OB-8 + Prophet-6 = OB-6

The famous name for analog synthesis Oberheim (named after it's founder Tom Oberheim) enters another exiting phase. This time at the NAMM 2016 show Oberheim joined forces with another legend in analog synthesis Dave Smith, who started Sequential Circuits back in the '70s, famous for it's Prophet line of synthesizers. After Oberheim introduced the successful X-Voice, OB-X(a), OB-8 and Matrix line of synthesizers, Tom Oberheim went his own way with Marion Systems. Driven by the analog revival, he recently introduced the basic buidling block that started it all, the SEM, followed by the Two Voice Pro synth. With the help of his former competitor, now the OB-6 analog 6-voice synth is here!

Clearly, from the outside as well as from the inside, the OB-6 looks like a modification of the Sequential Prophet-6. The casing, the keyboard, the wheels look identical. The front panel uses the blue line printing and the typography/font of the OB-Xa synth back from the '80s. Important to note is that the oscillators, just like the Prophet-6, are all voltage-controlled analog (unlike former DSI synths).

Although the OB-6 doesn't have the extensive modulation matrix capabilities on board, it offers quite some modulation features, more than the original OB-Xa and OB-8 synths. Compare the OB-Xa modulation section with the new OB-6 modulation section below. The question remains if the new OB-6 inherits the same silky 2-pole filter sound present in any analog SEM-based synth.


About me

I like music, especially making music. I listen to a lot of different stuff, but I like soul, jazz and fusion music most. I like to develop and experiment with tools to make music performance and improvisation on the spot more exciting. It is fun when unexpected musical things happen during a performance!

In recent years I developed the MIDI real-time Harmonizer, a tool for generating harmonized chords when playing a solo line. Inspired by the work of saxophonist Michael Brecker, I started to develop this tool to run on Mac and PC. Brecker played the Electronic Wind Instrument and used the Oberheim Xpander synth to generate random chords from an EWI solo line. Now you can accomplish the same thing with the MIDI real-time Harmonizer driving your own favourite (plugin) synths.

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