Dave Smith Instruments Intros REV2 Synthesizer

At the 2017 NAMM Show, Dave Smith Instruments has introduced the new REV2 synthesizer.

The REV2 is Dave Smith’s reimagining of his Prophet ’08 poly synth — a modern classic that has appeared on countless recordings and stages since its debut in 2007. As Dave puts it, “The REV2 is the realization of our effort to enhance and improve everything we could about the original design — all at a more accessible price.”

The REV2 retains all of the key features of the Prophet ’08 and expands on them. It has twice the polyphony, twice the mod matrix, waveshape modulation on all waveforms, digital effects per layer in stacked or split voice mode, a polyphonic step sequencer per layer, and more. The result is a true analog powerhouse.

Best of all, you can download any of the many existing libraries of Prophet ’08 sounds and they will not only sound identical, but can be enhanced with the new features.

Here’s the official intro video:

16-Voice Polyphony

With 16 voices to play with, you have the freedom to allocate them as you wish. Play two-fisted chords, stack two 8-voice sounds for massive, complex textures, or split the keyboard into two completely separate 8-voice instruments.

Bold Sound

The REV2 gets its bold, punchy sound from its 2/4 pole, low-pass, resonant Curtis filters per voice. These are the same filters used not only in the Prophet ’08, but in many classic instruments of the 70’s and 80’s. A separate Audio Mod control adds additional harmonic complexity and movement.

Waveshape Modulation

A powerful new feature unique to the REV2 is waveshape modulation. You can now vary the “pulse width” of any of the four waveforms (sawtooth, saw+tri, triangle, square). Using the Shape Mod control, you can manually dial in a desired waveshape width or use an LFO or other mod source for continuously shifting timbre. Even single-oscillator sounds take on new depth and dimension. The tonal possibilities are vast.

Effects Per Layer

The effects section provides reverb, delays (standard and BBD), chorus, phase shifter, ring modulation, and distortion. In stacked or split voice mode, you can apply a different effect to each layer. Effects parameters can be modulated through the Mod Matrix.

Extended Mod Matrix

Also present from its predecessor is an easy-to-assign Mod Matrix, now twice as big, with 8 individual slots and many more sources/destinations. DSI describes it as “a veritable sound designer’s playground.”

Poly Step Sequencing

The polyphonic step sequencer allows up to 64 steps and up to 6 notes per step. You can create a different sequence for each layer when you are working in stacked or split voice mode, making it a powerful tool for composition or performance.

The sequencer also functions as a modulation source in gated mode, allowing you to create up to 4 different 16-step sequences for complex modulation. Sequences allow ties and rests, and can sync to an external MIDI clock. The arpeggiator features note repeats, re-latching, and can be synced to external MIDI clock, as well.

Per-Knob Programmability

The knob-per-function front panel offers instant access to REV2 functions. Included are 512 permanent factory programs and 512 rewritable user programs.

Eminently Playable

All of this polyphonic power is packed into a five-octave, premium-quality, semi-weighted keyboard with velocity and channel aftertouch. Other road-worthy features include an integrated power supply, USB support, and a crisp OLED display, making the REV2 an ideal instrument for gigging or recording.

“We’ve created a monster,” says Dave, “and I mean that in the best possible way.”

Audio Demos:

Pricing and Availability 

The REV2 16-voice poly synth will be available in the second quarter of 2017. Pricing is to be announced.

76 thoughts on “Dave Smith Instruments Intros REV2 Synthesizer

        1. because Dave clearly states that the filter and osc structure remains unchanged.

          And because for the last 10 years, people have already known and debated about the DCO’s in the ’08.

          Dude also makes a full digital ’12 and a fully discrete 6.

          Take your pick

    1. Hi Chris…. go and look at the list of analog synths over the last 35 years that use DCO’s…. there you’ll find dozens of synths that you would never question their ‘analog’ credentials!!!! As a very basic starting point how about the Juno’s? Are they ‘analog’ enough for you?

      1. I hope he is trolling, but sometimes is hard to explain that DCO are simple controlled by a chip and is not a digital oscillator. Of course the VCO instability is what made some synths classics, but that is not the discussion.

        Let’s really hope he is trolling

  1. If they make a keyboard less version and if this has MPE/Channel Per Note/better multi implementation, I’m sold. Prophet sounds plus Linnstrument playability. Yes please!

    1. i think more people are actually waiting for keyboardless versions nowadays.
      I would love the company to release the keyboardless at the same time.
      But heh marketing and time

  2. Lovely stuff from DSI. I love my little Mopho and love that voice architecture. I’ve been hankering for a poly version (from Tetra, through Mopho X4, to Prophet 08) and now this comes along, adding the lovely sub to the 08’s voice and a bunch of other features. It’ll be a long time before I can afford it (or house it – need a desktop module!) but I can see this taking the place of a Deepmind 12 on my wishlist!

    1. Sadly, I don’t believe this has the sub oscillators from mopho/tetra, but rather lacks them like the original prophet 08 did.

      Hopefully I’m wrong though.. Someone prove me wrong!

      1. I also have a DeepMind 12, and about twenty other synths to compare it to, including a Prophet 6 (just sold), Prophet 12, Pro 2 and Mopho X4. I know it’s all subjective, but saying the DeepMind 12 sounds terrible is just plain FALSE. In fact, I think it sounds GREAT! Especially considering the price tag.

        Now back to the subject at hand. The Rev2 looks amazing and will definitely be taking the place of the Mopho X4 in my studio.

        1. The DM12 sounds very very compressed, which is okay for pads to a degree. Lots of issues with mine. The LCD screen is in slightly crooked, 3 voices are not as loud as the other 9, noise in the effects. It has a hollow nasal sound. Reminds me of an Oberheim OB12.. which is really not an Oberheim.. But, if that is what you like then awesome, enjoy

          1. I, too, have a DM12. I have to agree with reyescult. I’m not really sure why you would think it sounds compressed. I was thinking about your comment as I was cycling through presets. The only patches that sounded compressed to me were the ones with compression active in the fx section. I won’t be using it for bass, but that was never my intention. I have a number of synths that will do that better ranging from an sh101 to a model d to a monologue to an ob-6 to an 008. I am, however, excited to pair the DM12 with my 002. I think they will be friends. It’s an incredibly good buy, especially for anyone lacking a poly. It sounds like you were unfortunate to receive a lemon. Hopefully, you can still exchange it.

            As for the topic at hand, the rev 2 looks very nice. I was going to ignore it, as I have two 08s chained together at present, until I realized it has a sub osc on osc 1. It’s really rather annoying.

  3. I am always impressed at what DSI come up with at the price points they do it at. Not bad at all. I love the sound of their instruments too. I still keep hoping for that P12 to magically show up at my doorstep someday. 😉

  4. If the Rev2 with 16 analog voices goes on sale for 2k USD, how do they justify the Prophet 12 costing around 2.5k street, although it is limited to 12 digital voices? Is the Prophet 12 being phased out after such a short lifespan?

  5. While I prefer the sound of the Prophet 6 filter, I had no issues with the filter on the 08. I hope they increased the amount on the Slop parameter from the five or so steps on the 08 to the crazy madness available on the 12 and later instruments. That would help mitigate a bit of the stiffness of the DCOs some felt the 08 had. Finally, if they put a higher quality keybed on this, like the one on the OB-6 and P~6, then it will be a real joy to play.

    1. It has the best keybed. It’s the Fatar TP9S with weights. You find this keybed on the OB-6, Prophet 6, moog Model D, moog Voyager, NI Komplete, Access Virus, Waldorf Blofeld… Made in Italy and it’s way better than the keybeds you find in the Deepmind12, Mopho X4, Yamaha MX49, King Korg, MatrixBrute… They use cheaper keybeds than the REV2.

  6. *stands/starts slow clap* I was pretty decided on getting an Odyssey first, but now I need this! Priorities may change again once I hear the Elektron drum machine… Just when I think I’m out.. they pull me back in!

  7. Does this have the weird “knob swing full motion” thing going on? that was a DEAL BREAKER on the original 08. Great sound though.

  8. I’m always bummed when they release a new synth with a sequencer that doesn’t do key-triggered sequencing. 🙁 see: Pro2

    edit: I’m not a general net-moaner: I have a pro2, prophet 6, 12, ob-6, and tempest. I’m all about DSI. 😀

  9. Wow. I’ll echo the comments above: MPE would be awesome (if it has USB it’s probably has got the Midi Bandwidth to handle the Midi data load.) Rackmount would be great, but I might be tempted to get the as is full keyboard version.

  10. On the AudioFanzine video, about 2 min in you can see/hear Dave tweak the filter cutoff and slop of the REV2. It seems that the slop goes deeper than the original P’08!

  11. Remember those claiming the Odyssey FS edition can’t have MIDI CC and patch load/saving for $1499 (at sweetwater for 1599) because of cost and Assembled in USA and because everything should be larger (including the transistors, capacitors and resistors 🙂 ) here you see a complete redesign using 6-8 months development by a much smaller company with everything and more functions included. Go figure.

  12. I like the design and the full size keys. The quality. But with DSI I always hear a overkill of manny morphing, effects, filters and extra layers. How does it sound without all te magic. Just a pure organ sound or a single waveform.

    1. One who wishes to hear the raw sound of this merely needs to refer to the prophet 08 family for reference.. Which this is but with more I.e. Effects, modulation etc.

  13. i was under the impression that hanceforth, dsi products will be branded as “sequential”.
    that was onetime? too bad if so.

    i like dsi stuff, but the having a cheapo brush script font really brings the brand perception down.
    if using a handscript logo, do it properly handwritten like roger linn or not at all.

    built in system font for a logo is the worst choice that you can possibly make as a graphic designer.

    1. Wow, just wow. Obviously, those 18-voices are truly going to sound terrible because of the “font” on the front of the instrument.
      In addition, I can see getting kicked off of stage when playing live due to Dave Smith’s poor “font” choice.

      Stunna’s choice of font or GTFO!!

      -Let’s start a petition to have him change it-


  14. yeah the pricing is what puzzles me, i’ve been so close to buying the OB-6 but it’s still a bit steep for me. but i think Dave knows that his products are amazing and making one that’s more affordable is a tip of the hat to normal class musicians and that the rest of his line still has a place in the market for guys who can afford them. with all that said, i am happy happy happy about this price, this might finally bring Dave to my lab.

  15. This is in reply to the anonymous poster “Q” above.

    The fact is, Korg is able to make a monophonic synthesizer with MIDI CC and patch loading/saving for only $300 (that would be the Monologue) by using modern components and a modern synthesizer design — so it’s no surprise Dave Smith is able to make a fully programmable 8-voice for $1500 / 16-voice for $2000. The reason why the Odyssey does not have MIDI CC or patches, and the reason it costs more than the Monologue, is because it’s a 1972 design.

    Considering that there are people making a controversy over the Rev2 using DCOs and not VCOs, you can imagine the noise people would make if the 2017 Odyssey added digital control to its parameters, and the endless pointless discussion about whether making that kind of change would affect the sound.

  16. The fact is, Korg is able to make a monophonic synthesizer with MIDI CC and patch loading/saving for only $300 (that would be the Monologue) by using modern components and a modern synthesizer design — so it’s no surprise Dave Smith is able to make a fully programmable 8-voice for $1500 / 16-voice for $2000. The reason why the Odyssey does not have MIDI CC or patches, and the reason it costs more than the Monologue, is because it’s a 1972 design.

    Considering that there are people making a controversy over the Rev2 using DCOs and not VCOs, you can imagine the noise people would make if the 2017 Odyssey added digital control to its parameters, and the endless pointless discussion about whether making that kind of change would affect the sound.

  17. Far out! DeepMind 12 hasn’t quite dropped yet. Trust Dave Smith to blow away all the competition again!!!!
    I’m hankering for a DM12 though.
    I’ve got a Mopho x4, so i’d think of selling it to fund this, if it’s not TOO expensive in AU dollars.
    Damn you Dave. This has thrown another synth in the works of my plans, a-fuckin-gain!!!!!
    Well done.

    1. no my friend, I think you’re wrong on this. The price of the REV2 is rather reasonable probably BECAUSE of the DM12. The DM12 has shaked the game a little bit and that is absolutely amazing for my wallet !

  18. I had an extensive go on the DM12 at their NAMM booth. I had some minor irritations and the build quality is better than I expected for the price. The team is really passionate and a lot can be done via software updates. In my opinion nothing really beats this for the money, no surprise there, but its very very deep. if you are into deep, then I think you will find it very satisfying. They had them setup with WiFi-linked iPads and their editor was a good start but left you wanting more.

    I left immediately desiring one, but also conflicted because if I want something that is really sophisticated, I will use something like Alchemy. Part of why I love these hardwired analogs is they are are simple. This is not that.

    That said, I walked over to the DSI booth and had a much shorter go on the REV2, I assume 16 voice. It immediately screams quality and sounds incredible. The fidelity of this was noticeably better than the DM12. That Curits Filter. wow.

    So, my take away was, I will have to spent $3k to feel satisfied. Both are amazing but for different reasons.

    Oh yeah, the DM12 is very small compared to the REV2. It provides far fewer sliders/knobs and buttons and relies more on multi-mode, display driven depth. i.e. same 4 faders used for Amp/Filter envelopes.

    I may get the DM12 first, but the REV2 may be my first DSI. I also liked the Pro 2 and OB6 quite a bit.

  19. It’s okay. It’s great for the price point. I still prefer my Prophet 6 but I do appreciate they cleaned up the 08s layout. Frankly, I think 16 voices in a Bitimbral synth is overkill. Eight is enough. Unless there are multiple split points instead of two I don’t see the point in having that much polyphony if it can’t be used in a multitimbral fashion (ala Andromeda A6). If anything, if Smith was going to have the option of two different synths (Eight and Sixteen voices), why not add a bit more features to the more expensive model? Have the eight voice be Bitimbral and have two split points. Have the sixteen voice have two Rev 2 engines so you can play 4 patches at once. Imagine a monophonic sequence going on the lower end of the keyboard, a polyphonic rhythm going above that and a string sound/lead sound on the higher keys? Much like the ARP Quadra or hell even the Sequential Circuits Multi-Trak. It’s a great sounding synth but for some reason I’m just not feeling it. I think it’s sort of like a step backwards instead of forwards. I think they panicked after the DeepMind12 was released and basically just took an established product (Prophet 08) and tweaked it and made some improvements. Meh, It’s great for what it is, it’s just not for me.

  20. I’m proud to say I own a Rev2 with 16 voices. I’m very pleased with it. It been about 25 years since I last owned a Prophet. This synth is a huge upgrade from my old Prophet 600 in so many ways. I bought that used Prophet 600 for less than $200 in 1991, before the big analog craze took hold. It was my first analog polysynth. I have always wished that I had never sold it. The Rev2 is a great instrument and the technology is light years beyond my simple 600. I’m more than happy to own a Prophet again.

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