With the SWING, Behringer has shown its answer to the Arturia Keystep, only in black and other knobs, it’s nothing more than a knockoff.
Behringer is currently one of the most active Synthesizer manufacturers. They are successful with cloning vintage Synthesizers in an affordable way. I think that’s good and I support it even if only to a certain degree. This is exceeded when it comes to current products that have nothing to do with the mission of resurrecting legendary synths from the past. Behringer did not invent vintage circuit cloning, many other even Boutique manufacturers do it
Musictribe, especially B likes to make all-round attacks against media and their work. But this did not stop us from busy reporting about their various clones. Yes, it sounds strange. But, on the one side, my readers are still interested in this topic, on the other the clones really sound great in my opinion. I try to approach the issues as objectively as possible, including those that polarize. But Behringer has once again shot the bird in terms of product releases.
Arturia has released the Keystep as an exclusive Black Friday edition. NO, it’s Behringer who blindly copied the entire design and functionalities of the Arturia Keystep without respect for the original designers (Arturia, Axel Hartmann…). It’s a blatant 1-to-1 copy without any innovations. The functions are identical: 64-step sequencer, chord mode, arpeggiator…
Not only that was adopted, but also the layout. Behringer made it black, gave it a few color changes, and some Moog-ish knobs. The SWING reminds me of the countless Louis Vuitton, iPhone, Samsung … fakes that you can buy dirt cheaply in China. Just with the big difference: Behringer presented it as big own product development and sells the SWING officially through dealers.
- 32 compact-sized keys featuring expressive velocity and after-touch functionality
- 64-step sequencer features 8-note polyphonic sequence with Rest, Tie, and Legato note entry
- Arpeggiator mode features, up, down, inclusive, exclusive, random, note order, double up and double down modes
- Chord Play Mode with single chord memory with up to 16 notes for extensive loops and long-playing samples
- Highly-reactive pitch and modulation touch-strips for extreme performance and creativity
- Performance control includes Rec, Play, and Stop buttons for the sequencer and arpeggiator
- Rate and Tap Tempo for real-time beat settings
- Endless sustain via hold button or through an optional sustain pedal (not included)
- shift function includes MIDI channel selection, gate time, swing values
- Connect with MIDI, CV/Gate, DIN Sync, and Sync I/O for ultimate control and flexibility
- Comprehensive USB/MIDI implementation to connect with your PC/Laptop
- Can be powered by Apple iPad* (via camera connection kit) or standalone DC Jack (not included)
I tolerate the vintage synthesizer clones from Behringer. Because many of them have not been built for a long time, often from companies that can only be found in the history books today or simply as they are traded via extraordinary prices on the second-hand market. What Uli and his team did here is a no go. I love talking to developers and about their new products. It’s about new ideas and innovations on how they can bring further the world of electronic music instruments.
The SWING is a bold copy, similar to the IK Multimedia iRig clones I reported on. Why Behringer, just why? Uli, you have the power, an own factory in China, and a huge number of talented employees. Why don’t you take the knowledge and develop new products from scratch? It’s just a shame that you dare to sell the Swing as a new and own product. Furthermore, Behringer asks $ 99/89 € for his Keystep knockoff, which is currently 10 € less than the original. Consequently, is it really a knockoff? It’s not really cheap at all but it feels cheap. So it’s not only shameless but also pointless.
Objectivity Vs Reality
Sorry Synth Anatomy readers, I try to be as objective as possible about products. It doesn’t work here. The SWING is not a new product. Arturia is the right owner and please do not support this product. Support the original developers, Arturia, and designers Design Box operated by Axel Hartmann. We learn one thing from this: Behringer copies without hesitation. The cliché “In China is all just stolen” unfortunately applies to that. A pity! And yes Behringer contacted me to test the MonoPoly, I think I can forget that now.
More information here: Behringer
swing 37? i wonder how it will look?
The same as with the Crave (Moog Mother-32).
Hopefully they have at least licensed it from Arturia, if Arturia is the original developer. If not Arturia will certainly sue them for that.
If they only did make it with fullsize keys and maybe 4 or 5 octaves…
Oh, and with polyphonic CV outs, let’s say 4 or more CV/gate pairs.
I understand the uproar to a certain degree, however, I don’t understand why everyone holds Behringer to a higher standard than any other electronics company. For example, there are THOUSANDS of DVD/Blu-ray players, TVs, etc. from hundreds of companies as well as computer programs using older versions of patented technology. The key concept here is OLDER versions. In many cases, companies aren’t even able to patent their products because they are too similar to previous ones. Is the Keystep’s technology really that “original” or is it just aesthetically superior to its counterparts?
I agree that Behringer didn’t make much effort to hide the “copying” of Arturia’s product BUT, I assume Arturia will be discontinuing the production of the original Keystep in order to promote and sell their new/better version, the Keystep 37. That means that there will be a price void below $170 for similar products. Granted, you can always buy a Keystep used, but some of us prefer new equipment and soon, that will not be an option for the original Keystep.
Bottom line: Behringer dropped the ball on the design as it is far TOO SIMILAR to the Keystep and they are naive if they didn’t expect a backlash. That being said, they are cloning and marketing a product that (will be) unavailable and will RARELY, if ever, be sold on the same shelves as an original Keystep. Behringer is not taking ANYTHING away from Arturia and anyone who does their research will likely opt to buy the slightly superior Keystep 37 or the VASTLY superior Keystep Pro. And those who do not probably can’t afford to, so we shouldn’t begrudge them the chance to buy a cheaper version from Behringer.
I have a Keystep and I plan on eventually buying a Keystep Pro. I will also probably buy a SWING because I’m curious and it would be nice to have a dedicated keyboard for my home PC. Haven’t any of you ever bought an “off brand” DVD player for the guest room or bedroom? That Android phone is NOTHING like an IPHONE is it? Show me a cell phone that isn’t a copy of another. There’s always the innovator and then the copycat. If Behringer is infringing on any patents, etc., Arturia will sue them (if it’s even worth it) In the end, neither company is hurt and the consumer wins. Live and let live.
This is for the customer dude. There’s a copy everywhere nowadays. Just be thankful there’s competition and affordable products especially on synths, etc. Don’t matter if that’s clone we could care less as a customer. Don’t be like others that have crab mentality…
Tom, I’m 100% behind with the statements you made here. I congratulate you on being bold enough to express this concern, and the many reactions show you are absolutely not alone with this point of view.
Uli, I sincerely hope this is just a bad joke, because if it isn’t, you shame the trust of your customers and the brand Behringer risks being severely damaged. If I can’t be proud anymore of owning my Neutron, Model D or Pro-1, I won’t be buying other products such as the BARP 2600 or X32 and source elsewhere and differently. There is choice on the synth and mixer markets nowadays.
No one cares. It’s not significant in a world being ravaged by a global pandemic. Get your priorities streight.
>> Support the original developers.
Bold move, congrats!
Funnily enough, 2 minutes ago i was reading ask.audio’s post about this (not even mentioning the knock-off) and removed ask.audio from my bookmarks.
Statements from Arturia and Axel Hartmann (Design Box) are out. Not sure if I can simply post them here, but should not be hard to find them 😉
Uli reminds me of Trump, argues that black is white, everyone else is the bad guy and that he is doing nothing wrong. Both these guys are very smart, despite controversy we enjoy reading about them and feeding their egos. The cure is to not take the bait, treat them as normal, acknowledge releases and compare to the “tribute” they are making objectively rather than applauding frankly very average products. I think people are surprised Behringer managed to produce a synth and are more impressed that they could do it rather than the product being really any good. I’ve tried a few at Superbooth, they were ok but obviously much cheaper and were good enough. Didn’t come close to wow though!
So a company that Clones other companies products is upset that a company cloned their product ?
You can’t make up this kind of stupidity ! lol
YOU TALK BULLSHIT PAL!THE SWINT COST 85EURO THE KEYSTEP 119
THE BLACK KEYSTEP 145 euro ;i much prefere the swing for les moneyy ,it has better color,it has ratchet ,and you can delete all 64 step with one push,on stupid keystep you have to press 64 time…LOL
by the way Arturia clone Roland VSt soft since 20 years,but this don t seems to bother you:
Honestly, do that to any other manufacturer that does this, and see how many things in life you have to give up. Singling out Behringer is hypocritical / highly inconsistent.