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Shear Relic-6 is modernised OB-X made by 18-year-old

Impressive analogue polysynth debuted

Back at the NAMM show last month, we had the great pleasure of meeting a young musical instrument innovator in Jacob Brashears. The 18-year-old has built a new analogue polysynth based on the Oberheim OB-X and added an intriguing, modern control system. The product, dubbed the Shear Electronics Relic-6 has been three years in development. That’s right, the enterprising and determined Brashears began working on this when he was 15! Now he’s taking orders for the first batch of production units. 

Check out the video above to hear the Relic-6 in action. Although we haven’t put it through its paces yet in review, the initial sound demos are impressive. Perhaps the most interesting part of the design is the control scheme, though. In order to deal with preset changes, the Relic-6 doesn’t use LED rings around endless rotary encoders or knobs that have to travel through the original value in order to alter a parameter. Instead, it combines capacitive endless rotaries that illuminate a large value bar — the colour of which corresponds to the rotary that you’re touching. It’s an implementation that we haven’t seen yet, and it’s very intuitive. 

The Shear Electronics Relic-6 is due to begin shipping in Summer 2017 and the projected price is $3499.

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