NEW REAL OBERHEIM! Don Buchla! Dave Smith! Roger Linn!

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Re: NEW REAL OBERHEIM! Don Buchla! Dave Smith! Roger Linn!

Post by Sir Ruff » Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:30 pm

xpander wrote:
MrFrodo wrote:Please, say that's just sarcasm?
that was clearly sarcasm, he was just beating b***h about anything new to the punch.
Indeed :wink:
Pilot352 wrote:There's one problem with the concept of a new Oberheim analog synth...

We will have to listen to Box play a 32 voice "Jump" (Van Halen version not the Pointer Sisters) over and over again until the end of time. :shock: :mrgreen: :lol: :shock:

-Pilot
but wait... what if it was not actually the OBXa, but really the OB-SX x 3? Then it would only be 24 voice. There was only a 14-voice version of Jump available to Van Halen in 1971. You can see this on the tour vids from 1987.

(And everyone knows the pointer sisters stole the whole Jump idea from VH :D )
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Re: NEW REAL OBERHEIM! Don Buchla! Dave Smith! Roger Linn!

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:40 pm

nathanscribe wrote:Actually, I think the SEM contains very little that is not current (pun semi-intended) or could not be replaced in a new build with common parts, as it didn't use any custom synth chips - it was basically discrete and a few op-amps. It would be perfectly possible to update the few obsolete parts (3080, 726 I think, going from memory) with modern equivalents, and release it almost as-was..
This would make sense, and be very cool.
After all, if a person is interested in a SEM, isn't it the SEM that interests them? If people want to add USB and SPDIF and vast MIDI control, and digital control, and control control control, what the h**l is the point of remaking an analog device? With each aspect of digital convenience you add to it, you remove many aspects of what made the analog device sound as it did.
It really makes me wonder what people think is appealing about analog when all of their desires for its implementation diminish that which makes it distinctive.
Anyway... I too would be interested in an SEM that fits your description, nathanscribe. I doubt that's what it'll be, though... as there is money to be made.

I'm sure I'll get condemned for complaining... but it seems like these venerable fellows are getting back into analog not to create the musical instruments they used to, but rather, pretty and powerful products with which to make money.
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Re: NEW REAL OBERHEIM! Don Buchla! Dave Smith! Roger Linn!

Post by nathanscribe » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:05 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:After all, if a person is interested in a SEM, isn't it the SEM that interests them? If people want to add USB and SPDIF and vast MIDI control, and digital control, and control control control, what the h**l is the point of remaking an analog device? With each aspect of digital convenience you add to it, you remove many aspects of what made the analog device sound as it did.
It really makes me wonder what people think is appealing about analog when all of their desires for its implementation diminish that which makes it distinctive.
If you buy an original SEM and plug it in via a Kenton convertor, what's the difference between that and a SEM with a built-in MIDI interface? If you buy a SEM and record it digitally, what's the difference between that and a SEM with a built-in digital audio output? These features could be implemented as optional additions, leaving the fundamental analogue core of the device untouched, and enabling analogue purists to retain their favoured methods while providing others with convenience in a modern digital studio environment. Best of both worlds, I'd have thought.
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Re: NEW REAL OBERHEIM! Don Buchla! Dave Smith! Roger Linn!

Post by pricklyrobot » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:06 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:It really makes me wonder what people think is appealing about analog when all of their desires for its implementation diminish that which makes it distinctive.
I don't think there's any mystery here; you pretty much answered your own question already. People want the analog sound without the limitations of a completely analog control interface.

Of course, some people obviously see these same constraints as part of the distinctive character of an instrument rather than as limitations, but many other people don't.

Some people are willing to sacrifice a bit of the purity of their analog sound in order to gain more control, perhaps have a wider palette of sounds available in one instrument, or because they just find the difference in sound quality to be negligible; whereas purists, predictably, are not willing to compromise.
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Re: NEW REAL OBERHEIM! Don Buchla! Dave Smith! Roger Linn!

Post by xpander » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:12 pm

for f**k's sake. he said he's remaking it as exact to original as possible and that based on available parts it'll be about 99.9% identical. he's not the salesman that Smith and Linn are, he's in his 70s and just wants to get back to making some synthesizers.

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Re: NEW REAL OBERHEIM! Don Buchla! Dave Smith! Roger Linn!

Post by nathanscribe » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:22 pm

xpander wrote:he said he's remaking it as exact to original as possible and that based on available parts it'll be about 99.9% identical... just wants to get back to making some synthesizers.
Which is undeniably very cool indeed.

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Re: NEW REAL OBERHEIM! Don Buchla! Dave Smith! Roger Linn!

Post by cornutt » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:29 pm

nathanscribe wrote:Actually, I think the SEM contains very little that is not current (pun semi-intended) or could not be replaced in a new build with common parts, as it didn't use any custom synth chips - it was basically discrete and a few op-amps. It would be perfectly possible to update the few obsolete parts (3080, 726 I think,
I didn't think it used the uA726. If it did, there's no equivalent part available now. However, for a new design, it wouldn't be that hard to work around; just use a conventional transistor pair and a tempco.
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Re: NEW REAL OBERHEIM! Don Buchla! Dave Smith! Roger Linn!

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:54 pm

nathanscribe wrote:If you buy an original SEM and plug it in via a Kenton convertor, what's the difference between that and a SEM with a built-in MIDI interface? If you buy a SEM and record it digitally, what's the difference between that and a SEM with a built-in digital audio output? These features could be implemented as optional additions, leaving the fundamental analogue core of the device untouched, and enabling analogue purists to retain their favoured methods while providing others with convenience in a modern digital studio environment. Best of both worlds, I'd have thought.
The difference usually lies in when synth designers fill their modern analogs with modern technology, they usually also fill it with modern functionality and modern interface in order to appeal to the largest audience.
Admittedly, I don't know if this is the case with this device... and based on xpander's vehement response after, I suspect not.
Primarily, I'm responding to everyone who wants to pile modern functionality on an unmodern device... which, I would propose, would make the reproduction of the unmodern device perfectly pointless.

Also, I would like to draw a line between analog purism and doing that which is necessary to generate the sound that was traditionally favored. If you modernize analog interface and functionality, you don't come away with the already subtle distinctions in sound which should be that which you seek when you seek analog.

As for a modern studio environment... have we moved beyond quarter-inch outputs, yet? :wink:


nathanscribe wrote:Nobody goes into business to make a loss.
It seems that "quality musical instrument" is often inversely proportional to "big selling device" in the synth market, these days. The synths which everyone wants to duplicate or reproduce today were made to be expressive musical instruments, yet modern synths tend to lean towards functional tools. Functional tools make more money because they give more functionality and convenience with less effort or skill required.
I would just hate to see the reproduction of a hallowed device with its only similarity being "it's analog," and that not even being good enough for everyone who would desire it to have a LCD interface, full software compatibility, and a sequencer on it.
It's like Rice Krispie Treats with chocolate on them. ISN'T THE TREAT ITSELF GOOD ENOUGH???
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Re: NEW REAL OBERHEIM! Don Buchla! Dave Smith! Roger Linn!

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:55 pm

xpander wrote:for f**k's sake. he said he's remaking it as exact to original as possible and that based on available parts it'll be about 99.9% identical. he's not the salesman that Smith and Linn are, he's in his 70s and just wants to get back to making some synthesizers.
Didn't know that. Sorry, xpander!
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Re: NEW REAL OBERHEIM! Don Buchla! Dave Smith! Roger Linn!

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:59 pm

pricklyrobot wrote:Some people are willing to sacrifice a bit of the purity of their analog sound in order to gain more control, perhaps have a wider palette of sounds available in one instrument, or because they just find the difference in sound quality to be negligible; whereas purists, predictably, are not willing to compromise.
This is precisely my point.
But isn't the goal of an analog synthesizer the analog sound? I mean, isn't that the point? Isn't that the focus... to have an analog SOUNDING synth when you go to the effort (or hassle) of making an analog synth?
My point is that when you seek to make an analog synth into what it isn't, you're not going to end up with the analog synth you were originally seeking.
Specifically, in this case, why remake an SEM if you don't make it an SEM? There are plenty of modern synths, even with analog components, which could give a person digital control and more timbral options, if that's what they seek... but if they seek an SEM for the point of getting the SEM sound, then they should just accept that acquiring that sound requires certain sacrifices for the benefit of the sound.
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Re: NEW REAL OBERHEIM! Don Buchla! Dave Smith! Roger Linn!

Post by nathanscribe » Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:05 pm

cornutt wrote:
nathanscribe wrote:It would be perfectly possible to update the few obsolete parts (3080, 726 I think...
I didn't think it used the uA726. If it did, there's no equivalent part available now. However, for a new design, it wouldn't be that hard to work around; just use a conventional transistor pair and a tempco.
Ooops! You're right, my mistake. I was getting confused with something else. But yes, again you're right, such things can be worked in a different way with regularly attainable components. It'll be interesting to see how they're priced. (Thinks.... what will I have to get rid of....)

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Re: NEW REAL OBERHEIM! Don Buchla! Dave Smith! Roger Linn!

Post by nathanscribe » Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:22 pm

AG, I think one of the problems with your argument here is the lack of clear definition of what constitutes sufficient inerference with the old-style pure analogue interface or control that would then render it "impure". I reckon many people who buy old analogues control them via a MIDI/CV interface - hardly modern, and a useful way to sequence that's been around for a quarter of a century. All you're doing is providing a CV (like a keyboard would) and a gate (like a keyboard) and maybe, if you fancy, some pitch bend and mod-wheel. Like a keyboard. The nuances of a performance can be kept, the knobs can be tweaked. On the other end of the scale is USB, scanned pots, sixty thousand presets, digital effects, all that jazz. I see where you're coming from, but generic rambling about how analogues aren't analogue unless they're something particular and undefined that we don't really know what you're getting at, is not helping! Also, no offence, but this has been discussed many times and this thread is in danger of being derailed. And damn it, you sucked me into it! I hereby wash my hands of such discussion and throw my arms in the air in joy at the birth of a cool thing.

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Re: NEW REAL OBERHEIM! Don Buchla! Dave Smith! Roger Linn!

Post by Jack Spider » Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:50 pm

Well said, Nath - there is a danger of thread derailment as it seems to be moving towards the detrimental effects of modern functionality on older instruments. This has been said in more detail in other threads - by all means, start a new thread if anyone wants to discuss it, and keep this one on-topic.

This thread is a celebration of the return of an important figure in synths and I think nitpicking at this stage is taking the shine off it somewhat. For once, let's just be happy that Tom's doing what he's doing and look forward to what he comes up with!

I, for one am very excited about this! :wink:
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Re: NEW REAL OBERHEIM! Don Buchla! Dave Smith! Roger Linn!

Post by elmacaco » Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:56 pm

Wow this is really great news.

One thing is for sure. It will sound great. Oberheim always made great sounding synths, there is a lot of variety between them all, but he has an ear for sound that definitely gets into his product.

Personally, I hope he doesn't listen to any of us and just makes what he wants, I would imagine he might have to make it SMT, and I hope he uses real pots and not the encoders on the DSI stuff, but even if smaller sized it will be an amazing thing. h**l, if it's just like the original it's gonna be amazing, even if it sounds different. Samn, i hope he makes the mini sequencer too :)

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Re: NEW REAL OBERHEIM! Don Buchla! Dave Smith! Roger Linn!

Post by Box » Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:13 pm

Pilot352 wrote:There's one problem with the concept of a new Oberheim analog synth...

We will have to listen to Box play a 32 voice "Jump" (Van Halen version not the Pointer Sisters) over and over again until the end of time. :shock: :mrgreen: :lol: :shock:

-Pilot
Sadly that's not too far from the truth. :P Of course I'd also have to play Subdivisions and all the other VH and Rush songs. Then I'd throw in some Commodores and Prince for some variety. ;)

But I plan on getting a Mopho to run with my keytar, so then most of what I'll be playing is wicked cool jazz fusion. :D
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