Quantcast
Oberheim Xpander alternatives? - Page 6 - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Oberheim Xpander alternatives?
Old 4th October 2012 | Show parent
  #151
Deleted User
Guest
The closest you can come is with another Oberheim: The Matrix1000 (or 6/6r). After that Oberheim software: SEM V. No of these are ofcourse exactly the same as an Xpander but gives much Xpander character for a lot of less money.

If a higher budget (about $1000) is not out of question, the Prophet 08 rack has a good Xpander type of sound characteer and behaviour of the sound.
Old 6th October 2012 | Show parent
  #152
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Anyone have any tips on how to apply the tracking generators in a usefull manner?
Old 6th October 2012 | Show parent
  #153
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sctt_stone ➡️
Anyone have any tips on how to apply the tracking generators in a usefull manner?
Use them the same way you would use tracking on any other synth. The difference is you can make your own non-linear curves, and the tracking can be assigned to almost any parameter.

Tips & Tricks
Old 6th October 2012 | Show parent
  #154
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
As in Keyboard tracking?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosted ➡️
Use them the same way you would use tracking on any other synth. The difference is you can make your own non-linear curves, and the tracking can be assigned to almost any parameter.

Tips & Tricks
Old 7th October 2012 | Show parent
  #155
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin nowhow ➡️
Those 2 sound damn fine to me.What can i say...word of mouth I guess.Not always reliable.For example, you believe that the filter is special, someone else earlier stated that it's not memorable.Each one of us processes things quite differently & what is excellent for me might be trivial to you.Thank you for these links...very ear-opening...
I forgot about that Marion module. It was pretty obscure even when it first came out in the early 90's. I had never heard a demo from one before, but it sounds better than a Matrix 6. You'll need to find an editor for it, if you can even find one...
Old 7th October 2012 | Show parent
  #156
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sctt_stone ➡️
As in Keyboard tracking?
Yes, but it lets you use tracking on anything, and not just linear curves.

You could assign tracking to resonance, so different regions of the keyboard had different amounts, for example.
Old 7th October 2012
  #157
Lives for gear
 
kevin nowhow's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosted ➡️
I forgot about that Marion module. It was pretty obscure even when it first came out in the early 90's. I had never heard a demo from one before, but it sounds better than a Matrix 6. You'll need to find an editor for it, if you can even find one...
Thank you Ghosted for the time you've put into this, really appreciate it...!
Old 7th October 2012 | Show parent
  #158
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Holy Crap. I have owned an Xpander since around March of this year and had never before touched any of the Tracking generators. Filter cutoff and Filter amp 1 through tracking generator and I now have a whole new synth. I am so used to it being labled differantly on other synths that I had never even thought about it untill now. On my ARP it is labeled CV, on rolands I have owned it is keyfollow, better late than never. This synth continues to supprise me.
Old 7th October 2012 | Show parent
  #159
Deleted 0fc8128
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by sctt_stone ➡️
Anyone have any tips on how to apply the tracking generators in a usefull manner?
Tracking Generators are great. You can use them for all kind of things: e.g. I used them to imitate the PW behavior of an OB-X where the calibration is in the upper range and the synth is getting sloppy in the lower range.

Also good for fine tuning over a range of pitch.

Another great trick is to set the tracking to up-down action over all 6 points. You can drive this by an envelope and get a brassy attack this way. The last two points you might need to adjust again to keep the sustain at a level you need.

Just to get you started...

oops, just saw the tips&tricks link. I guess all the stuff is buried in there too.
Old 7th October 2012
  #160
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
i would say obx or ob 8 are soundwise the closest match. the smaller matrix has a significant different tone. However the modulation options of the expander are not matched with the older oberheims..

The crumar bit one sometimes reminded me soundwise to the expander but aswell very limited modulation wise
Old 7th October 2012 | Show parent
  #161
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
The advantage of the Marion units is they have a 2 knob and LCD interface similar to the EMU Proteus series so unlike say the Matrix 1000, a software editor isn't the only way to edit. It's quite pleasant to edit from the front. Another huge improvement is the Marion units are configurable 8 voice multitimbral.

The downside are the digital oscillators are so stable that detuning them doesn't sound like anything analog. You can do linear FM and there is an interesting triangle to saw modulation besides pulse width. One might want a chorus unit like say a 1 DCO Roland synth uses. The VCF is LP with 12 and 24db settings.

There was the MSR-2 which was at a fair number of dealers in the day, not every dealer but say Manny's in NYC had them. It came stock with 1 voice engine but you could install a second board doubling the voices to 16 but I believe addressed as 2 separate synths. The original intent was to make other engines which never happened. Criticism on earlier units seemed to be the envelopes were linear with slow stages. This was apparently improved with newer firmware. No idea if Tom (or Encore?) has what's needed for an upgrade.

Tom Oberheim then built a new chassis for 1 board called the ProSynth. He only sold them direct from his company, Marion at a lower price. The external in was eliminated as well as EQ out I think

It seems to be easy to crash them if you hit them with Sysex either too fast or too much and it chokes. I don't know if the firmware imporovements helped or made the problem worse. SoundQuest still does an editor soundiver did one.
Old 7th October 2012 | Show parent
  #162
BM0
Lives for gear
 
BM0's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by itisnick ➡️
The advantage of the Marion units is they have a 2 knob and LCD interface similar to the EMU Proteus series so unlike say the Matrix 1000, a software editor isn't the only way to edit. It's quite pleasant to edit from the front. Another huge improvement is the Marion units are configurable 8 voice multitimbral.

The downside are the digital oscillators are so stable that detuning them doesn't sound like anything analog. You can do linear FM and there is an interesting triangle to saw modulation besides pulse width. One might want a chorus unit like say a 1 DCO Roland synth uses. The VCF is LP with 12 and 24db settings.

There was the MSR-2 which was at a fair number of dealers in the day, not every dealer but say Manny's in NYC had them. It came stock with 1 voice engine but you could install a second board doubling the voices to 16 but I believe addressed as 2 separate synths. The original intent was to make other engines which never happened. Criticism on earlier units seemed to be the envelopes were linear with slow stages. This was apparently improved with newer firmware. No idea if Tom (or Encore?) has what's needed for an upgrade.

Tom Oberheim then built a new chassis for 1 board called the ProSynth. He only sold them direct from his company, Marion at a lower price. The external in was eliminated as well as EQ out I think

It seems to be easy to crash them if you hit them with Sysex either too fast or too much and it chokes. I don't know if the firmware imporovements helped or made the problem worse. SoundQuest still does an editor soundiver did one.
Wow, someone else that knows about the MSR-2.
I have one with two modules installed. That's interesting what you mentioned about Sysex causing it to crash. I made a Lemur template for my iPad to program the MSR-2. The MSR-2 did freeze up a couple times as I was testing the controls that I was working on. However, I think that could have been a result of bad code in my interface. My MSR-2 has a later firmware installed, so it seems to be stable. I haven't tried changing too many parameters at once, using my Lemur controller. I will have to try that.

I've read that the oscillators are possibly the same design as what is used in the current DSI products. The envelopes do not have shaping to them, but they are DAHDSR envelopes. As for speed, I don't find them to be much different than other Oberheims. They aren't as punchy as a Roland, for example, but that is what makes Oberheims what they are and Roland what they are, IMO. The envelopes can do reverse polarity though, because most of the sound parameters have a negative and positive value. FM modulates the filter frequency from oscillator 2. There is no oscillator to oscillator FM.

If you want to see a majority of the features, take a look at this thread. I posted some screenshots of my Lemur template controller. MSR-2 Lemur template

I emailed Tom last week to ask if he still has firmware for the MSR-2 and he said that he doesn't have anything for that anymore. I kind of figured, but i thought it wouldn't hurt to ask. He did say that he found it interesting that I was using one.
Old 7th October 2012
  #163
Lives for gear
 
dougt's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yes the chips in the Marion are the same as the DSI stuff. That's why they can't do osc-osc FM either...
Old 12th March 2013 | Show parent
  #164
Deleted 0ea68bb
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by raffor ➡️
Tracking Generators are great. You can use them for all kind of things: e.g. I used them to imitate the PW behavior of an OB-X where the calibration is in the upper range and the synth is getting sloppy in the lower range.

Also good for fine tuning over a range of pitch.

Another great trick is to set the tracking to up-down action over all 6 points. You can drive this by an envelope and get a brassy attack this way. The last two points you might need to adjust again to keep the sustain at a level you need.
Dragging back an old-ish thread here with kind of a theoretical question:

Can you use the tracking generators to create linear, rather than exponential tracking of pitch on one oscillator? I'm thinking how you could keep the detuning distance between the two oscillators the same regardless of pitch for a "big" sound.
Old 8th May 2013
  #165
Deleted cda76ca
Guest
I'm reposting this here coz it seems relevant:

So i was thinking about how i could get more mileage out of my Matrix 6. I do like the look of the Xpander, but at around £2000 currently it seems a bit out of reach. As the Matrix 6 has much of the Xpander's whackiest features anyway, such as the FM, Sync, and the really interesting sounds that you get by messing with the mod matrix, i'm thinking of adding the MFB Dominion 1 to my setup and using them in tandem.

By running the m6 through the MFB i'd be able to access multiple filter types, paraphonically I know, but with careful tracking and editing I'm pretty sure i could get the results i want.

According to Amazona.de and the old Bluesynths site: Tom Oberheim himself even said recently in an interview with U.S. keyboard that for him personally MATRIX 6 punchier sound than his colleagues from the cult-room X-PANDER and MATRIX12.
This statement just so we can hang in the air and breathe deeply.

So I'm thinking I'll end up with something that sounds really nice, and more in my price range. Does this idea sound any good?

And yeah, if any of you miss Bluesynths, and can't find an old review on their new website, Amazona.de has all of them archived, you just have to search on google for "Amazona.de (synth model)" and then chuck the link into google translate if you're not a German speaker.

Bitte.
Old 8th May 2013 | Show parent
  #166
Gear Addict
 
Apprendista's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Why the keyboard synth if you'll only use it to process external audio? The desktop Dominion X seems to have the same filters and retails at €780/840 vs. €1380 for the Dominion 1.

FWIW the last Xpander I saw locally was priced at something like €2200, so if I could afford a Dominion 1 as an ersatz Xpander I'd just keep saving up for the real thing.
Old 8th May 2013
  #167
Deleted cda76ca
Guest
Good point! I guess its just I love the matrix 6 it's so good for my sound, I have a thing for keyboard monosynths, and if I spend £1000 on the dominion I have another grand to spend on a microwave XT and Yamaha ry30. I feel buying them 3 would give me alot more bang for buck than an xpander, especially with the modern DAW age where I can easily layer things in the box.

If money were no object I'd buy all 4, and Jupiter 4 and a moog source just for the hell of it, but the truth is, I have enough amazing synths in my arsenal to allow me to express myself eloquently.
Old 13th June 2014 | Show parent
  #168
Lives for gear
 
lestermagneto's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz ➡️
According to Amazona.de and the old Bluesynths site: Tom Oberheim himself even said recently in an interview with U.S. keyboard that for him personally MATRIX 6 punchier sound than his colleagues from the cult-room X-PANDER and MATRIX12.
This statement just so we can hang in the air and breathe deeply.



Bitte.
Yeah, they are probably "punchier", as the envelopes on the xpander and matrix 12 are notoriously "un snappy", not very quick…. but far more intricate and sublime in every other area imho….. We used to layer xpander and a model d for bass back in the day, and they were an interesting complement…. but there definitely is a little lag on the xpander etc eg's…. Tom Oberheim would be absolutely correct on that statement, as it is completely true...
Old 14th June 2014 | Show parent
  #169
Deleted 0ea68bb
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by lestermagneto ➡️
Yeah, they are probably "punchier", as the envelopes on the xpander and matrix 12 are notoriously "un snappy", not very quick…. but far more intricate and sublime in every other area imho….. We used to layer xpander and a model d for bass back in the day, and they were an interesting complement…. but there definitely is a little lag on the xpander etc eg's…. Tom Oberheim would be absolutely correct on that statement, as it is completely true...
This might be true (never played a M6/1000), but not sure it really matters. I don't think one should think about buying a M6/M1000 as some sort of xpander/M12 replacement--ignoring the mod aspects, the VCOs and filters just give a very different sound than the usual "synth on a chip" CEM.
Old 14th June 2014
  #170
Lives for gear
 
maisonvague's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've found I can get some Xpander-like flavors out of my Doepfer A-100 system using the CEM based A-111 High-End VCO and the A-106-6 XP Filter -- but that's monophonic only. I've also tried running my OB-Xa into the XP Filter with good results -- but here it's only paraphonic since I've just got that one filter for all voices.

Some interesting comparisons between the original Xpander filter and the Doepfer clone can be found here:

http://www.amazona.de/modular-serie-...lter-teil-1/4/

For me, the most striking difference is how much more powerful and "alive" the Xpander sounds. The Doepfer is nice, but... meek in comparison.

Basically alternatives to the Xpander are pretty scant in hardware. I wouldn't consider the Matrix-1000/6/6R as satisfactory substitutes. As instruments in themselves, they're awesome. But once you start comparing them, well... they start to lose a bit of their magic.
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 54 views: 10016
Avatar for Teddy Ray
Teddy Ray 12th November 2009
replies: 57 views: 39028
Avatar for Deleted 7a792f4
Deleted 7a792f4 12th April 2019
replies: 617 views: 96899
Avatar for gypsymoth
gypsymoth 13th February 2020
replies: 87 views: 9462
Avatar for string6theory
string6theory 12th February 2021
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump