Behringer UB-Xa Synthesizer ‘Now Completed’, moving for Production (Sneak Preview}


Bernd Bruening, aka The Synth King, shared this sneak preview of the upcoming Behringer UB-Xa, a knockoff of the classic Oberheim OB-Xa.


What Bruening say about his audio demo:

“This video showcases a complete song I’ve composed and produced with sounds exclusively from the Behringer UB-Xa (except drums).

The opening bass line was made with the built in step sequencer running in sync to the DAW. I’ve used a single reverb and two delay plugins for this track. There is no EQing or dynamic processing involved. All sounds were recorded directly into the audio interface.”

While they have not announced a released date, Behringer says that the UB-Xa, originally introduced in 2018, is moving into production:

“The UB-Xa is one of our most complex products we have ever designed in our 35 years of history. 15 engineers worked over 4 years, delivering 8 hardware revisions and countless firmware upgrades, while co-innovating with 20 beta testers who all own the original OB-Xa synth. Our objective was to spend as much time and resources it takes and only release it when it is perfect.

The UB-Xa is now completed and we’re ramping up for production.”


Details on pricing and availability are still to be announced, but Behringer has previously said that they are targeting a $1,500 price for the UB-Xa.

Does the UB-Xa take Behringer’s knockoffs to the next level?


Will the upcoming Behringer UB-Xa be the first truly great knockoff synth?


That is the question raised by this video demo by Bernd Brüning, aka The Synth King.


Previous demos of the UB-Xa left many unimpressed, with some readers saying it sounded ‘boring‘ and other saying it sounds ‘bland and uninspired‘. But Bernd Brüning has been part of the beta tester team for the Behringer UB-Xa, and has had time to understand the capabilities of the synth and create his own custom presets.


Brüning notes that “The sounds were recorded without any effects, dynamic processing or whatsoever straight into the audio interface. For the performances in split mode, I’ve added a slight touch of reverb.”


The results speak for themselves. His video demonstrates an instrument that sounds lush, biting, expressive and capable.


Behringer has pioneered the category of knockoff synths – inexpensive, unofficial copies of popular instruments – and they have gotten very good at it.


With most of their instruments, though, the key selling point is that its a cheap copy of a collectable vintage synth. It’s often obvious where design changes and compromises have been made to make the copies cheaper to manufacturer, whether it’s shrinking the instrument, using tiny controls, chopping an octave of the keybed or forcing the design into a stock form-factor. These changes help make Behringer’s copies really affordable.


The Synth King’s demo suggest that the Behringer UB-Xa is something different.


It  is still obviously a knockoff, copying the Oberheim OB-Xa’s name, architecture, styling and sound.


But, unlike many of Behringer’s synths, the UB-Xa does not have obvious design changes and compromises to make it cheap to manufacture. With an expected price tag of $1,500, many won’t consider it inexpensive. The Behringer UB-Xa is a big instrument, with a full-size keyboard. And it has features that promise to move the UB-Xa design significantly forward, including polyphonic aftertouch and 16-voice polyphony.


Watch the video demo. Does the UB-Xa take Behringer’s knockoffs to the next level?


Most importantly, based on this demo, the Behringer UB-Xa sounds good and like a capable, powerful instrument. H2



Behringer’s free DAW will come with free VST plugins that integrate with their hardware counterparts?


In Behringer’s latest revelation, the company says that the free DAW that it promised in 2020 will come with a selection of free VST synth plugins, and it looks like some of these will be based on Behringer’s hardware synth clones. Perhaps, the company knows how to redirect our attention;


Software versions of the Pro-16, UB-Xa and Wave synths appear to be in development



However, it is worth noting that not all of the plugins will be free – Behringer will charge “a small amount” for some of them – but the screenshots posted indicate that the company is working on software versions of its Pro-16, UB-Xa and Wave synths clones – based on the Prophet-5, OB-Xa and PPG Wave.


We are assured that these will “seamlessly integrate” with the hardware versions, indicating that patch sharing and MIDI control should be possible


The plugins are being developed by “some of the world’s best VST developers,” who are working with the Danish TC Electronic team (like Behringer, TC now falls under the Music Tribe ownership umbrella). Other developers are being invited to join the project, as well.


Of course, it remains to be seen when you will actually be able to get your hands on any of this software; it’s been more than two years since Behringer first announced it was working on a free DAW, after all, and we have yet to see anything of it.


Good News; at least it can’t blame the chip shortage for the delay this time…