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Okay so where is all the oberheim SEM love at?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4 [all]
Author Okay so where is all the oberheim SEM love at?
Christopher Winkels
I got mine on Wednesday. I love how it's a distilled-down essence of all that is good about the melodic side of '70s synths. The frippery is stripped away and you're left with a raw, funky directness.

EMwhite
How did you get your chat to wear that awesome chapeau? Is that a funk daddy chappy from the 70's or maybe something that Thurston Howell the III wore during season 3?

Either way, I like your style... 8_)
D_Bowman
Awesome! Feel free to post any sound clips if you have any! 8_)
Bob Borries

Christopher Winkels
EMwhite wrote:
How did you get your chat to wear that awesome chapeau? Is that a funk daddy chappy from the 70's or maybe something that Thurston Howell the III wore during season 3?

Either way, I like your style... 8_)


Sadly that's not my cat. Both our moggies fail to appreciate tweedy goodness.
337is
Thanks for the large Oberheim logo Bob Borries ... I just made it my FB profile picture!
Christopher Winkels
D_Bowman
Thanks for the video! Man, I love those tones.
disp
MechaSeb wrote:
Rigo wrote:
MechaSeb wrote:
Rigo, i have one for sale (midi vers) for a pretty long time now. PM if you're interested. Belgium -> France isn't far too. twisted twisted

I noticed it several times, don't worry. But it is midi only waah


You can transform it in either Patch or Pro panel with a bit help of Tom. I've asked him months ago as i wanted originally a Pro panel and he was really helpful. Mod don't need any soldering.

... well anyway sorry for the "car sales" argument hihi

And yes, it's a great synth !


Anyone got any more info on this mod?
I have the Midi version of the SEM. Would be amazing if I could easily mod it into a Pro.
Grimulkan
disp wrote:
Anyone got any more info on this mod?
I have the Midi version of the SEM. Would be amazing if I could easily mod it into a Pro.

It's not actually that hard. If you open the SEM up, you'll see Tom has already labelled all the important patch points which are available as pin headers. So the conversion is mainly connecting wires from the headers to 3.5mm panel mount female jacks, then drilling holes on the chassis and mounting the jacks. If you find the room to add all the patch points, you can even make a super-SEM pro, with all the patch points of PP version + MIDI.

If you want non-traditional patch points, the SEM schematics have been around for a while. I've added (opto-coupled) CV control to resonance and waveform mix this way.
disp
thanks!
I don't really think I'm capable of doing this though confused
is there any place in Europe offering to do this mod?
Grimulkan
Don't know about Europe. I know Tom was doing the mod some time ago, but no idea if he is doing it (or anything else) right now.

If you don't want to drill many holes into the chassis, maybe you can drill just one hole somewhere and bring all the CV wires out of them with male audio jacks at the end? You could even find male audio jacks with screw type connectors and avoid all soldering. Not pretty, but it should work.

I forget the exact part number for the housing that snap fits onto the CV header on the board. But you can get wires in project/DIY stores that have female housings on one end which will fit with no soldering. I can take some pics of the relevant headers on the board if you like.

If you have a MIDI-SEM, you actually already have the hardware for a Pro or PP, because internally the SEM is still totally analog. You just have to bring the patch points out externally so you can access it. The MIDI is just a MIDI-to-CV circuit that is (literally) tacked on.
Futuresound
I have a patchpanel. I love it. I love that it has no LCD on it. BUT, some of the features of the Pro version would be nice - transpose for example.

If anyone's had both, I'd love to hear your thoughts on which one you prefer.
disp
I have two more questions regarding the SEM Midi to CV I recently bought.
Hopefully you can offer some advice.

I bought the SEM used, and I think I might have been effed over by the seller.

The audio ins don't seem to be working.

Hi guys,
didn't want to start a new threat, so I'm just using this one

I recently bought a used Oberheim SEM Midi to CV, and I think the audio inputs aren't working.

Here's what I did:
first I plugged an electric guitar into audio input #1 , turned up the audio in volume knob, set all respective sliders to EXT, and played the guitar.
No external audio was audible. So I turned the filter, osc, and modulation dials, which didn't produce any external sound either.
I checked the cable from the guitar to the Oberheim, and it worked.

Then I plugged my iPhone into the second audio in. No sound either.

Is there anything else I could try?


The other very very weird thing:

When I sequence the synthesizer via my Arturia Beatstep pro, it plays well.

When I connect a midi keyboard though, it mostly doesn't play. I tried several keyboards, and of course I match the midi channels.
It seems to be hit mor miss. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
But why does the Beatstep work every time?

Huuuh?
337is
disp wrote:
...first I plugged an electric guitar into audio input #1 , turned up the audio in volume knob, set all respective sliders to EXT, and played the guitar...


Is your guitar signal already pre-amped in some way before plugging it into the SEM in the chain you describe? hmmm.....
disp
337is wrote:
disp wrote:
...first I plugged an electric guitar into audio input #1 , turned up the audio in volume knob, set all respective sliders to EXT, and played the guitar...


Is your guitar signal already pre-amped in some way before plugging it into the SEM in the chain you describe? hmmm.....


no, it's guitar -> SEM.
according to the manual, audio in #1 has a preamp to boost Instrument levels.

but as I said, I also tried sending audio from my iPhone.
Grimulkan
Futuresound wrote:
If anyone's had both, I'd love to hear your thoughts on which one you prefer.

I've converted between MIDI and pro, and often disconnected the MIDI section too, so I guess I've worked with each of the "modes" individually (though not at the same time). The MIDI/Pro features are nice if you don't have a separate MIDI-CV unit. I just usually do and prefer that instead.

But, the "mod-matrix" section on the MIDI/Pro is nice, and I love that portamento! Note that the mod-matrix is a single-destination, which may not be obvious. The pre-amp for external input #1 is essential if you want to mix non-eurorack level oscillators with the internal one at full amplitude. The internal one is pretty hot (I think ~16v peak-to-peak).

disp wrote:
no, it's guitar -> SEM.
according to the manual, audio in #1 has a preamp to boost Instrument levels.

but as I said, I also tried sending audio from my iPhone.

Yeah, if you have the pre-amp there is plenty of gain in it though the SEM internal oscillators are also pretty hot and can overwhelm the external. But if you can't hear anything even with the internal oscillators nulled out, that's not the issue.

The external input pot is set to #1 (as well as your input signal) + full volume on the pre-amp, right? Do you hear the default A-440 tuning sound when you turn the external pot to #2? Also, is the filter wide open & in LPF mode? You already confirmed all your mod routing switches are set to "ext", as they should be for this.
disp
Grimulkan wrote:
Futuresound wrote:
If anyone's had both, I'd love to hear your thoughts on which one you prefer.

I've converted between MIDI and pro, and often disconnected the MIDI section too, so I guess I've worked with each of the "modes" individually (though not at the same time). The MIDI/Pro features are nice if you don't have a separate MIDI-CV unit. I just usually do and prefer that instead.

But, the "mod-matrix" section on the MIDI/Pro is nice, and I love that portamento! Note that the mod-matrix is a single-destination, which may not be obvious. The pre-amp for external input #1 is essential if you want to mix non-eurorack level oscillators with the internal one at full amplitude. The internal one is pretty hot (I think ~16v peak-to-peak).

disp wrote:
no, it's guitar -> SEM.
according to the manual, audio in #1 has a preamp to boost Instrument levels.

but as I said, I also tried sending audio from my iPhone.

Yeah, if you have the pre-amp there is plenty of gain in it though the SEM internal oscillators are also pretty hot and can overwhelm the external. But if you can't hear anything even with the internal oscillators nulled out, that's not the issue.

The external input pot is set to #1 (as well as your input signal) + full volume on the pre-amp, right? Do you hear the default A-440 tuning sound when you turn the external pot to #2? Also, is the filter wide open & in LPF mode? You already confirmed all your mod routing switches are set to "ext", as they should be for this.


Ugh. I did all this and it didn't work.
Turned the SEM off for a while, turned it on again, now it's working!
Still pissed, because something's clearly not right.

As for the midi issue:
any idea what this could be?
another thing that's weird about it is, that IF the SEM responds to keyboard input, it doesn't do it very well. skips notes etc.
(Seuqencing via Beatstep still working flawlessly though)
Grimulkan
Yeah, that doesn't sound right. Something related to heating maybe?

For the MIDI: when you say you're using the beatstep, I assume you mean the MIDI output & not CV. Yeah, no idea why that would work and not the MIDI keyboard.
skylab001
Grimulkan wrote:
disp wrote:
Anyone got any more info on this mod?
I have the Midi version of the SEM. Would be amazing if I could easily mod it into a Pro.

It's not actually that hard. If you open the SEM up, you'll see Tom has already labelled all the important patch points which are available as pin headers. So the conversion is mainly connecting wires from the headers to 3.5mm panel mount female jacks, then drilling holes on the chassis and mounting the jacks. If you find the room to add all the patch points, you can even make a super-SEM pro, with all the patch points of PP version + MIDI.

If you want non-traditional patch points, the SEM schematics have been around for a while. I've added (opto-coupled) CV control to resonance and waveform mix this way.


I've been thinking about producing a mod for the Midi version that would use a cable to route all the CV to a external box or patch panel. At one point Tom had told me he offered an upgrade from midi to pro, but when I finally got around to getting it done, his distributor said No and that he had never heard of it. very frustrating Admittedly I think I'd prefer all the patch points to be brought out anyway.
Grimulkan
skylab001 wrote:
I've been thinking about producing a mod for the Midi version that would use a cable to route all the CV to a external box or patch panel. At one point Tom had told me he offered an upgrade from midi to pro, but when I finally got around to getting it done, his distributor said No and that he had never heard of it. very frustrating Admittedly I think I'd prefer all the patch points to be brought out anyway.

I think Tom used to do the mod himself and not the distributor. I recall him adding a handwritten "X" to the end of the serial number to indicate an upgraded unit. I could be wrong though.

Bringing out a CV snake from the SEM to a separate patch box is a good idea. I ran out of room to put CV jacks on my SEM, so I pulled some cables out to one of those plastic project/junction boxes with the female 3.5mm jacks mounted on them. You probably won't have room to fit all the PP patch points on a MIDI SEM chassis anyway.

If someone remembers the part number for those female housings that snap fit onto the SEM CV headers, do tell.
NewNewRon
Add me to the love list. I recently bought a new SEM and I love it, it also compliments so many other, generally darker, sounds. I'm buying an OB-6 next. I know it won't be quite the same, but I want chords, too and I don't have limitless budget.
Xmit
and me. Had my SEM Pro for about 4 years now. Prise it from my cold, dead hands. It's perfect. Impossible to make it sound not good & stuff like the 440Hz tone & external plus patch points & MIDI make this a dream instrument to play with all my other gear.
WaveRider
bought a SEM patch panel when they were just out.

It is a great synth with a distinctive sound.

I mostly use it with my modular. But it really shines in a midi/synth setup, doing a line, it is just perfect.

With the modular, I do not see any advantage compared to using modular voices.
Dave Peck
The Real MC wrote:
360 Systems polyphonic guitar synthesizer - those are Oberheim SEMs with different paint scheme. The front panels do not appear to have HP/BP/Notch modes.




Yup, those are modified SEMs, and I'm pretty sure this is a picture of the custom guitar synth system designed for Timo Laine of the band Symphonic Slam, a 1970s progressive rock band. I had their first album and I saw them live at the Starwood in Hollywood in the late 70s. Pretty advanced sound for the time. Info is here: http://timolainemusic.com/home.html
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