New Oberheim EMU from Synapse


Sawyer-mix.CantabileProgram (242.7 KB)

Ha! My “new user” restrictions are lifted, so here’s my stab at the Sawyer sound for OB-Xd…

Started with Dave_C and Torsten’s and sort of merged them and did a few other tweaks. No way I could do it from scratch…


Hi Oberheim people. Just kidding, I read tons of post about Tom Sawyer OB-X sound. Well, I’m not a fan of Rush, but this is not related with the Big question: Does Obsession’s sound and Arturia OB-Xa sound are the same of the real beast?
Brief answer: NO, but they aren’t so far. The firs thing to understand is the damn difference SEM/OB-X and OB-Xa and its “brother” OB-8 (my favorite one), focusing only the differences in sound.
The classic Oberheim sound is the giant S.E.M. Up to eight voices generated by totally independent modules, one per voice. This huge independence is great for multi timbrical, not for a compact poly-synth. The filter circuit of the S.E.M. is discrete components based, it’s a 12db/oct two poles low pass. So, what is the point? Try play a SEM (or a OB-1 or a OB-X) with very high resonance value: Volume, especially in bass notes will not decreased, still sounding “punchy”. You can’t do the same with a MiniMoog, for example. With high resonance you’ve got a “thin” sound and a high volume decrease. This is behavior of the ladder filter, the 24db/oct installed in the Prophet series, all the Moog production, and partially in the sons of the OB-X. In the OB-Xa, the filter is switchable in two tastes: 12 and 24db/oct. Please note, when you set the OB-Xa to 12db/oct, you have NOT the same circuit configuration of the OB-X, cause the CEM integrated circuit works in another mode. How the filter sounds is the core of the debate.
Brief conclusion: When in real OB-Xa you set the filter to 12, you have a 12db/oct filter, but not the same of the OB-X.
If the Obsession is a OB-X emulation (like most think) well, there is something weird.
Why a 12/24 switch on a OB-X emulation? There is no such switch on real OB-8, it can’t run at 24db/oct. So, is it maybe a both OB-X + OB-Xa emulator? Synapse Audio is unclear about, only saying: “Very deep, realistic emulation of an analog polyphonic synth”. I can think it’s a emulation of the JP-8 or the CS-80? Of course no, but (IMHO):
No one can affirm Obsession is a pure OB-X emulation.
It’s somewhat an emulator of the entire OB series.
At least, Arturia labelled it’s version OB-Xa V, avoiding any mismatch.

I apologize for the messed up post.


All reviews I’ve read say it is an OB-Xa sim but as you say it is not stated on the website … :slightly_smiling_face:


@FredProgGH Since you asked here are some new attempts with obsession I made on the TS bass, one with delay and one no effects …

TSawyer (233.2 KB)

TSawyer Bass w (232.8 KB)

I must say though that beyond this curiosity with the TS patch that the Osession Synth is a wonderful sounding piece of kit. With Arturia and U-he also providing we live in time of VSTi wonder!




The Legend is an analog-modeling synthesizer plug-in, faithfully recreating the most iconic synthesizer of all times. (From user manual).

It seems Synapse Audio has an allergy to big names of synth manufacturers. Or do they have an obsession about somewhat legend? :thinking:

By the way, I think I won’t buy that Obsession


Acustica Audio is the same way on their classic plugs because of licensing issues, maybe the same problem here …?


Trademarks. You can’t claim to be a Moog (or whatever) if Moog didn’t make it. It’s risky to say “sounds like “ because can sue and claim you are benefiting from their trademark and goodwill. If you do use some ones’ trademark, you have to have permission and credit them in your work.


Arturia owns the right to say their product s a MiniMoog, licensed from Moog. And apparently they got the rights for the Oberheim trademarks as well. All others must use euphemisms…


Recently we toured the Moog Factory in Asheville, NC. I ask one of the guys about Altria. He said they come in to look at the modular occasionally. They had been there earlier that week.

Same with IK Multimedia and Leslie, Hammond. They have a license agreement or partnership.



Richard…do you mean Arturia? I find nothing on Altria.


PIanoteq has an agreement with Steinway, Petrof, and a bunch of others. They don’t have one with Yamaha, so their Yamaha models use “YC5.”


I guess ( and hope) any developer can state “this is inspired by famous Oberheim (or whatever)” without specific agreement or patent infringe troubles.


You’d be surprised how overzealous some companies can be. I used to help run the EX5Tech Website (for the mighty Yamaha EX5) and the site owner around 2002 posted a photocopy of a BLANK patch chart of a Yamaha CS30 to help somebody. This was a BLANK chat from a 1970s manual, and he had a “cease and desist” Copyright violation warning from Yamaha/


A warning for a blank path chart? I would say paranoids, not zealous! This explain things like Memorymoon, Messiah, Obsession, etc.
I wonder if DiscoDSP has an agreements for the OB-Xd. They state “OB-Xd is based on the Oberheim OB-X”.


Ha! Must’ve been thinking I was in the Forbidden Planet group


Developers at Altria - Altair,

What about your next “V instrument”? Please avoid insisting on Hammond’s and acoustic piano emulation.

Cantabile and Forbidden Planet Forum users :rofl::rofl:


V-KrellMusic the Morbius 101? Robotic sequencer, Robby?


Aye, Commander Adams. I am able to replicate 76598732156 and more vintage gear, even the ArtrrrzV… AtriiiiV…, to hell that French name. Arturia.
During lockdown I watched a few of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s Sci-Fi classic :smile:


Ahhh! Sci-fi. One of my favorites when I was a kid. Actually, it scared the hell out of me.


Oh definitely . . .the world of guitar pedals has countably-infinite pedals “Inspired by that famous green box . . .” No one’s willing to say, “It’s a Tube Screamer . . . heck EVERYONE makes a Tube Screamer . . .”

Interesting considering Ibanez’s history

(Boss being the only company that Doesn’t make a Tube Screamer, the Screamer being a knock-off of the OD-1)