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In-depth Feature:  Native Instruments Prophet 5 VST synth
Mark Tinley writes:
  • Test System Used .

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    ...continued

    Sonic State Rating:
    Ease of Use 85% Well, it's a Prophet V.
    Value For Money 100% Is there a cheaper way to get multiple Prophet Vs into a studio?.
    Tweakabillty 100% It rocks!.
    Build Quality 85% Very stable, but works better with VST than with LOGIC.
    Sound Quality 90% Well it's not exactly Curtis chips, but it'll do.
    Compatabillity 100% Works exactly as you expect it to..
    Overall 100% Buy it now!.
    Overall:   94% Sonic State Editors Choice

    Conclusion
    I see myself in the very near future with a living room full of retro synthesisers on my laptop. I'll literally conjure up all the sounds my client needs from one tiny book of chips with a screen. Whether it's psychological or not, I don't know. But something about having a picture of the synthesiser and being able to call it up with a song via the Cubase or LOGIC mixer works for me too. I have always found that software synths don't really want to live in a mix, they seem to want their own identity, like they have their own egos, and they are trying to prove that they are something they are not ! Perhaps having the synth on the same sonic network is what it takes. I always find mixing MIDI tracks from just one synthesiser very easy, however trying to match the sonic footprint of a JV2080 with say an Akai S5000 is a bit more of a task. You need good EQ with lots of parameters that you can grab very quickly. Ideally a good desk. In this day and age of mouse driven interfaces it often takes a little more time to get things to sit together. One trick I often employ, is to record everything onto tape, utilising the sonic footprint of the two inch to bring everything into the same space. Cubase, or my RME Hammerfall obviously have their own sonic footprint, and things just seem to lock together really nicely. And I like anything that makes my life easier.

    In my opinion VST synthesis is an amazing perceptive trick and I'm completely blown away. One could argue that like Cyberspace, these synthesisers really don't exist, but that's another story. For me, the Pro 5 is really the first serious offering, and only good things can follow. At last I have a software synthesiser that's believable. In fact, to have software synthesisers that run on basic computer hardware is something of a dream come true.

    Younger ears may never know what a genuine Prophet V sounded like and may even prefer the software equivalent. After all, I have no idea what a well played Stradivarius violin sounds like, and I prefer the control I have with my Emulator. I can make a violin do things that a Stradivarius cannot, and if I use that analogy, then the Pro 5 is king.

    The bigger picture for me is that modelling the reaction of electronic circuits is just the beginning of a technology that will change how music is made and listened to in the future. I have already read about a University student (Ken Lomax) who has developed the technology to analyse a voice and recreate that in a software model. Software modelling of vocal tracts is already here in various forms, and I predict that a software company will release a program that will entirely replace a vocalist in the near future. It will just be a matter of typing the lyric into a computer over an existing score, and a virtual 'Elvis' or 'Buddy Holly' will appear on screen and sing the song.

    More Resources              Articles - full listing
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