Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Tom Oberheim's New Synth Expander Module

A classic SEM behind the new version.

Thirty-five years after releasing the original Synthesizer Expander Module, Tom Oberheim has announced an updated version of his first instrument. The new SEM includes a MIDI interface, while retaining its old analog charm. It includes the same versatile 12 dB/octave filter design as the original along with dual oscillators, triangle LFO and a couple of simple ADR envelope generators.

Tom Oberheim and the new SEM from stretta on Vimeo.

The Oberheim SEM [background in the photo] was introduced in 1974. The little monophonic synth was envisioned as a voice expander to fatten other instruments (or for use with a sequencer). It quickly gained popularity thanks to its simple front panel, reasonable price and decent sound. By combining multiple SEM modules into a single unit, Tom Oberheim created a series of 2-voice, 4-voice and 8-voice polyphonic keyboard instruments. There was even a little programmer module that could be used to store the knob settings. Oberheim went on to create some stunning polyphonic analog synthesizers and the DMX drum machine, which became a staple of early hip-hop.

The new SEM should be available later this year for under $1000.


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