MATRIXSYNTH: Art + Music + Technology Interview with Tom Oberheim

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Art + Music + Technology Interview with Tom Oberheim

via Art + Music + Technology

"NOTE: This podcast is presented as a collaboration with for the presentation of people working with and creating expressive MIDI controllers. You can listen to the podcast here, on the synthtopia website (in an embedded player) or on iTunes. But you can also read the article as well as search for information by viewing the transcription available here.

In this first podcast in our series on Synth Designers, we talk to one of the people that was at the forefront of synth design - so much so, that his original synth design is still at the heart of his work! Tom Oberheim and the Synthesizer Expander Module (or SEM) is widely known for its rich, smooth and musical sound, and Tom's work has been featured on recordings by almost anyone that has used a synthesizer.

In our chat, Tom talks about how he got started in both electronics and music, and how he stumbled upon musical electronics. We also talk about how the SEM has been able to endure despite all the changes in backing technology, and how it differs from most of the synths that were its contemporaries. It's also interesting to hear about how the resurgence of analog culture and the emergence of DJ/producer culture caught him by (pleasant) surprise, and have set the stage for his future work.

You can see what he is up to by checking out his site:, or just by talking to anyone that is a synth fanatic - they (or you...) will know his work well.


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