The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:54 am

Scories wrote:As the 2-voices is apparently Tom's favourite synth, it's not THAT surprising.

But I have a hard time to understand the advantages of buying a 2 voices over 2 SEM's, unless the 2-Voices are with MIDI & patch-pannel, but that's an other topic.
I imagine there will be advantages in having the whole thing as one unit with keys, and if it's got the sequencer in it as well...

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Scories » Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:11 am

Maybe I should specify that I like to pack a maximum of sound sources in a minimal space. But I hope the sequencer will have more than 8 steps. I like Tangerine Dream, but...

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:23 am

Maybe there's no advantage for you then, but for other people it would be great.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by LWG » Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:54 pm

Is this just rumor? Has it been verified?
IF this is an eventuality, my take on this would be to lose the sequencer in favor of patch memory, or at best, offer a choice.
The desire for products in their original form is understandable, but taking the do-it-exactly-as-it-was-done-then approach can be problematic. The primary reason sales of the two/four voice dropped was that the P5 was fully programmable. It was faster to use as a live performance instrument, and a similar situation exists now:

The major offerings from Dave Smith, Moog Music, and Studio Electronics (its closest relatives) all have patch memory. Its become pretty much indispensable for a performer's synth. Even the new Moog Taurus has been updated with patch recall.
The two-voice has enough parameters (as in, two independent synthesizers) on one chassis that the lack of patch recall when used as a stage instrument make it cumbersome to use in comparison to the offerings of other newer analogs like Voyager, Prophet 08, SE1x, Omega, A6, etc.
When you combine this factor with whats already a niche segment (analog), within an already limited market (professional keyboard products), with an even smaller marketshare now* than there was for analog in 1975, it just seems like a bad idea not to do a redesigned patch programmer for any larger keyboard-based instruments Oberheim chooses to build. Oberheim learned that lesson back then. After the sales of the SEM series fell through, the sequencer was dropped for the OBX and Xa in favor of full programmability. A sequencer (DSX) was later brought back as a standalone unit. I would tend to favor this approach.
Implementing patch memory on a two (or four) voice version of the SEMs would actually be easier now than back then. Originally, the Oberheim polyphonics handled their digital functioning with discrete CMOS technology
(which is why the programmer was incomplete); it wasn't microprocessor based.
Unlike then, the current SEMs that Tom Oberheim is building have MIDI integrated into them.
This would make implementing an upgraded patch programmer easier, and possibly leave room for some additional global functions that the original polyphonics didn't have.
These functions could include basic housekeeping options, like an auto-tune, and some extras, like a choice between fully independent patching for each module, or real-time patch copy; where one module can be programmed and the additional ones will follow those settings. Original SEM sound/UI w/Matrix series controllability.
Since a programmer would have to fit into the space where the sequencer is currently positioned, you don't have to use a fancy lcd. If you wanted to go low-tech, a three-position seven-segment led could be used, with an individual led or two as status indicators. This method would not allow for patch naming, as in the case of an lcd display.


my humble two cents..


Regards,

-L


*(vst's, romplers, and dsp-based products have
taken a major bite out of what was an exclusively analog market)

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Scories » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:34 pm

I would prefer a deluxe version, with MIDI+patch pannel and maybea 2nd lfo with additionnal pulse/s&h, a built-in attenuator, maybe a noise generator and a possibility to modulate the dual filter position with the enveloppe or the lfo.

But as Stab Fenzy said, that's just my opinion.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by CZ Rider » Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:44 pm

Just received an email from Tom confirming late fall for the two voice. So not vaporware!
As an owner of a Two-voice, it is a really great package with many features. The biggest improvement for me would be a proper pitch-bender like a wheel, and a mod wheel with a dedicated mod selection source would be great. The mod source could be a multi waveform LFO/noise/S&H from the sequencer panel. Could always upgrade the sequencer to modern digital memory/arpeggio type too I guess.
The stock Two-voice had some nice hidden features like the noise source was routed to the ext in on boh SEM's, and SEM 1 output was routed to the other ext in on SEM 2 for a nice complex 4 oscillator mono synth patch. The S&H was also routed to the ext mod input on both VCF's. And it was real easy to add some extra patch points as needed, if you wanted to customize the routings. Back in the day it was one of the first multi-timbral, polyphonic, with built in sequencer synth available.
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by 3rdConstruction » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:14 pm

I also own & love the original two-voice. The two-voice is a unique synth with its idiosyncratic options of being duophonic, duo-timbral or a 4-osc monophonic. Despite being 8-step, the sequencer was duophonic, which made it quite unique in its day. I know there are may different perspectives on this, but fwiw I'll just add that for me, I have no interest in patch programmability, I guess because I don't perform live.

I am overjoyed to hear he's working on this. I was originally planning to save up for 4 SEMS, now I'm obsessed with curiosity about whether he will consider recreating the four-voice.
...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 Yatmandu » Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:38 am

I received my MIDI>CV SEM today and I have to say these are the nicest two oscillators, filter, and LFO I've ever played with. I'll put up some samples this weekend...tried to do a quick recording as I was checking everything out tonight, but it was in the red and I forgot how to get Reaper to attenuate the input. It was well worth the wait, since I'm not really a CV/wires/modular type of guy. Let me kinow if you have any questions on the midi side of things.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by I12 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:15 am

To the poster who wanted it programmable

memory
It means pot>ad/\da>circuit..........i think.
Dont bother its not worth it!

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Sir Ruff » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:09 pm

Having never played one, I can't say the prospect of a new 2-voice really jumps out at me beyond the prospect for more "new" old gear (maybe it will encourage others to follow a similar route). Having said that, where's the sign-up sheet? :lol: .

And for the record, it appears I am indeed the owner of new SEM #1 (the serials start at 11 according to TO). Maybe if I bide my time, I can eventually pull off some major Shaggie-like serial>price coup.
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by jaypodesta » Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:02 pm

I hear what you're saying... keep coming back just to see if they're taking orders yet... not 'cause I'm interested in getting one.

Any idea what numbers they are up to now?

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Yatmandu » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:45 am

Here's an example of a droning sound I just did recorded on my midi>cv SEM: http://soundcloud.com/yatmandu/hard-syn ... on-t-o-sem

I love the drone capabilities of the SEM. Overall, as simple as it is, there's a lot of nuance in the way you can produce sounds out of the SEM, and I'll put up more examples as I go. I need to explore the sounds a lot more before using it in a track.

[Edit: the ending click is me switching it from External/Drone to Env control of the amplifier]

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by iProg » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:38 am

A new OB-2 voice with keyboard, sequencer and MIDI? I'd buy it!

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by stikygum » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:15 pm

Nice droning. I don't need more synths, but this keeps nudging me.
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Scories » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:12 am

Keeping the thread alive.

A new review:
http://emusician.com/elecinstruments/an ... les/?imw=Y

A new online demo (actually, that's my favourite):
http://soundcloud.com/2two2/midi-sem-fr ... ing-around
Reminds me one of my favourite 70's band; Cluster

I have to recognize that I spend too much time thinking about the Oberheim SEM.
I still hesitate between the MIDI and the 'patch pannel' version. :?

I've asked Mr Oberheim about the possibility of having a MIDI + patch pannel and here's what he replied:
" I do not have any plans for an SEM with MIDI and patchpanel. My next product will be a resurection of the old Oberheim 2voice. This will have 2 SEMS, a minisequencer, a 3 octave keyboard, MIDI in and a small patchpanel. "

So I'll have to choose between both models.

Having MIDI would be very useful (because I only have a Kenton PRO-SOLO for 3 monosynths), but the patch pannel must have some great psychedelic tricks à la VCS3.

But I'm not familliar with the types of sounds that could be achieved and how could we produce them.
Is there anybody who could give specific details about which connections could be made whithing the board?
That would be greatly appreciated. :)

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