I’m loving this thing. It’s a lot of synth for $208 US new. (Yes, the price is down from the $300 it shipped at last year.)
Has a learning curve, but it’s fun learning. Get it here: https://amzn.to/351RHur
It has MIDI in/out on the back and on the front (USB on back, 5-pin old style on the front), so you can hook it up to your computer and feed it quantized MIDI out of your DAW, then record back into your DAW via Audio. Here’s a video on that, for Reaper, but it’s very similar on most DAWs.
Is an analog synth with digital controls. But can’t save presets. I take photos of my presets, like the picture at the top of this page. That makes it easy to call up the same sound again. In Reaper, you can save photos in the track settings for a track. Or just use the file name of the picture to describe the sound, and keep the pictures in a folder. Or both.
When you turn off the synth, when you turn it back on, it will be at the last patch used. (Unless you move the knobs while it’s turned off.)
Here is a PDF you can print to make your own patch pages if you don’t want to use a camera. These have a place for notes.
I paid 45 bucks extra for the 4 year warranty on Amazon. That even covers it if I spill coffee on it. (I won’t.)
It has a modular matrix over on the right side. This synth works out of the box and makes sound without using that matrix, but warning: it does a lot more with the matrix and this synth could be the gateway drug to a Eurorack addiction.
The next BipTunia album is going to be 100% this synth (plus vocals and drums). It will be called An Analog Synth in a Digital World.
It comes with a wall wart power supply, but also a ribbon cable to plug into a Eurorack power supply, and is made to be rack-mounted. But works fine on your desk with just speakers or even headphones attached. Even with no keyboard. But you can plug in a keyboard. I got this ten-dollar cable for that. I can’t believe that Amazon doesn’t stock USB type-B male to USB type-B male but they don’t.
But a regular USB type-B (square plug) to flat plug (like 75% of USB cables) will work to hook it up to your DAW to send pre-recorded MIDI to the synth. You’ll need to use the free firmware updater, then use the Behringer Neutron app to pick your input and output. And pick your output in your DAW (explained in the Reaper video above.) Also, go into Reaper preferences. (CTRL P) and go to Audio / MIDI Devices, and in the Output section, Add the Neutron.
The Behringer Neutron comes with a few 3.5 mm TS to 3.5 mm TS Unbalanced Patch Cables, but I got more, two packs of these. One pack is probably enough, but I didn’t wanna be short of one in the middle of a patch, ya know? I also got one pack of these, which allow patching one hole into two holes. NOTE: ONLY EVER PATCH ONE OUT TO TWO INS. NEVER PATCH TWO OUTS TO ONE IN. YOU MIGHT FRY THE SYNTH. Unlikely, but possible.
I also got this cable, though you can use the synth without it. But it’s fun, it’s the kind of MIDI cables our grandfathers used, before USB existed. Use MIDI out on the cable to go to the MIDI in on the front of the synth. Use the MIDI in on the cable to go to the MIDI out on the back of the synth.
The MIDI port on the back that says THRU is only if you want a copy of the MIDI you put into the synth to go to out to another hardware device, in a chain, without including the MIDI created by the synth.
There is a bit of a user community for the Behringer Neutron. Here is a site with many patches, and you can add your own new ones, or clone one and alter it to make a new one. And share with others.
If you have problems updating the firmware, you need to add this application-specific Zadig USB driver. Directions are in the manual above.
Total cost with the extended warranty and all cables was about 300 bucks, the price it used to be for just the synth.
But the synth will work as is with nothing else but your headphones.
NOTE: if you don’t get audio when you turn it on, make sure the all three knobs in the Drive section are up at least a little bit, and that the filters are not all the way to the right. Then turn the tuning knobs up slowly. Some times the synth IS making sound, but it’s too low (or to high) for humans to hear it. lol. Along those lines, if the above does not work, turn up the Rate knob in the LFO section.
The two pix at the top of this page are good patches that each produce a sound, even without a keyboard plugged in. So if you get lost in a “can’t get any sound” place, dial up one of those patches and go from there.
Also make sure the device is on and plugged into the wall. There’s a switch on the back. And if you’re setting it up with a DAW, make sure the dip switches are set at the MIDI channel you’re using. All down is Channel 1. There’s a legend for the other settings in the manual.
All in all this synth can do everything some 2000 dollar Moogs can do, and more, at 1/10th the price. I highly recommend it!
I watched about 20 Behringer Neutron YouTube videos, these are the two best ones. I’d recommend watching these first:
Behringer Neutron Sound Demo (no talking)
I recommend this balanced guitar cable for connecting the synth’s audio output to your audio interface’s audio input. Any unbalanced guitar cable will work, but will add noise. Get the shortest one that will work for you, because length, especially over 18 feet, adds capacitance, which rolls off the high end. Even 18 feet will not sound as good as a ten footer. And a ten footer will not sound as good as a five-footer. If you can use a five-footer, get that.
Behringer is alleged to have made clones of other gear, like their Model D synth (which is alleged to be a clone of the Minimoog Model D), but the Behringer Neutron is not a clone. It’s its own thing…It is Behringer doing their own thing, and hitting high marks in the process.
The filter on this is rough and punk sounding, in a great way. Much more unique than a lot of boutique synths. And it stays in tune. Well, it recalibrates tuning when you turn it on, and does it correctly. It gives off a groovy little light show when it does that too.
This synth will work directly with a MIDI keyboard, but you can also record MIDI into your computer, (and quantize it!), then send the MIDI out directly to the Behringer Neutron, and record the Neutron back into the DAW via Audio.
Or, you can get a synth with the correct output, like the Arturia Microbrute, and use its keyboard to control the Behringer Neutron. To do that,you would go CV Pitch Out of the back of the MicroBrute into OSC 1+2 on the patch panel of the Neutron.
Oh, sign and mail in the warranty card for the Behringer Neutron. For some reason, they don’t honor your warranty unless you send it in. Most companies no longer require this, but you have to for this synth.
Michael W. Dean