“We got Tom Oberheim’s consent”: Behringer’s UB-Xa becomes the best-selling synth at Thomann

Behringer says the UB- Xa “is no copy” and that it “took inspiration from the original synth and brought it to a complete new level”.

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Behringer UB-Xa

Credit: Behringer

[Editor’s note: Update, 24 May: Tom Oberheim has since claimed that he did not give consent to Behringer.]

Behringer’s UB-Xa, which took six years of development, has become Thomann’s best-selling synthesiser.

The UB-Xa was first launched in November 2023, and takes inspiration from the classic Oberheim synth used on records from the likes of Depeche Mode, Tangerine Dream, Prince, and more. At its release, Behringer revealed it cost an eye-watering $3.5 million to develop.

Writing on its official Facebook page, Behringer says: “UB-Xa is now officially [Thomann’s] best-selling synthesiser. It is the world’s first and only analogue synthesiser with 16 voices, polyphonic aftertouch, and eight atrophy modes, all for a revolutionary price.

“Our product development team has spent six years working on delivering this legendary and revolutionary analogue synth. Thank you for all your patience and we hope it was worth the wait.”

UB-Xa is now officially the best selling synthesizer. It is the world's first and only analog synthesizer with 16…

Posted by Behringer on Friday, May 17, 2024

The UB-Xa includes all of the original factory patches, and its VCOs and VCFs are heavily based on the original 3340 and 3320 chip designs. It hosts the ability to split its keyboard so you can layer two different sounds, and it also has a Vintage Mode loaded with eight presets.

If you need a refresher, you can find out more in the video below:

Interestingly, Behringer also says it got consent from Tom Oberheim himself to create the UB-Xa. Responding to comments on Facebook, the brand says “he designed a fantastic product” and that the UB- Xa “is no copy but took inspiration from the original synth and brought it to a complete new level”.

Responding to a comment which appears to have been deleted, Behringer also adds, “We discussed the UB-Xa with Tom Oberheim and got his consent… How many other products such as VSTs take inspiration from legacy products? Why is it okay for others but not for us?”

MusicTech recently spoke to Tom Oberheim for a new cover feature on the launch of the TEO-5. We asked the legendary effects engineer and Oberheim founder what he thought about his synths being subject to emulation: “Anything that brings new sounds to, let’s say, young musicians just starting out, is exciting to me. And I don’t care what the brand is,” he said.

“There’s been a few different simulations of Oberheim over the years and, I have to say, GForce did a great job. I don’t have the ear training to get into the fine details – I’ve been relying on musicians to tell me what sounds good since the 70s. But the reaction to the GForce stuff was very positive, and I certainly think it sounds really good.”

Shop Behringer’s UB-Xa now via Thomann, or view the latest from Oberheim.


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