Here’s the final version of Behringer’s AKS Mini, a tiny version of the classic VCS3 synth

Behringer AKS Mini
(Image credit: Behringer)

Behringer synth launches can be tortuously drawn-out affairs, with an initial tease or suggestion of a product being followed by months (sometimes even years) of silence and then a first look at an actual physical thing. Then we play the ‘it’ll be ready once we can source the chips’ game, before finally, the instrument in question starts to ship.

In the case of the AKS mini, it seems we’re now at stage two of this process. A miniaturised version of the EMS VCS3, this was shown as a prototype in May 2022, but now we can take a look at what we’re told will be the “final version”.

This promises the “exact same” oscillators and filters as those in the original VCS3. There are three VCOs, to be precise, plus a built-in arpeggiator and a 16-step motion sequencer.

One thing that is missing, you’ll note, is the VCS3’s 16x16 pin matrix (if you want that, you'll have to wait for Behringer's promised full-size clone), but we can forgive that omission on such a tiny synth, particularly when you take into consideration the fact that the AKS mini is slated to cost just $99. And you do get a joystick.

When it will actually be available to buy remains to be seen, but Behringer currently anticipates that the AKS mini will be shipping in the summer.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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