Dave Smith Instruments Prophet-6 Synthesizer Now Shipping

prophet-6-synthesizer

Dave Smith Instruments has announced that it is now shipping the Sequential Prophet-6, a new 6-voice analog synthesizer, featuring voltage-controlled oscillators, filters, and amplifiers.

According to Smith, the new instrument is ‘targeted at musicians looking for vintage tone with the reliability of modern technology’.

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“The Prophet-6 brings my 40-plus years of designing synthesizers full circle,” says Smith.  “We wanted to pay tribute to Sequential’s most famous instrument, the Prophet-5, by building a truly awesome-sounding analog synth with discrete oscillators and filters. I believe we succeeded.”

The Prophet-6 takes the best qualities of the original Prophet-5 — true voltage-controlled oscillators, filters, and amplifiers — and adds enhancements that the original never had, such as stereo outputs, velocity and aftertouch sensitivity, dual digital effects, a high-pass filter, a polyphonic step sequencer, an arpeggiator, and of course, MIDI.

Here are official audio demos:

The Sequential Prophet-6 is available now for US $2,799.

40 thoughts on “Dave Smith Instruments Prophet-6 Synthesizer Now Shipping

    1. The PolyEvolver has all the VS waves, plus 2 P08 voices, with the cool Evolver/DSI signal path. No vector joystick, but still a great modern alternative in case you hadn’t checked it out.

  1. Adding the digital effects and the eg section are digital also, so if you want true VCA’s look elsewhere ( not that it matters any ) but it still doesn’t sound too dissimilar to a P08 and his more modern DSI products. the knob per function interface is killer but I’d still love an original P5 ( if I could afford one ).

    1. Theres a bypass switch to keep it 100% analog and they are vca’s – when strange dr. and I agree you know your comments gone horribly wrong 🙂

      I can’t wait for these to make it through the backorder system and hit the streets!

  2. This is prob a dumb question because I am newish to synths, but does it bother anyone that it only has one LFO? Doesn’t that limit the sonic possibilities? And especially for the hefty price tag do you think asking for 2 LFOs is unreasonable?

    1. You can use the second oscillator in low range mode as another LFO, then direct that to a number of places via poly mod.

      Then you can use the chorus to phatten up the sound.

  3. This is the machine i been waiting 10 years for! I had a Prophet 08′ and the the filters tone is distinctively different on the Prophet 6 from the videos ive seen. I think its somewhat modeled on the P5’s rev 2. SSM chip not Curtis like the 08. Dave in the interview has hinted in that direction. Also the true VCO’s probably make a difference as well. It will take me a year and a half to get the money for it and just by that time it will probably come off back order!! Great Job Dave!

  4. Excuse me but Dave Smith explicitly stated that the EG’s are indeed digital.
    I can get you the video if you want or is Dave Smith fibbing ?

    1. What, do you think digital EGs mean that the sound goes through a DAC? Or that we still live in the 80s where you had a really slow CPU calculating the envelopes?

      There’s absolutely no problem whatsoever with that provided that the processor is fast enough – and it is. In fact, some of the really fast attack times bring all sorts of hassle with them when you want to implement them in an analog design.

      Here, go read this: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/8607743-post608.html

  5. My understanding was that the control signals for the envelopes are indeed digital – so the envelopes control the amplitude via VCA’s etc.
    Just to clarify I have no problem or worry about the nature of the envelope generators and I was fully aware that the digital control elements aren’t actually in the signal path. I was also aware of the digital bypass features (they where made abundantly clear at Namm).
    It really is a moot point at the end of the day.
    It sure sounds stellar.

  6. Dave Smith states it is discreet vco / vca with high speed DSP manufacturing the control of voltages at audio rates. He even stated that a slop parameter was put in because the dsp is so precise that some people may think they are listening to dco’s when they are in fact real vco’s.
    The Sonicstate video was pretty clear on this point.

  7. I’ll take my P-12. I’ve had two P-5’s. They were indeed great. I don’t think the P-6 sounds anything like it. The P-12 is something else again and I find myself drawn to it constantly. Just my 2¢, not trying to start a battle!

  8. This looks nice, i get the feeling you are paying for a bank of resistors and caps etc to do what a IC could. The point of a VCO for me is for it to have warble and movement, if your VCO is so precise that you need a slop function to make them drift a little, then whats the point of using a discrete circuit instead of a new design on a chip?

    the main drawback is of course price, A bank of resistors doing what an IC could is far more expensive to manufacture. you are essentially buying something that does what it says on the tin but is in fact doesnt have the benefits.

    I like that he has made a completely new VCO design as the digital ones on the P12 Im not sold on, and the prophet 8 DCO was weak as shit for bass. I also applaud him for making a new filter design as the old curtis one hes used for the last few synths kinda makes every synth he makes sound the same. Just think he could have bumped a whole heap off the price and costs to manufacture by going IC’s for most tasks.

    The further bonus of using IC’s is that there is one less part to break, where any number of diodes or caps resistors etc could fail needing a trip to repair, an IC is far easier to fix and less likely to break.

    I get the nostalgia for discrete VCO, i really do – but the ones back then were loved cos of their movement. No point going discrete then having slop.

    1. ICs can be digital or analog. Surely you don’t think that it’s good design practice to use 150 discrete parts to replace a high-bandwidth audio op-amp IC that costs only a couple of dollars? That would be insanity on several levels.

      1. That is my point exactly. The cost difference between an IC op amp and a discrete circuit doing EXACTLY the same thing is huge. Manufacturing costs go up, reliability goes down. One cap breaks in that circuit and your in for a repair.

        I think alot of money and wank factor could be avoided by using IC’s. Roland had a synth on a chip with the 106, let me hear someone tell me it didnt sound “Analog” enough. Purist who would pay twice the amount for a discrete Osc circuit can have it. I think id prefer the flexibility of the P12 for the same price (even with aliasing and stepping)

          1. Many confused people think IC’s are somehow digital, when they can be 100% analog.

            Not sure why this would be a point of concern for anyone, unless they’re not judging a synth based on how it sounds.

    2. I agree wholeheartedly – I was surprised at Daves choice of VCOs – which is what many of us asked him for…, but the whole idea of VCOs was for a more organic sound – but the Prophet 6 oscs are super stiff just like DCOs. The slop is just controlled osc detuning, it doesn’t actually add the pitch/filter/amp randomness of vintage VCO synths. Sigh. Lots of folks will buy it thinking they’re getting a classic Prophet 5, but with more features. Sigh. Changes are they really don’t know the organic sound beauty of a true vintage VCO synth. When oh when will SOMEONE get it right?

  9. Each time the same things over and over again. Too much noise for nothing. If all these electronic music pioneers dealing with the features of the synths which have been used, they will not compose music.

  10. my only reservation is that previous DSI products have been initially floored on release, although many issues were in time addressed by DSI their are still products with features either missing or compromised.

    other than that its a beauty

  11. i have been waiting 25 years for this synth. its finally here. i still have to pinch myself. Dave you deserve all the success this synth will bring! mine is ordered!

  12. here’s a question for everyone…

    what do you think the next Sequential synth will be? Can he “top” the 6?

    Just seeing the “sequential” logo…gorgeous!!!!

    1. I take back all that shit about I?’s and saving money etc. It sounds fucking unbelievable.

      seems it was worth making it all discrete, wow

    2. wow this is easily the best demo of the P6 ive heard! Finally someone playing the saw osc sounds, open, big and chunky to get the full idea of its sound in a great recording. i was already sold but now im really excited to get my P6! thank you!

  13. OK so new to this forum but not synths. Always had P5 on my list but £4K (Sorry from UK) for something that may be problematic was difficult to justify. Then I saw p6. Just purchased and well it sounds amazing as so well engineered. I agree it can sound a bit bright like modern Prophet but with a bit of work sounds like a p5 to me. Cannot believe I actually own one! The new additions I think take it up a level.

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