Prophet 12 Module Released

DSI develops a tabletop and rack-ready version of their flagship Prophet 12 keyboard      19/12/13

Dave Smith Instruments has announced the Prophet 12 module, a space-saving tabletop and rack-ready reworking of its recently released Prophet 12 keyboard, the twelve-voice hybrid digital/ analog synthesizer that company founder and renowned designer Dave Smith duly declared his "best synth yet."

Dave Smith told us, "We have had many requests from professional musicians for a small, easily portable version of the Prophet 12 keyboard, with all the same features and incredible sound. The new Prophet 12 module is just that: it has all the power of the Prophet 12 keyboard -- in fact, it has the exact same voice board -- and it fits into a backpack."

All those powerful Prophet 12 module parameters are easily editable via a well-thought-through front panel perfectly fit for purpose. "People like small these days," declares its astute architect. "Many musicians also have more than enough keyboards, or simply don't use keyboards. The Prophet 12 module offers a sleek design that still gives you easy and incredibly fast and intuitive control over all parameters."

Just like its Prophet 12 keyboard counterpart, the twelve-voice hybrid digital/analog Prophet 12 module not only boasts the greatest number of voices of any instrument from the distinguished designer to date, but each of those voices features four OSCILLATORS capable of generating classic and complex waveforms, a sub-oscillator (Sub Octave), resonant LOW-PASS FILTER and HIGH-PASS FILTER, and analog VOLTAGE CONTROLLED AMPLIFIER. Additional features include a tuned FEEDBACK path, a four-tap stereo DELAY per voice, expanded ARPEGGIATOR functionality, deep MODULATION capabilities, bi-timbral operation, and much more besides. The CHARACTER section adds a variety of out of the ordinary wave-shaping and sound-sculpting options like Girth (low shelf filtering that boosts low frequencies, with some extra harmonic modification at higher settings), Air (high shelf filtering that boosts high frequencies, with some extra harmonic modification at higher settings), Hack (reduces the bit depth of the mixed output from the oscillators), Decimation (reduces the sample rate of the mixed output from the oscillators), and Drive (emulates tape saturation).

Despite its comparatively diminutive dimensions, the back panel I/O of the Prophet 12 module matches that of the Prophet 12 keyboard in almost all aspects -- apart from featuring an external power supply in the interests of making it as compact and portable as possible. Headphones, Main/A Outputs, B Outputs, MIDI Thru, MIDI Out, MIDI In, Pedal 1, Pedal 2, Sustain, and USB connectivity are all present and accounted for, making musical communication with the outside world a breeze.

A spokesperson for DSI had this to say, "Be prepared to be blown away by the Prophet 12 module. It won't break backpacks, but packs more than enough power into its easily carried form factor to meet the needs of modern music makers and savvy sound designers - wherever they take it."

Pricing and Availability:

The Prophet 12 module has an MAP of $2,199.00 USD and can be purchased from any authorized Dave Smith Instruments dealer.

More information:



Even more news...

21 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
messiah    Said...


19-Dec-13 04:11 AM

GTRman    Said...

Nice, very nice.

19-Dec-13 07:55 AM

luvssss old skool analogue    Said...

CV and gate on pedal inputs plzzzzzzzz. even a single cv and gate would do

19-Dec-13 10:02 AM

Synth_Fan    Said...

The price is outrageous !

19-Dec-13 10:45 AM

chris    Said...

I wouldn't say the price is outrageous. With $500-1000 for a mono, $2000 for 12 voices is a deal. Why is it only bi-timbral though? If it was completely multi-timbral, you could do a whole track (including drums) using this one box.

19-Dec-13 12:16 PM

Synth_Fan    Said...

But the $500 - $1000 monos have significantly greater realtime control - and a keyboard. This is essentially the same price as the keyboard version which is physically bigger, has a keyboard and all that entails control wise and a vast control panel. Dave Smith is too often too keen to charge extremely highly - at the highest ned of the price range - based largely on his reputation (which is significant I fully accept) . His prices are 30 years outmoded and utterly out of line with most synth manufacturers; and out of reach of most musicians actually interested in these instruments. He failed as a business man in the past for these sorts of antics - can't he get the price / performance and manufacturing scale issues right; and make more of these for a cheaper unit manufacturing cost. The likes of Moog have figured this out (even Arturia have worked it out).

The price of this module is significantly out of line with reason - this module does not cost a few hundred dollars less to manufacture than the keyboard version - it costs a small fraction of the amount. So the price is artificially inflated for pure profit reasons.

It's a shame that he, and Oberheim, have such an outmoded view - it means that up and coming artists (usually the most innovative) cannot get to use their instruments - instruments of true quality for sure.

One can accept the cost of the Prophet 12 keyboard ; but this module should _not_ cost more than $1000.

19-Dec-13 06:31 PM

MoPhoOwner    Said...

How on earth can you claim Dave Smith is overpricing compared to Moog? I got my Mopho keyboard for $650 new, which is a lot less than $1395 for a Little Phatty or $1000 for for a Sub Phatty. This unit is probably aimed at studios and touring musicians, both of whom have the money and need for this unit to pay the extra price involved in making a unit that's outside the need of most users (like say...a "synth fan") and isn't going to sell tons.

19-Dec-13 10:22 PM

Synth_Fan    Said...

OK - bad example I accept - and Moog effects are too expensive too - but the basic point is valid. No denying the superlative quality, and the development time and expense - but the difference in manufacturing cost between the P12 keyboard and P12 module is artificial - as in - the P12 modules artificially high. And that then prods the question about DS's entire pricing structure. I also find your argument for the price to be elitist - if DS is making instruments only for those with mega-bucks to spend; and is purposely excluding las well off artists, and is happy to over charge them for that reason (as you argue), isn't that distasteful. I certainly don't want to know about it.

Overall, he's a genius of a designer, but when I hear his arguments about pricing, and hear him rattle off huge unit prices in interviews as if that's the norm (as with the Tempest which is outrageously over priced), it turns me off (and I've bought some expensive equipment in my time). I can accept the price of the P12 keyboard - no argument there - but too much of his equipment if artificially too high, as with this unit.

20-Dec-13 04:00 AM

sexdigitism    Said...

lack of knobs ...too sad , tss tss , unsellable !

20-Dec-13 07:25 AM

MoPhoOwner    Said...

Synth_Fan - I wouldn't say I'm arguing that Dave is purposefully marking up the unit, so much as I'm saying that he's not making the P12 series for anyone other than himself and understands that it's outside what most users want or need (do you really need 12 voices?) and thus he has the choice of either not releasing it, taking a loss, or doing what he's probably done - taking the production cost and dividing it by a projected number of units sold to properly recoup his investment as a small business owner. I'm not saying I'm excited to see Dave ignoring user needs, but I can't fault him for exploring his ideas.

20-Dec-13 11:52 AM

jph    Said...

Synth_Fan - get a volca if that is your speed,.

DSI makes high-quality made in America original gear for professional producers and musicians. If you think it is over priced, simply don't buy one,. 2k for a 12 voice with insane routing options (these things are nearly modular) and real analog filers,. what other synths come close??

20-Dec-13 02:26 PM

brandon    Said...

I see time and time again, synth manufatcurers aiming at the well off consumer. Mopho and Volca etc meet the budget end and are great products. It would be great to see the synth companies making simple basic rack units for those of us banging out the tunes for vinyl, who want simple gear that doesn't take up too much room. We don't need ridiculous spec. A rack mopho would be great.

21-Dec-13 06:28 AM

Kizartik    Said...

This is easily the most civilized argument I've read on the internet in years.

21-Dec-13 08:17 AM

Synth_Fan    Said...

@Kizartik (and to all). Kudos!

There is a valid point of making more sophisticated instruments that cost more - totally concede that point. And I am delighted that Dave Smith is still developing. Indeed he (and arguably the Moog Subphatty) have delivered true 21st century advancements on analogy (DCO+analogue) instruments that are totally appropriate for our time - harnessing and exploiting digital control while retaining analogue warmth and character, and so on...

My only and original point is that I feel this module is overpriced - but perhaps the keyboard version is underpriced and this module sensibly priced - I suppose I can't know (just - the difference between the two seems odd)!

but there's no denying what a jaw-dropping instrument he has put together.

Happy Christmas to you all.

21-Dec-13 09:23 AM

Dr.Filterstein    Said...

If you like the Curtis filters in DSI Synths, buy a DSI, but there are a lot of VA's with fantasic powerfull filters and oscillators.I own a Novation K Station, Yamaha AN1X,Waldorf MW 2 and some other gears.Some months ago i played all DSI and Clavia Nord synths at a music store.At the end of the day i bought a Microkorg XL for 350 Euro because the whole sound and filters impressed me more than all the expensive synths.

21-Dec-13 01:32 PM

Studio 139    Said...

Pricing. DSI is a tiny company. They build the units in the U.S., although I suspect parts come from China. They offer great support for their instruments and the build quality is very good. The Prophet 12 offers massive amounts functionality and control. The lack of the keyboard doesn't reduce the cost because the key bed is the cheapest part of the instrument. The compact design means the number of knobs had to be reduced, but the control layout is well thought out. These are serious instruments and are priced fairly for what you get. I would have loved the price to be around $1600, but I'd rather DSI stay in business.

28-Dec-13 03:44 AM

ghetto d    Said...

Granted, they've a tiny company so it might be impossible to keep prices low, but $2100 for this is outrageous. Look at all the knobs and controls on the keyboard version. Maybe if the rack version was laid out identically it would be worth it (it would definitely be worth it), but as it is it's bogus. An instrument this deep needs much more than 4 knobs. And for those of you who think DSI's excellent support is a selling point, check out some forum entries regarding the Tetra and it's software nightmare.

05-Jan-14 10:40 AM

friendofChaka    Said...

I think there should be dedicated filter knobs at least. Also It would be nice if the module showed up as a VST/AU plug-in when you plugged in the usb cable.For $2100 dollars a vintage synth might be a better investment

05-Jan-14 11:34 AM

Peter K    Said...

I think there are dedicated filter knobs... at least Cutoff and Resonance for both the hi and low pass filters.

I think this is a good move, though personally I'd rather save up and get the big guy!

05-Jan-14 10:41 PM

Alf    Said...

If it only had a D-Beam I would buy it.

07-Jan-14 01:49 PM

vember    Said...

Ergonomically speaking ..I dont like the knobs above the screen. Surely you have to contort your hand to see the display.

11-Jan-14 09:40 AM

Post a comment 

More Videos

NAMM 2016: Numark Serato Dashboard USB Screens 

Hide away that laptop and DJ freely

Superbooth 2016: Dreadbox Drips Drum Synth, Hades Mono 

Affordable bass synth, flexible drum voice

MESSE 2016: Mikme - Put A Studio In Your Pocket 

Designed to capture singing, playing, drumming and speaking in studio-grade quality

MESSE 2016: Decksaver - Saves Your Gear 

The range just keeps on expanding