I recently acquired the temporary use of a beautiful Oberheim OB-8 complete with the official Oberheim MIDI modification. My friend Chuck Love is temporarily using one of my electro-mechanical favorites, the Musitronic Wurlitzer, and in exchange he has allowed me to setup his OB-8 in my studio.
The machine is in excellent condition and sounds amazing. I did run into what might be a minor calibration issue. Four of the eight voices are significantly louder than the others. Fortunately I discovered a workaround to solve this problem for recording purposes.
Each voice on the OB-8 can be panned left or right. I panned the four louder voices to the right and the quieter ones to the left, then adjusted the gain on my input levels while watching the oscilloscope until they matched. Finally I used the Utility plugin in Ableton live to reduce the width of the panning so that the voices weren’t jumping hard left and right constantly. This makes the instrument much more consistant and nicer to play.
Here’s an excerpt from a seven minute experiment I did today by sending the MIDI from Ableton’s arpeggiator to the OB-8 while manually adjusting the filter and envelopes during the recording.
Arpeggiated Oberheim OB-8 Demo