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Your thoughts on the Prophet 12

Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« on: November 09, 2015, 02:39:22 AM »
I know, I know... I could look for this on the other forum, and there's also a lot of info about the Prophet 12 all over the internet, but I wanted to ask this here.

I'm probably going to get myself a Prophet 12. Fact. I've been lusting for one since release, and I think it's about time to stop trying to resist.

Something I'd really like is to get some kind of feedback from users that are more constantly in contact with the Prophet 12. What do you think about it after all this time? Positive and negative sides? Build quality?

I'm sorry for creating this kind of topic, but I really don't have enough time to search for all this information. Thank you.  :D
Moog Minimoog Voyager, Little Phatty and Sub Phatty| MI Ambika | Elektron Analog Four and Analog Rytm

Razmo

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Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2015, 09:08:08 AM »
I asume you are thinking about the keys version? ... I only have the module version, but build quality is really good in my opinion, and very well laid out compared to how few knobs it has... no problem editing at all... fast and intuitive.

Enginewise, it's a killer... you won't find anything else with analog VCF/VCA that has this complexity... fact.

Soundwise, itīs a bit more sterile than say, a Prophet 08... thatīs down to the digital oscillators mainly, but those give you the flexibility, so I'd say it compensates...

Personaly I will be using it mostly for pads and atmospheres, as this is where it really shines... perfect for doing Ambient music for sure... if you are into deep booming analog bass, go MOOG or something... I don't feel any DSI synth will go there, but that's ofcourse a personal oppinion.

That's my short review :)
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Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2015, 12:01:48 PM »
I asume you are thinking about the keys version? ... I only have the module version, but build quality is really good in my opinion, and very well laid out compared to how few knobs it has... no problem editing at all... fast and intuitive.

Enginewise, it's a killer... you won't find anything else with analog VCF/VCA that has this complexity... fact.

Soundwise, itīs a bit more sterile than say, a Prophet 08... thatīs down to the digital oscillators mainly, but those give you the flexibility, so I'd say it compensates...

Personaly I will be using it mostly for pads and atmospheres, as this is where it really shines... perfect for doing Ambient music for sure... if you are into deep booming analog bass, go MOOG or something... I don't feel any DSI synth will go there, but that's ofcourse a personal oppinion.

That's my short review :)
Yes, I was talking about the keyboard version, but it's good to hear that build quality is nice on the module. In the end, I think they share same knobs and encoders, which I assume are good. I was also thinking about the module, but I can't resist to think that I would loose a lot in terms of performance, with not much money payed for all controls and keys.

I'm really excited about the engine. I think that its complexity is the most interesting thing about it. Even if the oscillators aren't as "warm" as the ones on the 08, I think that the ability to have 4 oscillators plus sub-oscillator is really good.

Filter-wise, I didn't notice any big difference between the 08 and 12on the LPF... am I crazy?

How about the tunable feedback? Is it musically usable? I'm beginning to enjoy ambient music too, and I think that the 12 is a very good synthesizer in that area.

In some ways, the 12 reminds me a bit of the V-Synth, not sound, but where it really excels. If the GT had a wavetable engine, it would be a killer synth - you'll see that the samples cannot be used exactly like wavetables.

Not that it is a big deal, since I have a lot of other analog stuff, but can the 12 make some good bass sounds, like a Virus TI? The GT certainly can't...

Thank you Razmo for your mini review. Ill be following your ranting topic, so please, share some 12 magic...  ;)


I hope to hear some more opinions here! :)
Moog Minimoog Voyager, Little Phatty and Sub Phatty| MI Ambika | Elektron Analog Four and Analog Rytm

Razmo

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Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2015, 01:13:43 PM »
I asume you are thinking about the keys version? ... I only have the module version, but build quality is really good in my opinion, and very well laid out compared to how few knobs it has... no problem editing at all... fast and intuitive.

Enginewise, it's a killer... you won't find anything else with analog VCF/VCA that has this complexity... fact.

Soundwise, itīs a bit more sterile than say, a Prophet 08... thatīs down to the digital oscillators mainly, but those give you the flexibility, so I'd say it compensates...

Personaly I will be using it mostly for pads and atmospheres, as this is where it really shines... perfect for doing Ambient music for sure... if you are into deep booming analog bass, go MOOG or something... I don't feel any DSI synth will go there, but that's ofcourse a personal oppinion.

That's my short review :)
Yes, I was talking about the keyboard version, but it's good to hear that build quality is nice on the module. In the end, I think they share same knobs and encoders, which I assume are good. I was also thinking about the module, but I can't resist to think that I would loose a lot in terms of performance, with not much money payed for all controls and keys.

I'm really excited about the engine. I think that its complexity is the most interesting thing about it. Even if the oscillators aren't as "warm" as the ones on the 08, I think that the ability to have 4 oscillators plus sub-oscillator is really good.

Filter-wise, I didn't notice any big difference between the 08 and 12on the LPF... am I crazy?

How about the tunable feedback? Is it musically usable? I'm beginning to enjoy ambient music too, and I think that the 12 is a very good synthesizer in that area.

In some ways, the 12 reminds me a bit of the V-Synth, not sound, but where it really excels. If the GT had a wavetable engine, it would be a killer synth - you'll see that the samples cannot be used exactly like wavetables.

Not that it is a big deal, since I have a lot of other analog stuff, but can the 12 make some good bass sounds, like a Virus TI? The GT certainly can't...

Thank you Razmo for your mini review. Ill be following your ranting topic, so please, share some 12 magic...  ;)


I hope to hear some more opinions here! :)

Knobs and buttons are sturdy and good... no wobblyness at all... feels like they have been bolted to the top metal plate  8)... buttons firm and "clicky" without double triggering or anything. Much better than previous buttons on P08 and Evolvers.

Filters... teh reason you don't hear much difference is probably because they are the same Curtis filters ... used in both devices  ;) ... that's the "big difference" to newer DSI gear, which has descrete VCF/VCA that sound more characterful.

Tuned feedback... I've not messed with that much yet, so cannot say...

The only thing V-Synth and P12 got in common, is that ther are both unique, no matter how contradictory that statement may sound  ;D ... I know V-Synth does not do Wavetable... a shame, and I'd have liked a way to set a random sample start position every time a sample is played, since that would give more of an analog character (free running oscillator emulation), but wavetable can be party simulated, simply by sampling a wavetable scan and then use playback with alternating loop playback.

Bass... I would not use it for bass... though it can pull some convising ones forth... I guess I'm just more used to MOOG and Waldorf for that task... I think it's simply the filter being a bit boring in that regard... I do think though, that some of the V-Synth basses are quite good for a digital synth... it does not lack bottom end for sure, but again ... probably down to personal taste.

As I wrote... the P12 to me is very well suited for making really good Ambient sounds... it's basicaly because of the mod.matrix being able to modulate practically anything at audio rates... the potential here is HUGE compared to any other synth on the market... it's almost modular in nature to a certain extend.

You have to work a little harder to get the sound you want though... it's not like a P08 where you just dial in a sound, and it sounds good... you need to find the soft spots and keep track of especialy the level settings all the way through the signal chain because otherwise, you can easily distort somewher in the chain, and get that infamous "P12 digital sheen" character that many do not like.

I won't part with mine that is certain... lots of untapped power to be found in that machine  :)
If you need me, follow the shadows...

Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2015, 04:18:28 AM »
Knobs and buttons are sturdy and good... no wobblyness at all... feels like they have been bolted to the top metal plate  8)... buttons firm and "clicky" without double triggering or anything. Much better than previous buttons on P08 and Evolvers.

Filters... teh reason you don't hear much difference is probably because they are the same Curtis filters ... used in both devices  ;) ... that's the "big difference" to newer DSI gear, which has descrete VCF/VCA that sound more characterful.

Tuned feedback... I've not messed with that much yet, so cannot say...

The only thing V-Synth and P12 got in common, is that ther are both unique, no matter how contradictory that statement may sound  ;D ... I know V-Synth does not do Wavetable... a shame, and I'd have liked a way to set a random sample start position every time a sample is played, since that would give more of an analog character (free running oscillator emulation), but wavetable can be party simulated, simply by sampling a wavetable scan and then use playback with alternating loop playback.

Bass... I would not use it for bass... though it can pull some convising ones forth... I guess I'm just more used to MOOG and Waldorf for that task... I think it's simply the filter being a bit boring in that regard... I do think though, that some of the V-Synth basses are quite good for a digital synth... it does not lack bottom end for sure, but again ... probably down to personal taste.

As I wrote... the P12 to me is very well suited for making really good Ambient sounds... it's basicaly because of the mod.matrix being able to modulate practically anything at audio rates... the potential here is HUGE compared to any other synth on the market... it's almost modular in nature to a certain extend.

You have to work a little harder to get the sound you want though... it's not like a P08 where you just dial in a sound, and it sounds good... you need to find the soft spots and keep track of especialy the level settings all the way through the signal chain because otherwise, you can easily distort somewher in the chain, and get that infamous "P12 digital sheen" character that many do not like.

I won't part with mine that is certain... lots of untapped power to be found in that machine  :)
Thank you for your answer. It has some of the information I needed to know, mainly when it comes to build quality. It's nice to hear (read) that the buttons are better on the 12.

As for sound palette, I think I'm going to enjoy it a lot, at least from what I can hear from videos and audio demonstrations. As for it being comparable to the GT, it's not that they sound close - which they don't - it's more of the uniqueness that both share, as you've said, and also their best fit in music, which are long and evolving sounds, and also some more exquisite ones.

The filter, at least from promotional videos, seem to be an updated version of the one inside the 08, which is why I said that I can't hear any difference. The same architecture doesn't mean that the sound isn't the same. My Little Phatty for example, sounds different than the Sub Phatty, although both share a lot of components. With this updated 08 filter, inside the 12, I can't hear any real difference - maybe it's something in the subtleties.

As for finally getting it... I'm going to wait a little bit more. US dollar is extremely high right now, and in my country, it makes a U$1000 difference in the current price in comparison. I'll wait a bit. :)

Thank you once again Razmo!
Moog Minimoog Voyager, Little Phatty and Sub Phatty| MI Ambika | Elektron Analog Four and Analog Rytm

Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2015, 10:45:45 AM »
@cr73645: The lowpass filter in the P12 is identical to the P8. Certainly other parts of the architecture affect the overall sound of each instrument, but that component is unchanged between the two.
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Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2015, 05:24:10 PM »
@cr73645: The lowpass filter in the P12 is identical to the P8.

To the best of my knowledge the "new" Curtis filter on Tempest and Prophet 12 is an octave brighter than in the older Curtis chip instruments such as Prophet 08. At least that is what I remember Pym was saying several times on the old forum.
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Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2015, 05:36:31 PM »
I'd forgotten about that difference! Ha. You are correct, the range is extended on the Tempest and Prophet 12 an octave beyond the Prophet '08. That's not accomplished with a change to the core filter design, though. It does make the filter behave a little differently, but it's still the same filter.
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Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2015, 05:39:43 PM »
Hehe, same chick^H^Hp, different wire pulling. 8)
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Razmo

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Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2015, 04:02:43 AM »
I'd forgotten about that difference! Ha. You are correct, the range is extended on the Tempest and Prophet 12 an octave beyond the Prophet '08. That's not accomplished with a change to the core filter design, though. It does make the filter behave a little differently, but it's still the same filter.

How is this done then?... is it purely via software, making the range broader, or is it some of the components associated with the CEM chip externaly? ... I asume by what you're saying, that the chip itself is the exact same?  :)

Have DSI ever thought about doing new chips by the way? ... recently, the P6 has been developed with "voiceboards", which seems to be halfway there... any thoughts on making those as a chip instead, making your design even more compact and affordable maybe?
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Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2015, 08:32:17 AM »
I have had my P12 keyboard for one year and a half now. I was also buying the "it is cold" label... But the more I use it the less I think of it so. It sounds fantastic! It is really really fat and wide and wild. I have made some OB- like brass, and amazing strings. Piercing FM basses and PWM greatness.

In fact I went and checked out the P6 really expecting it to blow the P12 in "analogness" and "fatness"... and although it really sounds good, the P12 is brutal!

I have a good friend that is in one of the best synthpop bands in Europe, he also works in a synth shop. He tested the P6 and still went for the P2 because of the raw fatness. He owns an amazing collection of classic analogs, and he swears for the P2/P12 engine. I agree.

You won't regret it, really.

Razmo

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Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2015, 08:46:14 AM »
I have had my P12 keyboard for one year and a half now. I was also buying the "it is cold" label... But the more I use it the less I think of it so. It sounds fantastic! It is really really fat and wide and wild. I have made some OB- like brass, and amazing strings. Piercing FM basses and PWM greatness.

In fact I went and checked out the P6 really expecting it to blow the P12 in "analogness" and "fatness"... and although it really sounds good, the P12 is brutal!

I have a good friend that is in one of the best synthpop bands in Europe, he also works in a synth shop. He tested the P6 and still went for the P2 because of the raw fatness. He owns an amazing collection of classic analogs, and he swears for the P2/P12 engine. I agree.

You won't regret it, really.

P2!? ... you know anything we do not? :D
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Razmo

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Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2015, 09:18:35 AM »
Ahh... P2 = Pro2 ... I don't know why I did not figure that out  ;D
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Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2015, 02:08:13 PM »
I have had my P12 keyboard for one year and a half now. I was also buying the "it is cold" label... But the more I use it the less I think of it so. It sounds fantastic! It is really really fat and wide and wild. I have made some OB- like brass, and amazing strings. Piercing FM basses and PWM greatness.

In fact I went and checked out the P6 really expecting it to blow the P12 in "analogness" and "fatness"... and although it really sounds good, the P12 is brutal!

I have a good friend that is in one of the best synthpop bands in Europe, he also works in a synth shop. He tested the P6 and still went for the P2 because of the raw fatness. He owns an amazing collection of classic analogs, and he swears for the P2/P12 engine. I agree.

You won't regret it, really.

I really like what you're saying here.  It's the truth that online demonstrations can give a very misleading impression of an instrument.  And regarding the Prophet 12, it's often the case that owners hover around the same sorts of sterile metallic tones, giving the rest of us the impression that the instrument can't do anything to the contrary.  That's a serious problem and probably a mischaracterization.

You should post some of your sounds.  I'd love to hear them and so would many others.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2015, 03:38:21 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2015, 03:08:19 PM »
Have DSI ever thought about doing new chips by the way? ... recently, the P6 has been developed with "voiceboards", which seems to be halfway there... any thoughts on making those as a chip instead, making your design even more compact and affordable maybe?

My clear impression is that the future belongs to discrete electronics synthesizers which interestingly is where it all started back in the day. Where chips can be useful are things like opamps and digital control. Actually I think the music industry should avoid making analog chips and instead work together to make digital hardware platforms that enables very high CV update speeds in the several hundred kilohertz and well into the megahertz range. Would be way more useful and also be applicable in other fields which gives a larger market for such digital control chips which keeps the price down too.
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Razmo

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Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2015, 02:13:06 AM »
Have DSI ever thought about doing new chips by the way? ... recently, the P6 has been developed with "voiceboards", which seems to be halfway there... any thoughts on making those as a chip instead, making your design even more compact and affordable maybe?

My clear impression is that the future belongs to discrete electronics synthesizers which interestingly is where it all started back in the day. Where chips can be useful are things like opamps and digital control. Actually I think the music industry should avoid making analog chips and instead work together to make digital hardware platforms that enables very high CV update speeds in the several hundred kilohertz and well into the megahertz range. Would be way more useful and also be applicable in other fields which gives a larger market for such digital control chips which keeps the price down too.

WHy not both? ... personaly I'd like to see an analog voice-chip like the CEM, just with more up to date interface, and that will not need negative voltages for operation, so that īs easily integrated into electronic hobby based projects... there is basicaly nothing like this available anymore...
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dslsynth

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Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2015, 02:48:19 PM »
WHy not both? ... personaly I'd like to see an analog voice-chip like the CEM, just with more up to date interface, and that will not need negative voltages for operation, so that īs easily integrated into electronic hobby based projects... there is basicaly nothing like this available anymore...

Sure it would be nice of good analog filter chips existed and were wide available. But honestly they are specialty items that will be hard to manufacture and also only be available for a limited amount of time. Whereas general components are much easier upgraded should the need arise. So for me it makes much more sense to make better digital control and stick with the better sounding discrete electronics machines. Not everyone may agree with me on that of cause.
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Razmo

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Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2015, 03:24:40 PM »
WHy not both? ... personaly I'd like to see an analog voice-chip like the CEM, just with more up to date interface, and that will not need negative voltages for operation, so that īs easily integrated into electronic hobby based projects... there is basicaly nothing like this available anymore...

Sure it would be nice of good analog filter chips existed and were wide available. But honestly they are specialty items that will be hard to manufacture and also only be available for a limited amount of time. Whereas general components are much easier upgraded should the need arise. So for me it makes much more sense to make better digital control and stick with the better sounding discrete electronics machines. Not everyone may agree with me on that of cause.

I understand what you're saying... it's just that there are some advantages with IC's, one obvious reason being their compact size... yes they're probably expensive to design and develop, but when they're made, they're probably cheaper than a discrete circuit... other things that spring to mind are heat differencies that are usualy better maintained when enclosed in a chip... at least that's what I've read.

I know the quality in comparison probably will make them not as exiting... but then again... the SSM chips are pretty famous for what they do, and I recall those sounds darn good in the Polysix I once had.

What I had in mind was not filter chips actualy... but rather a new synth-voice on a chip, like the CEM 3396, that has it all inside it... it would be really nice for hobby-projects on small curcuit boards... one thing is certain... if a chip like that, that runs on 0-5v was ever made, I'd be all over it in an instant... I have the knowhow of coding microcontrollers for this... the only thing I cannot do is the analog parts, which is what keeps me from doing a synth myself.

A small synth-voice chip, running on 0-5v and where the only control mechanism for it would be a digital interface (no messing with CV signals etc... just clean digital control)

but hey... I'm dreaming... I know...  ;)
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Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2015, 02:48:07 PM »
Thank you guys for all the information shared here. It just reinforces that I really do want a P12!

In the end, I can't hear the difference between the filters because one is just capable of being a bit brighter than the other.

It's nice to know that the 12 can have some of the analog mojo of the 08. I'd love to hear that though... videos on YouTube show me that it can't, at least not without any effects. If I could test it (which I can't), and heard that, I'd sell the 08. I just can't even think about it right now. I like the 08 and I'm not willing to sell it. I'm also in a bit of a pain to discover what to do space-wise - maybe the 12 module is inevitable.

In the end, I think I miss hearing what the 12 is really capable of. I've heard only a few of good demonstrations of the Prophet 12, and even fewer where it had an analog feel to it. Even so, almost enjoy a lot of what I hear from the 12.

Cheers! Thank you all once again!!
Moog Minimoog Voyager, Little Phatty and Sub Phatty| MI Ambika | Elektron Analog Four and Analog Rytm

Re: Your thoughts on the Prophet 12
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2015, 03:04:27 PM »
I'm still giving the benefit of the doubt to the Prophet 12, which is to say I suspect many of the available demonstrations give a lopsided impression of the instrument.  BUT!  It also is a consistently stated opinion of owners of both that the Prophet 12 can in no way replace the Prophet '08.  I would say the safest approach for you would be to keep your P0'8 and try a P12 Module.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 07:50:38 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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