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Why Not Oberheim?


Geoff Grace

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It seems like half of the music software industry has been busy releasing modeled versions of classic synths, ranging from the well known to the more obscure. However, as yet, I'm unaware of a single softsynth that has been modeled on any of Oberheim's classic analogs.

 

Oberheim was a major player, and a great one at that. So, I have to ask - what gives?

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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I've been wondering that myself, Geoff. I've spent the past 25+ years wanting an SEM 4 voice but can't possibly justify the money for the real thing now. So, I'd welcome an Arturia rendition.

 

In the very late '70s, I knew someone who bought an Oberheim SEM 8 voice. You should have heard that thing! IIRC, it cost somewhere around $10K. It would be amazing to have some of that sonic firepower in my computer for around $200-300.

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I think I realized that the Oberheim could get me laid when I heard it all over the Doobie Brothers "Minute by Minute" album.

 

1. Here To Love You

2. What A Fool Believes

3. Minute By Minute

4. Dependin' On You

5. Don't Stop To Watch The Wheels

6. Open Your Eyes

7. Sweet Feelin'

8. Steamer Lane Breakdown

9. You Never Change

10. How Do The Fools Survive?

 

It's especially prominent in the intro for "What a Fool Believes".

 

Yup. If I had the money back in the seventies, I would have bought an Oberheim. I coulda fired that thing up and all the 'Paris Hilton look alikes' would come running.

 

Just ask MikeT156. He was there, back in the seventies... playing that music... taking advantage of all that 'free love'. ;) Hi Mike. :wave:

 

 

Of course, that was circa 1979, the year I graduated college. I had no money, but if I just coulda gotten my hands on the Oberheim... :rolleyes:;)

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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That's funny, Daf. I kinda never noticed.

 

But at UNC the other day I did notice that all the sororities were having rush. All the candidates had that certain 'Paris Hilton' look about them.

 

http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/MMPH/C56461.jpg

 

I mentioned this to my daughter and her response was something like "Yes, that's true... Paris Hilton plus a boob-job."

 

So that's whatcha got at colleges these days: Paris Hilton look-alikes... spending Daddy's money on a boob-job.

 

Go figure. :rolleyes::)

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Send your letters of request and protest to the Gibson Corporation, who, last I was aware, were the owners and holders of the Oberheim name and I.P.

 

There WAS a software Oberheim product - a software Echoplex branded Oberheim. IIRC. May have even been a software guitar tuner, of all things.

Technical Editor

Keyboard Magazine

 

More people pay for Keyboard than any other music-tech magazine. Period.

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I saw an SEM 8-voice in a vintage shop in L.A. a coupla months ago, and MAN did I want it. Why didn't I put it in my station wagon and take it home, anyway? Oh, right, lack of $5000 ! :P

 

A committed developer that got their hands on, say, an SEM system could certainly do a faithful emulation... they'd just have to call it something else to avoid copyright issues.

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Senior Editor, Music Player Network

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

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Originally posted by Ken Hughes:

Send your letters of request and protest to the Gibson Corporation, who, last I was aware, were the owners and holders of the Oberheim name and I.P.

 

There WAS a software Oberheim product - a software Echoplex branded Oberheim. IIRC. May have even been a software guitar tuner, of all things.

I thought Gibson was out of the picture - wasn't there a company named "Viscount" or something like that?
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Originally posted by Stephen Fortner:

A committed developer that got their hands on, say, an SEM system could certainly do a faithful emulation... they'd just have to call it something else to avoid copyright issues.

That's what I'm thinking. So if that's possible, then what's stopping some enterprising software developer from doing so?

 

I would think that the demand is there.

 

(For what it's worth, I'm sadly aware of Gibson's unfortunate stewardship of companies that begin with the letter "O.")

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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I know a couple of developers that would love to do an Oberheim VSTi, but the problem always comes down to the name. If they cannot call it an Oberheim they loose a big marketing return on the investment.

 

The current owners of Moog, ARP and Yamaha have all made deals with developers. Maybe some day Gibson will break over. Until then we just have to make due with samples, or find a single SIM at a good price.

 

Robert

This post edited for speling.
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I don't know. I had an OB-8 back in the day and it was good for pads but it was never a punchy synth - I remeber Craig Anderson's column on the attack time of the envelope not being that fast. Plus I hatd the oscilator mix - either off half or full on.

 

If you want that OB sound get a Matrix-1000 but I don't know what the big deal is. Moogs and Prophets sound better to me.

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Gibson owns the Oberheim trademark and they are ligitious bastards at protecting their trademarks. They are also the biggest idiots in the business, they have trashed opcode, oberheim, many good names. They have no clue how to exploit technology - they just acquire companies, sue the original players out of the business, and hoard the IP. They do not play nice.

 

If a VA used the oberheim name, you can be sure that they'll get sued by Gibson.

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Originally posted by Rabid:

The current owners of Moog, ARP and Yamaha have all made deals with developers.

Not necessarily...

 

No one has gotten (or even asked) permission from Dave Smith to do software knock-offs of any Sequential Circuits products, but that didn't stop NI or Creamware. Both of them just did it without even trying to contact Dave. :rolleyes:

 

While I don't doubt that Yamaha has been consulted on any soft version of their products (due to their size), my guess is that Moog and/or Arp may not have been - maybe for some copies (my guess is that Arturia did), but maybe not for others (e.g. Creamware).

 

dB

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Originally posted by Geoff Grace:

It seems like half of the music software industry has been busy releasing modeled versions of classic synths, ranging from the well known to the more obscure. However, as yet, I'm unaware of a single softsynth that has been modeled on any of Oberheim's classic analogs.

 

Oberheim was a major player, and a great one at that. So, I have to ask - what gives?

 

Best,

 

Geoff

I second the motion! Oh yeah, and while they are at it, give us a next generation Matrix-12 to reign with the PEK and Voyager!
Yamaha MODX8, Korg Kronos 2 61, Hammond B3, Novation 61SL MKII, Impulse 61, Roland D-550, Proteus 2000, etc......to name a few.
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Originally posted by Sven Golly:

"there's no chip like a Curtis chip". :D

 

 

Cheers,

SG

Sven,

 

Back in the mid/late seventies I built a PAiA 4700. It did not use Curtis chips. However, some of their later kits did.

 

Would you be kind enough to enlighten us on these chips? Which synths used them? How did they sound in comparison to other designs? What is their overall reputation?

 

...or should I just Google the topic and hope for the best? :rolleyes:

 

Thanks. And may the sheep be with you.

 

Tom

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Nevermind. :rolleyes:

 

I figured you'd take your time replying to my post since it cut right smack into the middle of your siesta. ;) So I Googled it and found THIS.

 

Thanks anyway. :)

 

Tom

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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PAiA 4700

 

http://www.synthmuseum.com/paia/pai4700j01.jpg

 

From an interview with John Simonton, founder of PAiA:

 

"Was the second system modular?

 

'The next system would have been the one that had the real AGO keyboard [model 4700], and the one after that would have been kind of an updated version of that, with a little more precision, a little quieter and so on - as it was obvious that there was a demand for that sort of thing.'

 

"Do you still offer any of the modules [of your old modular system]?

 

As a matter of fact, we still make some modules that use Curtis Chips. Curtis chips were used in the Prophet-5 and a lot of stuff from Sequential Circuits. Doug Curtis was an acquaintance of sorts and very, very talented. His chips - oscillators, filters, transient generators, and so on - were just extraordinary. We still have a quantity of those, and we still manufacture some modules that use those chips. They're quiet, they're precise, they do what you want them to do.

 

"'For us, it's gotten very difficult to get keyboards. The Japanese and other importers have done such a marvelous job of bringing very high-tech instruments to the public at a very low cost. In particular, during the mid-'80s, its no exaggeration to say that I could go to our local discount store and buy a complete instrument for less than PAiA was able to buy just a keyboard action. So when the situation got like that, at that point it didn't make much sense to go on with it.

 

"'Fortunately for us and a number of other companies, MIDI came along. One of the things that MIDI does for companies like us is it relieves us of the responsibility of having to provide a keyboard at all.... We don't have to worry about the mechanical action of the keyboard and so on. It's just all electronic, all information processing. Having MIDI come along really opened doors, not only for performing artist but for manufacturers also.'"

================================

 

So I answered my own question. :rolleyes:

 

Thanks Sven. :wave:

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Originally posted by Dreamer:

Tom,

Sven just called me to remind you that...

 

Google is your friend! :wave:

Yes. Thank you. :) The world would not turn if Google ceased to function. Massive hurricanes http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/resize_new?filename=/data/images/at200518.gif&width=90&height=70 would hit with great force upon coastal cities of the United States and Steve Jobs http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d//i/ne/pre/Pt/2000/05/0512stevejobs.jpg would pretend to care for the little people by proclaiming that record companies are wrong in their greedy desire to raise prices for music downloads. STORY HERE

 

But wait. That's happening now. :eek:

 

Breaking news: Hell Freezes Over... Story at the top of the hour. Stay tuned. :rolleyes:

 

Thank you, Dr. Dreamer. I hope all is well with you... and your patients. :)

 

Tom

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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I am fine, Tom, thanks, and I do hope that my patients can say the same... :confused:

What about you? How is your finger going?

(I was tempted to ask about your sheep, but this is a serious conversation, right?) :freak:

Korg PA3X Pro 76 and Kronos 61, Roland G-70, Integra 7 and BK7-m, Casio PX-5S, Fender Stratocaster with Fralin pickups, Fender Stratocaster with Kinman pickups, 1965 Gibson SG Standard
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