The original Oberheim OB-X synthesizer was introduced in 1979. It was designed to compete against the Sequential Circuits Prophet 5. Available in either 4, 6, or 8 voice polyphony, it was extremely popular. Used on numerous records throughout the '80s by the likes of Tangerine Dream, Jean-Michel Jarre, Rush, Supertramp, Depeche Mode, and most famously by Van Halen on Jump. In fact, the OB series was so popular that Oberheim has just released the OB-X8, a modern version of the classic. In honor of the OB-X8, I wanted to take a look at a software version of the OB-X, created by Jorge Reales.
The OB-Xd synth app has been designed to recreate the rich sound of the original. Using random micro detuning, the OB-Xd synth produces the fat analog sound that the OB-X is known for. It features two oscillators per voice with either saw or pulse waveforms, a 2-pole multi-mode filter with ADSR envelope, a VCA with ADSR envelope, an LFO section with sin, square, and sample and hold waveforms, pulse width modulation, polyphonic portamento, and noise.
An interesting feature of the OB-Xd is that all of the waveforms can be combined. You can choose the saw or pulse waveform for the oscillators or both. Same for the LFO, where all three waveforms can be combined into one complex waveform. You can also assign the LFO to modulate oscillators one and two and the filter at the same time. The OB-Xd also features a unique Voice Variation section, which allows you to control the panning of each of the 8 voices, added to its wide sound.
The OB-Xd is a great-sounding app and comes with many onboard sounds. Considering its low cost and AUV3 format, it is the perfect way to incorporate the classic Oberheim sound into your toolbox, without taking out a second mortgage on your house.
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