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
Neptune Yer Guitar
May 21, 2012 @ 2:40 pm
Plus the interface? Once again, one of the worst I've ever encountered.

I own VCO's like Vermona, Analogue Solutions and Oberheim OBXa; DCO's like the Matrix 6 and ROland JX-8P and the Moog Opus 3 which is VCO but allegedly has some digital hanky panky within. I don't expect or want the Prophet 08 to sound like any of those. I understand that DSI was trying to make something new. But it has none of the endearing tonal traits that make analog synths so great. Weirdest, [beep] tiest synth I've ever played. Sorry, Nord Lead sounds more analog than the Prophet 08. You've been warned.
Neptune Yer Guitar
May 21, 2012 @ 2:32 pm
One of the worst synths I've ever played and I've extensively played every major brand, most well known boutique brands and certainly every "famous" synth ever made. The general tone of the Prophet 08 is just weird and not in a good way. It doesn't even stack up against the cheap DCO synths of the 80's. And if your synth has less "mojo" than those, then something went seriously wrong in the design stage.
March 22, 2012 @ 10:04 am
James Blake uses this synthesizer, no?
February 8, 2012 @ 7:39 am
Turned on my prophet and noticed that the display seems to have residual images when changing parameters voices etc making it difficult to see where you're at. A mild irritant not affecting the sound, however it serves me right for my comment below!
January 17, 2012 @ 3:07 am
The Prophet 08 is a great synthesizer, very expressive, very flexible.
It requires that you learn to program it, and it is more complex and subtle
than most people expect from an analog synth. Properly setting the global
parameters greatly helps the stability and performance. It is easy to dismiss
the unit for a lack of effects and a perceived limited voice capability, but if
you do you miss out on an outstanding instrument. The software based
models of the Prophet, good as they are, pale in comparison to the P08.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.15 (922 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • 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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