Oberheim the cat is back, this time with a JP Cooper Synapse MIDI router and processor. From Charles Whiley via Facebook.
The JL Cooper routers were among the earlier MIDI devices I read about as I was understanding what is needed to go from one synthesizer to a home studio. I never did get one (not practical for me at that time in the late 1980s), but I still have the Digital Music Corp MX-8 that got later on to serve a similar purpose.
“It is time for another Ambient / Berlin School session! I prepared three long tracks with pads and sequences from the Oberheim Xpander, Waldorf Iridium, Roland Juno-60, Sequential Rev2, Moog Sub37, Arturia Microfreak and my modular system. All sounds are midi sequenced from Ableton. FX are coming from U-He Colour Copy, NI Raum. The Rev2 is connected to Strymon Timeline and Eventide H9. My Juno-60 is clocked from Ableton ‘CV Tools’ through an audio output of the RME 802. I am playing the Arpeggiator and hope to have a proper midi interface for it next time.”
Little Aria rests atop an Oberheim Matrix 12. We also see another Oberheim synth in the background.
The Matrix 12 was one of the great Oberheim analog synths of the mid 1980s, building on the sounds of the OB-X and OB-Xa but with greater programmability and MIDI. In particular, it including “matrix modulation” that can be found in a great many synthesizers today.
The Matrix 12 is similar to the Xpander and the lighter Matrix 6. But [it] is much fatter and more programmable than either. Every control can have an effect on some other parameter thanks to Oberheim’s flexible design. For example, there are 15 types of LFOs and VCAs per voice! And there’s plenty of diagrams drawn out on the front panel of the synth to help you figure out some signal routing.
This Oberheim OB-Xa is not totally rebuilt yet, but our Quality Manager just had to get in on the action early!
The OB-Xa is one of the classic Oberheim analog synths and was featured in lots of early 1980s synth-heavy pop music. For me personally, it would probably be more interesting to have the SEM filter to complement the other instruments, but it still has a sound that would be instantly familiar to fans of this era.
The OB-Xa is a massive analog synthesizer with a very familiar and classic Oberheim sound. Its sound, size and power are very similar to the Prophet 5 from Sequential. However this one has up to 8 voices which can be split, layered and stored!
The OB-X was very similar to the OB-Xa except that its voices could not be split or layered and, more significantly, the OB-X had a lowpass-only discrete SEM 12dB/oct state variable filter, which had a great and classic Oberheim sound. The OB-Xa changed that in an attempt to economize manufacturing and increase stability by switching to CEM3320 Curtis chips for its filters. The Xa offered two switchable filter modes: 12 dB/oct (2-pole) or 24 dB/oct (4-pole). This hardware change resulted in a more agressive sound, not quite as creamy as the OBX original, but what still became a “bread and butter” sound of the Oberheim line.
Yogi found a nice place to sit atop an Oberheim Matrix 6R rack-mount synth module. By Sayer Seely via Facebook.
The 6R is the rack-mount module version of the classic Oberheim Matrix 6 from the 1980s.
The Matrix 6 was one of the last few synthesizers from Oberheim to come out during the mid-eighties following the classic OB-series. The Matrix 6 utilized high-tech but less expensive digital and midi features and still retained a totally analog sound. It did this by using DCOs (digitally controlled oscillators) to provide stability, programmability and more. All the Matrix synthesizers featured Matrix Modulation which allows for extremely wild virtual patching for almost unlimited range of sounds and modulation capabilities!