Behringer Roland System 100M clone

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KSS
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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by KSS » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:13 am

Hiya Norgatron!

Your 5th, 6th and 7th pics from the top show some of the best soldered jacks I've seen of ANY posted Behringer modules!

Here's hoping that means they've improved their production methods or goals and we'll start to see that kind of quality on every module!

Thank you for sharing the photos.

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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by SkyWriter » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:43 am

Lol! Yeah, taper's a problem :-) with me anyway. The Moog modular stuff always appealed to me, because it appeared to be accurate, and it's all black. At least I got 1/2 of what I wanted. I guess the rest will be business as usual - back to work! :-)

thanks @synthbuilder.


Update: Does anyone know the actual taper?
4A2CA514-8353-48CD-93C9-F3AAA78122BC.jpeg

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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by h4ndcrafted » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:18 am

Been messing with sync , sorry for the repetitive sequence from the Pro 3. Use the ring modulator too.

Tracking seems fine from the pro 3 at least. Did have to scale it.

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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by Synthbuilder » Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:53 am

SkyWriter wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:43 am
Does anyone know the actual taper?
I think the original Moog ones are closer to the dotted log (audio) line rather than the two stage piecewise linear effort of cheaper devices. But it's not just about the taper curve, it's what happens near the track ends. This is where the cheaper pots often fail; they don't go smoothly from zero ohms at the track terminations to a slowly increasing resistance on the track, but jump nastily from zero to something like 10% of the total track resistance. For a lot of applications it doesn't matter that much about this discontinuity. But for envelopes that use the 'charge a big cap from the front panel pot' designs it's a nightmare.

The solution is to source amazingly good pots, or redo the design so as to not use log/audio pots and use linear pots with an electronically controlled taper.

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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by SkyWriter » Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:01 am

Hey @synthbuilder, missed this last post. Yes, you're right - good pots will help a lot.

I want to get quality B pots into the 911 EG and 923 filter to fix the EOT issues at least. Taper I can live with, as long at the sub 1 sec is useful. Higher log attacks aren't less interesting.

Thonk has these parts. Would like to find a US supplier to alleviate international shipping at this time.
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https://www.thonk.co.uk/shop/alpha-9mm-pots-dshaft/

Also, need some kind of thermal control anyway...
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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by 1960strat » Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:23 am

these behringer clones just make me want to go buy the real thing....

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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by Robot00 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:38 am

I’d like to buy the Behringer but several reports of stability problems with the VCO tuning are holding me back..

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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by KSS » Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:08 am

Robot00 wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:38 am
I’d like to buy the Behringer but several reports of stability problems with the VCO tuning are holding me back..
Welcome to Nuffwiggler Robot00!

The problems seem to be only for the 921B. The 921 is working well for many here.
So don't hold yourself back unnecessarily. Ebotronics has shown what impressive results a system sans 921ABBB sets can do.
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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by Robot00 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:30 am

KSS wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:08 am
Robot00 wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:38 am
I’d like to buy the Behringer but several reports of stability problems with the VCO tuning are holding me back..
Welcome to Nuffwiggler Robot00!

The problems seem to be only for the 921B. The 921 is working well for many here.
So don't hold yourself back unnecessarily. Ebotronics has shown what impressive results a system sans 921ABBB sets can do.
Thanks! However, I’m talking about 112 VCO that is part of the System 100m clone system. I have seen several reports that it doesn’t track pitch well. One example can be found at youtube:

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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by KSS » Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:37 am

Oops, Wong thread. Sorry.

I just posted a little about tempco's in the B55 thread and it may apply here too.
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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by chriscarter » Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:45 am

Robot00 wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:30 am
KSS wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:08 am
Robot00 wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:38 am
I’d like to buy the Behringer but several reports of stability problems with the VCO tuning are holding me back..
Welcome to Nuffwiggler Robot00!

The problems seem to be only for the 921B. The 921 is working well for many here.
So don't hold yourself back unnecessarily. Ebotronics has shown what impressive results a system sans 921ABBB sets can do.
Thanks! However, I’m talking about 112 VCO that is part of the System 100m clone system. I have seen several reports that it doesn’t track pitch well. One example can be found at youtube:
I have a 112 Dual VCO and the tracking has always been a bit off at the top end... but mine is a beta module. I would have assumed that issue would have been fixed by release but maybe there's a problem with the quality control.

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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by Hyberus » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:50 pm

Hi All

I tested the 921, 921A, 921B and 112. The first samples I got of all of them tracked really badly, and did not stay in tune. The last ones I had were pretty solid, to the extent that you could feed them a voltage and leave them with a frequency counter on the output all day with virtually no drift. Seems like something has gone wrong, somewhere . . .
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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by erstlaub » Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:50 am

So I wasn't really thinking much about these until someone I know posted on twitter at the weekend that they'd picked up the LFO/S+H/Noise module. I was looking at it thinking 'damn, that's a pretty handsome looking module' and before I knew it I'd ended up getting a voice worth of them.

100m.jpeg

First impressions are that I'm really pleased across the board. They feel really nicely built (solid, metal, nicely printed panels, firm but not over firm sliders and knobs, nice clicky rotary octave switches), oscillators seem to track solidly over far more octaves than I'd ever use at once (at least a few via the KSP) and most of all, they have that rubbery roland sound (or at least a close enough approximation of it for me). I'm also enjoying that there are lots of multiple inputs and outputs, 3x audio inputs on mixers per filter and 3x cv inputs for the frequency on both the filters and the oscs is great and the 2x envelope (plus inverted env) per envelope makes patching up those rolandy sounds a breeze.

I've got an SH-01a which I really like and use all the time but I always find myself wishing there was more in the way of patchability and routing with it and so far couldn't be happier with what I picked up for just £360. I daresay that you could A/B them with the originals and some test equipment and find a fair few inconsistencies but I was never in the market for an original 100m system so there are no complaints from me.

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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by erstlaub » Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:34 pm

Made a slightly useful discovery on the 112 while running some things through my scope earlier that wasn't entirely clear from the manual.

The sync output sends out a square wave with PWM (including any cv that it's under) so you can use that for a square output while having the 2 idential outputs 1 and 2 set to either saw or triangle. Made for quite a nice 101 thing using the separate inputs/mixer on the filter to set the levels of square, saw and noise.

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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by Synthbuilder » Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:48 am

Warning: Long technical post.

So I bought the dual VCO module - the 112. Straight out of the box it did not play in tune. What was interesting to me was that both VCOs were equally out of tune. This suggests that they are calibrating the modules but something is off (see later).

Most of the surface mount electronic components are on the underside of the board. However, there's a good chunk of circuitry on the front side of the board where it is has to squeeze in between the sockets, switches and pots. One of the VCO cores is on the underside, the other is on the front side. There are also many trimmers on the front side of the PCB but all these are single turn types and it is not expected that you will be fiddling with these at all.

The circuit appears to be a straight copy of the Roland M-112 with a few exceptions. The Behringer is run from +/-12V while the original ran from +/-15V. In the Behringer all of the op-amps are 4580 except for the VCO cores which use TL072s. The Roland used a mixture of TL082 and 4558. The only additional bit of circuitry that I can see on the Behringer is a dual comparator circuit that beefs up the sync input signal so that it reliably synchronises the VCOs no matter what the input waveform. An excellent addition.

Like the original the sawtooth and pulse waveforms are unipolar and move between 0V and +10V. The triangle wave is bipolar and is +/-5V. Personally, I would have liked to see the Behringer use fully bipolar waveforms as many other modules in Eurorack expect to see +/-5V audio waveforms. Any DC coupled modules will easily overload with two +10V sawtooth inputs for example. I'll be correcting this on my unit as soon as I can.

The tune control on the Behringer spans over 2 octaves. This makes it very hard to fine tune the VCO - especially since it's very easy to brush against this control by accident and cause it to go out of tune. The original had a more restricted 1 octave span. Given the similarity between the two units I am surprised at this. I'll be correcting this on my unit as soon as I can.

The multiturn trimmers on the underside of the module allow for users to tweak their module to the standard 1V/octave input. Unfortunately, the quality of the trimmers on my unit was very poor and it was difficult for me to set the tracking and, in particular, the absolute pitch properly. The trimmers appear to be poor clones of the industry standard Bourns 3296Y. I'll be swapping mine out as soon as I can.

The original 112 module used the uA726 heated matched NPN transistor pair in the VCO's exponential convertor. The heating aspect allows the transistor pair to sit at a constant temperature even when the surrounding temperature varies. Without this constant temperature the scaling of the exponential convertor will drift and the VCO will fail to track accurately across the keyboard when the ambient temperature changes. There are other ways to achieve acceptable temperature stability; for example, one can use a temperature sensitive resistor in the CV summing circuit that counteracts the change in the scaling of the exponential convertor.

The uA726 is no longer available, and was expensive even back then, so Behringer have the used the LM3046, which contains five NPN transistors on one silicon die, two of which are pretty well matched. Because the Behringer uses only one LM3046 for both VCOs it is not easily possible to heat it, so other forms of compensation should be used to avoid scaling drift with temperature. Sadly, no other compensation that I can see* is provided on the Behringer 112, and as such the scaling and tuning will drift as your room and/or your modular case warm up or cool down. I could trim the 112 VCO module to track well, but some time later it would be off again. I will be looking into fitting some temperature compensation (PTC) resistors into mine to see if I can make it more stable. Right now, it's pretty unusable to me.

In summary, this could be a good module and at a great price. However, the major tuning problem, and some of the less serious niggles would stop me in recommending this to anyone. This is a real shame because their Dual Filter module I also have is very good.

* I'd be happy to be corrected about this.

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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by erstlaub » Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:07 am

Always appreciate your analysis/comparisons @Synthbuilder .

I've had the 112 for a few weeks and am still feeling it out. Sometimes I swear I get a solid 7 octaves bang on tune (using a keystep pro) and other times it feels like it's struggling to stay in tune over an octave.

I actually opened a support ticket (which they started dealing with surprisingly quickly) asking about the calibration procedure, they asked me to make a video of it being out of tune which I haven't got round to doing yet and commented that the calibration procedure should be in the manual but isn't and that they intended to publish it at some point (I've checked the original roland service manual but just wanted to check they hadn't changed it too much before messing with trimmers).

Temperature definitely seems to have a pretty big effect on this module and feel like it behaves a bit better when I've turned my system on for a good half hour beforehand but I've yet to pin down actual specifics.

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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by KSS » Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:32 pm

Synthbuilder wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:48 am
Warning: Long technical post.
Somehow I won't find that a problem ;)
What was interesting to me was that both VCOs were equally out of tune. This suggests that they are calibrating the modules but something is off
Equally out of tune may have to do with shared expo silicon.
The only additional bit of circuitry that I can see on the Behringer is a dual comparator circuit that beefs up the sync input signal so that it reliably synchronises the VCOs no matter what the input waveform. An excellent addition.
Agreed! That and a level input -especially with CV, easily achieved- can *really* up the game using sync. We've far too long accepted only the most basic version of "sync". A too often 'unexplored country' of synthdom.
Like the original the sawtooth and pulse waveforms are unipolar and move between 0V and +10V. The triangle wave is bipolar and is +/-5V. Personally, I would have liked to see the Behringer use fully bipolar waveforms as many other modules in Eurorack expect to see +/-5V audio waveforms. Any DC coupled modules will easily overload with two +10V sawtooth inputs for example. I'll be correcting this on my unit as soon as I can.
Gotta strongly disagree with this conclusion. You'll be crippling your module's heritage and reducing its native waveform combinations in seriously limiting ways. They won't be limitations for you personally, i'd imagine, given your experience and background.
But the simple fact is that a straight mix of the original and your offset 'corrected' versions will *not* be, or sound, the same. You're striking at the very heart of the sounds this module was made to make.

As an ARP fan this is a situation very near and dear to me. So often the *intentionally* offset Saw, Square and Pulse are 'neutered' in the 2600 with A/C coupling caps to the VCF. All to 'fix' a problem that lies elsewhere -VCA- and giving up the native mixes the VCOs would otherwise attain.

Having said that, I've modded all 1004 VCOs -and nearly all 2600 VCOs- to have *both* the 0-10 AND -/+5V WFs. There are really good reasons to have both versions.

If you 'neuter' them, you'll need offsets to get the original sounds back. If you don't you'll need offsets to center them. I keep trying to point out that a huge part of what we call the signature sounds of many synths has as much to do with VCOs as filters. The way the VCO WFs are offset -or not- and their relative p-p values -which in some are all set to the same level by volts and in other synths set to the same sonic level, which means *very* different p-p levels.
The tune control on the Behringer spans over 2 octaves. This makes it very hard to fine tune the VCO ... I'll be correcting this on my unit as soon as I can.
Good call. Seems weird they would do this. Their cloning efforts so far have been quite a mix of good and bad decisions. Of course, ideally all such knobs would implement the 'genius' Polyfusion range switch!
The multiturn trimmers on the underside of the module allow for users to tweak their module to the standard 1V/octave input. Unfortunately, the quality of the trimmers on my unit was very poor and it was difficult for me to set the tracking and, in particular, the absolute pitch properly. The trimmers appear to be poor clones of the industry standard Bourns 3296Y. I'll be swapping mine out as soon as I can.
Underlining and bolding your words to emphasize your excellent point and plan here. The backlash and *extremely* short life of cheap trims cannot be over-emphasized. At least theyr're an easy exchange. Things like *this* are my primary frustration with Behringer modules. You get so close, but end up with what are essentially half-baked 'kit' modules. That can be good if you're DIY capable, and can enjoy the loow price and add the quality back in where it matters. Not so much if you have to pay someone to do it for you. I'm not alone in wishing Behringer would spend just a little more on these critical aspects and charge us the difference. Better for everybody all around.
The original 112 module used the uA726 heated matched NPN transistor pair in the VCO's exponential convertor.
...
The uA726 is no longer available, and was expensive even back then, so Behringer have the used the LM3046,...
Because the Behringer uses only one LM3046 for both VCOs it is not easily possible to heat it, so other forms of compensation should be used to avoid scaling drift with temperature. Sadly, no other compensation that I can see* is provided on the Behringer 112, ...
I will be looking into fitting some temperature compensation (PTC) resistors into mine to see if I can make it more stable. Right now, it's pretty unusable to me.
Well, we have the minimoog as an example of a similar setup. VCO 1 and 2 share a 3046, and VCO2 can't use the intended Diff pair since VCO1 is using it already. The good news is that even with a second 3046 providing the 3rd 'expo' transistor for VCO2 on the minimoog, it works fone with a few mods including a *shared* PTC 'tempco'.

re: * I'm sure you already looked for a Vishay or Panasonic ERAS tempco. Since the ERAS were EOL'd awhile back, I've been wondering what Behringer has been using. Look forward to hearing more as you make investigations and discoveries!
In summary, this could be a good module and at a great price. However, the major tuning problem, and some of the less serious niggles would stop me in recommending this to anyone. This is a real shame because their Dual Filter module I also have is very good.
Yes, that's a shame. For reasons already written above.
Thank You for the deep look and writeup!
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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by Synthbuilder » Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:37 am

KSS wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:32 pm
Gotta strongly disagree with this conclusion. You'll be crippling your module's heritage and reducing its native waveform combinations in seriously limiting ways. They won't be limitations for you personally, i'd imagine, given your experience and background.
But the simple fact is that a straight mix of the original and your offset 'corrected' versions will *not* be, or sound, the same. You're striking at the very heart of the sounds this module was made to make.
This is how I see it. If Eurorack didn't exist and Behringer came out with this product then I would probably agree with you. But it doesn't stand in isolation. These Behringer modules will have to mix with other modules out there in Euroland and unipolar waveforms can produce unwanted effects and unseat the unwary and experienced alike.

But perhaps more pertinent is that all the original 100M modules are AC coupled in their audio pathways. The filters will never see DC offsets because they have a capacitor right at the input. Nor does the VCA - which is a bit of a problem if you ever want to use the 100M VCA to modulate slow moving CVs. So, unlike the 2600, I don't believe that there will be a significant audio difference within the 100M system by any move from using unipolar waveforms to bipolar ones. Of course, using unipolar waveforms will affect audio rate modulation. But here we always have the option to offset via the fixed controls, such as the frequency slider on the VCF, pulse width control on the VCO, etc.

That said, I think it would have been good for the Behringer to have one unipolar and one bipolar output for all waveforms since there are two output sockets on each VCO. Sadly, that's not an easy hack on this module as it stands.

Agree with you on the 2600's behaviour. I always added any AC coupling capacitor to one of the two VCA inputs and never the VCF. It's why I also added the very same to my own 2600 VCA clone module on its second input.

Re. the 3046 expo: The SEM does the same, even though the second VCO isn't using the matched pair it seems to do OK. I would expect a modern surface mount 3046 to be even better in this respect. I'll probably try the 1/6W Akaneohm 1K +3300ppm/K PTCs first because that's what I've got here. I'll just glue them to the top of the 3046 SEM style. I'll need to alter the gain staging around the CV summer as I want to feed the PTC with a high a resistance as I can so as not to lower the TC too much.

The 121 VCF that Behringer also produces does have a temp co resistor for each filter. It's mounted on the front side of the board so you can't see it without taking off the panel. I think it's a NTC much like the original. It's sad that the 121 tracks better than the 112.

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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by Synthbuilder » Fri Aug 28, 2020 8:37 am

Suggested modifications to the 112 Dual VCO module:

1. To modify the unit so that all the waveforms are +/-5V bipolar signals is not an easy task - not only because all the resistors are tiny 0402 types, but because all the components needing to be changed are on the top side of the board bar one. This means that to desolder and solder you need to get your soldering tool in between all the pots, switches and sockets. I have done easier jobs.

The changes I made are as follows:

Remove D2, D3
Make R28, R25 both 4K7 (0402)
Make R3, R72, R9, R81 all 5K1 (0402)

The added benefit of changing the pulse wave to bipolar means that the unit will take less current from the negative power rail. As stock each VCO takes an additional -8mA when the pulse wave is in the low state. This is reduced to around +/-1mA if the above modification is done.

2. To correct for the poor tuning stability with temperature I modified the circuitry considerably to incorporate a couple of Akaneohm 1K 1/6W +3300ppm/K PTC resistors (available from Thonk) that straddle the LM3046 NPN array. Thankfully, this is all done on the underside of the module, so the parts are easy to get to. That said these components are tiny and good soldering skills are required.

Image

The following changes were made:

R126, R131 both 56K (0603)
R115, R109 both 33K (0402)
VCO1 Width, VCO2 Width trimmers both 10K 3296Y
Remove R116 and R108
Fit two PTC resistors to top of IC3. One between pin 2 and 0V, the other between pin 9 and 0V.

3. The tune controls on the Behringer each span over 2 octaves compared to the original having a more restricted 1 octave span. To modify the Behringer 112 back to the original's behaviour the resistors R60 (top side of the board) and R111 (bottom side of the board) need to be changed. I swapped these 1M 0402 resistors with 2M2 0402 resistors.
Last edited by Synthbuilder on Fri Aug 28, 2020 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 8:56 am

Synthbuilder wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:03 am
SkyWriter wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:08 pm
How do those sliders work on the end points?
The sliders seem fine. No obvious glitchiness around the end stops.

But if you are talking about the end points of something like an envelope generator though that may well be different. I've not got any Behringer envelope modules but most 'charge a big capacitor through the front panel pot' designs like the original Moog and Roland modules will require good quality pots and most importantly with the correct taper. This is often overlooked by many designers that are trying to use modern cheap pots. The fastest times will be fast but the next 10% will be missed out and it'll jump from fast to sluggish. I had a conversation with Uli about this a couple of years back and he said that it wouldn't be a problem - but this may not be the case from what I'm reading online.
Y'know Tony, I've always wanted to properly hash out what it would take to retrofit a coarse and fine time control for given EG modules. A set of concentric pots could be used to simplify the retrofit. For instance, if a 1MegOhm pot is called for (let's say ~attack~ for this situation), a "fine" pot could be added in series with the 1Mohm to act as a fine time control. This ~might~ (emphasis on "might") produce a better handling time adjustment.

:hmm:
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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by hawklord2112 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:20 pm

@synthbuilder thank you for this breakdown - I had been jonesing for the whole line and now im not so sure.
given that i dont really care about pitch tracking that much will that be a deal breaker for me?

otherwise - my lust for cheap modules will have to be sated by some more colourful modules, youknowwhatimean
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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by ben jah men » Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:45 pm

This poor tracking is terrible news. I was very much looking to buy the complete system and pair it with my SH-101.

Sad man.

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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by windchill » Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:37 am

Mmm. Not sure about the lifetime of those jack sockets. See around the 15 min mark. He also questions the price-point excuse by contrasting the jack sockets with a similarly priced Dreadbox module.


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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by Synthbuilder » Thu Oct 01, 2020 4:56 pm

Looks like Behringer have fixed the scaling drift problem.

It's a long video, but it boils down to Tim got in touch with Behringer and they admitted they made a mistake, and told him that all new Dual VCO modules are made differently so as to correct for the scaling problem. He's managed to get one to test out and it does seem to behave better.

What I'd like to see is a close up picture of the reverse side of the module to see what changes were made.


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Re: Behringer Roland System 100M clone

Post by Electro Something » Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:35 pm

Anyone try the 305 eq/mixer/output? For $99 it seems too good to be true. No way it’s 100% analogue, right?

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