Dave Smith's New Synth - Its An Uber Mono

Totally new filter design, paraphonic      19/06/14
Dave Smith's New Synth - Its An Uber Mono


So, we've had a few teasers - closeups and detail, plus a shot of the video shoot, presumably for this very video.

But the news is finally out, the new Dave Smith Instruments Pro-2 - synthesists with a long memory might be getting excited that its some kind of Pro-One reissue - but no. Dave Smith says he's much happier working on new synth designs rather than rehashing old ones.

Basically, its got 4 digital Oscillators, you'll know that the Prophet-12 features these and Dave regularly says that he can innovate more with these than regular analogue oscillators. There's also a new dual mode analogue filter - with both ladder and a state variable. We also notice a couple of pressure/touch strips like the Tempest and P12..

Speculation was also rife that it was going to be an affordable mono, but no, this baby is listed at $1999 so takes it up to the premo class.

Here's the skinny:

Oscillators

  • Four DSP-based oscillators plus one sine wave sub oscillator
  • Four classic wave shapes (saw, square, triangle, sine) per oscillator
  • Twelve selectable complex shapes per oscillator
  • 13 Superwaves
  • Three noise types per oscillator: white, pink, violet
  • Shape modulation/pulse width/superwave detune amount
  • Oscillator cross modulation: frequency modulation (FM) and amplitude modulation (AM)
  • Hard sync, individual Glide, Oscillator Slop

Paraphonic Playability

  • True 4-voice paraphonic mode with individually-gated envelopes per oscillator

Character Effects

  • Five high-quality digital effects. Thicken the signal and add harmonics or completely destroy the signal pre-filter.
  • Girth and Air are high and low shelf equalizers with harmonic excitement. Useful for thickening and/or adding air to the signal.
  • Hack and Decimate are sample and bit rate reduction algorithms which can add subtle grit or completely trash the signal. It's harsh yet musical.
  • Drive is a soft saturator for adding soft distortion and harmonic content to the signal

Filters

  • Dual analog filters operate in serial or parallel
  • Filter 1 is a 4-pole resonant analog low-pass filter inspired by the original Prophet-5 filter.
  • Filter 2 is a 2-pole resonant analog state-variable filter inspired by the Oberheim SEM filter and can be continuously varied between low-pass, notch, and high-pass operation, with an optional band-pass mode.
  • Oscillator Split allows oscillators 1 & 2 to be sent to Filter 1 and oscillators 3 & 4 to Filter 2.

Feedback and Delay

  • Tuned Feedback
  • Three-tap syncable delay with feedback and amount controls, pan, and high-pass and low-pass filtering, all per delay. A separate fourth delay is a digital bucket-brigade delay (BBD) for analog-style effects.

Envelopes

  • Five Delay + ADSR envelopes (Filter 1, Filter 2, VCA , and two Auxiliary envelopes)
  • Auxiliary envelopes 4 and 5 freely assignable to multiple modulation destinations
  • All envelopes can repeat/loop

LFOs

  • Four syncable LFOs with phase offset and slew per LFO

Modulation

  • 16 x 2 modulation matrix with over 50 mod sources and over 140 mod destinations
  • Parameters that can be sent to CV outputs include oscillators, LFOs, envelopes, sequencer tracks and any other source within the modulation matrix. Runs up to audio rates.
  • Gate Out for triggering external CV-compatible devices; any CV in can be used as a gate input.

Control Voltage Ins & Outs and Gate Out

  • Four 1-volt-per-octave control voltage inputs and outputs for interfacing with modular synths and other CV-compatible devices
  • Modulation assignment buttons enable quick and easy modulation routing.
  • Mod Matrix runs up to audio rates.

Sequencer

  • Advanced step sequencer provides up to 32 steps per sequence and up to 16 tracks.
  • Supports real-time input, rests, and variable-length sequences
  • Syncs to MIDI clock and external audio and CV input
  • Sequences can control not only oscillator pitch but any parameter in the modulation matrix.

Arpeggiator

  • Sophisticated arpeggiator with up, down, up+down, random, assign modes
  • Supports real-time input, rests, and variable-length sequences
  • Re-latching arpeggiation

More From: DAVE SMITH INSTRUMENTS
Even more news...

26 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
Funkdefino    Said...

Best product demo ever! Thanks Dave!!

19-Jun-14 01:59 PM


HnnH    Said...

I'm sure there are people who will slag Dave Smith for focusing on high-ticket instruments over the last couple years after introducing multiple sub-$1000 analog units years ahead of the current boom - but personally I'm glad to see Dave pulling out the stops and really innovating now that the affordable synth market is reaching it's saturation point. Consider this, the Tempest and Prophet 12 a victory lap after pretty much being proven right by the marketplace and your competition.

19-Jun-14 03:36 PM


Synth_Fan    Said...

Wow!

Going to be very expensive but -

Wow!

HnnH - good points! A push forward in synth design and innovation (though the Sub37 is equally significant )

19-Jun-14 06:52 PM


al_bot    Said...

Thanks Dave! I enjoy watching his demos, clear to the point, he's excited, and we get to clearly a working product. Too bad I can't afford.

19-Jun-14 07:31 PM


I Will BUY    Said...

DSI Mopho X4 is my Go-To Analog Synth in my studio, it's "Pure & Raw" Analog Poly... If Pro 2 is multitimbral It will be difficult to past by, even at $2K IMO :))

19-Jun-14 09:25 PM


HnnH    Said...

This has been pointed out elsewhere, but it's worth noting the "Dave Smith Modular" Curtis Filter unit tucked away in that modular kit - looks like we can expect another announcement soon!

19-Jun-14 11:14 PM


spiderbloke    Said...

meh @ digital oscillators again

20-Jun-14 08:13 AM


global socialite    Said...

when is Nick going to give it a test drive?

20-Jun-14 09:44 AM


SUBTRACTIVE NOBODY    Said...

I am glad that somebody is still willing to innovate and push forward (though I will admit I do enjoy a good rehashing of an old classic synth when done right) but Dave seems just as passionate as when he Co-invented MIDI! Kudos to this man. He was super cool to talk to at NAMM '14. Looking forward to first of next year already!

20-Jun-14 10:24 AM


Mr Benedict Johnson    Said...

Prophet 08 was released in 2008 Prophet 12 was released in 2012

How hard would it have been to call this the Pro 4 (in 2014) for a piece of tenuous consistency!

If it costs anything remotely like $2k (£1176) I will be pouncing on this like a sadistic and starving cat on a lethargic vole. If the "sound" (which I suspect still hasn't been demonstrated at it's "best") is as good as the reviews say, it's the perfect partner to my Nord Stage 2 and my rig will be complete.

If you'd be so kind Nick, I (and I suspect many others) don't really know what all this CV in/out business is all about. I know it allows for modular expansion, which sounds jolly exciting but what does it really mean in practical terms?

Didn't even the digital King Korg have Modular gates on it? Control voltage syncing (?) appears to be the next thing on the horizon. Perhaps you could use your modular devices to present a short explanation of what "modular" can "do". Many thanks

20-Jun-14 02:15 PM


PinkNoize    Said...

this reminds me alot of the mono poly by korg from back in the day and the sem and curtis filter option is just superb.....sounds alot meaner than the p12 too....will go nicely with my mopho x4

20-Jun-14 04:46 PM


Peter K.    Said...

Don't be worried about the digital oscillators, trust me. The P12 is a beast of genius.

This looks over the top amazing, and I agree with HnnH that it's nice to see somebody building up to a quality rather than down to a price like everyone else. Built in power supply and aftertouch. Two simple but awesome things.

I already put money down on a Sub 37 but features and flexibility wise this thing is on another level. This synth is taking on more like high end Voyager territory. I think it's going to be really special.

I agree with the person that said that this reminds them more of the Mono/Poly. I have one and was thinking the same thing. I think that between this and the Sub 37, there's really not much need anymore to hunt down vintage relics. Korg has the MS-20 Mini happening, and I hope they do good on the Odyssey. Then all classic flavours are covered as well as moving into the future.

20-Jun-14 06:38 PM


Peter K.    Said...

Really, this thing is like taking the best bits of a Pro One, a Mono/Poly, and an SEM, and putting them together. Impressive.

For the size, I bet a lot of folks could get by with the paraphonic mode for synth stabs, etc.

20-Jun-14 06:40 PM


JerryG    Said...

I thought the Evolver and MEK was a complex mono, but this is just absolutely INSANE- in a good way. Dave took heed to requests for a new filter and juts by the one video, it sounds beautiful, though I do also like the Curtis as well. This synth is pure madness in the utmost degree. Another classic from DSI!

21-Jun-14 12:10 AM


Alex    Said...

Who know model of the speakers standing behind Dave?

21-Jun-14 03:15 AM


MusicBoom    Said...

this sounds and look like something I will buy, it may as well be my first DSI synth

Nick....When will you review it? :)

21-Jun-14 04:04 AM


MusicBoom    Said...

this sounds and look like something I will buy, it may as well be my first DSI synth

Nick....When will you review it? :)

21-Jun-14 04:04 AM


Brandon    Said...

I hope there is a rack unit of this instrument from Dave Smith. It looks stunning and soon as I heard the filter I was sold it .

21-Jun-14 07:42 AM


Champ    Said...

What MusicBoom says..

The world is waiting for THE Sonicstate review.

For the last couple of years I gotta say we have been smothered with some amazing synths coming out. :)

21-Jun-14 11:59 AM


Jan    Said...

Don't really understand those people complaining about not getting the same old analog oscillators again and again, before even listening or playing the new product. But perhaps they are happy enough paying insane amounts of money for unstable, error prone vintage synths or less money for those cheap plasticky analog toys which we have in abundance now. This is probably the most flexible mono synth ever built for a price that is less than what you payed for e.g. an mono/poly thirty years ago. Good times for musicians! And I am really impressed by Dave Smith for totally ignoring the current marketing hypes and doing just what he wants to do.

22-Jun-14 03:09 AM


Nanners1    Said...

He's gonna sell about a bezillion of these. It's the new "it" synth. What a fantastic instrument for keyboard players.

22-Jun-14 06:51 AM


Guido    Said...

Who cares what it sounds like!!! That is a beautiful looking synth.

22-Jun-14 01:15 PM


Peter K.    Said...

In regards to what Jan said, I agree. As an owner of a P12, if you get one you will only care about the lack of analog oscillators from the time you turn it on until the OS boots up. Trust me, it blows the doors off of any classic analog poly I've ever owned or played. I'd put it up against ANYTHING. Between the slop, distortion/overdrive options and the character section, it can really nail a lot of the great sound of the past.

Don't sleep on the DSI stuff simply because the oscillators are modeled. The P12 is the greatest poly synth since the Andromeda, but it's more reliable and easier to use.

This Pro-2 looks to improve upon it in some very cool ways. I love the paraphonic option, the new waveforms, and the size and overall sound.

Wow. Can't wait to check it out in person.

22-Jun-14 03:38 PM


E03    Said...

Wow this thing looks and sounds amazing, & what a feature list - 4 osc, nice filters, advanced seq, paraphonic mode, aftertouch, wicked delays, mod matrix, multi cv i/o etc..etc.. ETC. Question - Dave mentions gate source from the cv ins? Does he mean they can be switched to 4 gate outs or can the cv ins be gates?? Anyway really nice synth & demo - I'm saving my pennys:)

22-Jun-14 03:54 PM


EMwhite    Said...

It does look very powerful. Price is appropriate, I think for what you get. Not a bargain but not outrageous either.

I wonder if "thanks to Tom" really means that Tom contributed the Filter section verbatim. Would be nice to know and maybe have the Tom Oberheim sig next to Daves;

As for 'individually gated', I suspect he means four VCAs which use THE amplitude envelope albeit independently gated. Now that's impressive.

Is the envelope follower built in or is the implication that you use your own then bind one of the CV ins to Cutoff frequency.

Nick, when you get yours, maybe take the sides off and open it up so we can see the innards; It's hinged at the back so it's begging to be cracked open for all to see!

30-Jun-14 09:11 AM


JohnDude    Said...

I just got a Pro2 arrive and I am please to say it sounds great, different from the Prophet 12.

I was always left wanting a bit more with previous DSI synths but this thing has all it all there. Pro one sounds, trance leads, pulsating club sounds.

A few workflow improvements too like a dedicate patch change dial, to save from jumping out of menus to get back to patch finding.

28-Aug-14 11:45 AM


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