Oberheim OB-SX

Keyboard

The Oberheim OB-SX is a polyphonic analogue synthesiser used by Prince and Lisa Coleman. It is part of the Oberheim OB range that included the OB-X, OB-Xa and the OB-8, all used by Prince.

It is similar to other keyboards in the OB series, but had a selection of presets rather than having a full interface. Prince liked working with these presets.[1] As well as using one in the studio had his own OB-SX on stage on the Controversy tour. Prince continued using the OB-SX on the 1999, where it appears on the song Something In The Water Does Not Compute[2] . Prince used a collection of Oberheim synthesizers into the mid-1980s, and the OB-SX probably appears on the Purple Rain, Around The World In A Day, Parade and Sign O The Times albums.

Dez Dickerson played one in the Let’s Pretend We’re Married video.

  1. ^Musicradar Lisa Coleman: “Prince would just use a preset and then brighten the f**k out of it!”
  2. ^1999 Super Deluxe Edition Booklet
Prince was incredibly bold in the way he would just use a preset and then brighten the fuck out of it! He would turn the filter way up so the sound would cut through the mix. I still have the OB-SX from those days. It’s one of the most simple Oberheims - there are just a few knobs on it, but that was the most quintessential keyboard from that era.