Tom Oberheim designed many classic synths back in the late 70's and early 80's including the OB-X, OB-Xa and OB-SX. Oberheim synths were well known for their rich, warm sound and different from the Moog and ARP sounds that dominated synthesizers at the time. I first remember hearing an Oberheim synth in 1978 when Lyle Mays used one on the first Pat Methany Group album and knew right away that I wanted one. It just sounded so cool.
In 1983 Oberheim released the OB8 - The last in the series of OB synths. With it's VCOs based on the Curtis CEM 3340 chips, it has a killer analog sound. Tom Oberheim described it as "too perfect, lacking the earlier models grit", but most synths players would agree that the OB8 was much more stable then the earlier OB models. It also had some extra programming features and could hold up to 120 Programs, 12 split programs and 12 double programs. Many consider it the best in the OB series.
The OB8 was released just before MIDI and with the original set up it was the hub of the "Oberheim Synthesizer Performance System" - which linked the synth to a DMX drum machine and a DSX sequencer. Primitive by todays MIDI standards, but a big deal at the time. On later versions a limited MIDI retrofit was included. Oberheim's official MIDI version can communicate only on channels 1 through 9. Later retrofits by companies like Kenton improved this.
Oberheim DMX Drum Machine & DSX Sequencer
Many of the big acts of the time used the OB synths on several classic recordings. The synth riff on Prince's "1999" was an OB-8 and of course the brass synth chords on Van Halen's "Jump" - which is probably our most requested sound, was done on a OB-Xa. Since the OB8 and OB-Xa are very similar you can easily create that sawtooth brass sound on the OB8. The problem is, there was only about 3,000 OB8's produced and when one is offered for sale it usually goes for a good deal of cash. One in good condition can easily top two thousand US dollars.
If your fortunate enough to own one of these vintage synths and need some sounds for it, you've come to the right place. Back in the early 90's I owned a OB8 for awhile and programmed a set of 120 new sounds for it. It's got all the typical sounds you would expect from the OB. Great analog basses and leads. Warm pads and strings and of course the Van Halen Jump program. It's only available as a AIFF or WAV file so you need to load in the data using your computers audio output.
OB8 Sounds available as a .WAV file. To load the WAV file, just connect your computer audio output to your OB8 cassette interface and you can load in the sounds the same way you would from a cassette tape. The files will open in any program that plays .WAV files. Our OB8 patches will also get you back in business if your OB8 battery has died and you lost all the sounds in the memory. For more info on loading sounds via WAV file CLICK HERE.
If you have any questions please contact us via phone or e-mail.