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 (or used to!) 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 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.

M1000 Matrix 1000 Editor

M1000 Matrix 1000 Editor
M1000 Matrix 1000 Editor

I’ve just recently come across this wonderful software (Win & Linux only) editor for the Matrix. I’ve had several others in the past but none worked properly.

This M1000 actually works! And while Ableton is open too which was a problem with other editors. Easily send and receive patches to and from the synth, load and save patches via syx files, even give your patches names.

I’ve only made one sound so far; which unsurprisingly is a super lush ambient pad with very playable velocity and mod wheel control etc. And why not upload it here in syx format! More patches to come…


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