Archives for posts with tag: Oberheim DSX

First full jam in the new studio space!

Usual suspects:


BASS:  Arp 2600, SCI Pro One

SYNTHS: Jupiter 6, Jupiter 8, OB-DPX sampler




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In Line with the David Frank interview i posted last week.  Here’s Steve Roach’s setup from 1987…

OBERHEIM SYSTEM!!!! ( LOL 2 Xpanders!!!! )

and an E-Max…

and an SQ80…

Steve Roach Setup


borrowed from this flicker stream…


I had a few days off from the studio and made some music.  This is my fave from that batch.  It’s buoyant and uplifted, how i’m feeling these days!  Featuring arpeggios from the white Europa Roland Jupiter 6  and Roland Jupiter 8, Pads and single note layers via Oberheim DPX-1 and Oberheim OB-8, and Drums by Oberheim DSX, Simmons SDS-V, and Linn LM2 on percussion.  So, the usual cast of characters!

I have been diggin’ the Europa JP-6.  The europa arpeggiator is awesome and adds a lot to the performance aspects of this bad boy in white…

In this track the DSX sequencer is just looping the chords so i could get the arpeggiators working together.  i also experimented with arpeggiating in unison mode. this is cool as it makes a monophonic melodic figure pop out of the arpeggiated chords…

…heavy mellow…

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The Whispers are a group from LA that had a great run of hits spanning almost 40 years.  They had overlap in soul, funk, disco, and dance and were also a staple of the SOLAR records scene in the 80’s.  Much like Zapp and many others of the era the group was formed by brothers but the Scott brothers were twins!  Luckily they managed to avoid the all too often tragedies and perils that befall bands based on family relationships!

The XBS of the week reminds me of them because it has a little electronic but also some smooth funk to it:




Happy Friday!

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Today i will compare two old but very useful hardware sequencers.  The Oberheim DSX and the Roland MSQ – 700.  I’ve posted a lot of ASCII about the DSX before so this post will focus mainly the Roland MSQ – 700.

Previous Reading on the Oberheim DSX:

In or around 1983 while Oberheim was refining and updating the DSX Roland released the MSQ-700  It was the world’s first MIDI-compatible sequencer!

This is not to say it’s better.  The DSX kicked the MSQ – 700’s bottom in the features department.  But the MSQ – 700 offered some great features in it’s own right.  Here’s a run down:

1, 8 tracks of full MIDI Data or DCB recording and playback. ( only one or the other sadly not both simultaneously! )

In MIDI mode Each track could have a full 16 channels of data and all associated controllers.  Very inclusive and very cool.  You could have a full multipart song sequence on each track for live performance purposes. You could also mix or merge from one track to another and quantize tracks after they are recorded non destructively via quantizing while bouncing them to an open track.

2, The MSQ – 700 can sync internally or externally via MIDI, DIN Sync, or from time code on a tape.

3, It’s built like a tank, solid steel all but for the side panels which are plastic but painted silver!

Roland fails is in a few serious ways, and these are where i prefer the DSX in all it’s non MIDI glory.  There is no facility on the MSQ for real time sequence manipulation so you can’t play and mute tracks while a sequence is playing.  Nor can you transpose or edit on the fly like the DSX can.  This is a total bummer for those who like to let the basic structure loop and drop things in and out and transpose the whole thing for fun on the fly.  The MSQ- 700 also lacks CV Gate compatibility in lieu of Roland’s proprietary DCB.  The problem with DCB, besides it only being implemented on a few Roland instruments like the Jupiter 8 and Juno 60, is that it is so limited in comparison to MIDI that it’s not worth the effort to use it since Jupiter 8’s and Juno’s can be easily Midified to a level where you can transmit via MIDI all the front panel controls for each like the Juno 106 ( which doesn’t sound nearly as good ).


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Roland MSQ700   ( This is a great article about the MSQ – 700 )

MSQ – 700 FAQ 1

MSQ – 700 FAQ 2

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