The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

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seamonkey
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Re: Tom Oberheim to show new synth on Wednesday?

Post by seamonkey » Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:39 pm

This is exciting news, to hear the new SEM is actually a reality and in the hands of customers.
I can't wait to hear some audio demos and reviews.

Just a thought, would it be possible for someone to start a new thread on the delivery of the SEM?
The title no longer seems current to me, but that's just my thought and no biggie if the mods feel it would be redundant. :)
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Re: Tom Oberheim to show new synth on Wednesday?

Post by otto » Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:49 pm

But it's not "exact" Joey, there are different componenets, a different power supply design from what I understand and SMD.

Look, I'm not condemning the thing. It very well may be the closest modern approximation of any vintage synth made - it probably will be. My curiosity is how close is close. I just want to hear/read more about it before I make up my mind. On that note, WDW, since you have old and new why not give us a demo demonstrating the audible similarities and differences? I'm sure it would be much appreciated.
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Re: Tom Oberheim to show new synth on Wednesday?

Post by kuroichi » Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:57 pm

Surely as long as it sounds good, the comparisons aren't that important.

I'm not completely dismissing anyone who wants a comparison, but I'm wondering, are the comparisons concerning whether it sounds as good as the original, or just whether the sound is accurate...

I'm assuming this will be similar to the x0xb0x, 303 comparisons, which are always in dispute, as some people always claim that x0xb0x's don't sound as good.
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Re: Tom Oberheim to show new synth on Wednesday?

Post by otto » Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:14 pm

Well I understand your point that if it sounds good that is justification in and of its self but this is the first “faithful” reproduction of a vintage synth (I suppose the xoxbox kind of counts). So, I think that people are expecting that this will sound nearly identical to the original. This is particularly important for anyone who wants the drop in replacements as additions to existing SEM setups. Also, there are a lot of monosynth in the new and used market available in this price range that sound good, many of which are more feature rich… So I think the sound is of incredible importance for this unit. It’s a make or break proposition for me.
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Re: Tom Oberheim to show new synth on Wednesday?

Post by steveman » Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:57 am

otto wrote:Also, there are a lot of monosynth in the new and used market available in this price range that sound good, many of which are more feature rich… So I think the sound is of incredible importance for this unit. It’s a make or break proposition for me.
Used market really doesn't count here, you can always buy something cheaper used. Can't think of many current monosynths in this price range, Future Retro XS and Little Phatty are considerably more expensive. Spectral Audio Neptune and Mopho are the only other contenders.

The constant references to this new SEM being to the old SEM like the P'08 to the P5 are way off base. The P'08 is a completely different design to the P5, DCOs + 'synth on a chip' CEMs plus software modulation & envelopes versus CEM VCOs, filters & envelopes. Yes Dave Smith referenced the P5 in his advertising - of course he would, doesn't mean he implied it would sound exactly the same.

As Joey said
its the exact same f**k circuitry, once again

Same discrete design as the original, so if the original specified a 10k resistor, the SMD will use a 10k resistor. Of course we can start argueing about the sound of resistors (along with wooden volume knobs :) ), but that way lies audiophilism, and madness....
I spent a while playing with a 4-voice some years ago, like WDW said, trying to get all 4 voices the same was nigh on impossible. I doubt the diference between this SEM and an old one will be any greater than between 2 old ones.

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Re: Tom Oberheim to show new synth on Wednesday?

Post by otto » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:54 am

What an irrational response steve. You might want to reread my post, in context and rethink your reply.
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Re: Tom Oberheim to show new synth on Wednesday?

Post by WDW » Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:08 am

Ask and you shall receive...

Tinkering a bit this afternoon, I threw together a quick a demo, comparing the new and original SEMs. I created six different patches, which I programmed on both SEMs. Panning each SEM hard in opposite directions, I placed the new SEM on the left channel and the original SEM on the right. Percussion is Apple Ultrabeat. All other sounds are SEM. The mix is completely dry with no effects or EQing.

Here is a link that should open a player window:
http://www.synthmusician.com/index.php? ... ong_id=415

If the link does not work, then you can hear it on my webpage:
http://www.synthmusician.com/W2Studios/

The piece is titled, "2009 10 01 Alpha 01." [It's the first track in my playlist on the right.]

WD

P.S. Because my original SEM is not patched-out, I did not sync LFOs to MIDI; so, any variation in sync between the two SEMs is due to my inability to fine-tune them by hand. So, things like PWM and filter modulation will be out of sync between the two SEMs. Nonetheless, the LFOs are oscillating at nearly the same frequencies, thereby still giving a good sense of the similarities/differences of the two.
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Re: Tom Oberheim to show new synth on Wednesday?

Post by nvbrkr » Fri Oct 02, 2009 7:51 am

Thank you for providing the samples.

Since I'm not a regular poster on this board I'll have the guts to say upfront that there is a clear difference between the two (I'm using a pair of Yamaha MSP-10s for monitoring and placed both sides to the middle of the stereo image muting the channels individually). Obviously the component aging -factor would be the most likely attempt at an explanation, but then again there's also the aspect of modern parts just ending up producing a different type of a sound nevertheless - the circuit design being the same won't produce an identical end-result because the parts used matter just as much. Judged by this clip alone, the new one seems to have a character that is similar to other newer analog units - it's not hard to distinguish.

Sounds very good though.

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Re: Tom Oberheim to show new synth on Wednesday?

Post by alan partridge » Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:54 pm

Ta very much WDW - nice demo. don't want to push our luck here , but any chance you could also do one with the same patches compared just on their own, with nothing else in the mix ? cheers ;)

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Re: Tom Oberheim to show new synth on Wednesday?

Post by seamonkey » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:28 pm

Thanks WDW, that was great :) . The new SEM sounds sweet!
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by otto » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:56 pm

Thanks WDW. I'll listen to it on better speakers tonight.
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Re: Tom Oberheim to show new synth on Wednesday?

Post by chrisrnps » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:17 pm

WDW wrote:Panning each SEM hard in opposite directions, I placed the new SEM on the left channel and the original SEM on the right. Percussion is Apple Ultrabeat. All other sounds are SEM. The mix is completely dry with no effects or EQing.
Goddammit. Now I want two SEMs.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by maindeglorie » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:01 pm

WDW...

That VCA patch point on the SEM, is it CV or gate. PLEASE let it be CV.
I want to be able to just take the SEM and the French Connection out.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Joey » Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:03 am

you people must be brainwashed to hear a difference, I can barely hear anything and i monitored in both my adam a7s and beyerdynamic dt770s

oh and the other issue: they both sound f**k great, so who f**k cares if there is a difference?
No one cares, no one sympathizes,
so you just stay home and play synthesizers.

http://wearereplicants.com

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by otto » Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:16 am

Well Joey you did come to that conclusion before you ever heard the demos. Objectivity is a virtue, subjectivity is something anyone is capable of.

I still haven't had a chance to listen on anything but my laptop so I have no opinion yet.
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