Oberheim Matrix-12 Vintage Synth Review

In his latest video, Espen Kraft takes a look at the Oberheim Matrix-12, one of the last great analog synths of the 80s.

The Matrix-12 is physically huge, but it sounds huge and offers massive patching capabilities, too.

“This is an incredible flexible and powerful synth”, notes Kraft. “If you’re willing to dig into the modulation matrix and spend a couple of years honing in on the 10 million possible routings, you’ll be amply rewarded.”

Check out the video and share your thoughts on the Oberheim Matrix-12 in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Oberheim Matrix-12 Vintage Synth Review

  1. Oberheim hit a major sweet spot with the Xpander and Matrix-12. They’re like Kurzweils: secret modulars inside. Arturia offers a nice Matrix-12 plug-in, but my personal brain could only handle an Xpander’s worth. The filter section alone is jaw-dropping. Its easy to see why some players all but marry them. Excellent review, Espen!

      1. The Moog One is in production and offers 20 modulation slots just like the m12/xpander. The andromeda a6 offers a lot more modulation and sounds a bit closer, but is discontinued.

  2. I got to play one and its a bit like getting to play AT a Fazioli piano. It feels way above your weight class! Uplifting, though. The instrument kind of dares you to rise to meet it.

    Some nearest equivalents: The Moog One, Schmidt and Waldorf Quantum, which is a wavetable/VA wunderkind. The Prophet-12 deserves mention as a mega-synth, but again, not a uniquely pure analog, re: the Matrix-12.

    Real analog is a hit-or-miss thing now, where below a Moog One $8-10K, you need something like a Korg Prologue partnered with a nice Eurorack filter module for a similar tone. Tom recently trademarked a few names that make some new, REAL OB-8s from Sequential seem likely in the future.

    No Matrix-12 has been mentioned, but I’d bet good money that even a revisited Xpander would be a hardware smash. Then again, do you really want to see those prices in 2021 dollars? Yikes!

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