After a few quiet years, GForce Software has unveiled what could turn out to be its magnum opus: the OB-E. A plugin recreation of Oberheim’s legendary 8-Voice synthesizer, this packs eight of Oberheim’s classic SEMs (Synthesizer Expander Modules) into a single unit, giving you a monstrous polyphonic instrument that GForce describes as a labour of love.
Each monophonic SEM offers two VCOs with pulse and sawtooth waveforms, two ADS envelope generators, one LFO, and a multimode filter. Bring these together and you have a massive 8-voice polysynth.
OB-E offers complete per-voice control - though you can edit all SEMS at once if you wish - and programming is said to be much easier than on the original hardware, which could be difficult to tame. GForce has also added an 8-step sequencer and a routable stereo delay. The UI, meanwhile, is fully scalable.
Used in Mono mode, OB-E gives you just one SEM to work with - a good place to start if you want to learn the programming ropes. Switch to Poly mode, though, and all eight SEMs become visible. There’s also a Unison mode, where each SEM can be set to different tunings.
OB-E ships with 600 factory patches, the majority of which have been designed to fit in your mix (though there are, of course, a few showstoppers to demonstrate the instrument’s standalone capabilities as well). These have been categorised and tagged to make finding the sound you’re looking for easier.
OB-E supports polyphonic aftertouch and is MPE ready. You can also split the upper and lower SEMs across the keyboard.
Offered as a Mac VST/AU/AAX plugin - GForce says that it will gauge interest in a PC version - OB-E is available now for the introductory price of £130 plus tax, rising to £150 plus tax on 8 March.
Find out more on the GForce Software website.