Behringer Minimoog Clone Now Up And Running

The Behringer Minimoog clone is up and running.

The ‘Behringer D‘, aka ‘the UliMoog’ is a planned $400 Minimoog synthesizer module, designed to work as a standalone synth module or as part of a Eurorack modular synthesizer.

Here’s what Behringer founder Uli Behringer shared in his latest update:

The Model D prototype is now up and running and all functions seem to be working well.

Next week our system engineer will go through a rigorous testing procedure and meticulously compare every stage with the MiniMoog reference sample.

Next is the MIDI software implementation which will take around 1-2 weeks.

We expect the metal, plastic and wood sample parts to come in within the next two weeks and provided all goes well, we should be able to showcase a complete working sample by middle of April.

Please bear in mind that we are still many months away from shipping this synth as metal and plastic tooling has not yet started.

We have also not done any EMC and safety testing which can possible delay the project; depending on the test result we might need another board spin.

Behringer shared these images of the prototype. If you’ve got electronic knowledge, check out the pics and let us know what you think!

76 thoughts on “Behringer Minimoog Clone Now Up And Running

  1. Main difference, as should be expected at this price point, is the use of surface-mount components instead of though-hole. While it should perform almost indistinguishably from the original, servicing is much more difficult and almost never worth the repair cost. I’m actually excited about the availability of the rotary switches!

    1. Hexinverter makes Eurorack drum modules. He sells them both as DIY kits with through-hole components and also as factory machined modules using Surface mount components. I’ve read a comment from him saying the machine SMD boards sound better than the DIY boards. There’s more precision in how they are made I guess.

      1. But Hexinverter’s drum modules aren’t clones of gear that originally used through-hole components. Your comment suggests, if anything, that Behringer’s SMD clone will sound a little different from the original MiniMoog that used through-hole components, matched transistors, etc. We’ll have to wait and see though.

  2. How can they build this so fast? To bring a MiniMoog Clone to market within in a few months and have it sound authentic would be quite a feat. When this was announced it had 6 modulation jacks, then went to 14 jacks within a few days, at this rate they could pump out a classic synth every 2 months.

    1. keep in mind the signal path is already decided since it’s a clone, and that they’ve been designing synths for a while now, and Uli has been since he’s a child. So really it’s an engineering sodoku at this point just to calibrate it all and get it on a tight single board (and do any feature changes and additions they deem to be useful enough to spend time engineering).

      1. Uli has not designed synths since he was a child. The synth he “built” or rather put together was based on existing products.

      2. Exactly, but it doesn’t mean they can’t pop up a new clone every other month. Moog, 808, 909, 303, you name it, are all known synths. It’s more a matter of getting the right (cheap) parts that work well and get the result they’re looking for. The extra jack are more like connectivity in the existing circuit to make it more modular for the Eurorack user. It’s a very great addition, but is not too much rock-science for people that know analog circuit design like Uli and his great team do. That’s also why we can understand how many analog gurus (Moog, DSI, Roland, Korg, etc…) could have done more instead of just bringing back some very well known circuits at a very high price, making believe to anyone that “analog stuff” is some kind of magic science… I don’t mean it’s “easy”, not at all. Just that someone like Dave Smith that have been doing this for 40+ years could have done what Uli is doing here. He just didn’t wanted to. I think it’s shameful. Because I prefer when people do their best to bring music instrument to mass market and therefore for everybody, not only for a niche market for elitists and rich artists.

    2. Where are you getting 14 patch points from?

      The panel design that Uli shared only shows six, which is ridiculously stingy for a Euro module.

      1. If you look at the board, you’ll see 14 different patch points. The panel was a render, and it looks like Uli listened to what the people wanted.

      2. It’s not a euro module. It can however be mounted in a case that also fits euro. Euro didn’t invent the rack standard. It was there already

    1. it will. The overall circuit is the same. The Minimoog has been around for almost 50 years. There is no mystery to the circuit that has not or cannot be replicated.

  3. when you’ve got as many people working an a project like this as they do it’s not that hard to get a prototype as fast as they have, they’re not designing anything, just going off someone else’s schematics. there’s no invention happening here. the real issue si how will it sound. i’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it probably sounds pretty good for a $400 mono synth but next to a real model D it’s going to fall way short. part of that is from what they’ve said. that these “clones” are going to be made from .1% resistors and a lot of modern pampas and other components. while this is good to keep prices down they are most likely going to kill the magic. part of what made the minimoog and the 2600 sound like they do is the lack of matched parts and resistors that were 5% at best. when you get a synth that’s too tightly speced you can end up with something that has a lot less character than you might want. but we’ll have to wait and see….

    1. Tight component tolerances are always a good thing. They have no bearing on the warmth or character of a product. Calibration will be easier and units will be more consistent. That’s all.

  4. looks like a great build. a break-out/in header for future mods?
    (diy patchbay possibility)
    how will MIDI and USB connections stand up to abuse? make it
    to last.

    1. 7’s often more practical than 8 or 10 for business use; A lot of businesses are holding back on the upgrade, as there’s various features that got knocked out for 8 and 10.

      1. It looks like a workbench in a Chinese factory. If the computer is only used to check layouts while assembling prototypes it doesn’t really matter if it’s old.

  5. It looks like there’s hundreds of surface-mount passive components (resistors, capacitors) on the board and very dense. I’ve seen circuit diagram schematics of the originals and didn’t think there were so many.

    Also the overall size of the unit must be a lot smaller than the original.

    Keep up the good work guys and please don’t tease us as much as you did with the Deep Mind.

  6. Are we going to get an update when they finish the body of it? When they source the IC cable? When they pick the knobs?

  7. Moog sound for under a grand! Thats amazing. Even if its really really close for 500 bucks…SOLD! Just sold my Sub 37 monosynth last week. Just didnt feel like I was getting the most “1 voice” out of 1500.00. Especially when your not just doing ARP’s and Sequences. My hands always wanted to hit 4 notes. Duophonic my ass!

  8. Great, glad to see things proceeding along. BTW, how’s the prep work going for the Arp 2600 clone ? 🙂

  9. Props to Behringer for sharing these pictures. I fully realise they have a commercial motive for building up interest in a future product, but having the chance to see inside the production engineering process is fascinating.

  10. I built a Minimoog Model D clone a few years ago. It’s quite possible for mere humans to do this. There are a few gotchas they’ll need to work out though. There are a few places on the original boards where Bob literally used a trace design as a picofarad level capacitor (looks like two pitch forks with their tines intermingled). In my case, I just added a few pf level caps until it sounded like the original (I wasn’t going to screw around with changing board designs to accomplish something that pointless).

    The hardest part is working out how to get a microprocessor integrated in such a way that you don’t screw up the signal path. I used vactrols and other weird stuff to maintain a pure analog signal path.

  11. This is simply glorious! $400 for a 3 osc synth…. Even if sound close to the real thing or not…. Its sold! More please…

    1. Spot on! Everyone is bitching around like: “it won’t sound like a real Moog, yada yada yada”… but they miss the big freaking picture here. Even if it’s not 100% clone, and it doesn’t sound at 100% like a Moog… ok, it will still be an analog synth for $400 with a lot of nice feature. And if it’s 99% close to a Moog, who cares about the last 1%?

      Someone that care about that 1% won’t be a potential buyer for this Behringer, because if someone wants a Moog, he/she will just buy a Moog. But if someone wants the character of a Moog, the sound close to a Moog, the interface of a Moog, without breaking the bank… yeah, he/she will just get this Behringer. Because for the cost of the Moog, he/she could buy this Behringer, but also add a tons of other gear on top: DeepMind 12, Prophet 6, DrumBrute, you name it… And in the end, that will be more instruments to make music with, that will bring a larger sound range.

      Because in the end, just like for any other gear that are often mystified about the last 1%, it won’t matter for 99.999% of the people. Not the audience and not even the musicien. Because there’s way more other criteria that will come to play before the very last 1% is an actual factor. Most of the time, knowing how to exploit the gear and practicing music, be creative will have a way more important impact than the last 1%… and this is something that will be noticeable by the audience.

      So, instead of focusing on the last 1% and dreaming for decades of getting a “real original analog vintage synth” and actually buy an affordable clone that will be close enough for 99.999% of the people, and then make music instead of seeking unicorns, I will choose to make music!

      I’ve been seeking unicorns for years for high-end Vintage guitars… until I actually found some and I understand that the last 1% won’t considerably increase my musicality and creativity. I was chasing the wrong goal… Now I don’t care, I try any guitar and if it’s comfortable, if it sounds good, and if it fits what I want… I just get it, regardless the name of the headstock, regardless of the “year of production”, or model of this or that, etc… And regarding Synth, it’s just about the same. I ditched the Moog Voyager, the original 808, 909 and 303. I was chasing the wrong goals again. If this Behringer Model D sounds good… well, I’ll buy it. If it doesn’t sound good, I won’t. As simple as that. But I won’t care if it’s 99% close to a Moog, or 98% close, or even 90% close. What I will care is if it sounds good, period.

      If this synth wouldn’t be a Behringer, and would be sold as a Dave Smith D1 and it would be sold for $999, a lot of people would be crazy about it and would say: “Oh yeah, awesome! Take my money”. But because it’s Behringer and because it’s gonna be cheaper, people are already bitching about without even having heard anything about it. I mean c’mon… Behringer changed a lot the last years if you haven’t notice. They bought Midas, TC Electronics and more… they have some great analog engineers on deck now. And the last products they did (X32, DeepMind, etc…) are the proof of it. We like it or not, that’s up to everyone to figure it out. But don’t judge a product that nobody tried and heard yet, only because it’s named Behringer.

      My 2¢

      1. You can already get a much more powerful analog synth – with a keyboard – for $500, the minologue.

        Not sure why people are crapping their pants over this one. BEHRINGER is offering the illusion of a good deal, versus a good deal.

        1. This is a moog clone for a tenth of the price on the original, that’s the very definition of a good deal. The minilgue may have more voices/options, but this synth is going after a very specific (and legendary) sound, its apples and oranges. I myself would love a model D, and if this sounds nearly indistinguishable (it won’t be perfect, obivously) I’ll definitely pick one up. The minilougue on the other hand does not interest me as I have more powerful poly synths.

          1. Are you saying it isn’t? In what way? The original Minimoog was fantastic in its day and had a great sound that really cut through an early rock mix.

            That doesn’t mean that things have not advanced since then.

      2. Well said. I agree completely. If it sounds good, and is a solid build, I’m in.

        I’m a fan of Behringer, but I still have to give it a try and really hear it before I commit.

  12. Naturally, the big thing everyone’s saying about this is “Well, it’s not going to sound as good as a REAL MiniMoog D. It won’t have the same MAGIC”.

    What a stunningly pointless and elitist sentiment. Practically anyone could be able to figure that out from the onset alone and anyone who’s even into synths most likely has the general acumen available to know if they want that “magic” (whatever that is), they’ll need to put up $6,000+ for a real Minimoog D from the 1970s.

    Problem is, not all of us have $6,000+ to spend on the “magic” (again, what is that? That’s a lot of money for an extremely vague element to have for a music instrument). If it gives me something pretty comparable at less than 10% of the price, I’d say I made out like a bandit there. The only people who’ll be able to tell the difference are the people that have a real Minimoog in the first place, and by then, why do you need a clone?

    The elitists can keep their “magic”, I’m pretty interested to see what this unit can pull off.

    1. I can attest the current Moog Model D reissue has all the mojo and “magic” of the original. You don’t need to go buy a vintage unit any more.

      The magic could be there with this product too, provided Behringer doesn’t cut corners where it counts.

    2. I, too, can attest to it as well. I was skeptical, but my sweetwater rep convinced me to pick up the re-issue. I didn’t want to pay $3500 for a monosynth, but I figured I didn’t have anything to lose, as I could return it. It’s still here. There is something intangibly unique about it. This $400 product will probably meet the needs of most, but I do think it will feel more like playing a minibrute than a model d, even if it’s identity is somewhere in between. It kind of makes me sad that people will be duped in this way, but I’m sure it will meet the needs of many. I am not an elitist. It annoys me when people call accessible synths toys. An instrument is an instrument. I derive as much enjoyment using my volca fm as I do my model d or my modal synths. Cost is irrelevant as long as it has an identity. These clones will not. .

  13. Could be funny if this sounds better than Moogs Minimoog…I cross my fingers that this have improved tuning. Moogs original minimoog goes too easy out of tune and that sucks!

  14. Could be funny if this sounds better than Moogs Minimoog…I cross my fingers that this have improved tuning. Moogs original minimoog goes too easy out of tune and that sucks!

  15. The comments challenging elitists on every Behringer post are funny. Nobody is against cheap gear if it’s good. Just don’t be surprised if your Behringer Model D is poorly made and lackluster. There are plenty of good synths available in the same price bracket. Explore other options instead of chasing the Moog dream. Moog isn’t the only game in town. Cheap knockoffs will usually leave you lusting after the real thing anyway.

  16. I kind of wonder about them being sued by Moog for doing something like this. It will be interesting to see. I remember when Mackie sued Behringer and won when their products were basically mimicking Mackie desks at a cheaper price point. On the other hand, perhaps Moog don’t own the rights to the IP on the MiniMoog D, despite having recently begun reproducing them.

    1. lol, no …please dont…there is already enough 808 and 303 clones …but not enough minimoog clones…

  17. Everyones gonna buy these, then eventually burn out on em like we did with our real Minimoogs in the 80’s, but at least this time they won’t loose thousands of dollars in the end like we did. Still waiting on the DM12 desktop myself, got enough real Moogs already to last me the rest of my life (though a Behringer Moog Modular Kieth Emerson Edition clone might pique my interest :D)

  18. Oh man! I am sooooooo looking forward to this synth so we can have like 10000 YouTube videos comparing the original and the behringer…

    Ignore the fact that even two original Ds don’t sound the same… details details…

    1. You’re perpetuating one of the biggest myths among vintage synth enthusiasts. Two original Model D’s sound identical if they’re properly maintained and calibrated. Same goes for TB-303s, Prophet-5s, Jupiter-8s, whatever. If they don’t sound like they’re supposed to, they’re defective.

  19. @DruMunkey ….. Dude! I had two Minimoog Model D’s. Bought the first new in 1978 and the second four yesrs latter in like new condition, and sold both in 1988. Thats six years running both side by side on stage and studio. As long as the contacts on both were clean they sounded identical. The only thing different between the two were the texture on the pitch and mod wheels .. the first one I bought had the little texture ridges on the wheels, and the second one (which was actually an older build than my first) had perfectly smooth wheels .. thats it.

  20. What’s interesting is that *hardware* can be cloned (since the patents have expired), but *software* can’t be, because they copyrights haven’t.

    This means that it may be harder to clone later instruments exactly without a license from the original manufacturer, since the original firmware will still be under copyright.

    On the other hand, modern microprocessors are insanely powerful, and memory and storage are ridiculously cheap, so modern firmware on a modern CPU could result in an instrument which is dramatically better than the original. In fact you already see “brain transplants” for some classic synths that replace the ancient 1980s CPU with a more modern processor and add new firmware with new capabilities, faster envelopes, etc..

  21. Behringer = Preditory Walmart of the synth world. Creey business practices people seem to be totally cool with. A larger corporation Ripping off a smaller company and synth that is currently being made is not something anyone should be ok with. That is unless you would be cool with someone doing that to you i suppose and aren’t worried about what this may mean and do to companies who are attempting to innovate.

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