Synth Site: Oberheim: Matrix 12 Synthesizer Module: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.2 out of 5
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Zeb a professional user from NYC writes:
A great looking synth. I doesnt sound as big and great as you would think. The pads are cool. Much of what it does is sonically worthless. I use mine less and less nowadays. I've transended the experimental stage and now only use boards for the pads-strings-piano-base imput. If youre the same, don't bother with the 12. There are better synths out there for you. If youre into spending long days looking for that special sound, then it might be. Sort of an alternative to a modular. The cost is steep and yes it can sound like a prophet 600. The envelopes are not as fast as they could be. It needs a faster processor. Hope I've separated myth from reality for you.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Jan-18-2003 at 04:32
sammy a part-time user from EEUU writes:
I take my previous statement back- you can get it to sound current in a mix, it's just a matter of knowing where it fits in.

One of the things I really like is the FM routings on the Matrix 12- even though it only has two oscillators/operators you can get sounds from the classic DX rhodes to a more 'club piano' sound to a fair emulation of a real rhodes to a B3 complete with leslie just to give a few examples and much much warmer than a digital FM synth. FM on VA's like the Virus sound nowhere near this good and needless to say nowhere as flexible either.

The joy of the Matrix 12 is that once you master one aspect of it then you can move on to something else and create something new and exiting- never a boring moment with this synth.

The smooth liquidy sounds are superb. I guess my initial reaction on the sound quality of the synth was based on the '80's sounding presets but after digging in (which does take time) I've come to realize the true sonic potential of the Matrix 12 which is amazing.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-May-01-2002 at 13:27
Sammy a part-time user from EEUU writes:
Finally got my hands on one and after using it for about a week I think it's kind of a mixed bag of nuts. Yes pads are amazing on it and it is capable of some crazy sounds and really deep low end. Programming basic patches are a snap. I've heard that you have to have it for about a month and then realize that you know nothing about this synth and then the real learning curve comes. I'd have to agree.

I give it four marks because I can't say I completely like the sound character of the Matrix 12. The multimode filter is amazing, epecially the phase filter setting and flexible. The software envelopes are super slow, even slower than my Emulator III's, so that robs the synth of punchiness and waft. I guess I'll have to post a second review after a month or so because a lot of the basic patches I've made so far are cool but overall a bit dated sounding if you don't want to sound like Vangelis or Rush or a lot of the bands who used Oberheims in the 80's.

So far comparing it to other synths I'm having a hard time getting a current sound out of it but if classic Oberheim brass, strings, and pads are what you like the Matrix 12 can get that sound in your head and do it ten times better.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Apr-16-2002 at 20:34
Ryan Day a part-time user from Denver writes:
The Oberheim Matrix-12 is THE synthesizer I have always wanted since it was released in 1985. Fifteen years later I pulled the trigger and bought one.

Everything I read about this instrument is true. It is absulutely mind-blowing. First, the physical aspects:

The Matrix-12 is the deepest synthesizer I know of with three bright vacuum flourecent strips that display all the information you need to program this mama. On the left panel is a row of 12 audio output jacks. This is a modification that's easy to install. Directly in the center just above the keys are six rotary knobs for value editing. Overall, It's an extremely COOL looking synthesizer that just looks EXPENSIVE.

The sound: WHOA. The sounds the Matrix generates are not of this planet. Strings are wonderful. Brass is punchy, pads are amazing... Want a haunting phased string sound? Take a conventional string patch and route it through the "3 phase + 1 low" filter mode. Then crank up the resonance and select an LFO to modulate the filter frequency. Amazing.

The programming possibilities are endless. I've owned mine for over 6 months now and I still am learning things it can do.

The Matrix-12 is the most advanced and powerful synthesizer ever produced. No wonder it has retained a $3k+ market value for the last 12 years. Professionals know what this baby is all about.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Oct-29-2000 at 11:59
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