Dave Smith Intros State Of The Art Vintage Sequential Prophet 6

prophet-6-synthesizer

At the 2015 NAMM Show, Dave Smith introduce the new Sequential
Circuits Prophet 6 analog synthesizer.

The Prophet-6 is Dave Smith’s tribute to the poly synth that started it all—the Sequential Prophet-5.

But it’s not simply a reissue of a classic. Rather, as Dave puts it, “It’s the result of our effort to build the most awesome-sounding, modern analog poly synth possible.”

The Prophet-6 takes the best qualities of the original Prophet-5—true voltage-controlled oscillators, filters, and amplifiers—and adds enhancements such as studio-quality effects, a polyphonic step sequencer, an arpeggiator, and more. The result is ‘pure, unadulterated analog tone’, with the stability and reliability of a state-of-the-art modern synth.

Classic Tone, Classic Vibe

Central to the sound of the Prophet-6 are its two newly-designed, discrete voltage-controlled oscillators (plus sub-oscillator) per voice. Continuously variable waveshapes provide the tonal palette with triangle, sawtooth, and variable-width pulse waves.

There are two discrete filters per voice—a four-pole, resonant, low-pass inspired by the original Prophet-5 filter, and a two-pole, resonant, high-pass filter. Voltage-controlled amplifiers complete the all-analog signal path.

Dual Effects

The dual effects section provides studio-quality reverbs, delays (standard and BBD), chorus and phase shifter. While the effects themselves are digital, with 24-bit, 48 kHz resolution, a true bypass maintains a full analog signal path. There’s also an independent stereo distortion effect, which is 100% analog.

Here are audio demos for the Sequential Circuits Prophet 6;

Poly Mod and Poly Step Sequencing

Also present from its classic predecessor is a Poly Mod section, with enhancements. True to the original, modulation sources are filter envelope and oscillator 2 (both with bi-polar control).

Destinations include oscillator 1 frequency, oscillator 1 shape, oscillator 1 pulse width, low-pass filter cutoff, and high-pass filter cutoff. Another welcome reprise is Unison mode, which features configurable voice count (1-6 voices) and key modes.

The polyphonic step sequencer allows up to 64 steps and up to 6 notes per step. You can create sequences polyphonically, with rests, and sync to an external MIDI clock. The full-featured arpeggiator can be synced to external MIDI clock as well.

Easy to Program

The knob-per-function front panel offers instant access to virtually all Prophet-6 functions.

Included are 500 permanent factory programs in 10 banks of 100 programs. In addition to these, you can create and save up to 500 user programs of your own. Toggling off the Preset button enables live panel mode, in which the sound of the Prophet-6 switches to the current settings of its knobs and switches. In this state, what you see is what you hear.

All of this power is packed into a four octave, semi-weighted keyboard that offers velocity and channel aftertouch.

Details on the Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 are available at the DSI site.

100 thoughts on “Dave Smith Intros State Of The Art Vintage Sequential Prophet 6

  1. Looks AMAZING. Stupid question, but based on what you have seen so far, if you could have just one, no consideration of price, Prophet 12, PRO 2 or Prophet 6?

  2. It looks very nice … just need to wait if the onboard (digital) effects are really on the “level” … and of course the price … it could be a “game changer” … finally …

  3. The VCO poly we’ve been waiting for!!!
    Thank you Dave:)
    Best NAMM news ever!
    Looking forward the new Sequential line!

  4. Wow this is so great! Finally they got it! But digital effects belong to a separate unit and not in a synth! PLEASE MAKE AN OPTIONAL OLD SCHOOL MODEL WITHOUT THE (DIGITAL) EFFECT SECTION!!!
    Or with a dedicated bbd delay and/or spring reverb!!!! ; )

      1. right, disable the FX and you have true analog signal path. Some folks seem to have complain about something / anything. next thing, someone will try to compare this to the Akai Toy, and why the Sequential costs more… sigh…

    1. Check out sound samples of the DSM02, that things sounds amazing for a piece of digital kit. If they put something like that in the Prophet, it will be much more than just “onboard FX” but a big part of the sound sculpting capabilities of this synth.

    2. I doubt DSI has resources to make custom models. They never have before. But I don’t doubt DS is already thinking about a rack module.

      2015 will be remembered as the year you could plunk down money for a new Prophet, Odyssey, Moog Modular, and 2-voice SEM. Can zombies be far behind?

  5. My friend who is a studio drummer with Brittny Spears and DepecheMode says DCOs sound better
    then VCO’s and that VCO’s has better lowend but DCO’s has better high end and sparkle more and is much much more stable and that VCO’s is a bit outdated and plug ins is the best because they
    rule the studio industry!?

    1. If that was a comment from the synth player then it might be worthy of consideration, but obviously the drummer knows nothing about which he speaks.

      1. Didn’t know Depeche used “studio drummers” unless it was Christian Eigner, their actual drummer since ’97 and if any one drummer knows analog and digital synths and how they sound live next to 100,000 watt systems it would be Depeche Modes drummer.

        DCO v VCO.. I ‘ve owned both for decades and my analogs always go out of tune. My Sh-101 is NEVER in tune. I would never bring 70’s or 80’s analogs on the road, only a DSI or Access Virus which is exactly what Depeche does.

        You’ll notice all their early performances where actually 4-track Reel while the lads played a few notes over them as the analogs w VCOs were notoriously unstable and broke down all the time, Alan Wilder and Vince Clarke both on record in docu’s speaking to that point several times.

        Vince only uses soft synths now his Erasure setup is one laptop with Logic and softies and one controller. Probably a well-capable engineer running the whole show behind the scenes, just like Kerry Hopwood w/ Depeche does via Ableton https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvuCp1lZIBw

    2. hahahah yeah, you’d trust a drummer to decide something as subtle as quality of VCO’s vs DCOs?
      Don’t get me wrong, I love drummers, and I know some who are studio owners and production MONSTERS… but still… don’t trust anyone’s ears except YOUR OWN !!

  6. Hey Dave, what’s with the no mini keys?

    Dave, you da man. Who expected this? Probably the worst case of GAS I’ve had in years.

  7. This is a monster synth and Dave is a genius! What a fabulous synth! I waaaaaaaant it!!!!

    Gonna sell some stuff to get this one. Finally a fair priced poly which I also can bring to gigs! Excellent!

  8. This is a terrible start to the year for me, I’ve promised the gf I’ll concentrate on saving for a deposit on a house and then this appears. I can tell Dave is smiling in this video because he knows how many domestics he is going to be responsible for.

    1. The thing to do is NOT look at sites like this for the first 6 months of a new year to avoid GAS we all get from seeing things like this. Or just don’t have a GF and have your relationship status be; IN THE STUDIO…

  9. Well, I don’t want to be an immediate naysayer. Could be a great instrument. Could also be a DSI in SC clothing and nobody wants that…

  10. I like this and will absolutely buy it, provided it is microtonal like the original Prophet 5 was.

    If on the other hand it only supports the colonialist european so-called “standard”, then I’ll bin it with all the other junk from that culture.

    The Prophet 5 was an amazing instrument because it was not a white supremacist instrument, like nearly all modern instruments are in only supporting white european tunings and giving a hearty “f-u” to all other world cultures. It supported many other tuning systems and cultures as well. It was a color blind synthesizer, not a synthesizer that, like nearly all modern synths, relegates coloreds, who are now the majority of the instrument buying market, to the back of the bus.

    The Prophet 5 was, given the state of the art at the time of its introduction, and being both retunable and supporting MIDI and patches, probably the most innovative and forward thinking musical instrument of the period from 1800-2000.

    The west is no longer #1. Supporting asian, middle eastern, near eastern, and african markets is essential to success. This means supporting full keyboard microtonality. This means abandoning an attachment to white supremacist european tuning, which is a boring and ugly tuning anyway.

    1. First, “European” tunings came about over time due to multiple factors, some of them simply mechanical. I don’t like Whitey’s historical malfeasances better than any other sensible person, but don’t lay the blame on imperialism where manufacturing issues of the time(s), political & church pressures (ask Bach how much THAT crap helped him) and public tastes were all meaningful contributions.

      Second, its fairly easy to take on instruments that apply Scala files or at least come with several ready tuning options in a small corner of their ROM. If you have a passion for that particular form of accuracy, there are several ways to get it now. Its not as if the means were hidden in the market. I’ve used odd tunings in a few places because of Peter Namlook and Wendy Carlos. Everyone should go and sniff the buffet to at least learn what it offers. Patches using accurate brass overtones come from the warm side of Mars.

      Third, if you play “Louie, Louie” in a microtonal “octave” of 17 notes, you will be killed and the judge will call it justifiable by virtue of self-defense.

    2. Wow, get a grip, Harry Partch.

      Perhaps purchase one of the many microtonal synths made by Asian, African, or Middle Eastern synth makers…oh wait. I guess that’s the West’s fault too.

      Also you may want to look into purchasing a book on understanding how world markets work.

      I hope Dave ships them with a big American flag on them.

    3. How is that my original comment isn’t allowed but it’s ok to refer to basically every synth ever made, besides the prophet 5, as a “white supremacist” synth and to pretty much refer to white western culture as trash? I have a feeling if I said “I’d put that African synth in the garbage along with everything else from that culture”, I’d be banned for life. Great job, synthtopia!

  11. I once owned TWO Prophet-600s, where I cut my polysynth teeth, so this news have me a good tingle. Analog rioters, here’s your purist polysynth. I was sold at seeing Poly-Mod back, PLUS an effects section. That price will make a few people itch, but I saved like mad to buy those two and besides, for a real-analog poly, its not a huge investment. If you know what you’re about, you find a way to buy the gear that really hits your heart squarely. I harp on “commitment” a bit because until you live with a good instrument for a while, its just a preset box. This is a Prophet-600 (sorry) ON STEROIDS. Its hard to see anyone sticking to the base sounds alone, with all of those inviting knobs at hand. Dave just stepped up to Korg’s level for serious creative inspiration. Sweetest of the synth sweet-spots in a long time.

      1. Nope. Irony has no place in it. I’m a long-time Korg user, but Dave’s last three keyboards each hit specific musical spots a lot better than much of the competition and many are happy to see him release a Eurorack module. He’s hit four in a row; we’re looking at a real analog poly; and its NOT $50k. I don’t think the core issue is whether or not it can play in a Pelong tuning. 😀

  12. Strangely sounds more “modern” to me than the recent Pro 2.

    Also: fuck you Dave Smith. This announcement is awesome but I only just bought a pro 2 and now I’m lusting again already 🙂

    1. Yes, “modern”. Like Prophet 08 with some retro font on the front. I’m sure it will sound OK but it would have made more sense to call it the Prophet 6.5: That is take the Prophet 5 and the Prophet 08 and split the difference.

  13. This is very exciting!!!

    Just reading into the specs – I see that the oscillators are completely new along with the filter. I wonder if they will be more in-line with the Prophet 8’s oscillators/filter rather than the original Prophet 5.

    Either way, this is great!

  14. It’s quite clear based on the new design that Dave has been at work on this beast for some time. If he had introduced this ahead of the Prophet 12 it might have hurt the 12’s sales but the Prophet 12 was was the test for this. Te Prophet 6 is now on my list!

  15. wwwwwwwwwwooooooowwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!! I watched that Dave Smith talk he gave in Japan a few months ago, and i recall him saying that he got the Sequential name back. And this is the incredible result!?!?!
    Kind of pissed off, as i got a Mopho x4 this year (after having it on lay by for nearly a whole year).
    So if i sell the Mx4 and save up for a Prophet 6, i gain vco’s, a hpf, more knobs, a poly mod section (not sure what this is), all those digi fx, 2 more voices. All i’ll be losing is the sequencer, but this prophet has the step sequencer anyways. I’ll still have the sub osc’s which is why i got the mx4 over any others. But it seems i’ll have to come up with another $1500, if i can sell my Mx4 for the same….??? What do i do?

    1. best bet is just to save, you’ll be gaining vco sound but losing a lot of modulation capabilities that the mopho x4 has over the p6.

    2. Like PON says…keep your mx4. You’ll be missing some features. Also, if you’re gonna play your synth live (not just in the studio), you’re gonna need an extra anyways, since the Prophet 6 is monotimbral. You’re probably gonna want to be able to play like two different sounds at the same time – one for each hand…maybe a pad and a lead.
      If you only intend to use it for recording, sell the Mopho 😀

  16. @JB– Ya, I was on the verge of pulling the trigger on a Pro-2, but now I’m looking at this new all-analog beast. Still, the Pro-2 has some features that this new Prophet-6 does not (dual LPFs, 4-osc/voice, Mod matrix, CV in/out, multiple ENV generators & LFOs, etc.). Good move by Dave Smith to separate feature sets for each synth so each has its own strength/character.

    Acquire Prophet-6 first, then Pro-2…?

    People, we be in the new golden age!

    1. I agree. There has probably never been a better time to be a synth junkie in history.

      My savings is gonna be awful this year.

    2. I’m going to DSI in San Francisco in a couple of weeks to demo both in person. I LOVE that Dave’s resurrected the Sequential name with a Prophet-6! Quite like the Pro Two as well.

  17. But I just got a p12!!! JEEZ.

    Dave never stops making great synths. I feel like this synth is the true successor of the prophet 5. The prophet 12 and evolver synths are both astonishingly great hybrids, and I know this from experience. They were great successors and progressions of his prophet VS and wave station work, but this thing has the discrete pedigree the prophet 5 was famous was. this is a master piece. Well done Dave Smith! This is the first time I’ve truly considered owning TWO prophets!

  18. All well and good. But the Prophet 5 – had a 5 octave keyboard (the minimum for a poly synth). And this one have only 4 octaves. Why do manufacturers keep on shrimpin’ on playability?

    1. It has 4 octaves because DANCE, that’s why. 😀 I’m with you about 5 octaves and I’d go for a 76-key synth if I was into zoning a lot, but even as a piano lover, I’ve made the switch. Most people don’t see keyboard facility proper as the first goal; its more about programming and the buttons, simply because a synth ain’t a piano. Different world. Many patches, esp. analog ones, turn into mud on the low end unless you begin with the goal of a bass sound, or at least take added care in that range. You tweak each thing as needed, because *Synthesis*. I use a 5-octave workstation, a 4-octave controller and an XKey. They each have unique strengths. I suspect that a lot of us have one high-end instrument, a middling one and then some cheapo boxes around the edges. With all of its other pluses, the P-6 feels to me like the synth you put above a Kronos or Nord Electro, as your really synth-y synth. Like the Pro2, it also begs to be the center of a rig that sprouts NanoPads or pads for Live, because part of the crowd is about Banco de Gaia and not Jerry Lee Lewis. So IMO, 4 octaves is a good middle ground. I find that 2 or 3 octaves cramp me, but 4 or more open things up. I almost wish I needed this synth badly enough to start giving plasma and whoring for the cash! The Prophet-600 was my first poly, so yeah, I have some added synth-affection for this one.

    2. that does not even matter to me, i could play the hell out of this thing, it is perfect size, plus i have so many other keyboards that i can just midi to if i really want more. On top of that I don’t want to carry around an 88 key synth with wood siding, forget that lol.

  19. Holy Moly! – hands down my Namm winner sofar. Love the featureset down to every detail and i usually find stuff missing/ to complain about. Dave listened to synth folks and got it right. Great that he didn’t made a 1:1 replica of the P5 and carefully added useful features. Slop knob, simple sequencer á la Sh101 but Poly, it is all there . A synth dream come true judging from the infos and sounds sofar.

    2800 dollars is also a reasonable price. Not that i can afford it right now, but i start saving right away….

    Only info i missed is wether the keyboard is velocity sensitive and wether it has aftertouch? i’m sure i just missed this in my actual excitement. Rock on Dave!

  20. Dave smith has been doing nothing but badass shit lately. This brings a whole new level of respect for this company. SOMEONE THAT BLOODY LISTENS! Damn I need to start saving up. I wonder if this is going to have any software editor, that would be sick, not that it matters too much though.

    1. I bet it will after a whole. All the new Prophets and Mophos and Tetra and so on have dedicated software editors. And you get to choose if you want a standalone editor or a VST editor or an iPad editor.
      Nothing but “AWESOME”!

    1. Pricedrop??? Are you kidding 😉
      For the first time ever (I bet they didn’t reeeeally know what models would eventuelle become future classics back in the 70’s and 80’s), we can come to the conclussion, that we have an instant classic, that will only become more valuable in time.

    1. I’m looking for vintage synth sounds. Prophet-6 for me. Going to have to save up some money though.
      I think the Prophet 12 fits more “new” sounds, so would be a better choice when that is preferred.

  21. So, where is the is the innovation in that ? Not saying it doesn’t sound awesome or anything, but dave smith only makes reissues since the tempest.

  22. I wonder if the keyboard (looks identical to the P12) is good enough? The Poly Evolver had an italian high quality Fatar semi-weighted keybed, the newer Dave Smith Synths have a chinese-made (Midi-Tech?) keybed. The P12 has longer keys than the P08.

    How does the P12 keybed feel in comparison to the Fatar keybed?

  23. I sold most of my synths to start a recording career which wont buy them back but will buy me new gems like this one! And I dont regret it!

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