Behringer Dismisses Critics As ‘Haters’, Launches Hate Attack On Journalist

Behringer today used its official channels today to launch a ‘bizarre‘ personal attack on journalist Peter Kirn, who runs the well-respected electronic media site Create Digital Music.

Behringer shared a video that used name-calling and ridicule to bully Kirn. The professionally-produced video introduces a new product, the ‘Kirn Cork Sniffer’ that features a caricature of the journalist.

Behringer uses the term ‘Cork Sniffer’ to mock musicians that prefer original synth designs to the company’s clones.

Behringer invited its follows to suggest names for its ‘first KIRN Synth’.

The video is the culmination of months of escalating attacks on Kirn, including name-calling, harassment, online abuse and ridicule. Most recently, Behringer has used its social media channels to announce multiple attacks on Kirn:

  • In January, Behringer announced it had registered a trademark on Kirn’s name. Peter Kirn had previously reported on Behringer registering trademarks for the names of other company’s synth designs.
  • On Feb 16th, Behringer used their Facebook page to distribute a photo of their ‘first KIRN synth’, right. The company asked its followers to suggest names for the crudely assembled cardboard keyboard.
  • In another social media post, Behringer shared a photo of a children’s keyboard, describing it as the new ‘KIRN meeGrove’, mocking the open-source MeeBlip synth project that Peter Kirn helped create.

Their latest attack, the ‘Kirn Cork Sniffer’ video, features a caricature of Peter Kirn that many viewers interpreted as an anti-Semitic attack. The Jewish name ‘Kern’ and its variants are derived from ‘kern’, a German and Yiddish word for grain or seed.

About Behringer’s video, Magnetic Magazine’s Ryan Middleton states, “Not-withstanding the poor taste and bad execution, this is filled with anti-Semitic tropes.”

That perspective is shared by others.

Red Means Recordings’ Jeremy Blake writes, “Today Behringer decided to create a personal attack parody product with strong anti-Semitic overtones, because the subject of the parody wrote an article about them.”

Some have noted similarities between Behringer’s caracature image and the most popular anti-Semitic meme shared by white supremacists, the ‘Happy Merchant’.

Some have noted similarities between Behringer’s caricature image and the “Happy Merchant” image, right, one of the most widely-used anti-Semitic memes among white supremacists.

At Sound On Sound forum, johnny h writes “It’s impossible to ignore the antisemitic overtones used in the image. Kirn is a Jewish surname, and here you have the classic 1930s tropes of the beard, big nose, wild eyes, sinister grin and money grabbing hands.”

“I have given Behringer a good deal of benefit of the doubt in the past, and even said some nice things about them, as controversial as I know their business practices are. This, however, is beyond the pale,” writes author and Keyboard Magazine Editor Stephen Fortner. “Behringer’s original posts referred to Pinocchio as the reason for the long-nose cartoon image, but it is frighteningly close to anti-Jewish caricatures used in Nazi propaganda.

“Uli, if a marketing team did this without your say-so, fire them immediately,” adds Fortner. “If you approved of this and you’re behind it, plead temporary insanity. Otherwise, I call upon Chuck Surack of Sweetwater, the folks at GC and Musician’s Friend, Long & McQuade, Beacock, Sam Ash, and every other retailer who matters in North America to not carry Behringer products.”

Kirn has since stated that he is not Jewish, adding “I have an added obligation to listen to Jewish friends who raised those concerns.” But Kirn did find the series of attacks disturbing.

“The whole sequence of events worried me,” Kirn told Motherboard. “If a joke doesn’t make sense, then you have to assume it may be intended as a threat and try to respond accordingly.”

Uli Behringer responded to the video’s backlash by posting a message on Facebook, apologizing for his marketing team and adding “In no way did the team ever intend to make any connection to semitism, as some people have alleged.” Behringer has deleted the apology.

Why Is Behringer Attacking Peter Kirn?

The latest attack on Kirn appears to been the result of months of planning.

In January, Behringer announced that they’d trademarked the ‘Kirn’ name, and teased “Any clue what we have in mind with it?”

In addition to registering the trademark, Behringer created a caricature drawing, created a synth prototype, recorded a voiceover, filmed and edited a video and then promoted it on social media.

Ironically, this is more effort than they put into some of their actual product introductions.

Why would the head of one of the world’s biggest music technology manufacturers authorize a personal attack of this sort, let alone have his staff take the time – over several months – to make it?

Create Digital Music is an online magazine and community for musicians, sound designers, DJs, and producers using technology.

Kirn’s site, Create Digital Music, has in the past covered Behringer product news, but has also covered some of the company’s controversies.

Notably, Kirn’s site reported on Behringer’s ‘SLAPP’ lawsuit against Dave Smith Instruments and users of the Gearslutz forum.

A ‘SLAPP’ lawsuit is “a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.”

Behringer/Music Group sued the forum users for calling the company’s products ‘copies’ and ‘knockoffs’, among other things. The company’s complaint asked for $250,000 in damages, plus punitive damages and court costs. The documents are available at the Court’s site.

Behringer Dismisses Critics As ‘Haters’

Founder Uli Behringer says “There is not one magazine, forum or thread where we don’t get criticized or even attacked.”

The attack on Peter Kirn follows shortly on an odd recent post on the Behringer Facebook page, where company founder Uli Behringer dismissed people that criticize their products or business practices as ‘haters’.

It’s rare to see an official corporate statement that dismisses customer complaints and name-calls critics.

Beyond dismissing critics as ‘haters’, the company head complains “There is not one magazine, forum or thread where we don’t get criticized or even attacked.”

There’s an element of truth to Behringer’s complaint. But – coming from the head of a huge, ruthlessly competitive company – the complaint comes across to some as whining.

As one of Behringer’s followers on Facebook states:

“You said recently in a post that you can accept criticism from social Media and and music press, but this shows the exact opposite.

If you want peoples respect go and earn it.”

Beheringer has earned a lot of fans for its line of inexpensive knockoffs of classic synths. Can they earn your respect? Share your thoughts in the comments.


Update: Behringer Deletes Kirn Cork Sniffer Video, Issues ‘Non-Apology Apology’

After the backlash against the ‘Kirn Cork Sniffer’ video, Behringer deleted the video and their references to it on social media.

Company founder Uli Behringer also shared a statement via Facebook:

“What was meant as pure satire by our marketing department, has clearly offended some people and looking at the video, I could understand why. However, in no way did the team ever intend to make any connection to semitism, as some people have alleged.

We unreservedly apologize to Peter and anyone who felt offended.”

Kudos to Behringer for apologizing directly to Kirn. Not so much for apologizing to ‘anyone who felt offended’, which is the definition of a non-apology apology.

The video has been reshared by third-parties on several sites.

Update 2: Behringer has deleted their apology and several posts attacking Kirn.

Update 3: Additional details about previous attacks added for clarity. Updated post to note Kirn’s statement that he does not identify as Jewish.

326 thoughts on “Behringer Dismisses Critics As ‘Haters’, Launches Hate Attack On Journalist

      1. Maybe but those anti Semitic tropes were not epitomised by the character of Pinocchio himself. More so the other “evil” characters like Stromboli. So using Pinocchio in the context you are suggesting doesn’t make sense

          1. That might make sense, if “cork sniffer” was synonymous with lying, or if there was any evidence anywhere that Peter Kirn had lied about anything.

            But again, consider for a moment that the “big nose = liar” trope might not have originated with Pinocchio, nor be limited to it…

            The image was tone deaf, at best. And they had months to consider how it might be received.

            1. right, because Pinocchios long nose came out of nowhere and doesn’t have any cultural origins.

              astonishing resistance to supplemental knowledge.

                1. that’s completely irrelevant for the attack to contain anti-semitic elements.

                  what’s your next claim? racism doesn’t exist because races don’t exist?

                  1. this is sheer insanity.
                    how can you be antisemitic in disparaging of someone that isnt actually a semite?

                    we are truly doomed.

                    1. “how can you be antisemitic in disparaging of someone that isnt actually a semite?”

                      If I call you ‘fag’, that’s derogatory and homophobic, whether or not you personally are gay.

                      Why would anyone defend a corporation spending tens of thousands of dollars to register a domain, make a fake product, professionally produce and edit a video, and then distribute it on their social media platforms – all to harass someone?

      2. pinocchio is but one of the many many issues here. the idea that you would copy a product down to the sounds, colour and layout of the original, change one letter in its model name and then try to sue potential commenters for stating it was a cheap copy or knock off is ludicrous.

        i’m throwing my one behringer product in the bin and will remind anyuser of their products about these behaviours just as i do volkswagen owners about the false emissions scandal and the fact that it was literally Hitlers car.

    1. Its not only about the long nose. It’s about the mimic, posure and style of drawing… Kirn is jewish. Both combined get’s pretty close to being antisemetic.

      1. what absolute horseshit.

        the covetous hand rubbing, hunched cartooney pose ist not nearly lcose to the kirn caricature.
        its all really unseemly but proclaiming antisemitsm is such a disservice to real antisemitism and racism that pervades this society.

        shame on you and anyone parroting this crap and through that actually downplaying the real hatred out there.


        1. What absolute horseshit. You can’t just accuse everyone and everything of racism, sexism or prejudice just because you don’t like it. Kirn as we now know is not Jewish. How does that even fit into your weird paranoid little scenario. It doesn’t. It was a bad joke in bad taste. But racist and anti Semitic? Anyone seeing that has way too much spare time on their hands

      2. KIrn isn’t Jewish. He said he isn’t Jewish in a statement he put out just yesterday.

        “…. I didn’t ask for an apology, though, so that’s really up to Behringer. I haven’t communicated with them at all since I was made aware in January that they filed the trademark registration in the EU for ‘KIRN’. But I support the people who did complain yesterday. Since I’m not Jewish, I have an added obligation to listen to Jewish friends who raised those concerns”

    2. Sorry that isn’t Pinocchio. German companies especially need to be aware they are on thin ice historically. People who support this brand, support the man at the top, along with his IP theft. Now we know he is a bigot too.

        1. There are also Swiss bigots and Italian bigots and bigots in all countries. It’s a mistake, not nonsense. Dismissing bigotry is the nonsense.

          1. Thank you. I stand corrected on the nationality. Bigotry still has no place in society, especially in music which should unite people.

  1. like i wrote on synth anatomy, i was saving for two of the behringer synths but i’ll probably get something else instead. cant support behringer anymore. i dont mind clones since my head is stuck on the guitar pedals world, where everyone copies everyone and no one really cares, but yeah, no behringer for me.

      1. hysterical accusations do not equal proof. people are trying to spin together some resemblance and literary reference and blah blah blah to what was the core issue, this guy lying and libeling and behringer responding saying he is lying. sure regrettable to even be petty at all, and it has been withdrawn, hardly still no evidence to the claims people are making. if people want something to be mad over, pick a real issue within politics for example where life and death or exploitation are involved. reality check folks, let’s keep synth talk to synth talk, that would go for this guy as well as behringer and all the fans and anti-fans imo.

  2. I hope Herr Behringer doesn’t want respect because he will never get it. People on “every forum” disparage him and his products? Even someone who was blind and deaf would not have to wonder why. Can one imagine anyone else in his position in the electronic music instrument business acting like this petulant child? It beggars belief how little class this guy has and I hope the stench he has created affects his company for years to come. Sites like this one should refuse to run Behringer ads or cover their products in solidarity with Peter Kirn.

  3. If i had skills in 3D video making, i’d produce a similar video featuring a Greedy Uli bullshit noise maker pedal. It would include directly some non-apology aplogy in it, to gain some time. And i’d wait only a few hours to see Uli responding with a lawsuit threat.

    This video and move is beyond any marketing politic, good or bad taste. This is bullshit.
    Full support to Peter Kirn, who has always been a very good music and gear journalist, honest and interesting.

  4. Peter has been extremely non-partisan in his CDM articles about Behringer, and at times even seemed enthusiastic about their products, they have only gained exposure and mature conversation starters from CDM, rather than bash him they should be sending him thank you notes and a nice bottle of something.

    1. Peter’s CDM coverage of Behringer has been quite even-handed and factual. During NAMM, he covered Behringer’s new releases in exhaustive detail.

      Peter *did* break the news about Behringer’s lawsuit against Dave Smith Instruments and Gearslutz members. He also broke the news of MIDIfan’s Behringer factory story in the western press. Peter’s “crime” was to actually publish information that was critical of Behringer and Music Group instead of simply regurgitating press releases and product videos.

      Multinational corporations should not be allowed to intimidate and bully individual members of the public simply because they don’t like what they’re saying.

      1. Spot on. Uli Behringer’s loss with is attempt to stifle criticism through dubious legal ways apparently hasn’t resulted in any learning success.

        1. Maybe it was (Swiss) German humour? Only it seemed more all out attack than joke. To go to the length of registering the guy’s name? Uli Behringer is coming off as unhinged.

        2. A sense of humor is one thing. What’s funny about registering someone’s name as a trademark and then taunting them with it publicly in a series of Facebook posts over the course of 5 weeks?

          The big kid ambles slowly across the playground, staring at you the whole time, “What’s your problem, Corksniffer? Can’t you take a joke?? It’s just a picture of Pinocchio. Haven’t you ever seen a Disney movie, Corksniffer? Want your name back, KIRN? Hah-hah!”

          Come on. You’ve been bullied. I’ve been bullied. You take something belonging to your target, taunt them with it and call them names to humiliate them.

          Bullying. Plain and simple.

    1. Uli’s a middle-aged German guy, heading up an German-based company in the place where the most heinous crime against Jews in history occurred. Even if there wasn’t anti-semitic intent, he or SOMEBODY under that roof should be intelligent enough to realize that it could likely be interpreted as such.

      1. So because Uli is German and Behringer a German company he should automatically watch over his shoulder? The Jew card is used way too much for pathetic reasons by people that have no real arguments.

      2. how long does the nose needs to be until you recognize Pinocchio?
        its as long as the upper body
        people are confused and see things that aren’t there

        1. Its not only about the long nose. It’s about the mimic, posure and style of drawing… Kirn is jewish. Both combined get’s pretty close to being antisemetic.

          1. Mimic: not wringing hands, eyes wide
            Posture: not hunched
            Style: cartoony with no fine detail, in color

            The only similarities are that they both have a beard and are facing the same direction.
            Your argument disproves that the kirn image is meant to resemble the offensive meme.

        2. Let’s dismiss this false claim immediately. The video did not feature Pinocchio. It was targeted at Peter Kirn.

          1. Behringer trademarked Peter Kirn’s surname in late 2019.

          2. Behringer wrote a series of posts on Facebook about their new KIRN trademark, starting in January 2020.

          The first to include a picture featured a papercraft synth, the second showed a pink kid’s toy and announced the release of “MeeGroove” (alluding to MeeBlip synths) and the third was the now infamous video. The caricature looks like Peter.

          Based on their posts, there is little doubt that Behringer was targeting Peter Kirn directly. This was not an accidental image of “lying Pinocchio.” In fact, the only other place I have seen that claim was in a Behringer-authored comment on the now removed Facebook post.

      3. Actually your statement “most heinous crime against jews in history” is not quite true. Research Stalins treatment of “fleeing” Jews to Russia (not forget the Ukranians), then research what happened in the prisons on Cyprus to the Jewish people trying to boat to Palestine (British property at the time) and survived being bombed out the water by Brits just to die en-mass of hunger (David Yallop: To the ends of the earth). Then dig deeper and see what happened to the Jewish peoples after the formation of Christianity in the Roman Empire, etc, one could go on and on. Yes what happened if factually accurate in World war 2, was a terrible sin of man against man regardless of religious background, but its not the only mass killing of Jewish people by a nation, but it is the most recent.
        And…….the joke effects box by Behringer has zero to do with any attack against a nation or people. Its just a joke against an individual – thats it.
        Why does one person represent the whole of Semites (Ethiopian, Arab, Juda, Persian, etc,) when attacked? They don’t. Unless they are the Pope, President, or whatever then yes they do represent the people they belong too but again they are still individuals and can be critiqued ridiculed and pointed at however the critic wishes to.

          1. What mask? The above factually accurate statement (responding to the original post) is a mask? Also on this forum here: no one knows what color; religion; cultural background or region someone comes from or origin is, so if the “mask” you are referring to is an implication towards extremism, then my friend you are not at all close to the truth.

            “Yes what happened if factually accurate in World war 2”
            Is referring to the fact that though atrocities did occur there is an actual disagreement between historians and the reports and numbers given by commanding officers of allied forces. One historian disagreeing with the original reports is actually of Jewish origin. I’m not denying it happened, but I do question the numbers as factually incorrect. Why? Because the Russians and Brits used the concentration/death camps to cover up there own atrocities against the Juda peoples.
            It is estimated that the Brits alone killed over 1.5 million people by sinking ships carrying refugees bound for Palestine. The Russians did a similar thing by putting refugees into mining camps, where most perished, there are no numbers but considering what Stalin did to the Ukranians, I would think the real numbers are up there and high.
            Considering there was 9.3 million Jews in the whole of Europe at 1939, most were in the UK, France, Switzerland and yes Germany. Accepting the fact that all european countries have fairly much the same average population of Jewish people within them, each country had an average of 2.325 million Jews. Where did Germany get the rest of the Jews from? Considering that more than half of the German Jewish population by 1940 had already left for the USA, Canada, UK, Palestine, Jordan, Greece and Australasia. Making native German Jewish population within Germany decline to just over 1 million. Thats the main question being asked by historians who have looked into the numbers.
            TBH I feel for any persons persecuted but I feel the biggest crime is the exploitation for profit of a tragedy, by several different governments to cover their own asses so they don’t look bad.
            I need to make clear again I do not deny a holocaust happened, I question the numbers.

            1. was there some point other than “if factually accurate”? go back to your chan cave, keep that vile garbage off our beloved synthtopia.

      4. Behringer is not German, but from Kanton Aargau, Switzerland.

        But that makes no difference in this case.

        i cannot understand at all, how companies think they have the right to do everything,
        from copying over sueing who the like to claim names and ideas for themselves.

    1. I am not certain how stating the facts of Uli Behringer’s behvaiour is name calling! And I did not call him a name! I simply stated that be it a copycat, ripoff, replica, theft, stealing, imitation, variation, or reproduction, Uli needn’t worry as he is an original in the worst sense of the word! That is not name calling.

      Uli continues to employ tactics of suppression that may work in China and HK, yet they will not be tolerated in the West!

  5. I think Kirn is the only person who deserved an apology, not “anyone who felt offended.”

    One would have to be a rabid cancel-culture sjw to see antsemitism in the image. Clearly his nose is long to sniff all the corks. Any similarities with the offensive image (I’m surprised synthtopia displayed) are in the eye of the beholder.

    I’m not a fan of Behringer, I have some serious criticisms. But this is just a publicity stunt.
    It would be nice if this article had a byline (I couldn’t find one) as there is a healthy dose of editorializing, and when you start going down the road of opinion, the author needs to have the guts to attach his or her name to those opinions.

  6. Potential antisemitism aside (despite the fact that is EXACTLY what I first thought of when I saw this), I hope people aren’t forgetting that a global manufacturer, with 3500 employees, has literally painted a single independent journalist (one who has always reported on Behringer’s gear with balance, when has he done it vindictively?) as ‘lying pinnochio’.

    They, a 3500-strong company, are calling a single independent journalist a LIAR, and on multiple occasions they have ridiculed the journalist’s own products on their social media. It’s bizarre, vengeful, childish behaviour.

    I will never, ever buy this child’s toys again.

  7. Whether individuals perceive this as anti-Semitic or not is absolutely not the issue. The fact that it can even be “mistaken” for anti-Semitism is sufficient to state that it is utter deplorable. There is no excuse or possible justification for this.

    This wasn’t an oddly misjudged social post, it was a fully realised video complete with 3D rendering, which, alongside registering Kirn’s name as a trademark, forms part of a much larger campaign against an individual.

    This is pretty unprecedented stuff; these are not the actions of an ethical organisation. This may apparently not matter to some people. We’re living in odd times, I guess.

  8. People who see something anti-semitic in the depiction of a man with a beard and a long nose, seem to have strong preconceptions in their own mind. Look who’s talking.
    I would have never had that idea, just seeing the context of the (Pinoccio) Nose with the kork sniffing (for Kirn several times had put down Behringer Synths/Modules without even havin tested them).

  9. It really doesn’t matter if this was intended to be anti-semetic. It is really, really close to a very, very famous derogatory caricature of Jewish people (the receding dark hair, the long noise, the beard, the glasses, the evil smile, rubbing hands together). It might have been an ‘accident’, but it is slightly beyond belief that no-one at Behringer picked up on it before publishing.

  10. Correction. Looking at the sound on sound forum, it was “johnny h” who saw the antisemitism, Agharta replied to say they thought it was pinnochio.

    For me, it’s a bit much to say that Uli Behringer _intended_ antisemitism, as some are saying. But they should have some sort of diversity team that sign things off. Also, I think humour in German culture is different, and so while most of us look at this and think “what were you thinking”, Germans are too busy laughing at “the same procedure as every year”.

  11. Just to make something clear, having a beard does not automatically make you Jew. I´m sure Behringer would also have drawing Mr. Kirn without a beard, if he didn’t have one.

    It could maybe be considered discriminating, to give reference to Nazi propaganda and anti-Semitic only based on that Music Tribe HQ is located in Germany.

  12. The anti-semitic thing is quite a forcing IMO.
    But bulling is never a good or funny thing.
    The company is clearly under attack in a daily base about their “copying” while tons of small other estimated companies are based on the same concept.
    Personally I can boo Behringer (company and CEO) for this fall of style, but this will not prevent me to love their project to re-create vintage synth at popular prices and qualtity.
    Then some press should review certain attitudes to contempt. Eventually their risk is to fall into rhetoric.

  13. Not anti Semitic. Not Pinocchio either as some are saying. There are literally rows of corks on the synth. The nose is long to sniff the corks. What’s a cork sniffer? Its a term derived from wine enthusiasts that describes snobbery.

    I like the CDM blog but Kirn has often gotten personally involved in the comments section plenty of times and totally revealed himself to be a gear shaming snob

    No need for this shit from behringer though

  14. To all the comments saying that seing anti-semitic imagery here is abusive: a good marketing team should have been capable of realising that the connection could easily be made before blindly releasing such a childish idiocy. That may not have been their intention, nonetheless nothing says they didn’t let it slip anyway…

    1. nope.
      there is no connection.
      its just people going random.

      a good marketing team should have been capable of realizing that this is a weird thing (not in a good way) to release in the first place.

      1. Yeah, you’re right! Lots of people completely randomly made the same connection on first seeing this image, me included. So random, definitely no connection.

        It may not have been intended to be anti-semitic, but the pervasive use of the happy merchant meme that looks /way/ too similar should’ve been caught well before it got this far, regardless of what you think of it.

      2. My first thought, before ever reading people’s responses, was: “people are going to see this as anti-Semitic.” Maybe it’s just how old I am? I don’t know, but the similarity to past imagery is obvious. At the same time, I also thought there’s no way they *intended* it to be anti-Semitic. They just wanted to bully a journalist :/

    2. These days people are lining up to be offended by any level of trivial shit whether it’s intentional or not. There’s a bunch of people on reddit now saying stuff like “I’m sending back all my behringer gear” while writing to tell us that from their Apple and Huawei smart phones

      1. It is never okay for multi-national corporations with thousands of employees to target individual members of the public because they don’t like the fact that they revealed the existence of a lawsuit or potential health problems at a factory.

        Peter is not a journalist. He’s just a guy who runs a music technology website in his spare time. His coverage tends to be really good, and his coverage of Behringer has actually been quite even-handed.

        The fact that Behringer makes cheap electronics does not mean that Uli Behringer is a nice guy or that his company cares about people.

  15. The real story here is that Behringer make personal attack on a journalist and free press in general. Totally not okay. Your choice of gear will support or hinder this company.

    1. Free press has to be free from state power, not free from ordinary people. You have the right to attack press. When ordinary people attack the press, this is free speech.

      1. My view, totally okay to attack facts, ideas, etc…a bit like how we’re exchanging differences with each other 🙂 but surely something very strange for a company to attack an individual…

        1. agreed. having a corporate giant go after a journalist is at the very least bullying just as this article states, i think synthtopia got it exactly right.

          what also concerns me is the number of people here adamantly denying anti-semitism just for fun.

          eerily similar to the gendered arguments when posters deny there’s anything sexist about this or that meme. people need to own up to their own prejudices and stop gas lighting the people pointing it out.

          no one is perfect, we all make mistakes, but Behringer seem to be digging themselves a hole, i guess Uni wanted to be popular with the masses, he did improve the quality of their base products and bring down prices, but he also used unpopular business tactics, and seems hurt and surprised by the backlash.

          in the end people just want to be good. no one WANTS to back a bully.

      2. Behringer filed a trademark application for Peter Kirn’s surname last October and then used it in a series of four posts on Facebook starting in January, 2020 in which they teased a variety of pretend products – a papercraft synth, a “MeeGroove” toy synth (a reference to Peter’s MeeBlip synths) and finally the cork sniffing video. Which of these activities meet your definition of free speech?

        As for attacking “the press,” Kirn isn’t a journalist, he’s just a guy who writes a music tech website in his spare time. How would you react if a company like Apple posted a professionally produced video attacking you because of something you said in the comment section here?

  16. The guy is trying to get Oberheim’s name while the guy is still alive. Nothing is beneath him, everything is about money.

  17. I assume the anti-semitic link is pure coincidence an unintentional, although very unfortunate.

    Anyway this remains a disproportionate, public bad taste joke, nonetheless. Actually not even a joke at all, but a planned personal attack made on public media against a journalist as correct as Peter is (and talented and brilliant in what he does, by the way) by a company marketing department. Utterly unacceptable, at all levels. Bordering disgusting.

    There is no denial that Behringer is free to build products on patent-free designs. But a journalist has the right to observe that this company literally clones old products on a mass scale for business gain, without being linked with the old products in question. Other companies have done that, yes, but they are either boutique ones (they won’t hurt much in practice) or if they are large ones too, seeking public sponsorship of the original brand owners / makers before doing it, which solves the morality issue completely and makes it respectable business attitude.

    So, let me put things straight here: Behringer, a business rooted in copying rather than innovating (as their product line for most part does show), which clones old products, invented by others, designed by others and most of all using visual resemblance to lean on a mass nostalgic feeling without linking to the original in any way or seeking moral approval from them, this for pure business advantage. When this is observed by a journalist, this company puts resources and effort in creating a personal attack to the ones who reported it. If this is intentional, this the way propaganda works in totalitarian systems. If not, the company is an anarchic mess (I do not believe that looking at the at the business runs).

    I cannot look at this and not be disgusted.

  18. Tasteless jokes from both sides…
    S*** going down from both sides …

    Making jokes about yourself then about others is generally a better idea!

    Now stop this – and find something to enjoy!

    1. What “both sides” could you possibly be talking about? There’s only one side showing extremely poor judgment, character and intent here, there is no other party you could possibly shift blame to.

        1. Not sure why anyone would dismiss this as something “anti behringer people VS the pro behringer people.”

          Big multi-national companies that use their resources to crush free speech and attack people in vile ways should be called out unapologetically.

        2. Behaviour is either ethical or unethical. You can’t simply say “It’s OK because I’m a Behringer person.” That’s not how morality works.

    1. We lives in the age of the political correctness. Now people are fragile, dependant and being offended is part of this nosense. Better wake up and get a life… Anti semitism!?? Take your pills please!

    2. I will choose what offends me, thank you very much.

      I’m offended because Behringer tried to mock, attack, insult a critic, rather than respond to criticism constructively.

      I wonder if Behringer’s spoof product “borrows” any design elements from the “Blammo Cork Sniffer” pre-amp dirty boost. Jeez. Even their moronic, down-punching spoof lacks originality.

      Seriously, I’m am officially done with that company, its poor build-quality, its lack of originality, its bullying tactics.

  19. At first I was like, “I don’t know man”, but after comparing those two images (the still from the Behringer vid and the historical trope), they seem pretty similar to me. The product image looks like a modern update or homage. They are eerily similar…like who ever did the graphic design definitely had seen the other image and used it as an influence.

    I’m usually not one for conspiracy theory, but it seems like a “dog whistle” to me. Like someone in the company tried to sneak in a racist joke that only alt-right/neo-nazi/white supremacist types would fully understand.

    If you were a german company with a reputation for dubious business practices, you’d have to know that people are watching carefully right? I hope the guys on the sonicstate podcast tackle this head-on in discussion (especially Gaz) instead of sweeping it under the rug.

  20. I too think this is just ‘Haters’ and not not Anti-Semitic ….isn’t there enough hate in this world? Why bring it
    Into the Art community? Is it a crime to bring inexpensive tools to starving ‘Budding’ artists? I guess I’ll be attacked to now. So sad!

  21. Shame on Synthtopia for perpetuating this anti-semitism nonsense. Other sites have lowered their guard with Uli’s choices of products, but the snobs over here won’t. Even though for years they have reviewed every clone, reimagining, tribute and straight up knock off, and did it without prejudice. Behringer comes along (and yes, not very subtly) and makes it affordable to buy the classics. So, the young up and comers can have a chance to buy. The broke musician has a chance to buy. The middle class, loves to play on the weekends, can buy. It’s amazing for us, but Synthtopia has been kicking and screaming the entire way. Fine. You’re opinion. I’m huge on free speech and we should all get to voice our opinions in a respectful manner. But this isn’t respectful. This is throwing gas on a fire, that Synthtopia has been feeding and gladly watching for years now. Shame on you. This is where I get my synth news. This shouldn’t be a place that condones witch hunts and career assignations.

  22. Peter is jewish, looks like jewish. Why should Uli paint him as a nordic blondie ? He painted him as a jewish. Fair enough. The main goal here is to indicate the closest to Pinocchio as i understand. Lets imagine If Peter was a black guy, who should be on the image? Nordic blondie with big nose ? I swear it will black guy.

    1. This is what happens when the things you don’t know are not even apparent to you, but you decide to post anyways.

  23. I’ve worked on the creative side of corporate marketing for more than 20 years. The only way this Nazi-salute saw the light of day is if leadership wanted it to. Period.

    1. > The only way this Nazi-salute saw the light of
      > day is if leadership wanted it to. Period.

      best comment so far. if you read german-speaking forums like there are people openly using “swastika” in their self-description. unfortunately merkel decided to leave office. she was really good. in order to stop the the german nazi party afd her party cdu moved to the right. it didn´t work.

      1. you may want to look up the meaning and uses of swastikas
        maybe its a hindu
        maybe its someone doing industrial, they used to play around with certain images to provoke ppl
        not everything that tromps like a horse is a horse, it may be a zebra

        so richtigen nazi müll hab ich da noch nie gelesen, das würde auch unter Garantie unterbunden werden.

        1. I doubt there are many German Hindus openly displaying swastikas. And many ‘ok’ swastikas pre-Nazi world are backwards and clearly not the same. People are tripping over themselves to defend this.

  24. People who think “a man with a beard and a long nose – this must be antisemitic” should think about their own preconceptions about jews…….

    1. Asinine comment, possibly the dumbest Red Herring fallacy I’ve seen on this website, and there are a lot of them. This is like saying people who wear black face aren’t actually mocking African Americans, they are making fun of people wearing black ski masks, and if you don’t see that you should think about your preconceptions about black people. The fact that all Jews don’t have beards and long noses, just like the fact that not all African American have “black” skin, is irrelevant to the intent and interpretation of the artwork used to portray them as a racist caricature. Maybe you aren’t old enough to see how rampant this type of artwork was 30+ years ago, especially among white supremacist circles in the United States, but Uli Behringer’s artwork looks exactly like all the antisemitic bullshit I experienced growing up in a very racist town, when “real” racism was much more out in the open and not some word thrown around for every single slight perceived to be “racist”. I met people who collected Nazi propaganda along with Nazi memorabilia, and it looked exactly like this. Now I can see why people might initially dismiss to this whole debacle as crying wolf, since the race card and the word “Nazi” are both overused today, but this artwork bears way too much resemblance to the racist cartoons of the past used against Jews around the world. The fact that it went as far as it did, not to mention registering a trademark in the guy’s name, shows how completely unhinged Uli Behringer is. It doesn’t matter if Peter Kirn is Jewish or not. It doesn’t matter if Behringer is “German” or not. Uli is older than me and, growing up in “Germanic” Europe, so he is definitely aware of popular antisemitic cartoons and what they look like. And for all of the people arguing about Uli being Swiss and not German, the Swiss of Aargau, Baden, Zurich are ethnically German, and they speak German. “Behringer” is a German name. Of course this isn’t “necessarily” relevant, just pointing out that people don’t really like debating about facts around here.

  25. Whether intentionally anti-Semitic or not (I suspect and hope not) this was a huge mistake by Uli Behringer. If the caricature was meant to be Pinocchio then even that is pain daft. Because a music technology journalist criticises your gear doesn’t make him a liar – it just means his opinion differs.

    If your products are selling well and are generally well reviewed (as seems t be the case) why are Behringer worried? Uli seems an incredibly thin-skinned individual. After all, whether he likes it or not, most (admittedly not all) of their synth products are derivative of someone else’s original idea. Even the Neuron was noticeably Moog Mother 32-esque.

    I have welcomed the deflationary effect of Behringer and thought it would make others up their game but I hadn’t realised what an a*** the bloke was. I can see this effecting their sales – until it blows over. Uli, if you put out products and don’t like reviews or criticism (Hell! Roland and Yamaha get loads, too) then perhaps you shouldn’t go to market.

  26. I saw the image of Peter before the image of the “Happy Merchant” and immediately made the connection. Those of you saying we are seeing something that’s not there are being willfully ignorant. This is straight up anti-semetism. ESPECIALLY coming from a German company (even if the founder is Swiss).

    Just yesterday I was looking at some P16-Ms to replace my Aviom system at a place that has an X32, but I really don’t want to give my money to a company that behaves like this and then responds so poorly when criticized.

    1. Sadly not everyone see it that way or just don’t want to see it that way and use it as an opportunity to make a Behringer basher as usual.

  27. I don’t get where there is a “both sides” point of view to be had here. Not at all. If this was not intended as an anti-Semitic thing, it was clear that it could be taken that way. At the least it was a stupid, childish insult. Clearly intended as such.

    If Uli Behringer wants to put a stop to the haters, he should try to earn some respect. Making low quality knockoffs of other people’s designs will always invite fair criticism. Suing Dave Smith, also not a goodwill builder. Suing a website for covering the working condition complaints in his factory, also a bad idea.

    There are companies who make great products and manage to avoid negative crap like this. I can manage to spend my money on their products. There is no reason to reward Uli’s behavior.

  28. 20 years ago or so I worked in a studio and we experienced a customer service nightmare with Berhringer – according to our dealer at the time, we couldn’t get replacement parts for shoddy mixer faders due to litigation over intellectual property infringement. The studio owner felt deeply burned by Behringer and we all said “never again”.

    But 20 years later, Behringer managed to regain my attention and maybe even my trust. I even began the mental gymnastics required to justify Behringer’s incessant lack of innovation. But bully tactics and intimidation combined with weaponizing trademarks to cripple Peter Kirn’s life and business is out of control and squarely conflicts with the “tribe” vibe they pretend to be going for.

    Do what you will, but I choose to ignore Behringer for the rest of time.

  29. ok so my post got deleted. funny that.

    this is such a childish and asinine thing from behringer. bloody fking foola trying to be edgy and serves them right to have a backlash, and will make me think twice about getting any Behringer product. doubtful i will ever.

    my main concern however that clickbait controversy manufacturing finally seeped into music “journalism”.

    i honestly thought music media is above this, silly me, and that synthtopia is well above it aswell, but in retrospect its idiotic from me to expect any sort of decency from people where its money to be made. and this shitshow does genrate traffic. in the race for the buck media at large has coopted the boulevard press´s lack of standard – lock, stock and barrel. nothing matters anymore, just try and leech of the current news cycles as much as you can. often that means invoking racism or fanning the culture war but who cares right?

    the fact that sensationalizing these dumb events in such a polarizing way does actual damage to fabric of our society is apparently irrelevant – even here on synthtopia. i have no right to be this sad or disappointed but here we are.

    well synththead hope that inviting this sort of polarization and as a result having that sort of toxicity into your house will be worth it.

    fwiw, i am primarily illustrator/animator and spend day in and day dealing with character design and visual communication. how and what posture says, the subtle emotions gestures can and do convey.
    i can tell you that the crappy kirn illustration is many bad things but antisemitic isnt one of them, not that anyone needs to take my word on it.

    but that is ultimately the thing. its the boy who cried wolf in essence and does damage to the causes i care for.
    its extremely damaging and shame on anyone that perpetuates it.

    1. Thank god you’re here as the definitive expert of what is and isn’t anti-semitic.

      The problem is not whether it is or isn’t anti-semitic, but rather that for a large group of people, their first instinct is “Hey, that looks like the happy merchant caricature” which is worrisome enough.

  30. > Behringer Dismisses Critics As ‘Haters’,
    > Launches Hate Attack On Journalist

    wrong headline imo. it should have been “uli behringer comes out as an anti-semite”

    1. No he didn’t.
      The guy caricature on the box looks more like an European friend of mine. Is it anti-Caucasian then? Oops nearly forgot, apparently thats ok with the armchair critics.

  31. Appaling. And totally aligned with their overall vibe and aesthetics; finally the masks are coming off. But as per similar cases in the political sphere, there are people who identify themselves with this kind of attitude. Pathetic.

  32. Uli just trolled him and that’s all. Uli and his 3,500 people much stronger than that little journalist, that’s all. They could send him at knockdown, but they just throw a joke. It’s fair enough.

  33. @uli

    People criticizing your business are the exact opposite of haters… they’re lovers. Lovers of music, lovers of instruments, lovers of inventions and inventors.

  34. I’ve gotten fairly involved in this over the last 24 hours because, if I’m totally honest, the whole thing did piss me off.

    I’ve seen a lot of comments that include sentiments like “people need to lighten up” or “let it go” or “everyone is too PC now.” And if this were an isolated incident or a simple, off-the-cuff remark, then yeah, I’d say, let’s move on. But the real issue I have is this is NOT an isolated incident.

    This is the newest in a string of behavior like this since Behringer entered the synth market. They have a history of antagonistically attacking, suing, censoring and bullying their critics. It’s very much a part of their operational procedures. Additionally, I see them sewing a lot of division into the synth community, which, let’s be honest, is not that big of a world. In this way, I find it very similar to the state of politics right now.

    Additionally you take into account some of the broader business dealings. Strikes by their workers in Chinese facilities for toxic gas. Suing the news outlets reporting on it. Suing commentors on public forums, The Devilfish debacle. Trying to trademark product names that are already in ownership and use by other companies. There is a long precedence here of generally uncool, jerk behavior. Not sure why this was the straw that broke the camel’s back but I’m glad people are starting to say enough.

    Now back to the Kirn thing. Maybe he didn’t always speak of Behringer in a shining light but trademarking the guy’s name in an industry that he operates in is completely over the top. You then combine that with the video (which would have taken many steps of effort to create) and it’s not a stretch to see it for everything it is, a malicious attack. I’m critical of Behringer too. Am I going to get sued? Will they make a video about me?

    This is not acceptable behavior and it’s been going on for a while and it needs to stop.

    P.S. While I don’t personally believe the image was intended to be antisemitic, if someone looks at that and sees it that way, they are not wrong for having an honest reaction to what they perceive.

  35. What would be truly funny is if Peter Kirn produced the “Cork Sniffer” as an actual product, and then everyone who was offended by Behringer’s stupid video bought it. Thus, Kirn would win.

    It would be great if Behringer would focus on creating innovative products. But we can all dream, can’t we?

  36. I think the whole “antisemitism” complaint is a bit silly, I don’t see anything in there which even closely would resemble that. I also think those kind of complaints are unneeded because they only deviate from the really important issue: a company which apparently can’t respect criticism. And that is something far worse, especially when you’re trying to sell stuff.

    Because the first thing popping to my mind right now is: “What kind of dirty laundry are they trying to hide?”. Still, I suppose they are very modern here; it seems to be a trend: release a shitty product and then blame your customers for not liking nor buying it, because how dare they?

    I guess it’s their funeral….

    1. Maybe consider leaving it to the Jewish people to decide if they feel hurt by this or not? It’s not something we all have a vote on.

      1. Considering that you don’t even know me, why assume I’m Jewish or not? Or do you think that anyone who is Jewish is automatically offended by this because that’s simply the way it works? Seems very short sighted to me… some people actually form their own opinions you know, despite their heritage or religion.

  37. Behringer’s video is a tasteless and bizarre move at the least. It’s a form of corporate cyber-bullying that should have no place in this industry. Even if it was “satire” as they claim, they should leave that to the professionals (ironically, satire is a form of journalism as well). The associations with anti-jewish propaganda á la “Stürmer” that many people see are not only based on the visual similarity of the image, but the fact that public shaming and discrediting of intellectuals and journalists are a common fascist tactic. Behringer either did that on purpose – which is intolerable – or they severely lack good judgement and taste. Either way, the whole affair throws a terrible light on them. I hope retailers, distributors, trade shows and everyone else that has influence in this market takes a close look at this company and overthink their affiliation if Behringer continues to act this way.

    1. Tasteless? I think you mean it’s just not your type of taste. The internet is full of meme’s and most people love it. If an anonymous person throws it on the web its fine, but if a company does they should be so ashamed?

      I guess there are always people who wish someone was really a racist so they could blame everything that’s wrong in the world on them. Let me just say that those who use the antisemitic card when it’s clearly not relevant should take a hard look in the mirror. 😉

      Nobody here seems to known the whole story. And It’s not like Synthtopia is trying to make things clear at all. It loves the gossip just like most of us. Just stop playing the victim all the time and grow some skin. (including Synthhead).

      1. Memes are only one of the many niches of the internet, and most people don’t like or even know them. Antisemitic or hateful memes are not fine at all, no matter if they are published by anonymous people or by corporations.

        As for your other claims, this is not about wishing Uli Behringer is a racist. There is no need for any speculation here: He openly and aggressively ridiculed and insulted Peter Kirn. And that is not okay.

        We all know the real story, and it’s not that complex. Read Peter’s articles, watch Behringer video, there you go.

        And finally, I don’t know who you think “plays the victim all the time”. I personally don’t identify myself as a victim in this affair. I feel strongly offended by Behringers behavior and express my feelings publicly to demonstrate solidarity with Peter and all others that have been harassed by Behringer and their lawyers.

        So to sum it up, a big fat NO to everything you said.

        1. So you claim to know the entire story by believing (what the person that got trolled back) wrote on his blog? Biased much?

  38. I think people defending this or giving it a pass need to remember this is not an isolated incident. This is a pattern of behavior and harassment against their critics. It’s not okay and it needs to stop.

  39. If your first reaction to all of this is “It’s not anti-Semitic lol sjw”, ask what you’re fighting for. If it’s not anti-Semitic, do you find Uli’s bullying and legal actions troubling? Or do you identify too strongly with his own “victimhood”?

    1. I never heard anyone from behringer or read anything from behringer or seen anything from behringer that is so called ant-“semitic”. I suppose you mean anti-jewish? If thats the case, look at the whole scenario again and see it as one person riding the crap of another in a humourous way. Leave it at that.

  40. Not buying the antisemitism part here: the corksniffer is based on a real pedal (even in a supposed joke, they do knockofs) by BLAMO

    Hence the long nose, because the person is to snif all cork dials. The grin: because every reviewer will always review Behringer with an undertone of that they are copiers, bad quality, and other bad stuff. Anyone has read a single review where there are no doubts raised of Behringer’s credentials?

    Beard: Peter Kirn has a beard (and glasses).
    All in all, it’s cartooneske interpretation of Peter Kirn. I haven’t seen the video but from the image, one should not deduct antisemitic intent.

    To accuse people of antisemitism is grave and should not be done lightly.

    For the rest: I like Peter Kirn, i think he does a great job for the music community and it is childish from Behringer to behave this way. I hope they redeem themselves.

      1. Wow, have you never met somebody called Samuel? It’s my real name and I am proud of it 🙂
        Other people called Samuel: Samuel Barber, Samuel L Jackson, Samuel Morse and quite a few other.

  41. Now that you’re done playing around Uli. Could you do something constructive and have your folks at TC update TC Near to be compatible with OS X Catalina. Continuing support for legacy products may be a way to redeem yourself.

  42. People see what they want to see. My advice: Don’t let it bother you.

    I’m not too worried about Uli’s behavior, or Peter’s journalism.

    *Goes back to hammering on pads and keys in the studio

    1. Its not about you and whether you’re worried or not. How on earth have you made this all entirely about you? Empathy. Legal implications.

        1. Not every situation needs ones own opinion being shoved into it. Making every situation about yourself is narcissistic drivel. Ever heard of looking at the facts, using empathy, and trying understanding instead of just having an opinion?

          1. “Not every situation needs ones own opinion”
            Thats a real new development on how people interact with society and others.

            1. It really isnt. If someone needs CPR, I dont start going on about my opinion on CPR. There are untold situations where my opinion, my feelings, dont matter a jot. The kind of person who thinks their opinion matters all the time, is usually known as a blowhard, or an opinionated idiot. They’re rarely helpful and usually just want an argument.

              1. But that person: (regardless of our stance, public ideals, public/personal situation), IS entitled to their own opinion. To say they are NOT entitled to an opinion is a direct form of suppression.

            2. “ ‘Not every situation needs ones own opinion’
              Thats a real new development on how people interact with society and others.”

              actually, this is quite common among grown-ups

  43. Uli needs to familiarize himself with the phrase “we used to be the Rebels, now we’re the Empire.” And also the concept of punching up, rather than punching down. Currently, Music Tribe is doing both. Putting affordable copies of decades-discontinued equipment in the hands of people for whom the originals are light years beyond reach is just about noble enough to balance out all the litigious douchebaggery, but not quite. It’s too bad, because their stuff isn’t that terrible anymore and it meets the common standard of not crapping the bed during a jam or a gig and sounding OK while doing it.

  44. 126 comments. We love negativity and commenting on it more than cheap Behringer products. Would love to see some analytics on which post get the most comments.

  45. i read about and commented on this in MatrixSynth, but it did not occur to me that Kirn was Jewish. The innovation and quality of their product notwithstanding, are there people at Behringer who act without thinking to this great an extent? And obviously the answer is yes, but this is 1930s behavior, not 2020s. On top of any supply chain problems Behringer is facing or is going to face due to the Chinese emergency, they will be lucky if this prank does not stove in their hull.

  46. Wow, they crossed a line. People like Peter are important to our small, close-knit community, so it’s like attacking a family member. Dumb move. Maybe he’s testing how bad word of mouth in this community will harm his sales?

    1. Personally, I was slowly coming round to the idea of buying a Behringer clone, despite the blatant IP rip-off, but after this, NO WAY.

      If this were a normal listed company, I’d expect the board of directors to fire Uli over this shameless public behaviour. Unfortunately Behringer is owned by Music Tribe, a holding company he also presides over, registered in the Philippines…

  47. Whatever anyone’s thought on if this is anti-semitic or not, attacking someone because they may have voiced a negative opinion about your product in such an organised and thought out (albeit wrong-headed way) is a pretty extreme, childish and small-minded thing to do.

    Of course on forums there’s all sorts of strong opinions being firmly voiced but I wouldn’t expect this sort of thing from a manufacturer.
    Roland get endless stick for plundering their back catalogue and not doing so to some people’s tastes but can you imagine any employee of Roland let alone the boss indulging in something like this?

    I don’t think anyone can blame Behringer staff (who collectively had a ‘bad idea Uli’ bypass apparently) or a temporary lapse of judgement; this is 100% down to Uli Behringer.

    Before today I, like most, will have seen the extremes of opinion on various sites of how Behringer were invigorating the synth world or killing it, democratising synths for the masses or stifling innovation and small manufacturers. Personally, prior to today I had an open mind. I quite liked the look of several of their products (Crave, Odyssey, Poly D) but not enough to buy right now.

    Until today I didn’t know anything about the suing of Dave Smith, Gearslutz and its users and the factory issues because I am not a Behringer fanboy or hater and so don’t feel the need to read every thread about them. This though got my attention and I have to say that catching up with their past errors along with today’s stupidity I question whether I could ever buy one of their products. It would have to be pretty f***ing amazing and they would have change their moral compass 180 degrees.

    Will today make any difference to their sales though?
    We will have to wait and see if:
    a) any significant retailers drop their products
    b) any established print or internet music tech magazines stop reviewing their stuff
    c) any Youtube semi-sponsored artists stop promoting/reviewing their stuff – you/they know who they are

    If a combination of the above happens then thin-hided Uli will have arrogantly and spitefully shot himself in the foot.

    1. It’s a new age. Nobody is turning their backs anymore (who isn’t Republican… eh) Also, I can’t find any info on Nick’s or Cuckoo’s religious heritage, so Uli’s eyes might not light up. He needs that red cape, apparently.

    2. Besides, it’s Marc Doty he really has to worry about. Brits and Norwegians are too polite. Marc’s been carrying a shiv in his boot since he worked for Prince.

    3. Well I can attack Sonicstate for I think a valid reason. Last night’s podcast they mentioned the Kirn story for a long period. Than afterwards closed the comment section in Youtube. Don’t think they ever did so it felt to me like censoring the fanbase. For the record I worked for them couple times and have no beef with Sonicstate what so ever, love those guys!

      1. Since I can’t edit and don’t wanna spread false information. Sonicstate added the following:

        “Comments have been set to Youtube holding “potentially inappropriate for review”after the level of hatred displayed which resulted them in being temporarily switched off.”

        So it seems I was way off. Next time beers are on me.

  48. Definitely, definitely, DEFINITELY antisemitic. How do you people not see that? It’s so goddamn obvious. WTF, people. Get out more.

  49. best advertisement for cdm that Peter Kirn could think of. this is like a Knights honour for him from Behringer. Money couldnt buy that. But for Behringer this joke ( I think the antisemitic criticism is way overloaded) went bad and did the exact opposite of what was Behringers intention. they missed the 1×1 of public relations.

  50. tbh the worst part of this whole thing is logging on to synthtopia to see nearly half the comments insisting “it’s not anti-semitism!!!”

    pinnochio? give me a break. what does pinnochio even have to do with it? the “cork sniffer” characterization has nothing to do with calling Kirn a liar.

  51. Anti-semitism is not getting angry with, or getting even with, a person who has done something you don’t like. There are specific things people do and this can make others very angry. I remember the days when publishing was locked to all but an elite few and so none of our opinions could get out. But now with the internet we finally get a say.

  52. I didn’t make the anti-Semitic connection right away; I thought of Pinocchio first. However, I recognize that as someone who is not Jewish, I don’t get to decide what other folks perceive as anti-Semitic or not.

    One other thing I noted was the bad fake French accent that makes “cork” sound like “c%#k”.

    Although this attempts to be done with satire and humour, there’s a thinly veiled undertone of bullying to this. It was something that took time, money and planning. They copyrighted his name. According to Music Tech, this is something that Peter will have to pay legal fees for in order to block.

    1. Who admins the posts? Deletes post having no name calling – but publishes post which insinuates “name calling”
      Seriously there was no name calling in the post I made.
      What I was pointing out was that there are too many individuals lacking 1) knowledge, 2) humor.
      Also how so many people are throwing around this “anti-semitic” slant when it isn’t an attack of a general group of people but an elbow back at an individual.

  53. update: according to tom wies of synthanatomy, kirn said that he is not jewish. but who cares. like cheeto jesus in the white house mr. behringer wants attention at all costs. troubling.

    1. To actually do something or to collect a ton of working e-mail addresses and then sell those in order to cover your “expenses” for setting all of this up? Yah, I don’t trust those public petitions anymore, most are spam sinks. I know: “use a fake or throw-away e-mail address”, sure… but… that doesn’t really help for the petitions credibility I’d say, which IMO makes the whole lot useless.

  54. Of course the cottage industry that sells overpriced eurorack modules is in a huge uproar and will stop at nothing to discredit Uli. (Yet Paul Barker who makes a 303 clone gets a hard pass)

    Behringer is just responding to Roland’s complete and utter lack of being able to listen, and if they don’t want to fill their customer’s desires that’s on them.

    And I’m sorry, youtube influencing isn’t real journalism.

    1. It is only overpriced if you have no idea what things cost in low volume by boutique manufacturers who often have day jobs and do this because they have a passion for it.

  55. Anti semitic? LMFAO!!! Might be a bad taste joke, but I don’t see any of that racial-religious shit. Nowadays, there’s always a minority who will feel offended by anything anybody posts. Stop with the bullshit.

    Behringer is doing a great job with their old synth clones, and some people want to crucify them for that. I’ll keep on buying their stuff as long as it offers a good quality/price relationship.

    1. hmm no.
      I think the terms are as follows: “white trash” “trailer trash” “wigger” “privileged”
      It sounds like you probably know all the terms that are so called perfectly acceptable online in media or where ever. Still horribly insulting but never outlawed or questioned.

    2. incredible. here we are discussing the most tenuous of antisemitic claims, now debunked since kirn isnt jewish, and you just put out the N-word, the most well known and hatred-laden slur out there.
      atleast we know now who the racist here is.

  56. Ohh yess this makes me support Behringer even more… “Robin Hood of synth industry”. Self-proclaimed king of synth manufacturing…Someone is manufacturing all the instruments that people want(Some have wanted for tens of years, even frequently asked for remakes from the original companies) for affordable price and all they do is complain.. 😀 Its hilarious!!! ULI IS BOSS!!!!!!!!!

  57. The synth itself actually looks quite cool, like a boutique guitar pedal. I’d be quite interested in it with those cork encoders – very unique!

    1. That’s because they literally copied the design of an actual guitar pedal. There’s a Reverb link earlier in this thread.

  58. I’d like to point out that whilst the mock French accent & sneering might have been comical in another context, I personally found it insulting, particularly as it became clear that the tasteless video was a personal attack on a single individual.

  59. Storm in a teacup, too many social commentators getting there panties in a twist over nothing. It was a bit of satirical humour that fell flat. Nothing more, nothing less… move on please nothing to see here.

  60. Definitely not anti-semetic, this is just the soft times we live in. None of you are actually outraged, I’m happy with that apology, they apologized to anyone that got offended, who else did they need to apologize to? I can’t wait for these soft times to pass you guys are all crazy.

  61. forget pinochio or potential anti-semitism if thats under debate – Whats not debatable is the the egregiously over the top Pep-le-pew french narration which is offensive enough. Trademarking someones name to make a “joke is so completely obscene also. The Behringer Apologists are out in full force the last couple days. I do not understand their thinking.

  62. Bizarre and disgusting. I’ve been a staunch supporter of Behringer’s ‘cheap clone’ business model (because patents were never meant to last forever), and for that matter I’m not a fan of Peter Kirn (good synth reporter, but I find his writing tedious and pretentious).

    But there is no excuse for this BS – either the personal attack or the anti-semitic tropes it leverages. I owned and liked some of their gear but after seeing this I want nothing to do with the company ever again.

  63. People who think this is supposed to be anti-semitic are joking, right? You’ve got to be ridiculously hypersensitive to think that this was intended to be anti-semitic.

    1. Fwiw, having no idea what the back story was, or who Kirn is, I found the video merely quirky. I didn’t see any racial stereotyping other than France and wine, so that explained the corks. But what cartoon hasn’t adopted those stereotypes? The whole thing was immediately forgettable. It seems to only upset people who already drank some Kool-aid on this one. Sorry, niche event really.

      1. “I have no idea on the back story but here’s my opinion”

        Seriously? I mean, if you want to gloss over the fact that a company trademarked the name of a journalist to perpetually bully him with online posts and videos, sure, immediately forgettable, but that’s not what happened. W

        hat’s the point of commenting if you don’t even know what’s going on? Who cares about your completely uninformed opinion?

  64. So, enough of this blather. Whom shall we petition to build us a CS-80 clone, now that Uli has stuck marketing plastique up the butt of his own company and bitten down hard on a battery? Pettiness doesn’t deserve your business.

  65. The drawing could be interpreted as antisemitic, yes, and it could just be a Pinocchio -themed caricature. I won’t get into that discussion, since it is somewhat subjective. What I find appaling is the attack on journalists.

    If you are a company, you should get used to critisism. It’s just like in politics. If you can’t stand it, stay out of the kitchen.

    But just like in far right politics, Behringer thinks it’s ok to target and ridicule journalists, who’s job is to inform customers of various products. This is very disturbing and casts a dark shadow over Behringer. They’d better get their act straight, or I’m joining the boycot. Which is sad, since I have nothing against the products themselves. But with business strategies as this, I see no other choice.

    1. you see this US vs THEM is entirety of the problem. if you equate attacking of journalists only with far right you are indeed a part of the problem. like if i make fun of tucker carlson, pirro, or any other fox degenerate that makes me far right? if cnn makes fun of them that makes them far right?

      we are all quite the same albeit on opposite sides of spectrum. left is driven mostly by empathy, the rights is driven mostly by fear. however the methods are pretty much alike. there is lying and subterfuge on both sides, its dangerous not to realize this. we are alle human and we all err.

      that is why this article and synthtopia amplifying it is so infuriating.
      if the left indeed wants to claim moral superiority, rightly so, their methods must be ethical aswell,

      trying to claim antisemitism on BS such as this only serves to give material to the rightwing and gives them the ammo to call anyone a snowflake for claiming antisemitism or racism when it really matters.

      1. The video was completely unfunny whether you are offended by it or not unless your sense of humour is very basic and rooted in the 1970s. The best thing I could say about Behringer at the moment is that they must be doing well (possibly past tense now) if they can spend time and money twatting around making s**t like this (the video not the synths). Even their ardent fans would surely they got on with making and delivering synths and sorting out bugs, not bullying, suing and generally doing their best to deserve a reputation as industry villains.

        I’m unsubscribing to the thread now as even a good old knock-about becomes dull in the end and it’s doubtful that anyone’s opinion will ever be changed by whatever anyone says on here.

        This will probably blow over to some extent and possibly more quickly than imagined today if they drop an excellent (and hopefully original) synth in the near future.

        One certainty though is that Uli, in childishly reacting to what he perceives as unfair criticism and claims of being rip-off and copycat, has simply made it all worse for himself – in the short-term anyway.

        If he’s unrepentant (the apology was pretty lame) then perhaps he should ditch the Behringer brand and start afresh in partnership with Elon Musk as Twat & Twat Electric Audio?

        In the meantime I wonder of anyone is thinking of trademarking his name with supposed comic intent?

  66. To all of the perpetually offended types out there :

    OK We get it!!

    You are the morally superior being. You are so out-raged and offended blah blah blah.

    So boycott Behringer forever and never buy anything from them again.

    Do you want a cookie?

    No one gives a shit.
    You don’t have to keep screaming it from the rooftops!

    We get it. You are very special and fragile and the bad Behringer man is bad and mean man.

    Do we really need think-pieces and pages of commentary about it. FFS.

    1. You say “no one gives a shit” but you clearly care enough to read and respond.

      Also, I give a shit. So that’s two. Plus all the people who have commented here, so that’s more than none.

      You say “We get it.” but it sounds like you don’t.

  67. The cork sniffer video is like the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while. Will continue supporting Behringer as much as I can. I don’t understand how people can be so offended at something that is clearly meant as a joke.

      1. I’m with Skelhan.

        Dale can slap his knee, then double-down and slap it again for all to see. But I gotta ask, what is funny about it?

        Peter Kirn isn’t a snob, and isn’t a liar. So what is the joke? Or is it just that big noses and French accents are funny to you?

  68. I don’t see anti-semitism here, I do see however extremely poor taste and a very stupid way of exercising excessive force.

  69. It is a very heavy German type of humour . And on top of that with a French accent and a long nose . It is not funny , just stupid especially coming from a manufacturer. They should fire their marketing director.

  70. The video was funny ,you have all lost your sense of humour,this was classic Monty Python i will be ordering more Behringer….long live Uli …

  71. This is creepy as hell on so many levels.
    I can’t imagine ever doing this to someone or being friends with someone who would do this insane gesture. I mean and if humor is the claim the humor is not even good??

  72. So let me get this. Behringer made a video to make fun of some guy who isn’t Jewish and now they are accused of being anti-Semitic?
    This is probably the most ridiculous hit piece I’ve ever seen.

  73. I don’t understand the Cork Sniffer use as an insult –

    Behringer’s whole marketing of its clones is based on how accurate their designs are to the originals – they have been perpetuating the myth that these wines were special & inviting customers to try their exact copy at a lower price .

    Or , when peddling their “own” design e.g the Neutron they come up with some pretty fine Cork Sniffing themselves :
    “True to the Classics
    Great care has been taken in designing the NEUTRON to ensure it is true to the circuitry of the classic synthesizers that made musical history. This highly-focused attention to detail is what gives the NEUTRON its ultra-flexible sound shaping capability, which covers everything from super-fat bass and lead tones, stunning effects, progressive organ sounds – and all the way out to the otherworldly sounds of your imagination….”

    So is this “highly focused attention to detail” a good or bad thing now ? I am a definitely confused maybe CorkSniffer .

    Attacking a journalist & trademarking their name , though , is just bad , wrong , spiteful, stupid & bullying .

    B-ULI B-ULI B-ULI ! TM ( is this satire ? )

  74. and while you sneak real envelopes into synth and 18V into pedals also make the AKG BX25E, since it would fit in perfect with the EMT240
    so much win when you started puting transformers into gear, maybee just put 2 in box with xlr connections and there we are

  75. Having read the article and a good few of the comments I fell pretty sick. It’s wrong and hateful for a powerful company to attack any individual in this very public manner. It seems quite cynically calculated, especially at a time when the right wing is becoming increasingly bold and popular. I own a piece of equipment produced by this company which I will not be getting rid of, but I will not be buying anything else made by them. Which is a shame because I was tempted by a few of there recent synths.

    1. If this is the sort of stuff that makes you sick, then you need to re evaluate your life.
      Your use of the word ‘Hateful’ needs looking at ?
      Being compared to the ‘Right Wing’ reveals your politics as well.
      It’s not about politics dude, it’s about providing cheap synths.
      Nobody needs to jump into bed with Behringer.
      And when all else fails, just call the enemy a racist.

  76. > antisemitic claims now debunked since kirn isnt jewish
    utter bs. you are saying that even when someone would throw the most hurtful homophobic slurs your way, it would be okay for him to do so as long as everybody knows you are hetero. your reasoning is crazy.

  77. Far too many people ‘offended’ here, grow some thicker skin for your gods sake.
    The guy has a rather large black beard, so anyone depicted with a beard this way is a mocked Jew now?
    The people claiming antisemitism should be ashamed of themselves!

      1. No, Your saying that, I never said that, this is where your confusion is, you can’t make up what other people say in your mind, then retaliate against it as if it where real !

        1. If you’re ignoring Behringer suing people for a quarter million dollars for saying Behringer was making copies and clones, that Behringer has a long history of attacking journalists for honest reporting, that they only allow sycophants access to review their synths so reviews can’t be trusted and that judges have ruled that Behringer uses lawsuits to stifle free speech – if you’re ignoring all that and giving them a pass because this hate video doesn’t strike you as anti-Semitic – then you’re fine with your money going to harass journalists and stifle free speech.

  78. only thing I ever bought from these people was some sub $100 audio mixer that lasted me for a good while. Otherwise, never spent another dime with these people and never will. Garbage company.

  79. Just release great gear. Buyers will find it. This stuff has been marked up in prices for decades. Nice to see affordable options in hardware coming to consumers with normal budgets. Money I’ve saved on mics alone……so nice!

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