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Shear Electronics Relic-6: Oberheim OB-X clone with FX!
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Author Shear Electronics Relic-6: Oberheim OB-X clone with FX!
anselmi


From Matrixsynth:

Another sleeper surprise from NAMM. Note this is the first Shear Electronics post on the site. Jacob Brashears started working on the synth at the age of 15.

The Relic-6 is based on the circuitry of the 1979 Oberheim OB-X. It has touch sensitive knobs with interactive display queues.
Note the active light strip that runs through the middle of it as well as the lit colored labels.
It has an all analog signal path with digital control voltage modulation (digital emulation of the Curtis 3310 envelop). You can actually adjust the spread between envelopes.
Two VCOs feature a Saw and Pulse wave with various width, with sync. It has the original Oberheim 12db 2-pole lowpass filter with the ability to layer two sounds. It consists of 3000 transistors, an all glass front panel, hand crafted wood sides, and aluminum metal case. Retro future Star Trek look.
They are targeting $3499 and hoping to ship this Summer. Currently they are planning to make five prototypes to get out there for testing and use.

website
http://shearelectronics.com/index.html
bkbirge
Sounds great, impressive work.
beyourdog
GREAT !!! Young guy doing something interesting..., it seems to sound exactly how it should...
tdutz
Applause for the design of the user interface on this! It looks gorgeous . . . and original.
Sir Ruff
Sounds great, and the jukebox-esque aesthetic is... unique grin

But why not 8 voices?! I'm sure cost is a factor, but we seem to be entering this new era where six voices is apparently sufficient for everything analog polyphonic (DSI are doing this too). And it really is not, especially on something like the OBX where you want to have very long release chords.

Still very impressive though.
beyourdog
Sir Ruff wrote:
Sounds great, and the jukebox-esque aesthetic is... unique grin

But why not 8 voices?! I'm sure cost is a factor, but we seem to be entering this new era where six voices is apparently sufficient for everything analog polyphonic (DSI are doing this too). And it really is not, especially on something like the OBX where you want to have very long release chords.

Still very impressive though.


6 voices is really enough on a good sounding instrument, as per chords 6 notes is already a LOT...OK, I want a Gm with 2 G basses and a 7th, that's quite enough already with 2 hands...
Sir Ruff
beyourdog wrote:

6 voices is really enough on a good sounding instrument, as per chords 6 notes is already a LOT...OK, I want a Gm with 2 G basses and a 7th, that's quite enough already with 2 hands...


I'm not suggesting 8 voices is necessary to play full chords, but rather to avoid note cutoff/stealing on sounds with long release times. Two extra voices makes a big difference in this aspect.
pre55ure
Wow, sad I missed this at NAMM.
It sounds great and thats quite an impressive feat for someone that young.
noisejockey
Man, do I wish this guy all the luck in the world. His creation really is astoundingly beautiful, his UI decisions are incredibly smart, and the synth sounds freaking fantastic, the "bell" pad that he demos late in the demo is really sweet.
Christopher Winkels
Seriously impressed by this. Had an idea and a vision, executed it, and kept his head down and beavered away until producing something concrete to demonstrate. I do hope he has the requisite funding to make this commercially viable.
dopefiend
Shit, he looks like he is still in high school! I would love one of those synths, but he better not use glass in the chassis. I've already broken two ipads, and don't want to do the same to a $3500 synth.
drip.feed
This really deserves to be a success, but it is hard to imagine it succeeding without a kickstarter...unless he just wants to sell a low volume of boutique units, of course.
phesago
oh this is super cool!
Cat-A-Tonic
Is OB-X like the OB-MX?

I always thought the Buchla invlovement was a very interesting story,
and how the firmware never got properly sorted on account of the corporate (Gibson) fallout with the brilliant engineers... so unfortunate.

A 3rd party imitation should be able to squash the bugs. ^_^
Sir Ruff
Cat-A-Tonic wrote:
Is OB-X like the OB-MX?


The OB-MX was not designed by Tom Oberheim and came out much later.
bwhittington
This looks and sounds awesome. The suggested release date seems pretty optimistic, but he got a little tongue-tied at that point. Maybe he meant summer 2018. In any case, I wish this guy every success in the world of synths.
jupiter8
I have a vague recollection that the OB-X came in 4 and 6 voice variants as well. Or maybe they were supposed to and they never made any. Something something.
Sir Ruff
jupiter8 wrote:
I have a vague recollection that the OB-X came in 4 and 6 voice variants as well. Or maybe they were supposed to and they never made any. Something something.


They did. Voice cards were independent, so technically you could have any number of voices, from 1 to 8.
h4ndcrafted
I'd be impressed if it came from somebody older, let alone in the mind of a fifteen year old. He knows how to sell the thing as well, some honest visible passion there.
What's more it sounded superb, I hope he can make some money out of it, it looks beautiful to me, love the retro vibes.

Reminded me of my grandfathers Silver Shadow for some reason, I guess it was the glass and polished wood.
narf
it looked cool, but their market is small considering the price and features
Huba-Swift
It's also possible to spread parameters between voices. Here are the controls:

Fatness - spreads Envelope Times, Filter Cutoff, and Glide Time
Voice detune - spreads oscillator pitch
Spread - sets the width of the stereo field​

Seems like you could get some huge sounds with this thing eek!
digitalganesha
Does anyone know whether the synth will be dividing the 6-note polyphony when in dual mode. or is it two full patches with 6 note polyphony each? I imagine its splitting the 6 note poly between the two patches, because if it was the other way - wouldn't it be possible to have 12 note polyphony with a single layer then? Has to be split.
ignatius
quite lush sounding. the light bar in the middle is clever. lot's of UI feedback. i wonder how it handle moving a few knobs at once?

it's quite an accomplishment. it really sounds lush. it'll be interesting to see/hear what he comes up with on his next project.

i wish him lot's of success!
diophantine
ignatius wrote:
i wonder how it handle moving a few knobs at once?!

That was my first thought while watching the video...

Looked and sounded great, but the price point is quite high IMO - I just wonder if a significantly more affordable price point can be achieved by "cheaping out" on the enclosure and illumination.
calaveras
I don't know what they are using for a microcontroller, but there are a lot of cortex CPUs out there that would have no problem handling turning all the knobs at once.
Of course if you programmed it well they would.
If it's done badly no amount of CPU can fix stupid.

I'm hoping this makes it to market, and this guy keeps making stuff. I want to see more stuff like this. Analog under digital control, and not in some kludgy Moog way.
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