Native Instruments Pro-53

Pro-53 Image

The Pro-53 takes what was already one of the best classic synth emulators to a whole new level with improved features and sound! The Pro-53 is the third installment from N.I. of the Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 analog synth plug-in. The original Pro-Five, a VST-Instrument, was a faithful recreation of the original Prophet 5 and allowed thousands of computer-based musicians the chance at playing and performing the classic synth themselves, and for just a few hundred bucks! Following the Pro-Five came the Pro-52 which added many features bringing the plug-in up to date with more modern functions like effects, enhanced MIDI (SysEx import/export), audio inputs, and stand alone capability.

The Pro-53 is the next version, released in late 2002. It added many new exciting features. It added the all-important MIDI-learn function which lets you quickly and easily assign control knobs, sliders, etc. on your synth controllers to any of the parameters available from the front panel display of the Pro-53. The Pro-53 was also compatible with all major Mac and PC audio interface formats of the time (ASIO, DirectSound, MME, SoundManager, VST 2.0, Audio units, RTAS, DXi, DirectConnect, MAS/FreeMidi). There's also a re-designed oscillator technology giving the Pro-53 a punchy, warmer, and more dynamic sound. For a virtual instrument, it sounds very organic and is much more stable and cleaner than the original Prophet 5's aging analog circuits. The Pro-53 interface has been spruced up as well, adding larger knobs and few new ones too.

Pro-53 Image

The filter has new features including a switch to invert the filter envelopes, and a new high-pass filter. There was a new LFO-Envelope-Retrigger function which retriggers the envelope with each new cycle of the LFO wave for interesting animated and colorful sounds. The Amplifier section featured a new Hold button which latches any notes played so you can free up your hands to tweak sounds while hearing their effects in real-time. Linear and circular knob control modes allow you to customize the Pro-53 to your ergonomic preference. In linear mode the mouse moves up or down to adjust the knobs; in circular mode the white notch on the knob follows the mouse as you drag it around the knob, clockwise to increase and counter-clockwise to decrease it. The NI logo is actually a pull-down menu holding most valuable functions including the MIDI Learn mode, controllermaps, microtuning settings, and other plug-in settings. It has been used by Hans Zimmer. Although Native Instruments has discontinued the Pro-53, its sound sets, patches, etc. are still available from NI's user database.

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13 Visitor comments
June 23, 2009 @ 6:42 am
I'd like to point out to "If0" that the reason that this synth sounds thin is because you are playing it by itself, in a clean digital atmosphere. If you output the sound to analog equipment like a preamp, reverb, fat amp, etc. then it will sound like the Talking Heads because they didn't just plug in the synth to the mixer and record the album, they produced the sound you hear.
John G
November 13, 2008 @ 5:56 pm
A nice synth, limited to analog textures of course. Most of the plug-ins from NativeInstruments have a nice patch/preset browser, but the Pro53 still doesn't have it ... too bad.
September 12, 2008 @ 5:13 pm
I hope I'm not going to be to biased with this review but I'm slightly unsure of this vst, unlike any other.
I have heard the Prophet 5 on many albums, from the likes of Japan and especially Talking Heads, and have to say that the pro-53 doesn't have the effect of these famous albums, the pro-53 is thin and tacky but it does have a couple of useful presets, nice little sine lead in there somewhere so it's not all bad. The dials and switchs do enable an endless variation of sound, but as I say a little to thin compared with the real thing : (
Try the prophet thing that NI came out with last year, it's probably better but I haven't had the pleasure yet.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.64 (303 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 - 32 voices per Instance
  • Oscillators - 2 Oscillators. Osc. A has sawtooth and pulse waveforms. Osc. B has sawtooth, triangle and pulse waveforms.
  • LFO - 1 with sawtooth, square and pulse waveforms, MIDI sync, envelope triggering. Assignable to oscillators, filter, etc.
  • Filter - 24 dB/oct low-pass / high-pass filter with resonance, self oscillation, ADSR envelope
  • Envelopes - ADSR envelope and Hold function
  • Effects - Delay Section creates Multi-Echo, Chorus, Flange effects and is MIDI-syncable
  • Memory - 512 Programs (8 programs per bank, 8 banks per file, 8 files). Unlimited Files (512 programs) can be created and stored on your computer for virtually unlimited memory.
  • Macintosh - Mac OS 8.6 or higher, PPC 604, 233 MHz, 64 MB RAM
    VST 2, Audio Units, RTAS, Core Audio, Core MIDI, ASIO
  • Windows/PC - Windows 98/2000/ME/XP, Pentium 233 MHz, 64 MB RAM.
    VST 2, DXi, RTAS (XP only), ASIO, MME
  • Date Produced - 2002
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Vintage Synth Explorer.

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