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 13, 2011 @ 2:03 pm
One of the first recordings that used the Prophet VS is John Carpenter's soundtrack to "Big Trouble in Little China" (1986). LA synthesist Alan Howarth was able to get one ahead of its release and used it for a lot of the "chinese" sounds.
February 11, 2011 @ 1:18 pm
Mid '80s I worked at a digital studio in NE Vermont. The Prophet VS was just one of many incredible synths we had there. I remember it quite well as I wrote a VS patch librarian program for the Apple II. Unfortunately I moved away to another job, the owner died, the studio was closed. I've always wondered where all that stuff went to: Prophet VS, Linn Drum, Voyetra 8, Matrix 12, Waveterm, a wooden synth we bought from Wendy Carlos, John Tesh's Synclavier, many other synths. plus many other insane instruments, amps, etc. Mits X850 + Westar 72-ch (which I snaked). Probably all sold around 1990.
December 14, 2010 @ 3:08 am
the analog filters make all the difference in lifting this above so many digital synths of the era IMHO.
December 14, 2010 @ 3:05 am
Much warmer than the wavestation - a really striking sounding and moving synth.
December 13, 2010 @ 4:50 pm
This is one heck of a beast. It's very similar to the KORG Wavestation (as it was what the Wavestation was based on). If you're an ambient musician this will fit right into your setup, on the other hand if you're more into dance/electronica this will again sound great. I personally use the Wavestation more but this is a pleasure to use. Quite rare in most parts of the world nowadays, grab one while you can I suggest!
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.32 (438 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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