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.
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?
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.
- Swing vs KeyStep: Behringer, Arturia