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Next New DSI Instrument

dslsynth

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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #160 on: November 13, 2016, 08:28:10 AM »
Well I'm sure they'll just be getting everyone's coffee upgrading Java for the first few weeks anyway.   ;D

Never say never but I serious doubt DSI would ever sink so low use Java given they are doing embedded real-time programming for their products. I am sure their highly automated IoT (aka Internet of Traps) coffee machine are working hard on infecting all their other computers whenever it can. But that's just a fact of life these days. ;)

Starting on a new software developer job with DSI's level of OS complexity are surely going to feel like climbing plenty of nasty cliffs the first couple of months. So I cross fingers for a good recruitment process and hope this person will make a positive difference not only in developing new products but also making older products getting better updates faster.
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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #161 on: November 13, 2016, 08:29:29 AM »
8 voice based on the Prophet-6/OB-6 with the Pro 2 filter setup (i.e. Prophet LPF + SEM SVF) with minimum 2 LFO's, and 61 keys.

Bull's-eye!  This sounds to me like the most reasonable and natural choice, combining DSI's best achievements to date.  Add the usual module version and I'm onboard. 
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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #162 on: November 13, 2016, 08:32:07 AM »
8 voice based on the Prophet-6/OB-6 with the Pro 2 filter setup (i.e. Prophet LPF + SEM SVF) with minimum 2 LFO's, and 61 keys.
There could be a deluxe version with 12 voices, and 73 keys as well. (:

I can't really see anything like that happening, especially since one could put together a similar instrument already by connecting Prophet-6 and OB-6 modules to a larger keyboard. The rest is too much of a recombination of what has already been done by DSI/Sequential. Given that DSI have many more ideas to be realized, an 8-voice reconfiguration of what has essentially just been released seems to be highly unlikely.

I mean, they'd have to develop completely new voice-cards with the hybrid filter design you've mentioned without gaining anything fundamentally new in the end. And I don't think one extra LFO and two extra voices alone would justify the amount of work that would still have to be done.

And I'm also pretty sure that we'll never see synths again that look remotely like a Prophet T8.

Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #163 on: November 13, 2016, 08:34:37 AM »
8 voice based on the Prophet-6/OB-6 with the Pro 2 filter setup (i.e. Prophet LPF + SEM SVF) with minimum 2 LFO's, and 61 keys.
There could be a deluxe version with 12 voices, and 73 keys as well. (:

I can't really see anything like that happening, especially since one could put together a similar instrument already by connecting Prophet-6 and OB-6 modules to a larger keyboard.

I think Exode's idea would be a fitting replacement for the Prophet '08.

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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #164 on: November 13, 2016, 08:46:23 AM »
8 voice based on the Prophet-6/OB-6 with the Pro 2 filter setup (i.e. Prophet LPF + SEM SVF) with minimum 2 LFO's, and 61 keys.
There could be a deluxe version with 12 voices, and 73 keys as well. (:

I can't really see anything like that happening, especially since one could put together a similar instrument already by connecting Prophet-6 and OB-6 modules to a larger keyboard.

I think Exode's idea would be a fitting replacement for the Prophet '08.

I get that thought. I guess I'm just trying to keep expectations low with reference to what has already been done by DSI. The last 2 years were basically dedicated to analog synths already, which is one reason why I don't believe that we're going to see a third one in 2017. Plus: The Prophet '08 is still around.

But even if DSI produced a Prophet '08 successor built on what they did with the Prophet-6 and the OB-6, it would certainly not be in the price category of the Prophet '08 anymore. They'd either had to lower the prices of the Prophet-6 and the OB-6, or it would end up costing something around $4,000, which I think is a rather realistic estimate. Now, how many of you would then actually yell, "Cool, finally a Prophet '08 successor for just 4 grand"?

dslsynth

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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #165 on: November 13, 2016, 08:52:56 AM »
One could argue that using the analog and digital ingredients developed from Prophet 12 and on gives many interesting options for new and very interesting voice architectures. One could hope for more complex voices with a larger sound palette in the coming years.

. o O ( same old rant )
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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #166 on: November 13, 2016, 09:01:31 AM »
How many of you would then actually yell, "Cool, finally a Prophet '08 successor for just 4 grand"?

Bing!  I'd be more than happy to sacrifice one of my Prophet '08s to fund such an instrument.  And if it was good enough, I'd sacrifice a Poly Evolver Keyboard as well.  This is just the direction I've wanted to go for several years - larger analog polyphonic instruments.  I've got my finger on Craigslist, ready to go!

DSI tends not to take drastic turns.  They lumber along with instruments that are superb and moderately brilliant, but one kind of follows from another.  They all look like members of the same family, both in appearance and on the spec sheet.  Even a Prophet 12 resembles a Prophet '08.  Nor are the Prophet-6 and OB-6 so odd in the line up.  So don't be surprised if they don't surprise us.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 10:25:35 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #167 on: November 13, 2016, 09:10:45 AM »
One could argue that using the analog and digital ingredients developed from Prophet 12 and on gives many interesting options for new and very interesting voice architectures. One could hope for more complex voices with a larger sound palette in the coming years.

. o O ( same old rant )

Many ingredients have certainly been developed over the last years, but I think it's unrealistic that there's going to be anything like an Uber-Prophet in the end.

After all, a certain degree of limitation has always been an important factor for DSI's instrument design, leading to instruments that are good at particular things in order to find the right balance between features and ergonomics. If everything would be possible at the same time, the user would become overwhelmed by all the available choices. And let's not forget that there are already serious amounts of choices provided with the Prophet 12 and Pro 2.

In that sense, I'm with you and positive about new or different voice architectures in the future that could offer something neither the Prophet-6/OB-6 nor the Prophet 12/Pro 2 do.

Shaw

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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #168 on: November 13, 2016, 09:26:52 AM »
After all, a certain degree of limitation has always been an important factor for DSI's instrument design......
And let's not forget that there are already serious amounts of choices provided with the Prophet 12 and Pro 2.


Yep... that sounds like spot on analysis.
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eXode

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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #169 on: November 13, 2016, 09:43:18 AM »
How many of you would then actually yell, "Cool, finally a Prophet '08 successor for just 4 grand"?

If it's a Prophet'08 successor with the aforementioned features? YES! :D

It's just a couple of hundred US$ more than the Model D reissue, and less than the Voyager XL. ;)

Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #170 on: November 13, 2016, 09:53:07 AM »
How many of you would then actually yell, "Cool, finally a Prophet '08 successor for just 4 grand"?

Bing!  I'd be more than happy to sacrifice one of my Prophet '08s to fund such an instrument.  And if it was good enough, I'd sacrifice a Poly Evolver Keyboard as well.  This is just the direction I've wanted to go for several years - larger analog polyphonic instruments.  I've got my finger on Craigslist, ready to go!

Which is fine. I'm just afraid that the general response to that could be a tad different though, that's all.

DSI tends not to take drastic turns.  They lumber along with instruments that are superb and moderately brilliant, but one kind of follows from another.  They all look like members of the same family, both in appearance and on a spec sheet.  Even a Prophet 12 resembles a Prophet '08.  Nor are the Prophet-6 and OB-6 so odd in the line up.  So don't be surprised if they don't surprise us.

I agree on the not too drastic turns, but there are still possible features and voice architectures that haven't been implemented yet in any of DSI's current ranges. Plus: with the entry price market being pretty much factored out by now, there's going to be less "recycling" in the way we saw it with the Prophet-Tetra-Mopho family.

The single instrument's or engine's families become smaller. The family tree of the Prophet '08 included 7 instruments/variations at its peak (Prophet '08 keyboard and module, Mopho, Mopho keyboard, Mopho SE, Mopho x4, and Tetra) while the Evolver series consisted of 4 instruments. That alone gave a different impression of not too drastic turns. None of the more recent engines (everything from 2013 on) are represented that way anymore. These days it's basically one main synth plus a desktop module version with the Pro 2 being the exception to that rule.

Also, the more recent instruments' engines are more different than their predecessor's ones. The Prophet '08 and the Evolver have much more in common in terms of features and overall structure than the Prophet 12 and the Prophet-6 for example. The latter are just further apart than the former, offering a more wide-spread diversity. With entry level priced offsprings becoming less relevant for DSI due to the current market situation, I assume that they'd rather channel their energy towards broadening their range of instruments, especially since the Prophet 12/Pro 2 and the Prophet-6/OB-6 are here to stay for a little longer.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 10:04:23 AM by Paul Dither »

Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #171 on: November 13, 2016, 10:01:57 AM »
How many of you would then actually yell, "Cool, finally a Prophet '08 successor for just 4 grand"?

If it's a Prophet'08 successor with the aforementioned features? YES! :D

It's just a couple of hundred US$ more than the Model D reissue, and less than the Voyager XL. ;)

Okay, maybe I was assuming a too optimistic price.  ;D

eXode

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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #172 on: November 13, 2016, 10:19:30 AM »
I'm curious to learn whether DSI will adopt the new CEM3340 in an upcoming product (provided that it's VCO based). Should help bring down costs a little, esp if we're talking about a VCO based Prophet 08 successor.

Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #173 on: November 13, 2016, 10:29:45 AM »
Also, the more recent instruments' engines are more different than their predecessor's ones.

Right, but I think the P'08 and P12 are clearly related; the P12 just has more to it.  The respective voice architectures share much common ground.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 10:32:55 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #174 on: November 13, 2016, 06:17:37 PM »
I'm curious to learn whether DSI will adopt the new CEM3340 in an upcoming product (provided that it's VCO based). Should help bring down costs a little, esp if we're talking about a VCO based Prophet 08 successor.

I don't believe this will happen.

There is too much advantage to the use of an in-house, custom design based on discrete commodity ICs and components, versus the sourcing of low-volume custom or specialty ICs such as the CEM reissues (or the Marion / DSI ICs used in the Evolver / Prophet '08, etc.). And I'd be really surprised if the issues with SSM 20xx ICs back in the Prophet-5 days would not frame the question of sourcing a core functional component from a third-party manufacturer in anything but a negative light.

Ask yourself how many fantastic-sounding, expensive polyphonic synthesizers could easily be crippled (or cannibalized) by the lack of suitable replacement ICs (or low-volume specialty components)–the Roland Jupiter-8 comes to mind, as does the OB-Xa (wonder why there are so many OB-Xas on the used market at the moment?)–and you have an answer as to why a re-issue VCO IC does not make sense for a "pro" instrument....
« Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 06:36:00 PM by DavidDever »
Sequential / DSI stuff: Prophet-6 Keyboard, Prophet 12 Keyboard, Mono Evolver Keyboard, Split-Eight, Prophet 2000

eXode

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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #175 on: November 14, 2016, 01:15:43 AM »
I'm curious to learn whether DSI will adopt the new CEM3340 in an upcoming product (provided that it's VCO based). Should help bring down costs a little, esp if we're talking about a VCO based Prophet 08 successor.

I don't believe this will happen.

There is too much advantage to the use of an in-house, custom design based on discrete commodity ICs and components, versus the sourcing of low-volume custom or specialty ICs such as the CEM reissues (or the Marion / DSI ICs used in the Evolver / Prophet '08, etc.). And I'd be really surprised if the issues with SSM 20xx ICs back in the Prophet-5 days would not frame the question of sourcing a core functional component from a third-party manufacturer in anything but a negative light.

Ask yourself how many fantastic-sounding, expensive polyphonic synthesizers could easily be crippled (or cannibalized) by the lack of suitable replacement ICs (or low-volume specialty components)–the Roland Jupiter-8 comes to mind, as does the OB-Xa (wonder why there are so many OB-Xas on the used market at the moment?)–and you have an answer as to why a re-issue VCO IC does not make sense for a "pro" instrument....

I don't agree with your assessment and I don't find your explanation very logical or reasonable, sorry. :)

I never mentioned the SSM20XX IC's so I don't know why you bring them up. Regarding the CEM3340 in particular - are they known to be prone to break down? And before you answer - Are you considering the age of all the instruments out there, and can you account for how they've been treated along the years, considering most of them are them are over 30 years old?

Apparently the CEM3340 was good enough for Dieter Doepfer to revive, despite the fact that he already offers various other designs of his own. :)
« Last Edit: November 14, 2016, 01:18:57 AM by eXode »

Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #176 on: November 14, 2016, 08:41:46 AM »
I don't agree with your assessment and I don't find your explanation very logical or reasonable, sorry. :)

I never mentioned the SSM20XX IC's so I don't know why you bring them up. Regarding the CEM3340 in particular - are they known to be prone to break down? And before you answer - Are you considering the age of all the instruments out there, and can you account for how they've been treated along the years, considering most of them are them are over 30 years old?

Apparently the CEM3340 was good enough for Dieter Doepfer to revive, despite the fact that he already offers various other designs of his own. :)

http://www.matrixsynth.com/2016/06/curtis-cem3340-vco-chips-re-issued.html

Quote
DSI wasn’t involved in the reissue and if anyone would like to find out more about it, they should contact susanonchip@covad.net directly.

I don't see any mention in there regarding a surface-mounted version–do you? For many manufacturers, that would in itself be a deal breaker. It would also constrain space in terms of board height / clearance between adjacent voice cards, compared to an all-discrete, surface-mount component design.

Also - even though these ICs might be relatively inexpensive in production quantities, wouldn't another run of the existing (Curtis-based) Marion / DSI ICs used in the Prophet '08 / Mopho simply make more sense (fewer cross-connections, shorter signal paths, less required PCB space, etc.)–especially once you consider two oscillators per voice–if your concern was the reduction of parts count?

I don't see Doepfer's requirements (single-voice, single-oscillator Eurorack modules) and DSI's (multi-voice, multi-oscillator integrated main PCBs) overlapping–do you?

I believe that there's more interest in this part from a vintage perspective, than a modern production one, especially given the fact that DSI already has at least two different in-house, discrete VCO designs to choose from–or can utilize DSP-based digital oscillators that have already been said (by Dave Smith himself) to improve upon the performance of VCOs (in general) with regard to stability / external support parts count, etc.

I'm lucky to have worked as both a service & repair technician as well as an audio products engineering consultant, so my perspective on this might be a little different–your mileage may vary. And I could very well be wrong.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2016, 08:58:31 AM by DavidDever »
Sequential / DSI stuff: Prophet-6 Keyboard, Prophet 12 Keyboard, Mono Evolver Keyboard, Split-Eight, Prophet 2000

eXode

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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #177 on: November 14, 2016, 09:53:35 AM »
I don't agree with your assessment and I don't find your explanation very logical or reasonable, sorry. :)

I never mentioned the SSM20XX IC's so I don't know why you bring them up. Regarding the CEM3340 in particular - are they known to be prone to break down? And before you answer - Are you considering the age of all the instruments out there, and can you account for how they've been treated along the years, considering most of them are them are over 30 years old?

Apparently the CEM3340 was good enough for Dieter Doepfer to revive, despite the fact that he already offers various other designs of his own. :)

http://www.matrixsynth.com/2016/06/curtis-cem3340-vco-chips-re-issued.html

Quote
DSI wasn’t involved in the reissue and if anyone would like to find out more about it, they should contact susanonchip@covad.net directly.

I don't see any mention in there regarding a surface-mounted version–do you? For many manufacturers, that would in itself be a deal breaker. It would also constrain space in terms of board height / clearance between adjacent voice cards, compared to an all-discrete, surface-mount component design.

Also - even though these ICs might be relatively inexpensive in production quantities, wouldn't another run of the existing (Curtis-based) Marion / DSI ICs used in the Prophet '08 / Mopho simply make more sense (fewer cross-connections, shorter signal paths, less required PCB space, etc.)–especially once you consider two oscillators per voice–if your concern was the reduction of parts count?

I don't see Doepfer's requirements (single-voice, single-oscillator Eurorack modules) and DSI's (multi-voice, multi-oscillator integrated main PCBs) overlapping–do you?

I believe that there's more interest in this part from a vintage perspective, than a modern production one, especially given the fact that DSI already has at least two different in-house, discrete VCO designs to choose from–or can utilize DSP-based digital oscillators that have already been said (by Dave Smith himself) to improve upon the performance of VCOs (in general) with regard to stability / external support parts count, etc.

I'm lucky to have worked as both a service & repair technician as well as an audio products engineering consultant, so my perspective on this might be a little different–your mileage may vary. And I could very well be wrong.

There are (almost) always solutions to a problem. There are IC Sockets etc that could be used even with SMD (should be used if you ask me), etc. For me the interesting question is whether a CEM3340 solution would be cheaper than the discrete components used in the Prophet-6/OB-6. The CEM3340 is a very nicely speced oscillator in my opinion. Since it's triangle core based it offers very clean waveforms (esp triangle and sine), and it also different forms of sync as well as linear FM.

I can't comment on if it makes more sense to use the already used "synth on a chip" again, but my perspective was from using VCO's in a Prophet 08 successor and not DCOs.

Also not sure why it matters that Doepfers oscillators are monophonic, there's an abundance of poly synths in the past from all (at the time) major players that used the CEM3340, and that ties in to my previous point.

However, I accept the possibility that using the discrete components might be cheaper than the 3340 and that space might become an issue if DSI were to use the voice board design they currently use (and they should) on both the Prophet-6 and the OB-6. :)
« Last Edit: November 14, 2016, 10:10:45 AM by eXode »

eXode

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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #178 on: November 15, 2016, 07:53:11 AM »
I think that the Korg Monologue (and to some extent the Minibrute) has some interesting concepts with regards to the wave shaping VCO. It would be quite cool if DSI adopted something similar for a new VCO instrument. I.e. set choices between triangle, sawtooth, and pulse, but with different shape (PW on pulse) options on each wave, and then a new switchable 2/4 pole filter with LP/BP/HP modes. This instrument could very well follow the traditional 6 voice formula for most of the part. A minimum of 2 LFO's would be great though. :)

Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #179 on: November 15, 2016, 08:24:32 AM »
Discussions about new synthesizers are invariably discussions about features.  They become wish lists of multiple functions, new capabilities, and ground-breaking technology.  Personally, I'm entirely content with DSI's current array of features.  I'm not wishing for anything new, any technology-breaking designs.  Between the Poly Evolver, Prophet '08, Prophet 12, Pro 2, Prophet-6, and OB-6, I need no additional capabilities.  They're all there; the only thing that remains is composing and recording music with them.  As far as I'm concerned, the research is complete and the feature set finished.  I want only one thing now: the best of what has been achieved in a large musical instrument.  That's all that matters to me now, all that catches and excites my imagination.

First of musical interest is the keyboard: give it five octaves, velocity, aftertouch, and a firm high-quality synthesizer-type action.  As for the rest, I have no need of composing a long spec sheet.  Just make the finished product large!  Four oscillators (either all DCOs, all VCOs, or 2 of either with 2 digital oscillators), and then the standard DSI architecture within the '08-12 tradition.  I could be happy with a dozen different feature sets, as long as the fundamentals are present.  For me, size is everything. 

If DSI continues to offer brilliant new designs but in the moderate-sized Prophet-6 configuration, then I'll simply remain content with my current instruments.  I would love to make some changes and grow the set up a bit, but that means upsizing, not downsizing.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2016, 08:51:06 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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