via bleepology who has some notes on it.
Update: new pics via stretta below.
Update (5:40 PST): some additional notes via the AH list: via alt-mode:
"Tom is showing a new SEM with the same circuits plus an integrated MIDI/CV. Price < $1k. Available in a few months." via James Husted: "Looks like he has dropped the expensive mechanical knob movement that turned the pots into multi-turn and is using a smaller knob next to the main knob. That used to be where the scale trimmer was on the original. Saves money by not having those concentric knobs that you always lost the caps from. Also the BP filter switch is a separate switch and not one built into the LP-HP knob. a little saved there too. Hopefully all the internal connections will be available too (maybe on cheaper connections). And hopefully it will run on a more standard power supply like a +/-15v and not +/-18.5 like the old ones did. New manufacturing techniques like SMD etc may lower the cost by lowering the board count and interconnects too - lots of board to board molex connectors in the old ones." Update 5:45: image is from: Web: http://www.alt-mode.com
I saw it on bleepology in my RSS feed before checking Twitter.
http://tomoberheim.com/ [note the tomoberheim.com URL just below the controls]
and "Stretta is here with a large lens for better pix later." Come on Stretta! :)
Update 8:24 via Dan on the AH list:
"Apart from the new SEM, what I found completely fascinating about Tom Oberheim's talk here in Boston was how oblivious he seemed to have been to the use of analog synths (including his own creations) in modern day music; he talked about how the Red Bull Music Academy series that he is participating in, in particular the one in Barcelona that occurred at the end of last year, was eye-opening and inspirational for him (and strengthened his plans to recreate the SEM BTW).
During the talk he played snippets of audio tracks that had featured Oberheim gear over the years, and so he played tracks by Pat Metheny, Weather Report, Stanley Clarke, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Van Halen, etc... But then he played a track that he was turned on to for the first time in Barcelona, by Underground Resistance ("Sonic Destroyer"), and he said he was bowled over by it, having never heard such a thing.
It was very refreshing to see how energized he was by this revelation, but at the same time it was a bit sad to see how in the dark he had been to the last 20 years or so of music. Likewise when asked about whether he knew how important the DMX was in the early days of rap music, how some artists even used 'DMX' in their stage names, he also said that at the time, he didn't ever really know it -- it was only later, after Gibson had taken over the company, that he started to hear about the importance of his creation..."
"He said that Gibson owns the rights to the old logo..."
Update 9:37PM: flickr shots via stretta are in. Click for more.
top shot is the old and new SEM
Update 9:04 6/4 via alt-mode on the AH list:
"First, I think we owe a big "Thank You" to the Red Bull Music Academy for hosting this event and also for their continuing series that gets musicians together with current leaders as well as earlier technical visionaries like Tom.
As far as the new SEM goes:
- You will notice that the faceplate is the same size as the original SEM. He intended to make it compatible with the old SEM.
- He hated the original concentric tuning knobs and couldn't get them anyway so he went to the coarse/fine knobs.
- He said it took 10 months just to find pots that would work and figure out replacements where he couldn't get them.
- There is a switch for the BP response because he couldn't get the same kind of switching pot he used in the past and also didn't like the reliability of the old ones.
- He tried doing the original design as thru-hole but it was just too expensive so he made it mostly surface mount but there were a few parts that made more sense as thru-hole.
- The connectors on the modules are not the same Molex as used in the past. He had to change the connectors but all of the signals are still there.
- The MIDI/CV tries to have many of the common routings that he thought would be useable. There will no doubt be debates as to whether they are correct.
- It did sound a feel like a real SEM. I tried to get some classic patches going on it but didn't really have much time.
- Patch points are certainly possible and he left the same top lip on the box that could be used for them. I don't know if he will offer that as an option or not.
- This is a labor of love. He isn't doing it for the money or to sell lots of them. It is likely that they will only be sold by one distributor that he is friends with. He doesn't want to have any employees so all of these will be assembled by Tom.
- Roger Linn can be credited as one of the people who bugged him enough to recreate the SEM. I think Tom has been toying this for awhile and the Barcelona event pushed him further.
I was amused by his stories and hearing that he gets together with Roger Linn, Don Buchla, and Dave Smith at some Berkeley coffee house regularly made me want to be a fly on the wall of those gatherings. ;)
Tom said he has ideas for more things and mentioned a design of an analog sequencer that he wants to put out. He would like to recreate the Oberhiem Two Voice since that was his absolute favorite synth from the Oberheim line.
He didn't sound like he was interested in getting his company name back. He felt that it had been tarnished by things like the OB-12 and the OBMX. He did miss the logo though...
Remember Tom is 72 and he is doing this because it is fun and occupies his time. I think it is fantastic that he tried to keep to the original design and bring back such a classic synth. He did give his email address out to some folks but I don't think it would be appropriate to broadcast it to the list."
Update 9:38AM 6/4 Tom Oberheim Day flickr set by danger.fellini
originally posted 8:21 EST. (click for more)
"This is an edited version of Tom's Red Bull Music Academy presentation in Boston of the new SEM on June 3, 2009.
Don't worry, after about a minute the focus settles down. I wanted to capture the two units next to each other. The light was horrible (backlit, with no direct light on Tom) so sorry about the overall quality.
Tom discusses the changes made to the new SEM and the reasons behind them, pricing, and demos a few sounds.
See the write-up on The Stretta Procedure