So you have the incredible Dave Smith / Tom Oberheim OB-6 synthesizer, but you are having trouble keeping track of patch storage. You don’t want to overwrite your favourite factory patches, but it’s hard to remember what’s stored where!
There is a patch list on the Sequential site, but it is only available as a PDF. You might want to open it in a spreadsheet so you can manipulate / edit it, so here it is as a text file, which can easily be imported into almost any word processor or spreadsheet app. (Due to the stucture of the PDF on Sequential’s site I found it impossible to extract the text efficiently, so I manually re-typed the entire thing.)
Back in 2016 I was playing around in the studio, noodling on synths with rhythmic support from my Boss DR-110 “Dr. Rhythm”, a very simple drum machine from 1980. After about 5 minutes of riffing on a simple little syncopated 4/4 pattern I had programmed, I had to hit “STOP” when I realized my beat was almost exactly the same as Fade to Grey by Visage. This inevitable moment, when you realize the riff you’ve been working on is actually something from someone else’s song, is something that happens periodically in every songwriter/producer’s life. When it happens to me, I usually just try to remain cool and start over from a clean slate, or delete the stuff that sounds like the other song and keep exploring.
But in this case I started thinking about that lovely, ghostly melancholy of Fade to Grey, and instead of erasing my work, I decided to trudge onward and see if I could make an instrumental version of the song that would sound great as part of my modern techno set. Within a few hours I had largely recreated the original tune, without vocals, but it took just a few more days of sporadic work before it took on the Steve Coen fairy dust. Continue reading →