Does Behringer plan to clone the entire Mutable Instruments line?
That’s the question raised by their latest introductions – a pair of Eurorack modules that are clones of recently retired designs by Mutable Instruments.
The first module, ‘Chaos‘, is based on the Mutable Instruments Marbles.
Marbles is described as a ‘random sampler’, and has a variety of features, designed to bring an element of randomness into your patches.
- Master clock
- Two-channel random rhythm generator
- Random voltage generator
- Quantized or smooth… CV Post-processor
- Programmable quantizer
- Output diversity
- Random looping and shuffling
- External CV processing
Ripples is an analog multi-mode filter that offers two inputs, one transparent and clean, and one with a drive control that can saturate and distort incoming signals. It features high pass, low pass, and band pass filter outputs. The band pass and low pass outputs are switchable between two and four-pole operation, giving two flavors of cutoff slope. The resonance setting sets the slope of the high pass filter.
Ripples can self-oscillate at higher resonance settings, and tracks 1v/oct over four octaves. Increasing resonance doesn’t cause the output volume to drop like some analog filters.
The low pass filter output passes through a final output VCA, so it can be used similarly to classic East-coast low-pass gate modules.
Is Behringer cloning the entire Mutable Instruments line?
The latest introductions suggest that Behringer may be planning to clone the entire Mutable Instruments line.
If they do, it won’t be the first time that they’ve copied a competitor’s line wholesale. Recent examples include their ‘Boogerfooger’ knockoffs of the Moog Moogerfoooger line and their copies of classic Roland synths and drum machines.
Something that’s different here, though, is that Mutable Instruments has released their module designs as open source projects.
Mutable has released their hardware designs using a Creative Commons license (cc-by-sa-3.0), which basically requires three things:
- Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
- ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
- No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
Mutable Module firmware is also released under open source licenses. Details are available at their Github page.
This is the third Behringer clone of a Mutable Instruments module and it looks like the company is taking a systematic approach to these copies.
The two new modules follow an earlier Behringer Mutable Instruments clone, Brains, their take on MI’s Peaks Eurorack module. The new modules use the same panel style that Behringer introduced with Brains, using the same color scheme, fonts, etc. Their recently announced XAOC Batumi knockoff uses the same look, which confuses the issue.
Behringer has not explicitly announced plans to copy the Mutable Instruments line, but typically their plans are revealed through product introductions, vs announcements.
The Brains module is currently available. Details on pricing and availability for the two newly introduced modules are still to be announced.
Do you think Behringer is planning an entire line of Mutable Instruments clones? Share your thoughts in the comments!