With the SWING, Behringer has shown its answer to the Arturia Keystep, only in black and other knobs, it’s nothing more than a knockoff.
Behringer is currently one of the most active Synthesizer manufacturers. They are successful with cloning vintage Synthesizers in an affordable way. I think that’s good and I support it even if only to a certain degree. This is exceeded when it comes to current products that have nothing to do with the mission of resurrecting legendary synths from the past. Behringer did not invent vintage circuit cloning, many other even Boutique manufacturers do it
Musictribe, especially B likes to make all-round attacks against media and their work. But this did not stop us from busy reporting about their various clones. Yes, it sounds strange. But, on the one side, my readers are still interested in this topic, on the other the clones really sound great in my opinion. I try to approach the issues as objectively as possible, including those that polarize. But Behringer has once again shot the bird in terms of product releases.
Arturia has released the Keystep as an exclusive Black Friday edition. NO, it’s Behringer who blindly copied the entire design and functionalities of the Arturia Keystep without respect for the original designers (Arturia, Axel Hartmann…). It’s a blatant 1-to-1 copy without any innovations. The functions are identical: 64-step sequencer, chord mode, arpeggiator…
Not only that was adopted, but also the layout. Behringer made it black, gave it a few color changes, and some Moog-ish knobs. The SWING reminds me of the countless Louis Vuitton, iPhone, Samsung … fakes that you can buy dirt cheaply in China. Just with the big difference: Behringer presented it as big own product development and sells the SWING officially through dealers.
- 32 compact-sized keys featuring expressive velocity and after-touch functionality
- 64-step sequencer features 8-note polyphonic sequence with Rest, Tie, and Legato note entry
- Arpeggiator mode features, up, down, inclusive, exclusive, random, note order, double up and double down modes
- Chord Play Mode with single chord memory with up to 16 notes for extensive loops and long-playing samples
- Highly-reactive pitch and modulation touch-strips for extreme performance and creativity
- Performance control includes Rec, Play, and Stop buttons for the sequencer and arpeggiator
- Rate and Tap Tempo for real-time beat settings
- Endless sustain via hold button or through an optional sustain pedal (not included)
- shift function includes MIDI channel selection, gate time, swing values
- Connect with MIDI, CV/Gate, DIN Sync, and Sync I/O for ultimate control and flexibility
- Comprehensive USB/MIDI implementation to connect with your PC/Laptop
- Can be powered by Apple iPad* (via camera connection kit) or standalone DC Jack (not included)
I tolerate the vintage synthesizer clones from Behringer. Because many of them have not been built for a long time, often from companies that can only be found in the history books today or simply as they are traded via extraordinary prices on the second-hand market. What Uli and his team did here is a no go. I love talking to developers and about their new products. It’s about new ideas and innovations on how they can bring further the world of electronic music instruments.
The SWING is a bold copy, similar to the IK Multimedia iRig clones I reported on. Why Behringer, just why? Uli, you have the power, an own factory in China, and a huge number of talented employees. Why don’t you take the knowledge and develop new products from scratch? It’s just a shame that you dare to sell the Swing as a new and own product. Furthermore, Behringer asks $ 99/89 € for his Keystep knockoff, which is currently 10 € less than the original. Consequently, is it really a knockoff? It’s not really cheap at all but it feels cheap. So it’s not only shameless but also pointless.
Objectivity Vs Reality
Sorry Synth Anatomy readers, I try to be as objective as possible about products. It doesn’t work here. The SWING is not a new product. Arturia is the right owner and please do not support this product. Support the original developers, Arturia, and designers Design Box operated by Axel Hartmann. We learn one thing from this: Behringer copies without hesitation. The cliché “In China is all just stolen” unfortunately applies to that. A pity! And yes Behringer contacted me to test the MonoPoly, I think I can forget that now.
More information here: Behringer