, noise, and pulse width. The pulse can be altered from a quadrangular wave to a narrow wave over a range of 4 octaves (32’, 16’, 8’, 4’)
  • On the other hand, the waveform of the VCO 2 has the characteristics of sawtooth (including the reverse), square, ring, and narrow pulse from which these can be chosen. It is also where the operation of both Oscillators can take place. The pitch of the VCO 2 can automatically differ over a range of 4 octaves as well (16’, 8’, 4’, 2’)

Multipurpose Voltage Controlled Filter (VCF): How Multipurpose Are We Talking About?

What makes the K-2 outstanding, is that the Lowpass filter consists of 12 dB and the High-pass filter with 6 dB. This entails that both the High-pass and Lowpass cut-off frequencies can experiment with your free will and parallelly, the settings of the reverberation controls will project the wide range of sounds. The K-2’s resonant controls of the VCF offer the crossover frequency with accentuated signals.

  • The High-pass places the signal levels under the frequency cut-offs, this influences the essential and mundane harmonic themes by effectively decreasing it
  • The Low-pass directs the signal stages over the frequency cut-offs, this diminishes the transcendence of harmonic themes

The Envelopes: What Is in The Envelopes for Me?

The K-2 features a Low-frequency Oscillator (LFO), a generator used for modulations and a wave system that is selectable for a frequency array from 0.1 to 22 Hz (triangular, sawtooth, pulse width, ring, and square). These components help you gain those expert skills in creating miraculous sounds. Along with these features, 2 Envelope generators are separated for that molding of the sound:

  • The Envelop Generator 1 influences the intonation of the frequency through the Delay, Attack (repelling) and Release Time controls
  • The Envelop Generator 2 regulates the variation of the frequency cut-off and the Voltage Control Amplifier’s (VCA) amplitude variation. The controls used for this Envelope for an exceptional shaping are the Hold, Sustain, Release and Attach.

Connections and Controls: How Many Are We Looking At?

There are exactly 36 controls on the K-2 that is spread out across a 16.7” surface, but there is more. The tonal forming abilities of the K-2 and the combination with the multiple Input and Output patch panels is eye-widening. For the reason that it connects external devices to the numerous jack fields in the circuitry at any time. This is the answer to the hidden concept in music, where your inspiration can take charge.

Eurorack Packed: Is It That Resourceful?

After you get the hang of the Behringer K-2 and you have started putting together pieces of synthetic artworks (gears) with it, then you are sure to create a masterpiece. This module consists of 36 controls where any restrictions or changes can be simultaneously retrieved and evaluated. Since it is made to a height of 3.7”, therefore if you already own a Eurorack module system, all you do is just simply slot the K-2 to any standard Eurorack case. This is the mere definition of versatile. Although, if you do not own a Eurorack case, don’t fear, the Behringer K-2 alone is still a perfect synthesizer to use on the desktop.

Features

  • An all-analog signal path with a semi-modular synthesizer
  • Dual Voltage Controlled Oscillators (VCO) to produce synthetic sounds to last for an eternity
  • With each Oscillator, there are 4 variable wave silhouettes for a fusion of tones (VCO 1 and VCO 2)
  • Pulse width that can be adjustable and ring intonation to produce tones exceeding sound, pitch, or tone limitations
  • Low-frequency Oscillators (LFO) for that triangular and square wave
  • 2 modes in the High-pass and Lowpass filter sections for a wide range in auditory
  • Corresponding Envelop Generators for Virtual Communication Address (VCA) and Voltage Controlled Filter (VCF)
  • 16 voice polyphonic chain for merging various synthesizers
  • Solution for Eurorack – which means that this unit can be placed in a standardized Eurorack case
  • To process external sound sources, an external audio input has been implemented
  • For quick and easy access to the sounds and editing, there are 36 controls
  • USB/MIDI for the control of a wide range of uses that is incorporated with a Voice Priority selection and MIDI channel

Specifications

  • The Architect of the Synthesizer
    • Type: Semi-modular Desktop Synthesizer
    • Analog/Digital: Analog
  • Number of voices: Monophonic with 16 note polyphonic chain
  • Oscillators: 2 x Voltage Controlled Oscillators (16 Hz – kHz @ 8’; 4 x Ranges that overlap)
  • Low-frequency Oscillator (LFO): 1 (0.1-22 Hz); Triangular, Square wave
  • Voltage Controlled Filter (VCF): 1 x Lowpass and 1 x High pass (24 dB / Octaves)
  • Connection
    • Power Supply: 12V DC Input
    • Power Switch: 1 On/Off Push Button
    • MIDI Input / Output (5-pin DIN): In/Thru; USB
    • MIDI Channel Switch: 16 channel selections
    • Analog Inputs: 1 x 1/8” (external signal)
    • Analog Outputs: 1 x ¼”, 1 x 1/8” (signal), unbalanced, Max. 0 dBμ
    • Output Impedance: 1.0 k Ω
    • Headphones: 1 x 1/8”
    • Headphones Output Impedance: 22Ω
  • USB
    • Type-B USB 2.0
    • Compatibility with Windows 7 and higher or Mac OS X and higher
  • Controls
    • Master tune: -5 V to +5 V
    • Portamento: 0-10
  • Voltage Controlled Oscillators (VCO)
    • VCO 1:
      • 32’, 16’, 8’, 4’
      • Pulse width: Square wave to narrow wave
      • Waveform: Triangular, sawtooth (reverse), variable pulse width, noise
    • VCO 2:
      • 16’, 8’, 4’, 2’
      • Waveform: Sawtooth (reverse), narrow pulse, ring, square
      • Pitch: -5 V to +5 V
    • VCO 1 and 2 levels: 0-10
  • Voltage Controlled Filter (VCF)
    • High-pass/Lowpass Cut-off Frequency: 0-10 (10 Hz to 20 kHz)
    • High-pass /Lowpass Resonance Peak: 0-10
    • Filter Selector Switch: Filter 1 and 2
  • Modulation
    • Frequency Modulation (MG/T.Ext/EG1/Ext): 0 to 10 (0.1 to 22 Hz)
    • High-Pass/Lowpass Filter Cutoff Frequency (MG/T.Ext/EG2/Ext): 0 to 10
    • Modulation Waveform: Variation of pulse width and variation of sawtooth
    • LED: Modulation Frequency Rate
  • Envelop Generators
    • EG 1 Delay Time: 0 to 5.5 s
    • EG 1 Attack Time: 3.0 ms to 16 s
    • EG 1 Release Time: 30 ms to 16 s
  • EG 2 Hold Time: 0 to 14 s
  • EG 2 Attack Time: 5.4 ms to 9 s
  • EG 2 Decay Time: 0.5 ms to 15 s
  • EG 2 Release Time: 40 ms to 18 s
  • LED: Envelope Generator Action
  • Inputs and Outputs
  • LED: Power
  • Sample and Hold In/Out: 5 Vpp (Peak-to-Peak Voltage)
  • Clock into Ground (GND)
  • VCA In/Out: -5 V to +5 V
  • White/Pink Noise Out: 5 Vpp
  • Trigger Switch Out to Ground (GND)
  • VCO 1+2 CV in: 0 to +8 V
  • VCO 1+2 Frequency In: -3 V to +3 V
  • VCA Initial Gain: 0 to 5 V
  • High/Low Pass VCF Cutoff Frequency: -5 V to +5 V
  • Modulation Triangular/Sawtooth Waveform Out: 5 Vpp
  • Modulation Pulse/Square Waveform Out: 0 to +5 V
  • Other Input / Output: 32 x CV/Signal Patch Points
  • Power Consumption: Max 12W
  • Module Width: 80 HP
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 3.7” x 16.7” x 5.4”
  • Weight: 4.0 lbs

Conclusion

To summarize what the Behringer K-2 can guarantee its buyers is that it is based on the foundation of the Korg MS-20, which means that the effort and time it took to assemble all the bits and pieces on this modular system entails the phrase “hard work pays off”. Not one patch cable is needed, because of the implementation of the default signal course puts ease of mind for you to produce that vibrant quality of sound and the sound effects. Due to the 80s and 90s, an inspiration that led to the creation of the K-2, the type of genres this machine can project will take your breath away (EDM, Wave, Progressive rock, Trance, Synth-Pop). If that does not phase you, then feel free to tap in your styles and be that DJ you’ve been dreaming about, which is priced at such a reasonable amount of $388.00!

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