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Arturia OB-Xa V - Short first Impression
#3044978 05/20/20 07:26 PM
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Pim Offline OP
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I have to admit: I am a huge fan of Oberheim synthesizers. I became an adult while working in the perfect Oberheim environment: the distributor of Oberheim in the Netherlands.

So in al modesty I can say: I know my way around with them and had the pleasure to fell in love with the sound. In that perspective my heart made a little jump when I saw the Arturia announcement about the release of the OB-Xa V.

I downloaded a demo version, which annoyingly is installed on my C drive and can't be installed on any other drive. Those of us with a SSD C drive will recognize the problem of running out of space. So far the bad news. The good news:

I LOVE THE OB-Xa V!!

I love the sound and I love the innovations Arturia gave us. The sound: nothing new. And that's GOOD. It's all the innovation options that give me the hurray feeling 'I can make this baby sound very imperfectly.' Very un-digital, very unstable. So far my findings during the 20 minutes demo limitation.

More impressions in the days to come, feel free to share your thoughts! (how to tell my lovely Tanja I need this synthesizer...)

Link: https://www.arturia.com/products/analog-classics/ob-xa-v/overview

Last edited by Pim; 05/20/20 07:28 PM.

keys My Musicthx I always wondered what happened after the fade out?
Re: Arturia OB-Xa V - Short first Impression
Pim #3044986 05/20/20 07:42 PM
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thanks for posting, Pim. Looking forward to reading more in the coming days.


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
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Re: Arturia OB-Xa V - Short first Impression
Pim #3045041 05/20/20 11:42 PM
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It's been a good run for Arturia software lately. V Collection 7, Pigments and Oberheim all well done and always rock solid stable in Komplete Kontrol/NKS for me.


Yamaha U1 Upright, Kurzweil Forte 7, Viscount Legend Live, Roland FA-07, Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 Mk2, Arturia V Collection 7, Komplete 12 Ultimate, Lots of Plug Ins (MAC) & iPad Stuff
Re: Arturia OB-Xa V - Short first Impression
jeffinpghpa #3045095 05/21/20 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffinpghpa
It's been a good run for Arturia software lately. V Collection 7, Pigments and Oberheim all well done and always rock solid stable in Komplete Kontrol/NKS for me.

I concur. My Arturia NKS connection is trouble free and same goes for the new OBXa.


David
Gig Rig: Casio PX-5S | Komplete Kontrol S61mk2 | Mac Mini | Gig Performer

Re: Arturia OB-Xa V - Short first Impression
Pim #3045121 05/21/20 09:36 AM
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I recommend everybody to download the demo version.

Part two The added goodies of the modern times

The effect section.
First of all, contrary to the Arturia Pigments, when running through the presets I didn't feel the urge to switch off the FX. Well done by the sound designers. The FX section itself is straight and to the point, aimed at creative use. Three blocks, you can choose between parallel and serial - nice! To my surprise Arturia added a compressor. When placing the compressor after a delay (FX in serial mode) you immediately get that 'bouncy' disco vibe when used on an octaves played 4th bass pattern. Check out the preset 'Eighties R Us'. Italo disco!

The delay has a very effective HP filter and the 'Width' knob comes in handy when using the Stereo Pan Spread functionality of the voices. Will discuss this beautiful sounding section in another post. When looking for 8-bit C64/Amiga sounds, use the bitcrusher FX on a square wave. Fun. Furthermore, the reverb has a Mid/Side spread knob. Like the Width for the Delay this narrows the effect to the center. (And I love mono reverb. TMO: It makes a stereo mix sound wider...)

The modulation section.
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

Here starts the fun in creating your own signature sounds. Arturia put in a modulation matrix as we know from the Matrix 12/6 synthesizers. Five fixed sources: Velocity, Key range, Aftertouch, Mod Wheel and Filter Envelope. You can patch the sources with a +/- value to A LOT of destinations.
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

You can create your own (syncable) LFO waveforms. Brings out the Rembrandt in me...
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

As a user of the V7 package the price is not a limitation so I'll happily buy it later this month. My 20 minutes demo lockup kicks in... More to come in my next post.

Last edited by Pim; 05/21/20 10:03 AM.

keys My Musicthx I always wondered what happened after the fade out?
Re: Arturia OB-Xa V - Short first Impression
Pim #3045144 05/21/20 02:07 PM
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Hey PIM,

Than kyou so much for doing this. I love your posts about the Arturia. Your in-depth, yet to the point, discussions on getting the most out of these has helped me tremendously dial in my Arturia instruments


David
Gig Rig: Casio PX-5S | Komplete Kontrol S61mk2 | Mac Mini | Gig Performer

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Re: Arturia OB-Xa V - Short first Impression
Pim #3045472 05/23/20 02:53 PM
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I strongly recommend to download the demo version.



[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

This scan is taken out of the original owners manual of the Oberheim OB-Xa. I did that because I got a little bit annoyed with the behavior of the pulse wave of the Arturia OB-Xa V. Same as in the Pigments 2 synthesizer, you can't make a sweep from 0 to 100% with the pulse wave. Result: when using an LFO sine/triangle as modulation source the PWM sounds incomplete. It's 'a kind' of lush but not in an amount I would expect.

I have to confess that I can't remember how the PWM in the original OB-Xa sounded so I searched for a manual and voilà: the behaviour of the Arturia is similar to the original Oberheim... According to the content of the owners manual a full 50% pulse is reached when the knob is set fully counter-clockwise. As a consequence the PWM in both the Arturia and the original sweeps from 50% to 100%, and not from 0 to 100. (I will illustrate this in a later 'How to modulate sound in a synthesizer matrix' series with sound clips)

The moral of the story: don't always believe your brains if memory says 'in the old days it sounded better!' From the moral part to pure sex: the Stereo & Pan Spread in the Voices section.
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

As a sound designer I am searching for imperfection. Imperfection like the jangling of a Mellotron touches the hearts of both listeners and players. So first of all, the Detune in the Voices section leads to imperfection. The more you turn it up, the more oscillator-drift occurs. And set around 12 o'clock this results in a pleasant 'imperfectly' detune of the voices.

Stereo - Pan. Arturia fixed it to make an even more appealing function than Unison: Load the first patch 'Jump', press the Stereo switch on and play...

Last edited by Pim; 05/23/20 03:45 PM.

keys My Musicthx I always wondered what happened after the fade out?
Re: Arturia OB-Xa V - Short first Impression
Pim #3045817 05/25/20 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Pim
.... Arturia put in a modulation matrix as we know from the Matrix 12/6 synthesizers......


Close - but they left out release velocity as a source. The Matrix 6 I had got me hooked on using it. I won't buy a keyboard now that doesn't have it.

Edit: But yes - that was one of the first ones that had a mod matrix, right?

Last edited by felis; 05/26/20 12:37 AM.

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