The new Prophet-5 is Dave Smith’s timely return to the analog poly synth that changed the world. It’s “the best of all Prophet-5s” as Dave puts it because it embodies all three revisions of the legendary synth — Rev1, Rev2, and Rev3 — through the use of genuine Curtis analog VCOs and filters (as in the Rev3) as well as new 2140 low-pass filters designed by Dave Rossum, like the 2040 filters he designed in the original Rev1 and Rev2. A Rev switch lets you choose between the two filter designs. It also adjusts the Filter Envelope’s shape and response to match the original Prophet Rev 1/2 or Rev 3 respectively.
The result is as pure a renewal of an analog classic as you could wish for, with the authentic, muscular sound of the original and the roadworthiness of a state-of-the-art modern instrument.
In addition to sourcing genuine Prophet-5 hardware components, we did extensive research into exactly what made the original sound the way it did — warm, organic, and alive. We found that much of this desirable character was due to slight fluctuations and differences in the response times and frequencies of the individual VCOs, filters, envelopes, and amplifiers from voice to voice.
To give the same mojo to the new Prophet-5, we created the Vintage knob. Use it to dial in as much old-school randomness as you’d like. Go from a very stable “4” — as in Prophet-5 Rev4, which is how we refer to the new version in house — all the way to “1,” as in Prophet-5 Rev1, the rarest and most temperamental of all Prophet-5s.
In addition to the unmistakable tone of its oscillators and filters, much of the classic sound of Prophet-5 was the result of Poly Mod, which is faithfully present here as well. True to the original, modulation sources are Filter Envelope and Oscillator B. Destinations include Oscillator A frequency, Oscillator A pulse width, and low-pass filter. The range of sounds possible defy its simplicity. Another welcome reprise is Unison mode, which now features configurable voice count (1-5 voices) with variable detuning, and chord memory. And now Glide works both in and out of Unison.
Though our mission was to make the new Prophet-5 as accurate, authoritative, and true to the original as possible, we couldn’t resist adding a couple of modern enhancements to increase expressiveness: velocity sensitivity and aftertouch. These enable the new Prophet-5 to perform in ways the original never could by putting filter sweeps, LFO mod, and volume changes at your fingertips.
The purity of the new Prophet’s sound is matched only by its simplicity to program. The knob-per-function front panel gives you instant gratification and immediate access to all sound-shaping controls. Toggling off the Preset button enables live panel mode, where the Prophet-5 switches to the current settings of its knobs and switches. What you see is exactly what you hear. Included are 200 permanent factory programs and 200 rewritable user programs, including the original 40-program sound set from 1978 that found its way onto countless recordings and film soundtracks back in the day and beyond.
With the optional Voice Expansion Card, you can double the polyphony of the Prophet-5 to ten voices. This also enables you to take advantage of bi-timbral operation, which is available on 10-voice-capable Prophets. This means that you can play two different programs simultaneously. In this mode, each program is allocated five voices. Use this capability to layer two programs for thicker, more powerful pads or chord stabs. Alternatively, split the keyboard into two independent performance zones and play synth bass in the lower range and leads or chords in the upper range.
All of this punchy, powerful, analog goodness is housed in a full, five-octave, semi-weighted Fatar keyboard with USB, MIDI, Gate and CV ins/outs, and a premium-quality, steel and hand-oiled, sustainable black walnut heartwood body that make it as satisfying to behold as it is to hear and play.
Because each Prophet-5 features hand-selected woods, figuring and color can vary widely, making each instrument one-of-a-kind.
The new Prophet-5 — history never looked or sounded better.