Unofficial Prophet 600 Update Adds ‘Tons Of Features’

sequential-circuits-prophet-600Reader Goat Monster let us know about an unofficial firmware upgrade for the classic Sequential Circuits Prophet 600 that adds a lot of features, including greater resolution for sound parameters, faster envelope generators, new LFO function generator, advanced MIDI in control and more.

Here’s what the Prophet 600 firmware update offers:

  • Non-destructive firmware drop-in replacement of the new firmware.
  • Greater resolution of many of the sound parameters with an improved refresh rate that is making the instrument much more responsive.
  • Faster, smoother amplifier and filter envelope generators supporting four different modes:
    • Fast Linear
    • Slow Linear
    • Fast Exponential
    • Slow Exponential
  • A new LFO function generator with a wider range from one cycle every to about 60Hz with four new waveforms in addition to the original triangle and square including sine, random stepped, noise (like on the original Prophet 5, but non-periodic) and sawtooth (ramp up)
  • Multiple keyboard modes including:
    • Poly first note priority
    • Unison (all voice) Hi-key priority
    • Unison (all voice) Low-key priority
    • Solo (one voice) Hi-key priority
    • Solo (one voice) Low-key priority
    • Mix Overdrive which now allows the output from both oscillators to drive the mix
  • Pitch Wheel interval selection of plus/minus one octave, a minor third and a fifth
  • Pitch Wheel reassignment to the VCF and Volume or off
  • Modulation wheel intensity setting from Maximum to Medium to Minimum
  • Full Midi In control including:
    • Amp and Filter velocity sensitivity with an external keyboard controller
    • Continuous Controllers (CC) of all sound parameters
    • Program change (PC) to choose current preset
  • A new and improved tuning procedure
  • Chromatic and free Oscillator course pitch control
  • Plus/Minus setting for Oscillator Fine Tune and Filter Envelope amount for Poly Mod and Filter
  • Assignable, Random And Up/Down Arpeggiator
  • Debounce feature that prevents unintended retriggering caused by the old keyboard

The update is available via github.

If you’ve tried this firmware upgrade, let us know what you think of it!


Image by bdu

15 thoughts on “Unofficial Prophet 600 Update Adds ‘Tons Of Features’

  1. A number of years ago, I bought a p600 that had a few issues. The guy I bought it from threw in a second one w/ a bad keyboard for free. I sent both off to Wine Country, expecting to get one frankensteined together. They worked their magick, and resurrected both.

    I’ve felt a little stupid holding onto both of them, instead of selling one. Not so much anymore. 🙂

    Thanks to the wise German friend that sent me the link in the first place.

  2. My friend had one of these, and he never really liked it so he sold it. I wonder if this update would’ve made him happier.

  3. I just installed the upgrade yesterday. It’s not too hard to do. There seem to be a few bugs left to work out, and I’m still getting used to the differences, but the responsiveness of the Prophet is much improved.

    1. yeah you must buy a teensy board, dump the new firmware onto it, and then pull out the old Z80 board and install the teensy in its place. if it doesn’t work for you or you don’t like it you can just put the Z80 back in and you have your old 600 firmware again. I think its a brilliant way of doing it!!

  4. This is awesome, even though I don’t own a p600. The best kind of recycling and hacking! I wonder what other old gear this is possible with?

  5. Amazing, what an incredibly impressive effort, the guy must be a bit of a genius.

    It would interesting to hear how the new functions are set with the limited number of switches & knobs on the P600, and if the new settings are saved in the patch memory.

  6. … just another great reason I’ve hung on to my P600 … the one I bought brand new in 1983 … so stoked to hook this bad boy up to my Mac Pro w/ Logic Pro and make it sing…

  7. I recently installed the new firmware and all I can say is “WOW”!! It really changes the sonic characteristics of the P600 for the better. The envelope resolution is so much smoother and punchier. Can sound Moogish. Its a fantastic update. Also, once you install the teensy board you can update to newer versions of the firmware via sysex.

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