Behringer’s latest social media move: reveal a blurry photo of someone holding what looks like an SH-101, with the moniker MS-101.

That’s right, it’s almost like Behringer decided on “808 day” as Roland came out with an SH-101 reissue to tease an SH-101 reissue. Possibly a monophonic, larger, original keytar form factor version with one voice instead of four. One Reddit reader suggested possibly MS stands for “Mind Sausage,” an answer to the earlier Deepmind.

Anyway, Behringer are throwing these teasers out to get us in the press to speculate. So let’s speculate.

What’s on earth is going on in this scene?

Possibilities:

Certainly, the office setting suggests this:

The handle is something the SH-01A does indeed lack:

Also possible:

I, uh, expect it’s none of those things, but I’m standing by that four-voice mode, compact size, and battery power, so buzz off.

Oh, and… it’s not MS-101 so much as “LOL-SW” upside down, innit?

Behringer, bravely reminding the industry not to get caught up on cheap cloned reissues from the pa– hey, wait a second here.

  • You could have included some comments about the picture/synth: It has a additional slider in the mixer section (for an additional waveform?). It also has a row of 8 new buttons (maybe pattern select or easier step sequencing?) And three new knobs (what could they be?)

    Also: Behringer/CoolAudio re released the vco chip originally used in the sh-101: CEM3340 So a 101 clone makes totally sense.

    • Right – I’m guessing preset selection, actually, and then a second oscillator. And yes, probably indeed CEM chips … though Behringer aren’t the only game in town for that any more.

    • Jaybeeg

      “Chinese manufacturer copies legendary Roland synth with an additional slider and 8 new buttons and teases it on the day Roland releases their own updated version” doesn’t make very good editorial copy.

      Behringer is taking advantage of the reputation of classic instruments such as Roland’s SH-101 and the Minimoog Model D to sell cheap copies. They are repeat offenders; the company has a history of being sued by major manufacturers for copying their designs and innovations.

      They do this repeatedly because it is cheap and low risk to reverse engineer someone else’s popular design. However, that doesn’t it ethical and it’s a dubious business practice. Whether or not Moog and Roland take legal action, these instruments are intellectual property theft. They most certainly duplicate someone else’s electronic design as well as the look and feel of the original.

      • lambdoid

        It’s not intellectual property theft as the patents have expired, so it’s perfectly legal(and ethical) for them to do so. People have been crying out for Roland to re-release their old analogue stuff for decades, but they continue to put out inferior digital versions if you’re lucky. Behringer have stepped up to the plate where Roland have missed numerous opportunities to revive its legendary rep from the 80s and 90s.

        If you steal a physical thing, one person is deprived of that thing. If you steal an idea, two people have it and can both improve on it. IP is not the same thing as physical property thank goodness Imagine if the guy who invented the wheel had an army of patent trolls preventing anyone else from using it.

        • Jaybeeg

          This would be a case of trade dress infringement, which has nothing to do with patents. Think of trade dress as the visual impression of a product — its shape and colour, graphics and typography and overall design.

          Imagine that a company decides to get into the watch market. They don’t have a huge advertising budget, so they need to launch with a successful product. The desigers look around at timepieces and decide to make a copy of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual wristwatch.

          The new company produces a device that looks and functions just like the Rolex, but at a fraction of the cost. And they cheekily name it the Newcompany Perpetua, giving a nod to the source of their inspiration.

          Rolex sues Newcompany, claiming that the Perpetua is simply a copy of their famous design and Newcompany is attempting to take advantage of the Rolex brand’s style and market recognition.

          When the case goes to trial, the court will examine three issues:

          1. Whether the product is “de jure” functional. In other words, whether a product *has* to have a specific design to perform its function.

          2. Distinctiveness. Does the product have a common basic shape or design, or is their something unique or special that makes it stand out (two that come immediately to mind are the curve of a Porsche 911, the distinctive grill of a Jeep)

          3. Likelihood of confusion (which doesn’t mean copying, actual confusion or even direct competition). It’s doubtful that someone is going to think that a $99 Newcompany Perpetua watch is *actually* a genuine Rolex, but the customer is drawn to it because it looks and functions like a Rolex.

          The whole idea is to ensure that copycats can’t leverage the hard work behind successful companies and products to gain market standing that they wouldn’t have if the successful product did not exist.

    • Pop

      The Roland IR3109 filter IC is also a big part of the sound of the 101 though. If wonder if Behripoff also cloned that..

      • I don’t think so. It’s not that easy and cheap to copy a chip. They copied the Curtis chips as it got used in a huge amount of synths (Moog, Oberheim, Roland, Prophet). The IR3109 got only used in the Juno, Jupiter and 101/202.

        • Pop

          Im aware of what it was used in : ) Im just curious what Behringer may have done to approximate it, as it is a key part of the sound. Some folks claim the same can be achieved using LM13700’s. Im not so sure myself, but each to their own.
          Guess we’ll have to wait ‘n see huh..

  • -She’s deeeeaaad!
    -She’s not dead.

  • jm2c

    Well I will still gladly support behringer “ripping off” from these two manufs if it means I can haz the og analog sound with MIDI. The original manufs could have done this too but didn’t, what they did feels more like a money grab to me tbh. Moog adding heavy moog tax and LOLAND giving us a fricken VST plugin ffs

    • Pop

      Again in English?