I’ve had my Deepmind12 for some time but thought it worth writing some thoughts on it. I’ve recently been very kindly loaned a Novation Peak, and while programming a bank of sounds on the Peak it made me think more about the Deepmind12.
Basically, I love the Deepmind12. It’s not without its faults but overall its a fantastic sounding synth. The keys feel a bit wobbly, the faders are a bit wobbly. Overall it feels well built, but compared with the Peak it feels comparatively cheap, and since the price-drop it’s gone from being really reasonable at £1K to an absolute steal at £752. The factory presets go from great to unusable – but there are so many banks it’s easy enough to delete the filler and move the killer presets to a couple of banks for safekeeping.
I was worried that with the very basic choices of oscillators i’d be frustrated working on it, but actually having such limited choices isn’t a problem at all. I’ve made stacks of really varied house and techno stabs (the chord mode is great for this – saves me cackhandedly knocking out chords since I can programme a chord and then play it with one key, which is great for extended chords) and some convincing bass sounds, it does a really nice jungle sounding 808 sub, hoovers, reeses and any sort of harmonic house type bass. It really excels at pads and electric piano sounds though. You can make a Rhodes sound that would pass for the real thing on it. I don’t really know how this works, but it does.
The Novation Peak is clearly a higher quality product, it costs more, and you are getting a far smaller instrument, with no keys. I’m not much of a pianist but it’s a lot nicer programming a synth patch with keys attached to the module you are triggering. But when it comes to the sound, the Peak sounds sort of polite and safe and constrained. The DM12 sounds thick and rich and a bit unstable, which makes it great fun to play.
The way Behringer are going at the moment is really interesting, with the Boog Model D, the 808 (or is it B0B?) and other shameless yet amazing rip-offs. If they sound as good as the Deepmind12 they will sell incredible well, especially with the insanely low prices.