The Oberheim Matrix 12 is an absolute beast of an analogue polysynth, released in 1985 just as the new wave of digital synths from the likes of Yamaha and Roland was threatening to destroy the analogue market. As one of the last big analogue polys, it was as powerful (and expensive) as you might imagine, combining analogue oscillators and filters with digital modulation sources and routing.
As masters of analogue synth emulation, Arturia have turned their hand to everything from the Minimoog to the Jupiter 8 over the years. The Matrix 12 finally joined the company’s virtual line-up as part of the V Collection in 2014.
If big, bold and punchy sounds are what you’re after, the Matrix excels. Capable of everything from creamy bass to searing leads and perfectly cheesy 80s brass, this is a real powerhouse of a soft synth.
The new Solina V, released alongside the Matrix 12 V, is also well worth a look if you’re in the market for a specialist string synth.