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Oberheim Matrix 12 or OB-8
Old 24th November 2009
  #1
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🎧 10 years
Oberheim Matrix 12 or OB-8

This is a new post even though I am discussing 80s synths. I am hoping ya'll would get your microscopes out for me..
If you had a chance to purchase a Matrix 12 OR OB-8, what would it be? The price would be $3.5K for M12 and $2.5K for OB8. Both are clean, functional etc. Assume you have a tonne of Virtual Synths and some analog such as SE1X and Juno 106. Which would you add to the collection for versatility, color, sounds that somewhat create a dejavu, inspire and most importantly which sits best in a digital mix. I would appreciate your thoughts. THanks so much in advance and assume the 'none' answer doesnt count.
Old 24th November 2009
  #2
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SWAN808's Avatar
 
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🎧 10 years
depends on what type of sounds you are looking for.

AFAIK the M12 has a smoother more refined sound and due to the huge modulation capabilities and cool filter types - is capable of a much bigger range of sounds. However its envelopes are a little slower than the ob8.

The OB8 is a more basic but bolder more brassy synth.

If you are looking for a predominantly pad and slow lead machine I would go M12, but if you want something that can do bass, arp, more aggressive sounds - OB8 (or Xa)...
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Matrix 12, then sell it to me when you can't figure out how to use it! LOL
Seriously, the MX12 is a way better synth, but the OB8 IS the classic Oberheim sound, very easy to use, cheaper to maintain, and parts are more common.
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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stardustmedia's Avatar
Years ago, I had the chance to work with both. I liked the M12 way more. So sad none of them were mine
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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🎧 15 years
Given that Xpander goes sporadically for 1800 and that OB8 goes sporadically for 1800-2000, buying both would resolve all your dilemmas.
Buying Matrix12 looks way less interesting at 3500.
OB8 is typical classic Oberheim synth, this guy got it right:





Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang ➡️
Given that Xpander goes sporadically for 1800 and that OB8 goes sporadically for 1800-2000, buying both would resolve all your dilemmas.
Buying Matrix12 looks way less interesting at 3500.
OB8 is typical classic Oberheim synth, this guy got it right:
Is the Xpander very stable? Are the sounds generally different to the OB8 and similar to the Matrix?
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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bang on - Xpander + OB8
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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GYang's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 ➡️
Is the Xpander very stable? Are the sounds generally different to the OB8 and similar to the Matrix?
Xpander = Matrix/2
6 voices, actually it is more stabile due to less strain on processor.
More versatile than OB8, but lacks a bit of aggresion (although OB8 is also rather polished classic analogue).
OB8 is more straigtforward synth, instant gratification.
Xpander requires some time and offer internal structure second to none among vintage synths.
Each is nice addition.
Old 24th November 2009
  #9
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🎧 10 years
Excellent slutty advice to get both Xpander and OB-8 instead of the M-12 (Even though I have one myself)

But, I would suggest Xpander and OB-Xa/OB-X since the OB-8 is closer to Xpander in charachter than the other two.

Can´t go wrong with either of them...I LOVE Oberheims
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogholic ➡️
Can´t go wrong with either of them...I LOVE Oberheims
I would love to know if any one has compared the Oberheim OB8/OBx/Matrix12 sounds with the VST instrument OPX-A? Anybody? what are your general thoughts in terms of sound quality?
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Oli
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogholic ➡️
But, I would suggest Xpander and OB-Xa/OB-X since the OB-8 is closer to Xpander in charachter than the other two.
So, how would you compare the OB-Xa and OB-X to the OB-8? It seems the OB-8 can have some sheen and sparkle to the sound, which I hear on some Matrix/Xpander demos. Are the OB-Xa and OB-X very different sounding?
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 ➡️
I would love to know if any one has compared the Oberheim OB8/OBx/Matrix12 sounds with the VST instrument OPX-A? Anybody? what are your general thoughts in terms of sound quality?
the OP-x is very good for a soft synth. It is very convincing. However it still has a clean sheen to the sound and a certain digital precision as opposed to the more lively sound of real analogue....If you are concerened with authenticity and want a retro sound - and you want a synth to make up a large part or the bulk of your music - a real Oberheim is preferable. I used the OP-X for a while to be sure I wanted to invest - and in the end I purchased an OB-8.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 ➡️
. I used the OP-X for a while to be sure I wanted to invest - and in the end I purchased an OB-8.
Hi

Thanks for that. Would you then for 'real' authenticity, advise on me purchasing
1. a good condition OB8 or
2. a goood condition OBXa with midi fit

Thanks!
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 ➡️
Hi

Thanks for that. Would you then for 'real' authenticity, advise on me purchasing
1. a good condition OB8 or
2. a goood condition OBXa with midi fit

Thanks!
that is a dilemma I juggled for some time. In the end the extra features and the panning voices made me go for the OB8. Also - the fact that the OB was a little smoother in a way was preferable. The Xa can be quite coarse.

As far as the envelopes are concerned - I plan on doing some OB8 mods as documented here:

Music Machines: Oberheim OB-8

Looks like you can actually make the OB8 very similar to the Xa....and still have the benefits of the OB8....
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang ➡️
Xpander = Matrix/2
6 voices, actually it is more stabile due to less strain on processor.
More versatile than OB8, but lacks a bit of aggresion (although OB8 is also rather polished classic analogue).
OB8 is more straigtforward synth, instant gratification.
Hi Gyang,

The Xpander has one main processor board that handles the front panel, midi, patch storage and such, and one 6 voice board. Each of these boards has it's own 6809 cpu. The Matrix-12 has one main processor board and TWO 6 voice boards, each with their own 6809 cpu. So there is no more strain on the processors in the Matrix-12. In fact both synths sound identical, and have similar reliability.

I do however agree with your comparisons of the Matrix-12 and OB-8 sound.

I would only follow the advice of the posters who suggest getting both a Matrix-12 and an OB8 if you plan on sitting in your room and playing synths all day long for fun (which I have been guilty of!). If your focus is making records, then I would only get the OB8, which has a much more present and immediate sound, and cuts through/sits better in a mix. Your listening audience won't be able to easily discern the 2 synths in mixes, and the extra time you'll have to spend to achieve mastery on the Matrix-12 makes the payoff for your investment unattractive.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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Space Station's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogholic ➡️
But, I would suggest Xpander and OB-Xa/OB-X since the OB-8 is closer to Xpander in charachter than the other two.
The discrete based OBX sounds nothing like the curtis based OBXa/OB8. OBXa is very similar to the OB8 but the OB8 has more features. So I'd rather have the OB8 over the OBXa and the OBX over either.

To the original poster, I'd say that the M12 and OB8 are very different sounding indeed. The OB8 as others have said is more immeadiate and cutting, more analogue sounding...but not capable of the crazy flexibility and sound creation of the M12 especially with the 12 seperate ouputs that some have!
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Space Station ➡️
The discrete based OBX sounds nothing like the curtis based OBXa/OB8. OBXa is very similar to the OB8 but the OB8 has more features. So I'd rather have the OB8over the OBXa and the OBX over either.

!
Hi and thanks
Here is a scenario. If you could purchase an OBX-a with midi in mint condition for $2800 or an OB-8 in great condition for $2500, what would be your choice? As I understand it, the OBXa has more a ruff edge to it but are the features in the OB8 alot more advanced besides midi?
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 ➡️

Looks like you can actually make the OB8 very similar to the Xa....and still have the benefits of the OB8....
Hi
Would you be able to summarize a couple of the better features of the OB8 compared to the OBXa? Does OBXa have 'Page 2'? I understand it's pre-midi etc. Isnt the OBXa alot grittier in terms of sound, possibly because of the way the tuning is? Which one is more stable in the long term and has a lower chance of faulting?
Please let me know. Thanks!
Old 30th November 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Space Station ➡️
The discrete based OBX sounds nothing like the curtis based OBXa/OB8. OBXa is very similar to the OB8 but the OB8 has more features. So I'd rather have the OB8 over the OBXa and the OBX over either.

To the original poster, I'd say that the M12 and OB8 are very different sounding indeed. The OB8 as others have said is more immeadiate and cutting, more analogue sounding...but not capable of the crazy flexibility and sound creation of the M12 especially with the 12 seperate ouputs that some have!
Yeah, I know...

What I meant was that the OB-8 has a smoother sound than the Xa...
In other words closer to the M12/XP than the Xa but still closest to the Xa (due to the same CEM 3340/3320 combo, but tweaked differently), which made me choose the Xa over the 8.
The OB-X is totally different beast since it´s based on the SEM




Btw, I went for the M-12, OB-X and OB-Xa since I´m a geeerzluuut
Old 30th November 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogholic ➡️
Yeah, I know...

What I meant was that the OB-8 has a smoother sound than the Xa...
In other words closer to the M12/XP than the Xa but still closest to the Xa (due to the same CEM 3340/3320 combo, but tweaked differently), which made me choose the Xa over the 8.
The OB-X is totally different beast since it´s based on the SEM




Btw, I went for the M-12, OB-X and OB-Xa since I´m a geeerzluuut
Sure. But the difference between OBXa and OB8 is tiny compared to OBXa and OBX.
Old 1st December 2009 | Show parent
  #21
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Space Station ➡️
Sure. But the difference between OBXa and OB8 is tiny compared to OBXa and OBX.
No ****...
Old 1st December 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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🎧 10 years
Okay Slutz..need a snap decision by as many of you guys.
OB8 or OBXA? Assume I do Britney Pop and have a ton of virtual instruments, an SE1X, Juno 106 and want to use tweeked OB sounds into very modern pop....either as nasty bass, chopped up brass accents etc that are not the typically played... or NONE (and maybe go Access Virus or something for the modern texture. or spend the money on additional outboard) Clarence Jey on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Videos has samples of my work. THANks ya'll!
Old 1st December 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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dlmorley's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Xpander
Great synth. Takes up less space and saves you money.
Old 1st December 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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🎧 10 years
xpander over the ob series for a first classic oberheim analog. it isn't as immediate sure but it isn't that hard to master it if you're used to soft synths already. there's a lot of depth in the xpander/m-12, that's why i'd recommend it over an ob-8. even with page 2 an ob-8 isn't much more complex than the ob-xa and isn't really capable of as wide a range as the xpander. factually except for the andromeda no analog is capable of the variety of sound sculpting as the xpander/m-12 except a full blown modular system with a large diverse selection of modules. the matrix 12 was the king of variety in classic analogs.

rather than spend a lot on an ob along with the xpander go for something completely different like a waldorf microwave xt or a full modular from doepfer etc... $2500 is a lot of cash and can buy you an andromeda. frankly the ob-8 isn't worth that much as a musical instrument, as a collectible yes, as a studio daily driver no.
Old 1st December 2009 | Show parent
  #25
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Clarence - given your music I would say you might get more out of the Xpander and its trance/hypersaw ability it genuine analogue filters...Im dubious whether an OB is right and useful for you. If you want mean bass get a moog and some overdrive...

The other recommendation I have is a Virus TI...but if you want some analogue - grab an Xpander...You know the sound of the Virus through your Nexus (samples the virus)

This is the sound - Sasha dedicated a track to it:

Old 19th December 2009 | Show parent
  #26
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🎧 10 years
OB8 Vs Xpander

Okay Slutz.. I ended up getting the Xpander and OB8. Both for reasonable and not rediculour prices and in great condition. I have connected both. They are definitely different. However, in the bigger picture of things, I am not 100% sure if I need both either. I may keep both but I would like your thoughts on the 2... where the strengths really lie in your opinion, any hidden hints/functions etc. This would be of tremendous help. I am really digging deep but I may be missing something. The OB8 is midi-ed and has Page 2. Obviously there is an instant satisfaction with the OB8 because its a keyboard and tweeking it is upfront and straight forward. The Xpander is obviously in-depth and I think (in todays pop music composing environment) I may be pushed for time to do rediculous amounts of programming while working on a song... thoughts?... oh and I think the Xpander is slightly fatter in terms of analogia.....
Old 19th December 2009 | Show parent
  #27
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 ➡️
I may keep both but I would like your thoughts on the 2.
Now that you actually own both, you have probably vaulted into the 99th percentile in terms of real, hands-on knowledge of these two machines. Now we're looking to you for answers!
Old 19th December 2009 | Show parent
  #28
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...
Old 19th December 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Use them and see which you prefer! Pretty simple, no?
How would anyone else know what music you will make? Whichever one serves you best.
The only practical thing I can say is, if you want multitimbral stuff, the Xpander is the only choice. 6 monosynths in a box.
Old 19th December 2009 | Show parent
  #30
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobJB06 ➡️
...
nah what you wrote earlier was better
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