RIP 2014: Oberheim Matrix 12

The Matrix 12 is gone! It didn’t actually die or anything. I decided to sell it.

Matrix 12

This was my prize synth – my pride and joy! I had dreamed of owning one (or rather, an Xpander) for years and years. What happened? Basically, a few things.

With all the equipment breakdowns that I’ve had in the last year, I have started to grow a little paranoid. This Matrix 12 has always worked well for me, but I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about these things breaking down and then being difficult to repair (or even source parts for). The fact that it’s worth so much and could potentially be so fragile made it hard to sleep. I decided that I wanted to get out before any of that happened.

I also started to use the Matrix 12 less and less. During one of the bouts of the afore-mentioned equipment failures, I decided to buy a mostly-new Oberheim SEM. I picked up the version that had all the patch points on the side (although the cheapest, I think this is the handiest version). Together with the Roland MC-8 sequencer, I was really starting to enjoy CV/gate more than I have in years. I’ve got a few friends that have basically sworn off MIDI, but I wasn’t trying to go down that route at first. I figured that the MIDI stuff would just take a back seat. I even picked up an MSQ-700 sequencer to sync up to the MC-8 and keep the foot in the door for the MIDI equipment.

But with the patching potential on the SEM, and with getting the Minimoog back working and the Arp Axxe back from my friend Jon, I started to see the writing on the wall. It really just seemed a lot more fun to have some patchable equipment than to have twelve super-flexible Matrix 12 voices that were nevertheless insulated from all my other equipment. Don’t get me wrong: the Matrix 12 is a great synth. I was never unhappy with the sound. But I realized that I just wasn’t very interested in the areas where it really exceled. I didn’t really want/need twelve simultaneous voices. I didn’t really need patch memory. I just wanted a bunch more SEMs or something to play with.

So I finally sold the Matrix 12 and then promptly headed over to…