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Behringer Swing

Behringer Swing  ·  Source: Behringer

Swing appears to be Behringer’s version of the Arturia KeyStep but in black, with slightly different knobs.

Better than the real thing?

You kinda hope for a difference, a reinterpretation, evolution or some kind of design decision that permits you to believe that Behringer did more than simply copy someone else’s current product. But no, it’s identical down to every key, button, connection and even the dip switches on the back. What’s the point of this?

Most people can get behind the idea of resurrecting old vintage gear and synthesizers to give us the opportunity to enjoy sounds and instruments that are otherwise lost to time. But a blatant 1-to-1 copy of a current competitors product just seems downright rude. The MIDI controller market is crowded and there’s no doubt that many of them do the same thing – MIDI control, sliders, pads and transport. But they all place a different spin on things because each company (one assumes) wants to have a sense of ownership over their own product lines. The KeyStep is a bit different because it includes CV/Gate outputs which makes it perfect for a little modular setup. As Behringer has been getting into the Eurorack game then it makes sense for them to release some kind of controller for it but why copy someone else’s product and then try to pass it off as new and exciting in their marketing video (below). I just don’t get it.

Swing vs KeyStep

Swing vs KeyStep

There must be creative people at Music Tribe who could have redesigned it to be uniquely Behringer. Although the thing that has become “uniquely Behringer” is that they don’t give a monkeys and will copy whatever they like.

Maybe I’m just old fashioned enough to believe that products should reflect the character and personality of your company. That innovation and originality count for something. Breathing new life into old synthesizers counts for something too and Behringer has done some amazing work in this regard. So why does this feel so wrong? Maybe because it looks like this exists purely to cannibalise on someone else’s ideas and profits. Why not just do something different?

I guess it’s €10 cheaper – is that different enough?

Swing

I’m usually here to report the news and tell you about new products. I apologise if I’m failing to do that on this occasion but if you really want to know about the Swing you can read all about it on the Arturia website.

More information

  • Behringer Swing page.
  • More from Behringer.

Video



40 responses to “Behringer clones Arturia’s KeyStep with Swing MIDI/CV controller and sequencer”

  1. Wave Strike says:

    They Keystep Pro in black would sell out in seconds. If Arturia want to sell, they will make a black one. They don’t want to sell it. This business is strange.

  2. Rdep says:

    Pretty unbelievable – glad you’re calling it out. It’s gone from cloning to breaking and entering.

    • David says:

      I agree, Behringer are a great company and I love their recent products. However, seeing the Swing controller appears to be a copy of the Arturia keystep, which I own myself, surely Copywrite infringement is in doubt?

  3. Markus says:

    Yeah, this is just tacky. Not sure why patent / copyright laws don’t cover this kind of blatant thievery but Behringer and Harely Benton are shameless. Recently picked up the excellent Keystep 37. And even as a jazz lover, I’d never considered a product with such a silly name as Swing, even an original one.

    • Voikimov says:

      My beatstep is also made in China check for example aliexpress and search for usb keyboards and you find exact the same Arturia keyboards under another name . They are all made in the same company .

    • Ray says:

      They really need to stop all this “cloning” and start getting original. I mean, as it is, their stuff is pretty garbage, and I’m sure they know that, that’s why they keep trying to clone things to get people to buy it because no one buy their stuff. Arturia is king!!

      • Paul Boos says:

        I’m not sure I’d call their stuff garbage per se and there is some need to fill the market for older gear not on the market and that has little likelihood of being remade. (Disclaimer: the only thing I have made by Behringer is a preamp for the mic I use for my sax. It is well made and does the job.)

        To make all these clones though, they have to have talented people. Why not let them have some fun and create a Behringer original?

  4. Simy says:

    Agreed and good call out on this. Why on earth would they clone an already excellent product also priced very well ?!?!? WTF Behringer ?!?!

  5. Voikimov says:

    The Arturia’s are maybe made in the same Chinese fabric 😉

    • fastlanestranger says:

      This has nothing to do with the factories responsible for the fabrication of these products. Literally nothing.

      • William Shakespear says:

        But it does. If Arturia is just sticking their logo on a generic Chinese thing, why is it in such bad taste for Behringer to do the same?

      • David Carrington says:

        A long time ago my setup needed a keystep. So I got the Keystep.I later needed a Moog and then a Digitakt.I never needed a Behringer. So I never got one.The end…..

  6. Horbl says:

    Gearnews mad!
    Why the midi better even than that!!
    Gearnews cry!
    The best product for better than midi even than that!!!
    Gearnews cry like raining

  7. Ld says:

    I think behringer’s policy is to make clones of the best keyboards ever, old or new, and the arturia keystep is one of them

  8. Roman Kendall says:

    There should be exactly ZERO people surprised by this move on Behringer’s part. Tasteless, crass copy-cat money-grab just like the overwhelming majority of their synth product line. Target audience are people who are happy that is cost $10 less than the original and care little about anything other than that. Nothing to see here – moving on.

  9. TDV says:

    Behringer are shameless. Appreciate it being called for what it is.

  10. Odd marketing strategy.

    Behri get wants us to beg them to make an original product if theirs.

    Maybe they are hoping that the day this product will come everybody will be praising them and buying it I don’t know.

    The only company I know of kinda succeeding in this type of strategy is Samsung originally ripping iPhones then actually making something of theirs.

  11. Mike says:

    My guess is some Chinese company sells the same product to Arturia and Behringer, so they can slap their brand names on it. I never was sold on the KeyStep, so I’m not sold on the Swing, either. Offer a a CS-80, Jupiter-8, or OB-X clone, and then we’re talking!

    • Koshdukai says:

      Before writing something on the internet for anyone to read for all eternity, make some research. Arturia designed and developed all the Beat/KeyStep line themselves and obviously (like most of the world) then handles the manufacturing under contract to a Chinese company specialized in producing these products (just like Apple does, etc), but under the supervision of Arturia QC technicians.
      Also, Behringer has their own “city-sized factory” in China. Google it.

  12. Will says:

    They did make an Arturia KeyStep in black – I have one!

  13. iixorb says:

    Maybe there is an agreement between the two companies?? This ‘sometimes’ happens if there is some mutual benefit they’ve identified together. Although I can’t see what that could be right now.

    Perhaps Behringer think it’s fair game; Arturia have been ‘cloning’ or at least ‘recreating’ classics for years through their VST offerings – as far as I know without the blessing of the original manufacturers.

    Maybe Behringer are testing the landscape to see how far they can push patents and copyrights on current equipment – and Arturia perhaps are perceived as an easier/ weaker opponent than a giant like Roland or Yamaha??

    Will be fascinating to see how this runs.

  14. Will says:

    As I read somewhere else, y’all are in for a rude awakening when you realize how many Stratocaster clones are made.

    • Koshdukai says:

      What’s funny is that while copying 1:1 a product, Behringer is both insulting their own R&D dept (because they were unable to come up with something better) and at the same time praising Arturia’s R&D capabilities.

      It’s just a sad move by Uli. They have so much potential, such a huge manufacturing capability in China but still resort to do this.
      I’m game for the kind of vintage revival cloning they’ve been doing of hard to get synths where they usually do their own spin on it, making them euro-rack friendly but this provocative 1:1 copy of an already affordable, still available product was totally unnecessary and just a very sad move by Uli.

  15. Sonoteka says:

    Wow, that’s just… Hmmm

  16. Daniel says:

    It has now been stated by the developer that the Keystep is an original design. I really wonder where the weird comments here about standard China (even Ali Express) imports come from. Do we now have trolls here like in political forums – this time paid by Uli and not by Putin?

    What is the point of all this?

    Did they even clone the firmware? I mean the button functions of the original are not 100% perfect and could be just enhanced just to make it different. Come on.

    Someone at Behringer found this would be a good idea. Noone at Behringer thought this would be a bad idea. Cloning a System 100 or Moog Modular in Eurorack in one thing and makes sense, but this is really just offensive.

    I thought it couldn’t get any worse after the stuff with mocking Peter Kirn (and registering his name a brand just to ANNOY him), which already made me take an oath to never ever buy Behringer gear.

  17. polo says:

    I bought CRAVE, the original Beringer synth. But later I had mixed feelings when I learned that it was a substantial clone of the Mother-32.

    There is value in reproducing a classic from the past at an affordable price. Just as other companies recreate the classics of the past in software, they have only done so in hardware and it does not harm the originator’s profits. In fact, I think they even increased the value of the original product.

    But I’m very reluctant to copy the current product. And it’s not even the appearance of the original, like CRAVE.

    I just think something about them has been paralyzed.

  18. Maximilian says:

    But then Behringer has to work on their midiclock sync. Because that’s where the keystep excels and all Behringers currently suck at.

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