Oberheim SEM released by Arturia
Old 24th December 2011
  #31
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miro's Avatar
 

f********!!!!
my friend played with it while i was on the phone....i don't have the cash anymore (spent too much on xmas offers)
& no synchrosoft and really WANT THIS SO BADLYYYYY! it's BY FAR the coolest sounding synth i ever heard (yep, phone was enough!) since hardware days...

this is so depressing! (merry xmas, miro)

diva might be warm and thick (demoed - trashed it. can't stand uh-e CPU spikes in EVERY synth he makes! [while being worshipped like the DSP god]) but this thing here gave me goosbumps!

i was an oberheim fan when i didn't use any plugins yet and now this...

aaaarrghhhhh...





i wish i wouldn't have heard it, honestly! at some point soon synchro & 225€ will have to be ready for me.

happy holidays everybody
Old 24th December 2011
  #32
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cane creek's Avatar
 

Dam !!! I've just cocked up my order...

Just purchased Sem V however i choose to pay by Bank transfer instead of credit card.

Tried to re-purchase again to remedy this however now it will not accept voucher code.

Anybody from Arturia reading ? i did send an email to sales@arturia.com but not sure if thats the correct place i should be using to correct my issue.
Old 28th December 2011
  #33
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PeteJames's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernst Eiswürfel View Post
no, it doesnt. or how did you run it?
if i launch the plugin, i get the error message "no eLicenser connected!".
then my host (ableton live) crashes.

so what's this virtual dongle thing about? how/where do i activate it?
no useful instructions to be found about it.
just this illogical statement i quoted before:



did anyone here run the demo without the USB key? if yes, please tell me how, because arturia doesn't.
You have to install elicenser and download the trial license through it - I cant remeber if you get given a key - if you do enter it in the elicenser software
Old 28th December 2011
  #34
Gear maniac
 
semtek's Avatar
 

The oscillators sound good, the filter is average.

As usual with Arturia software the interface looks nice but can be frustrating.

I wasn't that surprised that there are still some severe bugs with the thing, eg midi timing issues.

Arturia have a track record of testing out products on their paying customers unfortunately.

Their synths sound good when they work, but so much of the time they are buggy as hell and if you so much as push them slightly to the extremes you get all kinds of issues.

In short, how much is a real SEM these days? The sound of the va is not that far away, I grant you, but there's still no substitute for the real thing. To be honest I'd even be happy with a close second which works reliably but alas...

Arturia up to their old tricks again.
Old 28th December 2011
  #35
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cane creek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by semtek View Post
.
In short, how much is a real SEM these days? The sound of the va is not that far away, I grant you, but there's still no substitute for the real thing. To be honest I'd even be happy with a close second which works reliably but alas...

Arturia up to their old tricks again.
Running Logic/lion here and SEM V is running very solid, have you actually tried it or have you just decided to have a random rant ?

Also we all know by now the Pros and cons of hardware v software so don't need to be spoon fed stuff we already know off by heart.
Old 28th December 2011
  #36
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by semtek View Post
I wasn't that surprised that there are still some severe bugs with the thing, eg midi timing issues.
I must admit Ben (Xmas greets dude), I've been having no issues with it either (minus a minor patch recall issue).

As soon as I heard that Tom Oberheim was making the SEM again I ordered one - what's not to like about a classic piece of synth history for $899

I view the Arturia emulation differently though, the thought that has gone into the 8 voice programmer, mod matrix and keyboard follow modules make it a joy to programme and whilst it never (quite) reach the quality of the hardware, €99 (offer to Arturia owners) was a no brainer for me. It's a version one product and can only get better but for me even in it's current form is the best VA Arturia has released. And I was I sceptic to begin with...

JM
------------
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Old 28th December 2011
  #37
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Jauqq's Avatar
 

Just seen this video... quick rough compare to the new SEM hardware too.



Sounds pretty decent.
Old 28th December 2011
  #38
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Too much cynicism in this thread!

I love this thing.

The fact that I'm now jonesing for a Tom Oberheim hardware unit is a testament to how good this software is. Not the other way around.

- c
Old 28th December 2011
  #39
Gear addict
 
Trailmix's Avatar
 

I was waiting for the haters to appear. Lol. I have watched quite a few new products threads, and it's so typical for about two weeks of "OMG this is the next best thing since sliced bread". Then, without fail, the negative reviews start. Just an observation.
In a positive note, Arturia has done a bang up job in the SEM! I have the bundled V collection and this is a great step forward in their work. I would like to make a suggestion.
Arturia, throw your early V collection owners a bone and upgrade us with the factory software. I am sure there are a lot of users would get so much more usage, not to mention faster workflow by being able to access all Arturia synths from one host.

Thanks, and may 2012 be a phenomenal year musically for each and everyone you!

Peace.
Old 28th December 2011
  #40
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scruffydog's Avatar
not a hater but..
As this would be my first Arturai synth...it's too expensive for now......i have not heard anything that makes me pull the trigger here..seems like they got the top end / brightness wrong watching that video...so...not for me...not for now.
Old 28th December 2011
  #41
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semtek's Avatar
 

I can't answer everyone individually, so, to summarize.

Have been demo'ing it for about 10 days now.

Crashes Logic 9 tho not every time, usually after the programme has been open for a while. I get a note saying 'This crash may have been caused by the Oberheim SEM V plugin' or something like that.

Notes dropped during playback - this is my major gripe. I have had it with previous Arturia software. Arpeggiator timing suffers when synched to sequencer as well.

For the record, yes I do have something of a chip on my shoulder about Arturia after the numerous problems I had with Prophet V and Jupiter V when I bought those a few years back.

I concede this is built to a higher standard than their previous products. And, fair enough, it's wrong to compare it to a hardware unit.

Essentially I'm frustrated that their good-sounding products give me the feeling that I couldn't rely on them in a pressure situation, eg during engineering a session for someone else, or even in a live context.

It's great that there is an industry for reasonably-priced plugin recreations of hardware, but it's a shame that the quality control doesn't live up to pro standards a lot of the time.
Old 2nd January 2012
  #42
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espen askelad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Too much cynicism in this thread!

I love this thing.

The fact that I'm now jonesing for a Tom Oberheim hardware unit is a testament to how good this software is. Not the other way around.

- c
Hey Chad, you can borrow mine sometime if you want. It's spectacularly good.
Old 2nd January 2012
  #43
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by semtek View Post
I can't answer everyone individually, so, to summarize.

Have been demo'ing it for about 10 days now.

Crashes Logic 9 tho not every time, usually after the programme has been open for a while. I get a note saying 'This crash may have been caused by the Oberheim SEM V plugin' or something like that.

Notes dropped during playback - this is my major gripe. I have had it with previous Arturia software. Arpeggiator timing suffers when synched to sequencer as well.

For the record, yes I do have something of a chip on my shoulder about Arturia after the numerous problems I had with Prophet V and Jupiter V when I bought those a few years back.

I concede this is built to a higher standard than their previous products. And, fair enough, it's wrong to compare it to a hardware unit.

Essentially I'm frustrated that their good-sounding products give me the feeling that I couldn't rely on them in a pressure situation, eg during engineering a session for someone else, or even in a live context.

It's great that there is an industry for reasonably-priced plugin recreations of hardware, but it's a shame that the quality control doesn't live up to pro standards a lot of the time.
I'm running it as a standalone and in Cubase 5.5 as a plug-in on an Intel
Core2 Duo machine running Windows XP. ZERO PROBLEMS.

Sounds great, especially the filter. I've been a synth programmer for over
30 years, and have owned Minimoogs, Polymoogs, Prophets, Jupiters,
and Hammonds. I know a good sounding analog filter when I hear one and
the one on SEM V is excellent.
Old 2nd January 2012
  #44
Lives for gear
SEM V or Diva? Diva or SEM V?

Demoed both and love the SEM V.

Oh! In order to maintain a balanced viewpoint I just wanted to say to all those that have had bad experiences with Arturia. I have all the Arturia synths except the Prophet V and have never had a problem with any of them. Swings and roundabouts I suppose.
Old 2nd January 2012
  #45
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Lab of Sound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelvyn View Post
SEM V or Diva? Diva or SEM V?

Demoed both and love the SEM V.

Oh! In order to maintain a balanced viewpoint I just wanted to say to all those that have had bad experiences with Arturia. I have all the Arturia synths except the Prophet V and have never had a problem with any of them. Swings and roundabouts I suppose.
Why not both?
I find they complement each other very nicely.
Old 2nd January 2012
  #46
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funkasizer View Post
Why not both?
I find they complement each other very nicely.
Yeah! I agree... But before i get Diva there's so much else I need (Equaity for example) as well as finding the financial support so that I can finish the album I'm producing. There are guitarists/bassists/drummists to be paid for as well as brass/string/vibraphone players as well as the backing vocalists and mix engineer. So for now SEM V is the one.
Old 3rd January 2012
  #47
Gear maniac
 
semtek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Polich View Post
I'm running it as a standalone and in Cubase 5.5 as a plug-in on an Intel
Core2 Duo machine running Windows XP. ZERO PROBLEMS.

Sounds great, especially the filter. I've been a synth programmer for over
30 years, and have owned Minimoogs, Polymoogs, Prophets, Jupiters,
and Hammonds. I know a good sounding analog filter when I hear one and
the one on SEM V is excellent.
Dave you are obviously a very experienced engineer and I fully respect your opinion here, let me first state this.

I'm running this on OSX 10.5.8 in Logic 9, so unfortunately whilst it may work perfectly under Windows XP, I have had a few problems on my own system.

I'm sorry that you don't agree with my point of view on the filter, but it is a subjective judgement, based on what I hear when I use it.

I think the oscillators on the Arturia model sound great, but having listened again in the past few days and compared with some audio of the original unit, I still believe the filter doesn't sound right, especially at high levels of resonance.

I'll upload some audio of a loop with the Oberheim plug-in to give you an idea of the timing problems. I would be interested to see if you think I am imagining this, but it seems quite pronounced to me.
Old 4th January 2012
  #48
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by semtek View Post
Dave you are obviously a very experienced engineer and I fully respect your opinion here, let me first state this.

I'm running this on OSX 10.5.8 in Logic 9, so unfortunately whilst it may work perfectly under Windows XP, I have had a few problems on my own system.

I'm sorry that you don't agree with my point of view on the filter, but it is a subjective judgement, based on what I hear when I use it.

I think the oscillators on the Arturia model sound great, but having listened again in the past few days and compared with some audio of the original unit, I still believe the filter doesn't sound right, especially at high levels of resonance.

I'll upload some audio of a loop with the Oberheim plug-in to give you an idea of the timing problems. I would be interested to see if you think I am imagining this, but it seems quite pronounced to me.
I don't see a link to the audio file...
Old 5th January 2012
  #49
Two Gear Heads
 
Solidtrax's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by miro View Post
[..]
diva might be warm and thick (demoed - trashed it. can't stand uh-e CPU spikes in EVERY synth he makes! [while being worshipped like the DSP god]) but this thing here gave me goosbumps! [..]
DIVA sounds awesome and, unlike almost anything from Arturia, it's also rock solid, we did not experience a single issue and we have been using it almost non stop for the last few weeks! (this includes beta versions)

You might experience CPU spikes with DIVA, and we can't deny, it's a CPU hungry beast, but at least it is totally stable!

u-he = DSP God. Yeah.. we believe so!
Old 5th January 2012
  #50
Gear maniac
 
semtek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Polich View Post
I don't see a link to the audio file...
My demo has expired just today as I went to bounce it, if I can get Arturia to extend my demo I'll post one.

In the meantime though, if you want evidence of the very noticeable differences between the V and the original this video surely is sufficient, as posted earlier by jaugg:

?DEMO?arturia SEM V - YouTube
Old 5th January 2012
  #51
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by semtek View Post
My demo has expired just today as I went to bounce it, if I can get Arturia to extend my demo I'll post one.

In the meantime though, if you want evidence of the very noticeable differences between the V and the original this video surely is sufficient, as posted earlier by jaugg:

?DEMO?arturia SEM V - YouTube
I would never judge audio quality by the crap audio on YouTube, ever.

I personally don't care if SEM V is exactly the same as the original. All I
care about is - does it sound good, does it sound like an Oberheim? Yes, to me it does.

This reminds me of the stupid argument over whether the Prophet 08 sounds
like the Prophet V. Dave Smith produced both products, he should know
better than anyone whether the 08 sounded like the P5. And who cares anyway? It's not like the Lady Gaga fans all over the world each have a collection of vintage analog synths and are making A/B comparisons.

Whether the SEM V sounds EXACTLY like the original SEM - that is a up to
the "synth police", and I'm not one of them, nor do I care to be.
Old 5th January 2012
  #52
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by semtek View Post
My demo has expired just today as I went to bounce it, if I can get Arturia to extend my demo I'll post one.

In the meantime though, if you want evidence of the very noticeable differences between the V and the original this video surely is sufficient, as posted earlier by jaugg:

?DEMO?arturia SEM V - YouTube
Great video. The Arturia sounds a bit veiled on everything next to the real SEM.

They got it close, though. The real SEM still sounds nicer if you can afford to fly that way.

Regards,
Frank
Old 6th January 2012
  #53
Gear nut
 

Ill not buy another Arturia plugin. I purchased CS-80v from the store with a key. The key didn't work on the installer and I've tried multiple times contacting Arturia and they never got back with me.
Old 6th January 2012
  #54
Gear maniac
 

Old 6th January 2012
  #55
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Lab of Sound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrogen View Post
Ill not buy another Arturia plugin. I purchased CS-80v from the store with a key. The key didn't work on the installer and I've tried multiple times contacting Arturia and they never got back with me.
If this happened recently they may just have been on a Christmas break. Personally, I have never had any problems contacting Arturia, and over the years I needed their help a few times. I recall that they even custom-programmed a preset for me when I e-mailed them asking for a particular ARP2600V sound I heard in a demo track but that did not end up in the factory presets. I thought that was really nice of them to do.
Old 6th January 2012
  #56
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Ethereralgreta's Avatar
 

I used to own an OB-8 and minus the fact that SEM sits cleanly inside the box, I would have to say it runs really, really close to the sound of my old OB-8's pads, albeit grittier in alot of ways and serioulsly more powerful, in other ways.
I venture to say that in the midst of a mix, you'd be hard pressed to tell the virutal from the analog, especially once you started coloring the mix with compression, console emulations, etc etc....
It is just a great sounding softsynth, no questions asked.
I snapped it up at the discount price, immediately.
Old 7th January 2012
  #57
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmoore View Post
Try this email address, they seem to be far more responsive with direct emails than via the form on the website:

sales@arturia.com
great! i will try this. thanks!
Old 7th January 2012
  #58
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Enough about the filter for me...sounds pretty good for a VA.

Question to anyone who understands the slight shifts in sound and or tuning and where the oscillators are beating at points or speeds from one voice to the next with the real thing...
Iv'e looked at the OP-X and that VA seems to address those nuances.No 2 SEMs or even OBX-x's voice cards are 100 percent the same as they are totally discreet and independent which is a big factor in these old synths.Tuning instabilities and or drift is part of the charm with the old poly's

Did Arturia get these variations right or are all of the voices marching exactly the same detune and phase rate from one to the next when used polyphonicly?

Thank you
Old 8th January 2012
  #59
Gear maniac
 
semtek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Polich View Post
I would never judge audio quality by the crap audio on YouTube, ever.

I personally don't care if SEM V is exactly the same as the original. All I
care about is - does it sound good, does it sound like an Oberheim? Yes, to me it does.

This reminds me of the stupid argument over whether the Prophet 08 sounds
like the Prophet V. Dave Smith produced both products, he should know
better than anyone whether the 08 sounded like the P5. And who cares anyway? It's not like the Lady Gaga fans all over the world each have a collection of vintage analog synths and are making A/B comparisons.

Whether the SEM V sounds EXACTLY like the original SEM - that is a up to
the "synth police", and I'm not one of them, nor do I care to be.
There is of course no gold standard to measure synths by, it's a subjective judgement. I personally prefer the more open sound of the original unit. What does this Arturia recreation have over a decent sample-set whilst costing significantly more? Not much, in my opinion, other than a pretty interface.

If even the "crappy" sound quality of the youtube clip reveals how different this sounds then surely a better sound recording could only be EVEN MORE disappointing in its results.



Anyway, all this aside, Carlheinz seems to genuinely know something about the character of the original unit so I'm interested to see what comes back from that.
Old 8th January 2012
  #60
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by carlheinz View Post
Enough about the filter for me...sounds pretty good for a VA.

Question to anyone who understands the slight shifts in sound and or tuning and where the oscillators are beating at points or speeds from one voice to the next with the real thing...
Iv'e looked at the OP-X and that VA seems to address those nuances.No 2 SEMs or even OBX-x's voice cards are 100 percent the same as they are totally discreet and independent which is a big factor in these old synths.Tuning instabilities and or drift is part of the charm with the old poly's

Did Arturia get these variations right or are all of the voices marching exactly the same detune and phase rate from one to the next when used polyphonicly?

Thank you
I've spent most of this weekend working with the Arturia SEM and if anything my appreciation of what has been achieved has increased. The eight voice programmer enables you to specify exactly how aligned each of the eight voices are when working polyphonically and goes far beyond tuning and phase alignment (virtually any mod source can be set on a per voice basis and the triggering randomised). As a generic Oberheim emulation it spanks the OP-X - which at the end of the day is based on SynthEdit technology so has no ability to match what low level coding can achieve. However unlike the OP-X, Arturia aren't marketing the SEM V as a generic Oberheim clone but as an eight voice version of the SEM. They've been very careful not to over-egg their claims by comparing it to the 'Oberheim Eight Voice' - Oberheim Eight Voice | Vintage Synth Explorer - which effectively is the same as linking eight SEM's together (something you could do in Logic's environment or by using any other modular plugin technology with the Arturia emulation).

With regards to polyphony, I've lifted this directly from the SEM V manual

"The polyphony of Oberheim SEM-V is, in theory, limited to 32 voices (depends on CPU power). However, in order to reproduce the multi-timbral function like a real Oberheim 4 voice or 8 voice, the SEM-V is equipped with eight sound modules (which are called “boards”).
To set the number of multi-timbral 'boards' (when in poly mode), click on buttons 1 to 8 (visible on the bottom of the window) to turn the corresponding board on or off."

It works fantastically well for polyphonic sounds but Arturia unfortunately missed a trick on mono sounds as it doesn't allow for mono voice stacking (something which has already been raised with the Arturia dev team on the Arturia boards).

The other main elements you need to be aware of when working with the Arturia SEM emulation is the output section. I've always hated Arturia's effects (the delay and chorus modules) and these are still as awful as ever and in effect smear everything that's put through them (however the overdrive module is ace). The other unit that you need to be careful of when using is the soft clipping switch. This can be very useful but you need to be careful not to drive it with too much signal or it turns everything to mush.

Output section aside, I've been mightily impressed with the richness of timbre I've been able to achieve using the Arturia SEM emulation (no sample set could match the subtleties of the eight individual voice boards doing their thing). I very much hope they sort out mono voice stacking and add unison but as a version one product it delivers on it's promise. As ever with software products it has a smattering of annoying bugs but none of them make it unworkable (and these will hopefully be squished some time soon anyway).

JM
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