MATRIXSYNTH: New Abstrakt Instruments VS-1 Analog Synth - New Classic Oberheim OB-X Inspired Rackmount Synth

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

New Abstrakt Instruments VS-1 Analog Synth - New Classic Oberheim OB-X Inspired Rackmount Synth

Published on Jan 14, 2020 Abstrakt Instruments

Update: I thought it worth noting that this project is being done with Tom Oberheim's blessing. From the Kickstarter campaign:

"Tom Oberheim of and Oberheim Electronics is aware of our plans to market an OB-X-centric synth. We asked permission and he did not have any reservations with our plans and said good luck! We have also offered a royalty per unit but there was no interest. However, even though the VS-1 is by nature a boutique offering and won't break any sales records, we will indeed be paying a royalty in deference to the original design."

You might remember the OBX Rack Synth Kit Stretch Goal Added to Abstrakt Instruments' Kickstarter for OB-X replacement boards. It looks like they are taking it a step further and offering a completed version named the VS-1 for non-DIYers, or those that just don't have the time or resources to build their own. The project is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter here. Abstrakt Instruments, of course, are the people behind the Avalon Bassline 303 clone, which has become highly regarded by many as the best 303 clone with extra features. P.S. See Abstrakt OB-X for additional posts and demos leading up to the new VS-1.

Some details from the Abstrakt Instruments VS-1 Kickstarter follow - click through for additional pics and info.

"The VS-1 combines vintage analog sound with modern features, designed for those that find modern synths over-perfected. Based on the discrete analog design of the iconic Oberheim™ OB-X, the VS-1 utilizes many of the same design trade-offs, including a signal path comprised of discrete transistors, op-amps, & 3080 OTA's utilizing through-hole components. Combined with modern digital control, a clean & simple interface, and packed into a 3U rack... this is the essence of the VS-1.

It’s all about the tone. Based on the classic OB-X, each voice consists of two analog VCO's and a 12dB OTA Filter (LP/BP/HP) and VCA.

VCO's Two discrete VCO's per voice with saw and pulse waves. Pulse width can be adjusted from 0% to 100%. VCO1 can be modulated by VCO2 (crossmod) and VCO2 can by hard-synced to the frequency of VCO1. VCO's can also be modulated by two analog LFO's, two digital LFO's per-voice, and a DADSR 5-stage envelope generator.
Noise Analog white & pink noise.
Portamento Analog polyphonic portamento gives a natural clustering effect between voices as the analog components are never perfectly matched. Although this requires many additional components it has been included - another example of small imperfections that impart character. In addition, digital portamento with both fixed rate and fixed time modes is also included.
12dB OTA Filter The classic resonant 12dB multimode filter is the desert island filter, simply awesome in a polyphonic synth. The classic OB-X had a fixed lowpass mode, the OB-R has lowpass, bandpass & highpass modes.
Panning VCA's Each voice retains the classic 3080 OTA VCA but also includes a stereo panning VCA that can be modulated by several sources. The spread control make it easy to pan voices across the stereo field.
Envelope Generators Each voice has a dedicated analog ADSR for the filter and VCA. In addition there is a global five-stage DADSR with (20) modulation destinations.
Analog LFO's Two global analog LFO's with triangle, square and S&H waveforms can be sent to VCO1 frequency and pulse width, VCO2 frequency and pulse width, and filter cutoff.
Digital LFO’s Two LFO’s per voice with triangle, sawtooth, reverse sawtooth, square, and random waves with (20) destinations. LFO’s also have dedicated attack-decay envelopes and can be free-running or synced to the arpeggiator, sequencer, or MIDI clock for tempo-synced effects.

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