In the world of synthesizers, few names carry as much weight as Sequential and Oberheim. Both companies have a rich history of producing iconic instruments that have shaped the sound of countless genres. So, when these two giants joined forces to create the OB-6, the music community was abuzz with excitement. In this article, we will explore the OB-6, its features, and the impact it has had on the synthesizer landscape.
The OB-6 is the result of a collaboration between Dave Smith, the founder of Sequential, and Tom Oberheim, the legendary synth designer behind Oberheim Electronics. Both individuals have made significant contributions to the world of synthesizers, with Dave Smith being credited as the father of MIDI and Tom Oberheim known for his pioneering work in polyphonic synthesizers.
The collaboration between these two synth giants was a match made in heaven. Dave Smith’s expertise in digital technology and sequencing combined with Tom Oberheim’s analog wizardry resulted in a synthesizer that seamlessly blends the best of both worlds.
Analog Warmth with Modern Features
At its core, the OB-6 is an analog synthesizer that captures the warmth and character of vintage Oberheim instruments. It features a 6-voice polyphony with two oscillators per voice, capable of producing rich and complex sounds. The OB-6’s analog signal path ensures that every note played is filled with warmth and depth, making it a favorite among musicians seeking that classic analog sound.
However, the OB-6 is not just a rehash of vintage technology. It incorporates modern features that enhance its versatility and usability. For example, it includes a built-in sequencer and arpeggiator allowing musicians to explore new sonic territories and create intricate soundscapes.
The Sound of the OB-6
One of the standout features of the OB-6 is its sound. It delivers the lush and creamy tones that have become synonymous with Oberheim synthesizers. The dual VCOs per voice provide a wide range of sonic possibilities, from fat basslines to soaring leads and everything in between.
The OB-6’s filters are another highlight, offering a distinctive character that adds depth and richness to the sound. The 12dB/octave state-variable filter, a hallmark of Oberheim instruments, allows for smooth and expressive filtering, while the 24dB/octave low-pass filter provides a more aggressive and resonant tone.
The OB-6’s sound is further enhanced by its onboard effects, including analog distortion, chorus, and reverb. These effects can be applied individually or combined to create unique textures and atmospheres. Whether you’re looking for vintage warmth or modern experimentation, the OB-6 delivers in spades.
Interface and Workflow
The OB-6’s interface is designed with simplicity and intuitiveness in mind. Its front panel features dedicated knobs and buttons for all major parameters, allowing for immediate hands-on control. This layout encourages exploration and experimentation, making it easy to shape and sculpt sounds on the fly.
The inclusion of a full-sized keyboard with velocity and aftertouch sensitivity adds to the OB-6’s playability. Musicians can express themselves dynamically, adding nuance and emotion to their performances. Additionally, the OB-6 can be easily integrated into any studio or live setup, thanks to its MIDI and USB connectivity options.
The OB-6 in Practice
The OB-6 has found its way into the studios and live rigs of many renowned musicians. Its versatility and sound quality make it a go-to instrument for a wide range of genres, from electronic and synth-pop to ambient and film scoring.
Artists such as Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Jean-Michel Jarre, and Tycho have all praised the OB-6 for its exceptional sound and playability. Its ability to recreate vintage Oberheim tones while offering modern features has made it a favorite among both seasoned professionals and aspiring musicians.
The OB-6 is a testament to the power of collaboration between two synth giants. Sequential and Oberheim have created a synthesizer that combines the best of analog warmth with modern features and usability. Its sound, interface, and versatility have made it a staple in the music industry, and its impact on the synthesizer landscape cannot be overstated.
Whether you’re a seasoned synth enthusiast or a newcomer to the world of electronic music, the OB-6 is a worthy addition to any setup. Its ability to deliver classic Oberheim tones while offering modern flexibility makes it a true powerhouse in the world of synthesizers.