Dave Smith Instruments Sequential Prophet X Synthesizer Now Available

Dave Smith Instruments has announced that its now shipping the Sequential Prophet X, their new flagship synth keyboard.

The powerful samples-plus-synthesis keyboard features instruments by 8Dio, stereo analog filters, and full synthesis capabilities. The Prophet X sound engine powers two simultaneous 16-bit, 48kHz sample-based instruments, plus two high-resolution digital oscillators per voice, all processed through analog filters.

Here’s an overview from DSI’s Gerry Bassermann at Superbooth 2018:

Official Intro Video:

Sequential Prophet X Specifications:

Sample Playback

  • 2 multi-sampled stereo instruments per voice with editable sample start, sample end, loop size, and loop center, loop on/off, sample reverse, sample stretch, bit-rate reduction, and sample rate reduction
  • 150 GB of factory-installed 16-bit, 48 kHz sampled instruments created by 8Dio. An additional 50 GB of samples can be added by purchasing additional sound libraries. User-sample import is planned for December, 2018.

Oscillators

  • 2 digital oscillators per voice with selectable sine, sawtooth, pulse, and supersaw waves. You can vary the shape of any of the waveshapes.
  • Glide (portamento): separate rates per oscillator; (samples can glide in Sample Stretch mode)
  • Hard sync

Filters

  • 2 x analog 4-pole resonant low-pass filter per voice
  • Digital high-pass filter in Effects section

Envelopes

  • 4 loopable, five-stage (ADSR plus delay) envelope generators: Filter, VCA, and two assignable

Sequencer

  • Polyphonic step sequencer with up to 64 steps (6 notes per step), and ties and rests.

AMPLIFIER ENVELOPE

  • Four-stage (ADSR) envelope generator
  • Velocity modulation of envelope amount

LOW FREQUENCY OSCILLATORS

  • 4 LFO’s with key sync, phase offset, and slewing per LFO
  • Five wave shapes: triangle, sawtooth, reverse sawtooth, square, and random (sample and hold)

Modulation

  • 16-slot modulation matrix
  • 28 sources
  • 88 destinations
  • 11 additional dedicated sources: mod wheel, pressure, velocity, breath controller, footswitch, LFO 1, LFO 2, LFO 3, LFO 4, Env 3, Env 4

ARPEGGIATOR

  • Fully-featured arpeggiator with up, down, up+down, random, assign modes
  • Selectable note value: 16th note, 8th note triplet, 8th note, dotted 8th note, quarter note
  • One, two, or three octave range
  • Re-latching arpeggiation
  • Note repeat

DIGITAL EFFECTS

  • 2 digital effects on each layer
  • Stereo delay, BBD delay, chorus, flanger, phaser, vintage rotating speaker, distortion, high-pass filter, spring reverb, plate reverb

CLOCK

  • Master clock with tap tempo
  • BPM control and display
  • MIDI clock sync

PERFORMANCE CONTROLS

  • Full-sized, semi-weighted, 5-octave keyboard with velocity and channel (mono) aftertouch
  • Backlit pitch and mod wheels
  • Spring-loaded pitch wheel with selectable range per program (1 to 12 semitones up and down)
  • Transpose controls for an 8-octave range
  • Hold switch latches held notes on
  • Polyphonic glide (portamento)
  • Unison (monophonic) mode with configurable voice count

PATCH MEMORY

  • 512 Factory Programs (4 banks of 128) and 512 fully editable User Programs with 2 layers (2 separate sounds) in each Program

IN/OUT

  • MIDI In, Out, Thru
  • USB MIDI
  • Sample import jack for USB Stick
  • Main stereo audio output: 2 x 1/4? phone (TS, unbalanced)
  • Output B stereo audio output: 2 x 1/4? phone (TS, unbalanced)
  • Pedal/CV: responds to expression pedals or control voltages ranging from 0 to 5 VDC (protected against higher or negative voltages.
  • Volume: responds to expression pedals or control voltages ranging from 0 to 5 VDC (protected against higher or negative voltages.
  • Sustain pedal input: accepts normally on or normally off momentary footswitch.
  • Sequencer: accepts normally on or normally off momentary footswitch to trigger sequencer playback.
  • Headphone output: 1/4? stereo phone jack.

POWER

  • IEC AC power inlet for internal power supply
  • Operates worldwide on voltages between 100 and 240 volts at 50 to 60 Hz
  • Power consumption: 25 watts maximum

PHYSICAL SPECS

  • Dimensions: 38.44? L x 13.53? W x 4.13? H (97.6 cm L x 34.3 cm W x 10.9 cm H)
  • Weight: 24 lbs

Pricing and Availability:

The Sequential Prophet X is available now for US $3,999.

28 thoughts on “Dave Smith Instruments Sequential Prophet X Synthesizer Now Available

        1. The Prophet X has analog filters and vcas. It’s limited to 16 voices because it only has 16 individual voice circuits.

        2. Feel free to buy one of the many keyboards that are 100% digital with a usable amount of keys. Plenty of musicians can make use of this instrument.

          1. People used to do gigs on Korg M1’s because they had the best piano sound at the time (short of a high end sampler). Lots of folks got by on 16 voice polyphonic instruments. How many voices did the SG-1d or the Yamaha PF-80 have? I can’t recall but I’d be surprised if it were more than 16 voices. I don’t remember a lot of instruments back in the day that had more than 32 voices. The Wavestation, then the Quadrasynth later on had 64 voices and that blew peoples’ minds.

            But yeah… if you’re getting this to play pianos gigs on it’s probably not the best choice.

  1. This is pretty exciting!
    Everything my Prophet 3000 couldnt be is there.
    I’ve said this for years – Why doesnt anybody make a new sampler with analog Filters. I thought Dave would be the first to do this…
    Elektron with the Rytm was kind of there earlier, but focused on Drums…
    But so did the Tempest in a way…but no User samples…

    True Stereo 8 voice path? :O thats amazing.
    Modulation matrix with samples as modulation SOURCE? :O

    But there are a few downsides that would have made it perfect, if they were there:
    an analog multimode or at least high pass filter.
    A sampling input and the possibility to sample on the hardware.
    Is there something like a “legacy mode” that emulates the 12bit sample tuning/playback of a Prophet2000/2002?

    4k is steep but maybe thats the sign to sell my Prophet3000 and Prophet2002…

  2. 4K and no sampling input? That seems like a bum deal. The Waldorf Quantum is only a few hundred more and has sampling capabilities. I feel like DSI has lost cred with Tempest debacle and seems to be under-delivering for that price tag.

      1. You can’t buy synths based on future…

        Once you get bitten a few times its hard to ignore.
        If it’s a feature one wants – One either says, I’ll pass, or waits for the future to happen before purchasing.

    1. But whatabout audio input sampling? I’m talking about live sampling. USB means you need to incorporate a computer in there somewhere which is ridiculous too me for that price as well as a workflow killer when you are really cooking on something.
      Calling it a sampler is misleading imho, they should just say sample playback.
      Whatever though, like I said earlier, Quantum eats this things lunch all day!

      1. Unless you’re trying to use it like a real-time looper (which it would appear this doesn’t do, and loopers are cheap anyway), editing/looping samples on a tiny OLED screen of a synth (as opposed to a computer) is the workflow killer of all workflow killers… I’m going to guess that anyone buying a $4K synth owns a computer and an audio interface with high-quality converters. Why tack on the price of the extra hardware when it would be totally redundant?

  3. Every time I watch a video about the Prophet X I’m reminded that I really should invest in a copy of Omnisphere II – maybe not as sexy as hardware but the sound design possibilities seem fab.

    1. Maybe it’s just me, but I find that absolutely no soft synths I’ve heard can compete with higher-end hardware synths. Every soft synth I own (and I have all of the best-Omnisphere 2, Dune 2, Sylenth, Massive, Serum, etc), gets crunchy and shrill in the high-mids (to differing degrees) when the volume is pushed. Kronos, Fantoms, Motifs, etc just destroy all soft synths in my opinion. Which makes sense given the difference in price. Yet all over the internet I see people in forums comparing soft synths to hardware synths as if it’s the same category. “Digital is digital” seems to be the attitude. To me, it’s not even close. Soft synths in general leave much to be desired IMO.

      1. Each to their own of course but I totally disagree. I’ve owned a Kronos and it did indeed sound lovely. But some soft synths are every bit as nice. With the exception of the D to A converters digital is digital. A kronos is just a computer running Linux with a nice sounding D to A output and interface. Your computer soundcard (and settings) will have a big difference. Some software synths sound incredible.

  4. The reality is that high end sampling has evolved beyond the needs and capabilities of the casual user.

    If you want to sample something and play it across a keyboard, this is overkill.

    1. I had a conversation with the guys from 8Dio about the choice to use 16 bit samples after seeing the PX back in Feb at DSI. They said anything more would be overkill in this context and a waste of disk space. I trust they know what they talking about.

    2. Higher bit depth translates to more fidelity across the range of volume from quiet to loud. In practical application, it means really quiet stuff sounds better (it doesn’t end up making much audible difference for loud stuff). In the case of a synth using samples as raw sound data, the samples are going to pretty much be at full blast, then you’d use the synth envelopes (or LFOs, effects, etc.) to control the final amplitude. I suspect this is why the sound devs said it wouldn’t make much difference.

  5. Some say it can do sample import later, others say it can’t export them (which is true) and even some others say the memory is large enough you never need more. (640K syndrome?) So what about sample dump Sysex import/export functionality alike in the Evolvers ? USB is fast enough, but it’s not there….. (read the manual) BUMMER.

  6. I’m surprised how whiny people get about new instruments sometimes. It’s a new, super high end instrument that is basically like a Prophet 12 level of power but with two crazy sample based oscillators and two very capable digital oscs feeding what is probably a better LPF. We lose the character section but get way better FX. There’s pre filter drive anyway. A much better keybed…

    The Quantum appears better on paper. I haven’t heard anything on the Quantum yet that blew me away compared to the X. People complain when no one makes a modern analog synth. Someone makes a few modern analog synths and folks complain that there isn’t anything new. They make something new, freaky and different and people find more stuff to complain about. If you need a Kronos, get a Kronos (they’re awesome). If you need an analog synth, get a Prophet ___. We have so many options and with every great new instrument, folks find something to bitch about. We live in SUCH a good time for gear. Nothing is ever going to be perfect for everyone but no one is forcing you to buy any one thing either so pick what works best. Sometimes limitations can be good for us too.

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