Electronic Musician - May 2015 - (Page 56)
fig. 1. in terms
of sound quality,
arturia's matrix 12
v is a remarkably
of oberheim's classic
sweeten the deal.
one of the Last
of the cLassic
reborn on your
By marty cutler
Musician editor Marty
Cutler is twisted in his
of Oberheim Matrix 12.
capabilities. Great selection of filters. Voices
page offers unique performance capabilities.
2 01 5
e mu s ic ia n . c om
S ince my time at Splash Studios in New York City,
with the FM section, which is
hard-wired, utilizing VCO 2 as
modulator for VCO 1 or the filter.
The oscillators share a
common filter that has no fewer
than 15 filter modes-all with
resonance controls. The list
includes lowpass filters with
four different slopes, three
highpass filters, a couple of
notch and bandpass filters, and
most notably, filters that combine modes such as
"2notch + 1Low" and a couple of phase filters, one
of which is combined with a lowpass filter.
Lamentably, Arturia's manual makes no effort
to detail these; however, downloading the manual
for the original Matrix 12 keyboard reveals that
the phase filter passes all of the VCO harmonics,
but changing its frequency control shifts the
phase of the harmonics. Rightly, both the Arturia
and Oberheim manuals suggest that the user
should experiment in order to get a feel for the
capabilities of these filters. I was able to create
some exotic-sounding pads using these filters;
they add more sonic variety than any analog synth
I've used, virtual or otherwise.
The Matrix 12 V's bank of factory sounds-
devoid of effects-provide a fine demonstration
of the instrument's impressive sonic signature.
Nonetheless, the effects-delay, analog delay, analog
chorus, phaser, flanger, and reverb-add a nice finish.
I coveted the sounds emanating from keyboardist/
sound designer Robby Kilgore's room-unmistakably
fat and powerful, with bass, brass, and pads of great
depth and complexity. Most often, these sounds
could be traced to Kilgore's Oberheim Expander,
dubbed "The Badger" by keyboardist Rob Schwimmer
because of its deep, but sometimes confounding
Not long after creating the Expander, Oberheim
turned out its direct descendant, the Matrix 12,
which added a keyboard and doubled the polyphony.
The Matrix 12's sonic capabilities far outstripped
those of its analog contemporaries, but due to the
incursion of digital instruments, the instrument
soon disappeared from the marketplace.
Fortunately, Arturia-long known for its virtual
resurrections of vintage synthesizers-has released
the Matrix 12 V, providing VST 2.4, VST 3, AAX,
and Audio Unit versions (see Figure 1). I tested the
Matrix 12 V on a 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon,
running OS X Yosemite 10.10.02 with 14GB RAM.
Installation and authorization are now handled by
the Arturia Software Center, which automates and
significantly simplifies the process, and keeps your
plug-ins updated in the bargain.
As with the original synth, part of the Matrix 12
V's distinct timbral stamp is the two VCOs, both
furnishing pulse, saw, and triangle waves, with
VCO 2 adding noise. You can enable any or all of
the waveforms at once, and each VCO has its own
volume settings and a VCA. You can add subtle
motion, grit, or metallic, inharmonic sidebands
Hat tricks from tHe matrix
The Mod page is a tweaker's rabbit hole, and as
with all of Arturia's re-creations, the manufacturer
goes beyond the original feature set. To begin with,
it doubled the number of modulation assignments
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronic Musician - May 2015
Electronic Musician - May 2015
Microphones for Muscians
Death Cab for Cutie
Steve Aoki and Benasis
Slate Digital Virtual Mix Rack
Arturia Matrix 12
iZotope Iris 2
Yamaha DBR Series
Electronic Musician - May 2015