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
June 17, 2010 @ 9:27 am
L.V.: Thank you. I was vaguely considering buying a P08, but I was secretly worried I'd end up in an unhappy marriage like yours. How's the 600 working out for you? I've been keeping an eye on those too.
May 30, 2010 @ 2:28 am
You haven't done anything wrong. It'd be easier if you had. On paper you're perfect but we both know it's not working. You're being dumped. While I feel terribly guilty about it, the fact is your DCOs are static & harsh & your filters thin. As much as I admire your modulation routings, I just can't go on using 2 LFOs on pitch & slop on 5 just to try to convince myself you're really an analog synth. I've defended you to my friends, but I can't keep living this lie. I've met someone new. Her name is Prophet 600. Sure her envelopes are a tad slow but at least she doesn't just lay there when I touch her. She's dark & mysterious, not cold & lifeless. Yes, I know you're not supposed to sound like a Prophet 5 or 600. You're a "modern" synth, I get it. Whatever you have to tell yourself to get through the day. But, my mind's made up. I've put you on eBay. No! Get dressed! Fine. There. Are you satisfied? No, it didn't feel good. I felt nothing, tbh. Stop crying, ffs. This is too, f'd up. Bye.
February 11, 2010 @ 11:49 am
The '08 has quickly become my favorite polysynth, being capable of all the classic sounds, but more importantly NEW ones!

I honestly don't understand where people are coming from saying it sounds cold. Perhaps they need to have their hearing checked. But it's more likely they just need to stop spending their time being such gear snobs and actually start writing and playing for once.

I own a prophet 600, as well as a memorymoog and an obXa, and I would place this synth into the same category with them. Yes, there are some differences between them, but they are EXTREMELY minor. Most of the actual differences are the individual quirks of the instruments and not the fundamental sounds produced, which is the reason I still own them all. One synth cannot possibly replace them all. So if you are looking for a magic bullet, you might as well stop now and start saving your money. :)
Peter Kadar
February 8, 2010 @ 1:27 am
I have to agree with all of the comments I've read on this page. The Prophet '08 is simply amazing. I have a ton of really great digital stuff, but none of it has the sound and character of this. I have the Special Edition, and I've installed the Pot Edition upgrade, which I highly recommend to everyone.

I'm also checking out the Tetra which is great because I get that fat sound, and I can program it from my Prophet. Finally, it's small and I don't have to worry about it like my expensive, limited edition P'08 on a gig.

I can't recommend this synth highly enough. Digital and software DO NOT sound like this. It's easily the funkiest synth I have ever owned.
December 18, 2009 @ 4:37 am
I'm coming at this from the angle of a live performer rather than a step time puncher so its best to bare that in mind when reading.

I've owned one for a couple of months now and I'm blown away by its flexibility. Its about the best poly I've owned when it comes to realtime performance as the keyboard and wheels are so responsive. I've got the PE edition and the pots feel very nicely weighted to me - not like the 1st generation models.

Soundwise it can be incredibly rich or wafer thin. Does it all. I prefer it to my old Korg Trident and Jupiter 6 that's for certain. It holds its own against the Prophet T8 soundwise but I've no idea about Prophet 5 comparisons as I don't own one, and frankly, I don't care. Its a terrific little lightweight instrument in its own right and worth every penny.

One of the best I've owned in the 25 years I've been buying and playing.
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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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