Truly one of the quintessential analog polyphonic synths of the early 80s.I love my collection of VST synths, but when I bring up the faders on this guy, even untrained ears notice the difference between software and hardware!No other synth I own has a low-end like the OB-Xa (except possibly the Simmons SDSV!).
Even without chorus the OB-Xa has remarkably warm pad sounds, but it’s not capable of the clean subtlety of a synth like my Jupiter-8.This is a simple, ‘big rock’ synth, and you know the sound from those classic 80s recordings by Van Halen and Queen, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and of course, Rush.In unison mode it has a dangerous low-end, and mid-range pads that can actually take up too much of a mix.It takes a lot of compression and limiting to get this synth under control.You actually have to compress it twice, like a bass guitar – once on tracking and again in mix-down.It’s that random quality behind the hefty sound, and the ‘buttery’ filters that put this synth at the top of my list.
Here are some original recordings I made of my late-model OB-Xa. The compressed format doesn't provide the full bandwidth, but it will give you an idea of the of the basic sonic quality of this legendary synth: