Behringer Dismisses Critics As ‘Haters’, Launches Hate Attack On Journalist

Conspiracy Revelation: 7.12.2020: Your SX2442FX Mixer is a disaster, the SL version was more stable… The FX-Processors render the whole Mixer useless when they fail…and they fail, blink in and out, multiple reviews…and there are at least 5 complaints at about the failure of the Mixer in the first year of usage. Behringer surely has some good and useful products, but this SX-Mixer-Disaster stands close to a fundamental production error scandal, imho.
“Behringer Dismisses Critics As ‘Haters’, Launches Hate Attack On Journalist”
“Behringer today used its official channels today to launch a ‘bizarre‘ personal attack on journalist Peter Kirn, who runs the well-respected electronic media site Create Digital Music.
Behringer shared a video that used name-calling and ridicule to bully Kirn. The professionally-produced video introduces a new product, the ‘Kirn Cork Sniffer’ that features a caricature of the journalist.
Behringer uses the term ‘Cork Sniffer’ to mock musicians that prefer original synth designs to the company’s clones.
Behringer invited its follows to suggest names for its ‘first KIRN Synth’.
The video is the culmination of months of escalating attacks on Kirn, including name-calling, harassment, online abuse and ridicule. Most recently, Behringer has used its social media channels to announce multiple attacks on Kirn:
In January, Behringer announced it had registered a trademark on Kirn’s name. Peter Kirn had previously reported on Behringer registering trademarks for the names of other company’s synth designs.
On Feb 16th, Behringer used their Facebook page to distribute a photo of their ‘first KIRN synth’, right. The company asked its followers to suggest names for the crudely assembled cardboard keyboard.
In another social media post, Behringer shared a photo of a children’s keyboard, describing it as the new ‘KIRN meeGrove’, mocking the open-source MeeBlip synth project that Peter Kirn helped create.
Their latest attack, the ‘Kirn Cork Sniffer’ video, features a caricature of Peter Kirn that many viewers interpreted as an anti-Semitic attack. The Jewish name ‘Kern’ and its variants are derived from ‘kern’, a German and Yiddish word for grain or seed.
About Behringer’s video, Magnetic Magazine’s Ryan Middleton states, “Not-withstanding the poor taste and bad execution, this is filled with anti-Semitic tropes.”
That perspective is shared by others.
Red Means Recordings’ Jeremy Blake writes, “Today Behringer decided to create a personal attack parody product with strong anti-Semitic overtones, because the subject of the parody wrote an article about them.”
Some have noted similarities between Behringer’s caracature image and the most popular anti-Semitic meme shared by white supremacists, the ‘Happy Merchant’.
Some have noted similarities between Behringer’s caricature image and the “Happy Merchant” image, right, one of the most widely-used anti-Semitic memes among white supremacists.
At Sound On Sound forum, johnny h writes “It’s impossible to ignore the antisemitic overtones used in the image. Kirn is a Jewish surname, and here you have the classic 1930s tropes of the beard, big nose, wild eyes, sinister grin and money grabbing hands.”

“I have given Behringer a good deal of benefit of the doubt in the past, and even said some nice things about them, as controversial as I know their business practices are. This, however, is beyond the pale,” writes author and Keyboard Magazine Editor Stephen Fortner. “Behringer’s original posts referred to Pinocchio as the reason for the long-nose cartoon image, but it is frighteningly close to anti-Jewish caricatures used in Nazi propaganda.
“Uli, if a marketing team did this without your say-so, fire them immediately,” adds Fortner. “If you approved of this and you’re behind it, plead temporary insanity. Otherwise, I call upon Chuck Surack of Sweetwater, the folks at GC and Musician’s Friend, Long & McQuade, Beacock, Sam Ash, and every other retailer who matters in North America to not carry Behringer products.”
Kirn has since stated that he is not Jewish, adding “I have an added obligation to listen to Jewish friends who raised those concerns.” But Kirn did find the series of attacks disturbing.
“The whole sequence of events worried me,” Kirn told Motherboard. “If a joke doesn’t make sense, then you have to assume it may be intended as a threat and try to respond accordingly.”
Uli Behringer responded to the video’s backlash by posting a message on Facebook, apologizing for his marketing team and adding “In no way did the team ever intend to make any connection to semitism, as some people have alleged.” Behringer has deleted the apology.
Why is Behringer Attacking Peter Kirn?

The latest attack on Kirn appears to been the result of months of planning.
In January, Behringer announced that they’d trademarked the ‘Kirn’ name, and teased “Any clue what we have in mind with it?”
In addition to registering the trademark, Behringer created a caricature drawing, created a synth prototype, recorded a voiceover, filmed and edited a video and then promoted it on social media.
Ironically, this is more effort than they put into some of their actual product introductions.
Why would the head of one of the world’s biggest music technology manufacturers authorize a personal attack of this sort, let alone have his staff take the time – over several months – to make it?
Create Digital Music is an online magazine and community for musicians, sound designers, DJs, and producers using technology.
Kirn’s site, Create Digital Music, has in the past covered Behringer product news, but has also covered some of the company’s controversies.
Notably, Kirn’s site reported on Behringer’s ‘SLAPP’ lawsuit against Dave Smith Instruments and users of the Gearslutz forum.
A ‘SLAPP’ lawsuit is “a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.”
Behringer/Music Group sued the forum users for calling the company’s products ‘copies’ and ‘knockoffs’, among other things. The company’s complaint asked for $250,000 in damages, plus punitive damages and court costs. The documents are available at the Court’s site.
Behringer Dismisses Critics As ‘Haters’
Founder Uli Behringer says “There is not one magazine, forum or thread where we don’t get criticized or even attacked.”
The attack on Peter Kirn follows shortly on an odd recent post on the Behringer Facebook page, where company founder Uli Behringer dismissed people that criticize their products or business practices as ‘haters’.
It’s rare to see an official corporate statement that dismisses customer complaints and name-calls critics.
Beyond dismissing critics as ‘haters’, the company head complains “There is not one magazine, forum or thread where we don’t get criticized or even attacked.”
There’s an element of truth to Behringer’s complaint. But – coming from the head of a huge, ruthlessly competitive company – the complaint comes across to some as whining.
As one of Behringer’s followers on Facebook states:
“You said recently in a post that you can accept criticism from social Media and and music press, but this shows the exact opposite.
If you want peoples respect go and earn it.”
Behringer has earned a lot of fans for its line of inexpensive knockoffs of classic synths. Can they earn your respect? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Update: Behringer Deletes Kirn Cork Sniffer Video, Issues ‘Non-Apology Apology’
After the backlash against the ‘Kirn Cork Sniffer’ video, Behringer deleted the video and their references to it on social media.
Company founder Uli Behringer also shared a statement via Facebook:
“What was meant as pure satire by our marketing department, has clearly offended some people and looking at the video, I could understand why. However, in no way did the team ever intend to make any connection to semitism, as some people have alleged.
We unreservedly apologize to Peter and anyone who felt offended.”
Kudos to Behringer for apologizing directly to Kirn. Not so much for apologizing to ‘anyone who felt offended’, which is the definition of a non-apology apology.
The video has been reshared by third-parties on several sites.
Update 2: Behringer has deleted their apology and several posts attacking Kirn.
Update 3: Additional details about previous attacks added for clarity. Updated post to note Kirn’s statement that he does not identify as Jewish.”
“Uli Behringer Responds To Recent Attacks
Posted on Mar 2, 2020
Uli Behringer, founder of the musical instrument manufacturer of his namesake, has taken to Facebook to address critics of his company and their recent business moves. The company, often more in the industry news due to litigation, copyright / patent infringement and “ripping off” other manufacturer’s designs, rather than their own innovative products, has used the unscrupulous toxic internet wasteland known as Facebook to defend his tactics:
“There is not one magazine, forum or thread where we don’t get criticized or even attacked. We understand and respect that not everyone likes us or me and that’s perfectly fine.
We also see constructive criticism which we truly welcome as it’s a great opportunity for us to learn and improve.
In our Vision, we only focus on two obligations – to relentlessly deliver what our customers desire and to observe the law. We will always respect that people may have different opinions about what we should and shouldn’t do, however that’s not an area that we will ever engage in.
behringer HATERS
Technology is free for everyone to use unless it’s protected. That’s exactly the reason why the law was designed in this particular way, so it encourages competition — all for the benefit of you the customers and for society to progress. Imagine there was only one guitar or car brand? For example patents expire after 20+ years and its intellectual property becomes available to anyone.
We also understand that we’re controversial as we continue to challenge everything and especially our competitors to deliver better quality at lower prices.
Recently, we experience more and more companies to join us in our mission and we welcome everyone who believes in our Vision. We’re happy to collaborate with everyone and at times also acquire businesses where we see synergies.
We’re immensely grateful for all the support we have been receiving over the past 30 years and hence our complete loyalty belongs to our customers.
We call it Customer Obsession. That’s why our team and I are here to listen and serve our customers.” — Uli
“There is not one magazine, forum or thread where we don’t get criticized…”
There are many aspects of this statement that both industry observers and casual musicians will have trouble comprehending, since much of it is contradictory. First off, in our reporting, FutureMusic processes “Behringer News” and attempts to objectively separate the fact from the fiction. When we reviewed our Behringer reporting, we found a solid percentage of litigation notices, as opposed to reviews and/or new product announcements. This percentage far outweighs what other large manufacturers generate, which is indicative of their business practices. Other sources often showcase mind-boggling Behringer business practices that reinforce their negative public opinion. If “there is not one magazine, forum or thread where we don’t get criticized” — shouldn’t that tell you something? Worse, is how they have systematically attacked one of their harshest critics, Peter Kirn, the founder of Create Digital Music.
“…constructive criticism…”
Hard to buy into this when there are many Behringer products with quality control issues that the concern has done nothing to address. The company appears content to churn out new products instead of fixing blatant and crucial issues with existing gear.
“In our Vision, we only focus on two obligations – to relentlessly deliver what our customers desire and to observe the law…”
Well, half of this statement is accurate. Behringer does deliver products that customers want, which garners them a lot of sales. However, observing the law is a pretty subjective matter in the Behringer Reality Field. Especially when your strategy is to put your coffers behind lawyers to defend, sue, counter-sue, appeal and delay a bevy of litigation.
“Technology is free for everyone to use unless it’s protected…”
The problem for Behringer is the “protected” part. Apparently, they don’t see any technology as protected and employ the legal tactics cited above to proceed unabated.
“We call it Customer Obsession…”
The other points are pretty much self-promotion, so we’ll skip to this notion of “Customer Obsession,” which is hard to believe. It really should be “Profit Obsession.” And there is nothing to fault here. Behringer is a business. And the objective of any business is to make money. But how you make money, is increasingly becoming more and more important to consumers, which is why Behringer is feeling more heat than usual.
The biggest problem for Behringer right now (constructive criticism coming! —Ed.) is that they don’t understand the fine line between creating emulations (“inspired by…”) and just ripping off other manufacturers/engineers innovations, and how to effectively communicate that message. For example, apparently Behringer is looking to emulate the Korg Mono/Poly, an analog synth that debuted by the famed Japanese concern in 1981. That design may well be in the public domain and legally open to cloning, but to go and try and trademark the Mono/Poly name? That crosses a line. While, Behringer maybe “observ[ing] the law” in this regard, it’s just plain unctuous. And that’s a big part of the problem.
Observers will also find this aspect of crossing the line apparent in their social media posts. The aforementioned assault on Peter Kirn may have been chalked up to a “bad joke,” but Behringer crossed the line by filing papers to trademark Peter Kirn’s name, preventing him from releasing additional gear under his own moniker. Kirn currently releases micro synths under the MeeBlip name.
“I remember being at a NAMM show a fair number of years ago when Behringer came out with their guitar pedal lineup. It was such a blatant ripoff of the Boss Pedal Line, right down to the font, that the Japanese company’s executives were dumbfounded at the audacity of the announcement. Behringer ultimately was forced to make some design “adjustments,” but this is how Uli Behringer has operated the company for thirty years.” —Product Demonstrator
Is Behringer in store for a reckoning?
So what could happen to Behringer if somehow one of these lawsuits goes sideways for the company? With so much litigation pending, it’s fair to say that Behringer’s legal team could get one or more of their argument wrong and lose. But would it be enough for the company to change their approach or put it out of business? There was a large, independent record label in the United States who had a similar trajectory. The label adroitly sidestepped typical mechanical royalties, as well as some other legal issues, which would have hindered the releases, and launched a series of albums that became immensely popular thanks to the savvy use of television advertising. The money was then pumped into signing upcoming independent artists and the label took off. Unfortunately, after only a few years the increasing amount of litigation took over the focus of the company. A major lawsuit loss ultimately sank the company for good.
While Behringer may be currently winning in the legal arena, they are obviously losing in the court of public opinion. Even though Uli Behringer took to Facebook to voice his displeasure at the haters, no one really thinks he’s going to change his ways anytime soon…”

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