Junkie XL On The Oberheim Matrix-6R

Tom Holkenborg, aka Junkie XL, has more gear than a synth museum. But instead of gathering dust, his gear gets a workout, as part of the sound of his scores to films like Deadpool, Mad Max: Fury Road & Distance Between Dreams

He’s been releasing a series of Gear Of The Week videos, sharing his perspective on a different synth each week, and how he has used it in one of his recent film scores. In this episode, he looks at the Oberheim Matrix-6R – a synth that sounds great, but can be a chore to edit.

9 thoughts on “Junkie XL On The Oberheim Matrix-6R

  1. So, the question nobody dares ask: how does the Matrix 6R this compare to the newly released DSI OB-6 synth? Should we all grab the rack versions as they’re 5x cheaper? 🙂

  2. I don’t think it’s a matter of nobody dares ask, I don’t see that they could legitimately be compared to each other. And good luck finding a 6R from 31years ago.

  3. I own an Oberheim Matrix 1000 (you can see one above Junkie XL’s Matrix 6R). It’s basically a 6R in a single rack slot. The 1000 and 6R are quite different from the OB-6 because they are using CEM3396 chips rather than a SEM design. They only have a single low-pass 12dB filter and that’s it. They lack the OB6’s sub-oscillator. And notably, they have DCOs, while the OB6 has VCOs. They’re also much tougher to program than the OB-6, though with the newly released Firmware 1.20 (http://www.tauntek.com/Matrix6Firmware.htm) the 6R and 1000 can now be properly and fully controlled via NRPN, so programming is realistic with, say, a Novation Remote Zero.

    So no, these devices aren’t in the same category as the OB-6.

  4. I picked up a Mtarix 6r for pretty cheap, upgraded the firmware in my Matrix 6r so that it responds more quickly to MIDI messages, and downloaded a template for it for my Novation Remote 61. This gives me hands on access to most parameters now and makes it very easy to program. Still not as user-friendly as a Juno 60 but giving access to quite a few more sound-shaping options, with two DCOs and a very comprehensive modulation matrix

  5. Same as bgaeta. I got one pretty cheap 3 years ago, and prices have gone up since. Haven’t upgraded the firmware, so filter is a bit steppy. But otherwise I love it. Bi-timbral (unlike OB6) with a distinct luscious sound. And with FX, it’s becomes unreal. There’s also the Matrix 1000 with the same thing in a slimmer rack, 1000 preset slots and monotimbral.

  6. There’s supposedly a hardware editor coming for this: http://www.stereoping.com/matrix-programmer-preview/?lang=en

    I got myself a Matrix1000 last week, updated it with the new firmware and am now waiting for the controller to come out. I owned a Matrix6r a few years ago, but got rid of it because the programming was so tedious, even with software. Curious to see whether the firmware update + hardware controller unleash the potential of this machine.

    Because bwoy…. the sound is just magnificent. It has modulation options that are miles ahead of any synth from the 80s. Think modular. And the basic sound is so lush that it can easily do without effects. I have no idea if it would hold up against a OB-6. But I think there is no point in the comparison. The M6/M1000 doesn’t give you the typical Oberheim sound, that big OB8 sound. But I know of no other synth that can sound so sad…

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