Dave Smith Announces Sequential Prophet-6 Analog Synthesizer

Dave Smith Instruments has announced the Sequential Prophet-6, a new 6-voice synthesizer with an all-analog signal path and discrete VCOs and filters. Branded with the company name Dave Smith recently reacquired, the new instrument is aimed at musicians in search of vintage tone with the reliability of modern technology.
sequential prophet 6
The Prophet-6 features two newly-designed, discrete voltage-controlled oscillators (plus sub-oscillator) per voice, with continuously variable waveshapes (triangle, sawtooth, and variable-width pulse). There are two discrete filters per voice: a four-pole, resonant, low-pass inspired by the original Prophet-5 filter, and a two-pole, resonant, highpass filter. Voltage-controlled amplifiers complete the all-analog signal path.

Also present from its classic predecessor is the Poly Mod section, albeit with enhancements. True to the original, modulation sources are filter envelope and oscillator 2 (both with bi-polar control). Destinations however, have been expanded to include oscillator 1 frequency, oscillator 1 shape, oscillator 1 pulse width, low-pass filter cutoff, and high-pass filter cutoff. Another welcome reprise is Unison mode, which features configurable voice count (1-6 voices) and key modes.


— Two newly designed, discrete VCOs per voice
— Continuously variable wave shape (triangle, sawtooth, pulse, square) per oscillator
— Pulse width per oscillator
— Hard sync: oscillator 1 syncs to oscillator 2
— Triangle sub-octave generator (oscillator 1) per voice
— Low frequency mode (oscillator 2)
— Keyboard tracking on/off (oscillator 2)
— Oscillator slop amount for increased tuning instability, from subtle to extreme
— Oscillator 1 amount
— Oscillator 1 sub-octave amount
— Oscillator 2 amount
— White noise amount
— Two-pole, resonant, high-pass filter per voice
— Bi-polar filter envelope amount
— Velocity modulation of envelope amount
— Keyboard tracking: off, half, full
— Four-pole, resonant, low-pass filter per voice, inspired by the original Prophet 5 filter
— Filter can be driven into self-oscillation with the Resonance control
— Bi-polar filter envelope amount
— Velocity modulation of envelope amount
— Keyboard tracking: off, half, full
— Four-stage (ADSR) envelope generator
— Four-stage (ADSR) envelope generator
— Velocity modulation of envelope amount
— Five wave shapes: triangle, sawtooth, reverse sawtooth, square, and random (sample and hold)
— Clock sync (internal or external MIDI clock)
— Initial amount
— Mod destinations: oscillator 1 frequency, oscillator 2 frequency, oscillator 1 and 2 pulse width, low-pass filter cutoff, high-pass filter cutoff
— Sources: filter envelope (bi-polar) and oscillator 2 (bi-polar)
— Destinations: oscillator 1 frequency, oscillator 1 shape, oscillator 1 pulse width, low-pass filter cutoff, high-pass filter cutoff
— Source: channel (mono) aftertouch with bi-polar amount
— Destinations: oscillator 1 frequency, oscillator 2 frequency, LFO amount, amplifier envelope amount, low-pass filter envelope amount, high-pass filter envelope amount
— Master clock with tap tempo
— BPM control and display
— MIDI clock sync
— Selectable note value: 16th note, 8th note triplet, 8th note, dotted 8th note, quarter note
— One, two, or three octave range
— Up, down, up/down, random, and assign modes
— Polyphonic step sequencer with up to 64 steps and rests
— Stereo analog distortion
— Dual, 24-bit, 48 kHz digital effects, including: reverb (room, hall, plate, spring), delay (full bandwidth digital delay and emulated bucket brigade and tape delays), chorus, and phase shifter
— Delay sync
— True bypass maintains fully analog signal path when digital effects are off
— Full-sized, semi-weighted, 4-octave keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
— Backlit pitch and mod wheels
— Spring-loaded pitch wheel with selectable range per program (1 to 12 semitones up and down)
— Transpose controls for an 8-octave range
— Hold switch latches held notes on
— Polyphonic glide (portamento)
— Unison (monophonic) mode with configurable voice count, from one to all six voices, and key modes
— Preset switch: when off, the front panel is live; what you see is what you hear
— 500 user and 500 factory programs in 10 banks of 100 programs each
— Direct program access, including Prophet 5-style single-button access to the current set of 10 programs
— Left/mono and right audio outputs (2 x 1/4” phone jack)
— Headphone output (stereo, 1/4” phone jack)
— MIDI in, out, and thru ports
— USB for bidirectional MIDI communication
— Low-pass filter cutoff expression pedal input
— Volume expression pedal input
— Sustain footswitch input
— Sequencer start/stop footswitch input
— 32″ L x 12.7″ W x 4.6″ H (81.3 cm x 32.3 cm x 11.7 cm)
— 20.0 lbs (9.5 kg)
— Walnut end panels and trim

The knob-per-function front panel is free of menu-diving, offering immediate access to virtually all parameters. Toggling off the Preset switch enables live panel mode, in which the sound of the instrument switches to the current settings of its knobs and switches. A significant enhancement to the original design is a dual effects section with studio-quality reverbs, delays (including standard and BBD), chorus and phase shifter. While the effects themselves are digital, with 24-bit, 48 kHz resolution, a true bypass maintains a full analog signal path. An independent stereo distortion is also provided and is
100% analog.

“The Prophet-6 is a tribute to the original poly synth that started it all—the Sequential Prophet-5. But more importantly, it’s the culmination of our effort to build the most awesome sounding, modern analog poly synth possible. It’s not a reissue, it’s vintage with a modern twist.”
— Dave Smith

The full-size, four-octave, semi-weighted keyboard is velocity and aftertouch sensitive. Additionally, the Prophet-6 features a multimode arpeggiator and a polyphonic step sequencer with up to 64 steps (and up to 6 notes per step) plus rests. It allows polyphonic keyboard input and can sync to external MIDI clock.

Dave Smith’s Prophet-6 will be available in the spring for $2,799.

Dave Smith

Author: FutureMusic

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