Oberheim Matrix synthesizers

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Oberheim Matrix-12(1985–1988)

Oberheim Matrix synthesizers are a historic product line of subtractive analog synthesizers from Oberheim featuring a system of modulation which Oberheim called "Matrix Modulation" as a method of selecting and routing elements that dynamically shape various aspects of the sounds it produces. Matrix synthesizers continue to be popular due to their characteristic late-1980s analog sound and leading patching and filter capabilities.

These five products fall into two groups. The Xpander is a six-voice rack-mount synthesizer with voltage-controlled oscillators and very flexible voltage-controlled filters. The Matrix-12 is in effect two Xpander's plus a keyboard. The second group consists of the Matrix-6 synthesizer, with DCOs, and much more standard filter capability. It had two rack-mount variants, the Matrix-6R and Matrix-1000.


Xpander[1] Matrix-12[2] Matrix-6[3] Matrix-6R[4] Matrix-1000[5][6][7]
Image(s) Oberheim Xpander.jpg Oberheim Matrix-12 synthesizer top view with background erased. Oberheim Matrix-6.jpg Oberheim Matrix-6R.jpg Oberheim Matrix-1000 (black).jpg
Polyphony 6 voices 12 voices 6 voices
Oscillators 12 VCOs (2 per voice) featuring CEM3374 24 VCOs (2 per voice) featuring CEM3374 12 DCOs (2 per voice) featuring CEM3396
Filter 15 variations of
low / high / band / notch based on CEM 3372 w/ external switch circuitry
1 low-pass resonant filter using CEM3396 built-in LPF
LFO 5 2 (plus 1 for vibrato effect)
Layers 6-part multitimbral
with up to 6 zones
12-part multitimbral
with up to 6 zones
2-part multitimbral
with up to 2 zones
Memory 100 patches, 100 multi 100 patches, 50 multi 1000 patches (800 preset, 200 user)
Form Factor Rackmount 61-key (velocity & channel aftertouch) Rackmount
Production 1984–1988 1985–1988 1985–1988 1986–1988 1988–1994
Price US$3995 US$6399 US$1695 US$999 US$599


  1. ^ Oberheim Xpander page at Vintage Synth Explorer
  2. ^ Oberheim Matrix 12 page at Vintage Synth Explorer
  3. ^ Oberheim Matrix 6 page at Vintage Synth Explorer
  4. ^ Oberheim Matrix 6 page at Vintage Synth Explorer
  5. ^ Oberheim Matrix 1000 page at Vintage Synth Explorer
  6. ^ Oberheim Matrix 1000 manual at Vintage Synth Explorer
  7. ^ "Oberheim Matrix 1000". Sound On Sound. June 1994. Archived from the original on 7 June 2015.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • VintageSynth.com has specifications and photos
  • OB6000.de The Editor for the Matrix 1000
  • Xplorer A realtime editor for the Oberheim Matrix-12 and Xpander synthesizers