The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

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clusterchord
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by clusterchord » Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:08 am

nvbrkr wrote:Especially after repeated listenings, I really don't know how anyone can seriously say what's presented on the left and right channels of that clip would sound the same. Does it sound good? Yes. Is the sound "spot on"? No.
ive noticed your findings after single listening. also, the resonance aint as smooth and powerful when cutoff goes way down. and bass lines seem quite a bit more organic, wobbly/drifty on the vintage SEM.

that being said, im not making any decisions yet based on a single demo. also, at least partly, im guessing it just may be the difference in how they were set. if they ain't calibrated the same way, the same position of a resonance knob, for example, doesnt mean youre actually getting the same ammount of resonance. so, at this stage, i am intrigued why did the differences i noticed occur. so far, i still think the new one sounds great. but in a ever so slightly more FutureRetro XS kind-of-way than vintage 70s.

i'm eagerly waiting for more demos from ppl who got one.. im thinking of picking up the barebones version, put it in my 5U modular case, and bring out all the patch points on a double MOTM panel.. creamy white of course. 8)


PS i dont buy the "aging compoentns" argument thats constantly being called upon. i had several vintage boards completely refurbished with new capacitors, psu, whatnot... they still sound unmistakeably vintage, compared to any "new analog" i happened to have arround. magic is in the way they are built, the circuits and components choice/tolerances, not the age of components itself. there are some, not all, modular manufacturers today, who managed to get the 70s character in some of their circuits ..right here, right now with currently available components.
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by WDW » Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:30 am

clusterchord wrote: that being said, im not making any decisions yet based on a single demo. also, at least partly, im guessing it just may be the difference in how they were set. if they ain't calibrated the same way, the same position of a resonance knob, for example, doesnt mean youre actually getting the same ammount of resonance.
To clarify, I did not set the dials to the exact same positions. The controls on each were calibrated differently; therefore, I set them to sound as close to one another as possible by sound.

The one noted exception is the filter sweep at the intro. Resonance was set to max on both, and I started the sweep with the filter on max (which should be fully open) and turned the frequency knob to end at the same position on both.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by maindeglorie » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:05 pm

Mooger5 wrote:It´s a CV input. Edit - Gates and triggers are usually used to start/stop the envelope generators which then output variable control voltages that usually go into the VCAs for variable volume levels or the oscillators for variable pitch. The CV sources can be anything such as EG, LFO, KBD, whatever... Gate/trig can also be regarded as fixed Control Voltages of course, so if you feed a VCA with them, the output will be either silence/full volume or just a short click. In the SEM it´s just labelled VCA Contr and so you can control it with just about anything provided the signal it´s strong enough for the VCA to detect it. To avoid confusion, I just call it CV. OK, not very accurate, but well I hope it answers your question :)
What I'm wondering is whether it's a fixed voltage, or if it accepts variable voltage?
If it's fixed like a gate (full on/off) then it's not useful for controlling with the French Connection, but if it's a variable CV input, then it will work.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by steveman » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:43 pm

It's a CV input, so it'll accept variable voltages. It's connected to the same place the Envelope is, actually on the circuit it looks as if you can only use the external CV when you switch to 'EXT' on the front panel, ie the external CV replaces the envelope.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by nadafarms » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:06 am

I just bought an original SEM today :D

I have never played one before and I'm wondering how I could have possibly even survived without one, it's so juicy I can't believe it!

I'm real skeptical now that the new sem will be this fat, but if it's even close DAMN!!!!!!
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by maindeglorie » Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:33 am

It will be close. I have faith.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Sir Ruff » Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:51 pm

Mine finally arrived yesterday, and as reluctant as I am, I wanted to post my first impressions...

I haven't been able to listen to WDW's demo yet, and I've never used an original SEM, so my impressions are without any old SEM "sound" preconceptions other than what I've read here.. But I could compare it to my FR XS and the CS30 as some 12db/oct new/old reference points.

unfortunately my entire setup is in pieces while I move so no demos to post (this was all done using a pair of monitoring headphones, no CV control, with the VCA open!)

in general
-sounds BIG, fairly ferocious when oscs are detuned.
-filters sound great (but there is a certain brightness/sharpness in the resonance when at max that I can see making it sound more "modern")
-if (like me), you'd never used an original SEM, I don't think you would have any qualms with this one!

In comparing to the other two 12db/oct analogs I have to hand:
-the XS is a much sleeker, squelchier and more modern sounding machine-i.e. roland-esque, more compressed. The SEM definitely sounds more "vintage" and mid-rangey (the notch filter on the SEM trounces that of the XS).
-the SEM sounds much closer to the CS30 to me (when only using one filter), though it is more hi-fi sounding (but this is really just in terms of overall impression-the filters themselves sound different).

So to me (based on my super subjective comparisons), the SEM sort of falls somewhere in between synths of yore and those of modernity, though more towards the former. Whatever...it sounds great...

TO should have some proper demos and videos up soon.

EDIT: I will keep qualifying my statements until I there is nothing indefensible :lol:
Last edited by Sir Ruff on Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by otto » Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:16 pm

Come on Ruff, give us a demo! We demand it!
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Joey » Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:52 pm

I just want to point out that WD mentioned on another forum that he wouldn't hesitate to throw the new SEM as a drop in replacement in a TVS or FVS.
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Sir Ruff » Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:37 am

otto wrote:Come on Ruff, give us a demo! We demand it!
Ah cannae do it capt'n... I don't have any 1/8" cables, and I refuse to pay $5 for 1 at RShack (don't worry, I'm not missing the irony here :lol: )
Audiomidi are supposedly about to be sellin Munagi(sp?) cables at a much lower price... I'm inclined to wait unless anyone has any suggestions where online I could get some cheap 1/8" connectors?
Or I may just break down and go to RS.
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by sensorium » Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:43 am

Sir Ruff wrote:
otto wrote:Come on Ruff, give us a demo! We demand it!
Ah cannae do it capt'n... I don't have any 1/8" cables, and I refuse to pay $5 for 1 at RShack (don't worry, I'm not missing the irony here :lol: )
Audiomidi are supposedly about to be sellin Munagi(sp?) cables at a much lower price... I'm inclined to wait unless anyone has any suggestions where online I could get some cheap 1/8" connectors?
Or I may just break down and go to RS.

Make your own Mogami's at custom lengths for cheap.
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by nadafarms » Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:55 am

Lol i just went and bought two last night for my vintage sem... from radioshack for $7 a piece hurts! but I'm jamming on the SEM it's worth it...

now come on ruff be the first to post long solo demos of the sem
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by spookyman » Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:11 pm

clusterchord wrote: PS i dont buy the "aging compoentns" argument thats constantly being called upon. i had several vintage boards completely refurbished with new capacitors, psu, whatnot... they still sound unmistakeably vintage, compared to any "new analog" i happened to have arround. magic is in the way they are built, the circuits and components choice/tolerances, not the age of components itself. there are some, not all, modular manufacturers today, who managed to get the 70s character in some of their circuits ..right here, right now with currently available components.
Very well said. =D>

One day...one of these new SEM will be in my home studio, for sure, to complete my OB-X.
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by otto » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:06 am

Looks like the semi-modular SEM is going to jump in price over $100 in week.
http://www.audiomidi.com/oberheim.aspx
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by nadafarms » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:15 am

damn on the $100!!!! well I don't blame Tom I'm sure it's worth it and still a great price.

before the only thing stopping me was the damn 9.75% California Liberal tree hugging global warming tax. now I gotta do this before oct 15th...
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