Any VST Synth VS Oberheim OB-6

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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wagtunes
KVRAF
17916 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Post Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:31 am

Okay, I'm sure you've all seen the ad at the top of this page for the OB-6. So I clicked on it, went to the site and listened to a demo.

As I'm listening, I'm saying to myself "What is so special about this? I'm not hearing anything that I can't do with at least ONE of the soft synths that I own and at a fraction of the cost."

Then I went to Google to see if I could find prices. 3 grand for the keyboard version and $2300 for the module.

You know how many soft synths I can buy for 3 grand? I'd say a safe estimate would be at least 15 top of the line soft synths. And synths that can do a hell of a lot more than an OB-6.

So I'm sorry, but I don't get it.

Here's a short list of soft synths that I'd rather own than one OB-6

Omnisphere
Diva
The Legend
Dune 3
Falcon
OP-X Pro II
PolyM
Repro-5
Zebra 2

And at a fraction of the cost of an OB-6.

So, unless you just hate soft synths and only buy hardware, can somebody please explain to me why somebody would spend 3 grand on a "limited" synth that doesn't sound all that special next to what we now have available in soft synths.

chk071
KVRAF
22455 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Any VST Synth VS Oberheim OB-6

Post Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:45 am

Those synths ain't anal.

User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
17916 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Any VST Synth VS Oberheim OB-6

Post Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:47 am

chk071 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:45 am
Those synths ain't anal.
So?

User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
17916 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Any VST Synth VS Oberheim OB-6

Post Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:53 am

tehlord wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:50 am
Sometimes I think you just make stupid posts to have something to do other than talk to puppets.
If you have a problem with my question, which is more than valid, then just ignore it. No need to come here and be a troll.

Reported.

chk071
KVRAF
22455 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Any VST Synth VS Oberheim OB-6

Post Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:53 am

wagtunes wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:47 am
chk071 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:45 am
Those synths ain't anal.
So?
I was just kidding. ;) I think i agree with you. At least on that synth. I wouldn't say no to some other flagship analog synths, although i'd surely not spend so much money, especially considering that you have a lot of limitations with those synths, and maintaining, and operating them can be a big pain in the butt.

User avatar
zerocrossing
KVRAF
9901 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Any VST Synth VS Oberheim OB-6

Post Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:06 am

OK, I’ll bite. I once made a stupid post like this, so I guess I’m as guilty as anyone, though to be fair my post was in 2005 when things weren’t as good. I had been listening to a lot of analog synth demos and frankly I didn’t get it either. Then, a guy named livingsounds posted a track that made me rethink my stance. It sounded fantastic in a way that my stuff just wasn’t. I took a chance and picked up a desktop MoPho. I honestly wasn’t bowled over by it at first. I liked it, but it was just another flavor of synth. Then I started messing with it’s feedback and filter FM, and I started looking at software instruments and they just didn’t even really do that with any degree of quality. The more I played with it, the more I started hearing some other things that I just really liked. I found a used Studio Electronics ATC-1 for $500, so I picked that one up, and instantly I started hearing more of something that software wasn’t quite getting. This is especially true in audio rate modulation stuff, osc sync, distortion (including feedback and filter drive) etc. All of the sudden, artifacts and dullness that I’d not really noticed in my software became apparent. Not that I tossed out all my software. I still find software to be an amazing way to add variety and interesting stuff to the mix.

Anyway, it’s not something that can be very easily gleaned from a compressed file on the internet, so if you’re not really up for a real life demo, then just shut up and move on. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to plugins for music. I liken something like the OB-6 (I’ve got a Prophet 6) to a high end steak in a very good steakhouse, and software to the meat in your favorite cheap Indian restaurant’s vindaloo. There’s a good chance that you just don’t care about having a simple but very high quality analog instrument, but trust me, if you do make the commitment to dig into one, it will be bad for your bank account.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

Elektronisch
KVRAF
3773 posts since 3 Feb, 2010

Re: Any VST Synth VS Oberheim OB-6

Post Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:17 am

OB is quite a simple synth, so definatly it cant do what other synths can. But sounds is great no deny in that. And you can get same sounds with other synths, but same sounds doesnt always have the same characteristics and giving same feeling/presence/width/range in the frequency spectrum. So for that and because its a physical thing you are paying the money. But is it worth it to you, you can only tell that.

Stokely
KVRist
144 posts since 11 May, 2010

Re: Any VST Synth VS Oberheim OB-6

Post Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:26 am

Well for some it might be a live vs studio thing. I play live and don't want to bring my laptop out to some of the places we play (honestly, I might not bring an OB6 out either, a more prudent move would be to just use the "analog" sounds on my MODX or get a Deepmind 12.) We've had a couple people get up on stage over the years, including a fight that rolled into some gear and wrecked it (and these weren't all dive bars...people get drunk/jealous everywhere and who knows what happens then...:D

Some claim there's a sonic difference. I don't touch that with a 10 foot pole, I feel that in a busy mix especially there wouldn't be much difference with a quality softsynth and an analog synth. Then again...little things add up even in a busy mix :) See below, it doesn't really matter to me these days since I'm a non-pro and space and convenience (and time) are at a premium.

I will say that I was around learning mixing in the late 80s when you had rooms full of midi gear and effects. NO WAY I will ever go back to that for my own home recording needs...it was just a major PITA to switch songs, patch changes/system exclusive/multitimbral modes on gear etc. Even if I'm missing on a bit of quality the convenience factor is way too great to overcome. So at home all my synths and effects are "in the box" and I don't see that changing. I recently got Repro and it's just astoundingly-good to me (though I still want a Prophet for live use maybe despite what I said above! :D) (No doubt though a room full of hardware synths can be inspiring, and I won't fault anyone for having one!)

Then there is the ease of use and immediacy. Yes, you can program controllers and softsynths but it can be a bit of a pain (and you need to buy the good controller to do it with, and better actions on controllers like the OB6 has aren't the cheap ones). When I used to play live with a Virus it was great fun to go to town on the knobs, doing whatever I felt inspired to do. I played out with maybe 10-15 "core" patches and just tweaked them every night as the whim hit me.

No doubt though there is a law of diminishing returns on hardware keyboard, as with cars and most other things. Getting just a bit more "quality" or functionality starts rocketing up in cost.

SLiC
KVRAF
4378 posts since 2 Dec, 2004 from North Wales

Re: Any VST Synth VS Oberheim OB-6

Post Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:47 am

I just hate looking at computers in the studio...necessary evil some times, and some complex soft-synths are worth it, but I cant think of any simple subtractive synth where I wouldn't realy rather just play the hardware.

I like dedicated hardware, I like to turn on a synth and just listen to it through the mixer in to the PA/Monitors.
Could you emulate all of that acceptably? Probably....but I don't have to, so I don't...the cheap Behringer synths have given me that option (I had a P8 before that) and I am more than happy with my choices. If I couldn't afford the hardware, I would be more happy with the current software emulations which are excellent.
i7 Win 10 PC+ Surface, BWS V3, StudioOne 4, Cubase 10, Live 9 suite, X32 Desk. , DM12, Odyssey, P8, Virus TI, 500hp Eurorack, Elektron A4, RYTM, Heat, Digitone, Deluge, OP-Z, Mother+DFAM, Drums, Guitars, Basses and Amps

Reefius
KVRian
871 posts since 7 Dec, 2013 from Belgium

Re: Any VST Synth VS Oberheim OB-6

Post Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:52 am

wagtunes wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:31 am
Okay, I'm sure you've all seen the ad at the top of this page for the OB-6.
No.

User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
17916 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Any VST Synth VS Oberheim OB-6

Post Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:54 am

SLiC wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:47 am
I just hate looking at computers in the studio...necessary evil some times, and some complex soft-synths are worth it, but I cant think of any simple subtractive synth where I wouldn't realy rather just play the hardware.

I like dedicated hardware, I like to turn on a synth and just listen to it through the mixer in to the PA/Monitors.
Could you emulate all of that acceptably? Probably....but I don't have to, so I don't...the cheap Behringer synths have given me that option (I had a P8 before that) and I am more than happy with my choices. If I couldn't afford the hardware, I would be more happy with the current software emulations which are excellent.
And that was kind of my point. I can't see spending $3,000 on a synth that doesn't really give me something I can't get from much cheaper alternatives. If the OB-6 was $500 like Omnisphere, I might get it. And even then, doubtful.

Look, I came from a hardware world before synths even had patch memory. I hated that world then even WITHOUT the options we have today. Why would I want to go back? And why would I want to spend this insane amount of money on ONE synth?

Sorry, as someone who just discovered soft synths 5 years ago, I don't understand given what we have available to us today, why anybody would go down this road unless they played live, didn't have a computer, or didn't want to bring a computer on stage. Under those circumstances, I can understand. But then even there, there are so many cheaper hardware alternatives.

kvotchin
KVRist
289 posts since 9 Aug, 2018

Re: Any VST Synth VS Oberheim OB-6

Post Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:04 am

There isn't a software synth that exists that can hold a candle to that sound. That is why. That, and the nice hardware that comes with it, of course, with its immediacy and workflow.

recursive one
KVRAF
4371 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: Any VST Synth VS Oberheim OB-6

Post Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:29 am

kvotchin wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:04 am
There isn't a software synth that exists that can hold a candle to that sound.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drhV9H47ZJI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtC-rmatJkg

Well, sure its sounds great. But think I can agree with the OP, I hear some Repro, some Diva, some Dune3, but I don't hear anything not acheivable with top quality softsynths. I have Microbrute (for few days :) ) it's much cheaper synth and much more limited, but I can't think of any softsynth sounding like it. I know not everyone likes Brutes sound but I happen to like it.

Maybe I'd need to play with that OB-6 in person in order to actually have an opinion.
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

chk071
KVRAF
22455 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Any VST Synth VS Oberheim OB-6

Post Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:34 am

Reefius wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:52 am
wagtunes wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:31 am
Okay, I'm sure you've all seen the ad at the top of this page for the OB-6.
No.
It was all over the place for some time up there. :D

I really like the sound, BTW. Very nice. I'm sure i'd prefer it over most of my soft synths, at least for analog sounds. Although i'm really happy with the analog emus i have, Diva, Monark, Massive X, they all sound amazing. As do the digital soft synths i have. Happy times? :)

User avatar
zerocrossing
KVRAF
9901 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Any VST Synth VS Oberheim OB-6

Post Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:24 am

Stokely wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:26 am
No doubt though there is a law of diminishing returns on hardware keyboard, as with cars and most other things. Getting just a bit more "quality" or functionality starts rocketing up in cost.
This is definitely true, and something to consider. When I said the OB-6 has a very high quality that you can’t really get in software, what I really mean is that there’s maybe an extra 5-10% increase in overall quality, though the difference can be quite high at extreme settings. Is that extra quality something you’re willing to pay for? I guess that’s up to you. I figure that I live a pretty modest life, for the most part. Parting with $1650 (what I paid for my Prophet 6 module) didn’t make me miss a rent payment or tell my daughter she had to go hungry. In actuality, I don’t spend any of our income on instruments at all. I used to, but now that I have a child I decided that my budget was going to only be what I get as gifts from my parents, who’ve become generous in their old age. I think if it were up to me spending my own money, I’d probably have a fewer hardware synths, but keep at least 2 or 3.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

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