Sequential Prophet X Features Samples + Synthesis Engine, Plus ‘All Kinds Of Crazy Shit’

Dave Smith Instruments has officially introduced the Sequential Prophet X, a flagship synth that offers a modern take on sample + synthesis.

The Sequential Prophet X is a bi-timbral, 8-voice-stereo (16-voice mono) synthesizer that combines samples and synthesis. At the heart of its sound is a newly developed engine that powers two simultaneous 16-bit, 48kHz sample-based instruments plus two high-resolution digital oscillators with waveshape modulation — all processed through analog filters.

Here’s the official video intro:

Dave Smith intros the new Sequential Prophet X

“The Prophet X is a powerful evolution of the Prophet series,” says Smith.

“Musicians have been asking for samples through real analog filters for a long time. We’ve given them not only that, but also all of the synthesis capabilities and awesome sound you’d expect from a Prophet.”

For sample content, Dave Smith turned to sound developers 8Dio.

“We embrace all sounds as music and feel that if you can capture the musical soul of a sound, you can make it into an instrument,” says 8Dio co-founder Troels Folmann. “The Prophet X gives musicians a very immediate and responsive way to access this expressiveness.”

The 150 GB sample library in the Prophet X includes numerous acoustic and electronic instruments, as well as an extensive collection of ambient and cinematic effects. Users can shape the samples through loop manipulation, sample stretching, and the synthesizer’s many sound-sculpting functions which include 4 envelope generators, 4 LFOs, a deep modulation matrix, and other tools.

The Prophet X also provides 50 gigabytes of internal storage for importing additional samples. Several sample libraries will be available from 8Dio at launch. Support for user-created sample content is planned for December, 2018.

A dual-effects engine provides multiple reverbs, two delays (standard and BBD), a chorus, flanger, phase shifter, rotating speaker, high-pass filter, and distortion. In stacked or split voice mode, you can apply two different effects to each layer. Effects parameters can be modulated through the mod matrix as can the samples themselves. A polyphonic step sequencer allows up to 64 steps and up to 6 notes per step, per layer. The Prophet X features a premium-quality, five-octave, semi-weighted keyboard with velocity and channel aftertouch, an integrated power supply, USB support, and three OLED displays.

Audio Demos:

Pricing and Availability

The Sequential Prophet X will be available in the second quarter of 2018 with a projected MAP of $3,999. See the DSI site for details.

60 thoughts on “Sequential Prophet X Features Samples + Synthesis Engine, Plus ‘All Kinds Of Crazy Shit’

  1. This seriously looks like it has potential to be one of the best synths ever made. Please add MPE support!!!!

    1. Exactly.

      I’ve been drooling over the Sequential Prophet 5 since I was a kid, so it’s amazing to me that Dave Smith is still active, and that synths like this are arguably more powerful than any of his classic designs. ‘

      $4k is a ton of lettuce, but it’s not going to his tequila fund, it’s a matter of you get what you pay for, and this is a hell of a lot of synth.

      The only thing that jumps out at me as a weakness is the lack of deep multitimbrality and the lack of MPE/polyphonic aftertouch. These are both things that Smith knows how to do, so it’s clear that the market just doesn’t care about that stuff, which is too bad. Somebody needs to bring these things back and make them user-friendly enough that they can gain some traction!

      1. +1 please bring MPE implementation, isn’t it the standard now? DSI, is there any way of keeping the bi-timbrality as a mode, but switch to MPE mode in the menu or something?

        1. The Prophet VS, which was also a dual/split timbral machine, supported MPE, which back then was called MIDI Guitar Mode. Works great, and sure they can do it. Ideally it’ll respond to both MIDI Guitar enable and MPE enable messages and basically do the same thing in either case. Also, MPE itself intrinsically supports exactly two parts per MIDI bus.

          1. I’m getting the Waldorf Quantum instead it’s multi-timbral and has granular synthesis as well as analog filters for the samples.

  2. Only bi-timbral?? why? Isn’t Dave Smith friends with Roger Linn? Yet I can’t use a Linnstrument to it’s full potential with this synth? It makes no sense not to add MPE support it’s literally the MIDI standard now.

    1. Yes. A standard he would have played a very large part in ushering in and yet his latest flagship won’t support it.

  3. Almost approaches a modern ROMpler but usually those have 16 timbres and 100’s of voices polyphony.

    I probably won’t buy this but I would be interested in a Prophet type of synth with a ladder filter or choice of filters.

  4. hey dave,
    why not implement a proper sequencer wth song mode into the x? at least with 8 tracks. ask roger for help. i want multitimbrality, too. sorry, your products are for performers only.

  5. Pffft…
    Ensoniq had these kind of features more than a decade ago with their EPS and VFX series.
    Kurzweil had similar technology in their K2xxx series with V.A.S.T.

    1. Yeah ok, I think it’s a welcome addition to that hybrid thang’ especially with hands on controls for everything! (ESQ-1 & VFX here and a REV2, I love them all, but sometimes I wish I had more direct control on the Ensoniq synths… But they definitely cover all my sample/single cycle wave stuff)

  6. $4k seems like a lot for a sampler-rompler with analog filters. Great instrument but not everyone could afford it.

  7. You can have the best piano samples on the market but with 8 voice polyfony nobody is gonna take that too serious.

  8. Behringer is coming out with with an Emu Emulator II and PPG combo hybrid synth/sampler/keyboard. Alan wilder is doing some of the sound design. It has a 12bit and 16 bit mode sample rates, classic analog filters, and massive sample storage. Street price $999, This was in my dream last night.

  9. Yes. Not everyone can afford it. However, this is not a lot for anything with 16 analog filters. 50Gb is a ton of user memory as well. I resolved recently to never buy any new gear that does not have the ability for me to put my own samples in to it. This thing is ringing my bell. Hard.

    I will wait and see if the user sample import happens in December. If it does, the Kronos is going away.

    Dave Smith: I will trade you a brand new Kronos for a Prophet X. Call me!

  10. No buy until user import is enabled. Quantum still looks better than this for more features similar price, like 3 osc, wave tables, etc. Ensoniq synths were 8 voice multitimbral, why are we still limited to bi-timbral.

  11. At last the Prophet 2000 gets an upgrade! Only 35 years, better late than never.

    Unfortunate that they removed the 2000’s 8-way multitimbrality though.

      1. The SEQUENTIAL PROPHET 2000. Dave Smith’s previous company was called Sequential. He made instruments called Prophets, such as the 5, the VS and the 2000. The 2000 was Dave Smith’s 8 part multitimbral SAMPLER with 8 fully analog filters, released in 1985, which was over 30 years ago. In addition to being fully multitimbral, it also was a real actual sampler and you could sample directly from the instrument itself. None of this “import samples over USB” or “ROMpler” pseudo-sampler stuff.

          1. If you really owned, or had ever touched, a 2000 then you would know it is absolutely NOT a five voice instrument which is “a Prophet 5 with the oscillators replaced by a sampler” as you say in another comment. That is complete nonsense. I guess you’re trolling to amuse yourself but it’s a pretty pointless and unamusing troll to say something as absurd and factually incorrect as you are claiming here. It just doesn’t make any sense.

  12. someone remembers E-mu EMAX and Emulators samplers with analog filters? (all multitimbral).
    The future looks very similar to the 80s concepts to me. In the next decade they are going to invent the ROMpler again.

  13. Who in the bleep has ever offered a 150 GB sample library *AND* 50 GB for users?? Wow. Being able to manipulate that with standard subtractive synth controls really is a new approach for a standalone synth. I can see why its a $4k instrument. Like the Quantum, you’re getting large value for the money. People often holler for something new. This angle on things at least puts it in the ballpark. I warp and tweak samples more than anything else for a piece’s final sounds, so this feels like a very Right approach. Make a module version after a bit and hear renewed squeals of joy. I see the bi-timbrality and voice limits as features, not bugs. I’m sure they’re part of some sensible compromises made to bring the main goals to the forefront. Now, how to handle $4k of WANT on a $2k budget….:D

    1. Have you seen the price of hard drives ,a 1tb hard drive cost’s less than a night out on the town.
      so for £4,000 i would expect at least a 1tb drive .

  14. Ensoniq and Roland JV synths showed that high quality / large samples are not needed for great sound. An SD card slot, like on the quantum, would been better choice, and is the hard drive even an SSD? Considering you can buy a 1TB portable non-SSD drive for $40, if it’s not an SSD, that’s totally inflated pricing for that feature.

  15. The new D50 …. it has tons of potential …. pop hits could easily latch onto a few presets then we all know what happens next…. I really like that it has its own sound like the D50 did back in the day. Nice going Dave Smith !!!

  16. I appreciate the five octave keybed and properly placed pitch/mod wheels. I do NOT like where they put the pitch/mod wheels on my Rev2 (otherwise I dig it)

  17. I have tons of good old digital gear doing the “X” job. Without any experimental sampling capabilities, full editing and modern features like “Graintable-Synthesis”, this is just a way overpriced MOXF+Rev2.0. Any kind of new extended “VS”, combined with usability, multisample-fm/phase/rate/grain/wave-modulation and CV-I/O, would have been way better. This Lego-like synth is pushing me even more into modular. I would really worry if a tiny module outperforms any of my big synths these days.

  18. Cool!
    Now my Prophet 2000 might gain interest and a reasonable price again! Basically the Prophet 2000 is a Prophet 5 with the oscillators replaced by a sampler.
    Of course the prophet 2000 is hell to program (only one! rotary encoder). This new Prophet X is full to modern standards and tweaks, with many knobs and buttons and providing all analogs with the Curtis chips being available again.

  19. let me hear the samples only exactly how we hear them on 8DIO web site. For example I want Liberis or Adagietto working on this beast.

  20. V-synth has 60mb of user sample space … this has 50gb wonder if we are looking at the modern V-Synth or ASR10 here. Way to expensive for my modest budget.

  21. Sorry for that kind of cash I would expect a display that’s bigger that a postage stamp and MPE. I’ll pass.

  22. To much empathise on the samples, it simply does not sound analohue enough to my ears. If you want to go down the root of oscillators + filters + samples then I’d actually recommend VPS Avenger VSTi which can do all of this soundwise.

    1. If you think this was intended to sound “analog” then I don’t know what to tell you… It’s clear from the word go that it’s a sampler + digital oscillators, so of course it’s not going to sound analog. There’s hundreds of real analog synths on the market these days and you’re complaining that it doesn’t sound like everything else. Do you walk into car dealerships and complain that the cars aren’t enough like pickup trucks too?

  23. So basically a Nord Wave with less voices analog filters and bigger samples. I do wonder if the samples are multisamples…

    TBH I’d rather get a Rossum Assimil8or (8 voice multitimbral, and 8 different samples per slot CV switchable), 8 euro rack filters, some modulation and a good midi interface to control it. More flexibility and even offers intuitive sampling and sample manipulation.

  24. 4K is standard now. 🙂 But why I have a feeling it does not have the looks of a 4K thing with all the shiny dust and finger sensitive black and that yellow ?

    Keyboards cost $200, so the module will be 3799 if its can be crammed in one. Or will there be an “affordable” $1799 8 voice module than can be linked to a second one to get to 16 voices ?

    Also the first DSI razor and blade product (optional sample cost). no user loadable sounds, sample sysex ?
    Next is going to the cloud with subscriptions, like Roland ?

    Out of reach for many, but in reach for many as well. Mentioned the price to my wife.
    Oh yes, I am in the hospital now.

  25. it’s interesting, many products that come out these days are sort of helping piece existing things together. with the gear that many people already have in their studio the abilities of this machine can be achieved. you can go cherry pick your favorite 8Dio libraries, mix them with as many synth voices as you want and run them through analog filters. i think the place these kinds of things shine is on stage, when you don’t want laptop involved, in that case i think this thing is a winner.

  26. 150GB plus 50GB is a huge amount of memory but I’d like to know what does this “multisampling” mean. Probably you can put different samples accros keyboard but how about velocity layers? IMO it would be a shame if you cannot use v-layers?

  27. 16 analog filters make this machine unique. all other things are just a hardware Kontakt+VST synth. I think the price is reasonable, but it is not very useful for electronic musicians or producers, with 3999 you can buy tons of other interesting gears. might be really useful for keyboardists.

  28. I’m getting the Waldorf Quantum instead it’s multi-timbral and has granular synthesis as well as analog filters for the samples.

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