NAMM 2017: Dave Smith Instruments REV 2 And More

Edited to correct an “alternative fact” in one of our photos.

There were several new offerings at the Dave Smith Instruments booth this year. The most prominent was the new REV 2 polyphonic analog synthesizer.

The REV 2 is billed as a successor to the Prophet ’08, and features an architecture with two DCOs and two Curtis filters, along with numerous other features. It also has a built-in step sequencer. It plays very nicely and has a powerful sound, though perhaps not quite as “luscious” as the Prophet 12 that I regularly use in my own music. I expect the REV 2 will be quite popular.

Last year, DSI introduced the OB-6, a collaboration between Dave Smith and Tom Oberheim that features an Oberheim SEM sound engine. This year they have a tabletop module version of this instrument.

CORRECTION: This is a Prophet 6 tabletop, not an OB-6. There is, however an OB-6 tabletop module.

It has the same engine and a large array of front panel controls that make it a less expensive addition for someone who wanted the OB-6 synth but doesn’t need yet another keyboard.

Dave Smith also had another new collaboration, this time with Pioneer DJ. They introduced two new instruments: the TORAIZ SP-16 DJ workstation and the TORAIZ AS-1 mono synth.

The SP-16 is a sampler workstation with multiple voices and facilities for loops, triggers, and other features one expects from a beat-oriented tabletop synth, but also filters from the Sequential Prophet 6. THE AS-1 is purely a synth, featuring an architecture similar to a single voice of the Prophet 6. As such, the AS-1 is practical way to add the Prophet 6 sound to a larger setup.

As always, we look forward to seeing and hearing more of these new instruments from Dave Smith.

NAMM 2016: TomOberheim.com SEM Synthesizers

Following up on our experience with the OB-6 as Dave Smith Instruments, I wandered over to Tom Oberheim’s own both. Under the official name of Marion Systems or “TomOberheim.com, he has released a series of remakes of of his classic synthesizers. The flagship of these instruments is the Two-Voice Pro.

Tom Oberheim two-voice pro synthesizer

It is a dual voice analog synth powered by two SEM modules, along with a built-in sequencer and a series of 56 CV inputs for controlling most features of the voices and overall synth. Playing it felt more like a vintage Oberheim instrument than the OB-6, which is very contemporary. As such, it is a bit more spartan, but it looks and sounds like a true Oberheim synth from the past.

There are also individual tabletop versions of the SEM, as well as two new Eurorack modules, most notably the SEM Plus.

Tom Oberheim Eurorack modules

The SEM Plus is an entire Oberheim SEM voice as a module. It would be useful entry point into a larger and crazier modular system, a good partner for a Moog Mother 32.

Tom Oberheim himself had returned to his booth when I visited, so I got a second chance to talk with him – he is very approachable and generous with his time. We did talk about our respective musical interests, especially our shared fondness and inspiration from the jazz fusion greats of the 1970s like Herbie Hancock. As I return to that sort of music, I hope to apply some of Oberheim’s technologies to the project.

CatSynth pic: Tiger and Oberheim OB-8

Tiger the cat and Oberheim OB-8 synthesizer

Tiger the cat does sound design on an Oberheim OB-8 synthesizer. From Tony Cappellini via our Facebook page.

“Tiger helps me avoid too much oscillator drift”

NAMM: Tom Oberheim SEM Eurorack Module

This year, Tom Oberheim joined his fellow giants in the synthesizer world Dave Smith, Don Buchla, and Roger Linn at NAMM. He has rereleased the classic SEM synthesizer and introduced a new Eurorack module based on the SEM.

Oberheim SEM Eurorack module

The EuroModule SEM is a single voice of the standalone synthesizer. It has two VCOs, a VCF, two envelopes, LFO, and VCA. It’s pretty much an entire instrument in one, and it takes up quite a bit of space in a modular system. Where I could see it being of particular use in this environment route external CV into it.

The Tom Oberheim booth (under the name of his company Marion Systems) was a family affair, and indeed the entire Oberheim family was extremely welcoming and friendly.

The SEM module as well as a separate Phaser module are expected to be released later this year.

CatSynth video: do re minor

A great demo track from Ebotronix on YouTube. Via matrixsynth. It includes an impressive array of synth gear. And watch for the cat in the corner ūüôā

4ms Peg, QCD / Expander, RCD, VCA Matrix
Analogue Systems RS100²,RS110²²,RS 170,RS360²,RS500e²
Arp Odyssey 2821 white noise
Bananalogue VCS
Cyndustries Zero Oscillator
Doepfer R2m, A118, A134²², A143-2,A148,
A 149-1, A151²²,A160/161, A175²²,A185-2, A 138c
Flame Chord Machine²,Talking Synth Module²
Grendel Formant Filter²
flight of harmony choices
Make Noise PP, Maths²,Moddemix²²,Optomix,QMMG,René, Woglebug²
Malekko Anti Oscillator²² Uncle³,Jag
Moog Freqbox²²,MP201
Oberheim Sem
Sherman Filterbank 2
Simmons Clap Trap
SSL Modulation Orgy
Tip Top Audio Z8000 manual voltage source
Toppobrillo Quantimator,Sportmodulator,TWF²
Logic masterclock to Kenton Pro 2000² , QCD,Peg, RCD
FX :Boss VF1,Lexicon MX 400,PCM 80, Line6 echopro,TC M one XL
mackie the mixer³
kick by RS110 Maths QMMG

CatSynth pic: Oberheim

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From Rob Robinson via Facebook.

CatSynth pic: Oberkorn SL16 and Oberheim SEM Pro

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From Rob Robinson via Facebook.

Quite by accident, starting a new tune with Oberheim SEM Pro and Oberkorn SL16. Puss is helping.

 

 

CatSynth video: Donna 6/8

From Ebotronix on YouTube, via matrixsynth.

“4ms Peg V4 RCD
Analogue Systems RS 100 RS 110 RS 360
ARP Odyssey 2821 Noise
Doepfer A 143-9 A 134 pan by Moog MP 201
Flame Chord Machine Talking Synth Modul
Make Noise Brains PP Maths Moddenix Optomix QMMG Wogglebug
Malekko 4x Oscillator 4x Anti Oscillator
Moog 2xFreqBox
Oberheim Sem
Roland System 104 Sequencer
Toppobrillo Quantimator Sportmodulator TWF
Master Clock Logic via Kenton Pro 2000II and 2x 4ms RCD.
Drum Logic Ultrabeat 12/8 ohm force Compost”

CatSynth video: MiniBubbas – Life Underground

From noisythang on YouTube:

Another day, sitting around the old Electric Range. Bless the Andromeda Space Rockers!

Also on matrixsynth, where you can find more videos (sans cats) including this one:

“A bunch of stuff, all in sync and out o’ tune!
Just having fun with Synthrotek 16-step sequencer kit, and pile o’ goop.”

“16-step clock -> Oberheim XK sync in -> MeBlip
16-step step 1 trigger -> Bliptronics trigger -> Electric Western Phantastron Sync in -> ADSR
16-step gate (split 1) -> Pigronix ADSR
16-step gate (split 2) and CV -> Chimera BC9.

Somewhat out of tune, hey it’s a demo.

The synthrotek kit is a fun unit….. (i don’t work for them)”

CatSynth pic: Baxter on the OB-8

From Eric Frampton, via matrixsynth: