Synapse Audio Releases Obsession, New Oberheim OB-Xa Inspired Synthesizer Plugin

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Synapse Audio releases Obsession, a virtual analog Synthesizer plugin that emulates the sound of the Oberheim OB-Xa without saying it out loud. 

Already at the end of May, I reported about Obsession, Synapse Audio’s answer to the recently released Arturia OB-Xa Synthesizer plugin. Now it is officially available. Cool decision: which hardware instrument is emulated here is still unknown. The developer talks about a strong vintage Synthesizer emulation without saying which specific instrument it is. Somehow also clever, so it doesn’t have to justify why about the level of authenticity of the original device. No comparisons like the recent OB-Xa vs. OB-Xa V.

In terms of colors and layout, it remembers of vintage Oberheim synths. Even if it is not confirmed, I guess it is pretty sure an OB-Xa emulation but not sure. The engine is classic: it has two parts with single/dual/split modes, each with two oscillators, a switchable two/four-pole lowpass filter, two ADSR envelope generators, and two LFOs, all meticulously modeled from the hardware.

Synapse Audio Obsession

Absolut Voice Flexibility & Control

One of the biggest highlights of Obsession is the individual voice control where each voice board can differ noticeably from the others in many ways. Perfect for creating that organic, lively sound that vintage-analog poly synths are famous for. Features like the oscillator and filter scaling only available on the original voice boards of the real hardware are also available here.

For instance, turning the Cutoff Frequency trimpot to the left means that the Cutoff Frequency of that particular voice is going to be lower than average, whereas turning it to the right means it is higher than average. Likewise, turning the Amp Release trimpot to the left is going to shorten the release time somewhat for that particular voice, whereas turning the trimpot to the right will result in a longer release time.

Mod Matrix & Steps

Obsession features a comprehensive modulation matrix and two step controls aka hand-drawing step modulators. This allows you to create rhythmic sequences with which you can modulate near every parameter. To refine the sounds, it includes a high-quality effect processor section with a delay, reverb, and a chorus with an ensemble effect perfect for crafting new sounds. Nice is here the included reverb processor coded by Mirko Ruta that features a shimmer effect perfect for big, lush atmospheric sounds.

Another sound feature, you can find in the global. It’s called “organic” and it simulates the temperature-dependent fluctuations from vintage hardware. It can lift the expressiveness and sound quality to a new level, says the developer. Also onboard are modern features like MPE or Native Kontrol Standard (NKS) support. The interface looks nice and scores with scalability and is easy-to-understand/use with direct access to all important parameters.

Synapse Audio Obsession

According to the developer, a rack extension version of Obsession is in development and is coming later this year.


  • very deep, realistic emulation of an analog polyphonic synth
  • two-part engine with 8 or 16 voice boards
  • precise control of many sound parameters per voice board
  • single, dual and split modes
  • steeped LFO modes with freehand drawing
  • high-quality effect block with delay, reverb, and chorus
  • full version comes with 420 presets
  • available as VST, AU, and AAX plugin

Synapse Audio Obsession is available now for 89€ from the official SA webshop.

More information here: Synapse Audio

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