Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2 Synthesizer Sneak Preview

This video captures a series of audio demos, by Inhalt, of the new Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2 synthesizer.

Here’s what they have to say about the Pro 2 audio demos:

Dave Smith Instruments asked us to return to the sound design world and join a stellar team to create some of the patches for their upcoming super synth: the Pro 2. Since we’re avid and long time users of the Pro One, the name alone peaked our curiosities.

Once we got the absolutely stunning synth back to our studio, we were blown away not just by the raw sound quality of the new voice architecture, but also by the sheer number of possible control options. If there is a synth out there that is truly the best of all worlds and that is almost intentionally designed to sit right in the middle of a full studio set up, it most certainly is the Pro 2. 4 CV outputs (that can be used as gate outputs too), 4 CV ins, audio input, dual MIDI outputs … it’s exactly the kind of thinking a professional studio and live musician would employ in synth design.

As a sound designer, what was most interesting was the arrangement of the new filters. Not only do both the SSM and SEM inspired analog filters sound fantastic on their own, but they can be used together to create very complex effects. Since their routing (serial, meaning one filter into the other, or parallel, meaning both filters running together) is completely user assignable and modulatable (all parameters regarding the filter can be accessed via the modulation matrix and modulated by pretty much anything) incredibly rich and complex effects can be created. The first patch (first string sound you hear in this video) takes full advantage of this new architecture to create a very sophisticated and distinct jet phasing effect.

The same tonal integrity can be found on the digital delays. This time around there is a new BBD style analog modeling delay that is warm and lush. When combined with delay time modulation from an LFO, an extremely rich chorus effect results. I might also mention that the audio input itself is of very high quality and presents a clean and full bodied pre amplifier stage that just sounds good. The last two sounds in the video use this input with a bass guitar.

Absolutely no external fx or sequencing were used when recording this demo of our patches for the factory bank. Everything you hear was done with the internal sequencer, live playing, and employing the abundant set of controls on board the Pro 2. Also, these are all single patches, so no multitracking was involved. The sounds were tracked via a Precision 8 mic pre using both outputs from the Pro 2 and straight into a Digidesign 192 IO feeding Pro Tools HD.

Check out the audio demos and let us know what you think!

32 thoughts on “Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2 Synthesizer Sneak Preview

  1. I’m keeping my Pro 1, but may save up for this – it’s capable of so many sounds that are completely beyond what the original Pro 1 could do!

  2. “Doesn’t sound even remotely like an SH-101!”

    Oops, sorry, I’m in the wrong thread.

    “No audiobus, no sale!”

    Wait, that’s not right either.

    “It’s just a toy.”

    No, that still wrong. Ah, forget it.

  3. Just got my hands on a mopho and it sounds stunning and really well built , they retail for about 220 pounds now.
    If this was a module /rack unit that would be brilliant . Dave smith is coming up with the goods time and time again without the need for a trumpet fanfare ( ok brass preset fanfare )
    The filter sounds stunning and this demo alone really shows of the machine .
    For once I have the spare cash to buy a new synth , the nord a1 is possibility , but this in rack form
    would grab me. lets hope there is news soon for those of us with midi cables at the ready.

  4. I’ve been a long-term Prophet user, so I’m a solid DSI fan, but you know what grabs me the most about the PRO 2? THE SHARP RED LABELS! Manufacturers take note (*cough* Korg *cough* Yamaha) and make a serious point of offering high-contrast labels. Its beyond galling to see tiny white legends that just don’t pop out or red/blue letters on black, which is even worse. Dave also spaced the controls for superior grab-ability. Debating the merits of various circuit designs is standard, but well-thought-out panel labeling and controls that are more than 1/4″ apart can make a huge difference in the feel of the thing as an instrument. Its also a monster synth in general. I expect to see them scattered pretty widely by this time next year. The word will get around.

  5. +10 for desktop model, gotta say this demo sounds a lot more usable to my tastes then the one we heard last week which was too “virusey” or something…. now it sounds like gary numan and japan as well…. higher interest now, any idea on cost?

    1. The first round of demos was by Robert Rich. His patches were arguably a lot more creative, but no “phat bass” patches!

  6. 4 osc. mono, with excellent modulation and seq… and two prestigious filters… what’s not to love?

    Plus, it looks like DSI won’t be disappointing us with inaccurate shipping dates. Spoke to them today: end of this month to early August…Moog should take notes.

    1. Still waiting on my Sub 37. Frownie face.

      The pro 2 seems super cool. Maybe save for it next. I could sell my Sub Phatty to save up partly for it.

    1. You may want to learn more about synthesis before you buy your next synth, so you will know enough to understand what elements you like and don’t like about a synth.

      It sounds, though, as if you probably don’t like the sound of the Curtis filter chips. They are the most influential element in the sound of most of Dave Smith’s instruments, at least with typical subtractive synthesizer patches. And they do sound very different than other classic filters, like Moog or MS-20 filters.

      1. Well yes, I do have bunch of synthesizers and I keep buying them if I need more and have spare money to spend. I know it’s the filter… but I still check out everything DSI does, hoping that perhaps one day they will surprise me.

        1. The Pro 2 has dual filters, so it’s one of the most flexible synths he’s ever done.

          Not going to sound ‘moogy’, but the whole point of having multiple synths is variety. I still love the DX7 for hard bass sounds and plucked sounds, any it’s cold as hell.

          1. the new filters may not give you a moog vibe, but it will give you more bass than other DSI synths… it’s like a franken-filter MS-20 setup, pro 1 and SEM donor parts…


    1. As the person who made the demo I can assure you that it couldn’t be farther from the truth. There is no experiment … just the pure tone and elegance of a proper hardware synthesizer.

  7. My first brand new synth was the Prophet One the day it came out in Los Angeles in Hollywood (won’t plug the music store; I think somebody just bought them). Always one of my faves. I may sell my 8-voice Poly Evolver for this little guy. Still want to hear those awesome bass sounds on it, but adding the SEM filter is brilliant. While I have a Matrix 12, I still loved me the sound of the Pro One and Prophet 600. tasty!

  8. took advantage of a July 4th sale and just purchased a “dsi aira.” very much looking forward to it becoming the center of my studio. I already have a p12 and planned to wait, but the price was too good to pass up.

    1. not sure if people are objecting to me buying myself a really good synth or mocking the snarky comment above. I hope it’s the latter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *