Behringer Accused Of "Copying" Arturia With New Synth SWING

Behringer faces controversy again in 2020.
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Arturia & Behringer SWING & Keystep

SWING & Keystep side by side

Behringer has been accused of copying Arturia’s Keystep with their latest release, the SWING.

The 32-key MIDI controller from Behringer comes with the two pitch and modulation touch-strips, onboard arpeggiator and 64-step sequencer that you see on Keystep. It also has largely the same buttons, switches and knobs, which are labeled the same and are in pretty much the same position.

Behringer has been slammed by fans, music publications alike for this.

Arturia initially responded with a tweet that simply said “seriously?”

Arturia’s CEO and co-founder, Frédéric Brun, wrote on the Simply Synthesizers Facebook Group via Music Tech to clarify things about SWING. “This product is in no way the result of a partnership between Arturia and Behringer. We have worked hard to create the _Step range. We have invested time and money to imagine, specify, develop, test and market the KeyStep. Along with our distributors, we have been evangelizing this product, placing it in stores, explaining it, servicing it.”

“Of course we accept competition, and would absolutely understand that Berhinger give their own interpretation of a small and smart controller that would also be a sequencer. Others do, we have no problem with that and see good for the customer, as well as for the industry, in fair competition.”

He closes the post with: “But this is not fair competition here. Coco Chanel once said: ‘If you want to be original, be ready to be copied.’ So we could in a way consider the Swing as a compliment. We could. In any case, thank you, everyone who came out and supported us these past 36 hours! It’s been very helpful, very much appreciated.”

They are similarly priced. Behringer has yet to respond.

Behringer is no stranger to controversy. The company has come under fire in the past for cloning hardware from other companies. They also released an anti-Semitic parody video earlier this year attacking a music tech journalist who had been at time critical of the company.

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