BUYING MY SOUNDS / PATCHES:
€ 26 (Euro) to this paypal address: [wcologarb at tlen.pl]
writing "ob-6 sounds" in the title.
I will send the sounds
to your email after I get notified about your payment. You will receive all the sounds
from both my videos (demo part 1 & demo part 2) plus extra sounds that are not
included in the demos (125 sounds + their variations = 139 sounds in total). My
library will come to you in two formats: sysex format and OB-6 Sound Tower
I did not use additional FX in the demo, no layers, etc. All the
delays and reverbs are part of the OB-6 engine.
There's not much to say, because just like the products of its countrymen from
Moog, this Sequential synth is a top quality instrument with even less
shortcomings - if any! It's great that Dave Smith decided to use a "no force necessary" type of buttons,
and guys at Moog have yet to figure out that this is the way to go. There is not
one thing in the OB-6 that seems likely to break or at least malfunction (provided,
of course, that you protect it from dust).
It's pretty obvious for everyone that has eyes, but
it needs to be mentioned: the interface should win an award. It's a classic
design and an instant-gratification synth. I know, I know - there are numbers
instead of patch names, no possibility to edit the sequence without relying on
software, etc. But let's be honest. If you can afford this kind of synth, you
probably are so successful that you have no time to play it, let alone dive deep
into the sequences or come up with fancy patch names. So why care about these
quirks? You don't experience them anyway. Hashtag LOL.
So when I got the OB-6, I asked my friend
why this synth sits on the bestseller list while it costs so much.
I mean, there's the Deepminds and the Odyssey clones and the Microfreaks and the
OB-6 among them looks like a macaw in a field of cabbage. "It's the sound",
he said, "people pay for the
Oberheim sound". Although I have to admit that at
the OB-6 sounded thin &
glossy & metallic,
and the limited modulation options seemed illogical and surprising for me.
I went to Youtube but all the videos only confirmed my first impressions: it
costs $3000 and sounds like crap! Holy cow! Call the police! But after a week or
so I've managed to "get" this sound, or "my" sound,
and some patches are unbeatable (LP/BP filter
morphs, x-moded basses, synthetic
brass-like tones, etc). Also, the envelopes are
so snappy and punchy that I would swear the sounds are running thru a compressor if I
hadn't made them myself. Opposite of the SUB-37. To get that sound from the Moog
you HAVE to run it thru a compressor.
So even though the modulation possibilities of the synth
are in some
aspects severely limited, there are some neat little alleys you can go to add
spice to your sauce. When you finish having your usual fun, don't forget to
tamper with the Detune knob, the Pan Sprad knob to give the sound that extra
space / spaciousness, and most importantly the X-Mod VCO2 knob, which will
introduce some unpredictability / wonkiness. Just remember that the OB-6 is a
little bit wonky in itself, so if you add bonus detuning to that, the X-Mod
section will create a challenge. Because if the VCO2 pitch changes each time you
hit a note, the modulations "inflicted" by this VCO will vary, so sometimes it's
impossible to have consistency (for example when you mod a pitch destination and
pitch stability is needed).
Don't underestimate the FX section. On paper
it looks pretty standard: delay, reverb, chorus, flanger, phaser. But the fact that you
can combine 3 of them at the same time (any 2 of the above + hidden distortion)
let's you double the sonic palette of the OB-6. And they are very good, because,
they sound good, and two: because they can go to solid extremes and mangle the timbre
noticeably. This transforms the FX unit into another sound sculpting module,
which can't be said about the FX design of other synths, say, Korg Minilogue XD,
whose FX section is rather a decorative element.
I can't for the love of Christ understand this "advice"
I'm seeing for almost every synth out there which says "DO NOT USE THE INTERNAL
FX BECAUSE IT KILLS THE BEAUTIFUL ANALOG SOUND". Geez. Am I deaf, or should I
devote more of my limited time on this Earth to think about such nuances and
then enlightenment would come? I wish all effects on synths were that bad.
One more thing: pay attention to the ring
modulator too: in its non-usual mode, it tracks the pitch of the lowest note
that you play on the keyboard. Combine it with the seqeuncer and you can go
I don't know why that is, but the only DSI / Sequential
synth that seemed "100% right" to me was the Evolver. I played the Prophet X and
asked about Prophet 12. Those synths are unable to launch the LFO and fill its
phase independently of key strikes (note on/off). Here, the OB-6 cannot properly
latch the Arpeggiator (I don't think there even is a button for that). So in the
aforementioned synths it's impossible to keep consistent LFO modulation across
the sequence; it sounds different with each key strike (or restarts in an ugly
way with each key strike). And since I am a human and not a robot with quantized
movements, in OB-6 the lack of Arp Latch option makes the Arpeggiator pretty useless for me, and it's
better if I program an arpeggio pattern into the sequencer, but of course
that has its drawbacks (I'm a slave to the rhythm, to quote a classic).
Generally speaking, the OB-6 reminds me heavily of
the Nord Leads. One: it sounds as if it was already
mastered in a studio. Two: the sound is kind of "thin" but lucid, so that's the
good kind of "thin" (it never gets muddy). Three: the interface is hands-on, you
get what you see, no menu diving, etc. Four: the build quality is top of the tops
(although it's much better / more sturdy than Nord Leads). Five: made in the
country of design (USA for OB-6, Sweden for NL). Of course in the end it's much
more than the Nord Lead thanks to its FX, filter morphing and modulation
routings. But the first three characteristics alone ("pro" sound, clarity, UI)
are a recipe for success among the synth crowd that rarely fails.
I'm not a nerd with an oscilloscope and I
don't spend 4 hours each day splitting hairs on a forum, so I'm not sure, but
probably the OB-6 uses some analog components that have their significant cost (and
which make it sound much better than the aforementioned Nord Leads).
Still, I think
the OB-6 sounds too
sterile / tame / hi-fi compared to "real" analogs, so I'm in
two minds about it. I would have to think hard whether I want to shell out the
€3000 on the OB-6 and have my peace of mind, or buy a dirty-sounding
vintage analog and worry that it dies too soon.