Become a member
Become a member

or
Log in
Log in

or
Agrandir
Add this product to
  • My former gear
  • My current gear
  • My wishlist
Arturia Oberheim SEM V
Images
1/28

Review Arturia Oberheim SEM V

review
Comment
Arturia Oberheim SEM V Review SEM Old Synth

Arturia has been launching a myriad of products since early 2012. Among the new products you'll find an Oberheim SEM emulation with new custom features. Let's have a look at the beast...

Something is for sure: Arturia’s team never stops working! They are constantly updating their existing products and have launched Analog Experience, Oberheim SEM V and MiniBrute in a very short time. The Oberheim is the latest addition to the series of legendary synth emulation plug-ins that started in 2003 with the Moog Modular V, followed by the Minimoog, CS-80, Prophet 5 and Jupiter-8 simulations. Arturia even attempted to create a virtual version of another legend of Tom Oberheim’s company, but they didn’t succeed…

It’s probably not necessary to present Oberheim, a mythical company that has had its successes and troubles after being bought by Gibson and Viscount. The SEM (Synthesizer Expander Module) was the first synth officially presented by its inventor in 1974. It was brought to life again in 2009 with a Patch Panel providing all 33 internal connections as mini-jacks and a Midi to CV Converter. These new features certainly gave customization ideas to Arturia: their virtual version also has many new features.

Introducing Arturia Oberheim SEM V

Arturia Oberheim SEM V

 Arturia Oberheim SEM V

Test System:

  • MacPro Xeon 3.2 GHz
  • OS 10.6.8
  • Logic Pro 9.1.6
  • Arturia Oberheim SEM V 1.0, later 1.1

Out of curiosity, and because I always read that all Arturia synths sound similar, I compared the Minioog V and SEM waveforms (in this order) as well as a filter setting at 3,406Hz with maximum resonance (the release parameter settings are different but they have no effect on the sound in our example). Look at the screenshots and listen to the sound: No similarity…

00:0000:00

… in the virtual world

Of course, Arturia didn’t limit itself to the original features of the '74 synth. They added a second LFO using the same waveforms as the Sub with a speed control plus sync and retrigger switches (retrigger = the waveform is played back from the beginning for each solo note).


Arturia Oberheim SEM V
Arturia Oberheim SEM V

Arturia also added overdrive, chorus and delay effects as well as a master volume control and a Soft Clip button (such features have become standard in almost all plug-ins…). Don’t forget to disable the effects from time to time in order to hear the real sound of the synth.

  

00:0000:00
00:0000:00

Generous modulations

Arturia Oberheim SEM V

 

The last special feature added by Arturia is the Modulation section including three modules separately switchable. This section is hidden in the closable control panel. You also get a very clever and convenient Keyboard Follow feature we would love to see in other synths.

 

 

Arturia Oberheim SEM V

 Arturia Oberheim SEM V

 

In the following sample, you’ll hear the C-scale over two octaves played upwards/downwards and triggering different settings in random mode, then in forward/backward mode.

00:0000:00

This module is an excellent implementation that opens new ways of creation. Hats off Arturia! Finally, several examples from the preset bank (some presets were edited). A great vocal-like sound…

00:0000:00

… a Hancock/Zawinul-like brass section.

00:0000:00

Below, you’ll hear typical filter sweeps, fast envelopes, typical soft pads, rotating voices, etc.

00:0000:00

Conclusion

Let’s be clear: I have no '74 SEM in my studio. So a one-to-one comparison is impossible. I have only my memories of when I played the instrument and the many records where it is used… Therefor, it would make no sense to say this plug-in is an exact and faithful copy of the original. However, the virtual synth does share many things with the original synth: the features, the spirit, the typical Oberheim sound (soft filter clearly different from Roland and Moog filters). In short, don’t hesitate to add this tool to your synth library if you’re looking for SEM sound.

However, we also found a few problems: the envelopes/effects extend to the next preset, audible steps in some modulations. But considering the huge possibilities, the sound and the wonderful modulation section, we can only praise the quality of this synth. The ease-of-use, that doesn’t limit the sound possibilities, makes it the ideal tool to start in the world of sound synthesis.

Shop strengths
  • Same sound DNA as the original hardware synth
  • Design
  • Ease of use
  • Faithful to the original concept but more comprehensive
  • Modulation section
  • Amazing 8-Voice Programmer
  • Almost fully synced
  • Good product manual
  • Excellent Midi Learn function
Cons
  • Some bugs
  • Envelopes/effects extend to the next preset
  • Some audible modulation steps
  • Maybe the price, compared to similar products (DIVA for example)

Would you like to comment this article?

Log in
Become a member
cookies
We are using cookies!

Yes, Audiofanzine is using cookies. Since the last thing that we want is disturbing your diet with too much fat or too much sugar, you'll be glad to learn that we made them ourselves with fresh, organic and fair ingredients, and with a perfect nutritional balance. What this means is that the data we store in them is used to enhance your use of our website as well as improve your user experience on our pages and show you personalised ads (learn more). To configure your cookie preferences, click here.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies
Cookies not subject to consent
These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine and allow its optimization. The website cannot function properly without these cookies. Example: cookies that help you stay logged in from page to page or that help customizing your usage of the website (dark mode or filters).
Google Analytics
We are using Google Analytics in order to better understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it.
Advertising
This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :) We are using Google Ad Manager to display part of our ads, or tools integrated to our own CMS for the rest. We are likely to display advertisements from our own platform, from Google Advertising Products or from Adform.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies
Cookies not subject to consent

These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine. The website cannot function properly without these cookies. Examples: cookies that help you stay logged in from page to page or that help customizing your usage of the website (dark mode or filters).

Google Analytics

We are using Google Analytics in order to better understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it. When this parameter is activated, no personal information is sent to Google and the IP addresses are anonymized.

Advertising

This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :) We are using Google Ad Manager to display part of our ads, or tools integrated to our own CMS for the rest. We are likely to display advertisements from our own platform, from Google Advertising Products or from Adform.


You can find more details on data protection in our privacy policy.
You can also find information about how Google uses personal data by following this link.