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Arturia SEM V - Version 3 - Electronic Delivery

Oberheim's legendary SEM is back for the first time as a high-end software emulation powered by Arturia's exclusive TAE® technology
MFR# 210508
Arturia SEM V - Version 3 - Electronic Delivery


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Quick email delivery of this software license is available when you order between 9:00am and 4:30pm (ET) Mon - Fri. Note: Software is not returnable, so please call if you need advice about compatibility or version.


A giant has come back to life. Oberheim's legendary SEM - Synthesizer Expander Module - is back for the first time as a high-end software emulation; the Arturia SEM V powered by Arturia's exclusive TAE® technology.

A little bit of history...

Throughout the early 70’s, Tom Oberheim quickly gained a reputation as a talented effects manufacturer. His company Oberheim Electronics notably engineered the Maestro Ring Modulator and Phase Shifter which had a huge success on the US market.

After gaining experience as an official dealer for ARP Synthesizers in Los Angeles, he designed the Synthesizer Expander Module (SEM) with the help of Dave Rossum of E-mu Systems. It made its debut in May 1974 at the Audio Engineering Society Convention in L.A.

The SEM was one of the world’s first self-contained synthesizer modules. It was primarily developed as a convenient solution for musicians who wanted to set up sequences without tying up more valuable synths. The SEM also worked very well as an expander to fatten up the tone of other synthesizers like the Minimoog or the ARP Odyssey.

A faithful reproduction

The original SEM has particular characteristics for which it is loved by many musicians to this day. SEM V brings back the sound and special characteristics in an accurate virtual emulation.

The SEM V modules have been faithfully modeled using TAE® (True Analog Emulation), Arturia’s proprietary technology that precisely models the behavior of analog circuits.

And the results speak for themselves: SEM V is a stunningly accurate virtual instrument that delivers the same acoustic properties as the original.

Soon the SEM gained a popularity of its own, thanks to the unique sounds generated by its innovative multimode filter.

Tom expanded upon this success by creating polyphonic synthesizers that were basically combinations of the SEM with a digital keyboard in one carry-case. Besides the OB series, Oberheim extended its line with popular synthesizers such as the Matrix 6, -12 and -1000.

Sadly, in 1985 Oberheim Electronics folded. However, the brand name and some of its products were carried forward one company after another. And then to the joy of synth enthusiasts, as of 2009 Tom started producing updated versions of his early synthesizers again.

Oscillators: Like all components of SEM V, Arturia modeled the two oscillators with the utmost respect for the properties of the original circuit. They replicate the exact sawtooth and variable-width pulse waveforms present in the original.

On a control level, the SEM V interface also duplicates the behavior of the dual-concentric knobs for coarse and fine tuning, with a right-click/drag activating the fine adjust mode (as it does for most parameters).

Filter: The 12 dB/octave multimode filter is one of the most remarkable modules in the SEM. In many ways it helped define the sonic identity of Oberheim, because it shaped a diverse range of sounds that were almost impossible to get on other synthesizers.

SEM V carefully models the four modes of the filter (low-pass, high-pass, notch and band-pass). Our commitment to recreating each detail means that you can either switch to band-pass mode or sweep through the other three modes simply by turning the knob clockwise.

ADS Envelopes and Modulations: The particular response of the ADS envelopes is accurately reproduced, as are the VCF mixer and all modulation knobs and switches, so you’ll be able to nail any of the classic SEM tones.

Analog masterpiece revisited

Accurately recreating the tone, waveshapes, multimode 12 dB/octave filter and other detailed characteristics, SEM V delivers all the deep analog sounds that made its grand ancestor so unique and praised. The voice programmer mode allows you to recreate the sound of the huge and rare 8 Voice.

Uber mine of sound

The SEM is known as a bass and lead machine but this recreation extends it well beyond the original. Its sound pallet extends to moving 8 voice pads, acid arpeggios and even electronic percussion.

Expanded Creativity

While the SEM was a great synth, Arturia wanted to make it even better. They added new innovations like the sub-oscillator for deep basses. A second LFO with more waveforms, and the modulation matrix greatly expands the sonic capabilities of the SEM. Add to this the arpeggiator and Key Follow modulator and you get one super powered synth.


  • All the original parameters of the Oberheim SEM : two oscillators, each offering sawtooth wave and variable-width pulse wave with PWM, sine wave LFO, 12dB/oct multi-mode Filter with low-pass, high-pass, band-pass and notch, two ADS envelope generators.
  • Added functionalities : New LFO, Noise, Sub oscillator, on board effects (overdrive, chorus and delay), Arpeggiator, Portamento.
  • Polyphony up to 32 and 8 Voice Multitimbrality
  • New 8 Voice Programmer module
  • Advanced Keyboard Follow module
  • Modulation Matrix module
  • Works in Standalone
  • Now compatible with iSEM Preset export/import
  • Polyphony parameter to limit the polyphony of the plugin
  • 20 new factory presets from Ian Boddy
  • 21 new factory presets from Erik Norlander
  • 35 new factory presets from Richard Courtel
  • 11 new factory presets from Kevin Lamb
  • 14 new factory presets from Drew Newmann
  • "Forward Retrigg" mode for the 8-Voice Programmer (for easy use of sequences using the Arpeggiator)
  • "Reassign" mode for the 8-Voice Programmer (like in the original one, the SEM V will first use the boards that are not gated in its voice assignment)
  • Sustain pedal is now active on all systems

Additional Information

Condition New
Software Delivery Electronic Delivery
Virtual Instrument Type Synthesizers
Plug-In Format AAX, AAX Native 64-bit, AU, VST2, VST3, Standalone
Operating System Mac, Windows
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