It’s Only Dec 1st, But Cherry Audio Has A Christmas Present For You

Cherry Audio has an early Christmas present for electronic musicians, a free virtual instrument plugin for Mac & Windows, based on the classic 1974 Oberheim Synthesizer Expander Module (SEM).

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“Originally released in 1974, the keyboardless, mono module was intended as a companion to the one of the earliest digital sequencers, the Oberheim DS-2. Soon thereafter, Oberheim linked multiple Synthesizer Expander Modules to an early digitally scanned keyboard to create some of the first polyphonic synthesizers, used by legendary artists including Joe Zawinul, Toto’s Steve Porcaro, Styx, and Jan Hammer.

Though it was a simple, barebones monosynth, the Synthesizer Expander Module possessed a unique tone quality, courtesy of its 12 dB/oct state-variable filter. With lowpass, bandpass, highpass, and notch modes, this flexible filter was the star of the show. We’ve precisely recreated it here with a filter section and Phasor effect programmed by award-winning synth designer Mark Barton (MRB).”


  • “Ultra-accurate” dual oscillators
  • Multi-mode filter emulation by synth designer Mark Barton (MRB)
  • Unison mode
  • 100 presets for Basses, Leads, and Percussion
  • Unique “Phasor” effect section emulating the vintage Oberheim stomp box, also replicated by Mark Barton
  • Studio-quality Echo effect with tempo sync
  • Complete MIDI control and DAW automation for all controls, with easy-to-use MIDI learn and mapping (Preset and Global)
  • Focus zoom-in feature, as well as standard UI zoom and resize via drag
  • Complete documentation available directly online from the instrument or in downloadable PDF format
  • Highly optimized DSP for optimal performance
  • User-adjustable oversampling control


Synthesizer Expander Module is available now as a free download.

12 thoughts on “It’s Only Dec 1st, But Cherry Audio Has A Christmas Present For You

  1. The Cherry Audio Eight Voice has a wonderful vintage sound that pushes me into a different headspace when writing music, I’m happy to add this to my collection as a streamlined “single voice” version for when I don’t need something quite as massive.

  2. I have a bit of Oberheim fatigue from the long line of recent releases, but having this as a solo voice is welcome. It feels more distinct in this form. It has a lot of power for a mere 27 mb download. CA offers a smart spread across several synth types.

    It doesn’t include their usual full range of effects, but the Echo and Phasor bring out the vintage goodness just fine. The presets are solid, with several stand-outs that show you where it really shines. If you play a software modular, its a must-have item.

  3. I think it they sold their soft synths for a higher price, people would be more skeptical of how often they release new synths and why they all sound similar. My conspiracy is they are all the same synth and the amount of time between releases is how long it takes to design the new GUI. Maybe its just me but I couldnt take a pepsi challenge and distinguish the different between many of their synths.

    1. Absolutely not the case and you don’t need to “take the Pepsi challenge”… oscillator waves can be compared on oscilloscopes (a lot of synths have similar waves, but Miniverse, PS-20, PS-3300, for example all have unique idiosyncrasies that can seen on a scope… Sines is all digital, Harmonia and Dreamsynth use a zillionty samples that took months to make, etc…). Filters can be easily compared by using white noise and a spectrum analyzer, and envelope times/curves can be viewed and compared as regular audio waveforms.

      From time to time we get folks who really want us to be a fraud of some sort, but the reality is we’re a relatively small and efficient company that doesn’t make hardware or 47 other non-plugin products, we have zero red tape, we have some proprietary tools that make the DSP side pretty quick… and we’re always working on three things at once. With all that said, Synthesizer Expander Module is an obvious exception – it’s just a single voice of our existing Eight Voice instrument with a few tweaks. But our OB filter model is definitely not the same as the four-pole ladder model in other synths in our line (it was custom-programmed by DSP whiz, Mark Barton), and the difference is easily audible.

  4. The unisono mode is a smart feature that adds a lot to the sonic quality of the plugin. GeForce should implement it into their SEM emulation as well.

  5. Won’t finish installing without being online and logged into a Cherry account. After that, every time it’s started it tries to log in again. I keep my whole DAW environment firewalled, so this synth got deleted right away

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *