Behringer’s synth clone train keeps rolling with modular System 100

Terrence O'Brien
Managing Editor
Behringer

Regardless of your opinion of Behringer, you can't deny that the company is tireless in its efforts to bring affordable versions of classic synths to the masses. In 2019 alone it successfully launched clones of the Korg MS-20, ARP Odyssey, Sequential Circuits Pro-One, Electronic Dream Plant (EDP) Wasp Deluxe, not to mention the TB-303, TR-808, VP330 and SH-101 all from Roland, and a polyphonic version of the Moog Model D. And we know there are plenty more to come, like the Octave Cat. So it's no surprise that, shortly after it revealed it was getting into the Eurorack case game, Behringer announced its plan to clone some of the most iconic modular synth components ever made: Roland's System 100m.

Word is the Behringer System 100 parts will start at $50 and top out at around $99, which puts it at the extreme low end of Eurorack gear. And that's just a fraction of a vintage Roland module, which can fetch well over $600. To start with there will be 11 modules in the line, covering everything from oscillators, to filters to sequencers -- basically anything you'd need to build a complete modular synth.

Of course there's no word on when exactly you can expect Behringer to start shipping these. And, it's probably safe to assume it'll be awhile. While the company has been relentless in its engineering efforts. Actually getting things into production and in consumers hands still seems to be a struggle at times. Its 808 clone for instance suffered from significant delays. And sometime plans for a new clone are announced over two years before it actually comes to market.

That being said, Behringer first teased that it was working on Eurorack versions of System 100m modules last year. And the versions in the video above look pretty final. So it might not be too long of a wait.

Obviously Behringer's clone army will continue to rub some the wrong way. But Eurorack is a space where their race to the bottom might be welcome. Getting into modular synthesis can be daunting and expensive (even when you're going for a self-contained system like those from Teenage Engineering and Erica Synths). Even a barebones starter kit like the NiftyBUNDLE from Cre8audio will set you back $270. And that's extremely cheap for Eurorack.

For the full list of Behringer System 100 Models see below:

  • 112 dual oscillator with 3 waveforms, PWM and two sync modes
  • 121 dual filter with 3-channel mixer per filter
  • 130 dual VCA, again with dual 3-channel mixers
  • 140 dual envelope has 3 outputs per ADSR plus a built-in LFO that can be triggered and phase synced
  • 173 gates module comes even with four gates that can switch audio and 6 quad buffered multiples
  • 297 has a dual portamento controller plus two independent CV mixers
  • 150 brings a ring modulator, 2 noise generators, syncable LFO and a sample and hold generator
  • 172 module delivers a 6-step phase-shifter, an analog delay, an LFO and a gate delay
  • 305 is an output module a four-band parametric EQ, a 4-channel mixer, line and separate headphone output and even a tuning oscillator
  • 182 there is a powerful analog sequencer with either dual 8 steps or 1-16 steps and tempo, portamento and gate time controls
  • 110 is a complete synth voice with VCO, VCA and filter in a single module