Arturia have digitized the classic ‘80s polysynth Oberheim OB-Xa, adding a number of unique features along the way.

In the early 1980s, Oberheim synthesizers were considered top of the line and were used by the biggest bands, like Queen, The Police, and Chaka Khan. The OB-Xa, released in 1980, was arguably Oberheim’s crowning moment, and found its way onto classics like Prince’s “1999” and Van Halen’s “Jump.” Arturia have now turned the famous polysynth—one of their most-requested emulations—into a plugin, bringing the number of Arturia Oberheim emulations to three (the others are the SEM V and Matrix-12 V).

Arturia OB-Xa V

Arturia’s OB-Xa V emulates the huge-sounding original but, as with most Arturia recreations, there are new features. The original OB-Xa had eight notes of polyphony but Arturia have here expanded it to 16. Additionally, they have added a stereo spread feature which transforms the signal coming out of the LFO, oscillators, and filters to make it “swirl across the whole stereo image,” in their words.

The LFO section has gotten a boost as well, with Arturia’s engineers adding additional waveform shapes and synchronization by time division to the DAW BPM. Additionally, the LFO is in stereo, meaning you can set the offset with the Stereo Trimmers, which is a novel approach to the LFO not seen in many other instruments.

The original OB-Xa didn’t have an arpeggiator but Arturia have righted this, with options that include octaves, directions, and rate available as the modulation destination.

Arturia have also added four new, bipolar function generators to the OB-Xa V. Routings include every parameter on the instrument, with each of them variable in length up to 16 points. They can be looped and synced to host tempo and can function as envelopes, LFOs, or dynamic step sequencers.

As with most Arturia recreations, the OB-Xa V also has built-in effects, including delay, chorus, reverb, phaser, flanger, compressor, overdrive, multimode filter, and bitcrusher.

OB-Xa V is available at 149€/$149 until June 9th. After that it will sell for 199€/$199.

Author Adam Douglas
20th May, 2020

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