The Clone War - Behringer. Good or Bad?

Also responding to a very good and now deleted post by @obscurerobot.

Music Tribe’s engineering is very good in cost reduction, in design and especially in manufacture. They have also cut down stream costs, like with the way they have aligned their retail distribution.

Cost reduction engineering strangely adds to the upfront expenses, but again can decrease total expenses with volume.

They also have a cost calculation model, that places a lower emphasis on profit, and more on growth which makes there prices lower.

A wider product base helps spread risk. Smaller makers have more risk if one of their two big products is a flop this year.

Also being across product lines helps with risk. If guitar products are off this year, but drum machines do well you’re covered. Commercial electronics can cover for personal buying being off.

Risk also is part of their product decisions. Predicting the sales for an RD-9 probably has less risk than a completely new but unknown by the consumer sort of product.


This is an unexpected update!


Not really, random dude makes unsubstantiated claim for views, random dude then admits mistake for more views.

Not exactly a “random dude”

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We should invent a word for people still trolling you even after you just conceded they were right

Behringer has a series of products either underway or on the market, for which there is likely to be a smaller sales volume. The Solina might be another, and certainly many of their new Eurorack products.

But some things to understand relative Behringer.

Their engineering and manufacturing capabilities permits them to produce a batch and move on efficiently to another product. This gives them volume by seamlessly blending the manufacture of a variety of different products.

They also make profit decisions differently. Their cost estimates are accurate enough, that they can safely set a very small profit margin, and so can get better volume from those lower prices.

So i imagine the product meeting where they give a new product idea the thumbs up / thumbs down, is based on a pretty low volume, maybe as low as 1000 units, certainly less than 2500 units. Lower volume will no doubt decrease a products priority, but they have a longer timeline than many, and will stick with a product.

The other thing to be aware is that Behringer is setting out to be number one in this market, and they are going to buy their way through to that goal. Even a break even is enough to launch a product when buying market share.



You can use this completely without wires. That’s basically what is new. That and the price.

The control arrangement resembles the Behringer more than the Arturia.

Key Features:

  • 64-step sequencer, with support for 8-note polyphony.
  • Connects wirelessly to up to four peripherals. For legacy MIDI hardware, CME also offers a MIDI-powered Bluetooth adapter.
  • 3ms latency between WIDI equipped devices
  • 65ft / 20m plain sight range between WIDI equipped devices
  • Add up to five (5) Bluetooth MIDI devices with group auto-learn
  • You can optimize for latency or jitter performance via WIDI App (iOS/Android)
  • Wireless charging. You can power & play the SWIDI on its charging station for eight hours of wireless use.
  • $79 USD. Available in May.

Is this an early April Fool’s, or the real thing ? I don’t know.

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Well speaking of vinyl have you seen what Jack White did recently regarding the market? Pretty cool,

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its real. wireless midi only. wireless charging. no DIN ports.

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Image from SynthAnatomy.

Apart from the product / brand logo i can’t see difference in the images. Even the setting position on the controls.

A real clone war. Is this it for CME ?

Haha, cloning Behringer isn’t a joke anymore. These guys actually did it!

i love this move by cme, trolling behringer, but can they get away with it? Behringer “changed” couple things to please the lawyers i guess, but the swidi is a replica with only a changed logo, i cant imagine cme wining a lawsuit on copyright stuff. But then again i have no idea of law, just my 2 cents

maybe CME has been a distribution by Behringer or from now on.

CME keyboards always had other brandings in the early days, especially the model with the little joystick

I guess the swing family is going to be rebranded all over the globe

You can’t copyright a midi keyboard so law is not an issue.

Maybe Behringer bought-in the manufacture of the Swing and didn’t word their exclusivity clause well? Seems weird because whoever does make the thing risks upsetting the large customer. The irony of Behringer having issue would be so ironic.

Or perhaps Behringer just bought CME?

Actually a very close copy can run into trouble legally with a part of trademark law called trade dress.

Trade Dress Wikipedia

This is about copies so close that they might mislead a buyer. This is probably related to the changes made by Behringer to differentiate the Swing from the Keystep.

Even the name Swi-di may push some buttons, relative the Swi-ng trademark.

All this is something to be decided if pressed through the legal process.

This seems like a safe space to say that the new Grandmother knock-off is just as egregious as their M32 and DFAM clones. For all I know (and hope) Moog aren’t too troubled and have a different & reliable customer base, but Behringer’s actions here seem indefensible to me - if they were creating original competitors, no problem, but effectively cloning and undercutting in-production gear is flat-out sleazy, and of course they know it and rely on it being a talking point.

I don’t expect my distaste to have any consequence or effect, and I think in general the best approach is to ignore these tactics, but it’s nice to have a place where I can get it off my chest without derailing the topic or triggering a riot.


not the concept midi keyboard, but the design. You cant manufacture a product which looks identical to one of a competitor and only exchange the brand.

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Not sure but are you referring to the Behringer Model 15 announcement ? If so i’ve put a little comparison up.

( post with more detail )

There are certainly resemblances like the colors and some of the knob arrangements and selection of functional parts.

Behringer seems to base their new Model 15 semi-modular on a condensation from their “System 55” Eurorack modules, which are based on the much older ( early 1970s ) and often copied Moog modular design.

They mashed a bunch of these together on one circuit board and moved the patch connections off into a matrix. Behringer also sells bundles of sets of their Eurorack modules, the 15, 35, and 55.

If this is the Grandmother “clone” that you refer to – it certainly is derivative, but i don’t see much that pushes it too far. ( Assuming there isn’t something that we can’t see that really crosses the line. Behringer has been pretty careful about those sorts of things. )

Certainly relative the Behringer Edge, Crave, and especially the Swing, which i feel crosses the line enough for me not to buy, the Model 15 seems fine.

I think it’s more apt to compare the original Grandmother color scheme:


They essentially just moved the patch points to the side. #innovation

I guess they did manage to make it look even worse, so credit where credit is due.


You can and it is done widely. Be it t-shirts, toothpaste, toasters etc etc

If there is nothing deemed ip in the B design (there isn’t) and no question of mistaken identity (on part of the consumer, when choosing between the products) then there is no issue regarding copyright.