The latest from the Behringer Eurorack clone factory is Abacus, a function generator, envelope, LFO and logic clone of Maths.
It’s not as if we didn’t see it coming, but it’s no less disappointing. At least Behringer re-arranged the knobs and buttons a little bit. I imagine someone in the design department got a bonus for their outstanding innovation.
For all the vintage resurrections that we appreciate, I still can’t wrap my head around Behringer’s need to replicate existing products. I have no problem with them wanting to produce a function generator or voltage processor, but why just copy the Maths? If they’d made just a small amount of effort, they could have redesigned the interface or adjusted the features, and the modular community would have said, “fair play”. Make it 6 channels, make it 3, add another LFO, some more logic outputs, add a crossfade or XY joystick, anything to give it some individuality.
Well, I guess the slightly grim-looking brown and orange is original.
Maths is a solid and premium module at around £300, and Abacus is going to sell for $99. It is amazing how Behringer are able to knock these out, and I think it’s great that people on a budget will be able to get access to this sort of functionality. At the same time, it feels like an unpleasant thing to do, and why do that? Why be a company that generates bad feelings even under the guise of pretending to empower musicians? They could do all the good stuff and avoid all the bad stuff if they just innovated a tiny weeny bit. It boggles me that they have no desire to do that.
The other thing is that the Abacus documentation just labels the parts. The users will have to lean heavily into all the content, tutorials and manuals of the Maths in order to make head or tail of it, and that’s pretty poor parasitical behaviour. I am frustrated.