quarta-feira, 1 de agosto de 2012

The Anti-Behringer syndrome

Honestly, doesn't it seem that Behringer's competitors are paying people to sign in at home recording forums with the sole purpose of providing generous ammounts of desctructive criticism and deception to all happy Behringer users out there?

I mean, why else on earth would there be so many people disencouraging others to buy good and cheap stuff? Trying to prevent other folks from having endless hours of fun making their own music with a complete studio setup gathered for little more (and often way less) money than a single piece of more appraised brands's equipment.

I've been an avid consumer of Behringer's products for as long as I can remember myself trying to make music and I honestly have little but good things to say from their products.

In what concerns the German brand, my PC based home studio is currently equipped with:

-Several Behringer guitar stompboxes, including a tuner
-A UB502 mixer
-A C3 condenser mic
-A MIC800 microphone pre-amp/phantom power source
-A UCA202 USB audio interface
-More recently a V-AMP 3 and the UCA222 that came along with it

All this can be put together with a few hundred € or so and, from my searches, I cannot find another single manufacturer capable of  even coming close to supply good sounding material at  prices such as Behringer's. In addition to this, Behringer also keeps a very good support site with links to what seems like an endless amount of  manuals and software to get things going.

Recently I've bought a V-AMP3 (new from the store for 54€) and, while searching for reviews before buying, I was amazed by the insane spread of Anti-Behringer syndrome raging all over some of the home-recording forums out there. Reminded me of the ridiculous antipathy Americans (used to?) have for foreign cars (even though they often cost less, are safer, drive faster, burn less fuel and outlast their "bigger and heavier is better" national products). Here are some of the more oftenly used arguments:

"Plastic made"- Disregarding environmental considerations, I can't see how this can be a bad thing. Plastic is lighter, cheaper and not necessarily less reliable than metal for a given application. Lots of things have EVOLVED from metal to plastic through the years and this does not seem to be a bad thing in any other industry other than music's. Are your TVs at home made from steel? Is your cell phone die cast? Would they last longer if they were?

"Bad sounding"-Well, I'm happy that so many other home recorders are wealthy  enough to have their bedrooms stuffed with the finest grades of snake's grease. On my side I prefer to have the so called"bad sounding material" but have SOME material to make my music, while being honest enough to admit that the REAL limitation to my sound is not in my Behringer gear but in my mediocre skills as a singer and guitar player. Plus, what's the point in having audiophile grade gear to record stuff that is to be compressed in to MP3 and delivered as crappy audio streams through MySpace or, worse, burnt down at 16x speed in cheap CDs.

"Unmanageable latency on UCA202 and 222"- This is utterly false. Make sure you have Behringer's correct ASIO drivers installed (available free from their site) and make sure you have your recording software set to operate with them. Are you familiar with the Options tab of your multitracker? If not then Behringer is not to blame.

"Unreliable construction"- In more than 10 years of using their equipment I'm still to experience a fault, but then again, I'm not keen to mishandling my so hardly gathered stuff. Buttons are to be pressed, not hit, and stomp-boxes are to be stepped on, not kicked arround. In a similar fashion, pots are built to be used as pots, not as levers or feet rests.

"Everything that says Behringer has no place in anyone's studio"- Well, such arrogance speaks for itself... No comments needed, really...

I remember, when I started sailing, of the very few who were able to afford heavy weather gear. Douglas Gill, Aigle, Helly-Hansen and a few others where the only available clothing brands and you'd have to be a minister's or bank robber's son to sail in the winter without freezing to numbness. The rest of us had to live with wool clothing, Kispo jackets and landlubber rubber boots. Then along came Decathlon, with the Tribord range and confort was made available to the masses. Everyone could now buy a full equipment for 100€, which weren't even enough for a pair of Aigle sailing boots. The reaction of the sailing community was similar to the Anti-Behringer Syndrome: Decathlon's gear was rubbish. Why? Well, maybe because they were just  plain envious of all us poor old up-river chaps finally being able to sail along (and often ahead) of them under all the weather the sky  and sea could think of throwing at us...

As a friend of mine (who is presently sailing the world all alone) said to me the other day: "What's the point in having a Rolex if a quartz Casio does just about the same?"

It's your choice...You can spend the rest of your life chasing rainbows and dreaming about the so-called "high-end" gear you'll never have or you can be honest with yourself and be conscious of your real needs and start recording next month in a fully equipped home studio built from end to end with Behringer's gear... Don't believe it? Check it out:


Thanks Behringer!