Oberheim Matrix 1000, Good First Analog Synth?

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Oberheim Matrix 1000, Good First Analog Synth?

Post by MIDI_Thru_Kid » Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:38 pm

Don't care very much YET about the "touchy-feely spiritual" aspects of playing an analog synth, because I know THAT can get EXPENSIVE... :shock: :oops: I'm just looking for a VERY fat, yet cheap, compact way to have that unmistakable OBERHEIM analog sound. The Matrix 1000 looks pretty good, even though there are actually more like 600 sounds, not counting the blank spots (user sound slots), and probably more like 500 sounds not counting the repeats in the (original) patch list. I'm just wondering if this would be a good start up into the analog world for me. I would also like to (HOPEFULLY) utilize it in my MIDI setup, for (eventual) sequencing using my (hopefully if I get the money) RS7000. :mrgreen: Oh, what about the Matrix 6r? Better, worse? The same?
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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000, Good First Analog Synth?

Post by redchapterjubilee » Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:00 pm

I guess it depends on if you want to edit existing sounds or create new ones. If so then the M-1000 is a bit of a bear to deal with. You have to do it with software, program a MIDI programmer for it (and even then you can't make real-time tweaks without freaking it out) or hook it up to a Matrix 6(R) and tweak it. If you are cool with presets (and really, it's 800 from the factory, then 200 repeats which you could maybe find something different from someone else and MIDI-OX them in?) then you will like this synth. I do find myself wishing I could edit it which makes me think that some day I may just spring for either the 6 or the 6R.
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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000, Good First Analog Synth?

Post by shaft9000 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:43 pm

The m1000 was my 1st analog polysynth and i've had mine for 12+ yrs now.
I love the sounds it makes and it is still used for the sweetest pads when needed.
It excels at "filling out" mixes with washes, loooong dramatic FX and fades (epic EGs!), OB brass that nothing else can touch, odd FX noises and some funky keys/organs.
A Lead/Bass monster it is not - EGs are relatively slow - , although for some leads it's PERFECT...I remember covering 'the model' by kraftwerk some years ago, and the MS2000 and everything else I tried didn't cut it, but the m1000 nailed the fat Minimoog lead that's in all the verses.

fwiw, here's a clip I made some years ago of various M1000 patches going thru some outboard delay:



as for editing it...er, well not so good. Clunky and not-so-realtime as the Z80 or whatever's in there is handling too much already to be on top of incoming CC's very well.
That may just be me though, as I can't bear to stare at a computer screen and mouse around when making music.
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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000, Good First Analog Synth?

Post by MIDI_Thru_Kid » Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:40 pm

Ok, sweet, but I don't know how long the preset patches will last me... I would like to have something programmable/easy to edit. I guess the Matrix 6r is the one for that, then? So, how do the two racks compare? 6r vs 1000? And then what about flexiblity in a MIDI setup utilizing a Sequencer, some other synths, and and a drum machine? Would the MIDI kit be able to handle it? (for a Matrix 1000 or Matrix 6r)

So, Questions:

1. Which one is BETTER (Sound-wise, and ease of Edit)?
2. Would they work well in the MIDI setup I described earlier?

Another thing to mention, would I be able to make program changes and tweaks using a Doepfer Drehbank MIDI Controller/knob box? (basically the ACCESS Programmer). http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... K:MEWAX:IT

Thanks all, for the advice so far! And Shaft, that's a NICE set of sounds there!
-Alex

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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000, Good First Analog Synth?

Post by Yatmandu » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:25 am

Forget about any kind of live tweaking of paramaters on either of these...the midi/sysex implementation, although very complete, is also r....e....a.....l...ll.....y.........s......l....o.....w. Certain params when tweaked will plain freeze into a buzzing sound for a few seconds at a time, at least I've noticed that with my 6R adn BCR2K.

But if you want to design sounds, the 6R is heavenly. Int he manual they quote a figure on the total number of possible parameter combos of these synths, not including any level controls, and it's an astronomical figure.

Great for sound design, poor for live tweaking.

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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000, Good First Analog Synth?

Post by paugui » Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:24 pm

If you want a similar sound, the Cheetah MS6 is fully programable using the front panel, but its architecture is fixed.
Unfortunately, you can't use CC's to control it, unless you do a OS upgrade.

Don't know if these are easy to come by in the States (I was lucky to pick 2 up and I really like them, the sound is really good).

But if the sound is similar (and from all I've could read it is), I would suggest that you pick up a Matrix 1000, despite it doesn't seem that easy to program.

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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000, Good First Analog Synth?

Post by MIDI_Thru_Kid » Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:31 pm

Yeah, I'd like to be able to say I own an Oberhiem piece of equipment, and the only way is to get one of these racks, really. I can't put up $3,000 for an OB8-OBxa yet. I'm looking for classic OBxa and OB8 sounds, like the brasses mainly, and basses, some leads, and pads.

So, my original assumptions were correct. For some reason, I knew the 1000 was better than the 6r (when it came to sounds). I can always take my time with a computer to change the sounds, you know just take my time and do it. Or I could buy one of those knob-boxes... I dunno yet. The way it sounds to me is the Matrix 1000 is slow, and will pretty much freeze up and break on me if I tried to open up the cutoff a little, or something. Does anybody have experience in real-time tweaking of these? What all can it handle? Would it handle a little cutoff change? Reso? Attack? Release? Etc? I gotta know.
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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000, Good First Analog Synth?

Post by vcs3 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:39 pm

It's the best synth I have, special when I can edit in real time thru my Novation Remote SL and the software
Matrix 2001, it acts like a synth with knobs.

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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000, Good First Analog Synth?

Post by druzz » Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:14 am

the 6r can be programmed from front panel. and is bi-timbral. the keyboard version does not seem to give you anything more than the rack so i figured its not worth it and got the 6r. i heard somewere that the 1000 is more reliable but i would not sacrifice computer-less programability for this and the extra storage and the 1u format wich is cool .

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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000, Good First Analog Synth?

Post by Robonaut » Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:48 pm

Personally, I think that hands-on control is very important when learning analog synthesis, so I'd be a bit hesitant to recommend something like the Matrix 1000 as a first analog synth.

The problem is, "affordable analog" is quickly becoming an oxymoron.

An Akai AX-60 might be a possibility, though. Those seem like they can still be found for reasonable prices.

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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000, Good First Analog Synth?

Post by shaft9000 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:21 pm

MIDI_Thru_Kid wrote: I can't put up $3,000 for an OB8-OBxa yet. I'm looking for classic OBxa and OB8 sounds, like the brasses mainly, and basses, some leads, and pads
you don't have to spend anywhere near that

last month I bought a newly serviced 6-voice OB-Xa for $1650.
They key is to be patient, persistent and have the money ready when it comes up.

In case you're going by Ebay trends imho it is not a good way to be buying vintage synths, especially for beginners - too much risk.
I always try it out and thoroughly inspect it as much as possible before the cash goes bye-bye.
There are lots of people around Ohio w/ Matrix's, Junos, and Akai AX's I bet

and if you reaaaaaaally want that snappy powerful OB sound, then the matrix1000/6 only gets part way there, anyhow. You're better off saving up for the OB so you can buy one asap before they get any older!
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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000, Good First Analog Synth?

Post by Yatmandu » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:45 pm

MIDI_Thru_Kid wrote:Yeah, I'd like to be able to say I own an Oberhiem piece of equipment, and the only way is to get one of these racks, really. I can't put up $3,000 for an OB8-OBxa yet. I'm looking for classic OBxa and OB8 sounds, like the brasses mainly, and basses, some leads, and pads.

So, my original assumptions were correct. For some reason, I knew the 1000 was better than the 6r (when it came to sounds). I can always take my time with a computer to change the sounds, you know just take my time and do it. Or I could buy one of those knob-boxes... I dunno yet. The way it sounds to me is the Matrix 1000 is slow, and will pretty much freeze up and break on me if I tried to open up the cutoff a little, or something. Does anybody have experience in real-time tweaking of these? What all can it handle? Would it handle a little cutoff change? Reso? Attack? Release? Etc? I gotta know.
Maybe I scared you too much with the "freeze" talk. In fact, at least my 6R (but I don't see why not the 1000) you can do little or slow moving tweaks on the DCO's, EG's, and the VCF settings without the machine going crazy. But if you touch some of the modulations, LFO, etc, prepare for craziness and buzzing sounds. In other words the first order settings are fine, but settings that affect other settings are a no-no.

B.t.w. I thought 6/6R/1000 are identical in terms of sounds, with the only differences being programmability in 6/6R versus patch memory in the 1000. I've never read that the 1000 was better than the 6/6R.
Last edited by Yatmandu on Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000, Good First Analog Synth?

Post by Yatmandu » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:46 pm

druzz wrote:the 6r can be programmed from front panel. and is bi-timbral. the keyboard version does not seem to give you anything more than the rack so i figured its not worth it and got the 6r. i heard somewere that the 1000 is more reliable but i would not sacrifice computer-less programability for this and the extra storage and the 1u format wich is cool .
Salut mec! Too funny, meeting a VSE'er on a local purchase....but I guess that happens quite a bit. :D

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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000, Good First Analog Synth?

Post by MIDI_Thru_Kid » Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:33 am

Thank you for all of the comments and info!

I REALLY want to dive in and just get an OB-8 or OB-xa, BUUUUT, I'm a SENIOR in High School, I'm saving for college, a car, and stuff. I do have an Ebay, business, though.

Very good stuff I'm hearing about the Matrix Racks. I can be patient, and I can look at the synths that come by on these boards, AND I also have TONE TWEAKERS in my favorites...


But GOD would it be the s**t to own and play an OB-8, or EVEN the PHATTER OB-xa. But, getting and analog Synth that old, I heard is like owning a pet. You have to care for it VERY nicely and carefully. I'm ready for that as well.

Shaft9000, as for the OBxa (6 voice) for $1650... WHERE DO YOU SHOP??? Holy cow, man!! You also have a point there, I do gotta JUMP on a deal when I see one, cuz those bad boys aren't gonna be around for long... Which kinda makes me sad... A LOT.


Oh.... man. I just gotta get money. Fast(er). But, patience is a virtue, and I'm ready to dive into this awesomeness known as The Analog Synthesizer.

I'll be looking around... ;)
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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000, Good First Analog Synth?

Post by 0e0 » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:52 pm

The Matrix was my second analog synth (first poly). I think it's a really well-rounded synth for the price. I don't mind programming on the computer at all and the patch memories are a blessing as far as that's concerned. It can make a variety of sounds. My only gripe with it is that there is no true monophonic mode (ie using one voice chip to make a mono sound).

Otherwise it's a great thing to have around.

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