Tom Oberheim Is 80


Synth design pioneer Tom Oberheim is 80 today. 

Born on July 7, 1936, in Manhattan, Kansas, Oberheim has been creating music electronics since the late 60’s. In the years since, he’s created effects processors, sequencers, drum machines, iconic analog synths and played an important part in establishing the MIDI standard.

Oberheim is still actively developing synths:

Here’s a recent picture of Oberheim flying in style on his way to Sweetwater’s gearfest, along with fellow electronic music gear gurus Roger Linn (left) and Dave Smith (center):


Images via Fabricio Carvalho, DSI

13 thoughts on “Tom Oberheim Is 80

  1. Many happy returns Tom!

    After many years I have finally purchased an SEM pro last month and it truly is a glorious thing. Makes me lust even more for a TVP.

    Thank you for the music!

  2. Happy birthday, champ. I only have an iSEM, but it’s fantastic and one of my most powerful synths. Have a beer on me!

  3. Wow, doing pretty damn well for 80! Seeing him interviewed at NAMM, I would have placed him squarely in the first half of his 70s. Quite impressive to still be making headlines in your chosen industry at 80.

  4. Happy Birthday.
    Been nice to see Don Buchla in one of the other seats. And I wish Bob Moog was still here to sit with them as well.

  5. Happy birthday, Mr. Oberheim!

    It’s no secret that your products have impacted the music industry in a rather big way!

    Happy 80th! And to many more!

  6. About those guys on the picture, they delivered wonderful products over the years and where and are very important for the synth history…but shouldnt be there any Japanese and European guys among them. Even though some stepped in later in this industry?

  7. Dear Tom, all the best wishes to you 🙂 I could only ever afford a Matrix 6 but I´m glad you did instruments like the OB-X which Prince and Dr. Fink put to good use. Just listen to the LP DirtyMind – pure Synth Funk 🙂 Thanks for pioneering the sounds of our youth!

  8. Tom’s synths are the best. I’m waiting for SEM euro to come to get the real thing, but Arturia’s VST is fantastic and polyphonic. And I love my Matrix 6R. So wish I could have M12.

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