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New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...

Hey guys,

I was recommended for my style of music to look into the P12 and the OB6. Doing a little bit of reading, they seem to be pretty different tools. So I was wondering anybody could lend me some knowledge about what I could expect from the OB6 not even in direct relation to the P12 (I'll ask about the P12 in the respective forum), but in general. How does the OB6 stand amongst it's family and other synths of its kind? Why do you like it? What could/should I expect from an instrument like this?

Thank you :)
R

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2020, 04:55:53 AM »
It would help to know what style of music you are referring to.
Prophet 6, Prophet X, Moog Sub 37, Tempest Drum Computer, Roland V Piano, Fender American Stratocaster, Roger Linn Adrenalinn iii, Origin Effects Cali76 and SlideRig compressor, ASUS Zenbook Pro Computer, Soundcraft MTK 22 Mixer, Mark Of The Unicorn Digital Performer 10 Software.

LPF83

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2020, 07:35:45 AM »
I was recommended for my style of music to look into the P12 and the OB6. Doing a little bit of reading, they seem to be pretty different tools. So I was wondering anybody could lend me some knowledge about what I could expect from the OB6 not even in direct relation to the P12 (I'll ask about the P12 in the respective forum), but in general. How does the OB6 stand amongst it's family and other synths of its kind? Why do you like it? What could/should I expect from an instrument like this?

In short, I'd say the SEM filter brings a certain vintage character to the sound that is distinctly Oberheim and the workflow is superb.  Modulation options are a limiting factor.  Just curious why you'd lean toward a P12 rather than a Rev2?

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2020, 08:01:07 AM »
I think the Sonic Stte review does a pretty good job at showing what the synth is capable of and it's sort of unique sound:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPVhtVuYk8w

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2020, 12:35:41 PM »
Just curious why you'd lean toward a P12 rather than a Rev2?

To me the real benefits of going with analog oscillators is negated in DCO form. I've owned both and the P12's advantages far outweigh any slight analog advantage the REV2 has imo. Linear/exponential FM, more complex shapes that can be combined, LFO slew, the character/feedback sections, an extra auxiliary envelope, & more expansive mod matrix. Although it's fair to note that the P12 lacks a sequencer if that's the type of thing that's important to you.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2020, 01:07:16 PM by A Thousand Eyes »

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2020, 01:14:40 PM »
Thank you guys for your comments and videos. I wasn't sure how to phrase the question I was trying to ask, but the music I'd want to make is Dramatic Electronic. Think M83 mixed with Distorted leads/basses (a harder electronic/electro style)

As far as going for the P12 over the Rev2, since this is my first synth, I only use VSTs and my sound is very electronic, and though I do love the Analog sound, it's not always easy to mix into my tracks. So a digital/analog synth with deep sound design possibilities is kind of more my style and an easier transition to add to my music.

After doing some research and watching tons of videos, there's no doubt that the OB6 has a far superior analogue sound and warmth. It's immensely beautiful. But I opted for the P12 as I feel it fits my current electro/analogue style and so that I can go deep down the rabbit hole of sound design.

I'm used to Serum, Massive, and Sylenth which I honestly love to death, not being a previous synth owner or hugely attached to analog history.

But I already know now that the OB6 will be my second synth I buy. I feel like together the P12 and OB6 will be a great team

LPF83

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2020, 04:14:47 PM »
Just curious why you'd lean toward a P12 rather than a Rev2?

To me the real benefits of going with analog oscillators is negated in DCO form. I've owned both and the P12's advantages far outweigh any slight analog advantage the REV2 has imo. Linear/exponential FM, more complex shapes that can be combined, LFO slew, the character/feedback sections, an extra auxiliary envelope, & more expansive mod matrix. Although it's fair to note that the P12 lacks a sequencer if that's the type of thing that's important to you.

I haven't owned a P12, but I understand how some (including the OP) may want a more digital sound than either a Rev2 or OB6 can offer.  I don't think the Rev2 sounds digital by default, but it can if you push it there intentionally.  I don't think DCOs take anything away from it sounding analog.   The old Roland Junos had DCOs, and I never heard anyone say a Juno 6 or 106 didn't sound analog.  One of the first things I did with my Rev2 was see how quick I could recreate the intro to "Send Me An Angel" by Real Life, because that particular sound is so "80's Prophet".   Barely even trying, I created a dead ringer.  Look up the Starsky Carr comparison between the Rev2 and Prophet 6.  He said he preferred the Rev2 except for the fact that he apparently got a couple of defective units.  I do sometimes wish I just had a Prophet 6 for the simplicity workflow, instead of layer A and B, is multimode on or not -- etc.   But then again juggling what is effectively two 8 voice synths in a single box is never going to have such as simple workflow as an OB6 or P6.   The sound of the P12 just never grabbed me in videos.  I do want a digital sound sometimes, but that need is so well met from plugins.

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2020, 05:01:20 PM »
Too bad you already bought, I would have thought the Pro 3 was RIGHT up your alley for the kinds of sounds you want.

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2020, 06:08:41 PM »
Too bad you already bought, I would have thought the Pro 3 was RIGHT up your alley for the kinds of sounds you want.

I second that. Thing is absolutely perfect for Ministry/Skinny Puppy type bass lines but also perfect for some Tangerine Dream sequences as well. Would have been my first choice if it was my genre.
Prophet 6, Prophet X, Moog Sub 37, Tempest Drum Computer, Roland V Piano, Fender American Stratocaster, Roger Linn Adrenalinn iii, Origin Effects Cali76 and SlideRig compressor, ASUS Zenbook Pro Computer, Soundcraft MTK 22 Mixer, Mark Of The Unicorn Digital Performer 10 Software.

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2020, 09:06:28 PM »
@LPF83: I watched the Starsky video a while back and I simply don't agree. For one, I don't find the REV2's DCOs to be in the same league as either the P6 or OB-6 VCOs. Furthermore, if I remember correctly, he said the raw sound of the P6 was better, but for the price and modulation capability, it was hard to choose against the REV2. The specific CEM chip used in the DSI instruments (before the Pro 2) is not well liked at least in regard to consensus and besides, not all DCO synths are created equal. Personally I like it in the Tempest for example. Their thin nature work well with the snappiness of those envelopes for percussive sounds. I also think it suits digital front-end synths (or even hybrids like the Evolver or Tempest) for filter duties much better because it adds characterful grit that's lacking in many modern digital synth equivalents and is good for precise attack transients that are not going to be found in a strictly analog front-end. For the record, I've owned all of these at one point or another and can personally attest to these types of things being harder to judge from online videos and recordings alone.

As for modulation, I've found that convoluted sounds with a bunch of LFOs running are not that practical in most song oriented situations compared to say, soundscape work. Personally I've also found that having a bunch of modulation options tends to make me lazier rather than being more creative with what I have. Having a bunch of modulation is not necessarily going to get me to the highly usable timbral sounds that are achievable with the wisely chosen parameters of both the OB-6/P6. Adding a tasteful bit of FM or analog distortion will take me to places that will never quite be reached on the REV2.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2020, 10:34:04 PM by A Thousand Eyes »

LPF83

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2020, 07:38:09 AM »
@LPF83: I watched the Starsky video a while back and I simply don't agree. For one, I don't find the REV2's DCOs to be in the same league as either the P6 or OB-6 VCOs. Furthermore, if I remember correctly, he said the raw sound of the P6 was better, but for the price and modulation capability, it was hard to choose against the REV2. The specific CEM chip used in the DSI instruments (before the Pro 2) is not well liked at least in regard to consensus and besides, not all DCO synths are created equal. Personally I like it in the Tempest for example. Their thin nature work well with the snappiness of those envelopes for percussive sounds. I also think it suits digital front-end synths (or even hybrids like the Evolver or Tempest) for filter duties much better because it adds characterful grit that's lacking in many modern digital synth equivalents and is good for precise attack transients that are not going to be found in a strictly analog front-end. For the record, I've owned all of these at one point or another and can personally attest to these types of things being harder to judge from online videos and recordings alone.

As for modulation, I've found that convoluted sounds with a bunch of LFOs running are not that practical in most song oriented situations compared to say, soundscape work. Personally I've also found that having a bunch of modulation options tends to make me lazier rather than being more creative with what I have. Having a bunch of modulation is not necessarily going to get me to the highly usable timbral sounds that are achievable with the wisely chosen parameters of both the OB-6/P6. Adding a tasteful bit of FM or analog distortion will take me to places that will never quite be reached on the REV2.

I understand what you're saying about a bunch of LFOs but I think that may be only a partial summary of the modulation capabilities of the Rev2.   When I read another forum member's take on voice component modeling using the gated sequencer to modulate very subtle voice detunings (makes the Rev2 sound fat like P6 or OB6), I realized how valuable all the modulation capabilities are.  That said, there is a definite workflow disadvantage to that approach versus just jumping on the OB6 or P6 and quickly knobbing up sounds.

I think another factor that gets lost is that when the Rev-12 is compared to OB6 or P6, it is always comparing one layer -- ignoring the fact that the 16 voice version offers two 8-voice layers, and in stacked mode, neither then P6 or OB6 can really compete.  I've yet to see anyone compare a P6 or OB6 to a stacked Rev2 sound (or even less mention that the stacked sound comes in at a full thousand bucks less).

For now, as much as I love my OB6, I don't see myself getting rid of the Rev2 any time soon.  The sounds just fit in the mix well (more so than most of the OB6 sounds, which sound great in isolation but are at times hard to fit in a mix because they are too fat).
« Last Edit: April 28, 2020, 07:41:24 AM by LPF83 »

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2020, 08:00:05 AM »
 I have to put in a word for an abundance of low frequency oscillators.

Four LFO's, plus an additional envelope generator dedicated to modulation, may seem like an excessive amount of modulation.  But modulation is now so much more than it was once considered.  In past decades its use was basic but blunt - usually a matter of one LFO, or rarely two - and the result was an overt use of movement.  This would be an often excessively wide vibrato, a welcome-back-my-friends filter sample and hold, or something else quite obvious in the patch.  But now, thanks to the vast number of routings available, it can be used much more subtly and effectvely - I would even say musically.  The end result is that even an ostensibly simple patch may make use of three or four types of modulation, some quite delicate and barely noticeable.

Once I thought all this modulation was excessive, and instinctively preferred a Prophet-6 type of simplicity.  But no longer.  Even if I'm designing a basic reed sort of sound - like an oboe - I find that the use of a single LFO for vibrato leaves me with an annoyingly electronic-sounding patch, something only a little better than a nasal buzzer with a wobble to it.  But the tasteful use of more LFO's transforms the patch into something far more satisfying, something on the verge of acoustic-sounding.  For example, the use of modultion applied to only one barely audible second oscillator can subtly transform a typical synth reed patch into something very sweet and melifluous.  So, too, can a slight and slow filter modulation, which can give a pad a natural heaving breathing type effect.  These are applications of modulation that are essential to a patch, and yet, are hardly noticeable at a first listening.

In designing sounds, I would now never want to have fewer than four LFO's.  And yet, the sounds I like are seldom ever overtly modulated.  Modulation use has matured over the years, and sound design has become a most precise and subtle art.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2020, 08:18:36 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.co

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2020, 08:10:59 AM »
Yes, I've heard you say that before Sacred and even expected you to chime in about it, but frankly I don't agree. Every time I play the P6 I catch myself constantly being shocked at how acoustic sounding it is by the nature of its very design. This is not something I ever got out of my REV2 16 voice. Though I'm glad people are enjoying their 08s and REV2s. I was merely chiming in to offer my experience to the OP.

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2020, 08:34:53 AM »
Yes, I've heard you say that before Sacred and even expected you to chime in about it, but frankly I don't agree. Every time I play the P6 I catch myself constantly being shocked at how acoustic sounding it is by the nature of its very design. This is not something I ever got out of my REV2 16 voice. Though I'm glad people are enjoying their 08s and REV2s. I was merely chiming in to offer my experience to the OP.

Oh, don't take this as my disagreeing with you, A Thousand Eyes.  I still appreciate a Prophet-6 type of simplicity, and I've argued from your side many times.  It's often the case that a pair of rich sounding VCO's and a single LFO are all that are needed to polish a patch.  And often, such a patch will be ruined by additional modulation.  Having so much of it available can be a temptation to use it, just for the sake of using it.  And sometimes we just want to impress other synthesists with the complexity of our sounds.  But on the other hand, I often find, especially on solo/monophonic patches, that a bundle of subtly used LFO's are necessary in getting beyond a dry electronic quality. 

I don't have the luxury of the in-the-mix effect.  I don't multi-track or layer, nor do I use a hundred leagues of the popular expensive reverbs, so my patches are always exposed and plain to hear.  Therefore, they must be finished and refined.  I find this possible only through a judicious use of several LFO's. 

So, I do basically agree with you.  But there is another type of sound design that is entirely musical, and yet requires an abundance of simultaneous modulations.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2020, 10:01:12 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.co

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2020, 06:17:32 PM »
Too bad you already bought, I would have thought the Pro 3 was RIGHT up your alley for the kinds of sounds you want.

The Pro 3 looks sweet! And something I would want to get in the future. But I'd like to have more than 3 voices and plenty of keys. Thank you for showing me this!

LPF83

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2020, 07:05:21 PM »
I have to put in a word for an abundance of low frequency oscillators.  Four LFO's, plus an additional envelope generator dedicated to modulation, may seem like an excessive amount of modulation.  But modulation is now so much more than it was once considered.  In past decades its use was basic but blunt - usually a matter of one LFO, or rarely two - and the result was an overt use of movement.  This would be an often excessively wide vibrato, a welcome-back-my-friends filter sample and hold, or something else quite obvious in the patch.  But now, thanks to the vast number of routings available, it can be used much more subtly and effectvely - I would even say musically.  The end result is that even an ostensibly simple patch may make use of three or four types of modulation, some quite delicate and barely noticeable.

I think this more eloquently makes the point I was hoping to make but didn't put enough thought into :)

A lot of folks don't realize that the reason VCOs sound the way they do is due to movement in the wave form that digital accuracy (by default) does not provide.  But subtle modulations against parameters such as wave shape, slop, tuning, and so forth.....as opposed to the "welcome back my friends sample and hold" (that got a grin out of me by the way) can make a DCO do everything a VCO does (and more).  The more of these modulations that are available, the more creative possibilities exist.  Are too many possibilities a bad thing, and less is more?  I would say sometimes yes, but it depends on the goals of the user. 

In my case I do want to add a second synth with simple workflow -- not sure if that will be a second OB6 or a P6 yet.  My current creations lean more toward vintage 80s poly stuff (synthwave, darkwave, etc.)  The Rev2 will stay in my studio one way or another because of its versatility, the overall power of having two 8-voice polys with "can't go wrong" mixability... the way it does pads, strings, plucks, vintage poly synth sounds and yes sometimes bass.  I was always a fan of Depeche Mode, and the Rev 2 can pretty much emulate any sound of theirs up until they went mostly virtual analog (2005ish I think?)... and even then it can with some plug-in distortion effect.   I don't think I could make the same claim for my OB-6, it is more likely to track with 80s Erasure or Depeche when Vince Clark was with them.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2020, 07:10:26 PM by LPF83 »

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2020, 08:26:26 PM »
Are you sure you don't have a Prophet X? No way is a REV2 going into Emulator II territory for instance.

LPF83

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2020, 04:47:07 AM »
Are you sure you don't have a Prophet X? No way is a REV2 going into Emulator II territory for instance.

Was hoping it would be obvious that I was referring to the analog portion of their sound, not the sampled analog sounds.  But yes, I sample my Rev2 and OB6 regularly.. it's just that with DAWs and modern tools, we don't need Emulator IIs these days.

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2020, 09:50:26 AM »
Honestly what's your point in bringing up any era of DM in regard to the REV2? Also, it sounds like you're saying they sampled analog synths... I was going to give you the benefit of the doubt in that you meant run samples through an analog filter, but your last statement disregards that since you think the Emulator II is unnecessary these days. If that's the case then any kid with a laptop nowadays has a better shot at recreating DM & your REV2 is unnecessary.

Regardless, the entire debate is a moot since the OP made their choice.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2020, 11:13:26 AM by A Thousand Eyes »

LPF83

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the OB6 in relation to...
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2020, 12:07:25 PM »
Honestly what's your point in bringing up any era of DM in regard to the REV2? Also, it sounds like you're saying they sampled analog synths... I was going to give you the benefit of the doubt in that you meant run samples through an analog filter, but your last statement disregards that since you think the Emulator II is unnecessary these days. If that's the case then any kid with a laptop nowadays has a better shot at recreating DM & your REV2 is unnecessary.

Regardless, the entire debate is a moot since the OP made their choice.

Wasn't bashing an Emulator II, just pointing out that it's merely a sampler (with a great sound library) and we have other options these days, and that Alan Wilder was primarily sampling analog instruments with it.  We are talking about days when the mere STORAGE of samples was a challenge on gear of the era due to space.  But agreed with you that we shouldn't take the thread too far in another direction -- I would have never guessed we'd end up here on Prophet Xs and Emulator IIs..