Oberheim Electronics


I joined Oberheim Electronics in 1981 as an electronic technician, working on the OB-Xa, OB-SX, and OB-8 synthesizers, and DMX and DX drum machines. Later I was promoted to writing test programs for an HP3060A automated circuit board test system, testing boards for the Xpander and Matrix-12 synths. Eventually Tom Oberheim gave me the chance to work on my first product design, the Prommer (a drum machine EPROM sampler/programmer).


Prommer (1985) Oberheim Electronics.
Contributions: Electronic design, microprocessor firmware, packaging design.

Prommer Technology: Motorola 68B09E microprocessor, 64k static RAM with battery backup, 8 bit companding A/D, D/A, vacuum fluorescent display, handles EPROMS 2732 to 27512.

The Prommer had an abundance of features, with the ability to save multiple sound samples in memory and play them back, controlled by a MIDI keyboard. Many sound editing capabilities were included, as well as support for many different types of EPROMs. EPROMs were programmed with sound data, and placed in a drum machine like the DMX or DX (or Linn Drum). The Prommer even implemented the (then brand new) MIDI Sample Dump Standard, as well as a proprietary system exclusive sample dump and control scheme.

An Adobe Acrobat (pdf) version of the Prommer User's Guide is available here.

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