Behringer’s Latest Synth, Model 15, Copies The Moog Grandmother

Behringer today introduced the Model 15 semi-modular Euro-format all-in-one synthesizer.

The company says that the Model 15 semi-modular synthesizer is based on the legacy Model 15/35/55 circuitry, but with some added features. The Behringer Model 15 appears to directly copy the design of the Moog Grandmother, though, which itself was based on circuits from vintage Moog modular gear.

Here’s the front panel of the Grandmother:

The Model 15 has the same synth architecture and controls as the Grandmother, but moves patch points to the right side of the panel, as shown below.

In case there was any doubt about Behringer’s reference for the Model 15, they copied the Grandmother’s colors:

Like the Grandmother, the Model 15 also features a step sequencer and arpeggiator. But, while the original Grandmother incorporates an analog spring reverb, the Model 15 replaces this with a digital simulation.

Features:

  • Analog synthesizer with dual VCO design
  • Semi-modular design requires no patching for immediate performance
  • Analog signal path
  • Dual oscillators with 4 waveforms, oscillator sync, pulse width modulation and sub-oscillator
  • 24 dB ladder filter with resonance
  • Step sequencer with 3 separate 256-step memory slots, key transpose and multiple playback modes
  • Arpeggiator, featuring hold function and multiple playback modes for recording and playing patterns
  • Fully analog LFO with 4 waveforms and dedicated controls for pitch, filter and pulse width modulation
  • Spring reverb emulation
  • 48 patch points for modular connectivity
  • 37 controls give you direct and real-time access to all important parameters
  • Eurorack format – module can be transferred to a standard Eurorack case
  • 16-voice Poly Chain allows combining multiple synthesizers for up to 16 voice polyphony
  • MIDI implementation with MIDI channel and Voice Priority selection

Pricing and Availability

The Behringer Model 15 is expected to be priced at $299. Like its other recent introductions, Behringer is not putting the Model 15 into production at this time because of parts constraints, so availability is to be announced.

80 thoughts on “Behringer’s Latest Synth, Model 15, Copies The Moog Grandmother

  1. Remember how people ridiculed Moog for the Grandmother design when it was introduced?

    Four years later, people have figured out it sounds great, the Grandmother is an icon for it’s looks…..and it’s getting knocked off.

    1. The Grandmother has always looked and sounded great. As for Behringer – capitalism at its ugliest and least artful.

      1. Yes – with the Grandmother, putting jacks at the top made sense, because anything that you’d want to patch it to will always be placed at the left, right, or top, but never at the bottom.

        In the case of an all-in-one Eurorack synth voice like this, it makes sense for Behringer to copy pattern Moog used with the Mother-32, putting all the jacks at the right side. Moog could have put them on the left or right, but once that precedent is set, it’s good for other company’s to copy it, so that you can put these synths in a case together and patch them neatly and efficiently.

  2. Can’t say I was or am necessarily a fan of Behringer, though I have purchased a few pieces of gear from the company over the last 10-15 years, and I’ve been content with the quality. That being said, this “copy everything” business model is seriously kind of nuts.

    I’m happy the folks who can’t afford the more expensive options have this choice, but yeah, there’s definitely an odor associated with aspects of Behringer’s current business model.

    1. “this “copy everything” business model is seriously kind of nuts.”

      This has always been Behringer’s business strategy, though, and you really can’t argue that it hasn’t worked out pretty well for them.

  3. I am starting to think that the one goal Uli set for himself is to bankrupt Moog. For some reason he really hates them.

    1. …and by cutting out the r/d costs that their competitors do for them, they are killing new synth design.

      Soon we are all playing copies of old synths, and there will be nothing new to copy.

      Humankind is getting stupider, but I fear it is happening faster, than anyone could have predicted.

      I hate this kind of BS.

      I want new synths.

      1. Was the grandmother that innovative? It’s a fairly typical semimodular architecture but with Moog components and built in keyboard and quirky colour scheme. The Moog components made it very nice, I’m pleased it exists, but not so sure it’s incredibly innovative.

        Whereas some of the others, e.g. Subharmonicon, are indeed a bit more experimental and innovative. Personally, I’d rather see new designs too.

        1. “Was the grandmother that innovative?”

          Yes.

          With the Grandmother, Moog created an original design that transformed a rare, niche type of synth – the fully patchable semi-modular keyboard – into an affordable, mainstream product. The closest thing that Moog had to this previously was the Minimoog Voyager XL, which cost $5000.

          The Grandmother exploded the fixed design of the Minimoog and rebuilt it using patchable components, based on vintage Moog modular designs. This brought those old-school circuits – and the sounds that they make – to everybody, not just people that can afford $15,000 modular systems.

          The industrial design is fantastic, making it a popular keyboard for pros. But it is also one of the best keyboards ever made for beginners that want to learn synthesis.

          The style of the Grandmother is distinctive, to the point that it was pretty divisive when it was introduced. But the colorful panel is more than just an unusual paint job. Anyone that’s used the Grandmother understands that the panel colors expose the architecture of the synth, making it easier to understand and helping you build muscle memory for grabbing the knob you want to tweak. The styling is so distinctive that the Grandmother and Matriarch are iconic, instantly recognizable keyboards.

          The Grandmother is original, inventive and a modern classic. Why else would Behringer copy it so slavishly?

          1. lol what a pointless and ridiculous rant

            many people wouldn’t consider it affordable

            it’s based off technology and designs that have been around for decades – simply repackaging it now doesn’t make it innovative

        2. Certainly more innovative, than a copy of it.

          A small company cannot make just innovative products, and now with this pirate company around I fear, that new synth design is in real danger!

        3. Even if the Grandmother wasn’t innovative, Moog expended resources in creating it. This includes time to decide what features to include in the synth, what to exclude, and where to put things. They might not have changed the world with the Grandmother, but they certainly invested money to bring it to market. Uli Behringer has taken advantage of Moog’s investment for his own benefit. I expect that it’s perfectly legal. But that doesn’t stop it from being scummy.

            1. It’s pretty clear you’ve never played one and that you’ve never done any synth DIY, or your wouldn’t say something so ignorant.

      1. But if they puncture the space-time continuum, someone will have to go back in time to stop Behringer from cloning the Minimoog before it was ever born!

  4. I suspect this particular copy will make more enemies than friends: but the thing I really think is that Behringer has now announced like 30 new synths that you can’t even buy with no estimated availability date…it’s just forum spam and am bored to death with it….

  5. lol, people complaining about copies of 60 year old circuits.

    I’ll buy two.

    as if moog’s done anything really new lately except follow the market with the same repackaged technology.

    1. No one is complaining about copying 60 year old circuits. They’re complaining about copying the specific way that Moog packaged those circuits into an instrument 4 years ago.

      1. Exactly, It’s just an excuse to copy a modern product, They even copy the colors but changed it enough to avoid lawsuit, Or maybe they want to be sued?
        It is a good excuse, They become more experienced in how to exploit this market.

    2. Have you heard of the DFAM, Subharmonicon & Animoog Z?

      Each are worth a look & are unlike anything else currently in production.

      Doesn’t matter if the fundamentals are old, Moog’s got a better vision for product development than a lot of companies. Plus their ethics are easier to accept than Behringer’s.

      1. Behringer would not be making knockoffs of currently available products, like the DFAM and the Mother-32, if Moog was not making original synths that a lot of people love.

  6. The troll level is really peaking with this one. The way they flipped the yellow and blue, and green and red…. hahaha. When they reversed the color scheme layout on the RD-8 you can tell they were still determined to use it because it had a classical (Roland associated) appeal. Here with Moog, and their newish ‘Mother’ design and color scheme, this just looks like pure mockery.

    Looks like they did add a few more sub osc waveforms.

    1. If Behri really wanted to be transgressive they could make a Pecker Alpha series and pepper in little broisms with the interface.

    2. With the color schemes on this and the RD-8, they’re doing the classic knockoff tactic of using the same colors and general design of the original, but changing just enough not to get sued.

      It’s intentional, to encourage buyers to understand that these are copies of the originals and to think of them as alternatives to the originals.

  7. Personally, I’m ok with the copies but behringer is announcing all this stuff that has no date on availability.

    On topic would I pick up this clone ? Probably
    Would I pick up an actual grandmother ? Definitely not.

    I don’t have modular gear so I think it’s good for people like me willing to try these things out without spending over 1k just to find out its not for me.

  8. Ironically it fits better into the “Mother/DFAM/subharmonicon” eco system then the grandmother.
    – No keyboard and patchbay on the right side.
    – It is amaller and eurorackable.
    – Also the real spring reverb is prone to do its wobble effect way to often thus hardly suitable for live situations.

    A lot of reasons to get this instead of the granny.

    1. Only if you don’t actually play your synthesizers.

      If you play, most people will want a keyboard controller, and the Grandmother is great because it does double duty as an ‘inexpensive Minimoog’ and as the ‘brain’ of a modular system.

      The Model 15 can’t do either of those roles. It’s really designed to a slave module.

      Also, it sounds like you haven’t worked with real spring reverbs before. Most people that have like the fact that it’s a physical effect, with a distinctive sound, and that it offers unique live performance options.

      Nobody wants a fake spring reverb. If Behringer is too cheap to put a real spring reverb on, it would be a lot more useful for them to put a digital delay or digital reverb on it.

      Remember what happened with the Behringer 2600? People figured out that the Behringer version didn’t sound right and that the fake spring reverb sucked. So Behringer had to follow up right away with an updated model that fixed their design errors and uses an actual spring reverb.

      In fact, instead of putting fake spring reverb on these synths, Behringer would be smart to follow Korg’s lead and include a ‘Multiengine’ platform that would supports user plugins.That would be way more useful and would probably drive additional interest in their gear.

      Noobs won’t care about the places where Behringer cuts corners. But once you get a little more experience, you start to see and hear where corners have been cut, and you realize cheap gear comes with compromises.

      1. The thing with real spring reverbs is that they have that distinctive metallic thunder effect when you shake or hit them.
        Built into the synth itself it often happens that this otherwise cool effect triggers accidentially, ergo problem in live situations.

        Re: it sounds like you haven’t worked with real spring reverbs before. 😉

        1. “The thing with real spring reverbs is that they have that distinctive metallic thunder effect when you shake or hit them.”

          It sounds like you’ve never seen anyone do this intentionally, which is one of the fun aspects of spring reverbs. 😉

      2. “But once you get a little more experience, you start to see and hear where corners have been cut, and you realize cheap gear comes with compromises.”

        This is exactly why I don’t think that Behringer really hurts Moog all that much. The people who understand the difference are going to buy a Moog. The people who buy the Behringer because it’s cheaper are still going to want a Moog, especially after spending time with the Behringer. The people who find the Behringer “good enough” probably weren’t going to buy a Moog anyway.

    2. I have had the GM for two years and used it live several times. I have never been able to get the spring to make extra noise. Can’t even get the thunder effect when you smack the side.
      Also, easy to open up and unplug if you don’t want it. I don’t understand why anyone would want a digital spring reverb, but that’s a different conversation.

      1. Strange that our expierience differs here.
        The grandmother i played even did the “shaking spring effect” when i pushed one of the buttons (sync or performance section)!
        When the Grandmother does not stand on very solid ground it constantly does the thunder too!
        Reverb is unusable on most keyboard stands.

  9. If you have problems with Behringer you have problems with capitalism. By this I mean there seems to be an idea that the synth world could somehow remain a sacred place sheltered from the more cut-throat tendencies of capitalism, but it’s only a matter of time. I’m not suggesting you should be a Behringer fan or that you should even be okay with their practices, I just think it’s worth being honest with ourselves about our unrealIstic expectations for protecting the synth world from the very tendencies which cannibalize virtually all other sectors of the economy. Any investor will tell you, ideas like “morality” or “integrity” are not part of the algorithm.

    1. False. Copying the trade dress of another company’s product and trademarking the names of popular industry products and brands from the 1970s and 1980s is not normal business practice.

      1. Yes…. Yes it is. Go look at almost every major brand in the world and tell me they’ve never done anything of that sort. Copyright and Trademark laws are written in a way to allow this sort of market in order to keep companies from having a sole monopoly on an idea and provide healthy competition. It’s the same reason you can find Store Brand food and medicine with the same ingredients and similar looking packaging. Moog sells synths that cost thousands of dollars. They aren’t gonna suddenly go under because Behringer released a cheaper alternative nor are they being prevented from coming up with more innovative unique ideas.

  10. That Behringer website though. You look up a synth and find photos of a girl playing a guitar on the details page. Just trying to not virtue signal on a Behringer post. It’s getting old.

  11. Didn’t Moog just get out of the Grandmother market by discontinuing the synth after creating a market for it? Seems like an answer to that void as well as being up to their normal low-cost version practice. People here are quick to blast all the B-versions as low cost “copies” with crappy components, but due to these same component trade offs and an expected shorter life span than original they aren’t exactly copies. More like “lookalikes” with discount guts. No?

  12. im a huge behringer fan but I wont pretend their products are perfect

    personally i wish they’d go for something comprehensive again like a DSI Tempest or Alesis Andromeda or something

  13. Ok so its a bit like a GM

    I notice the keyboard player in a previous post, nice 2 1/2 octave kbd on the GM btw great for a proper player ?????????
    There are plenty of quality affordable keyboards that will trigger the Model 15.
    All the R and D argument.
    The patents are expired and Moog didnt really do that much to shift the stuff they already designed into the GM.
    In the Uk the Gm is 830 and the B15 will be 215 GBP
    This is a hell of a difference
    Maybe B are a bit of the Robin Hood synth manufacturer – everybody else takes the financial P*ss so the say ok the here ya go and lets be honest Robin Hood was a hero.
    I think B are laughing at all the preservationists out here and the hundreds of people that buy their gear are too. TY Unwin did a moving youtube video of his System 55 (moog obvs) and how amazing it was and worth the 35K price tag (oh dear – hello Behringer)
    I bought two system 500 modules off Roland at 650 GBP when the came out
    one was the 505 filter and this was announced as a faithful recreation of the SH5 filter
    well……………. no self oscillation and a really weird top end horrendous noise sh*t from the hi pass, oh and the OSC didn’t and still doesn’t track brilliantly.
    So I waited as B then (after my 650 spend) announced the System 100 modules
    Drool
    Back in the day I used to have 7 system 100m’s (35 modules) before I got divorced so I put my system 500 aspirations on hold.
    For over a year.
    And waited
    OMG did B deliver yes yes and yes.
    Roland missed this opportunity and then fu*ked everybody off in the hardware world and entered the cloud. Too greedy.
    And dont tell me Roland / Maleko manufacturing was anything less than Behringers automated SMT facility because it isnt.
    So here in this thread the argument is B ripped off the GM
    If they shipped a 2OSC unit, Ladder Vcf, single ADSR etc but put it in different colours would this have been OK ? no ref to the GM? of course
    This is a bog standard semi modular synth with patch points.
    Behringer is just laughing at Moog for their elitism and rightly so, this time its Moog who are ripping people off.
    Cant wait to get my hands on the new Behriger Proton and the XM2 and this model 15 all for less than the Moog GM
    Hmm
    so I’ll have to wait – no worries
    Peace people and hold on our Ukranian friends !!!

  14. There are many copies of old moog synths.
    So far they mostly have been rather expensive and noone complained.
    But cheap copies are bad?

    Also to be fair this is not a straight copy but interpretation and even expansion – it offers sub waveforms for oscillator two and modulation for the utility section.
    And there might be more goodies when closely looking at the patch bay.

  15. More evidence that Uli is completely lacking in creativity and original ideas when it comes to developing synths. No doubt he’s a great capitalist, but he’s never going to be a leader in synth design, and so far he’s been unable or unwilling to foster innovation.

    Some apply creative thinking to product design. Others apply creative thinking to sales.

  16. I love what Behringer is doing (I am surprised they legally can do what they do, but that’s another discussion and honestly I don’t care about it that much). Making hardware accessible for everybody by producing plastic cheap copies of other gear which has proven itself, is a good thing. Period. Nowadays even poor people and kids can save some money to buy good sounding and usable hardware, because the Behringer stuff feels plastic and cheap but it sounds good and for sure and is usable even when your a pro. And what people tend to forget is that Behringer doesn’t make the brands and gear useless which they copy. I haven’t bought any Behringer gear yet because I prefer quality brands and hardware and luckily I can financially , but I have tried and used a lot of their gear at friends and in stores. And although they amaze me by how good they sound and work, their are still some big differences which make the originals (way) better then the Behringer versions. I will give one example. If you ever heard and used the cut-of filter on a Moog in real life, you know what I’m talking about. Behringer can copy what they want but their filter is on a whole other level then the ones on a real Moog. Another good thing about Behringers gameplay is that since they do what they do, the big quality brands started producing and selling hardware which isn’t insanely expensive and therefor not accessible for most common people. Behringer have forced the other brands to think about those customers as well, which they do nowadays and which most of those brands didn’t before.

    1. Victor there already were plenty of good cheap synths available either new second hand or in kit form long before B started doing synths.

      1. Like what? I remember the days when keyboard players in gigging local /regional bands would often get a larger cut of the gig money because their keyboard/synth rigs were usually many times the expense of the equipment used by other band members.

        Back in the day, even lesser synths were still expensive. Many synth players scrimped and saved for an expensive Juno 60 because they couldn’t come close to affording a Jupiter 6 or 8 without installment payments for years on end.

  17. I’m just waiting for the clone of the Korg PS3300 – although the Full Bucket VST is a nice emulation. Or maybe a Roland System 700.

  18. I really love the coloring on the patchbay and the Synth itself, this is such a smart idea, workflow improvement and it looks awesome too.

  19. First off it has to sound good. Haven’t seen any proof it’s a real working product. I do honestly think the Grandmother is an amazing synth and it took me some time with one to really get it. The build is amazing, reverb is amazing and I know that it’s going to be a synth I hang onto for years. I’ve seen every released behringer synth in Craigslist posts and used gear shops and I seriously doubt that they’re going to be sought after in a few years.

  20. Can someone explain to me if this (and therefore the Moog GM) is essentially a model d / Minimoog with a load of patch points?
    Thanks.

    1. Chuck – good question!

      The Grandmother is an interesting synth because it recreates the Minimoog concept – an all-in-one prepatched performance synthesizer – but does it using individual modules based on the Moog modular.

      So it’s sort of like a alternate reality Minimoog, where instead of giving it a fixed signal path, they’d kept the patchability of the modular and the sound of the original module’s designs. The styling has sort of a retro-futuristic vibe to it, too.

      1. Great answer. The Grandmother was a new take on the Model 15 circuits with updated components, board assembly tech and a reworked user interface. Anyone saying that moog didn’t put r&d into the GM doesn’t understand that.

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