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Owner Impressions

Owner Impressions
« on: June 20, 2018, 07:57:04 AM »
Early impressions from my first couple of hours, written last night:

Beautifully constructed, this is a build that lives up to expectations set by the price point.  The semi-weighted action feels good (1), the ashen stained end caps match the dark metallic aesthetic better than any natural stain possibly could, and in my limited time so far all of the controls have a nice solid feel to them.  It is a knobby synthesizer at heart with obvious DSI heritage.

A quick tour is really all Iíve had time for, but there are both standout moments and aspects that Iím going to have to explore deeper before Iím entirely sure what to think.  Thereís also a lot I need to look at more deeply, including the effects.  Essentially all Iíve done is dial in the plate reverb with some percussion and itís wonderfully stunning.  I could have played that kit for hours.

The stereo filters are obviously a centerpiece of the tools at a sound designerís disposal and they are glorious.  Warm and buttery, with resonance that can be subtle or aggressive.  I havenít played with drive much just yet, so thatís also on my list to explore further.  In the time Iíve had this evening I have only sped through the first of four banks of presets.  Thereís a ton here, and so far itís really wide ranging with more of a tendency toward exuberance than bread and butter.

I should also point out the part Iím least blown away by, which is plain, exposed sample playback.  First and foremost, the Prophet X is not going to replace anyoneís modern sampler.  This should be obvious from reading the manual, but itís still something of a shock in practice, and anyone hoping otherwise should adjust their expectations.  The samples appear to be well recorded and plentiful, but the lack of any per-sample editing or synthesis parameters means youíre going to use them in a very particular fashion.  You canít tweak a single drum differently than the rest of a drum kit: one pan position/filter/tuning/etc configuration applies to the entire kit.  You canít freely mix and match samples from different keymaps.  Thereís no overt provision for switching between among keymaps based on velocity, though itís certainly possible to cross fade between two if desired.

No, itís not really a sampler.  Itís a synthesizer whose oscillators can draw from raw sample material.  With that in mind Iím not entirely convinced just yet that the samples offered are the most useful set imaginable.  Theyíre a little specific and literal, drawn as they are from a primarily acoustic library.  Still, thereís quite a range on offer and there are definitely a number of unusual ambiances and other textures to explore in addition to the familiar and more exotic acoustic fare.

So it has to come down to doing more than just mixing samples and calling it a day.  Finding out just how far you can go with the tools here will be interesting.  Those are the terms on which I plan to address the Prophet X and Iím going to need time to dig in that I wonít have much of before the weekend.  There are a number of patches Iíve come across that have only oscillators sounding, and theyíre still marvelously complex and expressive.  Just familiar.  So, Iím expecting the real magic is in letting samples and oscillators interact, and thatís where Iím going to be digging deeper.

I wish I could spend more time tonight but, alas, meetings tomorrow morning mandate that I get a reasonable nightís sleep.

(1) I am going to have to explore the velocity curve options because the factory setting appears to have a pretty narrow usable range.  Itís easy to produce extremely low and high velocities but the middle of the range takes a unfamiliar touch.

DMS

Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2018, 12:14:12 PM »
This ainít your daddyís rompler  :)   If you need string pianoís plenty of choices, if you need Prophet string pianoís come on down.   ;)   To me, and mind you everyoneís different, this is an instrument for scoring and creating. Itís almost like the poly Pro2 Iíve always wished for.... but with a shit load more waves, and stereo and 5 octaves   8) 

One more quick observation, the surprise to me was the percussion drums etc etc fantasy thru these filters and mods, I didnít think I would care about that but yeah 👍.

« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 01:04:44 PM by DMS »

LoboLives

Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2018, 02:47:57 PM »
This ainít your daddyís rompler  :)   If you need string pianoís plenty of choices, if you need Prophet string pianoís come on down.   ;)   To me, and mind you everyoneís different, this is an instrument for scoring and creating. Itís almost like the poly Pro2 Iíve always wished for.... but with a shit load more waves, and stereo and 5 octaves   8) 

One more quick observation, the surprise to me was the percussion drums etc etc fantasy thru these filters and mods, I didnít think I would care about that but yeah 👍.

I think just from listening to demos and reading the manual....this synth is actually going to be a lot more beneficial to me as a composer than my Kurzweil, Roland, Kronos whatever because of it's real time accessibility and using subtractive synthesis as a method to make the samples more realistic.

For some reason a lot of companies use saxophone samples, solo violin, solo trumpet, bass samples, flute samples as polyphonic....but these are monophonic instruments. BAM hit that Unison button and suddenly the sound becomes more realistic. Especially if you add a bit of frequency LFO wobble with aftertouch...suddenly it's more expressive and I didn't have to dig deep through menus to program it....it's just all there.

String instrumens generally don't have frets...so there's no reason not to add portamento to those violins, string sections, and even fretless basses. Suddenly you have a realistic sweeping string sound and maybe add an LFO wobble again with aftertouch and suddenly you also have some vibrato with pressure...which you would naturally have on sustained notes on a string instrument.

Of course also adding Portamento to Choir sounds causes them to sound a bit more flowing rather than staccatoed.

The Samples are static in ways for a reason...because it allows you to dial in those articulations...be they a sax growl with an audio range modulation, vibrato on strings with aftertouch and an LFO or a slide on a fretless bass with a Glide/Portamento switch....all without having to spend minutes or even hours menu diving and programming.

This will save me minutes if not hours programing and I'm going to try and write some classical pieces on this instrument first just to see how realistic I can make it. I think the results might be pleasently surprising.

DMS

Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2018, 03:22:46 PM »
I donít usually like guitars on keys, but these are useful like very acoustic, easy to smooth them in a sine or mod, best Iíve ever heard otb. Donít worry not dumping my shredder 😏. Relax peeps I play the frets, the 12string isnít going anywhere but got a quick solution 😂   just a innocent 😇  observation
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 03:34:46 PM by DMS »

LoboLives

Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2018, 03:48:45 PM »
I donít usually like guitars on keys, but these are useful like very acoustic, easy to smooth them in a sine or mod, best Iíve ever heard otb. Donít worry not dumping my shredder 😏. Relax peeps I play the frets, the 12string isnít going anywhere but got a quick solution 😂   just a innocent 😇  observation

Yeah I'm a guitar player also and often I'm sort of debating if I should ever use a guitar sample on a synth...but I think sometimes they have their own quality to them....especially in the overall context of a song mix and also if you are using the sequencer for a 12 string acoustic or something while you play lead guitar on your actual guitar.

Of course there is also the option of a midi guitar....

DMS

Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2018, 04:35:24 PM »
U2 P85 itís a slpit set up to mix with waves, I canít quit playing  😂, and itís programmed with one instrument ,
Bring in what you want, impressively done.  ĎMemo to selfĒ SPLITS!

Alright these string basses are great, this is quickly becoming my favorite, so damn versatile
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 05:53:19 PM by DMS »

Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2018, 07:42:31 AM »
OP: thanks for the great writeup.

DMS

Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2018, 04:00:12 PM »
adjust the oscillators sine wave pitch like you would use draw bars on a Hammond throw in some organ waves for great stereo b3 and Iím an organ snob

LoboLives

Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2018, 04:03:45 PM »
Mine arrived today...canít wait to do some videos

Gerry Havinga

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Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2018, 11:18:55 PM »
Mine arrived today...canít wait to do some videos
Yeah please please yes!  :) 8). I have started saving.......... all budgets are frozen, no more instruments except for the Cirklon later this year beginning next.
DAW-less and going down the Eurorack rabbit hole.

ddp

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Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2018, 11:50:05 PM »
U2 P85 is awesome, as is U2 91.  How fun is it, to get lost in these stereo landscapes?
« Last Edit: June 29, 2018, 12:05:45 AM by ddp »
Buchla, Moog One, Prophet 10 & X, Tempest, Linnstrument, Polyend Seq, Tracker, formerly Prophet 6 and Rev2

Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2018, 07:27:07 PM »
Any owners care to comment if there are mellotron samples in the instruments library?

Shaw

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Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2018, 08:10:51 PM »
Of course there is also the option of a midi guitar....
Been there, tried that... save your time, effort, and money ó unless you have very low of expectations on reliable triggering and playability.
"Classical musicians go to the conservatories, rockīn roll musicians go to the garages." --- Frank Zappa

Gomjab

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Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2018, 09:20:07 PM »
Unless your name is Pat Metheny  ;D

First time I saw Pat Metheny Group in concert I realized that sounds I atributed to Lyle Mays were actually synths driven by Patís midified guitar. 

Of course there is also the option of a midi guitar....
Been there, tried that... save your time, effort, and money ó unless you have very low of expectations on reliable triggering and playability.

LoboLives

Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2018, 09:22:08 PM »
Of course there is also the option of a midi guitar....
Been there, tried that... save your time, effort, and money ó unless you have very low of expectations on reliable triggering and playability.

I was actually quite impressed with Godinís midi equipped guitar. If itís good enough for John McLaughlin....

Gomjab

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Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2018, 09:29:44 PM »
And to stay on topic I did get a chance to noodle a bit on a Prophet X at Sweetwaterís GearFest. I was much more impressed with the X than the Waldorf Quantum in the same tent.  Though to be fair the listening environment there wasnít ideal. 



LoboLives

Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2018, 10:43:04 PM »
And to stay on topic I did get a chance to noodle a bit on a Prophet X at Sweetwaterís GearFest. I was much more impressed with the X than the Waldorf Quantum in the same tent.  Though to be fair the listening environment there wasnít ideal.

On another forum one early PX owner said that the PX is a bit more user friendly and inviting to create sounds with the samples. It just works from the get go. The Quantum feels like it takes a lot of time and energy to create a patch with quite a bit of menu diving, modes, screens etc.

Gomjab

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Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2018, 04:10:59 AM »
The PX user interface was very familar coming from a Rev2 and a recently acquired open box P12.   So it had that advantage over the Quantum.  I was very excited about the Quantum when it was first announced.  I owned a rack mount Q and it had such a unique sound but being a rack the user interface sucked. I had high hopes for the Quantum with all its knobs and touch screen. 

I may have to revisit the Quantum when I have more time and a quieter environment.  Of course my real issue is space for another large set of keys. Iím really hoping for a desktop PX.  But then again I saw something that may make me rearrange both my home studio and budget.


Shaw

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Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2018, 10:32:44 AM »
Got mine today!   Can't wait to start adding to the clangorous happiness around here. 
Gotta finish work before I can open it up... anyone have suggestions for a first patch to play?
"Classical musicians go to the conservatories, rockīn roll musicians go to the garages." --- Frank Zappa

Re: Owner Impressions
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2018, 11:43:24 AM »
F1 P1 is a fine place to start.  DSI knew what they were doing there, and thereís a ton of variety packed back-to-back in factory programs.  It makes for a great initial tour but itís hell finding anything after the fact because thereís no apparent organization.

Donít forget to try mod wheel and sliders on every program.  Thereís a lot of hidden goodness baked into many of them, and sometimes even a simple sustain yields a surprise or two.