Behringer, which is shaking up the synth market with its recently introduced DeepMind 12 synthesizer, is building a budget Minimoog clone.
The move promises to be controversial, especially since Moog recently reissued the Minimoog Model D (right) and is going to great lengths to build new Minimoogs that match the original in sound, build quality and craftsmanship.
Behringer, on the other hand, is planning a budget clone, designed to be cheap to manufacture.
Here’s what Uli Behringer, right, has to say about their plans:
The general rule and the law clearly describe that technology is free for everyone to use, provided it is not protected. You may have a different personal view, but that’s how our society and every industry works – again why the law has been designed the way it is.
In case of the MiniMoog there is no IP (Intellectual Property) involved as the technology is more than 40 years old and all patents have long expired. As a result, the property is now in the public domain, free for everyone to use. Without this principle there would only be one car or synthesizer manufacturer in the world.
For this exact reason you will find many companies who are manufacturing replicas of all sorts, including the MiniMoog – simply google it.
We believe there are two typical types of customers:
The ones who aspire to purchase the original product and provided they can afford the price, they will buy such a high-priced product.
It is well known marketing knowledge, that lower cost and competing products do contribute to more awareness and hence stimulate both ends of the market.
Many companies such as Tesla, Toyota etc. have now opened their patents to the public domain to allow other manufacturers to enter the same market and actually compete with them.
Open source and open innovation are now trends that you’ll find in many industries, simply because the benefit of collaboration outweighs protection of your IP.
Our primary customer is not the well-off doctor or lawyer, but the people with much less income. I was a struggling musician myself when I started my business 30 years ago and I made it my mission in life to enable musicians to pursue their musical dreams without financial obstacles.
This is the reason why we work with extremely slim margins and consequentially our focus must be on achieving high volume production as otherwise we couldn’t survive.
When you work with such slim margins, aside from research and development, much effort goes into DFM (Design for Manufacturing), DFC (Design for Cost) and production engineering etc.
We employ over 400 engineers in MUSIC Group and we’re hiring 100 more. You will find our engineering facilities in the UK, US, Germany, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, China, Philippines etc. If you’re interested, feel free to drop by at our offices and meet our fantastic people.
Perhaps this synth is a great little project to demonstrate how the design process works and I am happy to involve you in the development.
Since the development has been done 40 years ago, it is a rather minimal engineering effort and once we have a working prototype and a projected price, we can then decide whether we will bring this product to market or not.
Someone here in the forum had a great idea to pack this synth into a compact Eurorack format and this coincides with some of our engineers’ ideas. I will have our designers to come up with a quick design draft for you to comment on.
What do you think about Behringer’s plans? Would you want to own a Minimoog knockoff? Or should Behringer do something more creative, like they did with the DeepMind 12, and create something new that builds on classic designs?
Leave a comment and let us know what you think!