Sequential Circuits Prophet VS

Sequential Circuits Prophet VS Image

Here's a very cool keyboard from Sequential. Notice the joystick for controlling your sound modeling. The Prophet VS uses Vector Synthesis as its revolutionary new means of sound creation. It uses a total of four oscillators per voice with 127 waveforms (32 user) and dynamic waveform crossfading via the joystick. This was Sequential's first digital synth, and it was also their final synth unfortunately. But after Sequential was gone, Vector Synthesis technology went into the popular Korg Wavestation and Yamaha's SY-22 and TG-33.

Sequential Circuits Prophet VS Rack Image

Pictured above is the common rackmount version of the PVS. The Prophet VS is still a very sought after instrument because it has an incredible range of sounds! Its only problem is that there's practically nobody left that can fix it if something went wrong. It is used by Brian Eno, Trent Reznor, Apollo 440, Depeche Mode, Vince Clarke, Kraftwerk, Vangelis, Erasure and filmmaker/composer John Carpenter.

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35 Visitor comments
March 7, 2010 @ 5:32 am
I have two of these, one is near mint, the other a bit rougher but completely functional. If I ever see another for sale I will buy it, nothing sounds like a Prophet VS.

The first thing to go on these is not the custom ASIC's or 5530's, it's the after touch ... the keyboard used a primitive method to do aftertouch and the sensors wore out quickly or burnt out, both of mine seem to work perfectly. Not bad after 24 years. I also have the original WaveWrangler application (which was kindly supplied to me by an ex Sequential employee, cheers!) that allows you to send custom waveforms to the VS, requires Mac System 7, so I keep an old Performa around for the task. Theres a very good article by Vector Synthesis creator, Chris Meyer, here: Sadly no one ever seems to mention him. Cudos Chris. Thanks for a great synth.
February 24, 2010 @ 9:19 am
"Rush used two of these on the Hold Your Fire tour.... tour book per Geddy's equipment list. "

I wonder if these were used on that record of if he junt had them to recreate the older OB-X and other analog sounds from previous tours.
December 23, 2009 @ 2:45 pm
Christopher Franke has one as well.
Nick Esposito
November 1, 2009 @ 1:55 pm
Spacetime Continuum also used a Prophet-VS on their album Sea Biscuit. I bet a lot of the cool sounds on that album came from this beast!
Adolf hilter
October 23, 2009 @ 2:51 pm
Any decent tech can fix it, its no more problematic then any other synth, however whats really problematic is to find replacement chips!
particularely the custom digital and the CEM based sample hold IC! :)
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.31 (436 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; 2-part multitimbral
  • Oscillators - 96 preset waveforms + 32 user waveforms
  • LFO - Two, each with own envelope generator
  • Filter - Curtis analog (digitally controlled) 4-pole lowpass with its own envelope generators
  • Envelopes - 5 stage amp, filter and mix envelopes
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (velocity / aftertouch)
  • Memory - 100 patches
  • Effects - twin chorus, stereo effects panning of individual oscillators/individual voices
  • Arpeggiator - very nice versatile arpeggiator, user can define note order by playing etc.
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1986-87
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

    Additional information provided by Dave Bellamy.

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