Dave Smith + 8dio Sequential Prophet X

apessino

Active Member
Well, except at 10’20, there ´s nothing that sounds 4k $ to my hears. But it’s just YT...
I am not sure I've EVER heard a synth demo that sounded worthy of 4 grand. :grin: Obviously it's how it all comes together that makes it worth it or otherwise, not just the sounds - still, that $4000 seems definitely a bit much for the instrument at hand.

Gut reaction: looks awesome, at $2500 I would have ordered it already, at $2900 I'd be seriously considering it. At $3200 with a much smaller library built in (150Gb of 8dio samples is not that interesting to me, custom made for this or not, and I was never that into 8dio products in the first place) but with ~8 DCOs and a hybrid path would have made it a no brainer.

At $4000... I am thinking "man, that Quantum is not as expensive as it was last week" :roflmao:
 

quantum7

I'm 50 now....it's all over!
$4000 might be pushing it, but I'm guessing that if enough people feel that way, hence do not buy right away, the price will come down. I still am seriously considering this, but if it was at the $3500 mark, that price would sit better for me personally. My Modal 002 and 008 were very pricey, so I'm not against spending that kind of money, but it certainly makes the decision much more difficult.
 

apessino

Active Member
All right - either this just showed up on the 8dio page or I totally missed it earlier:
  • Reserve your order now or contact us for more information. We’ll ship it just as soon as it’s available. ETA Early June.
So there it is - ships in a month - but no user samples until December. One expansion sample set already announced from 8dio (curious how much those are going to be).

EDIT: sorry, meant to say TWO sample sets already announced by 8dio. "The Last Prophet 5" and "CP-70 and Super Grand"
 

Lee Blaske

Senior Member
Well, I imagine a significant chunk of that price needs to go to 8DIO, so this instrument is quite different from most. There's a significant amount of value in the content. Kind of like if you needed to buy Omnisphere, Keyscape, Komplete Ultimate to make your keyboard actually work. But certainly, I'd expect to see some deals once the early adopters buy theirs and readily available units are in stock and ready to buy.

Not sure I'd want to be an early adopter on something like this, anyway. I expect there could be some hardware/circuit board revisions before it's as perfect as it's going to get.
 

NYC Composer

Senior Member
It says you will be able to import samples in December. That feature is supposed to be added. Which makes it more appealing for me.

I absolutely love the idea of having the filters to run things through. It's still pricey though at 4k.

Maybe, DSI or 8dio will be at summer Namm this year. Would love to demo it for a bit before shelling that amount of cash out.
I saw a flying pig yesterday. No, really.
 

Stephen Baysted

Senior Member
Hi gsilbers,

The main reason I went with the 16 voice model was not to worry about voice-stealing when I need to play some large chords, I don't know if you feel comfortable with the restriction of playing 4 note chords (max) with an 8 voice model, if you want to use some larger chords, i.e. 5 or more notes per chord, then the 16 voice model is a must have.

I hope this is helpful.
And also when doing splits, the 16 voices make a huge difference. GSilbers, it’s a very good synth so go for it.

Glad to see there are other synth heads out there. :).

@quantum7 i pre-ordered the Waldorf Quantum towards the end of last year, can’t wait to get my hands on it. And this Prophet X looks very tempting.
 

blougui

Senior Member
I am not sure I've EVER heard a synth demo that sounded worthy of 4 grand. :grin: Obviously it's how it all comes together that makes it worth it or otherwise, not just the sounds - still, that $4000 seems definitely a bit much for the instrument at hand.

:roflmao:
"The River" from Baloran ;)
Or the Omega from Studio Electronics.

I'm totally unimpressed by what I've heard from this X. Anyway, I'm not the target...
 

blougui

Senior Member
Interesting. I recently sold my Omega 8 after getting bored with it.
I can understand anyone could be bored with any synth, especially one with few modulation options like an Omega.
I sold mine because I needed the cash to buy... EWQL Symphonic orchestra platinum, as at the moment I thought I would get more gigs after my 2 first ones for french tv. Turned out sour, and I never had enough cash to rebuy an Omega, as it was a 2nd hand at a very good price.
BUT
It was faulty in the end - a hum different techs never sorted out. Multitimbral’was buggy and arpegiator almost unusable.
BUT
of all the synth I owned - Poly 61, Dx7, Jupiter 8, D 50, Nord 2, Nord modular, Waldorf XT, Elektron Analog Keys, Virus B, Proteus, M3X McBeth...it’s the only one which I prefered the sound raw, with no FX. It did something to me that I lack words to explain - something in my cheeks, ahah.
I still have the McBeth.
 

charlieclouser

Senior Member
I spent some time with the Prophet X last night. Impressions:

- The filters, as expected, are as warm and gooey as you could hope for. Absolutely musical, they just sound "right".

- It is a massively different experience than playing with the filter knob on a Kontakt library, and not just because of the excellent sound of Dave's filters. Instant gratification. Like other DSI synths, it's almost completely knob-per-function and it takes two seconds to get where you're going. I hate to be "that guy", but Dave knows how a zillion little things in the analog circuitry, and not just the filters, all contribute to make a "good" sound - and it sounds good. Really good.

- Options to manipulate the samples are somewhat basic compared to things like the V-synth. You can modulate sample start, end, loop center, etc. but not time stretch by 8,000 % or do full-granular-mayhem. In that department it is not on a level with the Tasty Chips GR-1, Percussa SSP, V-Synth, or plugins like Granite. So PaulStretch in a keyboard it's not.

- The well-known DSI "hack" and effects sections are there and sound as expected; filter drive is a subtle tone-shaper rather than a full-on over-blaster. I sort of think of the PX as a Prophet-12 with two of the oscillators replaced with sample players.

- It CAN do FM of a sample from both the digital oscillators and/or another sample. For me this is a big deal and it bests the Quantum in this regard. There's a particular low-brass/cimbasso hybrid sound I've been chasing that can only be done this way - by using a low brass sample as an audio source and FM'ing it from another low brass sample and/or analog osc. PX can do this.

- Supplied sample content runs from excellent sounding versions of rather mundane content like pianos and strings to more out-there stuff from the 8dio collection like Bazantar, bowed metals, etc. Sound quality of the samples themselves and the playback quality both sound top-shelf.

- The upcoming sample-loading utility will reportedly allow for creation of round-robin sets etc., so it's not going to be just a crude and basic utility like the Nord Sample Utility. December is the proposed date for that.

- The only thing I forget to ask about was support for MPE / polyphonic aftertouch / etc. If that stuff is implemented correctly, then this thing with a Roli, Linnstrument, McMillen KB4, or Haken could be ridiculous. Squishy sounds controlled from a squishy keyboard - what's not to love?

At first it might seem a little puzzling at first to see how it's positioned in the market - but only at first. I don't think it's aiming to replace a Nord Stage for "gigging" musicians, but it easily goes a long way in that direction. Ordinary sounds like pianos and strings sound fantastic, many many notches above ROMpler keyboards, but you don't usually need full knob-per-function synth controls when playing the standards - and deep-diving sound sculptors may be frustrated that it's not a time-stretching granular sample destroyer with molecular-level control. BUT. It's one of those weird cases where much of the time you wonder why it's so easy to get a good sound out of the thing when it's so time consuming and frustrating to get to a similar destination in software. So much so that, with software, you wind up at a totally different destination because the process with software is so "front-brain" - while with the PX you just find a source sample, twist a few knobs, and you quickly think, "that's good - let's record that". Very much in the Dave Smith / Sequential tradition of "great sounds don't have to be hard".

Other than the massive sample storage capacity, on paper the features and specs are respectable but not totally revolutionary - but when you play it you think, "I could totally use this. I wish I had this sound yesterday on that cue that was giving me a headache, I'd have been done in ten minutes." It can sound aggressive or smooth, thin and grinding, or low and fat. You could probably replicate the entire score to The Girl On The Train or Prisoners on this thing with a pair of headphones and a multitrack (once the sample loader utility is available, that is!).

It makes music. Good music. Quickly.

After 30 years of choosing between saw and square waves, I'm no longer thrilled by "synths", and really only use the Pro-2 most of the time as the modern feature set bolsters the excitement above my boredom threshold. My Model-D, MS-20, and TTSH 2600 reissues are mostly here for nostalgia purposes, and my V-Synths sit mostly unloved as software tools have eclipsed them for the most part, their filters are "meh", and their best feature is the weird, glassy sound of the Roland "VP" time-stretching (which is still unique).

But the PX is something different. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. It's worth checking out for sure.
 

charlieclouser

Senior Member
So we may assume you also spent some time with the Quantum, last night or any other night for that matter?
Yes, I had a couple of hours in total with the Quantum at the NAMM show last January, spread across three different days, getting the full tour and run-down from the Waldorf guy, and was able to play and program through headphones undisturbed for a good while. Then, a week or so later, I went over to Reinhold Heil's studio where he had a Quantum in because he's doing some patches for the factory library. We spent a while going over his favorite and least favorite aspects of the thing and listening to the patches he'd made, and making a few more. Despite the lack of sample FM, it is VERY feature-rich. Six LFOs, six EGs, step sequencers, drawable curves, touchscreen, and on and on.

I do like the Quantum - it can sound quite good even if the patches on early demo videos were like eighties digital bells and stuff. The sample mangling engine is beyond reproach, but there is no osc>sample FM (yet?) and the analog filters are mono, not stereo - although the analog filters then go to a mono-in/stereo-out digital "former" and effects. The Quantum's analog filter does sound quite good, even though it's mono - but there's a little somethin'-somethin' in the PX's signal path that adds a bit of juice to the sound. The PX feels like it's been tuned for maximum driver enjoyment, even if it doesn't have all the cupholders, night-vision, and radar of the Quantum.

Quantum is great but not perfect, and is good for rocket scientists who don't mind a bit of complexity inherent in getting it to do what you want. PX is simpler, quicker, and more "basic" but even a big ol' dummy could get a musically satisfying sound out of it, and it won't take all day to get to the bottom of things. It's not the be-all and end-all, but dang if it wasn't fun, inspiring, and quick to just make sounds with.

Now, if you could somehow smash the two together, with the Quantum's sample engine on the left and the PX's analog side on the right, that would be... something.
 

apessino

Active Member
I spent some time with the Prophet X last night. Impressions: ...
Great read! Thanks for posting...

I bought an OB-6 and a Prophet Rev2 16 this month, so I'll be waiting on the X for a while, but you are so right about the DSI designs - there is just a cohesive, deliberate UX engineered in each of their products. Each feels like its own thing, with an identity and clear purpose. I love them.
 

quantum7

I'm 50 now....it's all over!
I currently own a Modal 002 & 008, an OB6, a Subsequent-37, and a Prophet 12. I'm seriously considering selling the P12 to replace it with the PX. I'd love to keep the P12, but i' m running out of room for another synth. The PX definitely is unique to my ears. I originally was going to get a Quantum, but the delays and God-awful demos have turned me off for now.
 

charlieclouser

Senior Member
I currently own a Modal 002 & 008, an OB6, a Subsequent-37, and a Prophet 12. I'm seriously considering selling the P12 to replace it with the PX. I'd love to keep the P12, but i' m running out of room for another synth. The PX definitely is unique to my ears. I originally was going to get a Quantum, but the delays and God-awful demos have turned me off for now.
I would love a chance to compare the PX and P12 side by side, just to see what's in the P12 that's NOT in the PX - if anything. If the PX really is basically just a P12 with two oscs replaced with sample oscs, then it's an easier decision. If there's goodies in the P12 that have been removed from the PX then....
 

apessino

Active Member
They are shipping now - the demos by Troels have been great, some of them amazing even, and it is obvious it's a super interesting and unique instrument, but then they have this guy doing the release tour and I am not sure I get why (he was at Superbooth too, and those demos were , well.. awful). I am sure he is a talented musician, but man having these extra cheese pizza videos out there for a $4K synth is just misguided, in my opinion.

 

procreative

Senior Member
As a touring keyboard for a band or show I can see the market. But as a studio tool, I am not sure $4000 is justified.