The Prophet '08 Among Prophets

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #80 on: March 10, 2016, 08:48:10 AM »
Absolutely.  Before DSI asked/invited me to help out here, I had removed myself from the old forum and all others as well.  I was 95% forum-free.  It was so refreshing.  Now I try to keep it to a minimum, the exception being when I'm researching an instrument or effect.  Which is why I'd like to decide soon which new instrument I'll buy and then quit the forum stuff altogether (except here).
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 11:09:51 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #81 on: March 10, 2016, 08:55:17 AM »
The Prophet '08 naysayers are just too impatient. I stick to my verdict: If you can only have one analog polysynth you'll find nothing better than the Prophet '08 in terms of price, sound, and features - and I say that as a Prophet-6 and Pro 2 user.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2016, 08:59:53 AM by Paul Dither »

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #82 on: March 10, 2016, 09:05:11 AM »
There's no conflict between those three instruments, Paul, as I'm sure you would agree.  Each is superb in its own way, and they could all wonderfully work together.  I'd be quite happy with either.  But there's something unique about the Prophet '08, in that it receives such a beating on the forums.  Even the Poly Evolver is relatively spared such abuse.  But my point has been that such forum blather is, in fact, voluminous misinformation given as opinion, and it can lead one to make the wrong decision.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2016, 11:07:11 AM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #83 on: March 10, 2016, 09:13:40 AM »
I know. I've recognized this attitude towards almost all DSI products though. In the case of the Prophet '08 it just seems to be the most extreme. But even with regard to the Prophet-6 I've read comments like "it has that typically thin DSI sound." Or with regard to the OB-6: "Thankfully, it doesn't have the typical DSI sound, but it still doesn't sound as good as a real vintage Oberheim." - It's becoming really boring to read stuff like that mostly written by people who didn't even touch the instrument in the first place.

Plus: I'm not criticizing that some people don't like the sound, but rather how they go about it.

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Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #84 on: March 10, 2016, 11:05:29 AM »
But even with regard to the Prophet-6 I've read comments like "it has that typically thin DSI sound." Or with regard to the OB-6: "Thankfully, it doesn't have the typical DSI sound, but it still doesn't sound as good as a real vintage Oberheim."

I have been speculating on why modern DSI instruments are said to be thin sounding. Maybe its the way the oscillators are controlled in the new VCO machines? I am wondering if the heavy low end of the older Oberheim machines stems from the free running oscillators pitch fluctuations. If so there are certainly room for more research or studies into oscillator pitch control.

I remember that "snowcrash" of the old forum mentioned that vintage synthesizers had pink or darker noise on their pitch CV channels. Now if its so that could in theory be emulated with lowpass filtering of digital noise in the modulation matrix on a suitable extended voice architecture.

Also I think that the long term softsynth producers may very well have great models of this pitch fluctuations and hence could be in a better position to make modern digital control of VCOs than possibly some manufacturers already working in the analog synthesizer field.

Of cause, this is just pure speculation. But certainly an interesting discussion!
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Razmo

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Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #85 on: March 13, 2016, 09:56:16 AM »
I don't think it has much to do with being DCO's... A Sub37 is also a DCO synth in theory... but the term DCO has so many definitions that it gets hard to categorize it. Are the oscillators running on their own, only having Pitch controlled by a CV signal from a processor? ... or is the cycles of the oscillators controlled by a clock like on the CEM chips? ... How unstable are the oscillators... have this unstableness been emulated in the digital control? etc. etc... I cannot say for sure, as I'm no electronics wizard, but I can definitely hear, that DSI synths, though capable of doing bass frequencies, that they will not sound like a Sub37.... though... the Waldorf Pulse2 has clocked oscillators, and sound absolutely massive compared to the DSI analog polys... so something is causing this "thinness".

Personaly I don't care, because I only need that beefyness in kick drums and basses, and will just use the tool that does it well... besides, that beef in the lowend will only serve to muddy up everything if it existed in every sound you use in a mix... The DSI synths have many other uses that those bass monsters will never touch... that's why it's nice to have more than one synth in your rig  ;)

Besides... if you want more beef out of your DSI... pump up the low end with an analog EQ... there you have it!  ;D
« Last Edit: March 13, 2016, 09:58:12 AM by Razmo »
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Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #86 on: March 21, 2016, 10:52:59 PM »
I just received my Prophet '08 last week (an upgrade after having a Mopho X4 for 4 years). 

I'll use it primarily for live performance (it's already done its first gig), so the finest details of my sound are often lost in the ambiance of the venue.  (I guess the solution to that is to design the patches as caricatures of themselves - everything a little more vivid than I really want it)

I certainly don't find it "thin" or "buzzy" or "harsh" or even "brassy."  If anything, I would like to be able to get a little *more* edge (to help me compete with cymbals & ambient noise). 

It just sounds like a traditional beautiful analog polysynth to me.  Seems like it has more cojones than the X4 (where I never use the sub-oscillators), but that may be my confirmation bias, and the pleasure of playing 8 voices on a 5-octave keyboard.

The mod matrix is familiar after the X4, but i'm glad to find this forum because it seems as if there is a lot of accumulated Prophet '08 wisdom here.  Thanks!
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 11:07:12 PM by motwell »
Mopho 3006, Mopho X4 00879, Evolver 04737, PEK 01569, Pro2 01618, Prophet 08 05863

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #87 on: March 23, 2016, 07:36:51 PM »
Yes, it's a wonderful instrument.  You don't run out of octaves on the keyboard, or LFOs, or envelopes, you're able to create splits and stacks, you have the 2 and 4-pole choices in the filter, and a raw Oberheim-ish sound.  Personally, I find I'm never frustrated at a dead end when I'm using it, due to something essential being absent. The instrument does what I need it to.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 07:42:24 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #88 on: March 24, 2016, 08:58:48 PM »
This is my first post on the board, and I read this thread with great interest. I've been seriously considering the Prophet 08 as my next synthesizer, and I'm glad to hear that it's loved! I've been listening to Sacred Synthesis's videos all afternoon, and I really like the classically inspired sounds and music. Your phrasing and dynamics are really exquisite, and the Prophet allows you to express yourself.

This is a real instrument with guts as well as idiosyncrasies. The programming doesn't look too difficult or open ended like the Prophet 12. Yet with the two layers, three envelopes, and modulation matrix, it seems like one can create a universe of sounds on it.

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #89 on: April 16, 2016, 02:33:10 AM »
Same here as tumble2k - I'm looking to get a new synth at some point this year. The P6 / OB6 are very exciting, the Pro2 does a very different job wonderfully but the P8 always draws me back... Something about it, unfortunately there are none in my local area to try out (any DSI synths at all) so its likely I will have to take the plunge. But saying that, I don't think its possible I wouldn't enjoy owning any single DSI synth at all...
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Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #90 on: April 16, 2016, 07:27:40 AM »
The P6 / OB6 are very exciting, the Pro2 does a very different job wonderfully but the P8 always draws me back...

The ability to layer two sounds is a huge thing for me. With layering I could combine 4 oscillators and two filters to get more timbres or use detuning and pan to get the big sound that Sacred Synthesis talks about earlier in this thread. Still have four voices to work with is a plus. This is simply not possible with the Prophet 6 or OB 6.

I've listened to so many videos and played my Ambika, and I've started to like the "brassy" Curtis filter. It has a brightness that I like. I also like the Prophet 6 and OB 6 filters though!

I also think about getting the Prophet 12. It's a tradeoff between a much larger range of sounds that can be produced vs. not having digital in the signal path, which always adds some high frequency hash, which bothers me.

So I guess I'm in the same boat. I could be happy with any of these!

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #91 on: April 16, 2016, 09:12:02 PM »
The P '08, P 12, P-6, and OB-6 are all excellent synthesizers, but they definitely have their own tonal personalities.  I wouldn't consider them interchangeable, even if we could all be happy with each of them. 

Regarding the first two instruments, I would say the ability to layer, all by itself, opens up a sonic world of complexity and immensity that is worth having.  I would feel confined without it.  It draws on the imagination in ways that a single layer does not.  As one example, I would mention the simultaneous combining of two envelopes.  One can be soft and slow, while the other is sharp and percussive.  Or the second one can be delayed, creating an echo effect, even with soft white noise.  To deepen this echo effect or make it more mysterious, you can process the second layer separately with additional reverb. 

Having the ability to combine two entirely distinct layers opens up a world of synthesis that is so unique and even demanding on the imagination.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 10:19:52 AM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #92 on: April 18, 2016, 08:34:32 AM »
I'm very interested in creating instruments with the right articulation. I had a Yamaha MOXF rompler, and I found that even though strings were extremely realistic, they did not have realistic articulation. At least not in the way I wanted them to be articulated. I realized that the essense of an instrument is not its waveform. It has to do with how the performer expresses him or herself with it. I also realized that with a good analog synthesizer I could adjust the articulation in myriad subtle ways without the distraction of 1,700 waveforms to choose from. Then I saw Sacred Synthesis's Youtube videos and homed in on the Prophet 08. Will get it as soon as I sell my Ambika...

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #93 on: April 18, 2016, 10:13:41 AM »
You're right.  Strings are very tricky at the Attack phase.  Anybody can design a string patch that sounds decent when a note or chord is sustained, but the first instant of the sound is an entirely different matter, as are the other nuances.  I think the old vintage string synthesizers were poor influences on our ears, and I also consider the addition of a stereo chorus or flanger to kill a lovely string sound.  To state the obvious, string sections do not move back and forth while they're playing!  You want a stereo effect that remains the same throughout, and the best way to achieve this is by having the sound sources simultaneously coming from both sides, and some times with the slightest variances.  A simple and standard as it may sound to some, a superb string patch takes much time, care, and attention to details. 

The key is in knowing how you will be playing the patch - with fast notes, slow notes, staccato, pizzicato, sustained, and so on.  Next, you have to find the right combination of VCA and VCF for the Attack, to suit the rapidity of your playing.  I generally prefer a moderate VCA Attack with a slower VCF Attack - the filter set at only 8-10, which adds a pleasant bowing effect.  Then I set that small amount of filter modulation to close again as slowly as possible.  These settings, combined with a delayed vibrato that may also lessen when the note or chord is sustained, as well as a generous amount of reverb, make for a warm, living, breathing string patch.

One additional note: personally, I don't strive for an obsessively realistic string sound, even though a real string section provides an ideal and a starting point.  But I'm not trying to fool anyone.  What I strive for is a beautiful synthesized string patch, an electronic version of an acoustic sound, but one that doesn't sound electronic in a negative sense.  Strange as it may be, I'm usually trying to get my synthesizers to sound like acoustic instruments.  When you succeed at that, you have a synthesizer patch that sounds wonderfully sweet and musical.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 10:37:07 AM by Sacred Synthesis »

dslsynth

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Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #94 on: April 18, 2016, 11:25:38 AM »
To state the obvious, string sections do not move back and forth while they're playing!

Thanks! That obvious and insightful comment made me smile on a gray Monday!

« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 11:53:11 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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dslsynth

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Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #95 on: April 18, 2016, 11:26:26 AM »
Will get it as soon as I sell my Ambika...

Are you really sure you will sell your Ambika? Its a great machine!
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Sacred Synthesis

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #96 on: April 18, 2016, 11:32:28 AM »
Sell your Ambika to Dslsynth.  Problem solved.

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #97 on: April 18, 2016, 11:53:38 AM »
To state the obvious, string sections do not move back and forth while they're playing!

Thanks! That obvious and insightful comment made me smile on a gray Monday!

Sorry to hear you're having a gray Monday.  Now cheer up!  There, I took care of your gray Monday.  ;D

My point was that, chorus and flanger can sound great when you want your synthesizer to really sound like a synthesizer.  But I prefer to use other forms of modulation.  For example, two slightly different rates of subtle pulse width modulation combined with two slightly different rates of vibrato produce a wonderfully full and complex sound that seems a bit more acoustic than electronic.  I much prefer that the modulation be part and parcel of the actual patch, rather than that it be added on by means of a device and in a static state.  And I'm obviously suggesting the advantages of multiple LFOs vs. external effects that create a shifting from side to side.  Hence, the dancing string section.  The only time I use panning is when I want a patch to blatantly sound like a synthesizer, which is usually with pads.  Yet, even then the panning gets lost in the reverb.

This is just my approach to making the synthesizer sound a bit more natural and acoustic.  It may seem contrary, but beautiful music and beautiful tone are ideals that require striving after.  The synthesizer must not be allowed to get in the way of making fine synthesizer music.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 11:16:11 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

dslsynth

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Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #98 on: April 18, 2016, 12:34:49 PM »
Sell your Ambika to Dslsynth.  Problem solved.

Only trouble is that I cannot afford an Ambika. Even an used one!
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dslsynth

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Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #99 on: April 18, 2016, 12:41:53 PM »
My point was that, chorus and flanger can sound great when you want your synthesizer to really sound like a synthesizer.  But I prefer to use other forms of modulation.

I think there are good points here when it comes to chorus/flange versus building it into the sound. One of them is what the LFO in a chorus/flange effect really are up as its essentially an approximation to multiple players being ever so slightly different in pitch and timing. One delay line and an LFO will add some movement to the sound but not be a multi-player substitute.

PS: Mondays are gray by definition! ;)
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