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Not bad as a MIDI module.
Another 1RU analoger in the Roland MKS camp. The Matrix rack does a lot if you can stand the menus, but I give Roland's juno-in-a-rack the edge because its easier to program due to a simpler feature set and it has a certain timbrality my ear seems to prefer to the oberheim.
perfect sounding analog poly @ budget price
I bought my Black Matrix 1000 as a counterpart to my beloved Juno 60 a week ago. The 6-voice polyphonic rack synthesizer sounds incredibly large, analog and wide, even without FX. I love the overall warm sound. It is the opposite of some harsh-sounding modern synths (I sent the Korg Minilogue back).
Adding delay, reverb or modulation effects turns the matrix into an epic analog pad, brass & string machine. For that I mainly use it. But it's also great for bass, leads, FM, FX and all other kinda analog sounds. Especially with the MOD matrix it is so easy to create very organic sounds. And even if the attack time and the LFOs are not the fastest, they are fast enough for me.
When I bought it, firmware was 1.11, so I did an Eprom upgrade to 1.20 (Tauntek / Rob Grieb), where many bugfixes were fixed and the matrix can now be easily used with a MIDI controller. The Eprom also includes the important global detune of Gigli v. 1.6. With this upgrade, the Matrix 1000 no longer sounds static, the DCOs behave more like VCO.
Without an external controller, the matrix 1000 is more or less an analog preset machine because no editing is possible. the real fun begins with controllers. I tweak the Obeheim Matrix 1000 with my stereoping controller. Of course, you can also use software to tweak, but I prefer real buttons.
For me it is the perfect sounding analog poly! for 500 euros / 570 USD it is still relatively cheap for a vintage analog 6-voice polyphonic. And I already think about a second one for stereo operations or 12-voice polyphony :-)
From Gear Setup:
Unique Preset Machine
There's not much you can do to program a Matrix 1000 unless you get a computer program to help, but with 1000 presets there's good chance you'll find something you like anyway. The Oberheim sounds really cut through a mix and can ad a unique flavor to a track.
There are so many sounds, and if you have a decent patch librarian that understands its sysex format it's actually not bad for creating sounds, and if you have something with a lot of spare knobs it's not bad for performance. The minimal UI is incredibly intimidating, though.
Many good sounds, but get the free editor to unock its potential!
The guts of this synth is the same as the Matrix 6 but without the ability to edit anything on the front face of the unit. Oddly, the first 200 patch banks may be overwritten while the remaining 800 are ROM sounds. There is a free program for Mac called ObieEditor that gives you full access to the DCO's, LFO, ENV's, Filter, and more. You can copy a patch from the unit into the software, tweak and edit, then send it to one of the User banks on the Matrix 1000 and save it. You now have an amazing, full editable Matrix 1000.
Classic analog (pre-set) polysynth.
Classic analog polysynth. Sounds great, even the pre-sets sound great. Extensive control matrix and quite affordable. The only downside is that you need an editor to create/change sounds. And while it does supports MIDI CC extensively, it is not always fluent when doing so. There are some aftermarket firmware updates which make it slightly better but I wouldn't do that live. This is however not really an issue when you're just playing it pre-sets and you can still keep the sounds interesting by using the extensive control matrix.
It will get it's 5th star when someone fixes the response to MIDI CC's.