NAMM 2024: "We've fired up the first complete prototype - what an amazing moment": Behringer delivers updates on some of its biggest synth and drum machine projects

NAMM updates
(Image credit: Future / Behringer)

NAMM 2024: Yes, while Behringer might not have been at the NAMM show demonstrating its many prototype synths and drum machines, the company has used the annual music gear-fest as a platform to update us on many of its latest projects. 

On the first day of NAMM we got a brief update on the company's most hotly anticipated clone reissue, that of the Roland Jupiter-8 synth, Behringer's JT-16 being a 16-voice version of the classic Roland analogue synth. 


(Image credit: Behringer)

A day later Behringer announced another big synth update, its UB-X, an Oberheim OB-X-a-like that it first announced in 2021, and a synth not to be confused with the company's already-on-sale UB-Xa, a clone of a later Oberheim synth. 

Behringer said of the UB-X, "today we've fired up the first complete prototype – what an amazing moment. We’re now starting to implement the firmware and do thorough testing. Please bear in mind that we’re still far away from shipping the UB-X, but we’re making huge progress. Isn't it a beautiful synth?"

We can't argue with that…


(Image credit: Behringer)

Next up, Behringer announced more news of its Roland CR-78 drum machine remake, the RD-78. 

"We are in the last stages of pre-production and are working closely with our beta testers to ensure the unit sounds spot on," the big B said on Facebook. 

The original CR-78 was a very different looking beat maker, first released in 1978 and used by some of the then cutting-edge bands of the time including OMD, Genesis and Ultravox. Behringer's update might look different, but the company is claiming it should sound very similar. 

"For those who love the technical details," it says, "we have incorporated the exact same circuitry into the design, including the original coils and LC filters. The team is filled with excitement about this legendary drum machine."


(Image credit: Behringer)

For its next big announcement, Behringer gave us an update on its $99 budget synth, the CZ1 Mini, not surprisingly based on Casio's famous CZ synth. 

"The momentum keeps building as we introduce CZ1 Mini," Behringer says, "an extraordinary reproduction of Casio's CZ synthesizer engine, combined with an analogue filter. With its exceptional phase distortion synthesis, the sound the CZ1 Mini produces is unparalleled."

CZ1 Mini

(Image credit: Behringer)

And the last product that Behringer has (so far) announced this NAMM is the UB-Xa Mini. Like the CZ above, this is another $99 budget synth but based on an existing Behringer model, the UB-Xa. That is currently on sale for around $£1200, so a $99 version is most definitely welcome. 

That said, of course it is probably a cut-down version, although Behringer doesn't give any info on just how cut down it is, saying, "we now have a more affordable option, the UB-Xa Mini, available for only 99 USD for those who want the authentic sound of the OB-Xa. The synth is currently in beta testing and we are looking forward to shipping it soon."

UB-Xa Mini

(Image credit: Behringer)

Finally, the company gave a more general update on how its various projects have been affected by chip shortages, and it looks like that situation is improving.

"As we near the resolution of the chip crisis, we are intensifying our efforts to deliver all our pending products," it said, concluding with the rather up beat,"synths for all!" 

You can read how Behringer's huge product release schedule is shaping up in this rather fullsome Behringer gear update feature that we wrote when we clearly had way too much time on our hands. 

And get more info (possibly) from Behringer's website here

Get more amazing NAMM 2024 news at our special NAMM 2024 hub page.  

Andy Jones

Andy has been writing about music production and technology for 30 years having started out on Music Technology magazine back in 1992. He has edited the magazines Future Music, Keyboard Review, MusicTech and Computer Music, which he helped launch back in 1998. He owns way too many synthesizers.

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