Behringer Poly D – How Good Will It Be?
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The hype is real for this soon to come offering from Behringer. As a successor to the very talked about (for many reasons) Behringer Poly D, many are expecting a lot from this synth. With more and more great affordable synths entering the market, people have begun to turn towards less traditional manufactures like Behringer. Obviously, some individuals do take issue with the striking similarities of this synth to that of a vintage Moog Model D. But I am not here to take sides, just to tell you the facts. The fact is this is going to be a very popular choice for people not trying to spend thousands to get a real poly Moog. Since it looks like we are going to have to wait till the new year for this drop, why don’t we take a look at what we are all waiting for.
A Moog sound with multiple voices equals a hefty price tag, at least up to now this has always been the case. Truthfully, if not for things like the Minilogue and the DeepMind series, the Poly D would be an even more polarizing instrument. Polyphonic analogue synths are just recently falling under the $1000 dollar price point. It seems like every few months we are hearing of another game changing budget design from one company or another. This trend is a great thing to see, but the Poly D still stands out among these other synths. This is for the obvious reason that it is close in both sound and features to that of its iconic vintage counterpart.
The Poly D has many of the features players are looking for in a solid poly synth. The vintage elements include things like voltage-controlled oscillators, a filter and amplifier. All of these really do appear to hold true to the classic ones. Additionally, it also has several new features that make this a much more well-rounded unit. Here are a few of the standouts in detail.
- The Poly D takes advantage of its 4-voice polyphony by giving the user three different ways in which they can use them. In poly mode, you have the four voices available for full lush chords. In unison and mono modes, you will be using either one or all four voices at the same time (only playing one note). Keeping both of these monophonic modes is great, you get the classic sound of just one voice and the slightly different timbre of stacking four to one note.
- 4 VOCs
- Adding another voice to the original Moog design is a really helpful add-on for making larger chords. Instead of just sticking to triads, now you can take advantage of wider voicings. This will be nice for adding octaves, ninths and sevenths when creating those huge poly progressions.
- As you would hope with this being a well-rounded unit, it will include both an arpeggiator and sequencer. The arpeggiator is going to be a very useful tool when using all four voices. The sequencer is also very useful thanks to its workflow and 32 steps. Both of these together are going to make for a great experience for things like looping or jam sessions.
- There are actually a couple that I am going to clump together here. The first of which is an on-board analog chorus. This BBD (bucket brigade device) effect should pair nicely with those warm vintage tones. On top of this chorus, the Poly D also brings an analog distortion in the mix. Considering the fattiness of everything here, this was a smart move by Behringer.
Without a doubt, the main thing we are all looking forward to here is the sound. From what we have heard in the demos, it really does seem as though Behringer has nailed that classic tone that has populated so much music since its inception. Although with the Behringer Model D already sounding so good, the Poly D would be expected to perform in a similar manner. Probably one of the most exciting sounds/features on these Behringer synths is their 24db filters. The ladder filter on the Poly D sounds like they put a lot of time into getting a very familiar tone and sweep. Honestly, Behringer is just darn good at recreating things like this, it’s kind of hard to argue with.
So, should you pick one up? Well, if you can actually get your hands on one relatively close to launch than… maybe. The fact of the matter is that this synth is not going to be for everyone and may not be the best option for first-time buyers. But, for those looking to get a polyphonic Moog sound under a grand, not only is this a good option but it’s really your only one. If you're trying to add to your arsenal of tone, this is not going to let you down. So, while the ethics of this recreation might be controversial, one thing is for sure, the Poly D sounds great for a great price.