Synth Site: Oberheim: OB-12: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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Jez a hobbyist user from Belgium writes:
I've had mine for 4 days so far.

This is a complex beast. It's quite evident from the presets that the factory programmer hasn't mastered it any better than I have yet. And I havn't managed to program a decent original sound either. There's some good pads / strings and some decent bases in the presets, but also over 200 sounds that are simply unuseable.

I'll leave comments on the sounds to one side - I recon I've got another 6 weeks to go before I're really started to master the sound.

The User Interface however is excellent and intuitive. As soon as you touch a knob or slider, the LCD display comes up with the relevant page (like filter, waveform shape, envelope shape). This makes what you're doing a lot easier to visualize. Tweaking a sound is very easy, though predicting the result is not.

Once you've got your basic sound, you put it into a "performance" slot. You can mix & match up to 4 sounds, split or layered, program effects, (excellent) arpegiator, etc. Again, all very easy, intuitive, quick to edit.

With so many presets being unuseable, I can see me replacing most of them, and this machine therefore being limited only by my own playing and programming ability, which is what an instrument should be. I should end up sounding like me, not like another TB303 or a D50.

The verdict is still out on the sounds.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Oct-04-2002 at 12:13
Steve Tilelli a hobbyist user from Cherry Hill, NJ writes:
First of all, this board is a perfect complement to my studio. It blends very well with my other gear. Tons of midi control and very unique sound characteristics.

Built like a tank!!!

Trying support for the first time so I can't comment.

I just requested the new OS 1.52 from Viscount and can't wait to try it out. Just bought the board and fell in love with it right away.

Some hardware problems that I need to get fixed are the LCD is almost dead. I tried both settings and it is barely viewable.

I need to replace 3 pots.

If anybody has any suggestions I appreciate it very much.

Overall, great buy :)

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Oct-02-2002 at 11:30
Philipp Koltsov a professional user from Russia writes:
This is a Great synth, with a delicate unusual sound & great abilities, (just like real Oberheim!) which has a lot of knobs, ancient design, morphing abilities & good arpeggiator, strange but powerfull effects, fantastic display & .. very bad presets, weak (but noisy with some effects!) output signal, horrible technical support & a lot of bugs in OS. Anyway I recommend you BBB (Big Blue Beast) as a strange but nice & powerfull addition 2 your personal synth collection! Oh!!! If u have Cakewalk ins 4 OB12 - please, send it 2 me!:)

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Sep-19-2002 at 21:59
Tobias Radeskog a hobbyist user from Sweden writes:
This is a mighty fine synth. Yes, it has some drawbacks: the unison mode makes the key response rather flaky and slow, the output level can be a bit strange as well. Tweak a sound a bit, turn that FM knob just a few millimetres and you might blow your monitors...

I would also have liked to see SINE in the osc section but I guess that you can't have everything.

Another drawback is that it is hard to find a gigbag with these dimensions (That should be blamed on the bag makers though).

It may not sound as "perfect" without effects as a Nord Lead.

However, at this price, those drawbacks really are unimportant. This is a great synth - top quality, weighs a ton, great keys etc. It also has lots more knobs/sliders than the regular VA (53). All of them feel extraordinary as well. And oh, did I also mention that this is the ONLY VA with such a fat LCD as this?

I was planning to get a Nord Lead 3, but a price of €2300 was a bit beefy for my taste. So, I looked a bit in the low/mid price range - and found this. What a gem. It sounds good, is initiutive and looks great. It deserves a powerful 4 without any doubt at all.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Sep-19-2002 at 06:00
jussi a part-time user from Finland writes:
Hello, found a strange bug in OB-12 (with the new 1.52 OS etc. and new DSP)

OB-12's sound engine can receive cc-data (all the knobs etc.) only while in "local on" mode. If local is off, and you echo midi data through a sequencer to the machine, values change on the screen but dont affect the sound.

This is not too bad, I can say to sequencer OB-12 has local on, and it wont echo it while playing/recording. But I cant use OB-12 as master keyboard - local has to be on, so if i control anothery synth with obie, OB-12 plays also its tunes along ..

Anyone else know of this problem? Anyone has it? Anyone solved it? If so, please let me know.

Since writing my last time here about this synth it has been getting better and better.. i really love ob-12. But now this bug, ah well.. nothing is perfect :)

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Sep-08-2002 at 08:06
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