Crumar BitOne v. Oberheim OBxA

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Crumar BitOne v. Oberheim OBxA

Postby sequentialsoftshock » Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:42 am

Go.
bonne chance
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Re: Crumar BitOne v. Oberheim OBxA

Postby 8bit9bot » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:08 am

i dont own either, but just looking at specs...

crumar is DCO and has 4-pole VCFs - oberheim is VCO and has 2-pole/4-pole variable VCFs

apparently the curtis CEM VCFs in both models sound similar in 4-pole mode (as far as i understand from the CEM wikipedia page) - that's not to say they actually will sound the same tho... different companies seem to get different results even when using the same chips

crumar has MIDI... oberheim does not

the oberheim has way more hands on controls... personally, that's not a big selling point to me... but to some people it is - i'm sure the crumar is going to be cheaper by this factor alone

they both have split/layer bi-timbral capability

if you like early 80s sounds, then the oberheim seems way cooler... if you are ok w/ mid-80s sounds and expect MIDI built in... crumar is a contender... however i dont think this is a very even match - also... the oberheim ob-xa is a FAMOUS synth... it's definitely going to cost way more just because everyone knows of it
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Re: Crumar BitOne v. Oberheim OBxA

Postby nathanscribe » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:22 am

Sausages vs curtains.

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Re: Crumar BitOne v. Oberheim OBxA

Postby Psy_Free » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:58 am

nathanscribe wrote:Sausages vs curtains.

Go.


Sausages are phatter than curtains & taste much better.
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Re: Crumar BitOne v. Oberheim OBxA

Postby vcs3 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:14 pm

When you say Crumar BitOne you are refering to the first version with SSM,
because the second version have CEM http://www.retrosynth.com/gear/bitone/info.htmllink

I thing they can't compare, one is a classic and the other is a mid range synth.
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Re: Crumar BitOne v. Oberheim OBxA

Postby nathanscribe » Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:03 pm

Psy_Free wrote:Sausages are phatter than curtains & taste much better.


I concur. But I defy you to close a sausage.
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Re: Crumar BitOne v. Oberheim OBxA

Postby V301H » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:11 pm

Shouldn't this be in "Off Topic"?
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Re: Crumar BitOne v. Oberheim OBxA

Postby Sir Ruff » Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:30 pm

The bit-one is better because it has ultra-stable DCOs and its tuning doesn't drift.
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Re: Crumar BitOne v. Oberheim OBxA

Postby sequentialsoftshock » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:33 pm

Seriously guys; have any of you ever put an SSM BitOne side by side with an OBxA ??
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Re: Crumar BitOne v. Oberheim OBxA

Postby nathanscribe » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:09 pm

OK, if you want a slightly more serious response:

The Bits are nice synths - build quality is good, keyboards are lovely and springy, you get velocity sensitivity, they look nice and sleek, and they have a fairly typical Curtis brassiness (clearly I'm only referring to the bulk of them here, only the very earliest BitOnes had SSM filters). It's nice to have MIDI and splits/layers, and there are good features in the synth engine itself - two LFOs that are fully independently routable to multiple destinations including with velocity sensitivity and mod wheel amount - probably one of the best features of them, IMO.

But then there are the downsides of the Bits - those oscillators are the most static I've ever heard on anything, ever - and so to counteract this, I use some subtle LFO modulation to pitch. This immediately ties up one of the two, leaving the commonly-found single LFO for other duties, so no great killer there - but even so, the possibilities are then reduced and that may be one of the factors in the general ignorance of the Bits. I do think they are very under-rated and under-apppreciated, but the main downfall is the interface - not a single data slider or knob, it's all down to button-pushing. That makes even minor changes a pain in the region of your choice, and going from 0 to 99 is no fun at all. The buttons are not that lovely to push, either. For me, this is the major factor in why I do not use my Bit99 more. I've made some very nice patches, and the thing can sound bloody lovely through a good reverb, but it's just not much fun to program.

There's no PWM via LFO, which is odd - but you do get velocity control of it, which is nice. The One and 01/99 have different modulations for this, so my comments are based on the 99. Also, there are weird phasings going on between the oscs sometimes, that can distort the filter - I think it might have something to do with the way the waves are generated and so tightly locked.

When it sounds good, the Bit is a great bit of kit - but you really need to spend so much time programming it, other synths tend to be more useful.

As for the Obie, well, I've never used one. I get the impression they're going to be more intuitive to program and easier to navigate, and that the oscs will not be so fixed as is.

Comparisons are never going to be based solely on sound - though if you want an opinion based on direct experience, I think they sound quite like the Obie Matrix 6R I had for a while - though the 6R had the benefit of a wider array of modulation, and looser oscs, it shared the slightly painful editing process. I like my Bit, but I'm looking to sell it because, as nice as it is, and as unique as some of its features are, I never use it and the space could be better served by something I will use. If you're looking to buy one, the Bits are a great deal cheaper than any vintage OB-X-type, and I'd recommend trying one to see if you get along with it. That's all.
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Re: Crumar BitOne v. Oberheim OBxA

Postby synthparts » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:30 am

The Bit One keyboard has just about the WORST interface you can imagine. Yes to go from 00 to 99 you have to press the Inc button 99 times. On the Bit 99 keyboard and Bit 01 rack they improved this a lot since you can just hold down the button and it will scroll up or down. At least they do this on the ones I have. Also the Bit 99 and 01 support sysex and their are computer editors for them. The Bit One has very basic MIDI.

The OB-Xa is a completely different synth in every respect (sound, interface, features, price, etc)...
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Re: Crumar BitOne v. Oberheim OBxA

Postby Sir Ruff » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:39 am

The OB-Xa sounds better because it has VCOs, which sound better than DCOs because they have more analog.
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Re: Crumar BitOne v. Oberheim OBxA

Postby vcs3 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:14 am

synthparts wrote:The Bit One keyboard has just about the WORST interface you can imagine. Yes to go from 00 to 99 you have to press the Inc button 99 times..

Wrong!
My BitOne goes from 0 to 99 leaving the inc button pressed!
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Re: Crumar BitOne v. Oberheim OBxA

Postby synthparts » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:39 am

vcs3 wrote:
synthparts wrote:The Bit One keyboard has just about the WORST interface you can imagine. Yes to go from 00 to 99 you have to press the Inc button 99 times..

Wrong!
My BitOne goes from 0 to 99 leaving the inc button pressed!


The Bit One I had for years definitely did not! Maybe there was an update? Is the MIDI still stuck in Omni mode only and no sysex?
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Re: Crumar BitOne v. Oberheim OBxA

Postby urgetoplay » Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:49 pm

Oberheim hands down; the overall sound of the Obie is lusher. The bit one's midi is rudimentary at best, a crash prone
Disaster at worst. The 99/01 and it's variants (Lemm,Unique etc)are a bit stabler in this regard. The xa's encore midi kit seems to be problematic as well. As noted, only a few of the earliest one's have SSM filters.
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