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New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...

Hey guys,

I was recommended for my style of music to look into the P12 and the OB6. Doing a little bit of reading, they seem to be pretty different tools. So I was wondering anybody could lend me some knowledge about what I could expect from the P12 not even in direct relation to the OB6 (I'll ask about OB6 in the respective forum), but in general. How does the P12 stand amongst it's family and other synths of its kind? Why do you like the P12? What could/should I expect from an instrument like this?

Thank you :)
R
« Last Edit: April 26, 2020, 06:45:54 PM by ohryan »

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2020, 07:49:39 PM »
That is a challenging question to answer.  The Prophet 12 is such a complex instrument that it's difficult to give it a brief description.  It has many times been called a sound designer's dream instrument.  That's due to the remarkable control it offers in shaping all aspects of a sound.  The result is that it can sound wonderfully analogish and warm, which makes it an excellent synthesizer for complex pads.  Contrary to my expectations, I found it could make the finest sawtooth solo patch I've ever heard, and I'm a bit of a purist.  But it can be brutally harsh as well, and this is the direction more often explored in the many YouTube videos.  I'd say the outstanding character of the instrument is its complexity and precision in realizing practically any type of sound that you could imagine.

It might be helpful, instead of asking us to try to decribe the instrument, if you told us how you would like to use it and what were your specific musical needs. 
"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: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2020, 08:40:03 PM »

It might be helpful, instead of asking us to try to decribe the instrument, if you told us how you would like to use it and what were your specific musical needs.

I really appreciate your reply. I wasn't quite sure how I was to phrase the question, but honestly you answered a big part of what I intended to get from questioning.

I wish to create big M83 type pads, gnarly distorted Justice + Gessafelstein leads/basses as well as experiment wildly with sound. I currently only have VSTs and sound design is a big part of what I enjoy doing.

But I figured you could probably do this with any synth, so I guess I was like, 'why the P12?'. Is it wrong to say one synth is better for certain things than another? Or that one synth is meant for a certain thing over others? If not, what would the P12 'be for' 'more so than the other' [synth] or [style].

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2020, 10:12:39 PM »
It has many times been called a sound designer's dream instrument.


Also where can I read or see more about this sound designer dream!

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2020, 10:28:13 PM »
I'd say it's true that every synthesizer has some type of individual character, and that probably no instrument is entirely generic.  But I would even more say that each of Dave Smith's instruments has its own character.  Dave has several times expressed this by saying that what definies a synthesizer is a combination of what it can do and what it cannot do, and that's precisely how he wants it. 

I would guess that you would like the Prophet 12.  It can certainly cover the gnarly distorted side of sound.  It seems to be popular more for that part of the sonic domain than for the soft and sweet.  I personally thought the vast majority of P12 videos were caustically digital and painfully metallic, so there's no doubt it can deliver there.  But in the end, I found it to be superb for lush analog pads.  Again, its strength is in precision programming and creating practically any sound you can mentally conceive.   
« Last Edit: May 04, 2020, 05:02:44 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
"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: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2020, 10:35:21 PM »
It has many times been called a sound designer's dream instrument.


Also where can I read or see more about this sound designer dream!

You're obviously in the right place.  Scroll through the topics here and you'll find discussions and links to videos.  Here are a couple of links to some old reviews:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/dave-smith-instruments-prophet-12

https://www.musicradar.com/reviews/tech/dsi-prophet-12-583491

Pardon the opportunism, but I have several videos demonstrating the more traditional sonic side of the instrument:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-CSFEgC2tTykUoyE8jdD1LmmyjLFNmrj
"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: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2020, 01:21:10 PM »
Again, its strength is in precision programming and creating practically any sound you can mentally conceive.

This is what I needed to hear. After watching an insane amount of videos I get what you and others mean by that it can sound cold and electronic, and people were saying that it's easy to get bad sounds out of. But, personally, I'm using to using VSTs like Serum, Massive, and Sylenth, which I love all to death, and though I love the classic analogue sounds, I'm much more an electro kid, analogue inspired.

I did decide to go for the P12 in large part to what you said, and what I subsequently researched about its sound design potentials. I'm all for finding out the secrets to this synth and putting time into it. Plus, I thought that having a more electronic sounding synth would mix better with my style of music as it currently is, and then get the OB6 later down the line as my second synth to compliment it.

The OB6 sounded absolutely fantastic right off the bat, but I'm still crazy stoked to receive my P12 and find out for myself what I can get it to do.

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2020, 02:12:03 PM »
I don't think you'll regret your decision.  The Prophet 12 is a masterpiece and an amazingly flexible instrument.   But if you don't entirely take to it, give it some time.  It's a little world of synthesis all by itself, and its complexity can be daunting at first, even distracting.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2020, 02:15:20 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
"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: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2020, 05:06:22 AM »
@Sacred Synthesis

Could you I get your input on cases for the P12? I'm looking at these two, but would you recommend an even harder case? I don't plan to travel with it frequently, probably only when I end up moving or if rarely I want to take it back home for a round trip plane flight. 98% of the time it'll be a dust cover. But if I do end up needing to take it somewhere I'd like it to be 100% safe.

So far I'm looking at this Mono case

https://www.jrrshop.com/dave-smith-instruments-prophet-soft-case

or this gator case:

https://reverb.com/item/15083717-gator-cases-keyboard-case-for-dave-smith-prophet-12-poly-evolver?bk=eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJqdGkiOiJhYzYyN2I4ZC02MjRhLTRjNDEtYjFkOC02MjRjNDU1OGFlMTIiLCJpYXQiOjE1ODgxNjE2NDIsInVzZXJfaWQiOiI0MTk4NTU0Iiwic2Vzc2lvbl9pZCI6IiIsImNvb2tpZV9pZCI6IjFhYjYxMmE4LWJlOTQtNDlmNS05OTY3LWJhOTMyNDIxOTdiNiIsInByb2R1Y3RfaWQiOiIxNTA4MzcxNyJ9.147EdRuLrEJ3qr3g4uY3lHid7p1mVKALg-P3JSgWMCY

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2020, 10:46:17 AM »
Personally, I would never use a soft case, even if travel was unlikely.  Considering the cost and delicateness of these instruments, I would settle for nothing less than a hardshell case that will last for the life of the synthesizer.

I protect my Prophet '08 Keyboard in a hard case that Dave Smith Instruments offered years ago.  For my Poly Evolver Keyboard, I had Kryptonite Cases specially design one.  It's built like a tank, fits the instrument perfectly inside, and cost about $350.  I don't know if they'd build one for the Prophet 12, but I would certainly recommend looking into it.

http://kryptonitecases.net/index.html

I would also recommend a fitted dusk cover as well.

https://www.digitaldeckcovers.com/dave-smith-instruments/dave-smith-instruments-prophet-12-keyboard

"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: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2020, 04:48:41 PM »
Thank you! I just emailed Kryptonite and nice call on the dust cover, I was gonna use bedsheets but this seems better

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2020, 12:29:24 PM »
Sacred Synthesis,

Sequential owes you a commission on this one ;).     I agree that ohryan will like what he gets with this instrument.
Sequential Equipment: Poly Evolver Keyboard, Evolver desktop,   Pro-2, OB6, P-12
 

https://Soundcloud.com/wavescape-1

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2020, 05:07:03 PM »
Thank you! I just emailed Kryptonite and nice call on the dust cover, I was gonna use bedsheets but this seems better

I have the black quilted cotton dusk covers.  They look good, fit snuggly, and are thick enough to somewhat protect the panel if you drop something on the instrument.
"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: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2020, 05:09:13 PM »
Sacred Synthesis,

Sequential owes you a commission on this one ;).     I agree that ohryan will like what he gets with this instrument.

I wish!  But then they would owe you a commission, too.  You've done more than your share of supporting the good reputation of the Prophet 12.
"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

Mr Kay

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    • The Disease
Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2020, 01:24:58 PM »
With some work, you can make with the P'12 some sounds of the OB-6 (with the filter in 2 Poles mode)  :)

https://soundcloud.com/thedisease/prophet-12-pads
https://soundcloud.com/thedisease/pb6

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2020, 08:35:13 PM »
I second everything that SS said about the P-12.   I found a very good way to get to the analog sounds is approach programming the P-12 like you are programming a P-6 or P-08.  For example, don't use all four of the oscillators.  Use only two.  Set the two up like you would to program an analog sound.  Same for the envelopes and modulation.  The P-12 responds very well to this approach of programming.   Once you get that under your belt, start experimenting with the other tools within the instrument.  You'll find that light additions can improve the analog lushness putting it ahead of the P-06/08.  Too much and it goes to digital/metallic grunge in a hurry.
Jim Thorburn .  Toys-  Dave Smith: Prophet 08;
Pro 2; Prophet 12; EastWest Orchestral soft synths; Yamaha S-90; Yamaha Montage 8, Yamaha DX-7; KARP Odyssey; Ensoniq ESQ-1.  All run through a Cubase DAW with a Tascam DM-24 board.

Mr Kay

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    • The Disease
Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2020, 06:33:06 AM »
Another trick is to avoid to set the level of the oscillators to the maximum, but rather to 40/50  ;)

S Y Z Y G Y X

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Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2020, 01:08:14 PM »
I just purchased a like new mint Prophet 12 Keyboard arrived yesterday in its original packaging and manual.  Still has the plastic protective screen cover on it as well. 

Iím absolutely in love with the Prophet 12.  Sounds fat lush, analogue, digital and crunchy.  Sound design is endless.  My favorite synth yet from DSI/Sequential!
SEQUENTIAL Pro 3, DSI Prophet 12, DSI Prophet Rev2-8, Moog Subsequent 37, Roland Alpha Juno 2, Novation Bass Station 2, BOSS VE500, MOTU Micro Lite, AKAI APC240 MKII, SSL Fusion, UAD Apollo X6, MacBook Pro 2017, ADAM A7X Monitors, Logic X
www.syzygyxmusic.com
https://syzygy-x.bandcamp.com

Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2020, 03:33:53 PM »
I found that the best way to make the Prophet 12 sound analog-ish was to avoid the charcter section.  I used it where I could, but found that, with the warmer string/brass/PWM categories of sounds, it was best to leave it alone.  And that's the difficulty with such a complex synthesizer: we're prone to think that the best end results will come from employing nearly every capability of the instrument.  No, it comes from using only what is necessary, and that rquires a certain self-discipline.
"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

S Y Z Y G Y X

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  • WWW.SYZYGYXMUSIC.COM
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Re: New to DSI. What could I expect from the P12 in relation to...
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2020, 08:06:58 PM »
I totally forgot about the character section ha!  Havenít even touched it yet.  Just love the sound of the synth in general, so warm and lush and full of stereo image just like all DSI/Sequential machines!
SEQUENTIAL Pro 3, DSI Prophet 12, DSI Prophet Rev2-8, Moog Subsequent 37, Roland Alpha Juno 2, Novation Bass Station 2, BOSS VE500, MOTU Micro Lite, AKAI APC240 MKII, SSL Fusion, UAD Apollo X6, MacBook Pro 2017, ADAM A7X Monitors, Logic X
www.syzygyxmusic.com
https://syzygy-x.bandcamp.com