Since its announcement and subsequent release, Oberheim’s OB-X8 synth has been lavished with praise, but the launch was overshadowed by the sad passing of Sequential’s Dave Smith - the instrument’s co-designer - at the end of May.
Prior to Smith’s death, he’d been part of a filmed roundtable discussion that focused on how the OB-X8 came to be. This also featured Tom Oberheim (Founder, Oberheim Electronics), Marcus Ryle (OB-X8 Co-Designer, Oberheim Engineer 1980-85), and Tony Karavidas (Lead Hardware Engineer, Sequential/Oberheim).
The intention was to release the video of the conversation at the time of the OB-X8’s launch, but in light of Smith’s death, Oberheim felt it best to hold it back. Now, though, in honour of Smith’s work, we get the chance to see it.
The 15-minute clip sees the four men talking through “the trade-offs, design philosophies, and the overall approach” to creating the OB-X8. You’ll discover what gave each of the original OBs its distinctive sound, how the designers and engineers managed to match this sound in the OB-X8, and how this new synth differs from the instruments that inspired it.
Finally, there’s also some discussion regarding what Oberheim might create in the future, with Smith - as enthusiastic as ever - seeming particularly excited about how the company could look beyond its illustrious synth archive.
There’s a certain sadness for us now as he signs off by saying: “We’re just starting. This is gonna be great,” but Smith's legacy is secure.