The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

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Tenine
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Tenine » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:46 pm

It's here!
When it arrived, there was a little condensation on the casing, but it's been sat in a warm room now for 3 hours and looks fine.

The PSU came with a Euro plug lead (2 round pins, like you find on electric razors and toothbrush chargers), thankfully I already have one of those.

Can't wait to try it out, I barely slept last night ha!

Cheers!

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by evilgeniusrecords » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:05 pm

how does everyone feel about their SEMs?

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Richard Gear » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:33 pm

I really like it. It has the most beautiful highs of my collection. It can also deliver a powerful crawling bass that can also get very buzzy. The band pass filter is also handy for external filtering. I like to saturate the pwm to get clipped pulse sounds. Its architecture makes me think different and I can achieve a lot of great sounds. For a huge variety of tones, the SEM deliver in spades IMO.

The only thing I dislike is that I hear a noise comming from the lfo when the lfo is applied to the filter. Anyone else had this issue??

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Solderman » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:36 pm

Also am enjoying my patch-panel SEM for the most part, using it predominantly for PWM or 3 octave-apart sawtooth leads. Oscillator Sync and resonant Highpass sweeps are also brutally good. Any kind of bright and/or buzzy sound will shine here. Lower set lowpass filter cutoff sounds are still pleasantly warm with that slight buzzy quality, even with high resonance, likely because of the SEM's two pole slope and all discrete VCO's.

It's been connected to the Kenton pro2000 for quite some time so I can do leads with aftertouch activated vibrato. The Kenton CV out goes to the Mult of a Moog CP-251, where one side goes to the Lag circuit for portamento before the VCO CV in, while the other side goes to an attenuator used for VCF key tracking.

Envelope decay is very snappy. VCA out modulating VCF cutoff has a unique distorted quality. Crossmod basses rival the Pro~One in fatness, and are pitch-stable for a much wider key range. The notch filter is as smooth as a Moogerfooger MF-103 phaser.

Problems I've encountered:
  1. Using the lag circuit on the CP-251 causes VCO pitch-tracking to not be 100%. I have to adjust pitch-tracking on the Kenton to compensate. Tom-O says this is because none of the CV inputs are buffered.
  2. I've noticed the same clicking problem as Richard Gear when LFO modulation is applied to VCO for higher notes or the VCF in general. If memory serves, only one VCO of the two was exhibiting this flaw, and only for pitch, not pulsewidth.
  3. Legato playing(gate is held for a new note) still causes a subtle "thump" when pitch changes, when no portamento is present. Especially annoying in the higher pitch register when playing leads.
  4. Bass doesn't seem to be as big as I'd like, and is actually rather muddy without some EQ around 200-300 hz. The Kraftzwerg through the Moog MF-101 filter pedal kicks its a*s with bass for sure
  5. Envelope attack has a large noticeable range in the first 10% of its turn(not enough precision for subtle reduction)
  6. Envelope attack behavior in general is kind of unpredictable with higher decay settings
  7. Patch panel audio-in really needs a pre-amp, like on the other two versions
  8. Initial gain is not calibrated properly on mine so the VCA leaks faintly, plus it's kind of noisy at full sustain anyway
  9. VCF output fed back to Audio In produces no artifacts and I can't get the VCF to saturate regardless of how hot the input signal is
  10. Resonant sounds typically take up more headroom than any other monosynth I've ever used
The genius in this synth is the simplicity and logical form of the front panel, which hides a great deal of complexity, attainable with just a few knob twists. The patch-panel does detract from this somewhat. There's no denying the power in both its sonic character and flexibility, even though it apparently lacks the "alive" quality of the vintage version. I really need to try some multi-tracked passes. I also need to make some proper demos to post here. I've been having too much fun with it to bother, thus far.
I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by jaypodesta » Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:49 pm

Don't think anyone else has posted about the new pro midi patch panel version...

edit: got rid of the picture as there is one below now. Go to tomoberheim.com if you need to see it.
Last edited by jaypodesta on Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by soundxplorer » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:56 pm

I just got my SEM Pro a few days ago and so far I'm loving it, especially in Band Pass mode. This thing is full of "sweet spots" to explore. It just sounds good all over the place. I went with the Pro because it will be used with a small Eurorack system, but I also need a MIDI converter. I like the one-button-per-function of the built-in converter, plus the preamp will be useful. It's going to serve as an "expander" for my Little Phatty - a retro-vintage combo.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by soundxplorer » Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:49 pm

Solderman wrote:Problems I've encountered:

[*] Legato playing(gate is held for a new note) still causes a subtle "thump" when pitch changes, when no portamento is present. Especially annoying in the higher pitch register when playing leads.
Do you have a sound file of this as an example?
So far I haven't really noticed it on mine, but I haven't played it from a MIDI controller that much yet.
The only time I heard something that might be like what you describe is when I had the resonance turned all the way up. But I attributed that small "thump" to the filter in that case. There's something about the SEM's resonance circuit that can almost sound like a very short delay at times - I can almost hear the faint "trails" of a short delay time fading off in the background. Or maybe I'm just experiencing an acid flashback every time I play with my SEM. :D

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Solderman » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:59 pm

soundxplorer wrote:
Solderman wrote:Legato playing(gate is held for a new note) still causes a subtle "thump" when pitch changes, when no portamento is present.
Do you have a sound file of this as an example?
Quick example:
If you look at the waveform in an audio editor, you can actually see the amplitude rise and fall for an instant when the pitch changes. It's more audibly obvious for certain pitches than others, and more resonance is just going to put emphasis on whatever part of the spectrum the "thump" extends to.
I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
--Solderman no more.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by atticus » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:28 pm

Great review Solderman. Nice one. :thumbright:
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Solderman » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:13 am

Thanks. I would add one more problem found:

11. No VCA Audio In on the patch panel.

You may think this is unnecessary, but it can be useful for numerous things, such as inserting audio processing between filter and amp, substituting the SEM's VCF for an external filter but keeping its VCA function, dual serial filters(SEM + 1 external filter) without the need for an external mixer for the VCO's, rhythmic gating of audio signals without any filter coloration, etc.

It was pointed out to me that I could modify my SEM very easily to support this feature. But where would you drill a hole? What signal level does the VCA take? If levels aren't a problem, I guess you could remove the wire from Audio In 2 to the VCF and route it to the VCA input.

And I had promised demos earlier, but my playing is such c**p, I only have one that is halfway presentable at, er, present. It's the SEM combined with the Moogerfooger MF-102 ringmod, with one VCO as modulator plus the normal MF-102 triangle carrier:

CP-251 was used for portamento and to tune pitch tracking for the MF-102 carrier to match 1V/Octave. Too much goddam fun. :D
I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
--Solderman no more.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:25 am

Solderman wrote:
soundxplorer wrote:
Solderman wrote:Legato playing(gate is held for a new note) still causes a subtle "thump" when pitch changes, when no portamento is present.
Do you have a sound file of this as an example?
Quick example:
If you look at the waveform in an audio editor, you can actually see the amplitude rise and fall for an instant when the pitch changes. It's more audibly obvious for certain pitches than others, and more resonance is just going to put emphasis on whatever part of the spectrum the "thump" extends to.
I don't hear a problem.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Solderman » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:29 am

May help to use headphones, and know that the VCA envelope is not re-triggering. The two middle notes from the clip are the loudest thumpers. I probably should have put a clip from another synth that is less prevalent with the thumping. Gets really nasty for certain higher pitches and its loudness varies with oscillator beating. Highpass filter or post processing EQ can remove it if you're careful.
I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
--Solderman no more.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by hyphen nation » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:34 am

evilgeniusrecords wrote:how does everyone feel about their SEMs?
Honestly, I love the patch panel one I have...it has to be one of the nicest/dimensional [I know, ridiculous description] sounds. It's a really lovely sounding machine. It's fun paired with a FR Mobius...and a major reason picked it up was so that I could stick a toe into the wonderful expensive world of modular synths...

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Hybrid88 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:20 pm

Just thought I'd share this, found in my internet wanderings - looks like something is finally coming together on the Two Voice 8-)

Image

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Sir Ruff » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:58 pm

Hybrid88 wrote:Just thought I'd share this, found in my internet wanderings - looks like something is finally coming together on the Two Voice 8-)

Image
Wow!!! That's great! I was really starting to think this, let along the SO4V, were never going to happen. Where'd you find it?
Do you even post on vse bro?

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