One of my favorite vintage synths is my trusty Oberheim Matrix-6. It was manufactured just after the heyday of analog synths with knobs and sliders—it’s digitally controlled analog with no knobs and only one slider—the volume control! But what it lacks in usability it makes up for with lovely sounds. I purchased it on a whim from eBay a couple years ago, and I’ll very likely keep this one as long as I’m on planet Earth.
I spent some time last night going through all of the great sounds within this gem, and landed on a factory preset called Didier. It’s a nice pad sound that instantly takes you back to the 1980s. It’s not my favorite patch on the keyboard, but I intentionally chose it to see what kind of dramatic sonic changes I could make by running it through my BigSky reverb. I was looking to create resplendent, orchestral ambience—something that you might expect to hear during a poignant scene in a film drama. A lot to ask for, right?
I grabbed BigSky’s Type knob and turned to the Shimmer machine. The Shimmer machine allows you to set two separate pitch shift parameters, allowing a variety of pitch shifted tones to swirl around in the reverb tank. For this preset, I set Shift 1 to +2 Octaves, and Shift 2 to -1 Octave, giving us a three octave range of sonic material. The Decay time is set to a long 13.7 seconds, allowing the verb to take up a lot of space and time. Shimmer Amount is set to just over 50%, and Shimmer Mode is set to Input which keeps the pitch shifts from regenerating.
I was pretty happy with the results. Please take a listen below. The clip starts with BigSky bypassed, and then it is engaged at 0:09.
The image below shows the knob settings and secondary parameters. Dial it up on your BigSky and give it a shot.
Here’s a video that I put together that contains this BigSky preset, along with several others!
Made your own tweaks to this preset? Post them below. Are there other preset types that you’d like to see in upcoming blog posts? Let us know what you think. Thanks!