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Pro-1 vs Prophet 5 differences?

LPF83

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Pro-1 vs Prophet 5 differences?
« on: May 21, 2021, 04:35:41 PM »
Does anyone know where I could find an accurate description of the differences that existed between the Pro-1 and the Prophet 5?   I don't mean from a polyphony standpoint, I'm referring to comparing one voice of the Prophet to one voice of the Pro-1.

I've seen threads that are usually filled with subjectivity or guesses, but would like to know the full  scoop and (preferably confirmed) technical details.  I've heard many say the Pro-1 had a harsher/dirtier/punchier bass.  Some say that the envelopes on the P5 Rev 3 duplicated the envelopes on the Pro-1.

To my ears, Prophet 6 sounds a bit more like the Pro-1 bass, although the Prophet 10 with the Rev3 filter is similar and possibly just as punchy.  When I read older comments from folks like Vince Clark commenting on how much better the bass was on the Pro-1 (compared to the P5), it makes me wonder if they were comparing a Rev2.

The Repro plugin, which was modeled after the Pro-1 and Prophet 5, definitely changes its spots when changed to Pro-1 mode.

So... Anyone?
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

Re: Pro-1 vs Prophet 5 differences?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2021, 05:08:35 PM »
I can't offer an accurate description, and would be quite interested to understand the differences myself, but... subjectively, as a P5/P6/Pro One owner, I can sorta somewhat vaguely confirm that the Pro One has its own sound/vibe in the bass department. My Pro One lives in Berlin with my Prophet 6 and I haven't played either of them since the pandemic drove me out of town, but I used to do plenty of A/B-ing, trying to get one to be the other. Maybe the P6 is too clean and too stable, but it never really got the guts of the Pro One bass sound. I love the P6 in its own right, and it became my go-to for bass, as its cleaner sound grew on me, but I'd still find that certain songs worked best with the Pro One. My first P5 was a rev 2, my second a rev 3 and now I've a rev 4. I've always loved the P5 for bass, but again, there's something different that sets it apart, tonally, from the Pro One. Magic sprinkles? Plastic vs wood? Oddly or not, the Evolver gets closer to the Pro One bass sound than the other synths we're talking about here, to my ear anyway. When I finally do return to Berlin, I'm likely to pack up my synths and fly them to California, but I'll certainly download the U-He plugins so's to keep a minimalist setup behind. The Repro plugs feel and sound like the wood and metal machines...

LPF83

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Re: Pro-1 vs Prophet 5 differences?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2021, 06:28:15 PM »
I can't offer an accurate description, and would be quite interested to understand the differences myself, but... subjectively, as a P5/P6/Pro One owner, I can sorta somewhat vaguely confirm that the Pro One has its own sound/vibe in the bass department. My Pro One lives in Berlin with my Prophet 6 and I haven't played either of them since the pandemic drove me out of town, but I used to do plenty of A/B-ing, trying to get one to be the other. Maybe the P6 is too clean and too stable, but it never really got the guts of the Pro One bass sound. I love the P6 in its own right, and it became my go-to for bass, as its cleaner sound grew on me, but I'd still find that certain songs worked best with the Pro One. My first P5 was a rev 2, my second a rev 3 and now I've a rev 4. I've always loved the P5 for bass, but again, there's something different that sets it apart, tonally, from the Pro One. Magic sprinkles? Plastic vs wood? Oddly or not, the Evolver gets closer to the Pro One bass sound than the other synths we're talking about here, to my ear anyway. When I finally do return to Berlin, I'm likely to pack up my synths and fly them to California, but I'll certainly download the U-He plugins so's to keep a minimalist setup behind. The Repro plugs feel and sound like the wood and metal machines...

I think Repro5 sounds quite good on certain sounds and impressively convincing if you compare one element at a time to the Rev4 (with the Rev1/2 filter mode, as I'm not sure Repro5 attempts to cover the Rev3.. could be wrong...
....I've owned it for a while but I put it up against my P10 R4 and just came to the conclusion software is never going to  fully create what comes out of a real Prophet.  I can add plug-ins to Repro5 such as HG2 Blackbox to fill in some of the blanks, but by the time I do it's taking a huge chunk of CPU and still not quite the character and detail of the real thing.  I've heard some say that its due to subtle harmonic distortion that digital technology has never fully caught up with the modeling of.....  Maybe that's it... Probably, in a mix one could get them so indistinguishably close it doesn't matter, but during playing and the music creation process, what the difference does to my inspiration (and ears) is priceless.  The plugin is interesting to me though, in terms of the difference when you switch oscillators (go into Tweaks and set OSC type to P1 instead of P5), the only difference I can see (using Cubase Supervision) is they peak louder at a given output ...  I'm not sure if that indicates U-he did their research and that's truly the primary difference, and of course this would make total sense that a polysynth is gainstaged slightly lower, and certainly gain would account for the differences people associate with "good", or "full" and other factors such as distortion ("grittier")...  but of course I'm not willing to accept a software plugin's interpretation of the differences as the final word :) 

I've never even played a real Pro-1, so I can't compare it to the P6 or the P10...  I just know that to my ears the P6, whether its the harshness of the oscillators (the reason many prefer the P5/10) seem to nail certain types of bass sounds in a way that reminds me more of the Pro-1, or at least captures some of the grittiness.  I can get basses out of either the P10 or P6 that more than meet my needs...  The P5/10 does a GREAT bass, its just a slightly different bass than the P6.

I just wonder what, from a technical perspective, was the difference in Pro-1 and the P5, not in features but in terms of the design impact on a single voice...  Faster envelopes (or different curves) etc?  Or was it really just that the osc gain was set higher at specific levels?

Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

Re: Pro-1 vs Prophet 5 differences?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2021, 11:48:07 AM »
This from Andy at Sequential...

If you looked at the schematic for a Prophet 5 Rev3 voice next the the schematic for the Pro 1 voice, you'd see that they are essentially the same--two CEM3340 VCOs, a CEM3320 VCF, and two CEM3310 envelope generators.

There are plenty of other differences in the circuits though, and any synth is the sum of its parts. Electronic component selection likely has less to do with any perceived difference in sound character between a Prophet 5 Rev3 and a Pro1, however, than the fact that one is a poly and the other is a mono. Gain staging is a very different matter when it comes to a poly vs a mono, and polysynths require a lot more attention and finesse, because you need to be loud enough with a single voice playing back on a quiet patch, yet have enough headroom to where all voices playing back on a loud patch doesn't cause extreme clipping. With a monosynth, gain staging is much simpler because you only have one voice to contend with, and in general you can have "hotter" levels throughout. It's the same thing with all of our modern designs. Even when the voice circuitry is identical, a single voice of a poly will have different gain staging than the same voice implemented as a mono.

I'm sure others out there can argue the finer points of the subject endlessly (it's the internet, after all), but if you're asking me, this is my take.

LPF83

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Re: Pro-1 vs Prophet 5 differences?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2021, 04:04:29 PM »
This from Andy at Sequential...

If you looked at the schematic for a Prophet 5 Rev3 voice next the the schematic for the Pro 1 voice, you'd see that they are essentially the same--two CEM3340 VCOs, a CEM3320 VCF, and two CEM3310 envelope generators.

There are plenty of other differences in the circuits though, and any synth is the sum of its parts. Electronic component selection likely has less to do with any perceived difference in sound character between a Prophet 5 Rev3 and a Pro1, however, than the fact that one is a poly and the other is a mono. Gain staging is a very different matter when it comes to a poly vs a mono, and polysynths require a lot more attention and finesse, because you need to be loud enough with a single voice playing back on a quiet patch, yet have enough headroom to where all voices playing back on a loud patch doesn't cause extreme clipping. With a monosynth, gain staging is much simpler because you only have one voice to contend with, and in general you can have "hotter" levels throughout. It's the same thing with all of our modern designs. Even when the voice circuitry is identical, a single voice of a poly will have different gain staging than the same voice implemented as a mono.

I'm sure others out there can argue the finer points of the subject endlessly (it's the internet, after all), but if you're asking me, this is my take.


I thought about the gain staging differences that would need to be present in a poly vs mono shortly after we were discussing this last week, and wondered how much that can affect the perceived "punch" of a synth.

There's a good video out there somewhere of a Toraiz AS-1 versus a Pro One, and the comparison convinced me that in a track, the AS-1 could be made to sound indistinguishable.  When listening to solo sounds A/B'd, they were REALLY close -- I did hear a slight amount of what sounded like vintage harmonic distortion on the Pro One, which my ears liked, but in some cases the AS-1 sounded a bit cleaner, maybe even stronger.

Then there is the "B" option, which I dread even talking about.  I'd love to see Dave come out with a Pro One module so that I don't even have to deal with the temptation of giving B my money... but from what I've heard, it's perhaps one of the only truly worthy clones that company has done.  Still, must resist.
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.