Behringer Wants People To Stop Calling Them Shameless Copycats

Chinese electronic music site Midifan says it received a cease and desist letter from Behringer lawyers.

Chinese computer music portal Midifan let us know that they’d received a cease and desist letter from Behringer lawyers, asking  the site to stop describing them as shameless copycats.

“Midifan has received a lawyer’s letter from Behringer last week,” explains Midifan founder Nan Tang. “Behringer claimed that Midifan using insulting words such as ‘copycat’, ‘shameless’ has caused the reputation of the four clients (Uli Behringer, MUSIC Tribe Global Brands Ltd, Zhongshan Behringer Electronic Co., Ltd and Zhongshan Ouke Electronic Co., Ltd) to be seriously damaged,” he adds.

Tang says that the law firm representing Behringer says that they ‘plans to pursue legal responsibilities through criminal way.’

Behringer has recently announced clones of a variety of iconic analog gear, including the ARP Odyssey and the Roland TR-808.

In response the letter, Midifan has published an apology of sorts on their site:

“Here, on behalf of Midifan, I hereby make a very solemn apology to the four principals who have been “seriously hurt”:

1. Apologize for the wording of “plagiarized dogs.” The cute dog is a human friend and the dog does not copy it. This is not correct, I’m sorry.

2. Express apologize for the wording of “Shameless People.” Because Behringer is a company, not a person, this is not correct. I’m sorry.

3. Apologize for the allegation that Behringer’s products are plagiarized. The politically correct statement is “reference” or “tribute.” These actions are all not plagiarism at all. I am sorry.”

148 thoughts on “Behringer Wants People To Stop Calling Them Shameless Copycats

  1. That it is very Vulgar from the Midifan guy, since indeed those are very insulting words nonetheless. No need to be rude in order to disagree with someone or something in this case IMHO.

    1. I don’t know how much got lost in the translation, but when your business model is to clone other companies products, then you shouldn’t be surprised if someone calls you a second rate copycat.
      Since I don’t speak chinese I have no idea how far they actually went with their wording, but to insult them openly is not the same as hurting their image/brand. I don’t think that Uli needs help with that.
      If the letter is real then this might hurt them more than some insults.

    2. Awww, poor Behringer. Do you stick up for legitimately harassed human beings all over the internet, or just lightly-made-fun-of corporations?

      1. Hey! This guy just wants to have cheap replicas of old time classics AND still feel like he’s not sucking the low cost teet of the super capitalst explotation. Give the man a break, so he can discover just how boring an unprocessed 808 sounds.

  2. This is absurd since Behringer would never contemplate taking such action against western based websites. The cynicism is nauseating for a company that has flourished by systemically violating and infringing on patent laws, copying, and replicating designs, to now threaten legal action against a website in the host country. The irony of course is that China is infamous for this behaviour as evidenced by their blatant disregard for intellectual property rights.

    Whether you support Behringer or not (I own the Midas M32, yet I do not own a single synth from the Behringer line) we should support freedom of speech, even in places that it is not supported or allowed. This overreach is astounding in this day and age of global community.

    1. Any proof that Behringer violated patents?
      And I did not read any western website using coarse speech like this, claiming Behringer to do something criminal.

    2. They are not violating any patent. Their fake synths ARE NOT based on the original schemes, they are built around very very very very cheap components and architectures.

  3. Are you serious or just a troll? How the fark are those “insulting” words towards a company? Or is this just some kinda irony I can’t see?

    1. What patent laws has Behringer broken? Be specific……I want to give the info to Gibson and Fender so they can have a case against all the companies that clone their guitars.

        1. There is what you don’t like and then there’s what they are doing legally. You can’t say that they are infringing on this or that when you probably have no idea who owns the patent or copyright if there even is one.

        2. The Boss eh? 😉 Yes, they are ripping off other designs and creations. You don’t like the copycat synth lines that Behringer are creating, then don’t buy them. If you own the originals then feel warm and fuzzy. Roland have had years to realise there is a market for analogue reproductions of their classic gear but have chosen not to do so. Sequential/DSI and Moog have kept things premium. If someone can afford a real moog model D or Prophet One/Five then that’s what they’re going to buy. As mentioned above, how many Strat and Les Paul guitar clones are there? Guitar clones seem to be accepted, so I wonder why many have a different attitude for Synths? Behringer are simply allowing a lot of people to have an otherwise unaffordable synth sound.

          Just as a side note, there’s another post on Synthtopia today about a DIY Wasp clone called the Jasper. I wonder how many people will take issue with that clone?

          1. I haven’t seen a lot of attacks on Moog Music formerly Big Briar cloning the Model D. The original company is long since gone, the new Moog Music only got the rights to the company name, and no one holds any patent rights for the Model D, so it is impossible for any company to make anything but a clone of it.
            Same for SEM, like Tom Oberheim does.
            Same for Arp Odyssey
            Same for any Sequential Circuits products.
            Same when it comes to a lot of classic synths, just because someone, or the main guy of any of those companies is involved with cloning it, would not make it any less of a Clone.
            Roland and Yamaha are still around though (Korg perhaps, I don’t know exactly how the company today relates to the Korg company of the past), so they could claim any new version by them is a Re-issue, but if the patents have expired anyone is free to “clone” it.

            Behringer did make some guitar pedals that were very similar in design, feature set and color to products by other brands that were still protected. I don’t think that actually hurt the original makers, though. Behringer ones weren’t as good, so anyone that could afford, tended to get the original, while perhaps using the Behringer one temporarily. And on live shows, the likeness in color could have worked in favour of the original makers, as I would think many would assume that it was the “original” on the pedal board looking cool, and not a “copy”.

              1. From a legal standpoint the Moog Music company that exists today isn’t the same as once did.
                It is of no matter that Bob Moog founded both of the companies.
                From a legal standpoint Moog Music doesn’t have any more right to do a Model D, than Behringer. They do have a greater claim to the Minimoog name, but Behringer did not use that.

                Bob Music died several of years ago, he wasn’t involved with the new Model D project (and actually only partly involved with the original, how large his part was there isn’t any exact record of, as far as I know). But it would not have mattered, even if he had been around, and it had been him that said that they should do the Model D again, would still not made it any less of a clone/copy than the Behringer one.
                Bob Music sold his company and thus lost the rights to the company name, he then got the rights to the name back, but the company had gone bust. It could have very well been that someone else had the rights to the name, and his new synth company would have carried another name, be it Big Briar or any other name.

                Both companies copied the Model D.
                Neither company made it in the first place.
                The brand is of no importance.
                Any feelings for the old Moog Music brand or Bob Moog should not cloud one’s judgement on the matter.
                Moog Music today is a different company. And without Bob Moog, there isn’t any longer any real links with the old Moog Music company.

                Think about it, what if the brand would have been Big Briar, and Bob Moog would still have died several of years before the Model D project was started, and they would not have had the rights to put the Minimoog name on it.
                Because that is essentially how it is, the Minimoog brand and the Moog Music brands are just that, brands… they don’t influence the sound, they don’t have Bob Moog’s or the original Moog Music company soul in them. The Minimoog brand was used for the Voyager, that some people felt did not deserve that legacy. The Moog Music brand has been used in their software synths. As far as the brand themselves goes, it could have been any other company with the rights to the brands, putting them on products they saw fitting. What if it had been Behringer that had bought the rights to those brands, and theyr had decided to only use them on products that had a Moogish feeling to them. They could have also gotten the Oberheim brand rights (there were talks of them buying the rights to that, but I haven’t followed that), what if they had the rights to both brands, and used Moog brands on things that felt Moogish and Oberheim brands on products that felt Oberhimish. Dave smith was given the rights to Sequential Circuits brand, what it Behringer had bought that right, and use if for products that felt felt Sequentialish. Typically though when companies get the rights to name, they don’t get several of rights, and put the name on everything in the category, thus de-valuating the brand. But what if a company would have been different and actually tried to use brands when they felt fitting.
                Moog Music has the right to put their brands on anything they want, just as any other company with the rights to brands. It makes them no different.
                It just a matter of rights to the brand.
                Right now they use them on products that seem to fit well with the idea of the old Moog Music brand. But we have no idea what will come out in the future from the Moog Music company. At some point they may have to go in to a completely new direction to stay relevant. The osc’s they use the most on their hardware isn’t the same design as any of their classics. What if they would decide the classic ladder filter doesn’t cut it anymore, would you then say, that all their rights to the Moog Music name had gone out of the window?

                Some companies had a bad reputation and changed that, Behringer is trying, if they will succeed if for the future to judge.
                So in that regard the Moog Music brand is different from the Behringer brand, in that it hasn’t really been involved with any products with a bad reputation. Thus the brand is a stronger trademark than the Behringer brand.
                I fully get that people have a more positive feeling about the Moog brand on products. But the products should be judged for what they are, and not the brand. And that would have been true, even if Moog Music had been a continuously operating company. in that case it could have truly been called a re-issue. Now, just as with the Berhinger one, it is just a legal copy of the original, it could just as easily been the Big Briar – Model D, vs the Beringer – Model D, and Bob Moog still would not have been involved with the production of any of those legal copies.

              2. Imagine this scenario;
                What if Moog Music had survived after Bob Moog sold the company.
                They would of course have had to change their product portfolio, and go digital.
                Imagine they had a good reputation in the music industry. To make it easier, imagine that NordKeyboards/Clavia was Moog Music that had survived without the red color probably (and the made in Sweden aspect) as an idea to the type of products they could have been making.

                Bob Moog would have probably wanted to make analog synths again. Let’s imagine he did, but under another brand. For simplicity, imagine it was under the Big Briar brand.
                I imagine he would have still made something very similar to the Minimoog Voyager, but just the Voyager then, as he would not have had the rights to the Minimoog name. The Little Phatty coming after that as well.

                Just like today, there would have been a trend with making analog and re-making some classic instruments.
                Imagine that Moog Music (the Nord like company) would have decided to make a Minimoog and ride the analog hype. Imagine it to be mostly black, with wooden ends, in other words, the typical retro type of styling. It would not look like the Model D, but it would have the vintage vibe. It would be analog, and have a feature-set almost identical to the Model D. It would have been called Minimoog or possibly Minimoog classic if they had used the brand for other type of products. On the inside, it would have been made with modern production methods, with surface mounted components. The sound would have been very similar. The price; perhaps 1999 or thereabout.

                Let’s play with time, and say that this had all been a few years in to the future, Behringer would not have made any “clones” (yet), but nothing else would have changed compared to what the world was in 2016.
                Bob Moog would have still died.
                For the year 2020 instead of 1026, Big Briar, had in honor of Bob Moog and the Minimoog, had decided to replicate the Model D, the product they had launched would be like the Model D re-issue, perhaps called simply Model D or Model D 50, for the 50 year anniversary of the original, and thus try to cash in on the legacy of Bob Moog, with a very vintage feeling synth. The release of such a product by a company that wasn’t Moog Music, just would have made a lot more sense as an anniversary thing, especially if another company had already made a Minimoog, hence the importance of the change in year.
                There would have been 2 “Minimoogs” on the market. One made by the Moog Music company a well revered synth making company that had been continuously operating. One would be made by a later company founded by Bob Moog, but not called Minimoog. The feature-set would have been nearly identical as well as the sound, one would have looked like the old one, but with a Big Briar brand, and the Model D name and with much more hands on building process. Bob Moog himself would not have been involved with any of them, and would not have asked any of the companies to make it. His new legacy would have been the Big Briar Voyager and the Big Briar Little phatty, without Moog or Minimoog brandings.
                It is easy to think, that in that case the Model D by Big Briar, would have been the more genuine feeling one, but think of it, it would have a Model D design, but made by a brand that wasn’t Moog Music. It would clearly have been a clone/copy. They would have still made it, to make money, just like now. I’m not sure in that world; the Big Briar Model D would have gotten the reception it did in this world where it carried a Moog Music company brand and a Minimoog name. It would have been much more clear that they did it to cash in. As far as any heritage of the original goes, it would have been no difference, to the way it is today.
                Then throw in Behringer making their 299 dollar mass produced version, perhaps called “The Mini”.
                I think in that scenario, the Behringer would then be much more well received. People would have had a very different perspective on who had the rights to make it.

                The heritage from Bob Moog in the company formerly knows as Big Briar, is the Voyager, forget the Minimoog name on it, it had it’s own character, and the Little Phatty. I’m well impressed with the Sub 37, building on that legacy. Much rather than see that company make a Model D “re-issue” to cash in on the retro trend, I would have liked to see them make a 3 OSC “Sub-series” synth. Bob Moog wanted to improve on the Model D, and from that came to Voyager, not the Model D “re-issue”.

                The Model D “re-issue” is something the company decided to do after his death. And with a release in 2016, 46 after the launch of the original, and 35 years after it going out of production, 11 years Bob Moog’s death, and 82 years after him being born, it seem a lot like they were afraid someone else was going to beat them to the punch, rather than a real tribute to the original.
                And again, it is not even the same company that made the original, they just happen to have gotten the rights to that name as the company that had it went bust.

        3. It’s not a rip off. Law isn’t philosophy or a mere exchange of opinions. “Cloning” a Stratocaster is perfectly legal (given that Fender never bothered protecting the body shape as trademark and let other companies use it without complaints for several decades), unlike, say, a Les Paul (a clone of which can never be an exact 100% replica). The same goes for Behringer, they’re not infringing any copyright law: they aren’t even copying the design, seriously (is the Model D really that similar to the ol’ good Moog?).
          I’m not American but I do study law. Keep in mind that patents in the USA expire in either 14 or 20 year, with very few exceptions (10 years for an international patent, though national legislations come into consideration too).

          1. Andrea

            If you really study law, you should know that what people object to has nothing to do with cloning circuits that have been out of patent for decades. Trade Dress and Trademark would be relevant.

            Also – if you study law, you’ll agree that companies put a lot of time and effort into figuring out how they can rip off other people’s workout incurring legal liability.

            1. Trade dress and trademark is hardly what people are complaining about.
              People have complained about Behringer “cloning” the Model D, for some time.
              And it can’t be remotely argued that any trade dress or trade mark right would be relevant in that case.
              Besides when it comes to Model D, the company that made the original is gone, so no one has natural rights to it. The Minimoog name could fall under the rights of the company name, so it possible that any one holding the rights to the Moog company name could claim ownership to that brand name, but Behringer didn’t call it that.
              Moog Music of today didn’t have any particular rights to the design when they made the “re-issue”, that wasn’t a real re-issue as there is no one holding the rights and the original company is long since gone. Moog Music of today could argue for trade dress over the Minimoog Model D design, but it would be a difficult case, since there clearly is prior art, and the design is closely associated with the original (prior art), rather than their clone. And then the Behringer D doesn’t look anything like it, really.

              When it comes to some other “clones” that Behringer has shown recently, there is a much higher likeness to the orignal products, and in some cases the original companies are still around. And for the Odyssey, we do have a similar situation as with Model D, where it could be possible for Korg to argue trade dress, but I doubt they would attempt to do that… An American company in America possibly would have tried it, and perhaps been able to get a temporary ban in import during the legal process, in to the US, but it would not be a guaranteed win.

              The Roland clones though, could end up in a legal case, if Behringer actually make the product and have them look like that. It is hard to tell how that would work out. Roland have used a similar design for their boutique line, so that could actually make their case stronger, since they have recently made money out of that product design.

              Personally I’m not a fan of the new clones, I think Behringers module/modular concept made a lot of sense… and for the Odyssey, they could have split it in to two modules, with some kind of multi connector, connecting the “modifier-section” with the signal path, to make it practical for Eurorack mounting, and they could then also put separate patch points for using the modifiers for other modular stuff.
              If they are going to make an Odyssey, or SH-101 in that size, I would like to see it being a poly version of it but I still feel they should change the design quite a bit from the current state, and there still being a smaller module/modular version of it for mono, then I would wish for them to do that with the D as well (the ProOne, probably as a prophet 5, the Neutron voice could be used for such a product as well, even though it would lose it’s patching capabilities in that case, and the leaked MS-20 without patching could also make for a cool poly).
              I don’t really see any reason for them to look so much like the originals. Sure the SH-101 could be used as a keytar, but the shape was hardly optimal, so if they wanted to make a new keytar with the same kind of voice, why not a new design that actually worked better and better yet a keytar case that could actually hold any of their module/modular products, with an optional beefy battery system that could drive it.
              As for the TR-808, I’m not interested enough to think of what they should have done with that… They could have perhaps built the Retro-drummer, with sounds from many of the classics, in an original design, but I guess that would have resulted in a higher price-tag than they would think their target audience would be willing to pay… But they managed to sell some Deepmind 12, so perhaps they have an audience for higher priced products as well. Or they could have done something similar to Erica Synths pico drummer, but sold it in a case with sequencer to make it behave like a TR-808 when mounted in that.

              If the rage against Behringer only came with the latest shown prototypes, I would at least partly understand it, although we are yet to see any of them come in to production to see what they will actually look like, and if any company will actually try to claim trade dress or trademark infringement.
              It could be a PR stunt, where they first show a prototype that looks like the original product, and then make claims that they now improved the design, and the actual production unit looking very different, but people still thinking that because the prototype looked the same, it should be identical on the inside, where some people perhaps never thought that way about the Model D, and the ProOne.

      1. “What patent laws has Behringer broken?”

        They can afford to crush smaller companies. Also, laws broken have nothing to do with copied designs.

      2. Specifically, look at Behringers court history. They have been sued for patent infringement many, many times, and lost, many, many times.

        1. @Distant Animals: Legal suits due to patent infringements are actually nothing special, in fact every big company has a history, even Apple, Samsung, IBM, Microsoft etc. Unless one knows the exact reasons (and I am sure nobody here got any insight) it does help help to speculate just to make a case.

        2. While that may be true, I don’t know that it relates to the latests products by Behringer. Wasn’t all those products still protected by copy protection?
          In this case the products aren’t.
          I’m not sure Behringers lesser quality both in terms or sound and in terms of actual hardware had any negative impact on the brands making the “original” products.

      3. You seem unaware that Gibson, Fender and others have trademarked the shape of their guitars and headstocks in the USA. The look and feel of a product (color, shape, typographic choices, layout) is also protected as trade dress in much the same manner.

        Your singular obsession with patent law demonstrates that you don’t understand the broader scope of intellectual property protection.

        That said, Behringer has quite deliberately chosen to copy synthesizers made by defunct companies – Moog Music and Sequential Circuits – as their first two clones. Things will get more interesting if they actually release copies of Roland instruments, because (a) Roland still exists, (b) Roland has been selling modern reproductions (the SH-01A and TR-08) and (c) Roland is a large company that can afford to take legal action.

        Even then, Roland may decide that suing Music Group/Behringer is not a good strategy simply because ownership is probably shielded by shell companies (Music Group itself is incorporated in the Philippines, not Germany or China).

  4. It’s what Behringer does – they rip off everybody else’s designs, cut some corners and offer clones for half the price of the real thing.

    Roland sued them over this years ago and Behringer had to settle. It seems like they’re being a lot smarter about it nowadays, and just cloning sought-after gear that’s been out of production for decades.

    Calling it ‘shameless’ sounds harsh, but they’re ripping off Tom Oberheim’s design and he’ll never see a dime from them, and they’re ripping of Dave Smith’s work and he’ll never see a dime from them. So the characterization seems pretty apt.

    Nobody would criticize them if they did what other companies do and build upon the work of their predecessors, rather than just making knockoffs. There’s a lot of gear made over the last 40 years inspired by early Moog stuff – but I’d never seen anybody make a shrunken knockoff until the Behringer D.

    It’s a very calculated decision on Behringer’s part – they know by copying other company’s look that they can steal more of their competitors’ business. It’s rarely illegal what they do – but they’re behaving as parasites on the industry, rather than doing something original, which is riskier and harder to do.

    1. So it was fair by Moog Music to do a full size clone of the Model D?
      The Moog Music inc that exists today is not the same company that once made the product, that company is long since gone. Bob Moog did however buy the rights to the Moog Music name, but no company.
      Since the company hasn’t been continuously ongoing, and no one holds the rights any more. Any company to make a Model D, would be making a clone, no matter what brand would sit on the panel.

      Studio Electronics SE-1 was pretty much a cloned Model D, in a smaller size, with slightly different looks.

      The Oberheim and Sequential circuits products that Behringer might make, are in public domain, just like the Model D, so no one can claim ownership and rights to any money if someone else chose to make clones of them. Yet again the actually companies that made the originals no longer exist.
      Tom Oberheim doesn’t own any patents for the SEM, so he’s new SEM modules are clones just as much as they would be if anyone else made them. He doesn’t even own the right to the Oberheim brand, that is why he now brand his products Tom Oberheim.

      Behringer has made lots of products that are inspired by other products, or even unique, and not clones. In the Synth category, they have the Deepmind series that are only inspired by the Juno-106, and they have the Neutron that is their own design.

      But Behringer has made some products in particular guitar pedals that seemed like they were trying to ride the wave of other products on the market, in terms of feature-set, and color. But most of the time they did sound different.

      1. Behringer did not come into business last year. They have 20+ years of copying others. Now they are trying to change the narrative by introducing yet another bunch of copies…It’s in their nature.

          1. One could come up with examples of Behringer occasionally doing something original and well done (BCR2000, their iPad mixers, etc)

            But one would have to be ignorant or biased to not recognize that a core part of their business has always been, and continues to be, making cheap knockoffs.

            Defend that if you like – but denying it is not credible.

  5. Doesn’t China copy a lot of American brands? Like the fake Apple Store, or the fake Disneyland? Or music gear? This is pretty funny.

    1. Exactly! China, where everything is fake from food to clothes,watches, etc! I’ve been there 2 years: they clone cars from Western models, they copy the technology, they copy mobiles and whatever and now they show up with this “funny” to be fair accusation? I like Behringer idea to recreate iconic synths : i am not that kind of rich guy and i cannot spend thousands of dollars (or Euro, i live in Europe) in vintage gear or also in new released instruments like DSI (which i like very much). Behringer is not hiding the fact that those instrumens are recreations of popular ones whereas chinese manufactureres often pretend their products are genuine and not copied stealing the technology. In Italy we say:” When the shit fights back the shovel”…

  6. Technically, reproducing any design that is not protected by copyright is not wrong.

    It’s like complaining to a pharmaceutical company for producing “generic” brands of medicine for a lower price than the original one.

    In the end, if it sounds good it is good.

    1. Your understanding of patent and trademark law is incomplete. As someone else mentioned in this thread, there is a form of IP called Trade Dress that protects the look and feel of products. You can’t sell a soft drink in a copy of Coca-Cola’s famous bottle. You can’t sell a Porsche 911 look-alike. Samsung was just ordered to pay over $500 million to Apple for copying the design of the original iPhone.

      The legal difficulty is that the various Behringer corporate entities are offshore (Music Group is incorporated in the Philippines) and most likely structured in a manner that makes it hard to sue them for damages. A small company like Moog doesn’t have millions of dollars to throw at a lawsuit, especially one with no good upside.

      1. There is no trade dress for the Model D. Moog music that once made it is a company that has been out of existence for some time. The new Moog Music company holds no rights to the Model D design, so there is no trade dress in that case, and the Behringer Model D did not look enough like the original for any company that had the right to the design to win any legal case against Behringer in a fair court. Moog music may hold the right to the Minimoog brand, but Behringer did not use it.
        The Moog Music Model D “re-issue” is just as much a clone as the behringer model D, and that one even looks a lot like the original.

        No company actually has design rights to the Odyssey either. Korg could try to claim trade dress since they made the Odyssey recently. But it would not really hold up in court. It could perhaps be enough for a temporary import ban during the legal process, had Korg been an American company, trying to ban it in the US.
        But Behringer hasn’t released that product yet, maybe they wont, or maybe the design will be changed.

        ProOne isn’t protected. Sequential Circuits no longer exists as the original company. And the design changes could have been enough anyway.

        Oberheim products aren’t protected either, as the company has gone under. And the design of the Behringer “clone” I think isn’t even fixed, or the fact it will actually be released. The SEM module by Tom Oberheim, not the oberheim company, is of course to be considered a clone, in the same sense as any Behringer synth would be, when it comes to making a product based on an original that no one has the rights to. Since Tom Oberheim doesn’t even have the rights to the brand name Oberheim, it could still be claimed to infringe on the Trademark if the owner of the brand name would feel like doing so (there are rumours of Behringer buying the rights to the name, don’t think they have been confirmed though),

        When it comes to Roland products, they might be able to claim trade dress, especially considering they recently sold products with a similar design, although in a smaller form factor.
        Behringer are yet to bring those products to the market, so yet again the design could change, or they could change their mind on releasing them, if they feel they are heading to a legal battle that they could lose.
        Behringer has however been in legal battles with the Boss/Roland corporation before, so I would think they would make sure they were on the right side in terms of legal aspects before releasing any “clones” of their products.

  7. Regardless, people want these synths they are cloning because they cant afford the real thing. The TR-808 goes for over 4 grand…the copy will probobaly be a tenth of that and still fully analog. Ide hate on them if Roland was making the remakes people want, but they are making little digital toy emulations. Now if they clone a 500 buck synth and sell it for 250….that would be shitty….but i support cloning synths that cost thousands of dollars so regular people can have a taste of them……..oh and the suing part is low….shame on Uli.

    1. Ever heard of “slander” and “defamation”?
      I’m not sure there is any country that actually has free speech, in that anything goes.

  8. lolololololol.

    High Five MidiFan!

    FWIW, the language in the letter would have been penned by the lawyers, and not Behringer themselves. Legal letters always embellish greatly on describing damages/greivances as part of the bargaining position.

    Also… I don’t think being called out as a copy cat is going to convince any prospective customers to not buy the Behringer instruments. They are pretty darn sure they know it’s a copy, and that’s what they want.

  9. Who the hell is/are Midifan and why would I give a crap what his/her/their opinion is? Keep rocking, Behringer. Behringer is doing a hell of a lot more for synth enthusiasts, producers, performers than some blog going around whining and spreading negativity about what a synth company is doing. Plus this apology isn’t helping Midifan’s case that they’re not a-holes. They sure have written A LOT of articles on Behringer. I think this is more to do with where this blog/site is based in and Behringer having workers and factories there. China does have business defamation laws that they enforce. So I believe this has to do more with this all being based in China.

  10. Well this was actually terribly stupid on Midifan’s part. Perhaps Midifan should understand their own nation’s laws as they passed a law in 2014 setting new internet rules that allows websites to be sued for defamation. Whoops, Midifan! China’s pretty serious when it comes to the internet and spreading rumors and false information.

    1. Midifan for a second thought he lived in a democracy then he suddenly realized he lived in communist state in which the party dictates what rules apply to you by dictate thats the moment he got scared, so would i.
      In China formation of a labour union is illegal while in any reasonably decent democracy its legal, says it all.

  11. Well Behringer have ‘copied’ synths made by other manufacturers, one of which is back in production by the company that legally owns the IP. If I were a child, I might rightly use the term ‘copy cat’.

    And they have paraded these ‘copies’ around without asking for the consent of the original designers, who are still alive, behaving as though they have brought something new to the table. Or at the very least, without any real praise for the people who actually designed them. AND they have unnecessarily ‘copied’ the aesthetic, presumably to make a stronger connection to the original synth they are ‘copying’. So I suppose the word ‘shameless’ could be applied to that?

    Somehow I think in a court of law they would have a hard time proving the term ‘shameless copy cat’ was inaccurate.

    1. What synth are you talking about?
      Moog Music inc that made synths in the past has not been around for quite some time.
      Moog Music today, only has the same name as that company, it used to be called Big briar. The founder (Bob Moog) was the same, but he sold Moog Music.

      There are no IPs to own for the Model D, they have fallen in to public domain.

      So no one holds the rights, and the company that used to make them is not around anymore, meaning that any Model D today is just as much a copy as the next one.

      And Moog Music have stopped production of the Model D.

      Bob Moog never signed off on the Model D by New Moog Music. He was involved with the Minimoog Voyager and the Little Phatty. Seems like he wasn’t really interested in resurrecting the Model D.

      I’ve heard several of times in threads and videos where Uli or employees of Behringer has referred to the original synth that the product is based upon, I haven’t ever heard them pretend those were original designs by Behringer, so anyone reading that and watching is able to find enough information to locate the original maker and read about the original product.
      Who would they ask for consent? Moog Music that isn’t the same Moog Music that ones had the rights. Tom Oberheim, that sold his company, and now can’t use the Oberheim brand? Dave Smith who sold his company Sequential Circtuits, only reacently was given the name back, but not the company itself (as it no longer exists)? I guess they could ask Roland, but those designs are in the public domain just as all the others, so what difference would that make?

      1. They could ask the original designer if the legitimately can’t find anyone who ‘owns’ the design. Even bring the original designer into the process, to make sure they are being accurate as possible. You know, like Korg did with their Arp reissue…

        1. They have no obligation to do so.
          If no one or no company owns the rights, there is no issue making a product that looks like a product from the past. It is not unheard of in other business.
          I can’t remember that the former Arp employee Korg used in their marketing was either responsible for either the outer or the inner design of the product. He was perhaps involved with it, but I don’t think he actually made any general design decision. And I’m quite sure the engineers at korg (or working for korg) actually designed the product with no help from that guy, the same is probably true for the MS-20 as well, that the ones used in marketing was mostly there for marketing purpose with their stamp of approval for something that was actually designed by others. The products are designed with production methods in mind that weren’t around when the originals were made.

    2. If a court of law would be at the same level as touchy-feely posts in an internet forum, then you would have a point. But as it stands, the first question in court would be: “Is there copyright on the product presumably copied?” The answer is no and the case is closed. Your feeling might tell you that it’s not fair towards the original manufacturers. But they’ve all had time to make money off their ideas. That’s how copyright works. So good to see shit hit the Midifan. It’s amazing to see the baseless name calling that passes for journalism nowadays.

      Behringer has brought something new to the table. No, it’s not the designs. It’s the fact that they build the classic synths that people somehow still want. Yes, it can be that simple. The original manufacturers have time and again shown no interest in re-releasing them (with the exception of the model D reissue). On top of that, the price is new. Behringer is proving that with smart component design and the power of large-scale manufacturing, they can come up with good sounding synths for the fraction of the price. (Please spare me the slave labor argument unless you have some proof.)

      So in a strange way, Behringer is actually quite innovative. And based on the number of reactions to any Behringer-related post here, they’re having a big impact on the synth-world at the moment.

      1. The company today called Moog Music did show an interest in making money of making a legal copy of the Model D.
        They are however not the same company that made the original, so in that sense it is just as much a clone, or legal copy as the one Behringer makes.
        Moog Music may have rights, trademark rights or trade dress to the Minimoog name, but Behringer didn’t even use that, and that is how far at most Moog Music rights stretches when it comes to the Model D.

        The Roland products, if looking like that when released could perhaps be in some legal issues. But that one is reserved for the future to judge.

    1. Have you seen their car industry lately, or did you happen to watch a re-run of the Top Gear episode?
      Brands like Volvo are owned by Chinese companies. They also have a large industry of odd electrical cars.
      In the Mobile industry, they have brands like Xiaomi, Oppo, Lenovo, Motorola, Huawei.

      But they also have industries making counterfeits, but they aren’t the only country in the world to have that. I would argue that parts of the reason why so many counterfeits come out of china is that even the counterfeit industry has moved there, and it is not only about rules and regulations differences.

  12. It’s fun to watch everyone here get high and mighty about how “terrible” Behringer is for ripping off other companies when every single last one of you damn well knows you have pirated music software somewhere on your computer, either now or in the past. Get off your collective high horses already.

    And again, I’ve yet to see proof of anything they’re doing that is illegal. Can any of you pirates please provide that evidence?

    1. prlj …No I haven’t…. never have, never will. And just so you know most people that I know or work with follow the same principles.

      Not saying we’re not the exception but my high and mighty attitude towards this company comes from nothing more than a position of “copying ANYTHING is cheap”… period.

      No exceptions. Art, instruments, software, tools, lifestyle, music….. ANYTHING. If you can’t come up with an original idea leave it to somebody who can.

      Behringer doing original designs? Great… hats off to them… I hope they do well.

      Behringer copying?… (which is what they do…. don’t be under any illusions about this)… Boo hiss…. not for me.

      As for this particular event? The first thing that came to mind was “That’s rich”.

      1. How about those who hate VST plugs and want real gear in their hand they wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise. I have a mini moog in my studio now thanks to them. The engineers at Behringer are gods. If dumb ass Roland only gives shitty Boutiques and not clones of their old tech then screw them. PLEASE NEUTRON NOW!!!! LOVE YOU BEHRINGER ANDI HOPE YOU ARE READING!!!!! I am your customer like many, many, many, others on here. Don’t let the few Elites discourage you in any way. America will eat it up like we are now. You changed the hardware game and force others to follow in pricing. Stay Gold!!!

      2. It may be your opinion that people/corporations that can’t come up with original ideas should stay out of the game.
        But yet, everywhere you turn in your studio or in your home, you will see stuff the came to be, because someone at some time copied another. And then perhaps they were copied and so on.
        So even if that is your opinion on the matter, you still don’t live by it.

        I’m not in favour of throwing out all intellectual property rights. But I would like to see a system where anyone is free to license any technology, without the IP holder having the right to say no. And there would have to be an independent party to set the license fees. That way anyone could build on any great idea.
        The world we have today would not have been the same if it wasn’t for infringements. If it wasn’t for companies copy as closely as they could without getting in to legal trouble. The way to fix that system is not with stricter IP rights, and more punishments.
        Ideas are so often born out of other ideas, I would say pretty much always actually.

    2. It’s not politically correct to call the things as they are it seems….Imagine Jlo complaining that people do not like her for her voice but for her behind…That’s how mr Behringer’s complain sounds like..

  13. Everything you just said can said for the millions of Stratocaster clones out there. Yet you have still not proven that Behringer has done anything illegal.

  14. If it doesn’t infringe any laws, I’m ok with Behringer’s strategy. They have their great two new synths (DeepMind and Neutron). In the meanwhile they rehash old synths upgrading them along the way (midi over usb, displays here and there, saving patches etc.) and selling them for no money (DIY Minimoog costs more than Model D)

  15. Cease and desist … my God that’s pathetic, and shamesless too. Other than obvious SHAMELESS COPYCATS, they are well … German.

    1. No. It’s precisely what you think they are. But I understand that in this day and age, where the average news outlet doesn’t rise above the level of an internet forum, it’s easy to confuse opinion and fact.

    1. I agree 100 % on this comment! Uli is doing what the companies (Korg, Roland and Yamaha) should have done 10 years ago!

  16. Yeah, shamelessly acknowledge the heritage of the copies. That would be a starst. Although I must correct myself. They are far from copies. They are shrunken, cheaply manufactured sound-alikes. Which is fine, but they need to calm down on the solicitors letters and accept what they are.

  17. Why does it always seem to need to be a debate, just to make affordable versions of cool gear thats not so priced into the clouds for the regular joe today.
    Every company copycats or has copycatted in some shape or form anyway whats another gonna hurt?
    There are lots of great ideas but doesn’t seem that many have the drive to do something with them.
    Copycat away guys, am sick of the rules and regulation and argumentative attitudes!

  18. How is it defaming them when they use entirely accurate words to describe their actions?

    Shameless – without respect – I guess one could argue this but I see the cloning with indifference towards the original creator a lack of respect.

    Copycat – imitation of another – clearly this is what Behringer has tried to do. Not only do their recreations attempt to sound the same but they also attempt to look the same.

    As far as their claims that this website somehow hurt their reputation, give me a break. They called it like it is. Behringer and Uli waded into this water. They have to willing to take the good with the bad.

    FYI, I’m not totally opposed to the clones and what Behringer are doing is definitely legal. I may question their ethics by using cheap labor to arrive at their cheap prices but if others want to support that manufacturing model, so be it.

    1. So you admit that shameless could be argued.
      I would say the same is true for copycat, as they don’t pretend to make the originals they make re-makes of originals, using different naming and in many cases quite different design. The Roland full sized concepts they showed, however do look a lot like the originals products, and I don’t quite see why. But they don’t claim theirs are the originals.

      I have no idea of the impact of the site, so I can’t say anything about their impact on the market.
      Nor have we actually heard what Behringer has to say on the matter. Is it a true story. What does the letter actually say if it is true, what parts may have been left out, and what has been changed in translation? Or is this the standpoint of Behringer as a company, or just the legal team, that may or may not benefit from starting legal processes.

      When the so called original products were made, they were often made by industrial workers working under poor conditions and with quite low wages. That has been true, pretty much since industrialism started. However, more and more robots are taking over, so it might come to an end.
      We would not have seen the growth in the middle class had it not been for workers getting poor pay, to make things that could be bought for people that weren’t allt that rich… even if it took saving up.

      1. Jon you seem to have a hard-on for Behringer or something.

        Do you support freedom of the press to critique or not?

        Your umpteen posts claiming that Behringer isn’t making knockoffs get you an ‘A’ for effort, but a hard fail for being completely irrelevant.

    1. WOW. That provides incredible context to this.

      We really need reform of trade laws in the west to take into account environmental and labor impact. Manufacturing jobs are shipped overseas not because they are more efficient, but because they have minimal labor and environmental laws. Everyone should be allowed to manufacture whatever they want, but if they want to export it somewhere else that respects people and the environment, the nation of manufacture needs to comply at least with some level of minimal modern standards. Stuff in violation should be deemed contraband, seized at customs and destroyed.

      1. And how many times haven’t we heard similar stories about factories here in the so called west.
        We have also heard falsified stories, where competitors or maffia organisations have spread misleading information to take competition out, or because they refuse to pay.
        The truth is really hard to find. Some times the owners of factory are told misleading information, and to believe everything is fine, even when it isn’t.

        We don’t know the factual truth in this case.
        We don’t know what Uli Behringer thinks of the matter. And what he knows/knew of the matter should it be proven.

  19. BMD,
    Thanks for that link. I agree this is the real reason Behringer is throwing legal muscle at MIDIfan. People have accused Behringer of copying their designs for years and they never seemed bothered by it. But put out substantial, verified proof that the working conditions in their factory are horrible?

    Well now. Someone has just gone to far!

    Unless all we care about is getting a synth cloned for the lowest possible price. Not if the workers who make them are getting sick, or dying.

    I will not buy any Behringer gear again until I see proof that these problems have been corrected. I urge everyone else to do the same.

    1. How do you know that the article by MIDIfan contains verified proofs?
      And if true, where is the evidence that Uli has not been lead to believe it was untrue, thus not acting upon it?

  20. Maybe this letter is a hoax and Behringer didn’t really send it. It would be an incredibly bad PR move to send it because of the inevitable blowback.

    What the guy said was correct. It certainly wouldn’t be considered defamation in most western courts because of that, he’s just stating facts. The dogs thing is an insult, but it’s perfectly legal to insult someone by calling them a dog. They might want to fist fight you, but calling them a dog isn’t a crime.

    Sending a team of legal hounddogs (actual common term) out to attack a synth fan site for stating facts is outlandish. But goading the brutal Chinese police force to go after them for expressing facts is pretty much a crime against humanity. Dogs indeed.

    If this letter can be authenticated as sent under the direction of Music Group, and they won’t retract and apologize, then my lifelong boycott of them begins. And this is speaking as someone who owns their products and has defended them in the past. Although I have not had any interest in their boring clone/ripoff/plagiarized models, I’ve enjoyed their other products.

    Hopefully it will turn out this letter is just a hoax.

    1. Slander and Defamation suits can relate to name calling, if it is made in public in a situation where it has a great reach, and it could impact on a persons or a company image.

      What are the correct facts?
      The made some products that look a lot like some classic products that are no longer patent protected and they were not claiming the Behringer ones were originals, nor did they make them so it would be impossible for people to tell them apart.
      So they aren’t copy cats, and it hard to say that they are shameless.

      Sometimes legal teams do act on their own, in some cases they get bonuses or are able to bill more, for legal processes, so it could be authentic but not in any way represent the position of the company.
      We will see.

  21. no matter who is right and who is wrong in this particular situation, we are all still talking about Behringer. what amazes me is not the clones or the people angry or excited about the clones, it’s that this company has successfully found a way to stay on the front page over and over and over, pretty darn good marketing technique.

  22. I’ve said it so many times….. this company, essentially those at the top are, in my opinion, the lowest of the low…. They’ve made a company out of doing nothing but copy or thieve designs (i think legally I’m now meant to say “ALLEGEDLY” at this point….) and get taken to court by Roland, Boss, Mackie (they’re just the ones that had the funds or inclination to follow things through) back in the ’90’s for doing so and here they are today taking a righteous approach to people actually seeing them for what they are and calling them out on it! (although I do feel sorry for the undoubtably incredibly talented brains within the company)

    Behringer doing original designs? Great… hats off to them…

    Behringer copying?… (which is what they do…. don’t be under any illusions about this…ALLEGEDLY!!)… Boo, hiss…. not for me.

    As for this latest clutching at publicity?? The first thing that came to mind was “That’s rich, talk about the pot calling the kettle black”… on both sides.. the Chinese for complaining about cheap copies and the same with Behringer!

    Well I hope THIS time people see Uli and his gang for what they are and FINALLY there’s a backlash against their ways. And I think that they really SHOULD take seriously the growing number of people that genuinely ARE saying “that’s me done with them, I’m not buying anything else by them”

    To get people to regard a company in the that way takes some doing.

    1. So when the new Moog Music company copied the Model D, that was ok?
      When Korg copied the Odyssey, that was ok?
      When Tom Oberheim copied the SEM that was ok?
      Yes it was, they are are legal copies as patents had run out and the same should be true for the synths and drum machines by Behringer. Unless Roland has managed to renew their trade dress with the Boutique line, then those products might be in danger, but on the other hand they are yet to be released.

      When Behringer copied products before, they infringed on patents, they aren’t now.
      Also with the synths, they actually quite clear that theirs are not original products, but remakes of classic products.
      Behringer is far from the only company in history to infringe on patents, and take advantage of smaller companies not being able to take them to court.
      If you want to live an infringe free life, you would absolutely have to go DAWless, neither Windows nor Mac OS is free from infringement, and colour graphics aren’t either, and Intel have behaved illegally… there is simply no way to have a computer and a completely guilt free conscience. That would seriously hurt you in your line of work, going DAWless. The windscreen wipers on you car? Infringement! There will be things all around you in your daily life that you would not have access to today, without infringements or illegal activities, or bad behaviour.
      Apple infringed on several patent when they made their iPhone. And when Nokia took them to court they got a discount on the fees, because the amount of money they would have needed to pay for back-licensing was so huge that the court felt is was too much.

      If this letter is true, correctly translated, and is the actual opinion of Uli and the leaders of his company and not just a legal team that may or may not have something to gain from starting legal processes, then it seems like a low blow.
      But then again, Apple behaved badly towards consumer reports, when it came to battry-life of one of their macbook lines… and if I’m not mistaken, they made some claims against consumer reports during antenna gate as well.

  23. I don’t give an F if Behringer makes shameless copies… Which is a fact.
    But I do care if such a huge company threatens an individual with law pursuits for expressing this fact !
    Btw where is the insult ???

  24. It might just be that Behringer’s customers don’t care to much about cloning or copycatting. That is one legal way (since patents expired) to recreate “legacy vintage” electronic musical instruments in a convincing and accurate manner.
    What I believe now (and I haven’t always acted that way, I know), is that professional companies, like professional musicians, should communicate with one another in an acceptable and decent manner. Can’t say that either Behringer or Midifan are trying their best at that. Can’t say I like the way Behringer promotes and releases their own products either.
    But beyond doubt all of Behringer’s synthesizers, be it their own like the Deepmind and Neutron, or be it recreations like the Micro-M, have certainly been worth a look at.

  25. Truly unbelievable… You can do anything and there will still be plenty of folks defending your actions on the internet. What Behringer are doing is flat out copying, no two ways about it.

    1. Making legal copies, yes, and there is nothing wrong with that.
      So did the new Moog Music when they copied the Model D.
      So did Korg when they copied the Odyssey.
      So did Tom Oberheim when he copied the SEM.

      What is true and not in this story, we actually don’t know.
      We have gotten a one-sided report.
      And sure if this is true, nothing lost in translation,and no hidden facts, it is a low blow by Behringer, if it isn’t just something the legal team put together to seem productive. But people still buy apple products, even though they behaved badly towards consumer reports. They even managed to get consumer reports to change their testing methods, just to suite Apple, even though the new method is less comparable between devices.

  26. dictionary description of copycat: “denoting an action, typically a crime, carried out in imitation of another”
    dictionary description of shameless: “lacking any sense of shame: immodest; audacious”
    Also he described Behringers people as “plagiarized dogs” or “crazy dogs”.
    Plagiarism is described as “the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own. Synonyms: copying, infringement of copyright, piracy, theft, stealing, poaching, appropriation; informalcribbing”

    All quite insulting speech. Also Behringer did not “steal” ideas, all patents are expired, and they did not pass the ideas as their own. Not a good way of writing for a serious music tech blog.
    Also remember: Bob Moog invented the idea of OSC>Filter>Amp Design, the ADSR envelope, pitch and mod wheel. So 99% of synth manufacturers did since then “steal” his ideas……

    1. I would perhaps not say Bob Moog invented. Some things were invented by people working for him. The same as with lots of things Steve Jobs has been credited for, or Thomas Edison. The truth is often very complex.

      By that definition Copycat may be true, though. the new Moog Music copied the Model D before Behringer did. Korg copied the Odyssey before Behringer did.
      And it just says typically a crime. Those were all legal copies. If it refers to Behringer copying the trend of copying, then it could be said to be true.
      But then it would be true for most companies, in that they have copied something from someone else, or took after a trend… few companies were first and never followed any trend by any other company, and if there are such companies, it is probably not companies that are widely recognized.

  27. I really do not care if behringer makes clones, as long as its cheap synth i would buy it. BUT wtf, this is cleary not a case that they were hurt by the word copycat. Its just about how they treat their workers. And now here i care. NO MORE behringer. I won’t even buy a used cheap mixer for 20 usd from them. Not even a sticker.

    1. Do you have any independent source for how they are treating their workers?
      Do you have any independent source that can provide proof that the heads of the company actually knows what is going on if it turns out correct, and aren’t mislead by middle management or any other part?

  28. Wow, look at all the people who are willing to waste time slagging Behringer, AGAIN. Best option: don’t buy their gear. The market will decide these things, whether that ends up being sensible or just knee-jerk populism. Music-making is a superior hobby compared to crack, right? If a newbie can only afford a Moog clone, but ends up happily wringing it out, isn’t that a win? Besides, I almost bought a DeepMind 6, but decided to keep saving for something a little broader. It has a nice voice. Buy what grabs you the most, screw both the hype and the trolls, have a musical better day. Don’t drink a whole bottle of cherry Nyquil with a straw, either.

    1. did you actually read the links?
      In some cases Behringer settled out of court, that could suggest that they were guilty of infringement, or that in order to not risk having their product sales banned even though they had a strong legal case they thought it was best to seek an agreement. When settlements are reached out of court, almost never are details disclosed and they weren’t in these cases either, so we can’t tell why deals were struck, what they included and what Behringer would have presented as evidence… It could also be that the company that is targeted has actually found proof that the company suing themselves have infringed on patents and by going to court that would be public records, and thus exposing that company for law suits… I don’t think that was the case in any Behringer lawsuit, but it isn’t entirely impossible.

      They don’t disproof infringement either.

      Besides some of those links refers to the same stories, so the amount of links doesn’t tell any story.

      And now we are not talking about the past. Behringer likely reverse engineered some of their products thus infringing on patents. But the new products are based on products that are no longer protected by patents.

      Both Microsoft and Apple made infringements with their desktop OSes.
      The technology for color graphics is based on an infringement.
      Windshield wipers as well…
      And so much more.
      If we are going to judge every company by their past actions, it would be impossible to survive… even if we moved out to the wilderness and only lived by nature, by being formed by society, we would probably find solutions to problems that are inspired by solutions made by companies originally or by infringing and we would then also infringe….

      Apple infringed on several of key patents when they made the iPhone. Most cases were settled out of court, but Nokia actually took them to court, but Apple got a heavy discount on the fees they were ordered to pay, because how large the sum would have been if Apple would have to pay for every iPhone they had sold by then (really unfair because Apple would have been able to afford that). So much in the world would have been different if Apple never made the iPhone, or if they had tried to only do it fairly, no matter if things would have been better or worse it is a more recent example of the world changing because of infringements, much more recent than desktop OSes and color graphics, but probably at least as impacting on everyday life and technology in general.

  29. Of 109 comments, 21 of them (almost 20%) are from John Holstein, defending Behringer at great length. Great length.

    Just saying.

    1. Am I standing up for Behringer, or am I fighting double-standards on a topic related to Behringer?

      Behringer has had lots of quality control issues.
      They have apparently shipped some Model D, with incorrect bootloader or something like that. So I’m not sure the factory move did eradicate that issue.
      I disagree with a lot of their design decisions, even in this comment section.

      We need some level of justice. Just because there aren’t a lot fighting for justice, I’m not going to give up.

      I have no affiliation to Behringer. I own some of their products. And my experience with those products are mixed, from defected on arrival, to excessively noisy, to working and sounding like they should.
      I also own product from several of other brands. I have had mixed experiences with other brands, or only bad, or only good. But my general feeling is that everything cal always be improved upon (ranging from a little to a whole lot).

      1. As the topic in question is “Behringer are shameless copycats’, and not a discussion about their product quality, I’d say you’re most definitely defending them, at great length. 22 times.

  30. Next – McDonalds wants people to stop calling them a fast food restaurant that specialises in burgers.

    Take it away, McDonalds devotees….. (Pardon the pun).

  31. The people complaining have no valuable reputation or credentials and arent behringers customers anyway. People that make music dont complain. The whiney, wierdo, geeks who know nothing about music, but think they know everything about music making gear are the sort of people who have poor musical output and little success. Theyre also the sort of boring unimaginitive people youd avoid at a nightclub, venue or party, hence the opinion of said people complaining about behringers move to manfufacture affordable synths matters not – to anybody that makes music.

    1. You know it’s possible to buy their products, and also consider them shameless copycats. They’re not mutually exclusive. You don’t have to admire a company to buy what they sell.

      Also, given that Behringer released their first synth only a couple of years back, but Electronic Music has been popular at least since the 70’s, your claim that people who don’t like Behringer aren’t responsible for good music is provably untrue. 99.999% of Electronic Music to date has been made by people without Behringer gear. Pick your favourite electronic track. More likely than not, Behringer wasn’t used. And maybe some of the geniuses who made that Music also think they’re shameless copycats. You’ll never know. Which is why your post is nothing more than speculative.

  32. I would suggest this was done to create lots of discussion and spread the word about Behringers upcoming products, all the sucker naysayers fell for it, hook line and sinker.

    1. Having worked in advertising for 20 years, there’s not a chance this is a case of subversive self promotion. This isn’t bad publicity, it’s dangerously hurtful publicity which does nothing to improve their image. And as it’s higlighted their appalling working conditions, could easily have the opposite effect amongst potential buyers with a social conscience (yes, they do exist). Behringer aren’t students, they’re a very big corporation. They don’t create fake legal cases to sell a few synths that were already selling to the tune of 10,000 (Model D).

  33. While the basic design concept of their clones are nearly identical to their more expensive counterparts, the components aren’t nearly as sophisticated. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still great instruments, especially considering their affordability, but they are noticeably different beasts altogether as a result of their cheap parts.

    And there’s a difference between freedom of speech and defamation. Accusing Behringer of manufacturing “shameless copycats” implies a patent violation. So yeah, I can see why Behringer became defensive.

    1. “the components aren’t nearly as sophisticated”
      Have you looked inside a vintage analog synth?
      The components are to a large part off the shelf jelly bean components. But a lot of them, making it a complex process to put together.
      And when Behringer had to re-make components for their production methods, some of them became more sophisticated than the original.

      What they are though in the Behringer version, are surface mounted components, making the units harder to repair, but that is how things are made today.
      And the reason surface mounted components weren’t used originally was because the makers did not have access to that, not because they made things to be easily repaired. Looking inside some vintage analog synths, it is quite clear they weren’t build to be easily repaired. In many cases, without making a lot of changes, and without even increasing the production cost, those products could have been made in a way that they would have been much easier to repair, they are possible to repair, but not made to be repaired.
      The vintage synths were built with the cheapest production methods the company that made them could afford to use (most of them did not have the resources to scale mass production). And the factory labour in those days, where cheaper in the countries that originally made them, than it is today. Many synth companies were still quite small, meaning that chances are that the labour was more involved with the process of designing the synth, so that they had a higher level of education than the typical labour in a company that made products for mass production. But any company that could scale production in those days, used low wage factory workers and not highly educated engineers as labour.

      The synths of old were designed the way they were, because that is what was at hands, back then. Not because that way of making them in any way is superior.
      Modern components are actually superior from a technical standpoint. And there is a reduced amount of heat generated from the components, meaning that the OSCs can be made more stable in terms of keeping tune.

      The biggest issue is that with modern production, there isn’t a lot of margins in terms of soldering, and during mass production, there is always a risk for dirt or air bubbles to get in to the soldering, meaning that in the end, the actual soldering point can be very weak, or actually not complete, and this can happen on a batch, or just a single unit from a batch. At least at some makers, every board goes through testing, so incomplete soldering is discovered even if it is a single board. But often with mass production, they do batch tests, so that single failing boards can make it out to consumers.
      But then there are the weak soldering points, they can break with shock, or be so weak that they erodes quite quickly, and the ban on lead hasn’t helped as modern soldering solutions erodes quicker due to that ban.
      I’ve heard that some companies uses X-ray machines to scan boards. And with AI/machine learning, it is possible in the future that there could be complete scans of boards done with high precision to make sure there are no such issues on any board coming out of production. But I don’t think we have reached a point where synth makers can use that kind of technology on every single board and still make affordable products.

      And then we have the aspect that it the imperfections of old analog synths, that give them the “analog” character. In modern products this often has to be emulated as the components are too perfect.

      Had the synth been “invented” today, it would have been digital from the start, analog isn’t better, it is what was around.
      Had the synth when it was made quickly made it in to main-stream, and modern production technology had been at the level they are today, but the digital technology had been at the point it were, well, then the analog synths would have been made the way Behringer makes them, as soon as they had left the prototype state.
      Had the Digitally controlled Oscillator (DCO) been accessible in the early days of synthesis, that would have been used instead of the “VCO”, at least if it had reached maturity.

  34. Reasons why I will never buy any Behringer Product.

    Threats of legal action against forum members who dare to disagree with him..
    Attempted a SLAPP lawsuit against DSI – a pioneer in this field.
    The Glassdoor reviews of current and former employees.

    And the fact that everything I’ve tried from them is generally underwhelming.

  35. Wow. There’s a lot of new commenter names on this site suddenly commenting in defence of Behringer. Curiously, they’re all addressing the legal rebuke to the accusation of plagiarism, and neither these comments or the legal letter even acknowledges the seed of the initial article by Midifan – one of extremely poor and dangerous working rights to those employed in their Music Group-owned factories in China, resulting in long term health conditions for those most affected. Crucial to the original piece was that these conditions were insisted upon by Uli Behringer, and that the conditions to determine whether windows should be opened were recorded by unqualified inspector who employed another company that used equipment whose safety certificates for their measruing equipment were out of date. Here is the original article – it’s in Chinese but if you’re using Chrome you can right click and translate to your local language: https://www.midifan.com/modulenews-detailview-28353.htm

    The cynic in me thinks there’s a concerted PR effort to make so much noise about the “copycat” accusation and the subsequent legal fluff-and-bluster that we forget about the real issue. It’s a well known PR technique targeting comment-led sites and comment sections: a range of “different voices”, all in agreement with each other, trying to be louder than the other people with an opposing point of view. You can see the same thing happening on other blogs who have published the story… and you can see it happening all over other sites on other issues.

    Anyone who’s ever been even remotely connected with the business end of audio technology knows that Uli has an awful reputation for leadership and management style and with his ruthless pursuit of the bottom line – the stories go back decades – so this is really no surprise that these accusations have come to light. What is surprising is that after all the goodwill Behringer have built up over the past few years, with quality and reliable gear becoming a regular occurrence and not just one offs, that “they” couldn’t resist being led by their ego and aggression and mess it all up with the Streisand Effect. Bonkers.

  36. As I said I own and have defended Behinger’s original designs.

    And they have a couple great recent original designs from their design team in the UK who are absolutely phenomenal.

    But. We see here that Behringer’s new factory has abusive toxic conditions. And we see rather than honestly address those the overlord has chosen to go to war with both the working class and the defenders in the media. Which is shameful. Particularly shameful and disgusting is gearslutz which has deleted entire threads about the labor abuses. Wow. Really now. How can we ever trust gearslutz again given this.

    We also see lawsuits against honest criticism of trade practices. And one of those lawsuits, which as a result of this very thread, I read all the court documents about, the judge believes is an anti-democratic SLAPP suit and they are in the process of determining the damages that Behringer should pay after trying to shut up critics with legitimate and reasonable comments about their company.

    I had an order for a Neutron. It was one of the most anticipated pieces of gear I ever had. I have cancelled that order.

    If Behringer is to survive, and I hope they do because of the high quality of their UK team’s engineering work despite their CEO’s sabotaging their efforts, they need to get control of management.

    The truth prevails in the end. I won’t buy Gibson ever again as long as Henry is at the helm.

    Sadly the same is now true for Behringer.

    Resign. This is the only hope.

    Of course I know that won’t happen. Instead you’ll subpoena my name from synthtopia, who might possibly give it up in cowardice and refusal to protect their commentators, and then years later, you’ll lose in court… again.

    Why? Why not make great original products instead? You now have the team to do so. There’s nothing stopping you from success except yourself Uli. For God’s sake think about this honestly. I fucking love the Neutron but I won’t buy it given your recent lawsuits against reasonable critics because I don’t support fascists. Stop with the fascism I beg of you.

  37. Synthtopia moderators/owners. My comment was extremely reasonable. You not only censored it you dissolved it completely. Either let it stand or explain why, according to your site terms, it was deleted. Thank you. Making legit non-spam comments from recognized long term reasonable posters disappear isn’t ok with me. If this is the policy of synthtopia though, to censor comments about labor and human rights, just let me know here and now and I promise that I’ll not trouble you folks further here with unwanted posts. Thank you.

    1. Rabid Bat

      Sorry, but I’ve got no idea what comment you are referring to.

      You’ve got three other comments approved on this thread, and there are no comments from you held for moderation or in the spam folder.

      If you’ve got clarification, send it via the Feedback form, which is linked to from the top of every page on the site.

    2. Hey Rabid Bat

      Looking at the time stamps on the comments, it looks like the post you submitted at 7:52pm on the 18th June hadn’t been published at the time of the comment I’m responding to. These days, and for whatever reason, comments on Synthtopia take a LONG time to be published. Mine took around 45 minutes/1 hour to appear, i think. It’s not a Synthtopia censorship issue.

      1. Re comments taking a while to get approved:

        Comments from new commenters get held for moderation by the comment system to keep spam off the site.

        Comments from people that have previously made personal attacks get held for moderation.

        Comments from people with a history of published comments get approved automatically.

        Re ‘censorship’:

        https://xkcd.com/1357/

  38. Fascinating that Gearslutz is censoring everything about this. You can see someone accusing them of censoring anything about the lawsuits. When you try to access the post it’s in a inaccessible thread called ” Sin bin thread storage”

  39. Filing a baseless suite against DSI and unnamed DOES is no way to bolster your public image or garner respect from other manufacturerers. It’s all very unprofessional behavior in my opinion and speaks to a level of brazen hostility I refuse to support as a customer.

    I own several DSI instruments, some Moog instruments, Access, Yamaha, Roland, etc… I was very excited and interested in Behringer’s upcoming new synths. The Deepmind is a fine entry into the space with some awesome features. Then there’s that fantastic little Neutron, an impressively bold and hefty-sounding little minosynth I had planned to purchase but am now going to reconsider.

    I’m only one person of course, and it’s only my opinion. I just think the music industry doesn’t need this kind of ridiculous behavior. Save the aggressive attitude for the oscillators and filters!

    1. Do you really think the music press should be shut down when they criticize manufacturers?

      Have fun reading press releases about the latest ‘game changer’, then.

      And enjoy getting sued by Behringer if you say something they don’t like!

Leave a Reply