Behringer MS-1 Analog Synthesizer, Red
Overview by GAK
The Behringer MS-1 is an analogue monophonic synth that brings one of electronic music’s most iconic sounds into the 21st Century - with modern features and an affordable price. Taking its cues from the legendary SH-101, the MS-1 has all the rich character and versatility that you’ve come to know and love thanks to Behringer’s “true to the original” circuity. We like to see it as a supercharged 101, as the addition of FM and an external input are powerful mods that you can find on the original.
The MS-1 comes in either a striking red or classy black finish.
Hot Rodded 101
At the core of the MS-1’s is its 3340-inspired VCO, which features four mixable waveforms (Saw, Square, Tri, Square Sub) and an earth-shattering sound. The 3340 is renowned as one of the best sounding analog oscillators of all time, appearing in classic synths such as the Jupiter 6, Prophet-5 and OBXa. The MS-1 adds a Triangle wave (which the original lacked), which is perfect for smooth and delicate timbres as well as adding body to basses and leads.
This is sculpted by the juicy 24db VCF, which is fully resonant, has adjustable key tracking and can self-oscillate when cranked up. In addition to the envelope and the LFO, the filter can be modulated via FM - creating sounds that would intrigue the most die-hard purist. With six sources to choose from, the MS-1’s FM capability can create unpredictability and excitement - whether you want to add zing to a bass or transform a patch with distorted cross-mod.
Using the 1/4" external input, you have the option to process external audio sources with the MS-1’s filter. Try running your drum machine of choice into the MS-1 - it’s a surefire way to add some analog punch to your sound.
The MS-1’s ADSR envelope has the characteristic snap that lends itself to punch basses and sprawling arpeggiations. Also, Behringer have enhanced the MS-1’s LFO by giving you a broader range of speeds, allowing you to choose from High, Medium and Low ranges. Low mode lends itself well to slowly evolving drone-scapes and High mode can be used to create surreal bell-tones.
Next-Level Performance Features
The performance features that made the SH-101 so appealing are present in the MS-1, with all the instant grooves that come with them! The sequencer and arpeggiator have been upgraded, making them more expressive and easier to use.
The arp boasts eight variations (Up, Down, Down + Up, Random, Up 2/3 Octaves, Down 2/3 Octaves), with the option to latch it so you can keep it going after you’ve taken your hands off the keys. The powerful 32-step sequencer features two input modes (Keyboard and Step) and allows you to edit accents, gate time, glide rate and ratcheting (up to four-note repetitions) per step. Once you’ve crafted a sequence, you can store it in one of the 64 slots to use later. There’s also the option to play your sequence in reverse!
The icing on the cake is included “Live Performance Kit”, which was an optional extra for the SH-101. The provided strap and handgrip (which features a pitch wheel and mod trigger) give you the ability to take centre stage and wield the MS-1 like a guitar!
Modern Build + Connectivity
The MS-1 benefits from Behringer’s state-of-the-art manufacturing, resulting in a robust package that won’t let you down during an intense gig or jam session.
With full MIDI I/O, including MIDI over USB, and CV connectivity, the MS-1 can seamlessly sync up and integrate with the rest of your setup. The 32 semi-weighted velocity-sensitive keys allow the MS-1 to double as a compact controller for your software instruments. You can also control the filter cutoff with velocity by patching the Velocity CV out to the VCF CV in, giving you a deeper level of playing expression than the original.
Whether you’re a fan of the vintage model’s landmark sound or simply want a fully-featured, versatile mono-synth - the Behringer MS-1 can fit the bill… and then some!
Overview by Behringer
The 1980s and ’90s spawned a new “wave” of synth performers including Devo, The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, The Crystal Method and a host of others, all empowered by the sound of a simple strap-on instrument that let keyboardists steal the spotlight away from their guitar-wielding bandmates. An ultra-affordable homage to that iconic synthesizer with all the features of the original and then some, such as a 32-step sequencer, arpeggiator and live performance kit, the MS-1 lets you conjure up virtually any sound with incredible finesse and ease. With its 32 semi-weighted full-size keys, pure analog signal path, authentic 3340 VCO with 4 simultaneously mixable waveforms, plus extremely flexible VCF and VCA filters, the MS-1 is sure to become your favorite keyboard. Owning the MS-1 is like having your own personal time machine, enabling you to embrace the past – or make your imprint on the future!
True to the Original
Great care has been taken in engineering the MS-1, including the true to the original analog circuitry, legendary VCO, VCF and VCA designs, all of which combine to make it easy to recreate the classic sound performance. This highly-focused attention to detail is what gives the MS-1 its ultra-flexible sound shaping capability, which covers everything from super-fat bass and lead tones to stunning effects – and all the way out to the otherworldly sounds of your imagination.
Big, Fat Tones
The inspired synthesizer tracks laid down in the 1980s and ’90s are etched in the annals of progressive rock, wave, EDM and synth-pop music forever, making them truly classic in every sense of the word. The MS-1 lets you recreate all of that magic – or design incredibly fat and original sounds that will make you a legend in your own right!
MS-1’s authentic 3340 Voltage Controlled Oscillator (VCO) provides an incredible range of 4 simultaneously-mixable waveforms for sculpting the perfect sound. Options include: saw, triangle, square/pwm and octave-divided square sub-oscillator. Additionally, the VCO can be adjusted across a wide, 4-octave range (16’, 8’, 4’, and 2’). This amazing flexibility gives you the tools needed to be your creative best.
The very heart of MS-1’s sound is its highly-flexible Voltage Control Filter (VCF), which includes faders for: cutoff Frequency (10 Hz to 20 kHz); Resonance (0 to self-oscillation); Envelope and Modulation depth, and Keyboard follow (0 to 100%) to dial in the perfect sound. MS-1’s VCF can be modulated via the ADSR, keyboard tracking and Bender controller. The Frequency Modulation (FM) Amount knob sets the depth, while the FM Source selector lets you further modify the signal by choosing from: pulse; sawtooth; sub oscillator 1 octave down; 2 octaves down; narrow 2 octaves down, and Noise.
The Envelope, Please…
MS-1’s Envelope generator features 4 ADSR (Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release) faders that help you craft incredible sounds, and utilizes a 3-position switch for Gate, Gate + Trigger and LFO. When applied to the Voltage Control Amplifier (VCA), the ADSR envelope is used to control the level of the note being played over time. When applied to the VCF, the ADSR envelope is used to control the cut-off frequency of the filter for each note played over time. In addition, the ADSR envelope can also be used to affect the VCO pulse width modulation.
Onboard Sequencer & Arpeggiator
MS-1’s sequencer allows you to program up to 32 steps of notes and rests and save them as a pattern. You can record, save and recall up to 64 patterns, all of which can be stored in the 8 banks, each holding up to 8 patterns. Your sequences can be played either in Keyboard mode, where you create and store the pattern, or Step mode, which allows you to interact while composing a pattern. The onboard Arpeggiator features 8 patterns (you can use just by playing a chord, which the arpeggiator then sequences through your selected pattern. Both the sequencer and arpeggiator in the MS-1 are fun, mesmerizing and totally addictive…
Own the Stage
When you’re ready to strut your stuff and get a little centerstage time, the MS-1 has that covered too! Just attach the included guitar strap and handgrip (with pitch bend wheel and a pitch modulation trigger), and take your performance to the next level. Why should singers and guitar players get all the limelight – carve out a little of your own!
Modulate Me to the Max!
In addition to the great sound-sculpting features already mentioned, the MS-1 has still more to offer. The noise generator can also be used as modulation source to create distortion-like effects, which will send your solo soaring into the stratosphere. Glide (portamento) lets you sweep seamlessly over time from one note to the next, creating smooth-as-silk transitions that few other instruments can emulate. MS-1's Bender is also assignable to the VCO, VCF and pitch mod wheel on attachable handgrip. You can even modulate the pulse wave via the LFO, envelope or manually – for sounds ranging from mild to wild!
Controls & Connectivity
We just can’t help ourselves – like you, we’re gear-heads, too. For those who want the numbers, MS-1 has 57 knobs, faders and switches, all laid out in a highly-intuitive format that puts the joy back into your music creation. Input and output connections include: MIDI I/O and Thru over USB/MIDI DIN; Velocity Out; CV; Gate; External Clock In; VCF CV In; Hold; External Audio; Phones; and main Output.
Unleash Your Imagination
When it comes to not just pushing envelopes but creating them, MS-1 gives your imagination its voice – and it’s so very affordable. When modern performance calls for classic analog sound – it calls for the Behringer MS-1!
You Are Covered
We always strive to provide the best possible Customer Experience. Our products are made in our own Music Tribe factory using state-of-the-art automation, enhanced production workflows and quality assurance labs with the most sophisticated test equipment available in the world. As a result, we have one of the lowest product failure rates in the industry, and we confidently back it up with a generous Warranty program.
- Amazing monophonic synthesizer with authentic 3340 analog oscillator for insanely fat music creation
- 32 semi-weighted full-size keys for great playability
- Pure analog signal path based on legendary VCO, VCF and VCA designs to recreate the classic sound performance
- Oscillator with 4 simultaneously-mixable waveforms: saw, triangle, square/pwm and octave-divided square sub-oscillator
- Resonant VCF can be modulated with ADSR, LFO, keyboard tracking and bender controller
- 6 FM sources allow for creative VCF modulation and unheard of filter effects
- ADSR envelope generator for incredible wave shaping
- Easy-to-use 32-step sequencer with 64 sequence locations
- Arpeggiator with wide patterns for great sound effects
- Attachable handgrip included with pitch bend wheel and pitch modulation trigger
- Guitar strap included for live jamming on stage
- Bender assignable to VCO, VCF and pitch mod wheel on attachable handgrip
- Noise generator can be used as modulation source for distortion-like effects
- Incredible portamento function for fantastic sound effects
- Pulse wave can be modulated by LFO, envelope and manually
- 57 sliders and switches to give you direct and real-time access to all important parameters
- External audio input for processing external sound sources
- Comprehensive USB/MIDI implementation for connection to keyboard/sequencer
- 3-Year Warranty Manufacturer Program
- Designed and engineered in the U.K.
Excellent value for money does what more expensive synths do