The Oberheim OB-8 is a vintage analog synthesiser launched by Oberheim in 1983 and discontinued in 1985. It features 8-voice polyphony and is highly programmable, making it a popular classic synth keyboard.
It features a 61-note piano keyboard, LFO modulation, filters, external cassette storage, MIDI capability and 120 memory patches, and used the Z80 CPU.
According to EM’s Julian Colbeck:
The OB-8 was last in the line of classic Oberheim analog synthesizers that included the OB-X, OB-Xa, and OB-SX, each of which is well regarded for its warmth and richness. Although Tom Oberheim said that the OB-8 is too perfect, lacking the earlier models’ grit, it’s still a human-sounding instrument. Most synthesizer aficionados agree that the OB-8 doesn’t sound inferior to the OBXa, and they appreciate the OB-8’s extra programming facilities, stability, and economy.
The OB-8 is a superb instrument for players and programmers. Although OB-8s are not plentiful, they are still somewhat of a bargain at current prices and well worth looking out for.
Artists who have used the OB-8 include Prince, Queen, Van Halen, Styx, Kool & The Gang, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, The Police, Silent Running (Belfast band) , The KLF, Future Sound of London, Barnes & Barnes and Nik Kershaw.
If you’ve used the Oberheim OB-8, leave a comment with your thoughts!
- Synthesizer Components: 8 Synthesizer Voices, 3 LFOs, Noise Source, Arpeggiator
- Number of Programs: 120 Patch (sound) Programs, plus 12 Split and 12 Double Programs
- Keyboard: 5 Octaves; keyboard modes: FULL, SPLIT (splits OB-8 into two
independent synthesizers), and DOUBLE (plays both independent
synthesizers simultaneously); programmable split point and
transpositions anywhere on the keyboard (in split or double)
- Outputs: Stereo and Mono
- Foot Controls: Sustain, Hold, Program Advance footswitches
Volume, Filter, Vibrato pedals (voltage controllable)
- Power: 95 -240 Volts AC, 50i60 Hz, 45 Watts
- Dimensions: 40″(101.Gcm) wide, 20;'(50.8cm) deep, 6″(15.24cm) high