Oberheim Matrix 12

Oberheim Matrix-12 Image

Oberheim's Matrix 12 is a legendary analog synthesizer from the mid-eighties that is still the king of analog sounds. One of the fattest, roundest, pleasantly analog synthesizers around! It's long been known for creating some of the thickest and best analog pads, sweeps, buzzes, basses and textures. It features Matrix Modulation for extremely wild virtual patching for almost unlimited range of sounds and modulation capabilities!

Oberheim Matrix-12 Image

The Matrix 12 is similar to the Xpander and the lighter Matrix 6. But the Matrix 12 is much fatter and more programmable than either. Every control can have an effect on some other parameter thanks to Oberheim's flexible design. For example, there are 15 types of LFOs and VCAs per voice! And there's plenty of diagrams drawn out on the front panel of the synth to help you figure out some signal routing. This is not a synth for the beginner. It is used by The Orb, Gravity Kills, Vangelis, Technotronic, and Depeche Mode.

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43 Visitor comments
January 15, 2009 @ 6:39 pm
It is a SYNTH! I don't know if this is the king of analogues since there are Moog modulars, the Yamaha GX-1, Yamaha CS-80, maybe Jupiter 8 because of loudness. Last, but not least and not a king but the Prophet P5 at times to me, esp with SYNC function can sizzle a mix much stronger than the Matrix-12. To be the king of analogue the signal path must be 100% analogue from in to out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think it was advertised as a killer synth which it is in some ways. I think this had DCO's like all other OB Matrix series. I would rather have VCOs. The sounds are top notch, however I don't recall some things like Ring mod, X-Mod, I think Matrix-12 has SYNC and FM at least but not sounding as loud as a Prophet P5 or even other synths with SYNC or FM.
January 15, 2009 @ 6:38 pm
I wish I had this too. I played and tried when new in 1980's. Sounds
great and powerful. I have impressed on it, but could not get the exact sounds I wanted, but whatever I did sounded great. This is an instrument to have and keep for life. Love the displays, wood, action, levers, blue finish, Midi etc.. I had one more chance to order one new in the late 1990's when it was offered.
I should have brought it. I was just worried about maintenance.
I should have brought the Matrix-12. String sounds are great from memory. I have samples and was listening to them earlier this morning. Sample are not as impressive as the real thing and very impracticle. One thing about the Matrix system is the generators. This is the last step of programming and may make patches sound unique.
I don't remember if you could put the Matrix-12 oscillators on Unison. I would like to know.
November 23, 2008 @ 3:28 pm
Truly a modulation monster! Thanks to the very intuitive modulation matrix the handling is good despite a small number of knobs. Characteristic sound, very fat and warm, but compared to the old SEMs more artificial and sometimes less transparent - this is due to its chip-based architecture. However, one of the most complete synthesizers due to its enormous modulation capacity.
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Rated 4.15 (396 Votes)

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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 - 12 voices
  • Oscillators - 24 (2 per voice)
  • Layers - Single / split / multitimbral
  • Memory - 100 patches
  • LFO - 15 types
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (w/ velocity & aftertouch
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1985 - 1988
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