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Oberheim Four Voice FVS-1 Polyphonic

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    The Oberheim Four Voice FVS-1 polyphonic is an analog music synthesizer that was produced from 1975 to 1979 by Oberheim Electronics. It was developed by Tom Oberheim, and was the first production synthesizer capable of playing chords.

    Oberheim took the idea and electronics of a Minimoog synthesizer and put them in a small box, making a few changes, and produced his SEM (synthesizer expansion module), the building block of his polyphonic synths. By strapping two, four, or eight of these SEMs together under keyboard control, he was able to create practical, albeit large, synthesizers that could play two, four, or eight notes simultaneously. Thus the Oberheim polyphonic was born. Each SEM in an Oberheim polyphonic defines one voice (or note) being played in a chord. In addition to multiple voices, on an Oberheim polyphonic you could save settings for sounds you created with a preset programmer (four and eight voice models) and you could glide from one note or chord to another using portamento.

    The Oberheim polyphonic was later outdated by a new line of Oberheim synthesizers and Sequential Circuits synths that used more integrated circuits and also some digital embedded microprocessor control; these were less heavy and much smaller than the Oberheim polyphonic. Despite their maintenance cost and rarity, Oberheim polyphonic synthesizers are still adored by many musicians today for their unparalled sonic 'thickness' and 'depth' caused in part by the random variance between each SEM module.
    Type: Analog
    Synthesis: Subtractive
    Oscillators: 8
    Waveforms: Pulse, Saw Up, Square
    Osc Modulation: Envelope, Input, Keyboard, Knob, LFO, Oscillator, Pitch Wheel, Glide / Portamento
    Oscillator Notes:
    Literally, 4 SEM modules.
    Envelopes: 8
    Evelope Paramerters: Attack, Decay, Release
    Filters: 4
    Types: 12dB Slope (2-pole), High Pass, Low Pass, Resonance
    Filter Modulation: Envelope, Input, Keyboard, Knob, LFO, Oscillator
    LFO: 4
    LFO Parameters: Triangle
    Polyphony & Tuning
    Polyphony: 4
    Timbrality: 4
    Tuning: Standard
    Modes: Mono, Polyphonic
    Patches RAM: 16
    Storage: Internal
    Editing: CV
    Case: Keyboard
    Case Details: 49 non-weighted key
    Controls: Knobs, Pitch -Wheel
    Display Type: LCD
    Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Mono Out
    Inputs: Mono 1/4″ TR
    CV Ports: CV IN, CV OUT, Gate In
    Power: 120 / 220 V AC
    Year Released: 1975
    Year Discontinued: 1979
    Used By
    808 State, Bob James, Chick Corea, Depeche Mode, Gary Wright, George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Jean Michel Jarre, Joe Zawinul, Weather Report, John Carpenter, Lyle Mays, Doobie Brothers, Prince, Patrick Moraz, Pink Floyd, Rush, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Stevie Wonder, Styx, Supertrampv, Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Vince Clarke, Yellow Magic Orchestra
    Manuals & Documents
    MSRP List Price: $4,295 - convert
    Retail Street Price: $4,000 - convert
    YouTube Videos
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