Using 2 Prophet 5s for stereo

Using 2 Prophet 5s for stereo
« on: March 24, 2022, 09:43:54 PM »
I tried searching for this and couldn’t find anything, which was a bit of a surprise…

Anyway, I’m thinking of adding a Prophet 5 module to my P5 keyboard, with the idea of creating a monster true stereo Prophet 5. As it is now, I end up double tracking it all the time to get really nice wide pads, which sounds stunning - but it would be a blast to be able to play and tweak both layers at the same time.

In practice, I assume the module would respond to anything I do from the keyboard controls, so they’d always be “in sync” - and then for any subtle variations, I would further tweak the module directly.

Anything I’m missing with this approach? I know it might sound excessive, but the P5 is my favorite analog poly, so why not. Having 2 of them layered, subtly detuned, and panned apart is absolutely glorious - way better than simulating stereo with a chorus pedal or plugin.

Thoughts?
Jim Daneker
Composer/Producer, Nashville TN
www.jimdaneker.com

Re: Using 2 Prophet 5s for stereo
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2022, 10:01:51 PM »
Sacred Synthesis is the guru on this site for doubling and stereo patches.   Look in the Prophet 08 section.  He posts a lot there.  Also, look at his Youtube page.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw
Jim Thorburn .  Toys-  Dave Smith: Prophet 5, Rev 4; Prophet 08; Pro 2; Prophet 12 module; 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.

jok3r

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Re: Using 2 Prophet 5s for stereo
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2022, 03:01:25 AM »
I think some user here in this forum already does this or wanted to do this... but I don't remember who that was. Furthermore, I think there already were some audio demos ... but I can't find the according posts...

I hope this person will read this an can chime in...
Prophet Rev2, Moog Matriarch, Novation Peak, Arturia DrumBrute Impact, Korg Kronos 2 88, Kurzweil PC 361, Yamaha S90ES

LPF83

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Re: Using 2 Prophet 5s for stereo
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2022, 04:39:49 AM »
I tried searching for this and couldn’t find anything, which was a bit of a surprise…

Anyway, I’m thinking of adding a Prophet 5 module to my P5 keyboard, with the idea of creating a monster true stereo Prophet 5. As it is now, I end up double tracking it all the time to get really nice wide pads, which sounds stunning - but it would be a blast to be able to play and tweak both layers at the same time.

In practice, I assume the module would respond to anything I do from the keyboard controls, so they’d always be “in sync” - and then for any subtle variations, I would further tweak the module directly.

Anything I’m missing with this approach? I know it might sound excessive, but the P5 is my favorite analog poly, so why not. Having 2 of them layered, subtly detuned, and panned apart is absolutely glorious - way better than simulating stereo with a chorus pedal or plugin.

Thoughts?

I think my opinion would be influenced by whether or not two P5s can be polychained.  I'm not sure if they can or not, but whether they can would be the first question I'd be interested in.  If they can, the cost of adding a P5 desktop to existing keyboard begins to look pretty good because it means that for only $1700 or so more than an P5 expansion board you've not only turned the P5 into a P10, but you've achieved your stereo setup wants with the configuration you've described above.

The other side of the coin --  on many of the albums the Prophet 5 is historically famous for, the P5 is multi-tracked (as you mentioned you're already doing).   This may seem like "poor man's stereo", but much of the time, this approach was actually responsible for much of why the P5 sounded so good.  A common technique was to mono record a part and pan to the left channel, then record the part again, with very slight natural variations in playing (perhaps also slightly different patch settings, and with sequencers maybe quantization differences), and then pan that new recording right.  There is a certain dynamic to the result of this technique that is not quite the same as having a single synth output to L and R simultaneously, and of course it's relatively economical to work this way.

But, that's coming from someone who doesn't play live and is looking at things from a studio musician perspective only.  Also, my current FX chain for the P10 looks like this:   Boss CE-2W > Strymon Mobius > Strymon Timeline > OTO Bam .... which sounds great with the tone of the P10, but would be an expensive setup if that only represented one stereo channel and I needed 2 of each pedal....  I would more likely route both mono signals into the same pedals, which would mostly negate the benefit of having 2 synths going to each channel.

I can also see some arguments in favor of doing it -- having two P5s would give you a unique setup that probably not a lot of people have, there would be a time savings involved in not needing to double track parts, and maybe most of all you know best what sort of setup you want and that's important for inspiration.  For me, I'm a big fan of the poly unison mode of the P10, so I'd be happy with an expansion card for a P5 but it's really a very subjective matter.
Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Korg Polysix, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

Re: Using 2 Prophet 5s for stereo
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2022, 06:55:05 AM »
To me the general discussion of P5/10 lack of stereo is too shallow. Most synths that are stereo has a mono signal path, just like the P5/10, and just add a chorus, reverb or/and some stereo effects before output. It can easily be made, many times with better result, with an outboard effect unit. A great benefit of onboard stereo effects is when playing live to not hassle with a lot of gear. There are exceptions oc stereo synth voicing with stereo spread voices, for instance at some Sequential, Oberheim etc synths and it appeal to some and not to other.

My personal preference to get an analog synth stereo, such P5/10, is like you describe; one set (or more) of voices per side, possibly slightly detuned, as the analog differences makes it wonderful. So much more excellent than a chorus… and more expensive if live performance. With a DAW it’s easy to stack as many prophets as needed - 1024 voices spread out in Dolby Atmos, no problem.


Sacred Synthesis

Re: Using 2 Prophet 5s for stereo
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2022, 09:42:59 AM »
I tried searching for this and couldn’t find anything, which was a bit of a surprise…

Anyway, I’m thinking of adding a Prophet 5 module to my P5 keyboard, with the idea of creating a monster true stereo Prophet 5. As it is now, I end up double tracking it all the time to get really nice wide pads, which sounds stunning - but it would be a blast to be able to play and tweak both layers at the same time.

In practice, I assume the module would respond to anything I do from the keyboard controls, so they’d always be “in sync” - and then for any subtle variations, I would further tweak the module directly.

Anything I’m missing with this approach? I know it might sound excessive, but the P5 is my favorite analog poly, so why not. Having 2 of them layered, subtly detuned, and panned apart is absolutely glorious - way better than simulating stereo with a chorus pedal or plugin.

Thoughts?

I encourage you to do what you've described with the Prophet 5.  I've been using this technique for years, presently with two Prophet '08s and two Korg ARP Odysseys.  I came up with the idea, due to the recognition one day that my inherently stereo Poly Evolver Keyboard sounded far superior to my Prophet '08. 

Some people claim the technique is excessive, but I disagree.  The breadth and width of sound that results is superior to anything I've heard before.  Suddenly, electronic music no longer sounds confined and unnatural sounding, as if the synthesizer were being funneled through a pipe.  With this technique, a synthesizer approaches an acoustic instrument's warmth and charm.  Ping-pong and note panning effects are just that - effects.  Using two identical synthesizers MIDI-ed together and having them permanently panned to opposite sides is an entirely different matter.   

Having the two units side-by-side will directly affect your thinking and designing of sounds, because the process will be optimally easy and direct.  It will invite you to make fine or drastic changes to each instrument, as well as to apply different amounts or types of effects to each unit.  This will be true whether you're creating the same patch on each instrument or combining two different patches.  It does make creating sounds a little more time-consuming, but your ears will tell you it's well worth the effort.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2022, 01:44:05 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Using 2 Prophet 5s for stereo
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2022, 07:48:19 PM »
Some people claim the technique is excessive, but I disagree.  The breadth and width of sound that results is superior to anything I've heard before. ...Ping-pong and note panning effects are just that - effects.  Using two identical synthesizers MIDI-ed together and having them permanently panned to opposite sides is an entirely different matter.   

Having the two units side-by-side will directly affect your thinking and designing of sounds, because the process will be optimally easy and direct.  It will invite you to make fine or drastic changes to each instrument, as well as to apply different amounts or types of effects to each unit.  This will be true whether you're creating the same patch on each instrument or combining two different patches.  It does make creating sounds a little more time-consuming, but your ears will tell you it's well worth the effort.

^^^ Yep, every word of that. It really is a night and day difference layering two of the same analog synths and panning them apart; vastly different than a single mono synth through a chorus effect. I've gotten so many insanely lush pads and soundscapes that way, and I've drooled at the thought of doing it with a pair of P5's.

Ironically, the Prophet Rev2 can do this by itself since it has a true dual layer architecture, and each layer can be hard-panned to its own output. And while I've gotten some killer sounds like that, its core tone isn't a Prophet 5.

So, here's to drooling over the thought... I'm sorely tempted!
Jim Daneker
Composer/Producer, Nashville TN
www.jimdaneker.com

Re: Using 2 Prophet 5s for stereo
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2024, 09:43:33 PM »
Anyone try this yet? I notice when I double track the P5 from the exact same midi file, the resulting audio files look and sound slightly different, which makes for an awesome stereo sound when panned L-R. No need to even detune one of the tracks. It would be awesome to play live in stereo though.

And Jim, I picked up that Standtastic keyboard stand you recommended in your video. Very solid! Thanks for the tip 

Re: Using 2 Prophet 5s for stereo
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2024, 01:10:15 AM »
Go for it if you can, follow your dream! The great benefit with two P5, or multitracking and pan, you get perfect phase. With processing with chorus etc the phase is corrupted.

To me the P5 DNA is, among other things, is the mono… and when stacked great stereo in perfect phase.