Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12 Module Now Available

dave-smith-instruments-prophet-12-moduleDave Smith Instruments has announced that its Prophet 12 Module is now shipping.

“We have had many requests from professional musicians for a small, easily portable version of the Prophet 12 keyboard, with all the same features and incredible sound,” says Smith. “The new Prophet 12 module is just that: it has all the power of the Prophet 12 keyboard – in fact, it has the exact same voice board – and it fits into a backpack.”

“People like small these days,” adds Smith. “Many musicians also have more than enough keyboards, or simply don’t use keyboards. The Prophet 12 module offers a sleek design that still gives you easy and incredibly fast and intuitive control over all parameters.”

Lke its keyboard counterpart, the twelve-voice hybrid digital/analog Prophet 12 module not only boasts the greatest number of voices of any instrument from the distinguished designer to date, but each of those voices features four oscillators, capable of generating classic and complex waveforms, a sub-oscillator (Sub Octave), resonant low-pass filter and high-pass filter, and analog VCA.

Additional features include a tuned FEEDBACK path, a four-tap stereo DELAY per voice, expanded ARPEGGIATOR functionality, deep MODULATION capabilities, bi-timbral operation, and much more besides.

The CHARACTER section adds a variety of out of the ordinary wave-shaping and sound-sculpting options, like:

  • Girth (low shelf filtering that boosts low frequencies, with some extra harmonic modification at higher settings);
  • Air (high shelf filtering that boosts high frequencies, with some extra harmonic modification at higher settings);
  • Hack (reduces the bit depth of the mixed output from the oscillators);
  • Decimation (reduces the sample rate of the mixed output from the oscillators); and
  • Drive (emulates tape saturation).

The back panel I/O of the Prophet 12 module matches that of the Prophet 12 keyboard in almost all aspects – apart from featuring an external power supply in the interests of making it as compact and portable as possible. Headphones, Main/A Outputs, B Outputs, MIDI Thru, MIDI Out, MIDI In, Pedal 1, Pedal 2, Sustain, and USB connectivity are all available.

The Prophet 12 module has an MAP of US $2,199 and can be purchased from any authorized Dave Smith Instruments dealer. See the DSI site for more info.

27 thoughts on “Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12 Module Now Available

  1. My friends who have 12 keyboards keep saying the whole point is all the knobs. So, while cautious, if I have fun playing with one in the store, I’m definitely going to take it home. That price point works much better for me than the keys version.

    1. Yes. As with the past DSI instruments, a ‘select set’ of parameters can be controlled with standard MIDI CC’s. The rest can be controlled with either MIDI NRPN or sysex, but good luck finding a hardware MIDI controller that will do this! I don’t even know if there’s a hardware MIDI controller in production today that will do sysex. I’ve got a Bitstream 3x handling it for my Virus, but they are long since discontinued.

  2. From a price point perspective, it is highly over priced for not having knob controls. Dave Smith instruments use the same German manufacturer that Access uses, and the profit margins are actually far more favourable than most would believe. Thus it is disappointing that Dave chose this feature set to negate on what could have been a great rack unit.

    1. “Designed and manufactured in San Francisco, the Prophet 12 Module has a glorious combination of form and function in a sturdy, portable and elegant build.” ?

        1. Henry, I stand corrected. DS has used a company called Ruefell which I believe they have used in the past, however Dave flatly states that this was not the case for this instrument. Although I did recently see a photo of them celebrating in the lobby of Ruefell, yet perhaps that was for another model.

          Regardless, the margins again was are far better than most understand. The analogy of the Virus being merely a computer in a box is dead wrong! Dedicated and specialised DSP is not the same thing as computer in a box, furthermore the research and development of VA’s is far more involved and intricate. Building a analogue synth in comparison is actually a less challenging feat. Yet analogue synths simply cannot and do not have the breadth of sonic possibilities as their digital counterparts.

          1. Henri is not Henry, but anyway…

            Whether we call it “computer in a box” or “DSP” doesn’t matter. Your iPhone (or Android smart phone for that matter) is a computer. Most dishwashers and washing mashines theses days are actually computers. All with a more or less broad scope of functionality and feature sets, and hence different user interfaces. But the Virus – as much as it can do and as beautiful as its box looks – is a computer that emulates an analog synthesizer. Yes, it does this job extremely well on many aspects. But it is a processor (DSP = digital signal processor, CPU = central processing unit) that has been programmed to do a thing. And this thing is: Emulate a number of oscillators with certain features, filters, envelopes etc. It *is* a computer in a box.

            I do work in software development myself, so I know very well that programming is not a trivial job. Especially, when the device you are programming, is supposed to do a very complex job. But please, don’t tell me what is a computer and what is not.

            Btw, talking about R&D for a virtual analog: Well, what do we know about the R&D for a hybrid analog machine like the P12? I am not here to defend DSI, but – well, whatever – believers vs. naysayers… I am still looking forward to my P12 Module, and I don’t think it is overpriced for what it is apparently capable of.

            Oh, and btw, my point was not to dismiss the Virus. I owned the TI2 module a while ago, but despite trying hard for about a year, I never got to use it in any of my songs at the time. It just didn’t feel inspiring. Now, the Tempest is so inspiring to me that am more than willing to try the P12 now.

    2. In my opinion, this is comparing apples and pears.
      The Virus is a fully virtual synth, i.e. basically a computer in a synth lookalike box. Hence, it is much cheaper and therefore I would expect there would be more margin in the budget to put all those knobs onto the unit – as they do with the beautifully designed and crafted Viruses.
      On the other hand, the Prophet 12 is a synth with dedicated analog (and, yes, digital) parts, which are most likely eating up a much larger part of the overall budget. Hence, I could imagine it was a simple decision to not let costs explode…

    1. Funny, people give you downvotes, even without actually having tried it themselves. I have ordered one, it is shipping as of today, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it to try myself!

    2. I agree – the first thing I did with the P12 module was tweak a few patches because I was worried that it had the look and feel of an 80s synth module. It’s a dramatically better experience and a lot of thought has obviously gone into the layout. (although I wish that beautiful little display was larger).

    1. Obviously a matter of taste… But what exactly is it you dislike? The only thing I really don’t get is why DSI decided to exclude the touch sliders. They are so versatile on the Tempest, so it would have been great to see them on the module instead of the super-sized P12 logo and LEDs…

  3. European dealers list this as flat 2k€.. Not one to bitch about the price but this is seriously overpriced.
    Imo DSI was marketed as an affordable analog and now having a foothold are switching to premium.
    Doubt there is that much of a market for it but i guess DSI know what they are doing.

    1. I have no doubts whatsoever that there is a market for it. Quite the contrary, why bother trying to compete with all those MicroBrutes, Volcas, ‘trons etc in the already pretty crowded low price segment, when you can use all your knowledge and technology to build such a versatile beast of a synth? Also, they have proven that they can do the low(er) price segment with the Mopho, Tetra and their descendants. Now, they basically explore on the Tempest heritage – first with the P12 keyboard, now sans keys.

      Elektron are basically doing the same with the Octatrack design and the Analog Four technology.

      And Korg is basically reusing their MS filter in all kinds of shapes and forms…

      1. Agreed, the likes of the Volcas and Microbrutes are not, I repeat NOT in the same class as this instrument. Thus the higher price is justifiable in that regard. I would rather have P12 Module over all the Volcas in the world!

  4. He claims the interface is really intuitive, so I’ll take his word for it. I don’t think these are necessarily made for live sound tweaking, more so being able to create your own patches to recall when you need them. I guess I would side on getting a Prophet 08 before this, but that’s for what I would use it for. A Tempest along with one of these and a smaller midi keyboard would be a pretty slick and small setup though. Not something I can afford, but one can dream.

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