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
June 21, 2012 @ 7:38 pm
There is a good Editor out there for the Matrix 12 and Xpander
Check it out if you dont know it: http://xplorer.programmer.free.fr/

But its not Free. You must Spend 20$ for it.
March 7, 2012 @ 2:25 pm
I'm an Ex Matrix 12 owner myself sold on eBay for 5k. The synth has a great sound but is a pain to program due to few knobs and multiple screens / menus. It just isn't a great synth for on the fly tweaking which is what most people think of when they think analog synth. The synth is also so large and heavy that it is very difficult to put in a standard keyboard rack and generally will need to sit on a desk. Mine had the seperate outs and aftertouch mods which while the aftertouch was nice the seperate outs were kinda worthless unless you wanted to dedicate an entire mixer to just one synth!
February 26, 2012 @ 2:36 am
I love it when someone says "not a synth for the beginner." It' not really patronizing, though. If you're going to drop three or four grand on a legacy keyboard, you should know what you're doing. Here are some great beginner synths: Korg M50, Roland JD800, Roland JP8000, Korg MS2000, Roland JX3P, Roland alphaJuno2, Roland GAIA SH01, Korg R3, DSI Mopho, DSI Tetra, Alesis Micron, Akai Miniak, and the new Arturia Minibrute. If you don't mind mini-keys the Korg MicroKorg or MicroKorg XL are great, or any of the Korg Micro series. My personal favorite is the Korg MS2000B.
February 11, 2012 @ 7:36 pm
Maybe the most versatile Analog PolySynth ever built. Well-suited for sound effects work and a great player's Synth. Release-Velocity is very expressive when applied to Release Envelope and Velocity is applied to Attack. You can vary Attacks and Releases by how you play the keyboard and use Pressure for Filter or LFO Modulation. A major oversight is the lack of a dedicated Portamento function. It is very difficult to get Portamento that behaves the way you might want. The only other limitation is the lack of Knob or Switch per function but much better than the single data entry slider method.
Paul M.
February 8, 2012 @ 12:03 pm
I noticed that the Matrix 12 is what Jens Johansson was using in Yngwie Malmsteen's "Live In Leningrad" music video.
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User Rating

Rated 4.15 (396 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • 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
  • Resources & Credits
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