Sonic LAB: Prophet '08 Review Pt2 Posted

It's worth the wait      29/04/08
In this second part of his odyssey into the Dave Smith Instruments Prophet '08, William H checks out the arpeggiator and the sequencer and finally draws his conclusions.
For the notes go here
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15 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
Stefan    Said...

William, thanks for your thorough and fair-minded review! There has been some criticism of the Prophet 08's somewhat lackluster presets. What's your opinion? Did you use only built-in presets for the review itself or did you program your own?

29-Apr-08 02:30 PM


loneraver    Said...

Great review. Better than most product reviews.

I hope they review the Waldorf Blofeld. I'm thinking about getting that because I can at least afford that unlike this prophet.

29-Apr-08 03:14 PM


Marc JX8P    Said...

Very interesting review once again and well produced - as usual. The Prophet 8 definitely looks like a great product to me.

29-Apr-08 04:38 PM


www.juicyaudio.com    Said...

William, your review was so slick and fair minded, it's unreal....your knowledge of workable synthesis and delivering a message which is fair and not just "noodling or jamming" is superlative. Keep it up! :-D

Hving owned the PEK, EVOLVER MODULE & THE POLY KEYBOARD, i found the sounds in those were far too rich in some cases for the soundtrack work i do. Having said that, on their own with good eq'ing and so on, they can really deliver. The beauty of this is that you DO have the character of the P5 and OB-xa and OB-8 (again ive had those too), but obviously without the wallet shreddign bills per year.

All things said, a multi-mode filter would have made this TOP OF THE CLASS, but price point is obviously a concern for dave; speaking of which he's really good at answering queries personally.

Thanks again for such an informative and highly objective review

29-Apr-08 05:31 PM


zahush76    Said...

How did you manage to tweak a drum set on the p08? I mean, i've seen your video about how to make a drum machine on the mk2000, but i can't figure out how it's done on the P08. You can't route the kb tracking to a specific destination like you did on the korg ms2000.

Also, you can't do the sequencing trick you did with the lfo's on the ensoniq, since you can't reverse the polarity of the square lfo.

How can you manage to do these things on the P08? (You really should issue a "tips & tricks" video for the P08...)

Another thing i found weird is that the P08 sequencer can't control the osc volume. It can only control osc mix. This adds up with the things that don't cost dave extra money - yet are not possible on the synth. Strangely enough - the mono evolver's 4x16 sequncer CAN do that, and is generally a more flexible sequencer.

29-Apr-08 06:10 PM


Parris    Said...

Great review. Almost better than all product reviews. Will...............Class.

29-Apr-08 06:42 PM


Inside Synthesis    Said...

To zahush76:

If you use the modulation matrix, then you can route keytracking to specific destinations - I think it's called "key number".

You can do the negative polarity on LFOs with the matrix as well. Just assign -127 for the value instead of +127.

The drum part is more tricky, since there's no highpass filter. That's why I ended up using filter FM and resonance. You can get a pretty thin sound for the hihat that way, but the sound will be thicker on the lefthand side for the snare.

You can essentially control oscillator volume using the mix parameter. Not quite as easy to do, but it works.

29-Apr-08 07:03 PM


zahush76    Said...

Thanks a lot William!

I still, though, have some unsolved questions about how to make the drum kit on the P08. For example - are you using only one layer to create the drum kit - which leaves you another layer for bass? If so, that means that all the filter settings etc - are the same for the osc and the noise, and it's clever use of kb tracking.

If that's the case, i'll really appreciate it if you could describe how it's done, step by step, because i'm having a hard time solving this one. That is, ofcourse, if you don't mind.

If this isn't the "forum" for this kind of thing, than you can email me at zahush76@yahoo.com and i'll be really really grateful.

Again, thanks!

30-Apr-08 12:58 AM


Robert    Said...

It's hard to be subjective but I think Mr Williams hit this review on P08 spot on. I hope there will be more reviews in the future.

Greetings from Sweden - The land of big producers :)

30-Apr-08 04:26 AM


Robert    Said...

It's hard to be subjective but I think Mr Williams hit this review on P08 spot on. I hope there will be more reviews in the future.

Greetings from Sweden - The land of big producers :)

30-Apr-08 04:26 AM


Inside Synthesis    Said...

To Stefan:

"What's your opinion? Did you use only built-in presets for the review itself or did you program your own?"

I used a mixture of both presets and custom sounds. Some were totally from scratch, like the OBXa copies and the drum kit, and one of the string pads. The rhythmic stuff in the second episode were mostly presets.

Overall, I'd say the presets are decent after you tweak them a bit. I don't think this sort of machine is about presets anyway. :)

30-Apr-08 06:35 AM


Inside Synthesis    Said...

To zahush76:

"For example - are you using only one layer to create the drum kit - which leaves you another layer for bass?"

The drumkit used both layers - kick on one, and snare/hihat on the other.

I did figure out a way to make a drumkit using one layer. I routed pulsewidth to keytracking, so that it was fat on the bottom and narrow on the top.

But that was after I recorded all of the video. It didn't sound too bad.

I don't have the review unit anymore so a step-by-step would probably be missing steps. But it's similar to the MS2000 tutorial, except you track Filter FM, resonance, and pulse width if you want a drumkit from one layer.

The same kind of envelope settings apply.

30-Apr-08 06:39 AM


Dennis    Said...

Exelent review, thanks a lot! This was really usefull for me. Looks like it's time to start saving. :D

26-May-08 02:22 PM


im only 14 :D    Said...

just a word of advice: (especially to loneraver) dont buy a cheaper synth like the blofeld, which is cheap, and not worth paying for in my opinion, just because its cheap. price shouldnt matter, because you can always save up, and believe me, one amazing analogue like this is better than a thousand crappy synths combined.

10-Apr-10 07:45 PM


Bruce    Said...

Hi Great Review. Im torn between this and an Andy A6. Trouble is the Andy has no customer support if it Breaks.... Also played an Blofeld, not a great synth, A virus C is better, in my opinion.

21-Dec-12 01:37 AM


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