A new test victim has arrived.. #pioneer #pioneerdj #davesmithinstruments #toraiz Pioneer Toraiz SP-16
We hope that human and feline enjoy their new “test victim” 😸. You can read our early take on the collaboration between Dave Smith Instruments and Pioneer on this product line in our report from NAMM 2017.
Dave Smith Instruments has consistently made a big splash to the instruments they have presented at NAMM, and it’s almost always something I quickly find myself wanting. This year the unveiled the OB-6, a collaboration of Dave Smith and Tom Oberheim.
Whatever comes out of such a collaboration should be good, and indeed the OB-6 a strong, solid and professional instrument. It combines the playability and polish of a Dave Smith keyboard with the unique sound and architecture of an Oberheim SEM. Indeed, it employs voice cards based on Oberheim filters and oscillators, with a Prophet 6 architecture underneath. It it is quite pretty as well.
I did have a chance to both play the OB-6 and talk with Tom Oberheim about it. You can see his description of the instrument and how the collaboration happened in this video.
And here I attempt to play it.
It was only once I put down the camera and played with both hands that I could understand what the Oberheim technology adds. In addition to the distinctive sound, the SEM filter allows sweeping between different topologies (high pass, notch, and low pass) in real time.
However, the OB-6 does not completely eclipse last year’s big announcement from Dave Smith, the Prophet 6. It is still quite impressive, and a pleasure to play.
It is perhaps because I am more familiar with the sound and feel of Dave Smith instruments that I found the P6 still more approachable than the OB-6. But I do like the distinctive sound. Another option for that is Oberheim’s SEM synths issued by his new company. That will be discussed in the next article.
Our first stop at NAMM 2015 was Dave Smith Instruments. And they certainly had big news, with both the acquisition of the legendary Sequential Circuits (aka “SEQUENTIAL”) brand name and their first instrument under the new name, the Prophet 6.
We were able to talk with Dave Smith himself about the “new old name” and the new instrument.
The Prophet 6 itself is quite a sight. It includes the industrial design, lettering and other features from the Prophet V, and includes custom component based VCOs and analog filters.
It has a rich sound that ranges from the lusciousness of the Prophet 12 to the nastiness of the Evolver, though it doesn’t really do the same things as either of those instruments. As described in the video, it doesn’t have the complexity and feature set of the Prophet 12, but it’s not intended to. It is it’s own creature, and probably best as a lead synth used in conjunction with others. And it was definitely fun to play.
It does appear that both the Dave Smith Instruments and Sequential brands will be used on future offerings, which we look forward to seeing and hearing.
Quick view around the Fernforest Project Studio. My black cat likes sitting on things that are black and stylish. He thinks he fits in well and looks cool.
Synths in order – Doepfer Modular A-100, Moog Etherwave Theremin, Moog Voyager Old School, Schlagswerg analogue drum machine, CP-251 moog control processor, Dave Smith Mopho and Tetra, Mackie Onyx firewire mixer, PC, M-Audio Oxygen 25, NI Maschine and a Monome my brother built.
The music is called “Dark Glow” by me. you can find the whole track on soundcloud.
Another perennial stop at NAMM is the ever-growing booth of Dave Smith Instruments. I had a chance to talk with one of the senior representatives on my regular use of the DSI Evolver in my live shows and my fondness for the instrument (despite the tendency of the knobs to fall off). I of course also had to play the Mopho because it was there:
But the real star of the booth this year was the Dave Smith Instruments Tempest, a collaboration of Dave Smith and Roger Linn.
I started with an existing pattern in the sequencer and immediately used the drum pads to subvert the pattern while attempting to remain in the tempo and meter. The pads are very comfortable and playable, and I found it quite intuitive to get different effects of each even without knowing in advance that they would do that.
This would be a great instrument to have in a live performance (and for recording as well), but probably something to ponder for a later time given its retail price of USD $1999.