Behringer MS-101 Analog Synthesizer Now Available, But MIDI “Doesn’t Work”

Behringer today announced the official availability of their MS-101 synthesizer, an updated clone of the classic Roland SH-101.

The MS-101 is already in the hands of many that had placed pre-0rders, though, and some have encountered problems with the new synth’s MIDI implementation.

At the official Music Tribe Community forum, user ThorstenBösing shared these concerns:

Midi in over Midi Din jacks doesn’t work. Tried all 16 channels over different devices.

No reaction.

CV gate in works in a proper way as long you don’t hit a key of the keyboard, then it plays strange sounds. you have to reboot it and then it works till you hit another key…

velocity out doesn’t send out a voltage.

the sequencer in Keyboard mode doesn’t transpose the sequence. I’ve done it like in the Beringer video. it was well explained and it doesn’t work.

hope there will be a update soon.

Forum moderator TC-Mike confirmed the issue, noting “I’ve passed this on to the synth development team and (will) update this thread once i have more infos.”

If you’ve used the MS-101, leave a comment and share your experience with it.

Update: Behringer head Uli Behringer has shared a statement, suggesting a fix is in the works:

“We have now created a firmware update and we’re planning to provide a test version to people affected by the bug. I suggest you drop me a PM with your email address so our engineering department can send you the update.

We have discovered that an internal memory overflow occurs when the sequencer is extensively used resulting in a subsequent disruption of the keyboard scanner since it’s all running on the same processor.

The new firmware should solve this issue but we would appreciate your help in verifying the firmware update.”

Update II: On the Music Tribe forum, a Behringer rep has announced that a fix is now in beta. The  release of the MS-101 firmware update is planned for next week. If you’re interested in testing the beta version, you can contact them via the forum.

Update III: A firmware update has officially been released and is available at the Behringer site. The update addresses multiple issues, including MIDI In not working, the sequencer not transposing, issues with GLIDE, problems with Velocity Out, problems with CV & Gate input, clock issues, keyboard dying and more. At least one MS-101 owner says that the firmware update ‘froze’ their synth; Behringer has a workaround at the Music Tribe forum.

62 thoughts on “Behringer MS-101 Analog Synthesizer Now Available, But MIDI “Doesn’t Work”

    1. Greed. Or the ‘we will fix it in a firmware update’ attitude that has become the de facto way of working in programming circles.

    2. Maybe they changed a little thing last minute before production started, and didn’t double check the firmware. One week later, maybe 1000 units where already built and are now delivered.

  1. I see a lot of posts complaining of vaporware and things that haven’t shipped. You could be grateful (or not) that it’s shipping. I would be 🙂 but I’m waiting for the 808 and 909…

  2. Shame the QA process appears to have failed…. I hope behringer solve this quickly or it could impact sales of other products.

  3. Any other company or gear with a higher price tag, this forums would haver ripped them a new one. But…Behringer…cheap…crickets.

  4. I´m not looking to buy one and it´s weird that they shipped it like this but Behringer himself posted at gearslutz that they are working hard to fix this and that it won´t take long, so that´s that.

    1. Ironically Roland doesn’t have any engineers capable of producing analog synthesizers anymore and needed Studio Electronics to design the only analog synthesizer they’ve done in decades, the SE-2, for them.

      Behringer on the other hand have been busy studying and reproducing vintage analog synths in modern formats and now probably have the most trained and capable engineers in that field of any of the big music companies.

      1. The only analog synthesizer ? The JD-Xi has a Mono synth, JD-XA does 4 voice poly (or 4 mono synths) or 2 duo phonic synths (depending on voicing) and is architecturally fairly complex, even more so using the crossover engine and what of the expanding System 500 Modular ? Claiming the SE-02 is the only analog synth in their catalog is simply a falsehood.
        Trading opinion as hyperbolic fact is best avoided “Behringer on the other hand have been busy studying and reproducing vintage analog synths in modern formats and now probably have the most trained and capable engineers in that field of any of the big music companies”.
        Its supposition at best and perhaps should have been prefaced or suffixed with an ‘in my humble opinion’.

          1. I am aware of how the System 500 came into being.
            However it does not negate the fact that stating that the SE-02 is the only analog synth in Roland’s catalog is a falsehood.
            Inferring that Behringer have the “most trained and capable engineers in that field of any of the big music companies” is a statement of opinion too.
            Does he personally know the qualifications and expertise of engineers within Korg, Yamaha, Elektron, Moog, Sequential, Akai Pro, Arturia, Studio Electronics and so on ?
            The Original post is about MS-101 availability and an impending Firmware Update to rectify Midi issues.
            Bringing Studio Electronics and Roland into the equation is utterly irrelevant in context unless done so to add some deflection or erroneous conjecture.
            I’d rather be focused on the MS-101 without any of the above brought into the discussion.

        1. That’s silly, reverse engineering the Curtis chips and 20 different synths and drums machines teaches you about how they were designed and manufactured. It’s THE BEST way to produce expertise. That’s no opinion. It’s fact. Go Behringer!

        2. Your rebuttal is excellent and convinces me it is not only not possibly true that Roland has no engineers capable of producing analog synthesizers, but is an outrageous falsehood to claim so. I also think of dozens of other companies producing and selling analog MIDI synths these days. The eternal promotion of Behringer as the only company doing anything in the industry is a common trope among new accounts that have never posted anything before on social media.

      2. “Behringer on the other hand have been busy studying and reproducing vintage analog synths in modern formats and now probably have the most trained and capable engineers in that field of any of the big music companies.”
        …but, somehow, they messed up MIDI? They had one job…

      1. Yeah its really sad when you’re TR-8 / 8S is so well modelled it displays exactly the same amount of midi / clock jitter as the original units.

        1. Jon

          Behringer suggested that people that want to test the firmware fix should PM him on Gearslutz. It does not appear to be an ‘open’ beta at this point (available to anyone via Behringer), but in an earlier stage of testing.

          We included a link to his post in the article.

  5. I hope this serves as a lesson to the company to be more careful in their QC process. These are major functional problems and many of them appear to be hardware based. I’m not sure how much of these they will be able to fix with a simple OS upgrade, but whatever it takes, I hope they are quick and proactive. I cannot think of a gaffe this big with any other major synth company ever.

    1. How about the tuning issues with the Korg Prologue, which took several months to be fixed, after the units had already been shipped, with barely any feedback from Korg during that period?

      1. Cant we all agree that no synth should ship with tuning issues AND no synth should ship with a faulty MIDI implementation?

        When something this fundamental is broken, it’s clear that the testing was inadequate – someone probably dictated a ship date that conflicted with getting the work done correctly.

        What I don’t understand is why Behringer is not standardizing it’s MIDI implementation across these synths. Aren’t they all doing the same thing – MIDI to basic note cv/gate?

    1. Not sure what you think is wrong with your phone, but shipping a synthesizer without MIDI would be like selling a phone that can’t make calls.

  6. They could also just declare it a feature like Akai does with the missing midi implementation on their new MPC and force products

  7. Don’t forget the Roland MC909, Roland JD-Xa, ACCESS VIRUS TI … defects and alot o issues… These sittuation happends in other brands too… nothing new in synth market.

    1. I’ve owned a JD-XA for quite a few years so please enlighten me regarding all the issues and defects. Plenty of Virus users have zero complaints too.

  8. Epic fail – makes me laugh how many come to the defence of poor old Behringer, employees probably. It doesn’t make it ok regardless how many other companies have made mistakes before. QC would have picked this up (fact) and Behringer should have resolved it before it left the factory.

  9. No need to beat up on Behringer…Arturia BeatStep Pro had lots of issues at launch….including MIDI issues. There were problems that took a few years to fully resolve…and features to be fully implemented…

    I still have devices that inexplicably drift or lose MIDI or require a very specific connection chain to work.

    I would expect any new synth to have some issues. Even my PM SV-1 had issues and required a factory firmware update…they caught many before shipping but some did ship and had to be returned for update.

    Yee gods…even TE OP-1 same deal…

    1. No one is denying that other companies have issues, but they all get beat up for it and rightly so, why should Behringer be treated differently?

      1. Beyond pointing out the problem so it can be addressed: how much good does ‘beating up’ a vendor in a blog do? It sure drives the vendor away from the blog.

  10. Seems synthtopia has a hate-on for Behringer’s synths with the clickbait news title. Midi DOES work but does not work for SOME people, will be fixed in firmware within days.

    1. Todd –

      Thanks for your feedback.

      The title quotes an end user, ThorstenBösing, that says MIDI doesn’t work for them. We make this very clear in the post. We also note that two Behringer representatives have independently confirmed the issue.

      If you follow the link included in the article (https://community.musictribe.com/t5/Synthesizers/Bugs-on-MS-101/m-p/264848#M2111), a Behringer rep says that they have no ETA on a fix yet.

      Even if one accepts your assumptions – that this is a minor issue, that it affects only some buyers and that a fix will quickly be available – it’s still an issue that any MS-101 buyer will want to be aware of.

      Given the number of comments on this post – and the number of synths that Behringer is selling – it’s self-evident that this article is information that is newsworthy to Synthtopia readers.

  11. Looks like Behringer has a bright future in the synth world! Un-freaking-believable. Did nobody at the factory plug a MIDI cable into the back and make sure that the product actually worked before they put it in the shipping box?

    People buying Behringer products are unpaid beta testers whose preorder cash is used to fund the next pump-and-dump scheme from Uli. Whether they’ve fixed the MIDI problem now or not is irrelevant, their ethics when it comes to intellectual property AND consumer-facing behavior are shameful.

  12. One has to question Synthtopia’s motives to slam Behringer. Haven’t seen any headlines from them about the buggy Moog One or the Korg Prologue – perhaps because Behringer is not advertising?

    1. Marc

      Where did Synthtopia ever ‘slam’ Behringer?

      If Behringer apologists can’t handle reality, they need to grow a pair, instead of whining

      No synth should be released in this day and age with unusable MIDI. And it’s especially egregious with something like the MS-101, which Behringer is shipping months late, and with only a basic (some have argued ‘backwards’) MIDI implementation.

      And I remember seeing several articles on Synthtopia about the Prologue tuning issues.

      Behringer’s SH101 knockoff isn’t really in the same league as the Moog One, but keep dreaming. Behringer has yet to make a synth that’s notable for more than being cheap, while Moog does it like clockwork.

    2. You think Synthtopia is too hard tough on them? lol! The MS-101 is a hot mess, and the fix may be worse – it’s. bricking people’s synths.

      The real question is why won’t Sonic State or CDM or Keyboard cover this sort of problem? Are they all in bed with Behringer?

  13. Just received mine, I fiound 2 problems: the Glide is weird and it always records 2 steps on the step one. Gonna try the firmware update!

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