37 years since the Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 was launched, its sound is still revered. With Dave Smith recently re-acquiring his Sequential name from Yamaha, it was obviously the right time to launch the P5's spiritual successor - the aptly named Prophet-6!
We’ve finally got our hands on this much-anticipated machine, so let's get a quick overview of what this beautiful new synth is about.
Check out the video below to see the Prophet 6 in action.
A solid metal case/chassis and lots of beautiful walnut. Looks are elegantly understated, just like the original Prophet-5. The switches and dials feel generally solid, though there is some play in the dials.
2. Ease Of Use
Though it's a very powerful synth, the panel is very intuitive and the learning curve is very shallow. Even a rookie could be making sounds quickly with no reference to the manual.
The sound is absolutely on the money! The P6 has the vintage mojo and vibe but with modern stability.
The 2 VCOs (plus sub oscillator) provide a warm, precise, wide and sizzling sound that really captures that vintage spirit, with a surprising amount of low end to boot. The 'slop' control can push the stable sound in a more chaotic, random-detuned direction.
Surprisingly snappy, especially when you consider that many polysynths of old were a bit sluggish in this department. Great for drums, basses and pretty much everything else!
The Poly Mod section coupled with the 64-step sequencer (which records polyphonically), arpeggiator and audio-range LFO (plus the fact that Osc 2 can be de-coupled from the keyboard and sent to low-range frequencies) means there's plenty onboard to move the basic sound into wildly different sonic territory.
Feels like a premium synth-action keyboard should: precise yet fast and not too heavily sprung.
It’s great that there's aftertouch onboard too; this can be sent to five destinations in varying amounts.
Some may sniff at the 4-octave range, but it keeps the unit compact and in most situations it isn't an issue.
Low-pass (24db, self-oscillating) and high-pass (12db, non-self oscillating) resonant filters mean there's plenty of sound sculpting options. The low-pass can go from earth-shaking subs to sizzling highs. LPF resonance goes from smooth lows, through a nice high mid bump, right into shrieking self-oscillation. Combine the LPF and HPF for band-pass filtering.
There are two high-quality digital effect busses containing some very complementary effects. There are great-sounding reverbs and delays (analogue and digital style) plus a lush chorus, two phasers and an analogue distortion.