Prophet Rev2 Sawtooth Wave?

Prophet Rev2 Sawtooth Wave?
« on: February 08, 2023, 04:53:09 AM »
Anybody know if the Rev2's Sawooth waveform on its most basic default setting is an Up Saw or a Down Saw wave?

Been studying the timbral differences between the assorted synths in my studio, and I've noticed that the synths with Down Saw as the default for that waveform (Virus TI, Nord Lead 3, Moog Slim Phatty) are all what folks call "darker" or "duller" in sound

While synths like the Nord Lead 2X, Mininova, JP8080, and Blofeld are all bright and fizzy and have rich high frequency harmonics, and all use Up Saw for the base Saw waveform

I've noticed the Rev2 has a bright, fizzy in-your-face sound, esp compared to the Virus or Moog, and I wondered if my observation tracks with what's under the hood on the Rev2

Re: Prophet Rev2 Sawtooth Wave?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2023, 02:11:37 AM »
What do you mean exactly, are you asking if the Rev 2 sawtooth is a sawtooth or a reverse sawtooth? If so it's a sawtooth - what I think you mean by 'up' saw. I hope I have understood you correctly. If so, I would be very surprised if the Nord Lead 3, Slim Phatty etc offer a reverse sawtooth but not a 'standard' sawtooth. In fact from memory (could be wrong) I think both the Nord Lead and Slim Phatty offer sawtooth but not reverse sawtooth.


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Re: Prophet Rev2 Sawtooth Wave?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2023, 04:26:18 AM »
Of interest perhaps is the fact that on the Rev4, the filter type switch changes the saw to a ramp to reflect the difference between the original P5 Revs 1 and 2 versus the P5 Rev 3... I noted it in this thread:,5341.0.html

In terms of brighter vs darker, I haven't tried it lately but I did not notice that difference on the Rev4 when toggling between the two, but comparing the saw of one synth to the ramp on another synth is an apples to oranges comparison, and I would almost certainly attribute any differences to other factors.  It's important to point out that even the most subtle differences in how an oscillator produces a saw wave can make a substantial difference to how that waveform and all sounds built upon it hit the ear.

I wouldn't directly compare the saw waves produced by any VA synth to any analog synth.  For example, the JP-8080 has a very distinct (in both sound and appearance) saw, and much of the unique sound is a side effect of aliasing.

The JP-8080 (or JP8k) is an interesting study in the sense that it can produce a supersaw that seems both warm and vibrant at the same time, a characteristic which other virtual analogs have not been able to perfectly match, and that "special" sound has been attributed to the unique saw wave shape of the synth.  However, one afternoon I spent some time trying to see if I could truly replicate the sound using the Access Virus, and was never able to get there, however I found the biggest difference in the sound to not be the saw wave at all, but rather in Roland's chorus implementation on the JP-8080.

« Last Edit: February 09, 2023, 04:32:16 AM by LPF83 »
Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

Re: Prophet Rev2 Sawtooth Wave?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2023, 10:29:16 AM »
I checked it out a couple of years ago, on various articles, wiki and reviews and such
- nothing indicates that in theory the frequency content would be different
- reviewers never mentioned anything particular about the saw

But it could in reality in choice of circuit and component be different in how the edge is created.
- suck a level down is discharging a capacitor, and raising it is charging it
- but again never noticed any difference
- digital oscillators are likely more to perfect theory

In Prologue I bought an digital oscillator called One, said to mimic some Moog I believe.
- there the shape change saw from normal to reverse and something else in middle
- the edge is like in a squarewave a series of odd harmonics
- never heard a difference between end points
- Time Shoebridge sell that oscillator, or Sound Mangling

But I used it to counter what analog VCO saw in Prologue do with some interesting result
- a saw mixed to some level with a reverse
- maybe same octave or some octave apart
- so you get cancelling of some frequencies, how much depend of level and which octave

I tried to compare waveforms between synths I had, and found that feeling one was clearly different had to do with SPL, sound pressure level, or volume simply put. Ears are dramaticly different frequency response depending on volume. Sp matching levels perfectly is important if to compare.

I have a NL2X, Prologue and REV2 and have not really dived into comparing closely, but just don't care either. Either synths do what it does. Selecting synths from what kind of saw is nothing I would do.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2023, 10:45:59 AM by Autosynther »

Re: Prophet Rev2 Sawtooth Wave?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2023, 06:11:31 AM »
Hahaha I totally forgot I made this post

Yeah, these are all fair points. I forget exactly where I was reading that the direction of the saw wave impacts its timbral characteristics. Maybe it was Don Solaris' spectrographic analysis of the Nord Lead 2X vs the Nord Lead 3, and he found that the saw stuff was one of the two elements that impacted the differences in their sound (the other being, as you all noted, the filter and other core elements)

To the user who commented about the Virus Hypersaw vs the JP SuperSaw, someone else did some in-depth analyses, and I think even some Access documentation notes that the Virus sounds duller/darker than other VAs of the same era, because the oscillators are intentionally lo-passed very slightly to make it sound more "classically analog". It's the oscs themselves on the TI(2) though, not any other part of the synth architecture, as I can run my Rev2 and NL2X through the Virus FX and filters, and have no loss in fidelity or brightness from those synths. One can compensate for the loss of high end on Virus oscs by adding some EQ boosting to the top end to try and level it back out, but, it's generally easier to start from a clear sound than to take a darker sound and force it to be clear

Not that I'm complaining, mind you. TI2's superb for dreamy pads and expansive sounds - and its FX make great-sounding synths like the Rev2 and NL2X even more amazing, with the Rate Reducer, Chorus, etc. And don't even get me started on what Virus TI2 reverb does to a big JP Supersaw *chef's kiss*

I'll see if I can find the source I found for what different types of saws do when used in proper sounds. I *think* it was somewhere authoritative, but I'll have to check