The ARP 2600, Octave’s The Cat, the Synthi VCS3, Korg MS-20, the Wasp, the 909, the 808, and more… it seems Behringer are going to make cheap versions of just about everything.

In placeholder product pages on their site, you’ll see a whole bunch of remakes of historic classics, from synths to drum machines, Synthi to Roland. Product images aren’t there yet, but a lot of these will ship as keyboard instruments.

Also, in what could disrupt the boutique-heavy modular market, Eurorack versions appear to be planned for many or all of these.

Products:

Synths and Samplers at Music Tribe

Drum Machines

Pricing and availability aren’t there, either, but the timing now suggests that NAMM is coming – and Behringer seem to be in the habit now of pre-empting rivals by teasing stuff before they announce it. (Whether that’s meant to take the wind out of the sails of rival press events, or spook competitors, or amp up would-be customers, or a combination, tough to know.)

Updated: It appears this was just a publicity stunt – that is, apparently a staged “bug” in the Behringer Website that left these products visible for the better part of yesterday.

In the meantime, most of what this does is to make the product roadmap mysterious. There was no mention on the site of the Behringer take on the Moog Model D – the analog clone promised by the company but still not shipping. And there are some other shakeouts in store for the industry. (There’s been a recent spat between Thomann, Music Group aka Behringer, and US retailers, it appears, which resulted in DeepMind synth products being dropped from Thomann.)

Behringer is a tough company to predict, but it seems at least plausible that they do plan to ship these products in Eurorack format, and it should also be possible to undercut the current small-quantity, big-margin, boutique approach of those manufacturers. The question is when and for how much.

The models:

Synthopia break down the synth side of this, bringing together specs and including some videos of the original models:
http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2017/12/13/behringer-teases-arp-2600-wasp-synthi-clones/

But there are drum machines there, too: 808, 909, “999,” an apparent Linn Drum clone (LMX) and Oberheim DMX (OMX here). Synthananatomy.com has a run-down of those:

http://www.synthanatomy.com/2017/12/the-next-bomb-has-burst-behringer-teased-5-new-analog-digital-drum-machines-lmx-omx-rd-999-rd-808-rd-909.html

Some of the product names get slightly scrambled, but others don’t.

Of course, this also means Behringer are now getting into remakes of products whose creators and original brands still exist – KORG, Roland, Roger Linn, Tom Oberheim, and so on. It’s not unexpected – they’ve got access to inexpensive analog filters and oscillators that exactly replicate the originals.

But it does suggest a shakeout is about to happen in the business, especially if these prices are disruptive. Will customers still be willing to pay more for independent makers (let alone other big brands)? Will the availability of cheap remakes make it tough to bring out new designs – or, alternatively, will it effectively mandate coming out with something new to compete?

For now, we’re in the position we so often are with Behringer: speculating, as the brand gets way ahead of everyone else with a teaser, long before the specifics of price and design emerge. And that seems to be part of the design.

But this story may not end here. It’s possible giants like Roland and KORG could find legal reason to go after Behringer, depending on how the products are presented. They might also find other mechanisms in marketing and sales to take action.

You’ll find specs on Behringer’s site. Let us know what you think.

ARP image (CC-BY) Rosa Menkman.

  • wetterberg

    Interestingly, I see no mention of their Model D clone, even though it’s supposed to hit the stores early 2018?

    I’m hoping this will mean that we can skip ahead a bit and look at innovation, moving forward, since we’re getting all the good shit out of the way.

    EDIT: Yeah, it absolutely looks like they’re going to do “Roland Boutique, but on euro-rails”. I completely support this format, holy hell.

  • Shmerdjee

    VCX3??!!! Good lawd.

  • Vytis Puronas

    A Synthi!!! I wonder how long it takes before Behringer start producing clones of Buchla 200 clones. 🙂 Cool developments, still.

  • Max

    I find this completely boring. I think it’s totally ok to get inspired from the past, but if you have nothing add, why do it?

  • R__W

    honestly i find this pretty cool. the actual vintage stuff is getting old enough so that if it breaks down it can be impossible to fix.

    i wonder if they are full analog or if they are using FPGAs

    • Nagasaki Nightrider

      If you’re looking to Behringer for durability or vintage quality, you’re going to be disappointed.

  • freqn

    CANNOT WAIT. Pre-ordered Model D which I plan to mod!!!!

  • Thomas Wayne

    I hope it does encourage innovation. While I don’t have a problem with reissues of classic gear, it’s often really expensive, and I wish there was more innovation. There are so many clones already of vintage hardware (both in hardware and software). Where’s all the new designs? I realize there are some, but it seems like I hear so much more about recreations than innovation the past few years.

  • Polite Society

    I was kind of wondering if anyone would license/copy the EMS/synthi line. I wish it had been Korg or a boutique, but I’m still interested.

  • Nagasaki Nightrider

    All I know is that every Behringer device I’ve had the misfortune to use in other’s studios was super noisy w/ shit EQ (mixer), immediately broke (MIDI controller), or had no discernible difference between most settings (FX unit). This stuff is cheap for a reason, people.

    The excitement over their Moog “clone” is baffling. Just because something has a faceplate in the style of a better synth doesn’t make it any good. Maybe some of this stuff won’t entirely suck, but it won’t sound like the originals or be built to last. But, hey, as long as it looks the part, right!

    • Do you hear any difference between the Model D and Moog?
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3pRiUSf_QFw

      They don’t just put the faceplate of a famous synth in front of some circuits. They have a huge team of synth nerds all trying to recreate circuits as good as possible. They sent the Model D to Moog nerds and fanboys as beta test to let them check if they sound exactly the same.

      • But it’s still not shipping. 😉

      • Nagasaki Nightrider

        I don’t base my judgements about sound quality on Youtube videos, but my point is that Behringer doesn’t have any credibility in this area. Based on what I’ve seen over 20 years of their other products, I have no reason to assume that they will deliver anything worth the hype. Moreover, the list of other more interesting synthesizers in that price range is long, so why not focus on supporting smaller companies with a proven commitment to making good instruments.

        As Peter has now reported, the list of new products that Behringer posted yesterday was not real, and their explanation that it was a “glitch” sounds like bullshit to me. Trademark infringement, anyone? In any case, why wait around for these dummies to prove themselves when we’re living in arguably the best time in history for synthesizers? There are already so many great products available from both small independent designers and larger, more mainstream manufacturers who aren’t fucking around with this vaporware bluster and actually shipping cool shit.

  • Freeks

    Behringer says its’s ”fake news”
    https://mobile.twitter.com/BEHRINGER/status/941134782863257600

    Damn! It was roo good to be true.

  • As a guy who owns 2 CAT SRMS, there’s nothing particularly legendary about them.

  • Alberto Martinez

    I don’t think Behringer will actually do this. It’s a ploy to discourage other companies from working on cloning historic synths. They did the same thing with the ARP when Korg were working on it. They ended up not going with it because Korg did a much better job than Behringer would have. Look at how long it’s taking Behringer to release the Moog Model D clone and that was announced at NAMM and we’re nearly a year on and that’s a pretty straight forward design compared to the other machines they’re claiming to be working. It will literally take them 25 years to get anywhere close to putting out that many machines their Behringer’s crappy R&D and then bugs….OMFG the deep mind is rife with bugs and Behringer simply don’t care about customer service. Good luck with that Behringer. I wish this were true though as i’d love all those synths recreated for everyone to enjoy but sadly it’s just crap.