U-he Repro 5 vs Prophet 5 rev 3.3

Composer Pawel Blaszczak shared this head to head comparison of U-He Repro 5 vs a vintage Sequential Circuits Prophet 5.

Here’s what Blaszczak has to say about the comparison:

U-he Repro 5 vs Prophet 5 rev 3.3. Low keyboard is Repro 5. Higher is P5.

They are sounding pretty damn close. It is really matter of if you’re synth nerd or not 🙂 Other way there is no reason for spending so much money for real thing. You must just love it like I do.

Differences are in details. It is not about more low end or anything like that. Resonance filter is sounding different. Repro 5 pulse oscillator is sounding like in new Prophet 5. In my Prophet 5 pulse osc didn’t sound like pulse anymore. Osc B detuning sounding more aggressive. Also Prophet 5 has something more 3d in it.

But Repro 5 is a genius VST. Sometimes I like sound from Repro 5 more as from Prophet. I really wish Urs Heckmann would like to make Jupiter 6, 8, Arp 2600, CS-80, RSF Kobol or any other analog synth which is very high priced or rare.

31 thoughts on “U-he Repro 5 vs Prophet 5 rev 3.3

    1. I agree. The plugin sounds better. Not only is it far less expensive, it is far more flexible, and certainly far more reliable.

    2. Why would anyone expect a fully electronic machine that was engineered to synthesize artificial soundwaves to sound natural, organic or alive? If I wanted that, I’d play the guitar.

      1. That’s troll-worthy. Who says artificial sound waves shouldn’t sound natural, organic & alive? You’ve got a lot of Wendy Carlos & Isao Tomita to listen to – some people don’t like artificial, geometric & lifeless sounds 🙂

      2. A guitar is dead mechanical machine! Not some kind of magical beast you need to influence with psychic tricks to produce music. smh

    3. You willing to blindfold guess? (I’m not saying you couldn’t).

      When you say “alive” and “dead”, it implies you are describing a difference in sound that is not related to something specific about the tone. That makes me wonder if you aren’t imposing some personal bias.

      If you’d said the model sounds darker, or the analog has more low end. Are the differences only in EQ?

      Or is it pitch wow? I expect the U-he will have a setting for more pitch wow.

      As I mentioned below, there were some cases where the filter cutoff wasn’t matched. Also, I expect the key-tracking on the filter might not be the same between them.

      1. Sounding “alive” has nothing to do with EQ, pitch or any quantifiable dimension. In the end it is all about the feel of the sound. This is the reason why I hardly never use software synths, I have my own analog polys and monos and they just sound beautifully. The reason? Well, one could argue that it is emotional, subjective, biased, but in the end it is our taste that tells the difference. I think the way that electricity gets continuously shaped vs programming of discrete 0 and 1s organised in 24bit samples has something to do with it. We are able to listen to 20 000 changes per second, for me … at my age, a bit less, but nevertheless it is enough to hear a huge difference in “beautifulness” between them, blind! And at the end of the day, you do a song with soft synths only and exactly the same song with analogs and it anyone, golden ears or not will tell the diference, making them like or dislike the song, which makes all the diffence in the world. Music is not an exact science. But don’t get me wrong, the U-he sounds quite good, just not good enough
        🙂

        1. I think an interesting analogy can be made between film vs digital photography. There are some qualities people can get from film cameras having to do with color and graininess. And some of those effects can be closely emulated, but there are still some differences.

          It would be hard for me to say whether analog synth modeling is more successful than film modeling is with digital image processing.

          The proof would really be in double-blind testing.

          You claim you could tell blind-folded. Perhaps you are right. (I kind of doubt it).

          1. The fact that this is even debated pretty much shows that both sides are right in what they feel the differences are between the two. Which to me is a pretty good endorsement of repro-5 – it sounds great, even if it’s not perfectly a pro 5. Which means you could PROBABLY make some cool sounds with it 😉

          2. I didn’t do a blind test but I made this little improvisation using my DSI mopho x4 which sounds like any other DSI Prophet. I played it alongside some of my vintage synths like my oberheim matrix 6 and my alpha juno 2:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44t-De3iXmo

            I think no digital synth nor virtual analog nor VSTi nor sampler can sound quite like these.
            I have played digital for far too many years until I discovered the uniqueness of analog synthtizers.

        2. What comes out of an D/A chip IS an analog signal, not discrete steps. Your brain also digitizes information. Your eyes and your ears digitize everything in the end when information gets passed to the brain. Analog signals become discrete pulses in your neurons.
          The only thing that makes a digitial synth discernibel from an analog one are artifacts from aliasing, which can be avoided.
          An emulation will never be 100%, but no two analog synth are 100% equal in sound either.
          There is no “magic sauce” to an analog synth.

    4. Listened blind and honestly couldn’t perceive any noticable difference. When I went back and watched it maybe at 1:40 mark with the single bass tones? Dunno. I have the original Pro-5 emulation vst and still use it on my old dell desktop. Have other newer vst versions as well I’ll take the plug ins every time. JMO.

  1. There seemed to be a few instances where it would have been a matter of finely matching the filter cut-off a bit more closely to get a better match. Some might argue that one sounds more open than the other, and I imagine that setting the filter to exactly match would be tricky.

    They both sound very analog to me.

  2. High octaves similar : software has a shrillness a lack of body which at higher octaves is masked.
    Middle to lower octaves difference clear : Prophet 5 Hardware clearly has more depth body beef.

    To bring software more into hardware Middle Lower Octaves body beef depth just put software through a Hardware Phatness maker.

  3. “I really wish Urs Heckmann would like to make Jupiter 6, 8, Arp 2600, CS-80, RSF Kobol or any other analog synth which is very high priced or rare.” Umm.. there is this little company called Arturia…

  4. For all practical, non-forensic purposes, I think analog synths are pretty much pointless in many usage contexts. Xils 4 has the same level of ‘I can’t believe this isn’t a piece of analog hardware’ vibe.

  5. I don’t know. In another Youtube video, I heard one comparison where they did sound totally different to me at times, like, nowhere near, and the reviewer was, like, they sound as good as identical. I guess it had something to do with cross modulation or filter fm and limited audio rate resolution in digital emulation (hard to do right). And everybody in the comments was raving about how close they were. What’s wrong with these people?

    Confirmation bias works in both ways.

    You can only say, they sound damn close, *to me*, *in this test*.

    How can you possibly know what other people hear or like to hear from a synth?

  6. Im starting to believe I have golden ears because the hardware sounds so much better to me. I love u-he products and would love to be done with vintage analog gear $$$ but I can’t deny how much better the hardware sounds. I’m not defending hardware I want it to lose but it never does. maybe in another 10 years I wont be able to tell.

    Also just checked out this guys music on spotify and really enjoyed it. Great synth soundtrack vibes tangerine dream, boards of canada, carpenter.

    1. Yeah, you must have golden ears. Or you are trying to convince yourself that the big $$$ that you spent on vintage gear was worth it versus a $150 plugin that does more and is more reliable.

      1. I did not spend big $$$ on vintage gear (was lucky to find all amazing deals) but could sell them for big $$$. Would love to sell them off if I could replace with soft synths but as I said soft synths don’t sound as good to me (not even close enough). I’m a quality over quantity guy. I don’t really care about what does more. Just what sounds best because that is most inspiring for me.

        Most artists I listen to use primarily hardware sound sources. I actually have a hard time enjoying music done all in the box. I do like a hybrid of both hardware and software. Could you recommend a good example of an artist who makes all their music just in the box?

  7. I’m wondering why people are raving so much about which one is better. Logically the original must be what everybody wants since the other is putting so much effort into emulating it. I mean, the P5 doesn’t care if it sounds anything like the VST. The same cannot be said the other way around!

  8. To me they sound similar enough that perhaps I’d use the plug-in if I was playing live keyboards, to spare the vintage synth from a hard life of touring. But if I was recording, composing or jamming I’d reach for the Prophet every time, because there is somehow more vitality in the sound, and because of the immediacy of the front panel for tweaking.

  9. I have vst repro 5 and a real DSI prophet 6. this comparaison is bullshit. Analog and mostly a prophet just kill any fucking vst. how you can compare 2 sound from a shit plateform like youtube. take both in real and compare it on you monitors then call me back !

  10. It does not at all sound as good as the real Prophet, not by a long shot.
    Therefor, you could really pick any softsynth to try and mimic it, instead of spending 139-euros.
    The OBXd is a pretty amazing and a close emulation to this type of sound and it’s free.

  11. I just finished scoring an advert and used the Repro 5 over my prophet 6.

    Funnily enough my client couldn’t tell the difference, the mastering engineer exclaimed about me using the prophet 6.

    Goes to show at a perceptual level when 100% blind nobody could tell a prophet from a prophet with careful handling. Much in the same way my Leica M9 vs an M4 and film people thought it was the same.

    Sorry to say it but we live in a world now that the blurring or lines exist. Hence my swelling the Mc-202 and ash-101 for a system 8. Little but noise floor exists between software and hardware all too often

  12. Sorry but no, it sounds nothing like the Prophet 5. I scrolled the window up so I wouldn’t see which one he was playing, and then scrolled back up to confirm what my ears said, like all plugin synths it’s just flat. Keep telling yourself it sounds like it though, good luck.

  13. ” I really wish Urs Heckmann would like to make Jupiter 6, 8″ He did this with Diva, though he doesn’t advertise them by name: “Minimoog, Roland’s Jupiter 6, Jupiter 8, Alpha Juno and Juno 60, and Korg’s MS20. These fine instruments form the basis of Diva’s oscillators, filters and envelopes, with a few judicious tweaks here and there. Although the elements can be swapped freely, Diva’s purpose is not to impersonate any one synth specifically.” https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/uhe-diva

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