Dave Smith Instruments Prophet ’08

Dave Smith Instruments Prophet '08 Image

Prophet '08

The Prophet '08 truly signals the return of the classic Sequential Circuits Prophet synthesizers, in a beautiful, modern and ultra-stable programmable analog synthesizer! Building on the Poly Evolver keyboard, the Prophet '08 offers eight voices of polyphony with a 100% analog signal path. The look is spot-on! Brand new, the Prophet '08 already looks like it's a classic vintage piece of history. And its sound really does blow you away!

Dave Smith is considered a legendary figure in the synthesizer world, he founded Sequential Circuits and designed such classics as the Prophet 5 and Prophet VS, and he was a pioneer in bringing MIDI to synthesizers. The new for 2007 Prophet '08 brings back much of the original technology from those old Prophets (like Curtis filters and analog oscillators), updated of course, to meet today's musicians needs.

While it doesn't sound exactly like an original P5, it does sound and behave more like one than any other pretender. It's cleaner, purer and a little more predictable than its 25 year old predecessors. Actually, it sounds just like the Poly Evolver, minus the digital oscillators.

Regardless, the Prophet '08 is truly a modern day Prophet series synth. Unlike many (Roland) synths that are attaching vintage model names to their current synths even though they are almost nothing alike (Juno, SH, etc.), the Prophet '08 is the real-deal next generation version of its predecessors. As DSI says, the Prophet '08 is the product of evolution, not nostalgia. Of course, it includes features we now take for granted, like velocity and aftertouch. Add to that performance features like an arpeggiator, gated step sequencer, and the ability to split and layer sounds. The modulation possibilities are much deeper than anything Sequential ever produced, making it capable of producing sounds the "classics" simply could not.

Dave Smith Instruments Prophet '08 SE Image

Prophet '08 Special Edition

The year 2008 marks 30 years of great Dave Smith-designed synthesizers. To celebrate, DSI issued the Prophet '08 Special Edition. In addition to the standard Prophet '08 features, the Special Edition includes red lighted (pitch/bend) wheels, exotic leopard-wood end panels, and a special commemorative overlay signed by Dave. It also includes editor/librarian software and the "Dave Smith: Synthesizer Pioneer" DVD. It costs about $500 more than the standard model.

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88 Visitor comments
December 31, 2011 @ 2:17 pm
The prophet '08 is a fantastic synth. The filter is one of its strongest features and I have not heard a soft synth or VA which can compare. The filters have an aggressive sound, very different to the old Roland JX series filters. These filters were great for pads and soft analogue sounds but there is no need for this nowadays because softsynths and digital hardware have this angle covered well. This synth fills the gap.
December 14, 2011 @ 5:21 pm
To me the Prophet '08 is by far the best sounding, most flexible and best looking analogue synth ever made. Some people say, that the filter does not sound very good or that the Prophet is not capable of "fat" basses. It is true that the Prophet lacks the SUB OSCs of the Mopho - but you can layer 2 sounds, so you get 4 OSCs per voice. So you can use the 2 additional OSCs to replace the SUB OSCs of the Mopho, of course. As for the filter: yes, it thins out the sound at high resonance settings, which is just the effect you need for many string and brass sounds.
November 22, 2011 @ 6:37 am
I've never had a problem with my PE (done it now haven't I!), no doubt the problems exist though. The encoders don't feel as tight as the pots although not suffered any value jumping yet, maybe it's just a matter of time.
October 15, 2011 @ 10:08 am
The Prophet 08 gets a lot of trash talked on it online, but I've seen it used by artists like Radiohead, Neon Indian, Miike Snow, James Blake, and The Horrors. Sure it has its share of flaws - the filter kinda [beep] s (goes from flat and muffled to harsh and brassy very quickly), but it does have a "sweet spot". And it's not all purpose - no"fat" basslines here (try a Mopho for that). But it does have some of that classic Prophet sound, plus a whole lot more (very flexible mod routings). Like everything Dave Smith has done, its a complex, imperfect beast - but it's really analog - it has a SOUL!
September 2, 2011 @ 12:43 pm
Months after the release of the PE edition i thought:
the problems of the "mk 1" are solved, its time to buy the newest version.
But after 6 months the well known problems started on this one too.
After swapping boards to solved the problem the trouble starts again.
I swapped the prophet for a decent quality brand of synthesizer, no problems ever since.
No Dave Smith gear ever again, the quality of the electronics are too bad: a shame.
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User Rating

Rated 4.15 (922 Votes)

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  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 voices
  • Oscillators - 2 digitally controlled analog oscillators (DCOs) per voice with selectable sawtooth, triangle, saw/triangle mix, and pulse waves (with pulse-width modulation), and hard sync. White noise generator.
  • LFO - 4 LFOs all MIDI syncable.
  • Filter - 1 Analog Curtis low-pass filter per voice, selectable 2- and 4-pole operation (self-resonating in 4-pole mode).
  • VCA - Analog VCAs. 3 Envelope Generators: filter, VCA, and assignable (four-stage ADSR + delay); Envelope 3 can loop.
  • Keyboard - 5-octave keyboard with semi-weighted action, velocity, and aftertouch.
  • Memory - 256 fully editable Programs (2 banks of 128) with 2 Layers (2 separate sounds) in each Program.
  • Effects - Glide (portamento): separate rates per oscillator.
  • Arpeg/Seq - Arpeggiator, gated 16 x 4 step sequencer all MIDI syncable.
  • Control - MIDI In, Out, Thru, and Poly Chain. Pedal/CV input: responds to expression pedals or control voltages ranging from 0 to 5 VDC.
  • Date Produced - 2007

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