Synthesizer clone

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A synthesizer clone is an unlicensed recreation of a previous synthesizer. They are marketed as affordable versions of famous musical equipment. Clones are available as physical instruments or as software synthesizers, developed by companies such as Arturia and Native Instruments.[1]

The company Behringer manufactures equipment modelled on instruments including the Minimoog, the Roland TR-808, and the Roland SH-101.[1] Other synthesizer clones include the MiniMOD (a series of Eurorack modules based on the Minimoog), the Intellijel Atlantis (also based on the SH-101), and the x0x Heart (based on the Roland TB-303).[1]

Creating clones of older hardware is legal where the patents have expired.[1] In 1997, Mackie sued Behringer for copying its mixer designs,[2] but lost as circuit board designs were not protected under US copyright at the time.[1] In 2006, the Roland Corporation and Behringer reached a settlement after Roland claimed Behringer's effects units were too close to its Boss pedals.[3] In 2017, Behringer announced it would replicate the CEM3340 VCO chips used in the OB-Xa synthesizer.[4] The widow of chip creator Doug Curtis released a statement clarifying that the replica was made without permission and that Curtis "would be deeply saddened by the attempt of others to trade on his name and to make unsubstantiated claims of equivalency to his original inventions".[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Warwick, Oli (8 April 2017). "Attack of the clones: Is Behringer's Minimoog a synth replica too far?". Fact. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  2. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (1997-07-05). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.
  3. ^ "Behringer and Roland Settle Lawsuit". Mixonline. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  4. ^ a b "Curtis chip company speaks out against vintage synth cloning". Fact. 2017-03-22. Retrieved 2018-11-30.