(Update (24/11/20): Behringer has now had its say in a blog post titled 'Competition. The Facts.')
We wondered how Arturia was going to feel about Swing, a new MIDI keyboard/sequencer from Behringer that appears to be a 1:1 clone of its KeyStep controller, and the answer is… not great.
In a statement, Arturia co-founder and CEO Frédéric Brun said: “We have been informed on Sunday November the 22nd of the upcoming release of a new product called Swing, by Behringer.
“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 Behringer 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.
“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.
“In any case, thank you, everyone who came out and supported us these past 36 hours! It's been very helpful, very much appreciated.”
Behringer has made a habit of bringing back out-of-production synths and drum machines over the past couple of years, but Swing is something different - a doppelganger for a product from another company that’s still very much available.
Arturia has also alluded to the controversy on its Facebook page, posting an image of the Swing with the word “Seriously?” beneath it.