Updated: Jan 2, 2019
Back at the beginning of the year, during tease after tease of more potential clones by the German Pro Audio manufacturer following the finalization of the company's successful Model D; some which as we know by now are well on their way to also becoming a reality, one potential release that stood out to many was the company's version of the legendary Oberheim OB-Xa. Dubbed the UB-Xa, the company teased both a desktop and keyboard version, aiming to retain panel and circuitry design as close to intact as possible, but ultimately allowing the average musician to finally afford the power of this incredible synthesizer.
After months of no word regarding the clone, company founder and CEO Uli Behringer updated the synth community a few days ago via Gearslutz.com, with some info regarding the status of development of the UB-Xa. As Uli himself stated: "When I announced the project some time ago, I mentioned that it would take at least a year as it is a “labor of love” and our Midas engineer would do this as a side project, since their main priorities are with digital mixing consoles".
He goes on to add that: "Because of their high workload, the development of the UB-Xa had unfortunately stalled for quite some time. Good news is that the team is working on it again and we have just finished all schematics and the mechanical design, while the team is now focusing on the board layout and firmware. This is a major job and don’t expect anything soon, however we are confident that we will deliver this project as promised and hopefully at a price which will make everyone happy".
Behringer also mentioned that in order to maintain integrity of the original design, they are using 3340 and 3320 VCO's and VCF's, but have replaced the original digital section of the synthesizer with Arm Processors.
Stay tuned for more info in the coming months. It seems that along with the Pro-1, RD-808 and RD-909 drum machines, the UB-Xa is destined to become a reality as well. Also, there seems to be a great deal of possibility that the company's version of the Arp Odyssey, and the VC-340 vocoder will also follow!
Please take a moment to watch this video featuring Behringer's Midas team:
Today Uli Behringer announced that the UB-Xa final hardware design had been completed, and would be building the first prototype next. Here is a pic of the raw computer design, which shows that the company has decided to listen to its customers, and will build the synthesizer as the keyboard version, not the previously teased potential desktop:
From Behringer himself:
Here's another exciting UB-Xa update.
We have now completed the entire hardware design, which includes all PCB's and mechanical aspects.
The next step is to build our first working prototype and we hope to show a physical sample in around a month time.
Please bear in mind that we're now starting the most time consuming part, which is the firmware development, which will take considerable amount of time.
While we'll be able to reuse some of the DeepMind firmware, most will be new as we're moving to a high-performance ARM processor platform.
This is especially useful as it allows for us to design upcoming synths in a very efficient manner.
This synth is the real deal:-)
Happy New Year everyone.