Category Archives: Oberheim, Tom

Oberheim Synthesizer

Oberheim black dual manual 8voice something

Oberheim Dual Manual 8 voice. just have a look at this Oberheim 8Voice Mod – uhm, something. missing the cool sequencer in here, but in black it’s beautiful – to me at least.

here’s how it looks like normally: Eight Voice , 8Voice Analog Synthesizer (4 SEMS built into the case and 4 more added) – the Key-thing looks like this:

Oberheim EightVoice 8Voice synthesizer

and a quite new demo of the big Oberheim from Mr.Spiers (GForce)

New Tom Oberheim Son Of 4 Voice / SO4V

MATRIXSYNTH: New Tom Oberheim SON OF 4 VOICE. tells us, Tom Oberheim ist going to recreate the legandary Oberheim Four Voice , 4Voice Analog Synthesizer (1975)  – but without a Keyboard or the Minsequencer, but adds MIDI, 2 sync’able LFOs and S/H for all and it also includes the “programmer” on the left side. it also includes the assignment for 4 modules. those 4 SEMs are of course new SEMs in an all-in-one case. the price will be 4k€ which is about the price of a used vintage 4Voice today (if you finally found one). and – please cling to a chair or something now – you can add another SO4Voice to get a nice new style 8voice Oberheim that deserve the name. it also makes the envelopes ADSR-ones instead of ADS (original) – so this is not just once, it’s per voice.

Neuer Oberheim Four Voice kommt..

Tom Oberheim – more SEM models and no more dogs – And Sequencer till End 2009

Tom already announced the production of new SEMs, but there will be MIDI and “bare” ones without anything like the original for 599 Dollars, which may end up in 599€ over here? Anyway the Dog dissapeared and there’s a very nice big shot of the new SEM.


It’s alive! The Oberheim MIDI SEM. Click to see it up close.


Click to see my talk at the at the recent Red Bull Music Academy in Boston.

* SEM with MIDI input and MIDI to CV routing panel (as shown in above photo): $899

* SEM with patch panel connections to internal inputs and outputs (no MIDI input, same as above photo but left panel controls are replaced by CV/gate/audio I/O patch panel): $749

* Basic SEM module with front panel (no case or power supply, good for drop-in replacement of original SEM): $599

looks fair to me. Send him a mail to order one!

Dead Presidents Society.(that’s the title of his site at I like it.

In Diskussion im Forum: Erster ungelesener Beitrag Tom Oberheim plant neuen Synth

almost “modular”- these are CVable:

A1 VCO 1 – External Modulation Input
A2 VC0 1 – Sawtooth Waveform Output
A3 VCO 1 – Pulse Waveform Output
B1 VCO 1 – Control Voltage #1 Input
B2 Ground
B3 VCO 1 – Control Voltage #2 Input
C1 VCO 1 – Sync Output Output
C2 Ground
C3 VCO 1 – Sync Input Input
D1 VCO 2 – Control Voltage #1 Input
D2 Ground
D3 VCO 2 – Control Voltage #2 Input
E1 VCO 2 – External Modulation Input
E2 VC0 2 – Sawtooth Waveform Output
E3 VCO 2 – Pulse Waveform Output
F1 VCO 2 – Sync Output Output
F2 VCA – Control Input Input
F3 VCO 2 – Sync Input Input
G1 LFO Trigger Input
G2 Ground
G3 LFO Waveform Output
H1 VCF – Control Voltage #1 Input
H2 VCF – Control Voltage #2 Input
H3 VCF – External Modulation Input
I1 VCA Output Output
I2 Ground
I3 Output Amplifier Input Input
J1 VCF – HiPass Signal Output
J2 Ground
J3 VCF – Bandpass Signal Output
K1 Selected VCF Response Output
K2 Ground
K3 VCF – LowPass Signal Output
L1 External Audio Input #1 Input
L2 Ground
L3 External Audio Input #1 Input
M1 External Audio Input #2 Input
M2 Ground
M3 External Audio Input #2 Input
X1 ENV 1 – Output Output
X2 ENV 1 – Gate Input
X3 ENV 1 – Trigger Input
Y1 ENV 2 – Output Output
Y2 ENV 2 – Gate Input
Y3 ENV 2 – Trigger Input
Z1 +18 Volts Input
Z2 Ground
Z3 Ground
Z4 -18 Volts Input

And I really like this from Tom:

A really cool mini-sequencer is in the design stage but will not be
available until the end of the year because I have to get some SEMs done!

Deutscher Vertrieb ist auch in Verhandlung! Forum Info: Seite 5

Oberheim Xpander + Oberheim Matrix 12

Oberheim Xpander + Oberheim Matrix 12
analogue synthesizer – made in 1984 (xpander) 1985 (matrix 12)
DAS Analogschl8schiff! THEEE Analogue Megasynth!! built/Bj.: 1984
this is the multilingual version..

oberheim xpander analog synthesizer
Oberheim Xpander – Oberheim Matrix-12
Oberheim Matrix12oberheim matrix 12 and oberheim xpander analog synthesizer


OberheimOberheim Synth overview..
General InfoOberheim Xpander
+ Matrix 12

2 VCOs, VCOs syncable,
5 LFOs,
5 ENVs,
3 Tracking Generators,
4 Ramp-Generators (mini envelopes),

and yes, it is an expander, t
the matrix 12 is the “keyboard version” but with 12 voices. a double version!

LPF,HPF (1-4 Pol), BPF (2 & 4 Pol), Notch, Phase (3 Pol), and Combinations: HPF (2-3 Pol)+LPF(1 Pol), Notch (2 Pol) + LPF (1 Pol), Phase (3 Pol) + LPF (1 Pol) , Filter FM and Oszillator FM modable
6 CV + Gate input Jacks / cv/gate-Anschlüsse, not on Matrix 12

Footswitch for switching the Patches + 2 defineable – Fußschalter um Soundprogramme umzuschalten und 2 frei definierbare,

Kassettenrecorder rein&raus (für sounds, jaja.. veraltet aber gibts.. geht auch über MIDI Dump) / Tape Recorder interface for saving the patches (really, that time this was the usual, remember the good ol’ commodore C64??)

Einzelausgänge für jede der 6 Stimmen und zusätzlich: links, recht und Extra-Monoausgang!
Individual outs for every of the 6 voices, dedicated Mono Master out AND left&right main out!!
MIDI in , out, thru (no comment)

Memory Protect Schalter/switch, Triggereingang/trigger input,’

100 soundspeicherplätze/patches, 100 Multis, Unisono mode (doubles the sound up to 6 voices) und 3fache Zonenverwaltung (3 Zones for Keyboard range, Transpose, Pan, CV, Volume und/and extra Vibrato LFO (global).. ja der ist zusätzlich!!/yes its n.other additional LFO!!! go for it!!

LFO max Frequency: ca. 25 Hz,triggerable(triggerbar)/triggermode einstellbar/triggermode adjustable multi/single/external), Tri,Saw up/down, Square, Random, Noise, Sample(&Hold) von allen Modulationsquellen (all mod sources!!)!!

VCOs: Tri,Saw,Pulse,Noise (Noise nur (only) VCO2) alle einzeln schaltbar (all seperately switchable,mixes signals!), Pulsbreite einstell- und modulierbar(Modable Pw/PWM: Pulsewidth), LAG (for delaying signals & portamento) prozessor für Signal-Verzögerungen und Portamento
MOD / Controller – INFO
Alles modulierbar von: alle obigen Quellen,
you can mod every target by these mod sources
Keyboard, Vel, Wheel/Lever/Pitch, Controller, Pressure, Rel.Velocity, Pedal1/2, Vib-LFO, LAG.(everything’s modable by those & the above sources!!)

Oberheim Xpander – the mod source keys..
Modwheel => Lever!! the wheels are called levers

globally for all sounds in a multi –
und gilt global für alle Sounds in einem Multi.

Modulation can not be done via controllers exept those 5 self definable controlles that can be assigned… like pedal 1, pedal 2, levers 1-3, ..
warning: Modwheel works for all sounds in a multi!!, for indy mod use other controllers eg: pedals 1,2 (you can set Controllers for them!!).. etc..
Modulation geht nicht über Controller aber über Pedal 1,2, Pitchwheel (auch ein “Lever”)… alle Mod-Quellen Quantisierbar (Stufen erzeugen) the wheel&Pitchbend are called levers!!..

oberheim xpander analog synthesizer
enlarge Oberheim Xpander – click the image above!

oberheim xpander
xpanderbild 3
o b e r h e i m xpander back side
n.other xpander
oberheim xpander structure
oberheim xpander structure
oberheim x p a n d e r

n.other xpander

The Difference
Matrix 12 vs. Xpander
the Matrix 12 has a Modmatrix-Page.. so this is why its name is Matrix12 and not Xpander 12 or so.. the xpander has CV/gate.. the Matrix12 does not! it can convert CV to midi using these inputs!! the Xpander has 6 indie outs for every of the 6 voices.. also right, left AND mono out!!! (you can pan in multi!) the Martrix12 can be DIY’ed to 12 outs.. but of course does not have 12 indy outs! some got it.. some don’t. so it was optional! the M12’s Keyboard is a Velocity and Release Velocity KB.. the Aftertouch was optional too!! (try it!!). in multi mode the Matrix12 has a detune parameter.. the Xpander only provides Octave settings in halftones.. so this M12 only detune mode is responsible for very fat (phat!?) sounds.. but don’t worry: the Xpanders fatness at simply stacking them at the same pitch is fat!!!
btw: the matrix 12 has 6 “zones”, the xpander has 3… a zone has key limits, midi channel and some settings like key assign mode (rotate, unison, reassign etc..)
Oberheim Matrix12
enlarge Oberheim Matrix12 – click the image above!
Xpander Movies

to see it opened/offen (Movie/Film)

xpander opened movie
Movie: to see it opened
click here (Quicktime movie)
!!!.. (1.3MB)
THE OBERHEIM Xpander .. and Matrix-12
more Xpander Pictures

more Xpander interior images.. Xpander von innen..

EXTERNAL / normal view / back side
– more Xpander images.. (exterior) – Xpander von aussen

oberheim matrix 12 and oberheim xpander analog synthesizer
enlarge Oberheim Matrix12 + Xpander – click the image above!
about modulation: modulations on the Xpander is very easy but note that the Modwheel (or whatever you call it..) always affect every voice in multimode! what to do? you cannot change the midi channel for modwheel / it makes no sense .. so use pedal oder pitchbender or other controllers for modulation on a specific sound.. I recommend the other levers , pedal (I always route it to a CC and use a CC box to control it!!)
DO THIS: (press this: master page – midi – ctrls )
Same path/key: (midi – enables) systemx and control should be enabled!!..
and: All parameters can be controlled by sysex! it’s not fast but it works..
oberheim xpander modulation
Xpander / M12 Tricks
Tricks and tips
x-pander / matrix 12:
if you need more headroom: simply stack up those modulations.. means: add another one and it is twice as strong..
in case of running low on LFOs (haha.. 5 arent n.uff, huh??) use the VIB LFO!!!
want some cool waveforms on LFOs??
apply the tracking generator, also usefull for any controilled as a scaling tool. it also make a simple “microtuning” feature when applied to the VCO pitch it is another scale then well tempered ;-) (if you don’t like Bachs inventions).. of course you can do that also using a KBD mod on the VCOs at some amount and switch of the hardwired KB-mod in VCO’s page 2!

the VCOs are still to high or too low
make it more phat: use a fast ramp on the pitch (try all: both, or only one VCO or different ramps at little difference modding those VCOs

want a real sample and hold?? use the LAG using exp., RATE=63.Modulate the rate with the “GATE”: GATE=63 => sample, GATE=0 =>hold
for your mega sound?? use a ramp at no ramp time and add the desired tuning.. so you can get another osctave lower

and of course the gate is another way of transposing if you do not want to sacrifice ramps.. but note that it flips back when in “release” state!! (maybe a nice effect.. sometimes unwanted..
the speed of ramps may be better for drums/percussion (faster)
I have never owned a manual.. but if you want a fast number without having to turn up the knob encoders simply enter any number above the maximum soo… 88 or 99 is good for making it +63 .. and 666 ;-) (!!!) or 999 (or any other number exept 111 will give you the max setting faster than turning the knob!!.. works fine for me.. ;-)

thats all!! for now!!! ;-)


oberheim xpander

Das WICHTIGSTE: das Ding klingt EXZELLENT!!!

now the important one: it sounds WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

Review in german / deutscher TestZum Xpander Test / Review
oberheim xpander pictures synthesizer
check the autotune function (select une page then press ALL)…
Wait a moment and all need to say “PASSED”, (no “FAIL”!!)

Also check all 6 voices, you can see the voice card activities by a dot. So set it to rotate mode and press a key 6 times. You should hear the same sound EXACTLY 6times. And all sound the same, no volume or filter changes.

If that is ok, I assume the machine works fine.
also check the 6 endless encoders: if they jump it is possible to clean it, I did it, it works..
find some patches under download/patches (synthesizer menu) you can also listen to some sounds as mp3.

in germany the price is about 2900-3000.-DM (Xpander).. add about 1500.- to get a Matrix 12
der Preis in Deutschland liegt zzt bei ca. 3000.- // ein MAtrix 12 liegt bei 4500.- (etwa!)..

nochmehr Oberheim Xpander
searching for a Matrix12???do not get a late model.. the ppl at Oberheim (later Gibson, now Viscount – so the OB12 is no way an oberheim and.. well its sound is far from Oberheim sound!!!) where more “tolerant” and built in some “out of tolerance” parts.. so.. and: the M12’s are sometimes getting more hot because the double number of voices had to be in.. (see the video of the Xpander! lots’a’ space in it!!).. so this is my tip.. and try all voices by playing all or set it to rotate mode and check all voices by ear.. those chips aren’t sooo easy to get these days.. what chips are used?? look here
6 3372 Signal Processor
6 3374 Dual VCO
2x 6809 processors
Curtis 3320 VCF or equivalent
filters made with an extra ciruitry in the servical manual a one percent resistor array. this chip provides LPF 4pole filter only!
2 processors running at 16mhz.
there is also the noise gen on the processor board!
the first is responsible for the display and encoders, the other is for env and lfo generation..
dual vco cem3374
filters made with an extra ciruitry in the servical manual a one percent resistor array. this chip provides LPF 4pole filter only!
2 processors running at 16mhz.
there is also the noise gen on the processor board!
the first is responsible for the display and encoders, the other is for env and lfo generation..
inside an



hardware: inside the Xpander the processor upper board: its a 6809.this is the lower board..
the processor is the one on the right (big).. and yes: its two 6809’s
oberheim xpander processor board
processor board 2 oberheim xpander
this is 2 voices using curtis 3320 equivalent chips
(the one used in the MW1,too..)
xpander voice board oberheim xpander
want the little quicktime-movie??

Matrix 12 inside
oberheim matrix 12 inside
oberheim matrix 12 inside

software versions /
Softwareversionen/most recent software version:
Processor: 1.2 (Matrix12: 1.1)
Voice version: 1.4 (Matrix12: 1.6)
Cassette is always 1.0 for both (eehm.. do you use it!?)
check it?? / wie geht das?? press Master, then 2nd Page, choose “versions”… thats it!

btw: earlier (like the one shown here) are made in usa! later models are made in japan. so prefer the usa-made versions
another nice cool xpander inside page: here main entrance to that site is here

oberheim xpander
how does it sound?

Xpander -Audiodemo..


some more of my patches:
x_ymod.mp3 – fm like..
Patches / Sounds..?special sounds and audio..
see the patches area!!
(click patches!)
FORUM – for tech questions and more here! –
für technische fragen und mehr.. im FORUM fragen!
ManualsManuals and Infos /
Bedienungsanleitungen? / Service-Info:
got service manual here incl. CEM chip ;)
will upload it as soon as I can reduce 35MB to something around 2MB..
das service manual zum xpander habe ich hier.
Manuals? / Bedienungsanleitungen? / Service-Info:

werkssounds? bei den patches!! / the factory preset sounds? are unter “patches”.. or download them here: as ZIP as SIT (mac stuffit).

some demos?? most of my songs are done using the Xpander.. and: some demo audio files in the patches section / in der patches sektion gibt es audio demos zum xpander!

PATCHES are available in the download/audio area.. also some mp3’s!! SOUNDS für den Xpander gibts unter Download/Audio!!

software emulation xpander? matrix12?not yet. the rights are still at gibson – they do not say yes!
so don’t wait for it
Developers on the Matrix12 / XpanderMarcus Ryle, Michael Doidic (who is now at Line6),
Anna Graham, Jim Letts, Ale Silverman

read those names in the secret “hey mom (xpander)”
or “hey dad” (matrix12) secret page

External in

the oddernmart mod..

i am still searching for Xpander re-engineers! there is a lot of sonic potential in the xpander and matrix series! so if you know someone? let me know! imo the most interesting things are:
-faster lfos and envs
-audio ins (this is possible,there are some manuals around here in the net! but some use the noise sourse INSTEAD!)
-the resonance is so awsome, but steps 60-63 especially 62 t o63 is too large, so a higher resolution would be a good solution – of course this would kill any compatibelity to other xpanders..
the LFO speed is imo the 1st priority. but for this one may need to replace the complete control system. it’s all old technology.. ;)
it replaces the noise to get the signal in and put it through the xpander filters. oddernmart mod from chris bouchers site

Matrix 12: Ind. outs retrofitted by Oberheim themselves.. looks like this


back / zurück
the Oberheim Menu
more info and links to other pages xpander and matrix 12some xpander / matrix 12 links:
here is a another collection of sound dumps and link and facts listed..:

and here is a nice SOS article

OberheimOberheim Synth overview..

oberheim matrix 12 and oberheim xpander analog synthesizer
Oberheim Matrix12
oberheim matrix 12 and oberheim xpander analog synthesizer
oberheim x-pander info -end-
to top/nach oben


Mehr analoges im Moogulatorium.. / more Analogue? see the Moogulatorium..

OberheimOberheim Synth overview..

Oberheim OB-Mx

OB-Mx – the Don Buchla Oberheim?


Oberheim OB MX
don buchla made this when oberheim was sold to gibson (the company that bought opcode and killed them afterwards) and later to viscount. it had only 2 voices form the factory that were expandable to 12 at quite high prices, thats the reason why it did not succeed.. it has oberheim and moog filters, quite a lot of stuff: 3 lfos, 2 VCOs, 4 ENVs, the OB filtercan be adjusted: bpf,lpf,hpf, the “moog” is a lpf 24dB/oct (what did you think?) ;)
turning the knobs does NOT transmit to midi (no sysEx or CC!) and I am sorry to say that sometimes there were steppy/zippersounds when turning the cutoff. anyway it is an interesting synth.. it is NOT another Xpander!
there is another layout of the Oberheim OB-MX, it’s display is on the right and the knobs have moved a bit ,too.. seems they did it for the japanese area..

this considered to be the “OberM006” (read: OberMoog) the OB-MX had it’s advantages for it’s moog filters combined with oberheim filters. quite “exotic” because it has never been cheap and it’s knobs do not send midi sysex/controllers. some noises while turning knobs.


die meisten mx im umlauf haben auch selten vollausbau.. sind oft 2 oder 4 stimmig ausgestattet..

drehen? das geht.. aber das zippern ist imo sehr dominant.. dreht man am knopfe vorn, erreichen wir den britzelton. besonders bei cut / reso
habe ihn seinerzeit gecheckt und sollte gegen einen xpander anstinken.
den job tut er nicht. er ist eher was für buchla fans (der hat ihn quasi gebaut)..
er hat auch nicht die “breite” .. auch wenn er evtl als ein xpander-nachfolger gedacht war (mehr von allem , auch manchmal etwas weniger..)
wenn du das in gelungen haben willst (moog und SEM filter und co), dann ist ein andromeda die bessere wahl..

er hat modquellen,die kann man nutzen.. er versteht aber kein real-time sysex und das mit DER hardware.. dazu ist und wahr er sehr sehr teuer. er ist heute ein exot.

dennoch ist er nicht nutzlos, man kann div. spezielle sounds machen..
und er ist schon analog..

in sachen env und lfo speed kann bernie sicher bessere auskunft geben.. ich hab in erinnerung, die sind besser als beim xpander / m12

schritte und co hört man eben und beim drehen gibts wirklich noise ,den man ansich nicht haben will..
interne modquellen haben das problem aber nicht..

offenbar wollte man zwar zurück zu den reglern,hat es aber nicht konsequent genug getan für ein neues state-of-the-art gerät..

OB-MX – the Ober-M006 (read: Ober-Moog)
Oberheim OB-MX
click to enlarge the pic..

Oberheim OB MX


Oberheim OB-MX

OberheimOberheim Synth overview..