Oberheim OB-12

Oberheim OB-12 Image

Move out of the way everyone because the Big-Boys are back in town! Oberheim is back with their first analog-emulation professional synthesizer. This blue beauty is supposed to recreate and emulate the classic sounds and tone of the original Oberheim analog filters. The OB-12 is a 12 voice synth with 4-part physical modeling synthesis. Loads of real-time knobs (22), sliders (24), and buttons (33) with a traditional layout give you fast hands-on access and control of most parameters. Extra hands-on goodies include a ribbon controller, pitch bend and modulation wheel.

Oberheim OB-12 Image

Aside from great analog sounds, the OB-12 has an amazing set of hi-tech features! The OB-12 features a high quality LCD display that actually draws out all of the parameters you are changing. There are on board 5-band graphic & parametric EQ, ADSR's with delay time and double decay. An addictive Motion Recorder and manual or auto oscillator morphing for animated sounds or effects. Phrase Recorders and Arpeggiators with Independent tempo controls and 5 dedicated buttons are on-board with plenty of features and are MIDI syncable. There is also an extensive effects section that give you reverbs, delays, chorus and lots of overdrive algorithms. You'll also find digital SPDIF outputs, analog outputs, and MIDI in/out and thru.

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The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Oberheim OB-12? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

69 Visitor comments
July 1, 2009 @ 2:50 pm
This is a great synth!
It requires some effort to master, but no other VA synth that I used is so flexible and can give you such a range of sounds. Also some features, for example the morphing between sounds, are unique.

People who does not like the OB12 probably did not put much effort in programming. Guys, look at the picture, the knobs and sliders over there are supposed to be used: this in not just "select the patch and play" toy.
Paul Soulsby
June 6, 2009 @ 2:40 am
Not too sure about this review. Firstly, this synth is by Viscount (a home keyboard manufacturer) and has nothing to do with Oberheim (apart from the badge). It sounds nothing like any Oberheim I've ever played and is probably one of the least analogue sounding "analogue modelling" synths I've ever heard. In pretty much all respects it's inferior to it's competitors of the time (Nord Lead and Novation Supernova). It's easy to get sounds to digitally distort, the resonance goes way too high, the amp simulation is terrible and the menu system takes quite a while to get used to. You've probably guessed that I'm not a fan! I'd say that it's only redeeming feature is that it's so bad, that you can make some interesting sounds by accident that you probably couldn't get out of a Lead or Supernova. That's about it!
April 27, 2009 @ 12:58 pm
Had the OB-12 for a short while. Not the easiest synth to work with, but can be really fun. I like the textures from this. Some aspects are a little counter intuitive.

Anyone interested in the synth should watch out for dead displays. Both the back-lighting and the entire display are likely to be dying by now. Of course they can be replaced, but expensive if you are not doing it oneself.

@JesseJ - The Yahoo group is alive and can be joined. Actually, I think there may be two of these, one of which may largely unused. Just search.

@Rehtaeh - There are stacks of programs a bit like the OB-12, but none quite the same, for the full range of its capabilities, warts and all. If you really want some of the oddities that this can produce, from software, you may have to build something in one of the various excellent modular environments.
April 20, 2009 @ 1:19 pm
we use this italian big oberheim in our electronic industrial formation NTRSN .it is a synth build for synthesizer freaks (no preset machine ) when you programming this machine with care you find a MONSTER MACHINE !!
March 10, 2009 @ 5:36 am
I 1st saw the review of this synth years ago in sound on sound magazine april 2002 and new she would 1 day be mine. I finally picked one up used, but in mint condition for £420 in 2007. It was worth the wait:)
This is a monster of a synth, dont belive what all the oberheim synth fanboys say (its thin sounding). Its actually made by oberheim/viscount as a joint venture project. It does not sound like any previous oberheim synth even though thats how they intended it. You can create thin,thick,lush,fat,digital,analog and anywhere inbetween but you have to spend the time to learn what makes it tick.
My favorite sound from this machine is the bleepy twisted fx you can make and the distinctive lfo sound when you modulate it through the osc's ect.
You have to be mindful of your levels when using the OB12 as it can distort quite easily if you push the resonance to high, but you must tame the beast and make her your own!
A programmers dream.
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Rated 4.24 (958 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 (Dynamic allocation + User Voice reserve)
  • Oscillators - 2 per voice w/ noise & ring modulator (Sawtooth, Triangle & Square w/ WaveMix and FM)
  • LFO - Sawtooth, Triangle, Square, S&H noise
  • Filter - 2 multimode filters with Lowpass, Hipass, Bandpass, and Flat with serial/parallel configurations and up to 24 dB/octave slope.
  • Effects - Overdrive, Chorus, Delay, Reverb
  • Keyboard - 49 Keys (Velocity and aftertouch)
  • Memory - 256 user programs, 256 user timbres
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 2000
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