Hybrasil: The Behringer Pro-1 “Is A Real Analogue Machine”
For Beatport’s first Pick Of The Month, Hybrasil reviews Behringer’s Pro-One clone.
The Behringer Pro-1 is a remake of the Sequential Circuits Pro-One. Originally released in 1981, it is one of electronic music’s most iconic synthesisers, popularised by artists such as Vince Clarke, Depeche Mode, New Order and Prince.
The Pro-1 is loaded with features. It’s pure analogue, and eurorack compatible with a CV modulation matrix. It features a sequencer, arpeggiator, two envelope generators and a dedicated analogue LFO. The oscillators and filters are clones of the original design and it also comes with a duophonic mode, which wasn’t on the original.
Ok, so how does it sound? My first impressions of the machine were good. It felt solid, well built, and compact, but still has a nice weight to it. The switches and knobs are all good quality. This is a real analogue machine.
To put the Pro-1 to the test, I decided to compose a piece of music by recording layers and sequences from it. So I loaded a 909 kick drum into Ableton and got started. While recording these sequences over each other, I created a rough arrangement, allowing the recordings to dictate the overall structure of the track.
I began with a bassline, using a triangle wave on Oscillator B, and the results were impressive straight away. There is a lot of presence right down to the sub-frequencies. I hit record and captured a 7-minute bass sequence, gradually opening and closing the filter.
Next, I decided to record the hi-hats, so I turned to the noise oscillator. First, I created a 16th note closed hi-hat and used the filter to bring that in and out. The amp envelope is sharp — it gave me the exact attack and decay I was looking for. Similarly with the open hi-hats, it had a nice attack and a longer decay with a small amount of release. It delivered without too much work.
Next, I created a snare, I closed the filter a bit, added some resonance and adjusted the amp envelope. I then recorded some noise drones and filtered those in and out over the arrangement.
It was now time to record some synth tones, drones and pads, so I turned to Oscillator A&B to create a two-note chord. I then detuned the oscillators by three semitones. Shaping the oscillators with the amp envelope was a dream with almost instant results.
Throughout this process I was really impressed with the performance of the Pro-1 filter. A classic four-pole design, it’s smooth, warm and stable. You can also run other machines through it via the external audio input.
Overall, I am extremely happy with the Pro-1. I love the original, and I was really hoping that Behringer would deliver — deliver they did. It’s versatile, well built, intuitive to use, a great value and it sounds incredible. Across the board I am happy with how it performed. My sequences didn’t require a lot of EQ, after some mild processing, everything sounded really crunchy.
Hybrasil’s debut album, Embers, is out now on Rekids.