New Synth: The Prophet 10 Reissue!

Prophet 10 On Desk

Well, The REV2 sounds pretty good but it doesn’t sound like a big, fat analog synth. Close, but not quite. But this one…. wow! This is the one! This one stands with the synth giants like the OB-X and Xa and OB-8, Memorymoog, Cs-80 and CS-70M. It has a darker sound but very warm and extremely versatile thanks to the Polymod section.

I don’t think I need to say much about it. The Prophet 5 has been discussed at length for the last 43 years so I think everyone knows what it is and what it does. The new version does have a few extra features that are nice to have though. You can choose how many voices are used in Unison mode, and how much they are detuned. You can program the Pitch Bend, and the keyboard triggering (single or multi) and a few other useful modern features. The Vintage knob also works very well although like the Slop knob in the REV2 it changes the pitch a little too much and before you get nice changes from the filter and envelope the instrument is wildly out of tune. But it’s definitely very nice to have!

You also have 2 filter types, the REv1/2 SSM filter and the REV3 CEM filter. They are fairly similar but the CEM will give you more lows and a generally fatter sound. However they behave differently at different times (like when adding polymod modulation or using the vintage knob) and additionally the filter envelope changes a bit too.

I only have 2 complaints:

First, there have been a lot of these reissues over the last 10 years or so. It’s really nice to be able to buy a new Prophet, or Odyssey or MS-20 but if you’re going to go to all the trouble of recreating these instruments, why wouldn’t you add a few features? Moog did it right with the Minimoog reissue by adding the additional LFO but Sequential and the others did not. The Prophet would have been a little better with one or even two additional LFOs that could be dedicated to say Vibrato and PWM. And the MS-20 and Odyssey would also have been a lot more versatile with one or two extra LFOs and especially with a 3rd audio oscillator. I know those changes would make it w while new instrument but call it the MS-30 or Odyssey Mark II. I don’t think the manufactures understand that the SOUND is important, but just by adding a few more features they would have a brand new classic instrument!

Second, like other Sequential synths the Prophet 10 cannot be used as a master keyboard because for some strange reason they have decided that anything connected to it by MIDI will be controlled by it. Specifically Patch Change and Volume information are ALWAYS sent through MIDI so if you want to have other synths on different patches or different volumes (like say at ZERO until you need them), forget it! As soon as you hit one of the patch buttons EVERY synth connected by MIDI changes. And as soon as you touch the Volume knob EVERY synth is suddenly at THAT volume.

It means you either have to start up a DAW and set up MIDI filtering, or buy an extra piece of hardware to use a Sequential instrument as a master keyboard which is very annoying. I’ve gone through a lot of different synths sitting here in front of me and none of them worked that way. Only the Sequential keyboards MUST have total control over your entire MIDI rig. I can’t understand that logic but I’ve asked that they consider giving us the ability to turn that off.

Anyway, to sum it up…. I’m going to go play the Prophet! Great job on this one, Dave (mostly!)!!!

Prophet 10 On Desk

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