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
September 30, 2012 @ 9:10 am
At first sound you might be confused in thinking this synth is just a little brassey, I fell into that trap too but having bought the Psalm37 patches I felt the synth was completely transformed into a future retro synth. I've had some time to de-construct the patches and learn much more about this synth. Before you listen to youtube videos of this synth and get put off do try and find the Psalm37 patches video and other videos from that user to get a broader perspective. It really is a great synth when you know what you are doing.
September 27, 2012 @ 9:03 pm
One of the best sounding analog synths ever! I've owned a P5 since 1986... This tops it!
September 11, 2012 @ 2:48 am
I am one of the "naysayers" for the Prophet 08. The sound is just not there.

It lacks sonic potential I guess is how I would put it.
It just sounds weedy to my ear.
Looks like the original but fizzles out
when you put it to the real sniff test.
The machines I own now have survived that test on there own individual merits.
I get great results from my JP 8000/8080/ Juno 106/ and Kurzweil PC3.
I even have some funky Casio's that are surprisingly rich and complex sounding.
Like another post said, the Prophet 08 is really like a backround "filler" sound.
September 8, 2012 @ 3:52 pm
@jpt Actually, if you've heard of the artist Neon Indian, he recorded his entire first album, Psychic Chasms, using only a Prophet '08. It was a very succesful album and remains probably my top favorite album of all time to date. And all of the synth sounds sound vintage and beautiful.
Just saying. You should check it out.
August 2, 2012 @ 10:46 am
It sounds great and the interface is great too.
I don't mind whether it is full anolog or digital, the important is that it has such a beautiful sound.
The signal is said to be fully analog, but the enveloppes are digital, and the analog oscillators, digitally controlled, so when tweaking a parameter, you can sometimes hear quantization steps.
The full-analog thing is a marketing asset, you should not take this into consideration.
What you should take into consideration is that this synth is unexpensive, rock-solid, easy to manipulate and has a huge and great sound. A classic !
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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