Behringer Swing arp/sequencer MIDI controller is available now for pre-order for 79€ and it has now a new flipped “less Keystep” user interface
A real virtual clash between the fan camps occurred in the recent past when Behringer presented the Swing keyboard, a clone of the popular Arturia Keystep. Much has been discussed whether it is right or wrong to make this product. I think by now the readers of my website know my position on this product.
For everyone who is interested in the product, there are two news to report. Behringer made the design ready for series production and you can pre-order it now for 79€.
Swing is a keyboard arpeggiator and sequencer that almost completely adopts the concept of the first Arturia Keystep. It starts with the same 64-step sequencer with 8-note polyphony with rest, tie, and legato note entry. Then, you also get the chord play with up to 16 notes. Unlike the Keystep, it also includes functionalities like Tangerine Dream like ratcheting and random gate function with which you can enrich any sequence. Four sync options for the arp/sequencer are available and selectable via the front panel.
And yes, the front panel remains an issue even after the long discussions. If Behringer had given its Swing a completely different design, it would probably have been less of a media buzz. I’m pretty sure. Now it’s like that, but the series version got an interesting re-arrangement.
Many of their synthesizer customers have criticized the first design. Rightly so because it was extremely similar to the Arturia Keystep. Behringer has now reacted to this discussion and has run his Swing through the design machine again.
The series product now has a flipped user interface. In detail, the buttons (record, play, stop) have moved to the left and the knobs to the right. The functions that are triggered with the keys have also been flipped. So the MIDI channels are now on the far right and the rest on the left. They are the other way around on the original unit.
Further, they removed the golden slider on the left side. You can now activate the arp or sequencer with buttons. Pitch & mod touch strips are still there but they have lost the inscriptions on the inside. They have done quite a bit on the interface. A reaction in my opinion was necessary. However, it still remains a banal, unwelcomed rip-off of an existing product also with a re-arranged user interface.
On the backside, everything stays the same as discussed last November. Here you find CV/Gate outputs and sync in/out for controlling synths, drum machines, and other equipment. Also onboard is MIDI in/out, a sustain pedal input as well as class-compliant USB. Behringer’s clone also relies on micro USB, which was criticized by many in the original. In Keystep 37, Arturia replaced it with a USB-B, which was a good decision.
With the introduction of their upcoming free DAW, Behringer promises extra functionality for de Swing. It is not yet known what these will be.
More information here: Behringer
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