Prophet 12 In the house

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rrich
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Prophet 12 In the house

Post by rrich » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:07 pm

I have been very lucky to have a chance to work a bit with the new Dave Smith Prophet 12 for the last week or so. Software is still in development so I won't give any detailed reviews, but I must say this is a very deep and good sounding synth! I asked permission to post this, and with permission granted:

Four digital oscillators per voice, including morph-able trios of wavetables (That's what I'm working on), going into analog low pass and high pass filters. The high pass a very nice touch, which allows a new range of sounds that the old Prophets don't have. The filters use the same Curtis Chips as the Prophet 08 and other DSI synths, but they sound a bit snappier to my ear, not sure why. Like other DSI synths it also has distortion and a feedback knob (both positive and negative phase.) I was immediately able to get some very strange and cool interactive resonances happening with feedback. This thing can get very odd.

The interface has a great, crisp backlit display which jumps to the parameter of any knob you turn, and allows fine editing. This is the best editing interface I have seen on a keyboard synth in some time, as it is very shallow (one knob per function) but also gives clear detailed information. Also, the modulation section has sufficient routing to get yourself thoroughly confused with complex patches - which to me is exactly how it should be!

The synth sounds very good, punchy and clear. Because of relatively hot gain structure, it's easy to get voices to clip internally, and that's intentional. Like the old Prophet 5 you can get the signal tuned into the filter so that it saturates just at the edge of distortion. For cleaner sounds I just turn the oscillator levels down.

Here's beta unit #0002



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GovernorSilver
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Post by GovernorSilver » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:18 pm

Wow! I can't wait to hear what you do with this thing!

Your music was part of my personal introduction to music in just intonation, btw.

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Re: Prophet 12 In the house

Post by kvnvk » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:44 pm

rrich wrote:This thing can get very odd.
that's what I like to hear. :tu: (though the chances I'd have one in the foreseeable future are quite slim. :| )

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Post by numan7 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:40 pm

:woah: it looks really, really pretty in your studio pics, rrich! i will be excited to hear what you can do with the morphing wavetable trios and hpf resonance in feedback-heavy patches! :bananaguitar:

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Post by jmcecil » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:57 pm

Really cool. I'm on the waiting list :cry:

I'm really hoping for some "in context" demos. All the NAMM and DSI promos so far make it seem very thin, sqreechy, grainy, gritty, washed sounding. The NAMM ones you expect that, but the one DS did and the "arms" video are equally rugged sounding.

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Post by dogoftears » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:12 pm

mr rich, a demo please? long textural drones in polyphony would be good...
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Post by syzygywell » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:14 pm

So would a punchy soft brass. I keep hoping for something that approximates a P5 without actually having to get a P5.
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Post by dogoftears » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:16 pm

syzygywell wrote:So would a punchy soft brass. I keep hoping for something that approximates a P5 without actually having to get a P5.
this synth strikes me as having little in common with a P5... i mean besides the analog filters... i would wager it sounds literally nothing like a prophet 5 in almost any way.
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Post by syzygywell » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:20 pm

I didn't think it would necessarily.. I know it has quite a few more features.. but I just wonder if there are even any sounds that can approximate it. Though I don't expect it to do a p5 overall anymore than the p08. It's that particular p5 brass sound I'm trying to find.. that I mostly want a p5 for.
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Post by StepLogik » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:30 pm

On the waiting list. Can't wait to get my hands on this beauty!

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Post by Christopher W. » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:22 pm

Demos, please.

Pretty please. With sugar on top.

Even something half-assed would be immensely appreciated right now.

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Post by Monica Xenakis » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:19 pm

Did you like the p08 sound? This is what makes me skeptical about the p12. I really didn't like the sound on the p08, and if this uses the same chips, wouldn't the sound be pretty similar? My understanding is that the chips are the ones used in the Marion MSR2? I actually had one of those for awhile years ago, and while it had lots of modulationa capabilites, etc, in some ways the sound reminded me of the p08 - rather lacking in the kind of guts that you want a good analog to have.

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Post by dogoftears » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:47 pm

Monica Xenakis wrote:Did you like the p08 sound? This is what makes me skeptical about the p12. I really didn't like the sound on the p08, and if this uses the same chips, wouldn't the sound be pretty similar? My understanding is that the chips are the ones used in the Marion MSR2? I actually had one of those for awhile years ago, and while it had lots of modulationa capabilites, etc, in some ways the sound reminded me of the p08 - rather lacking in the kind of guts that you want a good analog to have.
man i begin to question whether DSI should have called it a prophet-anything...

okay if you look at the specs, in my opinion it has *very little* in common with a Prophet 5 or Prophet 08.
4 digital oscillators with some kind of wavetable functionality
weird fx and sound shaping controls
it's more like a new kind of poly Evolver, with what looks like a pretty killer user-interface...

i just think we should maybe judge it on it's own merits. it looks to me like a potentially very cool DIGITAL synth with analog filters. and lots of voices.
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Post by Monica Xenakis » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:38 pm

Name doesn't bother me, honestly. A lot of people expected the p08 to sound like the p05, so I suppose that it induces a false expectation in people.

But sure - I'm into evaluating it on its own merits. I'm curious though as to what degree one can get passed the characteristics of that filter chip. I don't know enough about this stuff, so I'll keep an open mind.

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Post by soundwave106 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:39 am

dogoftears wrote:okay if you look at the specs, in my opinion it has *very little* in common with a Prophet 5 or Prophet 08.
Prophet VS = 4 digital wavetable osc per voice, 5 voices (not 12!), analog filters. Seems along the same lines, sort of, at least architecturally.

Maybe Dave Smith should call this Prophet 12S just to make it clear to everyone. :p Even though I think this has both some similarities to the VS and some interesting differences (waveshapping, no joystick, seemingly less waves than the VS but more morphing abilities -- at least this seems to be what the initial NAMM reports say - etc.)... I don't see this as a departure from the Prophet heritage.

But, yes, what I'd like to hear is a lot more less atypical DSI sound and more the evolving-texture type style that i find most interesting about wavetable synthesis. TBH it's nice hearing that RRich is helping with the wavetables. :bananaguitar:
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Post by rrich » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:11 am

Hi folks - thanks for the kind words. I'll try to get a demo if I have this one for long enough. I've been pretty busy here and I haven't quite found my way deeply enough into this. It's still a prototype, remember.

As for similarity/difference to the Prophet 08, I would say it's different, with some overlap. I found the 08 a bit furry or diffuse at times, and this sounds more crisp, tight if that makes any sense. I had Rev.1 & Rev.3 Prophet 5s for many years, and they really are different beasts. It's best not to get too hung up on comparing them. For that matter, the SSM vs. Curtis chips made the Rev 3 quite different from Rev 1. Personally, I'm not a purist. I just want to make interesting music.

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Post by Ranxerox » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:44 am

soundwave106 wrote: Prophet VS = 4 digital wavetable osc per voice, 5 voices (not 12!), analog filters. Seems along the same lines, sort of, at least architecturally.
The Prophet VS has 16 notes of polyphony, not 5 (or at least mine does - maybe your one needs a service?)

I think the Prophet VS and Prophet 2002 set a 1980s precedent for Dave Smith's ability to use the Prophet name on just about anything he damn well pleased!

If you want a Prophet 5 sound without the Prophet, and you don't want to go for a digital emulation, then the closest you will probably get is a Pro-One, which as the name suggests is basically a single Prophet 5 voice in a 'budget' package. For chords you could overdub it.

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Post by SepticUnderground » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:11 am

This one i am gonna get 4 sure!
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Post by flo » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:17 am

The Prophet VS has 8 Voices (and 2-part multitimbrality), no? Also, it's a vector synth with over 100 waveforms, not really wavetable...

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Post by Ranxerox » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:31 am

You're right - 8 voices (why did I think 16??).

While it isn't a wavetable synth, the quad crossfading between 4 digital osc waves can at times sound similar to the cross-wave 'interpolation' on a wavetable synth.

[edit] The advantage is that the oscs on the VS can be tuned independently for more interesting harmonic variations, e.g. taking a mostly-partials waveform and tuning it down an octave or two so the 'phantom fundamental' is the same as another osc's fundamental. Or tune them to musical intervals for a kind of pseudo-arpeggiation. Or just de-tune them slightly for an interesting 'vibrato' or chorusing effect, using the wave-mix env as modulator.

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Post by Sir Ruff » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:10 pm

Robert, can you give a little more insight into how many wavetables there will be, and how they actually work (at least at this stage)? By "trio", does that mean you can interpolate between 3 different waveforms?

My initial impression was that you could somehow only move between the "standard" saw/square/sine waveforms, or a very limited set of digital waves. But I'm REALLY hoping the number of wavetables isn't skimped on (wink wink, nudge nudge ), or that there's the ability to upload one's own.

The wavetable + analog filter combo is definitely be a huge selling point.

EDIT: Name! :razz:
Last edited by Sir Ruff on Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by GovernorSilver » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:59 pm

"Rich"... lol, his first name is actually Robert.

This is the dude: http://robertrich.com/

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Post by Sir Ruff » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:05 pm

GovernorSilver wrote:"Rich"... lol, his first name is actually Robert.

This is the dude: http://robertrich.com/
Oh, no way... I know his work.

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Post by rrich » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:36 am

Sir Ruff wrote:
GovernorSilver wrote:"Rich"... lol, his first name is actually Robert.

This is the dude: http://robertrich.com/
Oh, no way... I know his work.

LOL - Thanks, yes, that's me for real. One reason I'm being a bit careful, I am long time friends with DSI (I helped make the preset library for Seer Systems Reality, for example - same group of friends) and I'm helping them create a few new wavetables for this. Please understand that I can't give away any proprietary information, and any demos that show weakness in unfinished software/hardware leave a bad taste... for you and me. I am just helping out old friends, and I always ask permission to post new information. Maybe the wavetable architecture will change - we are discussing possibilities this week. So... please be patient. I just wanted to give a good word, a little "hello" and saying... could be cool... and I'll post a demo when they give me the O.K. :party:

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Post by syzygywell » Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:22 pm

rrich wrote:
Sir Ruff wrote:
GovernorSilver wrote:"Rich"... lol, his first name is actually Robert.

This is the dude: http://robertrich.com/
Oh, no way... I know his work.

LOL - Thanks, yes, that's me for real. One reason I'm being a bit careful, I am long time friends with DSI (I helped make the preset library for Seer Systems Reality, for example - same group of friends) and I'm helping them create a few new wavetables for this. Please understand that I can't give away any proprietary information, and any demos that show weakness in unfinished software/hardware leave a bad taste... for you and me. I am just helping out old friends, and I always ask permission to post new information. Maybe the wavetable architecture will change - we are discussing possibilities this week. So... please be patient. I just wanted to give a good word, a little "hello" and saying... could be cool... and I'll post a demo when they give me the O.K. :party:
well excellent sir we all look forward to it
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