Why do people like the Rev2 so much more than the Prophet '08?

My impression of the Rev2 is that it sounds just like the Prophet '08, at least on Youtube (admittedly a lame way to evaluate the Rev2). Back when the Prophet '08 came out it was widely panned for its "harsh" sound. Yet 9 years later, the Rev2 is almost universally loved (Nick Batt's comment about finding the sound "unengaging" notwithstanding). What's the difference?

Here are my somewhat tongue-in-cheek guesses:  ;)

1. The Prophet '08 needs effects to sound great.
2. The Rev2 keybed is so much better than the Prophet '08's keybed that people think it sounds better too.
3. The Rev2 user interface is so much better than that of the Prophet '08 that people think it sounds better too.
4. The presets are better on the Rev2 than on the Prophet '08.
5. The Rev2 really sounds better than the Prophet '08, but you need to be there to hear it.
6. People don't really expect the Rev2 to sound like a Prophet 5 anymore.

Thoughts?

Clif

Re: Why do people like the Rev2 so much more than the Prophet '08?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2018, 01:44:11 PM »
I've never even touched a P08 but here are some guesses...

1. Possible to have more voices (16)
2. Better, more refined user interface.
3. Smoother filter??? (I've heard this claim by more then a few)
4. Lower price.
Original Model D <> Sub 37 <> Minitaur <> Slim Phatty <> OB-6 <> Prophet Rev2 8Voice <> Integra 7 <> SE-02 <> Prologue16 <> Triton Le <> Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-55 <> Sound Gizmo

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Re: Why do people like the Rev2 so much more than the Prophet '08?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2018, 07:03:27 PM »
You're missing out the obvious one...SUB OSCILLATOR! :)


Plus (obviously) the effects and extra polyphony.


I do wish the REV2 had a bigger OLED display though, feels really small and cramped compared to display on my Prophet 12. :)

Re: Why do people like the Rev2 so much more than the Prophet '08?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2018, 11:13:37 PM »
Of course the Prophet REV2 sounds like a Prophet 08, it's made up of the exact same ICs. And of course it sounds harsh, it's the sound of a DSI 120 (PA397, AKA CEM 3396) chip. Okay. So it doesn't sound as smooth and as nice as a DSI OB6. But what it does have, and that I like, is a big mod matrix, a much better display than the P08, many more voices (the 16 model), and a lower price (per voice).
It still lacks a few things to make it even more enjoyable. But for now, I'm satisfied with it.
The only thing that would make me sell it, would be to get a second OB6 to polychain them into a 12 voice pseudo Oberheim.
And to be really honest, I'm contemplating it. Because the harshness of the REV2 is annoying me a little... Much like it annoyed me when I tried a friend's P08 back in the day.
Minimoog D (vintage), OB6 (Desktop), Oberheim Matrix-6 (MIDI Controller), Prophet REV2-16, DeepMind 12, VC340

Re: Why do people like the Rev2 so much more than the Prophet '08?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2018, 04:30:43 AM »
Of course the Prophet REV2 sounds like a Prophet 08, it's made up of the exact same ICs. And of course it sounds harsh, it's the sound of a DSI 120 (PA397, AKA CEM 3396) chip. Okay. So it doesn't sound as smooth and as nice as a DSI OB6. But what it does have, and that I like, is a big mod matrix, a much better display than the P08, many more voices (the 16 model), and a lower price (per voice).
It still lacks a few things to make it even more enjoyable. But for now, I'm satisfied with it.
The only thing that would make me sell it, would be to get a second OB6 to polychain them into a 12 voice pseudo Oberheim.
And to be really honest, I'm contemplating it. Because the harshness of the REV2 is annoying me a little... Much like it annoyed me when I tried a friend's P08 back in the day.

I can vouch for the Matrix-1000 + Matrix-6 (keyboard) combo, with the OB-6 + SEM (reissue) used for VCO color.

I've tried the Mopho x4, Tetra and the Mopho SE, both very capable and full-featured synthesizers on their own (and related to the Prophet '08 / REV2 voice), but they never took me "there" with their tone. The Matrix DCO-based units* are more mellow, which I prefer.

That said–strictly on balance (and with a limited amount of time spent with it), the Rev2 tone is much improved over that of the previous range, and with a little EQ, it sits pretty well in a mix.

* - Of course, it's possible that the PA397-based units will mellow in time, same as the CEM3396-based ones, but the Marion Systems MSR-2 (which uses the same PA397 voice chip) doesn't seem to be as "bright", so....
« Last Edit: April 20, 2018, 05:42:41 AM by DavidDever »
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Re: Why do people like the Rev2 so much more than the Prophet '08?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2018, 05:16:53 AM »
Back when the Prophet '08 came out it was widely panned for its "harsh" sound. Yet 9 years later, the Rev2 is almost universally loved. What's the difference?

Maybe the difference simply is "9 years later"... given the popularity of prophet 08 people have had enough time and exposure to acclimatize to the sound and start to appreciate it. Taste evolves?

--
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Re: Why do people like the Rev2 so much more than the Prophet '08?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2018, 03:39:32 PM »
As stated in the original post, I think the Rev2 has been given a much better treatment than the P'08 received because the Prophet 5 comparisons and expectations have long been forgotten. 

I first bought a P'08 in the significant year of 2008, and I can well recall the endless comments on all the forums about how well it could, or could not, emulate the P5.  It was the inescapable standard, and if the P'08 couldn't sufficiently meet that standard, then the instrument was loudly denounced.  Happily, it all meant nothing to me, because I had never played a P5. 

Now notice that there is no such standard for, and complaints about, the Rev2.  I don't believe I've seen a single comment comparing it with the P5, which is a good thing.  At this point no one really cares; or else, they have the P6 to meet the old standard.  The Rev2 has had a fresh start from day one, and if there were any comparisons made, they were usually with the P'08, which at least makes sense.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 11:53:11 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: Why do people like the Rev2 so much more than the Prophet '08?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2018, 09:36:23 AM »
It seems that some say the Rev2 filter sounds better then the Prophet '08 and the some say it's the same. I would imagine that even with the same chips, it's probably possible to modify the filter a bit to make it smoother. IIRC, the Prophet 12 has the same CEM chips, but they're voiced a bit differently.

Re: Why do people like the Rev2 so much more than the Prophet '08?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2018, 11:58:35 AM »
Analog synthesizer designers often say that, even regarding the same model, there will be slight differences from one unit to the next.  It's part of the charm.  So, I would certainly expect at least mild differences between the sound of the Prophet '08 and that of Rev2. 
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Why do people like the Rev2 so much more than the Prophet '08?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2018, 06:02:47 PM »
I don't see the Audiomod mentioned much but its one of my favorite features on the Rev2. I don't think the P08 had it. I honestly might use it on more patches than not.

Some vocal/ cat sounds https://clyp.it/3gvado4f
Fooling around with tons of Audiomod FM https://soundcloud.com/pkmood/rev2-patching


Re: Why do people like the Rev2 so much more than the Prophet '08?
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2018, 08:25:16 PM »
I don't see the Audiomod mentioned much but its one of my favorite features on the Rev2. I don't think the P08 had it. I honestly might use it on more patches than not.

The Prophet '08 most certainly does have Audio Modulation.
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

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Re: Why do people like the Rev2 so much more than the Prophet '08?
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2018, 09:55:06 AM »
I really like those high clean delicate tones @philroyjenkins. I'll play with the audiomod to see if I can get them. The vocal sounds are really cool too.

Re: Why do people like the Rev2 so much more than the Prophet '08?
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2018, 11:59:11 AM »
I don't see the Audiomod mentioned much but its one of my favorite features on the Rev2. I don't think the P08 had it. I honestly might use it on more patches than not.

The Prophet '08 most certainly does have Audio Modulation.

Ah, my mistake. I thought it was an addition.

I really like those high clean delicate tones @philroyjenkins. I'll play with the audiomod to see if I can get them. The vocal sounds are really cool too.

Thanks bud. It's helpful to set the OSC Mix only to the second OSC so you don't hear the first one that is manipulating the filter. For those high clean tones, I like setting the first OSC really high. I've found that the Saw+Tri wave sounds the cleanest, if your going for clean. Even cleaner than the Tri wave which was interesting.

Beyond that, just finding the right balance of resonance amount and audiomod amount can make a huge difference. You don't need to necessarily enter self oscillation or use a lot of audiomod.

None of those examples I made show it, but modulating the carrier (OSC 1) wave with an LFO or envelope can be super fun. You could also decouple OSC one from keytracking so that it stays a stastic note even as you play up the keyboard. Makes for some interesting ring-mod esque sounds.

Re: Why do people like the Rev2 so much more than the Prophet '08?
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2018, 08:25:52 PM »
The sound on the P08 or Rev2 is harsh if your oscillators are up all the way and you don't tame them with a filter. Dial that shit back and things get smooth. Otherwise don't overlook the expanded mod matrix. That and the gated sequencer are where it's at with the contemporary Prophet and Evolver line. Plus sub osc, effects that include modulation, variable waveshapes, etc. The Rev2 lets you program sequence in which reverb is off except for--say, oh I don't know--step 23 where it's 100% wet. Then reduce both the reverb time and the EG release on step 24 for a hard cut off. That shit's fun.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 09:08:31 PM by guyaguy »

Re: Why do people like the Rev2 so much more than the Prophet '08?
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2018, 09:04:39 AM »
@guyaguy, The levels definitely make a difference. I found that the monitoring equipment makes a difference too. I was using a pair of cheap Ultimate Ears in ear monitors because I couldn't afford something better and I did not really gel with the Prophet '08. I recently purchased a pair of Etymotic HF5s, which are known for their frequency response accuracy especially when used with a 75 ohm attenuator and a headphone amp. Wow! I started connecting with my Prophet like I have never been able to do. Hours just seem to slip away...

@philroyjenkins Thanks for the tips on how you got those sounds. I got so lost rediscovering the X-Strings and Wagnerian patches that I haven't had a chance to try them out yet, but I will.

quick observations
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2018, 09:08:22 AM »
I'm contemplating buying a Rev2.  So I was at Guitar Center where they had a Rev2 under a Prophet 6 so I could listen to both of them.  Guitar Center being what it is, I had to use headphones to be able to hear anything, so I couldn't do the best direct comparison.  I spent about an hour listening and knob twisting. 

A few quick observations:

Effects.  The Prophet 6 really does sound nice.  But, the richness and depth of a lot of sounds seems to be dependent on the effects, chorus is used a lot in the factory patches.  I would guess that anytime it's using a single osc, where osc2 is used for polymod, it's going to need effects for richness and size.  This reminds me of my Juno-60.  Then I found the effects on the Rev2 to be more optional, the richness of those patches seemed to be mostly from stacking, or at least you can obtain it via stacking, the effects are not so much of a crutch.

Harshness.  I would not call the Prophet 6 harsh, it's very smooth.  The Rev2, however, can go into harsh territory.  And I'm not sure it's the filter?  With the filter open wide with no resonance, the harshness seems to be clearly coming from the oscillators, they are very harmonically rich and buzzy.  Which is not a bad thing, it's just how they are, it's the modern synth sound we hear today.  The Rev2 will cut through a mix, live or in the studio, the Prophet 6 sounds great solo but in a band context with guitars it might be buried in the mix. 

Bass.  The Prophet 6 has nice low end, it was definitely there in the headphones.  The Rev2, the deep low end was never there, that's a big concern.  Maybe through EQ you could recover it, but I'm not sure why it's missing?  It sounds like someone went way too far with coupling capacitors in the analog stages, getting rid of DC, but also getting rid of way too much bass, like they just were not paying attention in the circuit design.  Or someone wanted the Rev2 to lack bass, I don't understand it myself, it seems like a missed bass opportunity that would not detract from the sound of the synth, I would rather have it and choose to filter it out myself than have someone else make that choice for me.

So if I had to make a choice I'm leaning towards the Rev2, with bass recovery EQ.
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Re: quick observations
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2018, 10:43:29 AM »
...
So if I had to make a choice I'm leaning towards the Rev2, with bass recovery EQ.

Have you tried a DSI OB6 ? It has the bass you're looking for... ;-)
Minimoog D (vintage), OB6 (Desktop), Oberheim Matrix-6 (MIDI Controller), Prophet REV2-16, DeepMind 12, VC340

Re: quick observations
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2018, 11:11:10 AM »
The Rev2, the deep low end was never there, that's a big concern.  Maybe through EQ you could recover it, but I'm not sure why it's missing?  It sounds like someone went way too far with coupling capacitors in the analog stages, getting rid of DC, but also getting rid of way too much bass, like they just were not paying attention in the circuit design.  Or someone wanted the Rev2 to lack bass, I don't understand it myself, it seems like a missed bass opportunity that would not detract from the sound of the synth, I would rather have it and choose to filter it out myself than have someone else make that choice for me.

When recording the Prophet '08, I always find its bass to be overpowering.  In most cases, I have to EQ the lower end back. 
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: Why do people like the Rev2 so much more than the Prophet '08?
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2018, 11:48:26 AM »
Have you tried a DSI OB6 ? It has the bass you're looking for... ;-)

I'd still want all the crazy modulation options of the Rev2, and 4-pole filters.  And I have a crOwBX waiting to be built for OBX sounds.

When recording the Prophet '08, I always find its bass to be overpowering.  In most cases, I have to EQ the lower end back. 
Interesting.  I'd have to get one and try in out in a recording situation.  My immediate response is that I would not use the Rev2 for bass sounds without getting that low end bass back via EQ.  For non-bass sounds, I probably wouldn't want or need that low end, it would probably just clutter the mix in the low end, where I would want the bass and kick to take up that space.  I still think it's an "interesting" design choice to filter it out.
Moog Voyager, Novation Peak, Waldorf Microwave XT, Nord Wave, Emu Audity 2000, Yamaha SY85 & TG500, Waldorf Pulse+, Yamaha FS1R, Sequential Pro One, Korg Wavestation A/D, Roland Juno-60, Yamaha CS-15, MFB Tanzbar, Crumar Bit-99, Emu Emax I, Casio FZ-20M, 12U of Eurorack.

Re: Why do people like the Rev2 so much more than the Prophet '08?
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2018, 01:08:51 PM »
As you turn up the resonance on the Prophet '08's filters the bass gets noticeably weaker. This is a design issue, and the Rev2 shares it. If you want a lot of resonance and a lot of bass you can layer with another patch that uses no resonance (or better yet has a tracking resonance at the fundamental frequency).