NAMM 2017: Dave Smith's REV2 synth is a more powerful and affordable version of the Prophet '08

NAMM 2017: It's hard to believe that Dave Smith Instruments' Prophet '08 polysynth is now ten years old, but indeed it is. So, Mr Smith has decided that it's about time for a new and more affordable version, which he's calling the REV2.

"The Prophet '08 has been a real road warrior for 10 years now and people still love it. But we felt it was time to update it with new technology and new features and, at the same time, lower its cost," he says. "The REV2 is essentially the result of our effort to enhance and improve everything we could about the original Prophet '08 and, in many cases, double its power."

The biggest change is that you now get double the polyphony - 16 voices rather than 8 (though an 8-voice version will also be available). What's more, because the REV2 is bi-timbral, independent voices can be stacked or split into different zones on the keyboard.

Sound generation

The synth engine offers two DCOs (plus a sub-octave generator on oscillator 1) per voice, with four waveshapes (sawtooth, triangle, sawtooth + triangle, and pulse) and a 2/4 pole low-pass, resonant Curtis filter per voice. New to REV2 is waveshape modulation; you can vary the pulse width of any of the four waveforms by manually dialling in a desired waveshape width or by using an LFO or other modulation source.

The effects section comprises reverb, delays (standard and BBD), chorus, phase shifter, ring modulation and distortion. You can actually apply a different effect to each layer, and effect parameters can be modulated using the expanded modulation matrix.

The polyphonic step sequencer is also new (up to 64 steps and up to 6 notes per step) and, again, different sequences can be created for each layer. There's also a gate sequencer and an arpeggiator.

The 5-octave keyboard, meanwhile, is semi-weighted and supports velocity and channel aftertouch. There's also USB support and an OLED display.

Find out more on the Dave Smith Instruments website. The 16-voice REV2 will cost $1999, and the 8-voice version will be available for $1,499. Expect to see both synths in April.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.