Tom Oberheim SEM VS Little Phatty

A forum for comparing two or more synths against each other. Also known as "versus" threads.
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Scories
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Tom Oberheim SEM VS Little Phatty

Post by Scories » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:25 am

For those who had the chance to try both, which one do you think delivers the best pure vintage analog tones?

I don't care about cutting classic leads; I prefer psychedelic mind-numbing warmth that sounds so physical you might think it's concrete... in a musical and inspiring way. Like those music library tapes from the past. I know I will have to use wobbly effects on it, but still...

I had the feeling that the SEM could do that. But I should look at other alternatives before getting one...

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Re: Tom Oberheim SEM VS Little Phatty

Post by otto » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:58 pm

I haven’t tried the SEM yet but I haven’t heard anyone say they didn’t like the tone. The demos sound really nice. It’s very simple though and I think you might consider buying a doepfer beauty case and a few extra euro modules to broaden its functionality (assuming you get the modular version).

The LP is a great synth and at the used prices it is hard to beat. Though much simpler than the voyager, I preferred the general tone of the LP to the Voyager.

If you’re considering the LP there are a couple other synths you might look at:
- The MFB synth II is one of the more vintage sounding new synths I’ve used. It is quirky and a little delicate but it’s a lot of synth for cheap. The Kraftzwerg is the semi-modular version.
- Some people prefer the Studio Electronics ACT-1(x) SE-1(x) synths over the moog. They are basically moog inspired designs.

On the other hand you might just want to go vintage…
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Re: Tom Oberheim SEM VS Little Phatty

Post by Scories » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:18 pm

Juste checking a Kraftzwerg clip on youtube: Impressive!

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Re: Tom Oberheim SEM VS Little Phatty

Post by CfNorENa » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:34 pm

otto wrote:On the other hand you might just want to go vintage…
+1 8-)

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Re: Tom Oberheim SEM VS Little Phatty

Post by Synthaholic » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:01 pm

If you can, get both. When the SEM was originally designed back in the 70s it was designed as an expansion module for Moog synths.

The Moog sound (with its wonderful 24db ladder filter) and the Oberheim SEM sound (with its also wonderful but quite distinct 12db multimode filter) complement each other quite well.

I can't say either is better, but they are definitely different.
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Re: Tom Oberheim SEM VS Little Phatty

Post by projectwoofer » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:50 pm

otto wrote:I haven’t tried the SEM yet but I haven’t heard anyone say they didn’t like the tone. The demos sound really nice. It’s very simple though and I think you might consider buying a doepfer beauty case and a few extra euro modules to broaden its functionality (assuming you get the modular version).

The LP is a great synth and at the used prices it is hard to beat. Though much simpler than the voyager, I preferred the general tone of the LP to the Voyager.

If you’re considering the LP there are a couple other synths you might look at:
- The MFB synth II is one of the more vintage sounding new synths I’ve used. It is quirky and a little delicate but it’s a lot of synth for cheap. The Kraftzwerg is the semi-modular version.
- Some people prefer the Studio Electronics ACT-1(x) SE-1(x) synths over the moog. They are basically moog inspired designs.

On the other hand you might just want to go vintage…
May I also add the Spectral Audio Neptune II...sounds quite vintage to my ears!
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Re: Tom Oberheim SEM VS Little Phatty

Post by code green » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:29 am

fwiw, looks like earl lindo was preferring his 4-voice SEM to his mini ca. 1979 ;) (:25-:46)

[bbvideo]
[/bbvideo]

yes, this is basically just an excuse to post a vid in which i was excited to i.d. a 4-voice onstage in a vintage rig.

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Re: Tom Oberheim SEM VS Little Phatty

Post by Scories » Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:56 pm

Isn'it a 2 voices? Nice find, Tom would be proud!

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Re: Tom Oberheim SEM VS Little Phatty

Post by code green » Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:40 pm

camera pans at :36 (and subsequently) to reveal more--looks like 4 voices to me.

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Re: Tom Oberheim SEM VS Little Phatty

Post by Scories » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:02 pm

I came to the conclusion that the best thing would be an Oberheim SEM connected with an additionnal Moog MF-101 filter. So you get both sounds plus a nice variety of filters: LP/notch/HP + LP 2/4poles.

Now back to over-consumerism! :)

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Re: Tom Oberheim SEM VS Little Phatty

Post by meatballfulton » Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:54 pm

Noone has mentioned that the LP comes with a keyboard, wheels, MIDI interface, USB interface and has patch memory...all features that are useful for real-time performance (whether on stage or in the studio).
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Re: Tom Oberheim SEM VS Little Phatty

Post by Sir Ruff » Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:40 pm

Scories wrote:I came to the conclusion that the best thing would be an Oberheim SEM connected with an additionnal Moog MF-101 filter. So you get both sounds plus a nice variety of filters: LP/notch/HP + LP 2/4poles.

Now back to over-consumerism! :)
that's a good idea actually! :idea: I've never really head a review of the MF filter, but I'm sure it sounds pretty good. Sometimes you do kind of want the SEM to be a little tighter (though it is a great filter on its own)
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