Behringer

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Behringer
Typeprivate
Genreaudio equipment
Founded25 January 1989; 32 years ago (1989-01-25) in Germany
Key people
Uli Behringer (Founder and CEO)
ProductsAudio and lighting equipment, musical instruments
Number of employees
3,500
ParentMusic Tribe
Websitewww.behringer.com

Behringer is an audio equipment company founded by the Swiss engineer Uli Behringer on 25 January 1989, in Willich, Germany. Behringer was the 14th largest manufacturer of music products in 2007. Behringer is a worldwide, multinational group of companies, with direct marketing presence in ten countries or territories and a sales network in over 130 countries around the world.

Though originally a German manufacturer, it now manufactures its products in China. Behringer is owned by Music Tribe, a holding company chaired by Uli Behringer.[1]

History[edit]

Foundation and early development[edit]

Company founder, Uli Behringer, was born 1961 in Baden, Switzerland. Behringer's father was a church organist and nuclear physicist; his mother a pianist and interpreter; his uncle a professor of composition at the Richard Strauss Conservatory in Munich; and his aunt a classical singer and pianist. At the age of four, Uli Behringer started to learn piano.[2] When he was five years old, his father built his own church organ with over 1000 pipes and integrated them into the family home.[3] Behringer helped his father build the organ. At the age of 16, he built his first synthesizer, the UB1.[4]

Marketing, manufacturing, and acquisitions[edit]

While Behringer products were manufactured in Willich, Germany, many of the individual components were imported from mainland China. In 1990, to lower production costs, Behringer shifted production from West Germany to mainland China. Initially, subcontractors were engaged to produce the equipment. By 1997 Uli Behringer had relocated to Hong Kong to better supervise manufacturing quality.[5]

CoolAudio acquisition[edit]

The certified EMC testing facility in Behringer City

In May 2000, Behringer acquired the rights to the entire CoolAudio technology from Intersil Corporation, a US-based semi-conductor manufacturer specializing in integrated circuits for audio applications. The acquisition included an extensive intellectual property portfolio and licensees such as Alpine and Rowe, among others.[6]

Music Tribe City[edit]

In 2018, Music Tribe opened its own factory, Music Tribe City, in Zhongshan, Guangdong, China. The factory handles the production and distribution for Music Tribe's 12 brands, including Behringer products.[7]

Instruments[edit]

The Behringer RD-8 drum machine (top) is based on the Roland TR-808 drum machine (bottom).[8]

Since 2016, Behringer has become a manufacturer of synthesizers and drum machines, which includes original synths, but also many recreations of old classic synthesizers, chips and hardware.[9][10][11] Although some manufacturers such as Curtis are not happy about their products being cloned, Behringer has claimed that creating clones of older hardware is legal where the patents have expired.[10][12]

In 2016, they released their first commercial synths the Deepmind 12[13] and Deepmind 6. Shortly after they followed by the Deepmind 12D which was a desktop alternative to the Deepmind synths. The design of the Deepmind was inspired by the Roland Juno-106.[14][15] Their second original synth was the Neutron and their third was Behringer Crave, released in 2019. The Crave is an original semi-modular synthesizer based on the Roland TB-303.[16] Since 2018, Behringer has produced clones of synthesizers and drum machines including the Roland TB-303,[17] Korg Monopoly,[18] Arp 2600,[19][20] Arp Odyssey,[21] Roland TR-808, TR-909,[22][23] Roland SH-101,[24] Minimoog, Sequential Circuits Prophet-600[25][26] and EDP Wasp.[27]

Behringer is known for releasing their synthesizers at budget prices.[16][28][29]

Legal developments[edit]

FCC dispute[edit]

In February 2006, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined Behringer $1M,[30] issuing a Notice of Apparent Liability against Behringer, claiming that 50 of the company's products had not been tested for conducted and radiated emissions limits as required by US law,[31] and noting that Behringer continued to sell the products for a year after being notified.[30] Behringer's position was that they believed that since the units had passed stringent European CE standards, they would also comply with FCC verification requirements.[30] According to Behringer, it had overlooked the differences in testing standards and procedures under FCC and European requirements. The company has since implemented a complete UL certified safety and EMC testing laboratory under the UL Certified Witness Program, including in-house audits and global regulatory review systems.[32]

Legal cases[edit]

In June 1997, the Mackie company (now LOUD Technologies) accused Behringer of trademark and trade dress infringement, and brought suit seeking $327M in damages.[33][34] The claims were later rejected by the court. In their suit, Mackie said that Behringer had had a history of copying products by other manufacturers and selling them as their own.[35] The Mackie suit detailed an instance, in which Behringer was sued by Aphex Systems for copying the Aural Exciter Type F. In that case Aphex Systems won DM690,000.[35] The Mackie suit also mentioned similar cases filed by BBE, dbx and Drawmer.[35] On 30 November 1999, the U.S. District Court in Seattle, Washington, dismissed Mackie claims that Behringer had infringed on Mackie copyrights with its MX 8000 mixer, noting that circuit schematics are not covered by copyright laws.[36][37][38]

In 2005, Roland Corporation sued to enforce Roland's trade dress, trademark, and other intellectual property rights with regard to Behringer's recently released guitar pedals. The companies came to a confidential settlement in 2006 after Behringer changed their designs.[39]

In 2009, Peavey Electronics Corporation filed two lawsuits against various companies under the Behringer/Music Group umbrella for patent infringement, federal and common law trademark infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution and unfair competition.[40] In 2011 The Music Group filed a countersuit against Peavey for "false advertising, false patent marking and unfair competition."[41]

In 2017, Music Group filed a defamation lawsuit against Dave Smith Instruments, a Dave Smith Instruments engineer, and 20 Gearslutz forum users. The case was dismissed as a SLAPP lawsuit.[42][43]

Controversies[edit]

In March 2020, Behringer published a mock video for a synthesizer, the "KIRN CorkSniffer", which appeared to mock music technology journalist and synthesiser developer Peter Kirn. The video received criticism and accusations of using antisemitic imagery. Company founder Uli Behringer issued a response on Facebook, saying the video had been intended as "pure satire by our marketing department".[44] The apology was deleted the following day.[45]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Music rebrands its tribe". Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  2. ^ "Interview: Uli Behringer, seine Erfolgsgeschichte". AMAZONA.de (in German). 15 November 2009. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  3. ^ Note: Behringer's father had bought the organ from a church demolition in 1965.
  4. ^ "Interview & Reisereport: Uli Behringer 2019 in China". AMAZONA.de (in German). 8 May 2019. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  5. ^ Holder, Christopher. "NAME BEHIND THE NAME: Uli Behringer, Behringer Inc". AudioTechnology. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  6. ^ Holst, Cindy. "Behringer Acquires Rights to CoolAudio". Sound & Video Contractor. Future plc. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  7. ^ "MUSIC Tribe's New Manufacturing Facility Emphasises Transparency". Systems Integration Asia. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  8. ^ Sherbourne, Simon (January 2020). "Behringer RD-8 Rhythm Designer". Sound on Sound. SOS Publications Group. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  9. ^ "5 Popular Synths That Keep Going Down in Price". reverb.com. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  10. ^ a b Warwick, Oli (8 April 2017). "Attack of the clones: Is Behringer's Minimoog a synth replica too far?". Fact. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  11. ^ July 2020, Ben Rogerson07. "Behringer now has access to a 'synth on a chip', which could mean many more compact and affordable analogue polys". MusicRadar. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  12. ^ "Curtis chip company speaks out against vintage synth cloning". Fact Magazine. 22 March 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  13. ^ April 2017, Bruce Aisher 16. "Behringer DeepMind 12 review". MusicRadar. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Sonic LAB: Behringer DeepMind 12 Review". Sonicstate. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Behringer details wireless-enabled DeepMind 12 polyphonic synth". Fact Magazine. 1 August 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  16. ^ a b Deahl, Dani (1 February 2019). "5 of our favorite synths from NAMM 2019". The Verge. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  17. ^ "Behringer Readies TD-3 – Roland TB-303 Clone | FutureMusic the latest news on future music technology DJ gear producing dance music edm and everything electronic". futuremusic.com. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  18. ^ "Behringer MonoPoly ready for production". gearnews.com. 16 October 2020. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  19. ^ "Korg's ARP 2600 FS Should Not Be Overlooked | FutureMusic the latest news on future music technology DJ gear producing dance music edm and everything electronic". futuremusic.com. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  20. ^ "Behringer 2600 rolls off the production line, to cost $599!". gearnews.com. 19 October 2020. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  21. ^ "Behringer Odyssey Review". MusicTech. 9 September 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  22. ^ "Behringer gives us an update on the RD-9 drum machine". gearnews.com. 13 September 2020. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  23. ^ "Behringer Readies RD-8 Drum Machine For Holiday Delivery | FutureMusic the latest news on future music technology DJ gear producing dance music edm and everything electronic". futuremusic.com. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  24. ^ "Behringer MS-101 Review". MusicTech. 17 October 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  25. ^ "Behringer reveals the PRO-800: clone of Sequential Prophet-600 with no keys and extra voices". gearnews.com. 17 September 2020. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  26. ^ "Behringer Announces Poly D | FutureMusic the latest news on future music technology DJ gear producing dance music edm and everything electronic". futuremusic.com. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  27. ^ Wilson, Scott. "Behringer launches $299 clone of classic Wasp synthesizer". Fact Magazine. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  28. ^ "Is Behringer's Cheap Analog Synthesizer Worth It?". Telekom Electronic Beats. 12 August 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  29. ^ "Best synths to buy in 2021: 17 of the best synthesizers under $600". MusicTech. 2 February 2021. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  30. ^ a b c Gearwire.com. 14 June 2007. "Behringer Fined One Million Dollars By FCC." Archived 17 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 4 October 2009.
  31. ^ Radio Currents Online, 20–26 February 2006 Archived 16 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ "Behringer Resolved FCC Compliance Issues Before Recent Ruling". Musiciansnews.com. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
  33. ^ Loud Technologies Inc. LTec Quarterly Report (10-Q) Item 1. Legal Proceedings Archived 25 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ Mackie Designs Inc. Files Lawsuit to Stop "Knockoff" Products... | Business Wire | Find Articles at Bnet.com
  35. ^ a b c Verna, Paul. Billboard, 5 July 1997. "Mackie Sues Over Knockoffs: Behringer, Sam Ash Are Defendants." Retrieved 27 October 2009.
  36. ^ "Mackie/Behringer lawsuit. | [[The Music Trades]] | Find Articles at Bnet.com". Archived from the original on 16 December 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2007.
  37. ^ The Music Trades, February 1999. Archived at Entrepreneur.com as "Mackie/Behringer Lawsuit."[dead link] Retrieved on 8 September 2009.
  38. ^ "Mackie Designs Inc v. Behringer Specialised studio equipment (UK) Ltd, Ulrich Bernhard Behringer & Behringer Spezielle Studiotechnik GmbH [1999] EWHC Ch 252 (22nd February, 1999)". Bailii.org. 23 April 1999. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  39. ^ "Behringer and Roland Settle Lawsuit". 10 April 2006. Archived from the original on 19 July 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
  40. ^ "Peavey Files Lawsuits Against Behringer, Intellectual property issues cited". Sonicstate.com. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  41. ^ Cooper, Gary. "Behringer's MUSIC group files US suit against Peavey". Musical instrument industry news. MI Pro. Archived from the original on 2 May 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  42. ^ https://cdm.link/2018/06/behringer-have-sued-dave-smith-instruments-forum-posters-for-defamation/
  43. ^ Wilson, Scott. "Behringer tried to sue Dave Smith Instruments and 20 forum users for libel". Fact Magazine. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  44. ^ March 2020, MusicRadar03. "Behringer forced to apologise after bullying row". MusicRadar. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  45. ^ March 2020, MusicRadar04. "Behringer deletes 'CorkSniffer' apology as Peter Kirn tells people not to smash up their synths". MusicRadar. Retrieved 7 March 2020.

External links[edit]