UPDATE: Since this post went live, Uli Behringer has issued a (now-deleted) apology in the wake of the fierce backlash against this video. Find out more here.
Erm… Not entirely sure what’s going on but Behringer appears to be taking a swipe at synthesizer snobs with a weird but funny video introducing the KIRN Corksniffer synthesizer. Update – the video has been pulled, comments below.
Oh, I get it. Behringer is having a go at those people who reject Behringer clones by insisting that a synth is not just about the sound or the components, but it’s about the feel, the sense of history and, of course, the smell. Because you can sense the authentic vintageness of a synthesizer via the tickling of your nasal cavity.
So in this video you have a dribblingly thick French accent describing how they sourced the cork knobs from vintage wines to ensure that it smells as authentic as possible. It then has suitably smelly controls such as Smelly, Corked, Cat Pee and Acidity. Is that funny?
The “Chateau Neuf du Piere” seems to refer to a fictitious wine region in France – but maybe it doesn’t really need this level of analysis.
It’s been pointed out to me that this could be personally directed at Peter Kirn of the online news site CDM. He’s has been critical of Behringer products and the way they do business but reading through some of his articles he’s never personal, he’s only ever talking about his view of their products which is what you’d expect from an industry professional. He raises the same questions and makes the same points as I do when writing about Behringer synths. So if this is a personal attack against a particular critic then it very quickly, in my view, becomes less funny and more unpleasant and disturbing. If I was more directly critical of Behringer would I find a caricature of my face on a parody of a synth?
I guess the question is what’s the point of this sort of behaviour? Does this video make you feel more sympathetic to Behringer or less? If you were previously critical of clones do you feel convicted and now want to change your view? Or are they just having a laugh?
Who knows. It’s all got a bit childish really.
Update: Behringer has pulled the video. Facebook acts as if it never existed. Twitter is full of angry comments and allegations of anti-semitism. Good job Behringer, looks like you aced that one (sarcasm). I guess we have to put this one down to being the weirdest misjudged marketing move in the history of music technology. Personally I hope they go further and issue some kind of acknowledgment of their questionable judgement and an apology to Peter Kirn. Whatever the relationship is between Peter and Uli I think it was all a bit uncalled for.