GForce find beauty in simplicity with their authentic recreation of the Oberheim SEM

Today, synth pioneer Tom Oberheim celebrates his birthday, and GForce Software are recognizing the occasion by announcing the release of the GForce Oberheim SEM. 

This new software emulation of Oberheim’s classic SEM synthesizer has been developed in partnership with Oberheim and with the full endorsement of the company’s founder and the SEM’s creator, Tom Oberheim. 

As a result, it’s an authentic recreation of the SEM’s instantly recognizable sound that’s been developed with a sense of reverence for the iconic instrument, and with the goal of creating something that shares the SEM’s ethos: an uncomplicated monophonic synthesizer that makes it quick, easy and fun to produce jaw-dropping sounds. Talking about the GForce SEM, Tom Oberheim himself said: "It’s so good to hear something that’s dear to my heart done properly in software.”

The original Oberheim SEM, or Synthesizer Expander Module, is one of the most celebrated synthesizers in musical history - and for good reason. As Oberheim’s first analogue synthesizer, it laid the groundwork for big hitters like the OB-X and OB-Xa, while providing a straightforward way to experience the unmistakable Oberheim sound. 

Made up of two VCOs, two ADS envelope generators, one LFO and a characterful multimode filter, the SEM did away with unnecessary complications in a bid to embrace the beauty in simplicity. Remaining authentic to the original instrument, the GForce SEM shares this approach, while adding a few select enhancements that make the instrument more versatile. 

The GForce SEM has been equipped with an arpeggiator and sequencer, two highly useful additions that make it easy and fun to build patterns and sequences on-the-fly. The SEM’s modulation capabilities have been expanded, thanks to tempo-syncable LFOs and a third VCO, which delivers LFO and audio-rate modulation in addition to a third synth voice. 

On top of that, GForce have included a stereo delay and reverb to maximize the instrument’s sonic capabilities. GForce have also pre-loaded the SEM with a diverse collection of over 400 factory presets that offers everything from searing leads that’ll bite through your mix to lush, dreamy pads to float away on. 

GForce aren’t newcomers to reproducing the Oberheim sound in software. As Oberheim’s official partner, they’ve worked together previously on the GForce OB-E, an award-winning recreation of the Oberheim Eight Voice. This synthesizer, the SEM’s big brother, delivers more complexity and sonic power at a higher price point. 

While the OB-E is more of an exclusive instrument, aimed at those looking to take their adventures in synthesis to the next level, the SEM is for everyone. This is reflected in the price points: for a limited time, the SEM is available at an unbeatable intro price of £29.99 + VAT, while the OB-E has been reduced to just £99.99 + VAT, taking 30% off the original price.

Find out more about the GForce SEM on GForce’s website.