Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

I'd love to see a virtual Matrix 12...


Sundown

Recommended Posts

 

Of all the drool-worthy synths, I don't see many references to the Oberheim Matrix 12. I was on Youtube the other day and I listened to a few demos, and it just sounded incredible.

 

I'd love to see Arturia (or anyone) tackle this beast.

Sundown

 

Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; They Live, We Groove

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 19
  • Created
  • Last Reply

When checking out a great Prophet 12 link with a youtube demo somebody posted a little while back, I found other videos from the same (knowledgeable) Japanese person, among which some with Oberheim synths. There is this OB12, which I think is Italian and not really from Tom O., and if I understand right *is* a software (digital) simulation, but in it's own enclosure:

 

[video:youtube]

(sorry, those automatic captions are so far off, they read like some sort of pamphlet for a special interest group)

 

I have to say that bores pretty soon, and even though there are nice sound elements (not original ones..). The probably most famous OB8 (analog) is absolutely marvelous, check this out (multiple tracks made with it):

 

[video:youtube]

(use translate captions on youtube to get readable english)

 

is a Oberheim Marix 12 deme that sounded nice, but I don't think it's very close to the 8.

 

T.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Oberheim Matrix 12/XPander and Rhodes Chroma were the last and best of the great early generation of analogue poly synths. They had the ability to bring some high end sheen to sounds that had never been heard before, getting into digital synth territory, but with the warmth of true analogue.

 

The Matrix 6 series were much less complex synths and sounded more traditional.

 

I think that there have been software emulations that were "inspired" by the Matrix 12, although I'm not aware of a faithful recreation. The filter was the main reason it sounded special - it was a common Curtis chip, but configured to deliver more than a dozen filter types.

 

I worked with one in the studio quite a bit and loved it. The matrix encoder programming and big display made it way easier to get around its complexities than the Chroma's single slider.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah.... That Matrix 12 is a monster. The video / audio production studio I worked for in 1986 took one in on trade. I took it home for several days, and messed with it - recorded some stuff, did a few original programs, drooled over it. The studio owner offered to sell it to me for $3K.... That's one I regret not grabbing.

 

OPX-Pro has some great Oberheim sounds, but it's not a dedicated, Matrix 12 emulation. I think there were a few Xpander voices in that library though; but it's been a few years since I checked out the OPX trial version. Nord has a Matrix 12 soundbank in their library; but that's not a software instrument. I either use the 'Matrixsynth' patch in Logic's ESX 24 - and sculpt from there, or work with Retro Machines in NI Komplete 9. That's come close, but I agree that a dedicated, Matrix 12 SI would be cool..

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Alesis Ion is a VA with a design influenced by the Matrix 12. It has 16 Filter types and Modulation Matrix similar to the Oberheim.
C3/122, M102A, Vox V301H, Farfisa Compact, Gibson G101, GEM P, RMI 300A, Piano Bass, Pianet , Prophet 5 rev. 2, Pro-One, Matrix 12, OB8, Korg MS20, Jupiter 6, Juno 60, PX-5S, Nord Stage 3 Compact
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I owned an Xpander for a couple of years. It sounded nothing short of fantastic..! Of all the VA synths, I'd agree that the Ion is the most similar - but mostly in layout and possibilities, not in sound. The M12/Xpander sounds like nothing else. I'd imagine the John Bowen Solaris to be the closest contender nowadays since it seems to have a very good basic sound (judged from YouTube and soundcloud) and massive modulation capacity. I sold mine because I wasn't using it to its' full potential and was a bit worried about maintenance. I miss it!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To restate the obvious, for the non-initiated.... :D

 

- The Matrix-12 is one of the best-designed synths of all times. I've owned it for the last 30 years or so. It does NOT 'roar' like a SEM, or even like an OB-X (We can debate about different components until tomorrow, but that's just what my ears tell me). However, it still sounds very good, and with its fantastic synthesis channel + layering, it can create monster sounds.

 

- Despite having just six encoders, I find the Matrix-12 is one of the fastest synths to program. The Chroma is a nightmare in comparison. The three displays really help to make the work effortless. With a couple of button pushes you can be anywhere on the architecture. Hats off to the OB engineers.

 

- Sorry to say, for the umpteenth time, that the sound of the Matrix-6/6r/1000 has little to do with the M12. Again, I know what the differences in oscs and filter are, but I base my judgement on what I hear. And it's not a matter of bad presets; the basic oscillators and filters just sound different. The 6 has a weak, inefficient sound to my ears.

 

- Also, the M12 layers VERY well, both with other synths and with itself. This is one reason why I've sold the Chroma, for example, and kept the Matrix. I also found that the Andromeda doesn't layer as well. This is also a good reason to prefer the 12 over the Xpander: You can create huge 6- or 4-voice sounds.

 

- Software emulations... well, no one of the great synths that have been emulated in software sounds like the original! (the Moog modular is perhaps the most evident example)

For the ones who have had the privilege of playing the original machines, there's no comparison. The only exceptions I can think of are the TimeWArp 2600 and the Creamware Pro-One.

Given the complexity of the Matrix-12 architecture, I suspect that it would take a very fast processor (and a *very* skilled programmer) to simulate it decently.

 

- About the Alesis Ion... I use it every day to teach synthesis at school, so I'm quite familiar with it. I chose it for teaching, because of its very complete architecture, and clearly laid out UI. I think it's designed exceptionally well. Unfortunately, if you directly compare its *sound* with any one of the great real analog instruments, it just disappears. I have done it many times. Not that with clever programming, you can't make it sound quite good - but the difference in the raw sound is striking. I would love to see a good real analog synth with a similar architecture... (well, there is one: The Matrix-12. Or the Andromeda) :)

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When checking out a great Prophet 12 link with a youtube demo somebody posted a little while back, I found other videos from the same (knowledgeable) Japanese person, among which some with Oberheim synths. There is this OB12, which I think is Italian and not really from Tom O., and if I understand right *is* a software (digital) simulation, but in it's own enclosure:

 

[video:youtube]

(sorry, those automatic captions are so far off, they read like some sort of pamphlet for a special interest group)

 

I have to say that bores pretty soon, and even though there are nice sound elements (not original ones..). The probably most famous OB8 (analog) is absolutely marvelous, check this out (multiple tracks made with it):

 

[video:youtube]

(use translate captions on youtube to get readable english)

 

is a Oberheim Marix 12 deme that sounded nice, but I don't think it's very close to the 8.

 

T.

 

The OB-12 - while having some slight OB-ish, VA character - sounds somewhat close to the analog synth emulations in the Motif XS.

The OB-8: now that was quite a piece of kit. In the late 80's / early 90's I owned an OB-Xa retrofitted for MIDI; great synth.

That Matrix 12 demo brings back memories of the one that got away in 1987. I suspect, though, that my first marriage would've ended much sooner had I bought that synth..

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of all the drool-worthy synths, I don't see many references to the Oberheim Matrix 12. I was on Youtube the other day and I listened to a few demos, and it just sounded incredible.

 

I'd love to see Arturia (or anyone) tackle this beast.

 

I have the Xpander which is enough for me since it was released decades ago.

I had the OB-8 too ...

 

Today and in addition to the Xpander,- I use Sonic Projects OPX-ProII which has lots of possibilities under the hood,- more you´d expect from the GUI alone and at 1st glance.

Many Xpander patches can be realized w/ OPX Pro II.

 

I came across another Oberheim OBX /Xa emulation which is free and sounds great ...

OBXD ...

32 and 64 Bit versions available.

Not the final version and no pre-programmed factory patches up to now.

 

It´s questionable if there would be a software rendition of a Oberheim Matrix 12 or Xpander been necessary because each one is practically 6 or 12 separate monophonic synths, each w/ it´s special architecture,- and then the keyboard matrix routines and voice allocation combine these voices in the Xpander while in Matrix-12 you find 2 of the Xpander voiceboards which can be layered or split in addition.

Other than hat, there are only the "modulation info" page and the "detune" page in the Matrix-12 being an advantage over the Xpander.

 

No need to do that in software where you´d simply use 2 instances of 2 6-voice poly synths,- or 6 or 12 of the (single voice) monophonic synths,- quasi SEM modules,- then route the MIDI channels via the hosts´ tracks.

 

The menue diving of the original hardware instruments would be also not necessary at all,- some kind of UI like Xplorer which is a software programmer for the Xpander/Matrix-12 would be fine though.

 

I´m not a fan of the sound of the Arturia synth emulations.

There are better ones for less money.

 

A.C.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a digital Chroma project I should tell Chroma fans about. It nestles inside a real Chroma chassis, and is the project of Paul DeRocco, one of the original Chroma team members.

 

- stereo voices!

- 4 pole filters!

- 48 note polyphony!

 

Paul had it at NAMM this year. Can't wait to hear it!

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It´s questionable if there would be a software rendition of a Oberheim Matrix 12 or Xpander been necessary because each one is practically 6 or 12 separate monophonic synths, each w/ it´s special architecture,- and then the keyboard matrix routines and voice allocation combine these voices in the Xpander while in Matrix-12 you find 2 of the Xpander voiceboards which can be layered or split in addition.

Well, I think an Xpander/Matrix12 software emulation would be based on reproducing the complex voice channel, leaving polyphony to the processing power available plus the complexity of the patch. I would hope for such an emulation to make available a sort of polyphony counter, to adapt it to the available resources, without the need of opening another instance of the program.

Other than hat, there are only the "modulation info" page and the "detune" page in the Matrix-12 being an advantage over the Xpander.

I'd say that the *main* advantage of the Matrix-12 over the Xpander *as an instrument* was to have twice the polyphony, and a keyboard... :D

The menue diving of the original hardware instruments would be also not necessary at all,- some kind of UI like Xplorer which is a software programmer for the Xpander/Matrix-12 would be fine though.

While I find Xplorer a great resource, the 'menu diving' on the Xpander and Matrix-12 is so close to nothing that I don't feel any need for a software editor. I've programmed the Wavestation A/D and SR (urgh), the TG77, and the Kurz K series - now, *that's* some menu diving. :freak: The Chroma was pretty insane too, with all those abbreviations and that damn piece of paper that you had to keep as a reference. As I said, I find programming the M12 not any slower than programming a Prophet5, for example, if not even faster, because of the encoders. You have pages, each one with its dedicated button, and its parameters and values clearly displayed in big characters. The deepest 'diving' you have to do is to reach a 'page 2', a sub-page of the main one. To me, it's one of the most clever interfaces ever designed. In fact, I don't know if I'd prefer having 120 knobs instead.

I´m not a fan of the sound of the Arturia synth emulations.

There are better ones for less money.

This one I subscribe without reservation. :)

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a digital Chroma project I should tell Chroma fans about. It nestles inside a real Chroma chassis, and is the project of Paul DeRocco, one of the original Chroma team members.

 

- stereo voices!

- 4 pole filters!

- 48 note polyphony!

 

Paul had it at NAMM this year. Can't wait to hear it!

:freak: :freak: :freak:

 

It sounds wonderfully silly... :D

I mean, I appreciate the visionary idea, but the Chroma, despite looking great, had one of the worst interfaces in history....

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds wonderfully silly... :D

I mean, I appreciate the visionary idea, but the Chroma, despite looking great, had one of the worst interfaces in history....

 

 

I don't think you appreciate just HOW silly and visionary Chroma fanatics are these days, Marino...

 

http://www.hotrodmotm.com/images/chroma-enabler.png

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I don't think you appreciate just HOW silly and visionary Chroma fanatics are these days, Marino...

Well, when I had my Chroma, I was in contact for a while with Ken Ypparila, in the hope to get the poly AT mod... IIRC, his organization was named the Chroma Cult.

I'm also familiar with the Enabler. It's a dream for Chroma owners.

 

Now, IF the new digital Chroma had the Enabler panel... :love::love:

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the ones who have had the privilege of playing the original machines, there's no comparison.

 

I'm with you Marino, but given the cost of a vintage Matrix 12, I'll take a plug-in that can deliver ~70%. The alternative for me is to have nothing. I have an original Wavestation, and the Korg Legacy Edition comes pretty close. I know that's a different comparison given that it's a ROMpler, but some of the VA's are pretty good.

 

It's great to see so many fans of this particular board. Between a Memorymoog, a Matrix 12, and a couple of vintage Rolands, those are my desert island synths.

Sundown

 

Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; They Live, We Groove

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not to get too far on a tangent, but since OB8s have been mentioned my first synth was an OBXa which I still have. After sitting in storage for a few years I turned it on a few months ago and the fuse on the power supply board immediately blew. I may at some point take on the challenge of getting it going again but definitely can't afford a full restoration. It has the midi retrofit, but if I ever get this beast going I'll probably take it out (I saved the original eprom) it added a lot of latency IIRC.

 

I do remember working with Matrix 12s back in the day. Definitely a monster synth! The Yam CS80 seems pretty intense and Arturia did a VI of that, so maybe there's hope yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...