Watch: New documentary explores the life and career of synth pioneer Tom Oberheim

The 37-minute documentary is the latest in the Bright Sparks series, which explores the careers of prominent figures in electronic music gear.

Tom Oberheim

Image: Tom Oberheim

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Music-makers who want to learn more about the history of electronic music instruments can now enjoy an informative new documentary on the life and career of audio engineering pioneer Tom Oberheim.

The 37-minute documentary interviews Oberheim as he recounts his journey from working as a draftsman at National Cash Register, where he fell in love with computing, to eventually building his seminal electronic instruments.

Not only does the documentary explore the synth pioneer’s career, but also his thoughts on the development of electronic music equipment over eight decades, with tales involving giants such as Moog, Dave Smith of Sequential and more.

Oberheim’s instruments themselves have been famously played by the likes of Lyle Mays, Prince, Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, and Jam & Lewis.

Over the years, Oberheim’s OB-Xa, DSX, DMX, OB-8 and more, have grown to become cornerstones of electronic music, with a seemingly endless stream of software emulations releasing each year.

The documentary is an episode of Bright Sparks from GForce Software Ltd. Other episodes of the series explore the works of electronic music pioneers Robert Moog (Moog), Alan R Pearlman (ARP), Don Buchla (Buchla), Harry Chamberlin (Chamberlin), The Bradley Brothers (Mellotronics), Adrian Wagner (Electronic Dream Plant), Peter Zinovieff (EMS), Ken and Freeman (Freeman String Symphonizer).


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