Dave Smith Sequential Circuits Prophet X

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Sinamsis
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Post by Sinamsis » Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:34 pm

dubonaire wrote:
Sinamsis wrote:Oh and I know Dubonaire is laughing at me. Which I deserve.
:chug:

It was only a matter of time. I'm jealous actually.
Haha yeah, it was... at just under $3000 it seemed crazy to pass up. I'll let you know if that jealousy is warranted. I think there's great potential here. It could be a disappointment, but I don't think so. I've read about some clicking issues people are having. I think it's the same complaint people had with the Blofeld. That's the limitation of having 8 voices; if you leave long release times you're going to have some samples being cut off, and if that's not at a zero crossing it may create clicks. Maybe it's more than that. Anyways, I think they're working on it and I'm sure they'll find some solution to minimize it. I'm more interested in how weird this thing can get, and I think it will be able to get pretty damn weird.

The other thought is there's some pretty stiff competition for poly synths these days, and though I've lost track of the Waldorf Quantum, it does seem very promising. Apples and oranges to some degree, but I'm not a man of infinite resources, or space, so some difficult decisions have to be made. At the discounted price I felt like I had to take the plunge on the Prophet X and find out for myself!

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Post by Sinamsis » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:30 am

I had 30 minutes to flip through some of the presets, and I was really blown away by some of them. Ha, some of them are rather meh. Personally, I don't buy a synth for the presets, but some of them do showcase the capabilities of the synth. Hopefully I can sit down this weekend and go through some of the samples and start manipulating them. I forget the patch, but there was one in the first factory bank of a piano sample that was rhytmically modulated in almost a granular way. It sounded fantastic. The samples really do sound great, and I'm hesitant to say this because it makes me sound ridiculous, but when I first turned it on and started playing it really was breath taking. I briefly tried 16 voice mode and it really does seem to suck the life out of the stereo samples, at least the pianos I tried it on. Ha take all this with a grain of salt because I've had very little time with it. But so far I'm impressed and really excited to dig deeper.

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Post by dubonaire » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:54 am

Sinamsis wrote:I had 30 minutes to flip through some of the presets, and I was really blown away by some of them. Ha, some of them are rather meh. Personally, I don't buy a synth for the presets, but some of them do showcase the capabilities of the synth. Hopefully I can sit down this weekend and go through some of the samples and start manipulating them. I forget the patch, but there was one in the first factory bank of a piano sample that was rhytmically modulated in almost a granular way. It sounded fantastic. The samples really do sound great, and I'm hesitant to say this because it makes me sound ridiculous, but when I first turned it on and started playing it really was breath taking. I briefly tried 16 voice mode and it really does seem to suck the life out of the stereo samples, at least the pianos I tried it on. Ha take all this with a grain of salt because I've had very little time with it. But so far I'm impressed and really excited to dig deeper.
Yeah I'm sure it sounds great. Make sure you spend a lot of time with it now because it will get jealous when Moog One arrives.

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Post by Sinamsis » Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:16 am

dubonaire wrote:
Sinamsis wrote:I had 30 minutes to flip through some of the presets, and I was really blown away by some of them. Ha, some of them are rather meh. Personally, I don't buy a synth for the presets, but some of them do showcase the capabilities of the synth. Hopefully I can sit down this weekend and go through some of the samples and start manipulating them. I forget the patch, but there was one in the first factory bank of a piano sample that was rhytmically modulated in almost a granular way. It sounded fantastic. The samples really do sound great, and I'm hesitant to say this because it makes me sound ridiculous, but when I first turned it on and started playing it really was breath taking. I briefly tried 16 voice mode and it really does seem to suck the life out of the stereo samples, at least the pianos I tried it on. Ha take all this with a grain of salt because I've had very little time with it. But so far I'm impressed and really excited to dig deeper.
Yeah I'm sure it sounds great. Make sure you spend a lot of time with it now because it will get jealous when Moog One arrives.

Ha, dude, I'm ridiculous. I know. But those two alone cover a lot of bases. I probably will slim things down further if the One is as good as I think it might be. I've already sold my P12 (ha, but it did get a PolyEvolver instead). The Prophet X is just a whole different world I haven't explored before, but in a package I'm very familiar with (the DSI UI). Now, in the past week I've spent, or at least committed to spend, more money than I have on the studio in an average year. And I think I'm good for a while, with limited exceptions (maybe a rack effect processor, and an analog summing solution).

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Post by dubonaire » Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:03 pm

Sinamsis wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
Sinamsis wrote:I had 30 minutes to flip through some of the presets, and I was really blown away by some of them. Ha, some of them are rather meh. Personally, I don't buy a synth for the presets, but some of them do showcase the capabilities of the synth. Hopefully I can sit down this weekend and go through some of the samples and start manipulating them. I forget the patch, but there was one in the first factory bank of a piano sample that was rhytmically modulated in almost a granular way. It sounded fantastic. The samples really do sound great, and I'm hesitant to say this because it makes me sound ridiculous, but when I first turned it on and started playing it really was breath taking. I briefly tried 16 voice mode and it really does seem to suck the life out of the stereo samples, at least the pianos I tried it on. Ha take all this with a grain of salt because I've had very little time with it. But so far I'm impressed and really excited to dig deeper.
Yeah I'm sure it sounds great. Make sure you spend a lot of time with it now because it will get jealous when Moog One arrives.

Ha, dude, I'm ridiculous. I know. But those two alone cover a lot of bases. I probably will slim things down further if the One is as good as I think it might be. I've already sold my P12 (ha, but it did get a PolyEvolver instead). The Prophet X is just a whole different world I haven't explored before, but in a package I'm very familiar with (the DSI UI). Now, in the past week I've spent, or at least committed to spend, more money than I have on the studio in an average year. And I think I'm good for a while, with limited exceptions (maybe a rack effect processor, and an analog summing solution).
Hey if you have the cash why not? The thing I find though now with three polys is that I'm often kind of torn on which one to use and suffer a bit of paralysis. I probably need to decide to do a track just with one as a creative restraint.

But I think the Moog One and the PX are complimentary and would make an amazing studio.

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Post by Panason » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:06 pm

Needs a Quantum to complete the setup :party:

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Post by Sinamsis » Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:32 pm

dubonaire
Ha, I definitely get that. But I think the longer I have a synth, the more I find how I like to use it. That and I do create artificial constraints. Honestly sometimes I just sit down in front of one and start creating patches. As I play around something starts to take form. Once I have something started, no matter how it started, I usually have some sort of vision in mind, and I pick the next tool that will most easily accomplish that. For example, the A6 I find to do drones and evolving pads very well. But the envelopes are not as snappy as some of my other synths, so I usually don't reach for it first when I want something very percussive. But yeah, artificial constraints and creating a studio within a studio of sorts helps keep me focused.

Panason
Ha, I think I've hit my limit. Financially, space wise and mentally. May snag a Quantum one day, it seems really capable. But with the Prophet X, Polyevolver, 002, Microwave 1, Andromeda and hopefully a Moog One I think I have too much haha. And the Digitone and Analog Keys if that counts. Fuck and a Deepmind 12. It's too much. I suspect I'll eventually let the Andromeda go at least, and maybe the 002. I'm verging on being a collector I know.

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Post by Dave Kendall » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:17 am

@Sinamsis - If you don't mind me asking, does it say in the manual anywhere what the maximum number of velocity-switched layers is?

I haven't been able to find any answer yet, other than a comment in a trade show video that hinted at up to 4.

I'd like to know, because, IMO, for pianos and EPs, you need around 8 or more to make the transitions not too obvious when playing solo, or where the instrument is relatively isolated.
And I believe there are plenty of piano multisamples in the PX, with more potential with the user-sampling facility promised for later this year.

Having the ability to do a piano job as well as weird stuff and synthy stuff makes it more versatile, and more attractive to folks who want to do conventional as well from the same machine, say during a gig.
Or warp a normal rhodes into something bizarre during the course of a track. . .
(I might be one of those folks, if I had the money ;) )
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Post by Sinamsis » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:39 am

Dave Kendall wrote:@Sinamsis - If you don't mind me asking, does it say in the manual anywhere what the maximum number of velocity-switched layers is?

I haven't been able to find any answer yet, other than a comment in a trade show video that hinted at up to 4.

I'd like to know, because, IMO, for pianos and EPs, you need around 8 or more to make the transitions not too obvious when playing solo, or where the instrument is relatively isolated.
And I believe there are plenty of piano multisamples in the PX, with more potential with the user-sampling facility promised for later this year.

Having the ability to do a piano job as well as weird stuff and synthy stuff makes it more versatile, and more attractive to folks who want to do conventional as well from the same machine, say during a gig.
Or warp a normal rhodes into something bizarre during the course of a track. . .
(I might be one of those folks, if I had the money ;) )

Sounds like more than 4. Manual doesn't say specifically. Neither does the 8 Dio page. But 8Dio's other pianos claim up 10 velocity switched layers. 8Dio is known for "deep sampling." The sample library is pretty damn big, and I suspect each multisample file is pretty large. Anyways, while I guess you could use it for pianos etc as you might a Nord Stage or something. But I think that misses the point. And 8 voices may be very limiting (the 16 voice mode really negative impacts the samples in my experience). But if you just want to have some piano and EP sounds in your back pocket, this seems reasonable and I think they could be pretty convincing. If you are genuinely interested I'd reach out to 8Dio for more info.

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Post by Panason » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:44 pm

But with the Prophet X, Polyevolver, 002, Microwave 1, Andromeda and hopefully a Moog One I think I have too much haha. And the Digitone and Analog Keys if that counts. Fuck and a Deepmind 12. It's too much.
The Deepmind is probably overkill :woah:

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Post by Sinamsis » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:13 pm

Panason wrote:
But with the Prophet X, Polyevolver, 002, Microwave 1, Andromeda and hopefully a Moog One I think I have too much haha. And the Digitone and Analog Keys if that counts. Fuck and a Deepmind 12. It's too much.
The Deepmind is probably overkill :woah:
Ha yeah probably. But it was so cheap I couldn’t resist (it’s the desktop). And it offers a tone that is very different from most of the others. And is my only DCO based synth other than the AK. It’s a great carrier for vocoding as well.

But I don’t want to stray too far off topic. Speaking of tone, the X is very different than the previous DSI offerings in this department. I guess mostly because of the filter. Dave Rossum did a great job, I love the way this filter sounds. Already I understand to some degree someone complaint that they didn’t find that they liked mixing subtractive synthesis with samples. I think if you’re just playing back samples and trying to throw on some analog waveforms it just doesn’t blend well. I think I will have to be more clever than that. I think the sine wave is the most innocuous obviously and really serves to thicken a sampled sound nicely when applied at low volumes. Another trick I noticed is it becomes more apparent in the higher registers. Using note to modulate oscillator levels with a negative value, you can tame that easily. Otherwise the oscillators could be viewed as audio rate modulators. And the samples could be viewed as complex waveforms for a subtractive type patch.

In terms of mangling the samples you really do have to use your ears (no waveform display). I don’t think you’ll be able to do very precise sample manipulation here. But it can get very bizarre and abstract very quickly. It’s going to take me a while to fully explore this side of it and realize what types of sounds you can feed into it for specific results. I haven’t had a lot of time but I can already tell you reversed pianos are fucking awesome. I do find piano and strings sounds are easily mixed with subtractive synth sounds but I guess that makes sense. The vocal stuff. Fuck. It’s crazy. Especially the atmospheres. The multisamples with a different sound per note are also really cool. Obviously you can stretch them or whatever it’s called to put one sound across all keys. I have to look at the manual, but I think for tonal stuff this means that if you choose a sample on an A# it is tuned to A# and you will have to adjust the pitch of the sample accordingly to play along with the other oscillators/sample. I have yet to check out the VS samples but I’m really stoked.

Looking to the future. 150gb already in use. Only 50gb left. Not a lot if you’re using deep sampled instruments I guess. But still it’s not bad. I’m curious if it will be able to load anything off an external HD as the Octatrack does. I’m also really excited to see user sample import. I wonder how easily it will work. This will hugely impact the way I use it. For example I like to create velocity layered samples of other synth patches. The thought being I could have access to those sounds on one machine. Would be nice particularly if I ever played out. I will often use Redmatica (now part of Mainstage) to do this with relative ease. It creates an EXS file that is also compatible with sample in Ableton. Would be great if the software could convert these sorts of file. Would be even better if it could convert files from other samplers like the NI stuff, though I suspect that will be tricky.

Over all, aside from the common one hit approach to sampling and simple keygroul samples (which this seems to do well), it really seems to nail the use of samples as fodder to create complex timbres very different from the source material. That’s something I’ve always looked for in a sampler, but never really explored past Ableton in any great depth. This seems to do it with relative ease. Granted it has its limitations, it seems to hit the sweet spot for someone like me who is very comfortable with subtractive synthesis, but doesn’t have a ton of experience with sampling, or more accurately, using samples in a remotely abstract and creative way.

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Post by dubonaire » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:26 pm

Sinamsis wrote:150gb already in use. Only 50gb left. Not a lot if you’re using deep sampled instruments I guess. But still it’s not bad.
It's not great either. Current prices of SSD ram are $0.30/GB so more space could have been provided at not that much extra cost. This could have been expandable and different memory options could have been offered. Maybe there was some other design constraint.

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Post by Sinamsis » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:41 pm

dubonaire wrote:
Sinamsis wrote:150gb already in use. Only 50gb left. Not a lot if you’re using deep sampled instruments I guess. But still it’s not bad.
It's not great either. Current prices of SSD ram are $0.30/GB so more space could have been provided at not that much extra cost. This could have been expandable and different memory options could have been offered. Maybe there was some other design constraint.
Yeah, they could've gone bigger. I assume the 150 gb is protected as well so that it cannot be over-written. But what are you going to do? Ha I guess not buy the synth. But then you'd be missing out.

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Post by dubonaire » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:24 pm

Sinamsis wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
Sinamsis wrote:150gb already in use. Only 50gb left. Not a lot if you’re using deep sampled instruments I guess. But still it’s not bad.
It's not great either. Current prices of SSD ram are $0.30/GB so more space could have been provided at not that much extra cost. This could have been expandable and different memory options could have been offered. Maybe there was some other design constraint.
Yeah, they could've gone bigger. I assume the 150 gb is protected as well so that it cannot be over-written. But what are you going to do? Ha I guess not buy the synth. But then you'd be missing out.
Yeah I'm sure if you can't unique sounds with what is already there you never will.

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Post by Dave Kendall » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:28 pm

@sinamsis. Thanks. I'll check out 8DIO.
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Post by rowsbywoof » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:36 am

Some of my favorite 8Dio stuff is their atmospheres and the B-side type samples they give with things like the vocal packs, or ambient guitar, where it's nothing but feedback, or the washed out reverb heavy environment. It's pretty sad that I'd rather have more of that from them instead of deep-sampled, perfectly captured instruments ;)

Prophet X is so tempting to me. I keep checking into this thread to see what folks are up to with it. We need more tracks here showing what this thing can really do!

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Post by Sinamsis » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:38 pm

Had a little more time with the Prophet X today. I'm still figuring out my elbows from my asshole here so bear with me haha. Thoughts:

- I played a little with the VS single cycle waveforms. They sound great! I think for VS type patches you could easily switch to 16 voice mode and not lose much at all.

- Using a negative envelope on size is really fun. Goes from a recognizable sound to granular and back if you so desire. Awesome.

- I just realized you could pan individual oscillators/samples. That's great!

- I really like using the percussive samples layered with a pad. Doing things like using arpeggiated percussive samples on layer A with a pad or done type sound on layer B. It would be nice if there were a feature where you could pick which samples played back, or really disable samples that didn't fit.

- The effects section sounds better than the Pro 6 or Rev 2. Just my two cents. HPF in effects is very musical too. I really love the effects section!

Ha i'm trying to not sound like a fan boy. But I've been very pleased so far!

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Post by dubonaire » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:57 pm

Apparently Sequential is going to release a 76-key 32 voice Prophet XL:

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http://www.synthanatomy.com/2018/10/seq ... ZhbRA_qcdU

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Post by Panason » Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:47 am

They are adding some sort of paraphonic 32 voice mode to the base model as well as the new XL... free update.
Using a negative envelope on size is really fun. Goes from a recognizable sound to granular and back if you so desire. Awesome.
I'm going to try to avoid listening to demos of this as it will probably give me regrettable GAS.

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Post by JAO » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:30 am

A Sequential Prophet XL paired with the Waldorf Quantum will provide the palette for the neo new age sound. Much layering, big dreamy.

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Post by Sinamsis » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:01 am

dubonaire wrote:Apparently Sequential is going to release a 76-key 32 voice Prophet XL:

Image

http://www.synthanatomy.com/2018/10/seq ... ZhbRA_qcdU
Fuck my impatience! Haha, this whole time I've been bitching about wanting a larger, hammer action keybed. The way I read this, this is the only "upgrade" right? The 32 voice paraphonic thing is applicable to both I believe. Ha, oh well. The discounted price I got on the PX would make the newer version a much tougher pill to swallow, maybe one day...

As an aside, personally I think the decision to mount the control panel in the center of the board somewhat of a waste of space. For example, I like that the controls of my Virus TI were all on the left side, leaving a decently large space to the right (I actually had a P '08 module sitting there for a long time).

As another aside, is this the big announcement DSI teased? I got the impression that it was meant to compete with the Moog One. I certainly hope not. Haha.

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Post by Panason » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:18 am

Desktop wavetable synth with the OB-6 filters confirmed :zombie:

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Post by brokensolderingiron » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:09 am

Interesting, there is a ITX PC inside PX, wonder if Quantum do the same. Woho, upload your favourite VST(+OS probably) and filter it! :party:

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Post by proteus-ix » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:30 pm

Panason wrote:Desktop wavetable synth with the OB-6 filters confirmed :zombie:
Assume you're joking with no link / reference.

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Post by Panason » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:56 pm

Sorry to trigger the old GAS!

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