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Prophet 08 Unison Kills Polyphony?
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31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
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Prophet 08 Unison Kills Polyphony?

So I have a prophet 08...

...I haven't had much time to get to know it, so please don't get to upset by the silly question, but...

Whenever I activate "unison", the synth instantly goes into mono mode...

Is this normal?
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31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addixion View Post
So I have a prophet 08...

...I haven't had much time to get to know it, so please don't get to upset by the silly question, but...

Whenever I activate "unison", the synth instantly goes into mono mode...

Is this normal?
yes ... there are options for how many mono voices you assign to the Unison ... and how detuned they are ... basically you can stack all 8 and detune them or you can do one voice for a true monosynth prophet ;-)
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31st January 2013
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Originally Posted by matia View Post
yes ... there are options for how many mono voices you assign to the Unison ... and how detuned they are ... basically you can stack all 8 and detune them or you can do one voice for a true monosynth prophet ;-)
Got ya... Gotta read that manual still... I'm more of a play and figure out kind of person.. want to tell me how to assign more mono voices to unison?...that'd be awesome haha...
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31st January 2013
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IIRC, it's either mono or all 8 with various detunes. its in the misc parameters to the right of the LCD ;-)
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31st January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addixion View Post
Whenever I activate "unison", the synth instantly goes into mono mode...
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31st January 2013
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weird, on my drum machines, when i put the unison mode on it gains polyphony,
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31st January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohmicide View Post
to be fair there are synths with polyphonic unison mode ... any nord lead/rack, jupiter 6 ... those two come to mind straight away ...
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31st January 2013
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IIRC Nord Lead 3 even retains full polyphony after unison, but it's using some kind of oscillator trickery to achieve that.

Addixion: don't worry, a Jupiter 8 owner once asked whether his oscillators actually restarted if he hit the key. But it pays off to know a little bit about the internal structure of an analog synthesizer and how they are supposed to work.

When you have 8 voices, you have slots - the positions can be occupied or free. Once you release the key, the slot is free again (even though the voice itself may take some time because the envelope release was all the way up) - so once you hit another key, the oscillator at that place is tuned to its new frequency, the envelope starts at the initial attack position again, and you hear the new note.

With Unison, all slots are (usually) occupied simultaneously; all oscillators get the same pitch instructions. However, to get this "wide" effect, unison will also add corrections to all the oscillators - half of 'm are tuned down in a few cents w.r.t. the root note, half of 'm are tuned up.

With 8-voice polyphony, 8-voice unison results in 8/8 = 1 note effective polyphony.
With 8-voice polyphony, 4-voice unison results in 8/4 = 2 note effective polyphony.

And so on; of course, since you no longer have 8 voices playing simultaneously, it'll sound less overwhelming.

The best way to retain unison -and- polyphony is simply sampling each note you want to play, but once you change the patch, you have to resample everything again.

SampleRobot - Clever Instrument Creation [ Sample Robot - Automatic Sampling ] SKYLIFE Software can automate this process for you. The manual route is simply to be meticulous. It's best to sample a few notes and then check if it actually sounds good - because unison creates such huge sounds like this, it may sound less stellar if you occupy such a big part of the mix, and with too much detune, chords may sound off.
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31st January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matia View Post
to be fair there are synths with polyphonic unison mode ... any nord lead/rack, jupiter 6 ... those two come to mind straight away ...
Truth, but more often then not when unison gets engaged, it (any synth with poly unison) defaults to monophonic until you assign voices and such.
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31st January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohmicide View Post
uhmmm...okay...

From my past experience I haven't encountered Unison forcing mono...

None of my software synths or virus ti does this...so I thought it was a fair question to ask...

This is my first analog poly, so cut me a break you skrillex wannabe.
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31st January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
IIRC Nord Lead 3 even retains full polyphony after unison, but it's using some kind of oscillator trickery to achieve that.

Addixion: don't worry, a Jupiter 8 owner once asked whether his oscillators actually restarted if he hit the key. But it pays off to know a little bit about the internal structure of an analog synthesizer and how they are supposed to work.

When you have 8 voices, you have slots - the positions can be occupied or free. Once you release the key, the slot is free again (even though the voice itself may take some time because the envelope release was all the way up) - so once you hit another key, the oscillator at that place is tuned to its new frequency, the envelope starts at the initial attack position again, and you hear the new note.

With Unison, all slots are (usually) occupied simultaneously; all oscillators get the same pitch instructions. However, to get this "wide" effect, unison will also add corrections to all the oscillators - half of 'm are tuned down in a few cents w.r.t. the root note, half of 'm are tuned up.

With 8-voice polyphony, 8-voice unison results in 8/8 = 1 note effective polyphony.
With 8-voice polyphony, 4-voice unison results in 8/4 = 2 note effective polyphony.

And so on; of course, since you no longer have 8 voices playing simultaneously, it'll sound less overwhelming.

The best way to retain unison -and- polyphony is simply sampling each note you want to play, but once you change the patch, you have to resample everything again.

SampleRobot - Clever Instrument Creation [ Sample Robot - Automatic Sampling ] SKYLIFE Software can automate this process for you. The manual route is simply to be meticulous. It's best to sample a few notes and then check if it actually sounds good - because unison creates such huge sounds like this, it may sound less stellar if you occupy such a big part of the mix, and with too much detune, chords may sound off.
Nice. Thanks for the great info!
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31st January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addixion View Post
uhmmm...okay...

From my past experience I haven't encountered Unison forcing mono...

None of my software synths or virus ti does this...so I thought it was a fair question to ask...

This is my first analog poly, so cut me a break you skrillex wannabe.
oh shit getting nasty aren't we?

well maybe you should have done your research before spending two grand on a synth

how do you expect polyphony with 8 voice unison on an 8 voice synth anyways?

a simple search would have answered your question

looking at the manual would have too

so don't get pissed and insult me for being <deleted by moderator, no insults please?> when you obviously put no effort to figuring this out yourself before posting
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31st January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohmicide View Post
oh shit getting nasty aren't we?

well maybe you should have done your research before spending two grand on a synth

how do you expect polyphony with 8 voice unison on an 8 voice synth anyways?

a simple search would have answered your question

looking at the manual would have too

so don't get pissed and insult me for <deleted by moderator, no insults please?> when you obviously put no effort to figuring this out yourself before posting
If you're going to be a <deleted by moderator, no insults please?>, you should probably learn to expect insults.

I did my research on the prophet, which is why I bought it. That doesn't mean I was 100% sure of all of its functions and exactly how they worked. I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

I also don't think there is anything wrong with my first step of troubleshooting being asking a forum frequented by the owners of the same synth a simple question I figured they could answer...and they did. That allowed me to spend valuable time playing with and learning the timbres of the synth that I would have had to spend reading around web searches and trying to find it in the manual (which I do need to read).

I didn't know that the unison was default 8 voice / optional 4... but now I do...no thanks to you.

And I paid $1,100 for the prophet. Not $2,000.

So yeah...<deleted by moderator, no insults please?>

To everybody else, thank you for the help. I appreciate it.

Last edited by Reptil; 1st February 2013 at 12:22 AM.. Reason: insults
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31st January 2013
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if you're going to post <deleted by moderator, no insults please?>

Last edited by Reptil; 1st February 2013 at 12:23 AM.. Reason: eeehh
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unison = unification of voices
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31st January 2013
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The custom is to spend a few minutes googling your question before you start a whole new thread to what may often be a very small problem. You got your answer, and there were indeed some helpful forum members who didn't mind answering the question, but for the sake of the environment, you should follow the previous sentence.

Edit: And I don't know how you have not gone to understand this, since this is clearly not your first post. It's fine if you didn't know better, but don't do it again please?
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31st January 2013
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31st January 2013
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Someone was always going to be <deleted by moderator> when answering this. Supersaw is to blame.

Last edited by Reptil; 1st February 2013 at 12:24 AM.. Reason: mjah now I'm at it might as well
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31st January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohmicide View Post
if you're going to post idiotic question, then you should expect people to be a dick
Really? Is it too much for <deleted by moderator, no insults please?> like yourself to just ignore the post and move on if you don't like the question? You're the only chode to show up on this thread...what does that say about you?

Last edited by Reptil; 1st February 2013 at 12:24 AM.. Reason: ok ok we get the point
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkelein View Post
The custom is to spend a few minutes googling your question before you start a whole new thread to what may often be a very small problem. You got your answer, and there were indeed some helpful forum members who didn't mind answering the question, but for the sake of the environment, you should follow the previous sentence.

Edit: And I don't know how you have not gone to understand this, since this is clearly not your first post. It's fine if you didn't know better, but don't do it again please?
I did google it.. i shoulda made that more clear. I just couldn't find any quick answers, and knew that someone on this forum would be happy to be helpful.

This is a forum. The point is to post threads, discuss issues, and help others. I don't see anything wrong with asking a fair question about something I didn't understand. Sorry I didn't spend a month trying to figure it for myself before asking.
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31st January 2013
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31st January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addixion View Post
I did google it.. i shoulda made that more clear. I just couldn't find any quick answers, and knew that someone on this forum would be happy to be helpful.

This is a forum. The point is to post threads, discuss issues, and help others. I don't see anything wrong with asking a fair question about something I didn't understand. Sorry I didn't spend a month trying to figure it for myself before asking.
The only questions allowed here are "how do I make this skrillex sound?" and "should I buy this?" Any other questions are verboten.

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31st January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addixion View Post
...so cut me a break you skrillex wannabe.


I'm still giggling at that one. Also wobbling a bit too... wubwubwub.

Hilarity aside, I get where OP is coming from. If most of your experience is with softsynths and VA, then it might be a bit of a surprise. In fact off the top of my head, the only VA I can think of that doesn't have polyphonic unison by default is the MS2000. Also, just out of curiosity I Googled "unison mono mode prophet 08" and the only helpful thing to come up was this thread. Newbs are terrible people and should be shamed for being new, but we've all been there, guise.
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31st January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addixion View Post
I did google it.. i shoulda made that more clear. I just couldn't find any quick answers, and knew that someone on this forum would be happy to be helpful.

This is a forum. The point is to post threads, discuss issues, and help others. I don't see anything wrong with asking a fair question about something I didn't understand. Sorry I didn't spend a month trying to figure it for myself before asking.
Generally five minutes of your own research is better than one minute getting answers from here, since the latter pollutes the forum while the former does not.

If it is as you say and the answer to this very obvious question is not as readily available as I would think it was, then I regard your thread start as legitimate.
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31st January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
If most of your experience is with softsynths and VA, then it might be a bit of a surprise. In fact off the top of my head, the only VA I can think of that doesn't have polyphonic unison by default is the MS2000. Also, just out of curiosity I Googled "unison mono mode prophet 08" and the only helpful thing to come up was this thread. Newbs are terrible people and should be shamed for being new, but we've all been there, guise.
As a nerd I can tell you that there is a difference between being a newb and a n00b. The former hasn't learned yet, the latter refuses to. This honestly seemed like the latter, but what do I know.
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Originally Posted by kirkelein View Post
Generally five minutes of your own research is better than one minute getting answers from here, since the latter pollutes the forum while the former does not.
You know what pollutes this forum? Arguing and/or making fun of people posting simple questions.

Also: threads about whether it's okay to use presets.
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I'll be honest, I was kind of surprised that someone with 170 posts since November had a question like this that, to me, seemed so basic.

But I guess I can see someone coming from a predominantly software background being lost as to why an analog polysynth would lose voices in unison.

But in all seriousness, it took me less than two minutes to find information about Unison mode in the manual, by manually scrolling through the PDF
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1st February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shponglefan View Post
You know what pollutes this forum? Arguing and/or making fun of people posting simple questions.

Also: threads about whether it's okay to use presets.
Well, maybe I wouldn't have chimed in at all before there were harsh words exchanged. I've answered a few threads like this before, and I like to be helpful, but being offended when someone (righly or not) thinks your thread is stupid is not productive. Counter argument and move on. OTOH being offensive when you're pointing out that a thread is redundant is also not productive.
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1st February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post


I'm still giggling at that one. Also wobbling a bit too... wubwubwub.

Hilarity aside, I get where OP is coming from. If most of your experience is with softsynths and VA, then it might be a bit of a surprise. In fact off the top of my head, the only VA I can think of that doesn't have polyphonic unison by default is the MS2000. Also, just out of curiosity I Googled "unison mono mode prophet 08" and the only helpful thing to come up was this thread. Newbs are terrible people and should be shamed for being new, but we've all been there, guise.
Thank you for seeing my side of things. Even if you called me a noob Which I totally am when it comes to this stuff... this is my first analog poly..so, yeah..
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