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The UB-Xa Synthesizer Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
Uli Behringer's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Behringer UB-Xa

Dear all,

As many of you know, synths have been my passion for the past 40 years. Sometime ago I have set the goal for Behringer to bring back some of the loved analog synth jewels from the past.

Please allow me to share some thoughts with you and apologies if this is a longer thread.

Does this make any commercial sense?
Every company has to earn money in order to survive, and so do we. However, since we are privately owned, we don’t really care about the next quarter’s result or "shareholder value" since it is our philosophy to reinvest everything we earn.
This gives us the tremendous freedom to work on projects that can only be described as “labor of love” as they might not yield any financial gains. This is why we embark on these synth projects; some of them might not sell in high quantities and frankly to us it doesn’t really matter.
Many of our competitors spend all of their effort on marketing to make you believe in analog synth emulation simply because it’s much easier and cheaper to assemble a DSP chip on a PCB board rather than building products with thousands of analog components and deal with the manufacturing complexity plus expensive manual calibration processes.

However we at Behringer and Midas believe in the passion to revive these analog jewels and the fun these projects create for our team - which to us is worth everything.

Why we believe in analog?
We at Behringer do not believe in “virtual analog”, VST’s or other creative names for digital sound emulations as we are of the firm opinion that you cannot replicate true analog sound through digital technology, and there are many technical reasons for this. To be very clear, this doesn’t mean digital synths or VST’s can't sound great, but it is just something we don’t believe in.

Our passion and emotions are with true analog synths and our goal is to bring back the authentic sound of original designs from the period of the 60’s to the 80’s. In order to achieve the exact same sound, we will use the same circuitry and where possible the same components, however we will apply modern manufacturing technologies to make these instruments affordable, mass producible and reliable for the long-term use.
In many cases we will also remanufacture obsolete components if we feel they are relevant to the sound. In short we will not spare any effort in order to capture the spirit of these synths as it is all about authenticity.

Why do we make this announcement?
For the first time in our 30 year history, we have decided to completely open up our company and share every step of the development process with you so you can ask questions while we will be seeking your opinions.
In fact we want you to participate in this end-to-end process so we can learn from you, but also for you to fully understand how such a synth is developed and manufactured.

What is the UB-Xa synthesizer?
Over the past years we have done a lot of research both on forums but also through interviews with professional musicians in order to understand what the most sought after synths and drum machines are, but also what people feel the sound signatures of these synths are and why people feel so strongly about them.

When it comes to poly-synths the overwhelming request is a rebirth of the Oberheim OB-Xa.

Today I officially announce that we have decided that we will develop and produce an authentic OB-Xa clone which we call the UB-Xa. As you can imagine, this is a very complex and time-consuming project and at this stage we won’t be able to tell you when the instrument will be available in the market or what it will cost.

Since this is more a labor of love than a commercially viable project, our engineers can’t work fulltime on this synth and will use some of their free time, hence the project will likely take more than 12 months.
Most importantly, our goal is to make it an absolute authentic sounding instrument and offer it at a truly affordable price - but you know this already.

Because of its high complexity, we have assigned this project to our most experienced team which is the Midas team in Manchester, UK. These synth nuts and super-smart engineers - under the leadership of Pete and Rob - were also the ones who developed the successful DeepMind12.

So what’s next?
In around one week from now, Pete and Rob will post our first video and share some thoughts with you. Our intention is to not only post videos on a regular basis but also write articles and publish them on our social media pages so you can follow this project.
Now that we have decided on the project, next is the discussion around the basic concept, the feature set and also the building blocks including potential component choices. In the near future we will be able to show you the first “bread boards” of the sound engine and hopefully let you hear some sound samples.
Next will be PCB and mechanical designs, followed by hand- and tool made samples. And then of course we will be sharing the exciting mass production where we will be showing the production setup and testing plus quality control processes. And if you’re not yet bored by then, we can also show you the packaging and shipping process.

The team in Manchester and I are very excited about this project and we hope that many of you will chime in and participate.

And one more thing - once we’re nearing shipping, we will be raffling off some free units among you as a token of appreciation.

May the fun begin☺

Uli
Attached Images
File Type: bmp UB-Xa_P0XXX_Top-Front.bmp (764.9 KB, 3317 views) File Type: bmp UB-Xa_P0XXX_Rear.bmp (407.2 KB, 1146 views)

Last edited by Uli Behringer; 3 days ago at 10:16 AM..
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Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Maniac
Oh. My. God. Still want an Arp 2600 though :-)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Here's some JPEGS!
Attached Thumbnails
The UB-Xa Synthesizer-ub-xa_p0xxx_top-front.jpg   The UB-Xa Synthesizer-ub-xa_p0xxx_rear.jpg  
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
didlisquat's Avatar
 

Hire Jacob Brashears !
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
tux99's Avatar
 

Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Looks great. Bring it on. Of course deciding factors for me will be sound and price, I have limited space in my studio so have to be very picky. Also tough to guess what other options will be available in 12+ months time.

In any case, being open with the development process is interesting to me. Would be happy to try one out on my upcoming film and rock projects.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Jamie munro's Avatar
 

@ulibehringer NICE !

Labour of love may be a great way to describe it as this may not be the biggest money spinner ever but it will certainly be a popular monster and will make a massive amount of synth nuts very happy indeed, myself included.

Ignore the white noise

Last edited by Jamie munro; 2 weeks ago at 03:37 PM.. Reason: ,
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Addict
 

This sounds great. I cannot wait to hear the demos.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Christmas 2018 taken care of
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 

I would prefer UB-X, without the "a".
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
pppch's Avatar
 

Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Excellent. Really looking forward to following this.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcearl View Post
Christmas 2018 taken care of
I mean 19 lol
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
Will definitely give the Behringer synths a shot, although I wasn't convinced by the Model D, but I already own a real Mini that is much better IMHO.

Anyway I like the idea of you stirring up the synth market
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
GregkoNYC's Avatar
Sign me up for this one, however, I'd really prefer a keyboard version of it.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Excellent news !

Other manufacturers take note

Behringer are now leading the way

New vocoder looks great , gives me confidence in the forthcoming 808/909 extravaganza
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Wow, this is the happiest happy monday is quite a long time. I applaud you and your company's initiative Uli, and very much look forward to following the progress on this project.

I'm going to throw some suggestions out there, because why not?
1) It would be great if the desktop module were also rack-mountable. (standard 19")
2) I presume there will be a keyboard version as well, if so will it be big like the originals? You see, I have an OB8 and it's great. There is lots of space inside for a spare sandwich or two (or a burrito if that's more your thing.) The power supply keeps them nice and warm, and it's great to have some food with you on those long gigs. There's something to be said for the large form factor. j/k
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 
OurDarkness's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tux99 View Post
Here we go again...


I'm not sure if you noticed but Oberheim (the company) has been defunct for ages. Gibson bought them decades ago and let it die a slow death.
Yeah once a lion attacked another small animal and it left it defunct, so a hyena came to finish it off because it was dying a slow death. What a great show of empathy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by le bouch View Post
Cobblers. We want these synths. The OG manufacturers refuse to make them. They’re not copyrighted. Bring it on.
...while here we can notice the spectators of the Colosseum, cheering while their light-tinted backwards-oriented sensitive parts are safely tucked away at a distance.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by le bouch View Post
Oh. My. God. Still want an Arp 2600 though :-)
'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all

But yeah, me too.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 
grasspike's Avatar
Thanks Uli! Should be an absolute beast!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
Gear Head
 

Where do I sign up for the raffle?
I will follow this for sure.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Acidizer's Avatar
i think convincing VA requires more expertise to pull off over just making an analogue box, which is fairly straightforward.

i am not drawn to a synth just because it is analogue, but many people are so i guess it is not worth the R&D to do VA since it is a harder, much more thankless task.

however a convincing OBXA? be it analogue or digital? sign me UP!!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #23
Lives for gear
 
re5etuk's Avatar
this thread could be the 1st to hit 10,0000000000000 views , war , marriage , children , divorce
hopefully its being developed during their working / paid hours , and not spare time (unpaid , when theyre at home etc)... but i'm being picky.

i hope it makes everyone happy , but someone somewhere will be angry .... its just a synth..!!!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #24
Lives for gear
 
BassX's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by didlisquat View Post
Hire Jacob Brashears !
why?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #25
Gear Head
 
sinemotor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uli Behringer View Post
Why we believe in analog?
We at Behringer do not believe in “virtual analog”, VST’s or other creative names for digital sound emulations as we are of the firm opinion that you cannot replicate true analog sound through digital technology, and there are many technical reasons for this. To be very clear, this doesn’t mean digital synths or VST’s can't sound great, but it is just something we don’t believe in.
uh

I don't think this paragraph was necessary to explain why you believe in analog.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #26
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BassX View Post
why?
Because he has a finalized product already.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 
BassX's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
Because he has a finalized product already.
where is it then?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #28
Gear Head
 

Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Old 2 weeks ago
  #29
Lives for gear
 

The horizontal blue lines on the Dave Smith OB-6 keyboard made the front panel harder to read, that's why they removed them on the desktop version, I wouldn't repeat the same mistake.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #30
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by OurDarkness View Post
when you have even copied the Oberheim fonts for your current ever-so-ambiguous project.
Typefaces are the property of a foundry or designer, not of Oberheim. You can buy Friz Quadrata and Denmark and use it for everything.

The design is long out of Tom's hands already and the kind of wars fought over guitar headstocks and shapes can stay in the guitar world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BassX View Post
where is it then?
Mass production is hard.
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