So tell me about Oberheims: Matrix12/Xpander

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elmacaco
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Post by elmacaco » Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:10 pm

I'm not sure why we can't discuss synths without it being looked at as a pissing match, It's just opinions, and I like to hear them from knowledgable people.

Bitexion Xpanders are cheaper and lighter than the M12, just a thought.

Juno-6:

Yeah sometimes you have to double up modulations to get full range on the Xpander, but with the stepped amounts this is in my mind so they get the good resolution. Never tried to modulate the VCO's across their full range, I'll have to try! The LFO's took two mod wheel mods at full to go full range for me, so I guess it may depend on the parameter.

I didn't realize how many of the vca's in the xpander are real or not. I love that when programming you have so many options for controlling modulation and signal levels. The A6 lets you do this too of course, but it's a slightly different arrangement.

Stuff like not being able to modulate Filter FM amount on the A6, even though it is deeper than allowed on the xpander, wish there was a VCA there, or calibrated VCA's in the FM path as well. Nit picking of course, but the Xpander has a complete feel to it in most areas.

That said, I do use the A6 much more than I do the Xpander, although that may change.

You really think the A6 has a better sound than the Xpander just raw? Interesting! Do you have a japanese Xpander maybe? I love the Andromeda, I would go through periods of not switching anything else on for a while, but next to other synths you can appreciate it's uniqueness and other times hear it lacking that certain something that some vintage stuff can have.

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Post by Sir Ruff » Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:26 pm

sam wrote:I wonder why these machines are linked in this way, I have both and and they excel at different sounds.

Maybe the modulation possibilities cloud the issue.
I'm sure the mod routings will always be the main point of contention between these two...

What sounds do you think each does better?

I realize the many single filter types on the xpander, versus 2 multimode on the andromeda makes it a slightly difficult comparison, but I just generally curious, particularly as I'm always thinking about getting an a6... I would want there to be enough distinction to make it worth owning both.
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Post by Bitexion » Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:41 am

If you go to bluesynths.com, they have a huge review of the Matrix-12 with samples of each filter mode with simple waveforms through them.
They're shown with 0, 50% and full resonance to properly hear the difference.

Here's a filterdemo I did for a friend from the A6:
http://boomp3.com/listen/byiqbomi0_3/ny-filterdemo

Both with and without unison, so be careful with the volume. It's massive.

Here's a grungy brassy sound I did with 24dB filter, resonance kicks in about half way (the ribbon)
http://boomp3.com/listen/byiqdiwdi_u/keithk

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Post by Sir Ruff » Sat Jun 28, 2008 1:11 am

Bitexion wrote: Here's a filterdemo I did for a friend from the A6:
http://boomp3.com/listen/byiqbomi0_3/ny-filterdemo

Both with and without unison, so be careful with the volume. It's massive.

Here's a grungy brassy sound I did with 24dB filter, resonance kicks in about half way (the ribbon)
http://boomp3.com/listen/byiqdiwdi_u/keithk
thanks for the demos! really like that brass sound.... this whole thread has me leaning towards an A6!
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Post by Juno6 » Sat Jun 28, 2008 1:21 am

elmacaco wrote:I'm not sure why we can't discuss synths without it being looked at as a pissing match, It's just opinions, and I like to hear them from knowledgable people.
Agree.

elmacaco wrote: Juno-6:

Yeah sometimes you have to double up modulations to get full range on the Xpander, but with the stepped amounts this is in my mind so they get the good resolution. Never tried to modulate the VCO's across their full range, I'll have to try!

You won´t be able! :lol:

elmacaco wrote: The LFO's took two mod wheel mods at full to go full range for me, so I guess it may depend on the parameter.

Sure.
elmacaco wrote: I didn't realize how many of the vca's in the xpander are real or not. I love that when programming you have so many options for controlling modulation and signal levels. The A6 lets you do this too of course, but it's a slightly different arrangement.

I personally feel the A6 may have less mod sources and slots, but the ones it has are better, more complete. The Xpander has 5 envelopes, but they´re simple DADSRs, and I find myself having to use two or three of them to make something complex, whereas a single A6 envelope has all the complexity I need. Same thing with the 3 LFOs.
The mod slots are also more complex, with an offset and bigger mod ranges, not to mention the CRoutes.

So I think they´re equally complex, mod-wise.
elmacaco wrote: Stuff like not being able to modulate Filter FM amount on the A6, even though it is deeper than allowed on the xpander, wish there was a VCA there, or calibrated VCA's in the FM path as well. Nit picking of course, but the Xpander has a complete feel to it in most areas.

I don´t agree again!
The (audio) mod possibilities are a million times deeper on the A6. On the Xpander you only have a triangle wave as modulation, and you have to choose between pitch OR cutoff.

I´ve found a way to do what you want: modulate the filter with a pulse/square wave, and modulate the square wave level. 8)

elmacaco wrote: You really think the A6 has a better sound than the Xpander just raw? Interesting!
I´ve found the raw sound of the A6, using the Moog filter is 99% the Minimoog sound. You can´t get better than that. I´ve wrote an article for bluesynths comparing both synths that it´ll surpize you. It´ll be on-line soon.
It also sounds almost identical to the OB-X/SEM.
Not that you have to make it sound like any of them (I love to do that anyway), but it speaks about how good the pure raw analogue sound it has is.

elmacaco wrote:Do you have a japanese Xpander maybe?

I don´t have one, but a friend of mine lend me one for me to write the bluesynths review. It´s an american version, as you can see there!


elmacaco wrote:...but next to other synths you can appreciate it's uniqueness and other times hear it lacking that certain something that some vintage stuff can have.

You´ll be amazed by the subjectivity of our ears when you´re in front of a user interface that looks like a VA, even though it´s excellent. Stay tuned on bluesynths.

Bitexion: glad you found those samples useful, that was the purpose.


Cheers,

JZ:

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Post by Bitexion » Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:25 am

Oh, you're one of the bluesynth guys! I've spent many hours browsing through those reviews when I was bored :) Thanks for doing what you do, I know of no other review site that has so many unique samples and pictures aswell. I always refer to BS when ppl ask about some synth.
Hope it'll be updated again soon (I know of the redesign).

Re: the brass sound..it's just 2 detuned saws + both suboscillators, with filter enveloping and velocity sensitivity. The ribbon sets the filter resonance, I tapped the ribbon (w/ hold) to get the resonance near the end. The ribbon imitates the cs-80, but as with anything else, you can modulate ANY parameter (many at once)..so you can totally morph and warp the sounds by sliding a finger around it.

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Post by neandrewthal » Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:23 am

Never tried an OB-8 but judging by the samples, I'd trade my Jupiter 6 for one in a second. I think they sound different enough that it shouldn't be too hard to decide even based on sound samples alone.
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Post by sam » Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:22 am

How can you see if an Xpander is from japan....?
Roland Vp330 mk1.SH101.juno 6.OSCar.ARP odyssey..Tonus 2600..omni.
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Post by sam » Sat Jun 28, 2008 11:29 am

sam wrote:How can you see if an Xpander is from japan....?

Try google you fool... :shock:

http://www.synthi.se/oberheim/inside/index.html
Roland Vp330 mk1.SH101.juno 6.OSCar.ARP odyssey..Tonus 2600..omni.
ms20/50. OBX.
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Post by Juno6 » Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:38 pm

Bitexion wrote:Oh, you're one of the bluesynth guys! I've spent many hours browsing through those reviews when I was bored :) Thanks for doing what you do, I know of no other review site that has so many unique samples and pictures aswell. I always refer to BS when ppl ask about some synth.
Hope it'll be updated again soon (I know of the redesign).
Thank you very much Bitexion, these kind of comments justify the effort, for me at least.
Last edited by Juno6 on Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Sir Ruff » Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:12 pm

Juno6 wrote:
Bitexion wrote:Oh, you're one of the bluesynth guys! I've spent many hours browsing through those reviews when I was bored :) Thanks for doing what you do, I know of no other review site that has so many unique samples and pictures aswell. I always refer to BS when ppl ask about some synth.
Hope it'll be updated again soon (I know of the redesign).
Thank you very much Bitexion, these king of comments justify the effort, for me at least.
yeah, I'll second the love for the bluesynths reviews. I like how they are more idiosyncratic-kind of a second or third generation VSE... They assume you already know what most of the basic specs are, and get into more details about the things that actually make a synth unique.

I'll be very interested in an andromeda/matrix12 review...
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Post by elmacaco » Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:15 am

Juno6, there is a lot to love on the andromeda for sure, I really like the mod arrangement, but it would be nice if you could use more per destination than a set amount. I like to mod LFO's from multiple sources, both level and speed (waveshape would be nice too). the Xpander lets me explore that really quickly.

Did you test the A6 next to a minimoog? I sort of agree, I copied the minimoog patchbook into the A6 and it sounded amazing, even without the third oscillator. I haven't had the A6 next to a mini, but every time I've played a mini the raw character (distortion?) is just so present and that's where I think the A6 would lose.

I did the square wave level trick the first day I had my A6. You lose the oscillator square volume then as well. The Xpander's FM is much more limited, but how hard would it have been to have a VCA for filter FM on the Andromeda? Huge oversight IMO. No where near a deal breaker, but this is where the xpander slots in.

the andromeda envelopes are amazing! I love the looping and repetition settings. Having 5 envelopes is pretty great though.

I have and love both synths, and the sound of the xpander shines through where even on old tracks I can spot it. It's not a more analog sound, I don't think the A6 sounds like a VA. I really love the A6, it sounds like I'm knocking it, but they are both great machines, I am just highlighting what I think makes the xpander a keeper even with an Andromeda around. 8)

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Post by drummy » Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:07 am

Sir Ruff wrote:
Juno6 wrote:
Bitexion wrote:Oh, you're one of the bluesynth guys! I've spent many hours browsing through those reviews when I was bored :) Thanks for doing what you do, I know of no other review site that has so many unique samples and pictures aswell. I always refer to BS when ppl ask about some synth.
Hope it'll be updated again soon (I know of the redesign).
Thank you very much Bitexion, these king of comments justify the effort, for me at least.
yeah, I'll second the love for the bluesynths reviews. I like how they are more idiosyncratic-kind of a second or third generation VSE... They assume you already know what most of the basic specs are, and get into more details about the things that actually make a synth unique.

I'll be very interested in an andromeda/matrix12 review...
Third'd. I go to Bluesynths everyday hoping for some new reviews, but I also look at all the old reviews repeatedly because they are just so damn interesting and insightful, and the audio demos are just fantastic!

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Xpantastic

Post by Tiitu » Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:05 am

Some of the most difficult Xpander/M-12 components to find in my knowledge are, if they break, the displays and CEM3374 chips. Buttons may also be difficult to get. There are new replacing rotary encoders, however. And, better keyboards for Matrix-12, for example. (Ofcourse, the easiest way to get a new keyboard is to buy a MIDI keyboard.)

You may like to check the posts, mp3 demos, pictures, documents, links etc. in the Xpantastic forum:
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/xpantastic/files/

Best regards,
Tiitu.

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Post by Bitexion » Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:10 pm

Minimoog sounds usually use the third VCO for modwheel LFO duties anyway. Except for Wakeman, who never uses the modwheel because he plays so fricking fast he doesn't have time.

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