The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by elmacaco » Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:55 pm

I think the main reason for wanting it to sound exactly like a vintage SEM is curiosity to see if it is possible to make something that sounds vintage today. Moog made a great synth in the voyager, but hopes for it to be on par with a minimoog soundwise were not met. But then again, it was a new design. Here we have the man Tom Oberheim himself making the new SEMs with the same circuits just new componants and trying to make it sound the same. The question isn't 'can he make a good synthesizer?' He's made thousands, the question is, can he give it the vintage vibe? Can he make a SEM like he did 30 years ago and will it sound the same? it seems like he has come closer than moog did with the Voyager, but the real issue is that no one knows what it is that makes the vintage synths sound so good. Aging componants has been a default answer that doesn't hold much water (listen to old recordings, they sound the same new more or less.) So that's why the comparison matters and is not a slight on Tom or anyone, it's a unique situation where an original is recreating his circuit as close as possible.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by de raaf » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:10 pm

older recording = different recording manners and studio gear, than today hence different sound
synth ain't biology, hence clones in the synth world can't be compared/viewed in the same way to biological clones

have fun and enjoy making some sounds

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Zonkout » Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:36 am

My pal got the new SEM recently, with the CV patch panel.
I'd say it sounds more vintage than most of the other modern analog synths I can think of (haven't played the Leipzig yet). So far I've only gotten to set up one patch on it, and it wasn't going low enough when patched to a Roland SH-2 (sounded a full octave higher than the SH2 when tuned in its lowest range). Once I spend some more time with it I'll be able to provide a more detailed report. The patch panel seems to have a lot of flexibility.
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by spookyman » Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:43 pm



Here is a small video from a vintage TVS, only with a reverb. This is true vintage sound.

The new SEM is not bad at all...
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by iProg » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:55 am

I would like a SEM-based 4-voice polysynth from Tom. Price from $ 2500 and below.

The polysynths are the big trademark of the Oberheim sound, IMO.

Even though I think the Prophet '08 sounded more OB than sounding like P5, nothing beats the OB series.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by redmartian » Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:07 pm

I ordered two SEMs on October 5th and just received word from audiomidi.com that the soonest I might get the order is at the end of November. Hopefully this means Tom is doing very well and the SEMs are selling a lot faster than he expected. I work in two different studios with original SEMs and I'm hoping to do some demos with the new and the old.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by nadafarms » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:02 am

Oh my c**p i just got the new SEM and DAMN!!!!! it sounds good.

honestly I like the way it sounds better than the old one I just recently had, a lot better.

THE FILTER SELF OSCILLATES on both mine and my housemates, that gives it a much more interesting set of possibilities and in no way detracts from it being a clone (just turn down the res if you don't like it)

I LOVE IT! will def be buying a second one. I even scored this one used ;)

Honestly once you play it you'll start laughing at the thought of buying a vintage mono in the same price range because this new SEM kills the dancefloor!
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by stikygum » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:58 am

Good to hear. I certainly haven't heard anything that I don't like about it's sound.

Interesting that you like it better than the original. So, in other words, you feel it's just as raw and organic?
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by stikygum » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:58 am

[edit] double post somehow [edit]
Last edited by stikygum on Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by nadafarms » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:54 am

of all people on this forum I'm probably the first one to speak up about something sounding vintage/raw enough, and yes it sounds PHAT with an extra capitalized PH and tons of rawness, mojo and vibe as well as HUGE sounding and don't forget Beefy... I really impressed!

I would also go so far as to say it's the best value analog mono synth you can buy on the market today. Certainly better sounding and a better value than some old limited monosynth without patchability and it sounds more vintage than anything else on the market that isn't fully in modular format.

I think it's a trip to have a synth sound this raw and NOT be some old funky falling apart thing, with scratchy pots, un calibrated oscs, it's like I'm doing a double take the controls feel so smooth. It just feels great and the only modern thing about it is the awesome minty freshness and build quality

I may get crazy and try to put together a four voice eventually if more people start unloading their new SEMS I so far have seen two go for sale used and I managed to grab one of them :)
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Dogboy73 » Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:04 pm

Sounds great. I want one! I haved been sizing up the Analogue Solutions Telemark, which is based on the SEM. But now I'm thinking about the Real deal Oberheim SEM. I'd like to get the CV/Gate version but I don't have a CV source so I guess I'd have to get a Kenton MIDI > CV converter to go with it.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by StepLogik » Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:38 pm

Man.... so tempted. I was pretty much set on getting a Dark Energy but this thread is giving me severe GAS.

How is the tuning stability?

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by nadafarms » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:19 pm

you would be insane to get a telemark... the sem sounds a lot better and people have reported faults with the telemark and semblance build quality :)

tuning seems fine, it's perfectly calibrated and I never worry about general drift because it's an analog instrument!!! get a guitar tuner 8-)
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by StepLogik » Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:13 pm

nadafarms wrote:you would be insane to get a telemark... the sem sounds a lot better and people have reported faults with the telemark and semblance build quality :)

tuning seems fine, it's perfectly calibrated and I never worry about general drift because it's an analog instrument!!! get a guitar tuner 8-)
I use a Boss VF-1 for tuning - works great! My only concern with analogs is when they can't stay in tune for any reasonable amount of time. For most modern designs, this doesn't seem to be an issue at all.

We need more SEM YouTube vids out there...

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by KLAXON » Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:22 am

I haven't kept up to date with all the news on this, but was a bit bummed when I went to order one today, only to find that they had bumped the price up by $150.

Oh well, c'est la vie. Perhaps another time.
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