When my buddy Jordan Rudess showed up at my studio with the Sequential Prophet 6 in tow I’ve got to admit I was a bit intimidated. Sure, I was honored to be a part of the exclusive team creating the some of the presets. However, I was wondering how could I possibly contribute any sounds that would be as polished and as professional as the elite team that I was pretending to be a part of!
Steve H gets hands-on with the new Sequential Prophet 6.
Besides, I hadn’t programmed a synth with real knobs on it since I bought into the controller-centric DAW studio concept back in 1987! That studio, built around the Fairlight Series 3 and a rack full of menu driven MIDI modules was partially funded by the fire sale of every knob-based, analog synth I ever owned! Talk about regrets! I miss every one of them.
... And now it's Jordan Rudess' turn!
So here I am, face-to-face with Dave Smith’s reincarnated Prophet 6, wondering if I still had the right stuff to make this divine synth sing like an angel. Or, even more to the point, whether programming the Prophet would prove to be a retro experience or something somewhat more inspiring.
"Real knobs, real analog oscillators and filters combined with 21st century FX proved to be a truly satisfying experience."
After powering it up and playing it a bit I found that I immediately started tweaking. I mean, I couldn’t help myself. The oscillators, filters, modulators and FX were all calling out to me and triggering my sonic imagination. It was as easy as being with and old friend and equally as satisfying. Soon I found myself filling up my allotted preset bank with sounds ranging from the sweet ethereal to nastiest growls. Real knobs, real analog oscillators and filters combined with 21st century FX proved to be a truly satisfying experience.
"So here I am, face-to-face with Dave Smith’s reincarnated Prophet 6, wondering if I still had the right stuff to make this divine synth sing like an angel."
They say that historically, prophets often show up when they’re needed the most. The Prophet 6’s arrival on the music scene, in my opinion, is right on time! Soft synths are powerful, complex and amazing, but nothing beats the ease, instantaneous aural gratification of the dedicated hardware synth. Features aren’t hidden in menus. Controls don’t need to be mapped. Computers aren’t required as intermediaries. Everything you need and want is instantaneously right there waiting to be touched, tweaked and performed like, dare I say, a real instrument. And that’s the the magic of the new Prophet 6.
Here’s Dave Smith introducing the Sequential Prophet 6: