Oberheim Matrix 1000

1987-1994, Midi, 12 DCO, 1u rack-mounted, 6 note polyphonic, analogue synthesizer

Oberheim Matrix 1000

These racks are pretty common and go for very little money considering what is inside that inconspicuous 1u rack. Oberheim packed the whole Matrix 6 synth onto one board using 6 of the ‘synth-on-a-chip’ CEM IC’s – the spec is rather impressive:

6 note polyphonic, 2 DCOs per voice, low pass filter, 2 VCA’s, 3 ENV generators, 2 LFO’s, 2 ramp gens, a tracking generator and a 10 way modulation matrix!!

Now also note that the Matrix-6 keyboard has no knobs at all, and has two ‘levers’ which look like poor excuses for pitch bend and modulation wheels – I ask: why would you buy a Matrix-6 at all? Surely you are better off with this synth in a rack anyway?! (The only down-side is not being able to program sounds using the software editor while a DAW is open)


The Matrix-1000 was intended as a sound module with 1000 of the best sounds from the Matrix-6 keyboard. A lot the presets are truly excellent; stick a good effects unit on them and you’re away! If you wish to make your own patches you will need an editor as below. (I’ll update this when I am more familiar with the synthesis).

Minor Problem: For some reason I appear to have some dead patch locations on the synth; for example if I send a patch to location 011 the sound is silent, have to save to location 012 instead. Anybody else had this or got any idea what’s going on?

OB6000 Matrix 6/1000 Editor

OB6000 Editor

OB6000 Editor

I’ve tested a couple of different editors for the Matrix and have had the best results with OB6000 at this time. This is a stand-alone program which gives complete control over the synth including sending & receiving sounds and banks, and editing patches.

I have now begun to learn the synth properly and started a bank of my own sounds 🙂

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