Oberheim DPX1

Oberheim DPX1 Image

In 1987 Oberheim released the DPX1, a 2-unit rackmount 'Sample Player' during the era of the classic samplers. Its function is to load 3.5" and 5" diskettes containing samples. These samples are loaded into its 1 MB of RAM from which you can play the samples using any MIDI keyboard, controller or sequencer. It was compatible with the E-mu Emulator II, Sequential Prophet 2000, 2002, 2002+, Ensoniq Mirage DSK8/DMS8 and the Akai S900 formats. You can't really edit any of the samples, the DPX1 is simply a load-n-play machine. Its universality among these early samplers makes it great for anyone who may still have old disks of samples but not the samplers that created them. With the DPX1 you can resurrect those samples and use them again, or resample them into a modern sampler. Sounds can also be re-stored in an Oberheim DPX format on to 3.5" disks. A 20MB Hard Disk model was also made available around 1988.

The DPX1 has a very impressionable architecture. That is, it recalls the nuances of you're samples including any processing, looping, filtering and modulations resulting in very accurate reproductions of the samples as they would have sounded through their original Sampler synths. However you can't edit, alter, re-program or create new samples. Ensoniq and E-mu samples come through sounding just like they're being played out of the original synths, if not better. However, the Sequential sounds are not quite as nice when played from the DPX1 and cannot be stacked as they may be in the Prophet. Full MIDI and 4-part multitimbrality equip the DPX1 for easy use in any studio. The DPX1 has limited potential, but if you have the samples (and not the Samplers) this is an economic way to recover and hear those classic samples again.

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14 Visitor comments
February 7, 2014 @ 6:32 am
Is it possible to control some parameters as filter, resonance or envelopes by midi (cc or sysex) ?
matthias schuster
November 8, 2013 @ 10:42 am
Great machine i m still using today.
But our Emulator II sounds are a bit more brighter and better,,,
January 7, 2013 @ 11:30 pm
Used by The Cure on the Disintegration tour.
November 7, 2012 @ 5:19 am
In our studio setup way back in the late eighties we had two of these machines.. And we also had and emulator II.
Unfortunately, only a few types of samples were realisticly playable on the dpx machines. Very often there were audible artefacts, such as high-pitch sine-components, and a complete lack of 'punch' especially for percussive sounds.
Other types of sounds were ok, such as slow attack strings and some horns.
October 8, 2012 @ 5:00 pm
If you are vested in vintage samplers, DPX is usefull with great sound. EII owner told me his patches might be thicker sounding on DPX. It's certainly thicker than my SCI Prophet 2000. But one's thick is another's mud, and P2K is hi=fi clear. My Mirage disks play with increased fidelity, but seemingly losing some filter parameter information. Later OS can adjust overall filter cutoff. Not much else but tuning is changeable from the front. Playback only concept. I used the awesome "EMXP" and "DPX Tools" DOS software to convert SF2 soundfonts to EII disks that DPX can read. Good stuff.
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  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 voices
  • Sampler - 12-bit, Variable sample rates
  • Memory - 1 MB
  • Internal Storage - 100 patches
  • External Storage - 3.5" and 5" disk drive
  • Keyboard - None
  • Effects - None
  • Control - MIDI (4-parts)
  • Date Produced - 1987
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