Behringer Intros UB-1 Spirit, A Oberheim-Inspired Minisynth

Behringer today introduced the UB-1, an Oberheim-inspired dual-oscillator paraphonic monophonic minisynth.

Features:

  • Programmable synthesizer with 2 DCOs and classic 4-pole filter
  • Built around clone of the CEM3396/3397 analog chip used in the Oberheim Matrix 6/1000
  • 16 touch-sensitive mini keys
  • 32 memory presets, expandable via SynthTribe app
  • Arpeggiator with 3 patterns and hold function
  • Individual envelopes for VCF and VCA for creative sound shaping
  • 2 LFOs to control filter and oscillator tuning
  • 6 functions buttons and OLED display for editing
  • USB Micro connector allows powering via smartphone, power bank or computer
  • USB/MIDI implementation (including NRPN/CC control of all parameters and bulk load/save)

Pricing and Availability

The Behringer UB-1 synthesizer is expected to be priced at $49 USD, with availability still to be announced based on component availability.

35 thoughts on “Behringer Intros UB-1 Spirit, A Oberheim-Inspired Minisynth

  1. this is what behringer should have been doing with all their analog cloning to begin with… because it totally fits the brand… cheap, nasty knockoffs that are basically disposable

    1. These seem like they’re designed to go head to head against things like the Korg Monotron, so it’s inexplicable that they didn’t include a tiny speaker on it.

      1. It look likes a new category that did not exist before. Digitally controlled analog synthesizer with OLED screen, two envelops, Arp and what’s look like a mod matrix for 50$?

          1. I guess people will just call it “Mini Synth” in the same category of Volca’s, PO’s, Kastle, Craftsynth… but my point is its less than half the price of any Volca and no Volca is programmable analog synth with presets, functions buttons and screen.

  2. Some conflicting thoughts: Why not go full non-Tom Oberheim and make a ubxa spirit?
    And, can these be poly chained? If so, cute! If not: why did they make these? Whoever wanted a stripped down m1k voice minus the modulation? Dco’s, 24db only and post-m12 architecture does not in any thinkable way boil down to any kind of ob-spirit. But then again, it’s a ub-spirit. But B ain’t even cloned the m1k (yet). There’s absolutely nothing that makes sense about this release. Except poly chaining.

    1. You’re thinking about this too hard.

      Behringer just wants to compete against things like the Korg Monotron, and it’s cheaper to do this using a stripped-down copy of an Oberheim synth voice than it is to design something original.

        1. Many seems to think that there is no R&D involve but I guess they don’t have experience in engineering/revers engineering into a completely new user interface, It can be even more expensive then a completely “new design”.
          The reason for copying the circuits and the names of the classic’s is purely adverting. It will simply sell more with nostalgia on your side.
          But everything is based on something, The Monotron and some of the Volca’s (like the bass, kick) based on MS-20/10 The Volca FM on DX7…

    2. They are cool but my issue is more on the spirit ones the lack of midi input that the soul ones have. If they were to say, make a hub though with a usb mini host that lets you plug a 5 pin in they would be unbelievable especially if you could get a few and poly chain them

      1. Does anybody want to spend a couple of hundred bucks to make a crappy polysynth out of something like this?

        Just to make a four-voice, you’d need four of these things, four audio cables, four channels on your mixer, four MIDI cables & a controller keyboard. And you’d have to changes your patches in four different places.

        As cheap as polysynths are these days, there’s no point to polychaining monosynths.

        1. With 4x audio cables it will cost about 220$.
          With a MIDI plugin that poly play the 4 units (Do a round robin between the USB/MIDI ports) And send MIDI CC/Program Change from one output to all others 3 input it will act like a “regular” poly synth. But each voice can be tuned differently and it will also give the ability to stereo voice spread at the DAW.

    3. Nobody expect this to be exactly comparable to the original Matrix1000/6R. At the end it’s an analog synth for little money based on classic design and a classic name.
      Or so it seems…

    1. “Still waiting for the fun-sized Fairlight CMI to go with their other Lilliputian synths”

      I don’t think “fun-sized” and “Fairlight” go together in the same sentence. 😀

  3. Music Tribe should stop suggesting a relationship between these instruments and classics by Oberheim, Sequential and Roland. They’re clever enough devices to stand on their own. It’s as if Dongfeng Motors decided to release a rear engine subcompact and name it the Fengdu 911 Spirit “inspired” by Porsche.

    1. You realise the “inspired by” part is in the headline of the article right?

      It was put there by Synthtopia

      1. Synth Anatomy’s UB-1 post says “Oberheim OB-1 inspired,” Music Tech writes, “based on Oberheim DNA,” and Music Radar writes, “Oberheim-Style.” It’s obvious that Music Tribe wanted everyone to infer a relationship.

  4. Ho-hum… some years ago they announced the UB-Xa (knockoff of the OBXa) – is this what they ended up with??

  5. Never mind the pico-synth. I want to put blue pinstripes on my car. I’m not wild for Oberheims, due respect to their pluses. I just like the graphic. Duh.

  6. This makes the fourth one of these little micro-machines that Behringer has announced, yet still no audio or video of any of them in action. I would like to not be too cynical and keep an open mind, but when is anybody going to get a chance to actually HEAR once of these things?

  7. Odd choice. The Matrix 6/1000 were cheap (for Oberheim) synths attempting to break into the mass market as the company was going bankrupt (not sure if Tom had already left or not).

    I had a Matrix 6R briefly and then a Matrix 1000. Always sounded sort of muddy to me. A far cry from the Matrix 12 and the Xpander, and those were somewhat different again from the classic SEM based stuff and the OB-X and OB-8.

    The one thing they did have was all the modulation possibilities but they had virtually no controls, this version seems to have inherited that. So basically they have copied the poorest sounding Oberhiem in terms of basic sounds and kept the poor interface that for most people will stop them from getting even 10% of the value out of it.

    It’s odd that something that was more or less hated when it came out and has never really been rated that much since is being copied now.

    1. Coolaudio cloned the chip that does all the audio so it was easy to implement i guess.
      But i totally disagree with you about the Matrix-1000, its sounds amazing and its a very capable instruments. The OS been updated to be faster, many today use it with a free VST editors like the CTRL-R or a dedicate controller/programmer.
      This one front panel looks much more capable.
      Prices of the Matrix-1000 are going up, It doubled it’s price in the last 5 years.

  8. I’ve owned both the M1000 and the Matrix6. I absolutely hated the way they sounded, I think I used the 1000 one time in over a decade of producing music for radio and tv – commercials mainly. I also have had 3 Xpanders and an OB8, which were not even in the same category. In fact I still have and LOVE that OB8. M1000s and Matrix6s are unlistenable.

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