Cherry Audio recently released Eight Voice, a carefully crafted emulation of the mighty Oberheim Eight Voice synthesizer, originally released in 1977. This massive sounding, backbreaking behemoth helped define the sound of rock, dance, and pop music in the 1970s and 1980s.
Cherry Audio explains:
Eight Voice is a carefully crafted emulation of the mighty Oberheim Eight Voice synthesizer, originally released in 1977. It began life in 1974 as a simple, keyboardless mono synth called the Synthesizer Expander Module, or "SEM." The SEM module was intended as a companion to the Oberheim DS-2, one of the earliest digital sequencers. Oberheim soon realized they could interface a digitally scanned keyboard, mount the whole mess in a big box, and create polyphonic synthesizers, beginning with the Two Voice, followed by the Four Voice, and finally the beastly Eight Voice.
Unlike later analog polysynths, the Oberheim Eight Voice lacked computer control and parameter storage. This meant that each of its eight synthesizer voice modules contained individual controls for every parameter. If you wanted to adjust the filter resonance, for example, you'd need to change the resonance control on every one of the eight synthesizer voices, otherwise every note played would sound different. This allowed varying timbres for different notes, a potentially musically useful and interesting effect, but not much fun if you wanted every note to sound the same.
These early Oberheim synths sounded unique, and today, they are highly prized, wildly expensive, exceedingly fragile, and very rare.
The Cherry Audio Eight Voice retains the original synthesizer's sound quality and flexible feature set, including a detailed emulation of the original instrument's multi-mode filter, created by pioneering synth designer Mark Barton (MRB). Cherry Audio couldn't resist adding a few modern touches - a sub oscillator and noise source have been added to each voice, greatly expanding the instrument's sonic potential, and velocity controls have been added to both envelopes for expressive control over filter and amplifier dynamics.
Eight Voice's unique Voice Link section lets users link the controls of voice modules, eliminating the need to individually set every module's controls when "homogenous" poly sounds are desired. Additionally, the tool bar Focus buttons allow any section of Eight Voice to instantly "zoom in" to a much larger size, greatly simplifying editing (especially on smaller displays). Each voice also contains easy-to-use Key Range zone selectors, for endless layering and zoning possibilities.
An expanded version of the Oberheim eight-step Mini Sequencer is also included, featuring switchable step gating, adjustable gate length, pitch quantization, and more. A powerful mod delay and a lush reverb section also feature. Finally, both Classic and Black themes are available.
Cherry Audio concludes:
All in all, we've done everything possible to transform the original instrument's daunting user interface into a fast, fun, and most of all, creative musical experience, and we think you're gonna love it.
Plus, owners of Eight Voice receive 20% off of Cherry Audio's brand-new Synthesizer Expander Module Bundle for Voltage Modular.