The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

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guitarsandsynths
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by guitarsandsynths » Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:50 am

Thanks overgear!
Really nice demo and graphs! :D
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:52 am

There was an awesome point about halfway through the first one where the two patches synced up and it felt like the sound was moving through my head from one side to the other, awesome! :D

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Joey » Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:59 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:
nadafarms wrote:I mean I really am considering buying multiple sems but it's gonna suck not being able to do filter sweeps on all the voices at once...
Welcome to the 70's.
simple solution: buy a tiny patchbay and then patch your one modwheel out to all the cutoff controls of your SEMS... I do something like this with my ms20 so I can more than one parameter at the same time
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Overgear » Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:11 am

Joey wrote:simple solution: buy a tiny patchbay...
I've used this Rolls. :D
Stab Frenzy wrote:There was an awesome point about halfway through the first one where the two patches synced up and it felt like the sound was moving through my head from one side to the other, awesome! :D
Try the straight waveforms...

Saw - 1:22
Pulse - 1:04 - WARNING - This starts at zero and ends nearly as quick.

The pulse file is, well, was a loop. Both were originally recorded at 96k/24-bit. In SoundForge, the pulse file has no noticeable loop-point...and i mean it's looped by phase. That "around your brain" cycling just keeps circling. Of course, converting to Mp3 adds blank space and does a number on them. It's better than nothing and, at 96, the pulse file was 35mb. Sounds nice, though. Here's a pic when it's about 90 degrees out of phase. The vector scope image flips on it's horizontal axis when it crosses 180 out of phase and flips vertically when it crosses 0. These things make crazy shapes when panned and volume matched.
Image
guitarsandsynths wrote:Thanks overgear!
Really nice demo and graphs! :D
Well, thank you right back. :thumbright:

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Sir Ruff » Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:16 pm

Overgear, I don't know if you clarified this, but which is new SEM and old SEM in the frequency charts? The only major difference I can discern is the the top diagram has more low end "rumble" than the bottom... but I'm not sure which is which...
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by 3rdConstruction » Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:03 pm

nadafarms wrote:Seriously contemplating buying four of these, just wish there were new cases... because it's expensive to buy 4 modular or midied SEMs, much cheaper to buy 4 drop in SEMs... but nowhere to drop them into :( :( :(
I am praying that Mr. Oberheim will make a new four voice unit.
maindeglorie wrote:.... a 4 voice will be no problem. In fact, I think Doepfer and Tom should combine; let Tom do the SEMs and Doepfer build the case and add this.
Yes! Brilliant! Now I guess that you can’t just chain four MIDI SEMs together, correct?
Joey wrote:dave smith has a midi polychain system… for there to be a true four voice Tom will have to implement something similar
… so I guess since that kind of functionality is not explicitly described on the info page for the MIDI SEM, then Joey is right & you’d have to go another route. So would four CV SEM modules be the way to do this, with an appropriate MIDI/poly-CV converter, as others have suggested?
maindeglorie wrote:"Module A-190-3 is a four voice Midi-to-CV/Gate interface. For each voice a pitch control voltage (CV1, to control VCOs), a gate output (to control envelope generators) and two additional control voltages (CV2, CV3) are available. The two additional CV outputs are probably controlled by velocity/volume and a free assignable Midi controller.
...speaking at length about something is no guarantee that understanding is advanced.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by nadafarms » Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:57 pm

can someone pretty please post a musical demo of only the new SEM... preferably before the price goes up on oct 15th????

The original SEM is rocking my world and I just wanna hear a plain old demo of the new synth. Is that possible anyone? Ruff I'm looking in your general direction... :D

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Overgear » Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:28 pm

Sir Ruff,

The left is the old. The small bump around 10hz on both is the Lfo. Are you talking about the difference below that? Btw, the resonance on my old SEMs currently doesn't go as high as the new, so I still can't confidently comment on your thoughts. Keeping the new in the same range as my old, they seem the same.

Nada,

Actually, I've been working on it ...trying to hurry.
Glad to see you got VCO2 sorted with CZ's help. Gotta love the design, eh? Damn, though, somebody just straight cut out that jumper!

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On the poly question, yes, the CVs are the best way to accomplish this...so far. The Expressionist can handle an 8-voice. I, too, wonder how the midi versions will deal w/ poly chaining. :-k

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Z » Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:34 pm

I just ordered one and was told there may be a limited run of these. I don't believe everything I hear, but I wouldn't hold your breath for a four voice. However, you can do as many have suggested and chain several together with a MIDI to CV converter like a Roland MPU-101. It would also be cool to find an old FVS that has been gutted and drop in the new SEMs.

@Nada: there's a YouTube video with Mitch @ AudioMIDI interviewing Tom about his new SEMs that has SEM-only music in the background.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by nadafarms » Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:44 pm

what do you mean a limited run of these? like there will only be new sems available for a short time??? then will be discontinued or something?

:shock:
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Sir Ruff » Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:59 pm

Overgear wrote:The left is the old. The small bump around 10hz on both is the Lfo. Are you talking about the difference below that? Btw, the resonance on my old SEMs currently doesn't go as high as the new, so I still can't confidently comment on your thoughts. Keeping the new in the same range as my old, they seem the same.
yes, I was wondering about that sub-10hz region on the top histogram (which I'm assuming is the old?) I know that inaudible anyways, but wondered if that was noise, or rumbling freqs that aren't present on the new.

regarding the rez, I actually had a feeling the new one went higher than the original just from what I know from other oberheims (barring the Xpander). So if the increased resonance that exists on the new SEM is not present on the old, any comments I have about the new SEM's resonance sounding "modern" are kind of invalid! (it sounds better to me anyways, when the rez is just below max).

I would love to provide a good demo, but I still haven't splurged on cables... I might actually do so tomorrow, as I am already planning a semi-live outing for the SEM!

In the meantime, let me present some new SEM pcb p**n :shock: (for the record, the SEMs come with the CV/Gate ins already normalled)

http://i35.tinypic.com/2j5ics4.jpg
http://i36.tinypic.com/sqrvjd.jpg
http://i35.tinypic.com/swpf2b.jpg
http://i33.tinypic.com/2vxf4pj.jpg
http://i35.tinypic.com/2j5ics4.jpg

Regarding the possibility of a limited run, I think that was always a possibility from the get go... he is literally assembling these in his garage as a "fun" project... I don't think there was ever any long term goals here. Get it while you can basically...
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by stikygum » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:46 pm

Being nit-picky about the differences is silly, when in the first place, old vintage SEMs didn't even match up or sound the same. So if the old ones never sounded identical, can a new and old one sound identical. Silly (but entertaining nonetheless). The new SEM sounds the same to me, unless I were to listen over and over and over (which is fine - its fun hearing about other's findings), I'm sure I could find something to point out, but I could do the same with 2 old SEMs. But my point is, anyone's conclusion NOW will be different if they listened to a different old SEM and different new SEM. The comparisons (and greatly appreciated 8) ) will continually be different. From the sound of it, the new SEM has a wider range of tone since the LFO seems to go higher and the filter resonance also can reach higher.

It's nice to see everyone's opinions on the clips, but this all basically just validates the new SEM is a true and faithful reproduction of the old SEM. Neither seems better because they are both the same SEM. I would want either one, just like the other, except the new has the better chance of living longer (and how could one not want CV patch points).

Even if there were these minuet differences 'technically' (even though it doesn't make any sense as I pointed out in the first paragraph), people listening to one in a song will never ever be able to tell a difference.
Overgear wrote: One note: I did not realize until today how easy it is to allow the TVS Output Module to color the signal. It's a nice coloring but it does make it tougher to match up with a single SEM. I'm pretty sure there's still a little on the old one in the first audio example.
This is a good point and something that I wasn't aware of, but makes complete sense. From knowing and owning many high end preamps myself, I'm sure the old Output Module colors the sound of the SEMs a lot. And could clearly be distinguished from an older SEM or newer SEM without the output module. Preamps/VCAs make all the difference in the world.
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by nvbrkr » Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:10 am

stikygum wrote:Being nit-picky about the differences is silly, when in the first place, old vintage SEMs didn't even match up or sound the same. So if the old ones never sounded identical, can a new and old one sound identical. Silly (but entertaining nonetheless). The new SEM sounds the same to me, unless I were to listen over and over and over (which is fine - its fun hearing about other's findings), I'm sure I could find something to point out, but I could do the same with 2 old SEMs.
Yes, exactly the same argument was thrown around first with the Minimoog / Voyager -comparisons and ultimately it proved out to be a flawed one - that should give you some practical perspective. The conclusions you are making based on "vintage SEMs sounding different from each other" are just plain illogical otherwise as well. Perhaps checking out the basic principles for argumentation could be in order before labeling anyone's statements "silly".

You're making a pretty typical mistake: attributing the differences to be noted between two different particular instances to concern too abstractly also two different groups of particulars and claiming nothing definitive can be said of them. You're doing this only on the basis of the notion that "differences exist" without taking into account that "similarities exist" also between the two different groups (they can share a certain set of properties, without those aspects that they do not share invalidating such observations). The fact that two entities "are not entirely identical" does not offer such a free ride: not logically and not in practice either. The comments regarding the comparison are not made based on just the observable "differences between the two SEMs", but also based on the associations we have formed over the years using vintage analog and modern analog synthesizers. Granted those are "just associations", but it should be still an acceptable topic for discussion without being dismissed as "silly" on such faulty reasoning.
But my point is, anyone's conclusion NOW will be different if they listened to a different old SEM and different new SEM.
Why would this be necessarily the case? Furthermore, why are you projecting other people's potential conclusions into their heads based on your own inability to note a difference between two different recorded takes?

What makes the unit on the other channel sound different from the other one is a subject for discussion, and also operates on such admittedly vague concepts as "character of sound" and so on. But not being able to tell the difference between those clearly different recorded takes is just plain disturbing coming from people who supposedly have collected a good number of vintage instruments over the years. Not having the ear for being able to distinguish the typical character between a vintage synth and a modern counterpart is still excusable, but again, insisting that the two channels on the first sample would be "the same" is just plain absurd. As noted by another user, the sweeping sound wouldn't even seem to have the identical values for the filter used on it. That's not to say that the "findings" on the differences between the character of the sound would have been that hard to hear either. I'm hardly the biggest expert on this issue myself, but I just have to wonder why people who are otherwise acting on this board like they'd actually have a saying on tone and character of sound are not able to hear it.

Such nonsense. Some people are behaving here as if noting that difference would be an insult aimed directly at Tom Oberheim.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by redchapterjubilee » Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:37 pm

I think the point is that it really doesn't matter how close one sounds to another. Choose the one that's right for you, make music with it and move on.
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Mooger5 » Wed Oct 14, 2009 4:32 pm

Thanks. The photos are revealing. Anyone care to comment on the SMTs and the SMPS?
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