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Dave Smith OB-6

The Dave Smith OB-6 is a modern, all-analog 6-voice polyphonic synthesizer that pays tribute to Tom Oberheim’s SEM 4-voice and 8-voice synthesizers, but with several enhancements. The synth features true voltage-controlled oscillators, a classic Oberheim-inspired 2-pole, state-variable resonant filter, amplifiers, envelopes, and an LFO. Additional enhancements include studio-quality effects, a polyphonic step-sequencer, and an arpeggiator; all of which can be synchronized internally or via external MIDI clock.

The four-octave, semi-weighted keyboard offers velocity sensitivity and channel aftertouch, while the control panel offers knob-per-function control with no menu diving. There are 500 permanent factory programs and 500 user programs which are organized into 10 banks of 100 presets. The OB-6 offers an ideal combination of portability and power for the project studio or the gigging musician.

Synth dreams are made of this

Now, finally, the artillery you need. Dave Smith Instruments OB-6 rocks six discrete analog voices with two oscillators and a sub oscillator per voice. Naturally, OB-6 is equipped with Dave’s infamous X-mod (two sources, five destinations). On top of all that, there’s a 64-step polyphonic step sequencer, two digital effects engines (with studio-grade reverbs, delays, chorus, flangers, and accurate re-creations of Mr. Oberheim’s renowned ring mod and phase shifter), and an advanced arpeggiator. To control all this firepower, you have a knob-per-function top panel and a silky-smooth, semi-weighted, velocity- and aftertouch-enabled keyboard. From funk-laden basses and snarling, in-your-face leads to gloriously celestial pads, the OB-6 will make your synth dreams come true.

Heart of the beast: Oberheim’s classic SEM

Oberheim’s original SEM (Synthesizer Expansion Module) formed the core of Tom’s renowned 4-Voice and 8-Voice synths of the 1970s. The SEM, in updated form, is also the core of the OB-6 analog sound engine. With two discrete voltage-controlled oscillators and a sub oscillator per voice, the OB-6 gives you the flexibility of waveshapes that are continuously variable between sawtooth and variable-width pulse. Oscillator 2 also sports a triangle wave. The classic Oberheim-style state-variable, 2-pole resonant filter features lowpass, highpass, bandpass, and notch functionality. The all-analog signal path is completed by the OB-6’s voltage-controlled amplifiers.

X-Mod, Poly Step Sequencer, and Arpeggiator

The OB-6 is spec’d out with Dave Smith’s brilliant X-Mod, which makes it easy to achieve killer sounds via modulation. The filter envelope and oscillator 2 are the sources, and they both give you bi-polar control. The five destinations are oscillator 1 frequency, oscillator 1 waveshape, oscillator 1 pulse-width, filter mode, and filter cutoff. The polyphonic step sequencer lets you program polyphonic sequences (up to 64 steps, up to six notes per step), complete with rests, and sync them to external MIDI clock. The full-function arpeggiator can also be synced to external MIDI clock. You can configure the OB-6’s Unison Mode voice count for up to six voices; it also features a chord memory and key modes.

  • 2 oscillators and sub oscillator per voice
  • Continuously variable waveshapes
  • State-variable filter
  • 64-step polyphonic step sequencer
  • Full-function arpeggiator
  • 2 digital effects engines
  • Knob-per-function top panel
  • 49-note semi-weighted, velocity- and aftertouch-enabled keybed


Sound Engine: Analog

Number of Keys: 49

Type of Keys: Semi-weighted with velocity, aftertouch

Other Controllers: Pitchbend, mod wheel

Polyphony: 6

Number of Presets: 500 user, 500 factory programs

Effects Types: Analog distortion, reverbs, delay, chorus, flanger, phase, ring modulator

Sequencer: Polyphonic 64-step sequencer

Audio Outputs: 2 x 1/4″ (left, right)

Headphones: 1 x 1/4″

USB: 1 x USB Type B

MIDI I/O: In/Out/Thru/USB

Pedal Inputs: 1 x volume expression, 1 x sustain, 1 x sequencer start/stop, 1 x filter cutoff expression




For more information, please visit the manufacturer's website.