INHALT goes hands on comparing two classic synths, details below:
This is the comparison I think most of our friends have been interested in. Our Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 is a revision 3.2 and has factory midi. It’s in incredibly good condition and has been calibrated fully, thus the tuning tends to be a lot more stable than on unserviced Prophet 5’s. Because of the MIDI interface we have been able to send the same MIDI sequence from the MPC 2000XL to both the Prophet 08 and the Prophet 5 simultaneously. Both synths were recorded straight into Pro Tools HD via a Precision 8 mic pre and a 192 HD IO audio interface.
Unlike the Oberheim OB 8 comparison, getting patches to sound similar between the Prophet 08 and the Prophet 5 was a lot more work. It felt many times like chasing a moving target–you would modify one synth a little and then bounce to the previous one to get it closer … so on and so forth. However, we were again surprised by the Prophet 08’s ability to get remarkably close to the general tonal characteristic of the infamous Prophet 5.
A couple of observations became apparent during the comparison: it’s very very obvious that the Prophet 5 uses analog components. The VCO’s move around a lot more, especially on held chords and it’s not a linear movement. Even with programming, the Prophet 08 has a more predictable frequency movement. We used the slop function set to the max and it still wasn’t quiet enough to get it close.
Also, this can be observed with envelope times as well. The Prophet 5 feels like each voice is somewhat discrete and exhibits slightly different envelope times for each stage (i.e. ADSR). I’ve simulated this somewhat by routing sample and hold to modulate the envelope stages on the Prophet 08 but it still feels somewhat “obvious” as a programming trick rather than the true discrete voicing as on the Prophet 5. That is not saying anything bad about the Prophet 08, but rather, that the 08 is a lot more precise (digital envelopes vs CEM3310…) in this department than the 5.
The UNISON mode on both synths is very very different. On the 5, it sounds a lot more dialed in especially considering gain staging whereas on the Prophet 08, provisions have to be taken to bring the VCA envelope modulation down so as not to create internal clipping. It also feels like the envelopes work differently on the 08 when in UNISON mode than on the Prophet 5. This is not a comment regarding legato/non legato modes but rather the “feel” of the envelopes themselves. However, I have heard commentary that the 08 unison is like the unison mode on the Roland Juno 106, and as a former user of a 106, I can safely say that it is nothing like that. It’s just a different feeling unison mode that requires a little bit more work on the programming end.
We hope you enjoy this comparison. It was a lot of fun to record and program this.
Mitchell Sigman compares the King Korg’s modeled Prophet-5, Oberheim SEM and Moog filters to the real instruments. Opening sound montage created with King Korg. Watch for the full King Korg review in the June 2013 issue of Keyboard!
A demo with the SC Prophet 600. Drumcomputer Roland TR 808.
As usual a multitrack recording with some FX.
The first commercially available synth to implement MIDI!! It’s a fun synth. Its big brother is the legendary Prophet 5. The P600 is very affordable today and is a great buy. Models with the newest software will enjoy polyphonic MIDI implementation and up to 100 memory patches to store their own sounds! The sound of the Prophet 600 is brighter and harsher than that of a Juno 106 but still just as funky.
The P600 has two oscillators per voice with sawtooth, triangle and variable pulse waveforms. The oscillators can be individually tuned or synced together. Similar quality VCF and VCA sections from the Prophet 5 can be found here too! The P5’s Poly-Mod section has also been passed onto the P600.
The P600 is extremely versatile and easy to use! Its best functions include the onboard arpeggiator, 2-track sequencer and poly-modulation. The P600 is great for creating analog effects, swells and drones. It has a cool glide effect and has very flexible modulation possibilities!
An epic, cinematic, melancholic electronic song based on my life experience and a few composers / bands who have influenced me in my youth years – Ennio Morricone, Joy Division, Propaganda / Trevor Horn (with a dash of Goldfrapp thrown in for good measure).
Prophet-5 ver.3 through Electro-Harmonix Clone Theory (original ’70s model)
Jupiter-8 through Roland M-10DX reverb
Oberheim DMX drum machine
Korg Triton trumpet through Eventide H3000-D/SE reverb
Numerology 3 Pro and analog step sequencers in the modular. A real-time studio recording in Cubase 6. Synths used were the modular synths, Waldorf MWXT, MicroQ, TX816, Nord Lead 2X, Prophet 8, DX7II and Korg ES-1. Using a Novation Launchpad to control the Numerology tracks. Step sequencers are dotcom Q960, Q119 and STG Soundlabs Time Suite. The opening and closing sound is a new SSL1130 DDVCO through a CGS01 harmonic sequencer and back into the DDVCO exponential and linear modulation inputs. Video editing in Final Cut Pro X.
Prophanity – http://www.vstplanet.com/News/2012/Prophanity
Chris Roberson (a.k.a. Blu Gruv) has released Prophanity, a freeware VST instrument which aims to clone the Prophet 5.
- Oscillator A: Frequency, Osc Waveform (Saw/Square), Pulse Width, Sync
- Oscillator B: Frequency, Fine, Osc Waveform (Saw/Triangle/Square), Pulse Width, Low Freq, Keyboard
- Mixer: Osc A, Osc B, Noise
- Poly-Mod: Sources – Filter envelope, Osc B; Desinations – Freq A, PW A, Filter
- Wheel-Mod: Source mix (LFO/Noise)
- LFO: Frequency, Waveform (Saw/Triangle/Square)
- Filter: Cutoff, Resonance, Envelope Amount, Keyboard, ADSR
- Amplifier: ADSR
- Volume, Velocity, Master Tune, A440, Glide
Would love to spend some time in this dude’s studio
A live performance. A 137 space modular synthesizer, Waldorf MicroWaveXT, Dave Smith Prophet 08, Nord Lead 2X, Yamaha TX816, DX7II, and Oberheim Matrix 6.
All synthesizers are controlled either with Numerology 3 Pro or from the modular synth on-board sequencers. Recorded in Cubase 4 from Steinberg.
I played a single line at various times on the DX7II. Everything else is fully automated including a pseudo-random sequence generated by a Catgirl Synth Suboscillator/Harmonic Sequencer module by Ken Stone.
The baseline is the Prophet 08 controlled by a midi output from the synthesizers.com Q172 midi output of a Q960 8 step sequencer pattern.
Background info on the Numerology 3 Pro:
Numerology 3 is a music sequencing and audio plugin environment which uses an innovative approach to electronic music composition based on modular step sequencing. With version 3 Numerology now comes in two flavors: a Standard Edition for anyone that wants an economical step sequencing addition to their studio, and a Pro version with advanced features for users looking to make Numerology a cornerstone of their compositional workflow. Another major addition is an AudioUnit version of Numerology that allows users of supported hosts to add advanced step sequencing to their DAW-based workflow. The Numerology AU is the first Audio Unit plugin to offer sample-accurate MIDI scheduling and built-in latency control.
Other highlights of Numerology 3 include new generative sequencing options, a completely revised user interface, a preset playlist, a humanize function, Audio and MIDI recording for every part, and several new and updated modules. These features expand and complement the capabilities provided by Numerology’s extensive list of sequencing and signal processing modules. With version 3, Numerology’s library of modules now numbers more than 50, not including hosted Audio Units.
The Generate and Evolve features in Numerology 3 allow users to explore new compositional territory by using generative algorithms both to create new patters, and to make transformations to existing patterns. The Generate feature includes 18 algorithms for generating new patterns, and is setup to allow users to easily control the musical context in which the pattern is generated. Evolve goes a step further by allowing users to program specific algorithmic changes to a sequence. These changes can be triggered directly, or setup to automatically repeat for regularized pattern modulation.
Features specific to the Pro version of Numerology include multi-output support for hosted AudioUnits, monophonic audio routing support, OSC support, custom scale quantization, and several new modules specifically oriented for building advanced sequencer setups. Included in that set are gate generator and clock offset modules, a CV To Audio module for driving an analog synthesizer directly from Numerology (with a DC-capable audio interface), and a pair of operator modules supporting a total of 61 functions.
Both the Pro and SE versions of Numerology 3 come with much improved synthesis options for the built-in sample-based SampleSynth and DrumKit modules. These modules now include a multi-mode filter, 2 AHDSR envelopes, a beat-synchronized LFO and a modulation matrix. Complementing these additions are a new set of built-in audio effects, including tempo-synchronized delays, multi-mode filtering, and a ring modulator.
Two new features in Numerology 3 greatly expand user options for storing and sharing presets and patterns, the Stack Library and Module Presets. The Stack Library is a new centralized location for storing part-oriented sequencing and synthesis setups. The Numerology 3 download comes with a library of stacks that include a variety of demo tracks, examples and core sequencing templates. In addition, the new module preset function in Numerology 3 allows users to easily store and load settings for any module. This feature is particularly handy for keeping track of sequencer patterns as well as building preset libraries for the SampleSynth and DrumKit modules.
Comparison of the factory sounds of a real hardware Prophet sound demos on the internet recreated with my Arturia Prophet V software synthesizer. Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 was one of the first fully programmable polyphonic analog synths, the Prophet 5 is the most classic synthesizer of the eighties! It is capable of a delightful analog sound unique to Sequential’s Prophet series in which the P5 was King! Five voice polyphony – two oscillators per voice and a white noise generator. The analog filters, envelope and LFO all sound great and are extremely flexible. The P5 had patch memory storage as well, which scanned and memorized every knob setting for storing and recalling your sounds – a desperately needed feature at the time!
The P5 lacked MIDI (a feature that came later on the P5 spin-off, the Prophet 600). But it is still loved even today for its great string sounds, analog effects, and punchy analog basses. Unfortunately the P5 is not immune to the dark side of vintage synths – it has its fair share of analog synth problems such as unstable tuning, it’s difficult to repair, lacks MIDI, etc.
I hadn’t used my prophet 600 (mid 80’s analog synthesizer) for a long time. When I took it out to a gig it started playing by itself, changing sounds and pitch randomly, it was quite musical I think. I sat down at the piano and improvised together with it while my friend Chris filmed.
Please do comment if someone has a technical explanation on how it could play by itself! The buttons have not been working very well for a while, I think it’s something to do with the computer that scans the settings of the buttons, and also which keys are being pressed down, and this function was obviously not working as it should.
Funny thing is how it stopped at the end of this video at the same time as I stopped.
After I left it plugged in for 48 hours it has gradually come back to normal, so no more music from it.
I’m thinking that maybe one year in a flightcase was to much for it to take, so it had a lot of music inside that just had to come out.
You can hear more from the prophet 600 here (together with also oberheim obx, SEM, arp 2600, jupiter 6, b3 organ and more):
– I’m playing the synths there, they don’t play by themself
In this video:
My first song using East West plugins Voice of Passion. Starts out with the Moog Voyager and the Vmodular rack running drone sounds and sequences. The violin solo is East West Symphony Orchestral played on the Voyager. Filling in is Addictive Drums, Prophet 08 for strings, my newly restored Roland JD 800 and the Fantom G for Orchestral percussion triggered by a Korg Padcontrol. Hope you enjoy it.