Oberheim OB-X8 desktop module analog polysynth is shipping now

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Superbooth 23: Oberheim has turned its 8-voice bi-timbral analog polyphonic Synthesizer OB-X8 into a desktop module.

Good news from Oberheim. The desktop version of the Oberheim OB-X8 is now shipping from the factory and will arrive soon at retailers.

Back at Superbooth 23, Oberheim introduced the OB-X8 desktop with the same sound but without the keyboard and a more compact user interface.

Oberheim OB-X8 desktop shipping

I had the opportunity to take a closer look at the OB-X8 desktop at Superbooth 23. Although I’m a keyboard fan, I like the desktop version better. You reach parameters faster and don’t need to do synth aerobics to program sounds.


Article May 9th, 2023

There was magic in the air at Superbooth 22 because a legendary company made a comeback. Oberheim returned led by Focusrite and released the OB-X8. An Oberheim of superlatives as it is an all-in-one Oberheim. It melts the features and character of the SEM, OB-X, OB-Xa, and more in a single analog poly synth. It doesn’t stop there.

The Oberheim OB-X8 desktop module is coming to Superbooth 23. The all-in-one Oberheim for musicians with limited studio space for hardware gear.

Oberheim OB-X8 desktop module

Oberheim OB-X8 Desktop Module

The new desktop module version is integrally based on the same analog engine as the OB-X8 keyboard version. That means you get the same all-analog signal path with discrete VCOs, VCAs, and filters. And it still manages to provide the same knob-per-function front panel sound designing experience, with immediate access to virtually all the synth’s parameters.

So, you can explore eight analog voices, bi-timbral, and all Oberheim filters (OB-X, OB-Xa, and SEM + addons) in one device. But what is different?

Desktop vs Keyboard

Well, it’s obvious. It does not include the 61-note Fatar keyboard and expression levers in the original. But it is more compact, takes up less studio space, and is cheaper.

The interface has been adapted to the smaller format as well. The controls are much closer together. Also, the big prominent Oberheim knobs are not there. But I prefer this compact layout because it’s less spacious than the keyboard. And you don’t have to stretch your arms to make parameter changes. So no synth aerobics.

Oberheim OB-X8 desktop module Superbooth 23

“Bringing back the Oberheim brand has been a joy,” said David Gibbons, CEO. “And since the introduction of the OB-X8 keyboard in May 2022, we’ve heard an overwhelming desire for a desktop module version catering to those whose free studio space doesn’t quite match their enthusiasm for unique synth sounds.”

So all the internal features are the same


  • 8-voice pure-analog polyphony
  • two discrete OB-X/SEM-lineage VCOs per voice deliver classic punchy Oberheim tone
  • discrete SEM-lineage VCFs deliver authentic OB-X-style tone and presence  with additional modes: high-pass, band-pass, and notch functions
  • genuine Curtis filters add bold OB-Xa/OB-8 character
  • meticulously modeled envelope responses match each OB model: OB-X, Ob-Xa, and OB-8
  • bi-timbral capability allows two presets simultaneously for splits and doubles
  • vintage knob allows variable amounts of voice-to-voice variability to emulate the behavior of vintage instruments
  • velocity response adds expressiveness to volume and filter

Oberheim OB-X8 desktop module Superbooth 23

  • channel Aftertouch response adds real-time performance-based modulation
  • enhanced unison allows variable voice stacking from 1-8 voices
  • programmable per-voice pan allows wider stereo presence
  • variable oscillator, noise levels, and triangle wave cross-modulation
  • over 600 user-programmable preset locations
  • 400-plus factory programs, including the full set of factory sounds for the OB-X, OB-SX, Ob-Xa, and OB-8
  • integral fan-less, heatsink-free power supply
  • real walnut end cheeks
  • high-resolution OLED display enables patch management and easy access to advanced features
  • L/R stereo and mono outputs, volume, sustain, and filter pedal inputs
  • Arpeggiator clock input
  • MIDI in/out/thru, and USB

Here is my developer talk from last Superbooth 22.

First Impression

Unplanned, I currently have the OB-X8 test device back at home in the studio. No idea why this happened, even Focusrite who owns Oberheim is still looking for the bug. It struck me again what a huge battleship the OB-X8 is. Very heavy, fat knobs, like you know Oberheim synths from the past. But a buttery, huge sound full of analog goodness.

The desktop version is much more compact and modern in comparison. I am pleased to see that Oberheim has taken this step. I think with this smaller version more people will give up and hit the buy button.

The new Oberheim OB-X8 desktop module is available for pre-order now for $3499/3999€. Shipping will start in June 2023.

More information here: Oberheim 

Available for pre-order here

Thomann  Perfect Circuit

Superbooth 23 News

Hardware Synthesizer News


    • Mike that is amazing english. I hope you continue to learn the language and how to type out such smart knowledgeable comments. 2mm is plenty good size by the way… I am sure you would know that.

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