Behringer Intros Tiny $99 Minimoog Knockoff, The Model D Soul

Behringer today introduced the Model D Soul, a tiny, $99 Minimoog knockoff that they say is “based on the authentic MiniMoog circuitry…but in a portable and affordable package.”

The introduction caps off a fevered week for the company that saw them introduce 10 synthesizers that they say that they can’t currently produce, because of parts constraints.

The Model D Soul is their third synth in their Stylophone-style ‘Soul’ format, following the introductions of the Behringer Saturn (based on a Roland Jupiter 8 synth voice) and the Pro VS (based on a Prophet VS synth voice).

The Model D Soul fits cleanly into the knockoff category, as a cheap, unofficial copy of the Minimoog. Behringer explicitly states that it’s “Based on the classic MiniMoog from the 1970s”, and its front panel is a shrinky-dinked version of the original.

But the Model D Soul does not copy the Minimoog as closely as the Behringer D, replacing the Minimoog’s analog pots with digital encoders. Because of the Model D Soul’s tiny size, it does not have a one-knob-per-function interface, which means that encoders have to be used for knobs that have multiple functions.

This change has pros and cons. It means that the Model D Soul is another step removed from the original Minimoog design, and that it loses the what you see is what you get usability of the Minimoog’s knob-per-function interface. Where the Model D had 48 knobs and switches, the Model D Soul has 18. But this change also means that the digitally-controlled patch settings can be controlled via MIDI, which was not possible on either the original Minimoog or Behringer’s Model D.

Ready for a $99 Minimoog knockoff? Check out the details and let us know what you think in the comments!



  • 3 VCOs, VCF, 1 LFO, 2 envelope design based on the classic MiniMoog from the 1970s
  • VCO with 5 selectable wave forms, including saw, triangle, shark, square and pulse
  • ‘Vintage-sounding’ low-pass filter with resonance
  • LFO with 4 different waveforms
  • VCA with a dedicated envelope control
  • Variable envelope amount for filter cut-off control
  • White and pink noise with independent volume control
  • 16-step motion sequencer with 8 memory slots and recording of knob movements
  • 27 touch keys
  • 18 controls
  • USB Micro connector allows powering via smartphone, power bank or computer
  • MIDI implementation (including NRPN/CC control of all parameters and bulk load/save)

Pricing and Availability

Behringer says that the “Model D Soul is fully completed and ready for production”, but it is not going into production at this time because of component constraints. When it does ship, they expect the price to be $99.

69 thoughts on “Behringer Intros Tiny $99 Minimoog Knockoff, The Model D Soul

  1. Admin: Comment deleted.

    Chuck – you veered off from sharing your opinions on gear into calling someone an ‘ass’, which crosses the line to being a personal attack.

    Keep your comments on topic and constructive and they won’t need to be deleted in the future.

    1. I’m not a fan of Behringer but calling everything they do a knockoff is stupid and a form of bullying , they don’t have option to delete your comment..

      1. Jumb

        Thanks for your feedback.

        It’s puzzling that you think Behringer – a billion dollar multinational organization whose business model is making inexpensive copies of competitors’ products – is being ‘bullied’ if you call one of their products a knockoff.

        It’s also ironic, because you are one of a small handful of commenters that only ever leave comments on the site to suggest that Synthtopia is ‘stupid’, ‘childish’, ‘trolling’, etc, because we put some of Behringer’s copies into the knockoff category.

        If you want your comments to be taken seriously by anyone, you need to do better than name-calling and gaslighting.

        1. Comment posted on December 7 2021? How.

          Personally speaking, I never dared insult anyone here, much less the staff. That said, “knockoff”, in English, has a negative connotation. Stating otherwise means one’s either in bad faith or isn’t a native speaker. Tertium non datur. And I’m frankly fed up.

          If you were a guitar-oriented website, every single one of your readers would laugh at you if you introduced, say, Thomann’s inexpensive (and aesthetically undistinguishable) Tele-style guitars as “knockoffs”. Most big guitar and bass brands copy Fender’s designs 1:1 (since it’s legal), but apparently that’s okay for you since it’s not keyboard-equipped gear?

          A mix of elitism, lack of knowledge on copyright laws and trademark system, along with a deep hatred for Behringer, all this takes away the will to keep reading Synthopia, at least for me. Think whatever you want, call us bots, fanboys, you might even believe we’re gettting paid by Behringer… I really don’t care. I haven’t even owned much of their stuff, but every time I did, I was grateful for that fact that even a commoner like me could afford, say, several guitar pedals or the sound of a Minimoog.

          The same goes Arturia’s software synths, like the Mini V3: they didn’t get a licence from Moog cause they didn’t need to. But I can’t recall any of the staff here calling them “Knockoff VSTs”. Also, I’m not sure if Synthopia was already up and running at the time, but I’d be curious to know what you thought about Creamware’s Minimax and the like.

          Farewell, hope you all the best, but I won’t be reading this blog anymore for gear news. Hope this comment won’t get consored.

          1. Andy

            Thanks for the feedback. If you have any knowledge of the law, as you suggest, you should realize that Synthtopia can’t ‘consor’ (censor) anyone. You can only be censored by the government.

            What we can do is encourage vigorous discussion on our site – which we obviously do, since the site gets as many comments as any synth news site in the world. And we can ban hateful attacks. We have the expectation that you, and other readers, can express your opinions effectively without name-calling, sexism, etc.

            To the extent that the term ‘knockoff’ has a negative connotation, it is because of what the term means: a cheap copy of another company’s product. While the term may have a negative connotation to some, almost all of us buy some knockoffs, whether it’s store-brand Cheerios, Mr Pibb or ‘Dr Slice’ instead of Dr Pepper, or a Behringer D instead of an original Model D.

            There is no way in good faith that you can look at something like the Model D Soul and deny that it copies the Minimoog synth voice, that it copies the ‘Model D’ name, that it copies the Minimoog’s styling, that it’s designed to be a cheap copy, or that Behringer literally says that they copied the Minimoog.

            It does not take “a mix of elitism, lack of knowledge on copyright laws and trademark system, along with a deep hatred for Behringer” to state this obvious fact. It would be hypocritical to pretend otherwise.

            If the frankness of our coverage of controversial topics bothers you, rest assured that Synthtopia will be here for you if your perspective changes.

            1. I actually get where Andy is coming from, as I also understand the negative connotation of “knockoff” when applied to musical instruments and electronics (though for fashion designs it seems to be more neutral) and I’m also familiar with guitar clones.

              That being said, I’m not ready to abandon synthtopia over it at this time.

      2. Here’s a thought for you. Music Tribe deletes every remotely negative comment made on their facebook page and there’s not a darn thing you can do about it.

        Warn people about poor repair service? Delete.
        Warn people about bugs? Delete.
        Warn people about shoddy build quality? Delete.
        Ask if they’re paid royalties to Moog or Tom Oberheim? Delete.

        1. They have no legal obligation to pay royalties to Moog, just like Arturia hasn’t, nor Creamware had to with their hardware Minimax, nor all of the software clones out there. Law isn’t a matter of personal taste.

          About negative comments, you’re absolutely right. But I can’t see a single negative comment on any other big brand’s page. I once asked Korg about a serious issue with my RK-100 and it simply got deleted. Had to write two email before getting an answer, and they didn’t even follow through. Big companies are all the same: the faster you realise this, the sooner you’ll be spending your money for gear a bit more wisely.

          P.S. looks like my parting comment got censored. I’ll leave it here: Thomann’s Stratocaster clones aren’t knockoff, not a single sane guitarist would affirm so. The same goes for expensive clones like GLS. Change my mind.

      3. Behringer’s a giant company though. Calling their products knockoffs (which most of them just so happen to be) is NOT going to hurt them in the long run at all. They won’t gain anything from you defending them, just like how they won’t lose anything from people here committing the unforgivable sin of using the k-word when referring to them.

        1. You keep repeating “giant” and “big company”, assuming all share your same hive mind frame. Regardless of if the products are “clones” or “unique snowflakes”, your forced, redundant MSNBC fed criticism that corelates “success” with bad and the bigger the more “deplorable”. I don’t agree at all, especially it’s a private company instead of the monsters that are “democratic” corporations (yup, the idea of publicly held corps was an “egalitarian” idea pushed by Progressives). If I was Uli (or whatever his name is) I would have a blast finding things to make that are a ratio of profit and makes simps like you go off in a raging hissy fit every release. That would be fuckin awesome. I would get stoned with a couple of the hottest “me too’s” money can buy, and just lurk in comments and have an intern read out loud all the pussies going bizurk over my new “Micro-Kord” I released, breaking even, for $39.99 just to watch hipsters have nervous breakdowns and take up acoustic wind instruments….

  2. It’s unfortunate that Behringer decided to put what sounds like it could be a decent digitally-controlled Minimoog synth engine into a toy, instead of a synth module.

    This would be great as a 1U rack-mounted synth module. Give it decent controls and get the price under $200 and they’d sell tons.

    Are they just more interested in the cheap end of the market?

    1. Speak for yourself. Not all of us want to start the investment into Eurorack and would prefer having desktop modules that are easily accessible and more hands on.

    2. You missed this part:

      MIDI implementation (including NRPN/CC control of all parameters and bulk load/save)

      You can map all the parameters to a dedicated MIDI controller, or even use a touchscreen with knob per function in the traditional Minimoog layout. Also this means *everything* can be automated from your DAW which can’t be said about a vintage Minimoog. There’s also this:

      16-step motion sequencer with 8 memory slots and recording of knob movements

      which no doubt dawless live act guys are going to put to good use. At $99, that’s a steal. A Volca Bass costs $169 retail, this is almost half the price.

      1. Didn’t miss it – that’s exactly why this would be a lot more interesting for serious musicians if it was a rack-mount module and was built well, instead of filling up your desk with plastic junk.

        We all have MIDI keyboards already, we don’t need a cheesy stylophone synth sitting on our desk.

        A cheap module that offered a MIDI controllable Minimoog, with patch memory? I’d be interested in that!

        Mad Mike – I was referring to 1U rack format, which used to be a pretty standard format for synth modules, not the so-called ‘1U Eurorack’ format that a few companies are making.

          1. gadi – no, I mean people that are interested enough in making music that they want to have instruments that they can rely on not to break, and people that have made a commitment to being able to play a keyboard with enough proficiency to make the music that they want to make.

            That isn’t dismissing the value of less capable instruments, instruments that are not for keyboard players or even musical toys. Those have their place. You could point out that David Bowie used a Stylophone or that Kraftwerk used musical toys.

            Most serious musicians, though, want instruments that are well built, offer a broad range of physical control and support expressive performance. Things like the Behringer Soul instruments don’t meet those criteria.

    3. The panel looks like something you could probably hack into 2U however… side-by-side with one (or two?) of the other ‘soul’ format synths they have announced?

    4. I agree. This is a small synth with recallable CC control-over-all-parameters, preset saving, MIDI analogue monosynth, With some controls exposed… so far so good – it would be perfect for live. BUT they weirdly put it in a toybox and powered it with the hated microUSB. Which means it can never get used live.

      If it had a 9v input it could be hacked apart pretty easily and put in a 19″ U rack with a partner, but nobody loves hacking those on-board micro usb tracks. It takes real luck and skill. They die so easily.

    5. I like musical toys, as I find them fun and creatively inspiring.

      A Digital Audio WORKstation can sometimes feel like work rather than PLAYing an instrument.

      Not that I don’t like software, or monster synths, or keyboards, or iPads, or various other instruments, synths, and pieces of technology. But there’s certainly a place in my studio and life for fun musical gadgets.

      I do wonder whether these fun gadgets will ever see the light of day though.

    6. While it’s not 1U, they have the rack mountable “Model D”, and the Poly D keyboard. They are both robust. I suppose you could keep a couple spares if used for touring. Check out

  3. Behringer is flooding the market with inexpensive synths….time will tell if they become a success or failure! Money talks…..criticism walks. There is a world full of those with less than more….

    So what if the Model D Soul doesn’t have one knob per function. This config doesn’t make it any worse or better. There are quite a few synths out there where knobs and buttons serve dual purposes…..

    Uli did say he wanted to design/manufacture synths for less ……he’s doing it!!

    The Model D Soul like the other 9 are going to sell….

      1. gadi – 3 oscillators, one set of controls – somehow the controls must be shared, don’t you think?

        As the post says, they’d need to have three times as many controls for it to be a one knob per function design.

        Behringer hasn’t shared a demo, so Synthtopia’s probably having to read between the lines of their announcement a little. But it would be a really dumbed-down design if it didn’t let you tune the oscillators individually, etc.

          1. “the left knob at the OSC section is probably a detune and the LFO do audio rates”

            If you can’t control individual oscillator tuning on this, that means that you can’t do a lot of classic Minimoog sounds. Realistically, it may be wishful thinking to think that a tiny synth like this can do what the Behringer D can do.

            1. You can get the same results you will get from two individual tuning knobs with one detune knob. The LFO have rate knob that controls the tune on audio rate, So same as the original

    1. Minor nit-pick: you can’t “flood the market” until you have inventory with retailers. This is all pie-in-the-sky stuff until Behringer can run its production lines and distribution channels (2023, 2024? Who knows…).

  4. Right now they seem more interested in the imaginary end of the market. This is quite a lineup of “Swear to God we will make these someday” products.

    When they say it is “based on” a Mini Moog, It reminds me when I see a film that is “based on actual events”. Later on you do a little research and discover that they got the names of the people right, and maybe the year it happened. But almost everything else was nonsense.

    It’s Behringer. It’s nonsense. Hope this helps.

  5. The keypads on these things look like the ones on the yamaha keyboard i found at the thrift store that had clearly been owned by a chainsmoker for at least a decade.

  6. So it saves sequences but not presets?! I understand that this thing has a sandwiched pcb and that’s why you have those low piano keys, also they are needed for multiple functions. But these new toy synth are ugly as a fiat multipla.

    1. ooh, that’s a very good point, it could have presets too. And you could via a software librarian, if it’s really all controllable via sysex/nrpns as they say.

      @Synthhead Sorry to weigh in but in the text you first say “unofficial copy”, but then later that it “does not copy … as closely”. I’d argue that these dinky little things aren’t really copies per se. (And it remains to be seen whether they sound anything like the originals.)

      1. MrMidi

        Thanks for your comment.

        There are all types of copies – some are good, some are bad, some are cheap, some are expensive, some are official, some aren’t.

        When Behringer says that this is “Based on the classic MiniMoog from the 1970s”, it’s clear that the Model D Soul is some type of copy of the Minimoog. And it’s unofficial, because it’s a copy of a third party’s product.

        Since the Model D Soul replaces the analog pots and controls of the original Minimoog with encoders, it’s obviously a cheaper and less accurate copy than the Behringer D. Basically, it’s a Minimoog-style monosynth keyboard, but designed to be as cheap as possible.

        It sounds like you’re suggesting, though, that there comes a point where a copy is so bad or so cheaply done that it can’t really be compared to the original.

        Where do you draw that line, though? This is subjective – you’d have to decide for yourself. Some people are going to buy the Model D Soul, because it copies the Minimoog closely enough to meet their needs. Others are going to consider the Model D Soul a joke.

        What’s not subjective is that Behringer says that they’ve copied the Minimoog’s circuits, they’ve copied the look of the Minimoog, they’ve copied the Minimoog ‘Model D’ moniker and so on.

        Behringer explicitly states that the Model D Soul is “Based on the classic MiniMoog from the 1970s”. So it’s accurate to say that it’s a cheap, unofficial copy of the Minimoog – and this aligns with how Behringer markets it.

            1. I mean did they confirmed the knobs have multiple functions? If one of the knobs is the OSC detune and the LFO is the third OSC The only thing seems missing from the list of features is the second ENV.

              My Waldorf have analog pots, definitely not encoders. I guess it’s internal processor convert the resistance of the pots to digital. It’s the same with some of the newer Moog’s and I guess many others

              1. gadi – nothing has been confirmed or demo’d on this.

                What you are describing, though, sounds like a type of encoder – because there’s a layer of abstraction between the knob position and the digital setting for that knob within the synth. There are both absolute and relative encoders. With absolute encoders, the knob position represents an absolute value. With relative encoders, knob motion represents a change relative to the current setting.

                Behringer has not gone into detail on this, but “NRPN/CC control of all parameters” requires that control of the synthesizers settings has to be abstracted from analog pots in the signal path.

                1. Yes, I meant if they specify this in the press release.
                  It may considered working like encoders but i recently replaced the pots on my Waldorf Pulse. The pot’s are Analog, Linear Audio Type 10kOhm Alpha PTV111.

                  1. gadi – the question is whether your analog pots are directly in the audio or control voltage signal path in your synth, or if the pot outputs are digitized and the digitized values control your synth.

                    If your synth has any type of patch recall, it means that the analog pots are getting digitized.

                    People seem to be really confused about this idea. When the Behringer D was introduced, some people complained that it didn’t have patch memory. But it’s impossible to have patch memory without digitizing your control settings.

        1. Thanks for your reply synthhead and thanks for all your hard work on this site.

          Some Behringer Moog products verge on “passing off” in that they could be mistaken for a Moog product (but obviously the lawyers have checked it all and it’s legally above board). I initially thought this wasn’t in that vein. But actually maybe you’re right, if Moog would reissue an odd volca-shaped synth with slightly questionable design it might look something like this.

          I actually don’t mean to be too derogatory about this new line, and full midi cc control could be very interesting. Although as I think I’ve made clear in the past, I would cringe at buying something with this knock-off kitsch.

          Maybe some people read about the dinner plates commemorating the UK Queen’s “Platinum Jubbly”. It’s not disimilar.

  7. This has to be one of the most hideously designed synthesizers ever! What on earth were they thinking? They got almost everything wrong!

  8. I guess Behringer decided not to build the Kobol and repurpose the knobs. The 3 knobs are located on the rotary switches.

  9. Personally, I like these usb powered “toys”. I can grab a handful of gear, throw it in a bag and hike up a mountain to jam out in nature. It’s the ultimate snobbery to shit on affordable, accessible gear just because your bank account allows you to indulge in vintage pieces. I own a classic, American made Gibson J45, a slightly post-war Gretsch New Yorker and a left-handed koa wood Carvin DC127 but i won’t sneer at someone playing a Squire or an Epiphone. Grow up- no one is impressed.

    1. ‘Grow up’?

      It’s kind of hard to take your comments as anything but the rantings of a delusional hipster when you talk about going up the mountain with your man-bun to ‘jam out in nature’.

      We’ve seen this on Youtube, and like you say, ‘no one is impressed’.

      It’s the ‘ultimate snobbery’ for you to shit on other people’s perspectives, when yours are no better.

      1. Actually, I live in the mountains and my wife suffers from PTSD which makes her very sensitive to sounds, so I tend to go do my thing and give her space. Wow, dude. You are really something. Have a nice evening and I’m sorry I triggered you.

        1. Sorry if my response seemed harsh.

          But you are the one that said that anyone who doesn’t like this ‘toy’ (as you described it) needs to ‘grow up’. Do you really think it’s ‘the ultimate snobbery’ just to want something better than a plastic toy for making music with?

          I’m only pointing this out because you are entitled to your opinion, and strongly worded opinions. But that opinion isn’t going to be right for everybody and it’s not one I agree with.

          Also – very sorry that your wife has PTSD. You never know what other people on the Internet are dealing with, so I don’t mean to piss on your day.

          It sounds like you’ve figured out a way to support her and work around it, so kudos to you for that.

          This could a simplistic suggestion, but could you explore making some music at home that would help sooth or relax your wife? I know that music therapy is a tool that’s been used to help people with PTSD, because music can mask noises that might otherwise be triggering.

          You have a nice evening, too.

          1. Actually, I make ambient music at home just for her (yeah, hipster, whatevs) but sometimes I want to make noisy, harsher stuff so I either hike up into the park near my house or get in my van and drive out in the woods.
            Sometimes people just make a post without wanting to tell their life story or write a novel. I was just trying to address the attitude among some posters that since a classic synth exists, any cheaper thing inspired by that machine is junk or not worthy of being produced. That way of thinking seems a bit elitist and immature to me. Music is supposed to be fun and some folks are way too serious about it.
            Thank you for your reasoned response- that’s a rare thing on the internet these days.

  10. So this is kinda like the Roland SE-02, but smaller? Parameter stepping will be a concern, especially if cutoff is just a 7-bit CC control.

    1. The se-02 is closer to the se-01 which is a voyager not D.. the only reason I sold my se02 was those tiny-ass knobs.. the se-01 I highly recommend

  11. Eventually,those small and affordable synths,will be everywhere,like it or not.
    Good thing is everyone could afford this and I won’t hesitate to buy one for my little kid.
    Bad thing. is, everyone will be able to have access to those vintage sounds so it won’t be a luxurious thing of one not doing good music because the lack the gear.
    No excuses left!!
    Instead of complaining, why not try and make some unique music with these toys!
    Unfortunately in the capitalistic world we live in, prices have an ultimate effect on us all,rich or poor.

  12. The only thing that worries me about what Behringer is doing is the amount of electronic waste it will generate in the near future. These devices do not appear to be very sustainable.

    1. Any other big brand’s electronic waste and pointless products are fine, on the other hand? I really can’t reply to that.

  13. If you pay some attention to the panel (particularly the knob at the top left corner) you will realize, no matter what Behringer is saying, this is not a mini Model D as much as a Volca Keys rip-off using Model D components.

    Which is pretty much interesting to me, I must say.

  14. I’m starting to get the impression that these are like Empire Studios movies, make a poster and see what gets interest, then make the film.

    These looks so cheap and horrible, and quickly knocked up tbh, and no demos, I’m wondering if any of these actually exist or if its just to drum up internet posts about Behringer 🙂 And see which one is the most popular and see if they can actually put that one into production.

    These seem borderline disposable, which I just cant get behind in this day and age.

  15. looks good. might get one. A quick word to those criticising people who don’t mind behringer…. you probably came from guitars to electronics.

  16. I don’t see how this is better than an iPad app or VST. To me, the appeal of analog gear is at least as much about the analog interface as the circuitry that produces the sound. This just does not seem fun to use, but I would be happy to be wrong.

  17. So it looks nothing like a mini moog, has different controls and a membrane keyboard, a sequencer and midi. Apart fro that this “knock-off” is almost Identical. Except for the price, of course. Wish something like this had been around when I was 15.

  18. Behringer can’t excite me with these announcements any more. Here in the US all of their mini synths are still backordered. Any time I see this kind of thing I know it will be unobtainium for at least 6 months, probably more like 12-18. Their distribution is so poor I basically ignore their press as hype these days.

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