electronics

Discrete analog extravagance.

Our voice card isn’t really dipped in solid gold.

Aside from that, no expense was spared.

 

In our search for unparalleled sonic character, we looked to one of the most revered synthesizers ever made:

The Oberheim OB-X.

 

We dusted off archived schematics of this 1979 behemoth and painstakingly recreated the entire signal path.

Every single component of it.

Voltage-Controlled Oscillators.

Forget about DCOs, NCOs & PCM. There’s only one type of circuit that resonates with the freedom of a guitar string and the power of a live brass section.

 

Still, some VCOs are better than others. We’re using:

        36  Resistors

        12  Transistors

        4    Capacitors

        1    Diode

In each oscillator.

 

Excessive? Absolutely.  But this old-school complexity creates a sonic depth

that’s impossible to describe. Once you hear it, you'll never want to give it up.

 

Legendary State-Variable Filter.

First appearing in Oberheim’s groundbreaking SEM synth module, this voltage-controlled lowpass filter is arguably the greatest polysynth filter of all time.

The gentler 12dB/octave curve kept all the biting resonance of the 24dB Minimoog filter, but added more air and sizzle.

 

We built it the old-fashioned way, right down to a faithful Texas Instruments clone of the notoriously gritty RCA 3080 chip.

 

Back in 1974, the famous SEM filter required ultra-precise silver-mica capacitors to produce its signature resonance. Today, silver-mica capacitors have become ultra-rare. Of course, we used them anyway.

Scorching in Stereo.

Old-school VCAs weren't always perfect, but they were never boring.

 

In the days before crystal-clear amplifier chips, subtle distortion used to color your sound whether you liked it or not.

On top of that, the earliest polysynths had knobs to manually pan individual voices for a striking three-dimensional effect.

 

After all the scorching texture of the oscillators and filter, our voice card’s output stage delivers the finishing blow.

And with two discrete VCAs for each voice, the stereo field is flexible, powerful, and programmable.

Envelopes with

Curtis Curves.

The Curtis Electromusic CEM3310 Envelope Generator shaped control voltages for the Prophet-5, Memorymoog, and the entire Oberheim OB-series.

 

The original chip was discontinued in 1985,

but we’ve examined authentic datasheets

and recreated its distinctive curves

with a 40 kHz output rate at 14-bit resolution.

 

The unique attack stage rose to 6.5 volts,

but was truncated at 5 volts—

not quite exponential, not quite linear.

 

Our emulation matches it perfectly.

 

Often, rise & fall times were glaringly

inconsistent from one voice to the next.

 

Our ‘fatness’ parameter lets you dial up

the vintage looseness when you want it,

or stick with timing accuracy when you need it.