Cherry Audio has announced the release of Eight Voice, which they describe as their most ambitious instrument to date. They tell us that Eight Voice is a carefully-crafted emulation of the mighty Oberheim Eight Voice synthesizer, originally released in 1977. A spokesperson told us, "Our Eight Voice aims to recall the the massive-sounding, back-breaking behemoth that helped define the sound of rock, dance, and pop music in the 1970s and 1980s."
Here's more details direct from Cherry Audio....
The Heart and Soul of The '70s
Eight Voice is a carefully crafted emulation of the mighty Oberheim Eight Voice synthesizer, originally released in 1977. It began life in 1974 as a simple, keyboardless mono synth called the Synthesizer Expander Module, or "SEM." The SEM module was intended as a companion to the Oberheim DS-2, one of the earliest digital sequencers. Oberheim soon realized they could interface a digitally scanned keyboard, mount the whole mess in a big box, and create polyphonic synthesizers, beginning with the Two Voice, followed by the Four Voice, and finally the beastly Eight Voice.
Unlike later analog polysynths, the Oberheim Eight Voice lacked computer control and parameter storage. This meant that each of its eight synthesizer voice modules contained individual controls for every parameter. If you wanted to adjust the filter resonance, for example, you'd need to change the resonance control on every one of the eight synthesizer voices, otherwise every note played would sound different. This allowed varying timbres for different notes, a potentially musically useful and interesting effect, but not much fun if you wanted every note to sound the same.
These early Oberheim synths sounded fantastic, and today, they are highly prized, wildly expensive, exceedingly fragile, and incredibly rare.
An Analog Renaissance
The Cherry Audio Eight Voice retains the original synthesizer's remarkable sound quality and flexible feature set, including a detailed emulation of the original instrument's multi-mode filter, created by award-winning synth designer Mark Barton (MRB). As always, we couldn't resist adding a few modern touches - a sub oscillator and noise source have been added to each voice, greatly expanding the instrument's sonic potential, and velocity controls have been added to both envelopes for expressive control over filter and amplifier dynamics.
Eight Voice's unique Voice Link section lets users link the controls of voice modules, eliminating the need to individually set every module's controls when "homogenous" poly sounds are desired. Additionally, the tool bar Focus buttons allow any section of Eight Voice to instantly "zoom in" to a much larger size, greatly simplifying editing (especially on smaller displays). Each voice also contains easy-to-use Key Range zone selectors, for endless layering and zoning possibilities.
An expanded version of the Oberheim eight-step Mini Sequencer is also included, featuring switchable step gating, adjustable gate length, pitch quantization, and more. We've also thrown in a powerful mod delay and a lush reverb section. Finally, both Classic and Black themes are available! All in all, we've done everything possible to transform the original instrument's daunting user interface into a fast, fun, and most of all, creative musical experience, and we think you're gonna love it!
That Unmistakable Rasp
"I bought one of the first Four Voice Oberheims when it came out - it looked amazing, sounded absolutely huge, and recorded great, but it was incredibly big and a nightmare to move," recalls Jezz Woodroffe, film composer and former keyboardist for Black Sabbath and Robert Plant. "Even so, I have always regretted parting with it until now! This new beauty is the epitome of what a soft synth should be - it does everything my brain and ears need! Gorgeous. At this price it's a gift every synth enthusiast should get immediately - if it was massively expensive I'd still buy it!"
"Eight Voice totally has that unmistakable OB warm rasp. I couldn't stop playing the pads," says Christian Matthew Cullen, former keyboardist for Night Ranger. "You can hear those classic textures from the early Prince records in there. Brilliant job capturing the nuances and vibe of such a complex instrument. Kudos!"
Fred Bensi, keyboardist for Missing Persons, beams, "This Eight Voice is amazing - you nailed it so hard! I'm definitely gonna use it onstage with Missing Persons for the 'Walking In L.A.' riff. Super love it!"
Pricing and Availability:
Cherry Audio's Eight Voice is available now for $29 (List $49). It's available for both Windows and macOS, in AU, VST, VST3, AAX, and standalone formats, with a free 30-day demo available.
Analogue, digital and DSP voices
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Big Nektarine update too