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Sequential Prophet X
Old 18th May 2019
  #5341
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Stephen Bennett's Avatar
 

I guess I don't use the presets. When I've finished, it's sometimes hard to tell what the original waveform was.

I see it more like a super Prophet 2000.

Stephen
Old 20th May 2019
  #5342
Here for the gear
 

A question for the Canadians in the group. Is it better to buy from a Canadian dealer or buy americain and pay the duty? I wanna save any nickels I can.
Old 20th May 2019
  #5343
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Lady Gaia's Avatar
PSA: PXToolkit 0.9.5 is available from the usual site. I'm running out of version number runway below 1.0, and that has to be a good sign, right? Changes in recent versions include automatic detection of when a new release is available, a smattering of minor bug fixes, and a set of Advanced Sample Features that unlock that last remaining Prophet X user instrument feature I'm aware of that I hadn't previously supported. This addition is documented in the README as follows:

Several esoteric features relating to samples are now available on a context menu. Right-click (or control-click on macOS) on either an individual sample to modify an individual sample, or anywhere in the canvas to affect all samples in currently selected regions. The context menu offers the following advanced options:

If one or more selected samples are looped, the menu will show the item "Use Sample Loop." Toggling this allows the loop described in .wav metadata to be ignored when the instrument is exported.

If one or more selected samples are in stereo, the menu will show four options for controlling how sound is collapsed to mono in 16-voice mode. Four options are available: summing both left and right channels, using only the left channel, only the right channel, or defaulting to whatever mode has been selected for the instrument as a whole, as described below.

The final section of the menu allows the default mono collapse mode to be selected. These options will be displayed no matter what is currently selected, and affect all stereo samples that do not have an explicit mode selected.

A checkmark will appear beside the currently selected mode in each case. When two or more samples are selected it's possible that multiple modes are active. This is reflected by three dots beside the modes that aren't uniformly applied. Selecting a new mode will cause all selected samples to change to the same value.

The sample detail list will reflect new states as follows:

* Samples with loops that have been disabled will display "Loop Disabled" instead of "Looped"
* Stereo samples that aren't using the instrument-wide default mode for collapsing to mono will display "(( Stereo ))", "(( Stereo", or "Stereo ))" to reflect using both channels, just the left channel, or just the right channel respectively.


We now return to our regular conversation. What is the best option for Canadian buyers these days? I remember waiting forever for new gear to show up at Long & McQuade back when I lived in the Great White North.
Old 20th May 2019
  #5344
Here for the gear
 

Thx lady. I’m not sure they deal with sequential. I would really like to compare the two models hands on. I am leaning towards the xl but your distaste for the keybed has me wondering. i’ve Lurked for a while reading these forums and read quite a few of your comments. Enough to very much respect your opinion.
Old 20th May 2019
  #5345
Here for the gear
 

The black questions marks are a smiley face gone horribly wrong!
Old 20th May 2019
  #5346
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Lady Gaia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy Lee Gibson View Post
Thx lady. I’m not sure they deal with sequential. I would really like to compare the two models hands on. I am leaning towards the xl but your distaste for the keybed has me wondering.
Keyboards are deeply personal. I'd say if you're used playing on a piano you might not find the XL keybed to your taste, either, but if you're looking for something with a bit more resistance coming from a diet of strictly synth keyboards you might be right at home. Opinions seems to vary. Kurzweil used to use the same TP8/Piano action on their 76 key models if you have any familiarity with those.

Personally, I prefer having a proper hammer action on another keyboard and using that to control the Prophet X when I'm looking for the kind of control over velocity that the weighted action affords.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy Lee Gibson View Post
The black questions marks are a smiley face gone horribly wrong!
Is there anything technology can't complicate? I appreciate the sentiment as originally intended, regardless of how badly mangled it got via this communication medium. The forum really likes its own limited collection of "Smilies" you can see in Advanced editing mode. The full Unicode emoji set is sadly unavailable.
Old 20th May 2019
  #5347
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Lady Gaia's Avatar
Tell me I’m not imagining things. Start with an initialized preset. Select a sawtooth on both oscillators, detune them and add a touch of slop. Your basic starting point. Turn the filter cutoff down to 90. Nothing unusual so far. Hold a note and dial resonance up to hear the usual effect, then dial it back to zero. As usual, adding resonance has a corresponding reduction in low end energy, and reducing it brings it back.

Now set up envelope 3 as follows: immediate attack, sustain at full, release to taste. Of course this has no effect without a destination and amount. So select resonance as your destination, hold a note and turn it down to -127. Note that is has no effect whatsoever, which makes sense since it’s already at the minimum value of zero.

Now it gets odd. Hold that note again and reach for the resonance knob. Dial it up slowly from zero and note that it has the opposite of the normal effect. Low end punch increases while producing no audible resonance at all. Part of that makes sense since there’s still the strongest possible negative influence from Env3, but why does it have any audible impact at all? What’s going on and do others hear it, too?

Color me curious.
Old 21st May 2019
  #5348
Gear Nut
Lady Gaia,

It's funny, because this exactly behaviour might shed some light to my question (vide: "I had an idea, but results are somehow not expected. I tried to modulate resonance with triangle wave from digital oscillator." #5256 ).

After your post, I tried this your way, then with LFO, and finally with pitch bend wheel (first - disconnected from pitch), to exclude possibility of mod matrix amount sign error (works either way). Same results. It's counter intuitive and counter mathematical, probably bug, but I hope they will leave it that way, because I started to like this sound.
Old 21st May 2019
  #5349
Gear Addict
 
unease's Avatar
What's the general verdict of the quality of the PX's DSP oscillators? I've read a few comments that people think they are "good" but none seems to be very excited about them and I havn't heard that many interesting demos that make use of them. Actually I'm a bit underwhelmed by what I have heard so far and I'm a bit worried that Sequential will use the same oscillator design in their upcoming synth(s).

I think the achilles' heel of the Prophet-12/Pro-2 is the quality of the oscillators, they lack some high end presence and need modulation, distortion etc to really come alive. Now that they have taken the step to a completely new platform (x86 CPU) I hope that they improve on that aspect, but I'm not so sure that they did for the PX. What do you owners think?
Old 21st May 2019
  #5350
Gear Maniac
 
Rozzer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vertflyer View Post
For some reason my global settings don’t save after I power cycle the PX. Is this normal or is there some trick to saving global settings?
Are you exiting from the Preferences page before shutting down? I have got a vague recollection of coming across this before on other DSI gear.
Old 21st May 2019
  #5351
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rozzer View Post
Are you exiting from the Preferences page before shutting down? I have got a vague recollection of coming across this before on other DSI gear.
I was exiting. And for some reason after I loaded my first user sample, the problem went away. So I’m all set now.

Side note, even though the problem solved itself over the weekend, Sequential had a very responsive tech support on Monday.
Old 21st May 2019
  #5352
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unease View Post
What's the general verdict of the quality of the PX's DSP oscillators? I've read a few comments that people think they are "good" but none seems to be very excited about them and I havn't heard that many interesting demos that make use of them. Actually I'm a bit underwhelmed by what I have heard so far and I'm a bit worried that Sequential will use the same oscillator design in their upcoming synth(s).

I think the achilles' heel of the Prophet-12/Pro-2 is the quality of the oscillators, they lack some high end presence and need modulation, distortion etc to really come alive. Now that they have taken the step to a completely new platform (x86 CPU) I hope that they improve on that aspect, but I'm not so sure that they did for the PX. What do you owners think?
My personal opinion is that they are as good as digital osc can get. Add to the fact that you have 4 lfo and 4 total env, you can add whatever liveliness/slop/randomness you want to the osc.
Old 21st May 2019
  #5353
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Stephen Bennett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unease View Post
What's the general verdict of the quality of the PX's DSP oscillators? I've read a few comments that people think they are "good" but none seems to be very excited about them and I havn't heard that many interesting demos that make use of them. Actually I'm a bit underwhelmed by what I have heard so far and I'm a bit worried that Sequential will use the same oscillator design in their upcoming synth(s).

I think the achilles' heel of the Prophet-12/Pro-2 is the quality of the oscillators, they lack some high end presence and need modulation, distortion etc to really come alive. Now that they have taken the step to a completely new platform (x86 CPU) I hope that they improve on that aspect, but I'm not so sure that they did for the PX. What do you owners think?
I haven't really used them, but they seem pretty comparable to my Nord Wave or any Virtual Analog software I've used.

Perhaps you could point to an 'interesting demo' that features the kind of sound you're after?

Stephen
Old 21st May 2019
  #5354
Gear Maniac
 
Rozzer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vertflyer View Post
...Sequential had a very responsive tech support ...
Yes they do
Old 21st May 2019
  #5355
Gear Addict
 
unease's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Bennett View Post
I haven't really used them, but they seem pretty comparable to my Nord Wave or any Virtual Analog software I've used.

Perhaps you could point to an 'interesting demo' that features the kind of sound you're after?

Stephen
Ok, thanks! Well, what I would like I guess is something that has the high frequency presence of an analogue VCO or DCO. Now that we have synths with NCOs that are generated at a very high sample rate I think that we should expect more from DSP generated oscillators of the latest generation.

There was a lot of debating when the Prophet-12 came out that the oscillators were band limited and lacked energy over 12kHz or something like that. Some people doesn't hear this so they won't miss the lacking frequencies but when I try to replicate a sound from my Pro-One on the Pro-2, this is one key thing that is hard to circumvent.

I agree that the kind of randomness and movement of a VCO can be imitated with the proper modulation but the lacking higher frequencies aren't easy to do anything about.

There was some samples posted earlier in this thread comparing the DSP oscillators with different sampled oscillators and there I also thought that the biggest difference was that the analog oscillators had more presence in the higher frequencies. I'll need to go back and check for that post!
Old 21st May 2019
  #5356
Gear Addict
 
unease's Avatar
Found this post, Sequential Prophet X, by Lady Gaia that shows the spectrum of the different waves, and in those graphs the square wave of the PX does go all the way up to 20kHz so that looks promising. The saw wave of the PX however has less high end presence and fades out at about 13kHz.

I know someone posted some samples using the different sampled oscillators compared to the DSP generated ones but I didn't find the post now.
Old 21st May 2019
  #5357
Lives for gear
 
Lady Gaia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by unease View Post
Found this post, Sequential Prophet X, by Lady Gaia that shows the spectrum of the different waves, and in those graphs the square wave of the PX does go all the way up to 20kHz so that looks promising. The saw wave of the PX however has less high end presence and fades out at about 13kHz.
The harmonic sequence of the sawtooth wave is intended to fade in successive harmonics following a 1/N progression. Various synths deviate from this to one degree or another, and I find the Prophet X is well within a typical range of oscillator behavior. Playing higher notes than the one demonstrated in the graphs I posted does indeed result in harmonics up to just below 20kHz.

Quote:
I know someone posted some samples using the different sampled oscillators compared to the DSP generated ones but I didn't find the post now.
I'm sure I have a few examples if you scan just my posts in this thread. I know there are a lot of them, so it's still going to take a while, but the post in question would have been from this year if that helps narrow it down! The biggest advantage of having the samples VCO waves I made available is having implicit motion alongside some timbral variety. The Prophet X waves do need to be animated with a little slop and a little modulation to bring them to life.

I recently posted an example in another thread of a preset that combines both DSP and sampled waves with enough dynamic motion that I think it works really well. It starts off with the cutoff fairly low but as I tweak it while playing so you can hear the character of the filter and some of the higher frequency content later in the demo:

Old 21st May 2019
  #5358
Lives for gear
 

Here’s one example I posted. In this example, the digital oscillators had more high frequency presence than the samples. There’s more low energy in the samples Neutron VCOs. These Neutron VCO samples are fairly distorted as shown by @ Lady Gaia ‘s published plots.

The playing is a bit embarrassing...

Sequential Prophet X


Quote:
Originally Posted by unease View Post
Ok, thanks! Well, what I would like I guess is something that has the high frequency presence of an analogue VCO or DCO. Now that we have synths with NCOs that are generated at a very high sample rate I think that we should expect more from DSP generated oscillators of the latest generation.

There was a lot of debating when the Prophet-12 came out that the oscillators were band limited and lacked energy over 12kHz or something like that. Some people doesn't hear this so they won't miss the lacking frequencies but when I try to replicate a sound from my Pro-One on the Pro-2, this is one key thing that is hard to circumvent.

I agree that the kind of randomness and movement of a VCO can be imitated with the proper modulation but the lacking higher frequencies aren't easy to do anything about.

There was some samples posted earlier in this thread comparing the DSP oscillators with different sampled oscillators and there I also thought that the biggest difference was that the analog oscillators had more presence in the higher frequencies. I'll need to go back and check for that post!
Old 21st May 2019
  #5359
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy Lee Gibson View Post
A question for the Canadians in the group. Is it better to buy from a Canadian dealer or buy americain and pay the duty? I wanna save any nickels I can.
The price difference isn’t enough to justify it. Also warranty would have to go bac’ to your original purchaser.

Long and McQuade have good service and prices. I even was told once they’d price match a US retailer. After all the conversions. Might be worth checking out.
Old 21st May 2019
  #5360
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Lady Gaia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottfrost View Post
Long and McQuade have good service and prices. I even was told once they’d price match a US retailer. After all the conversions. Might be worth checking out.
They do carry Sequential products, too. I saw the Prophet X listed as being in stock at four of their Calgary locations. No sign of the XL, though.
Old 21st May 2019
  #5361
Quote:
Originally Posted by unease View Post
What's the general verdict of the quality of the PX's DSP oscillators? I've read a few comments that people think they are "good" but none seems to be very excited about them . . .
I own two other DSI VCO synths, a Prophet-6 and OB-6 (plus a Curtis-chipped Mopho x4), and I think the synth-side of the X sounds really, really good. Powered by the X' high-resolution digital oscillators, I think it's one of Dave's best-sounding synths.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy Lee Gibson View Post
. . . Is it better to buy from a Canadian dealer or buy americain and pay the duty? I wanna save any nickels I can . . .
Man, I really feel for you guys in Canada, UK, and especially Australia/NZ. I was floored when I found out how much new American guitar amps (e.g., Mesa/Boogie) sell for there! If you love high-end, US-made guitar amps (of which there are MANY), and synths (e.g., DSI, Moog, etc.), the US is certainly a great place to be!
Old 21st May 2019
  #5362
Gear Addict
 
unease's Avatar
Thanks for the demos and comments Lady Gaia, Blewis and Studio! That was actually the two best demos of the ”analog” side of the PX I’ve heard so far!
It does seem that Sequential has taken a step up with this implementation. The thing I’m missing a bit on the PX is more ways to add saturation. The drive seems nice but rather subtle. The Pro-2 can add saturation and distortion in several ways. Hopefully that will be the case with the upcoming synth(s) as well!
Old 22nd May 2019
  #5363
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Lady Gaia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by unease View Post
The thing I’m missing a bit on the PX is more ways to add saturation. The drive seems nice but rather subtle.
The drive can actually add fair a bit of punch but it's definitely not going to push you into overdrive territory.

There are quite a few other options, though:

* Look into basic bit hack and sample decimation. They can give the sound a lo-hi, angry character if that's what you're looking for, and they're modulation targets starting with v2 of the Prophet X firmware.
* Then there's rapid filter cutoff modulation which can also grind a surprising amount of dirt into the signal. Try either an LFO cranked to the maximum frequency or one of the audio sources like Inst1/2 or Osc1/2 targeting cutoff with relatively small modulation amounts (single digits are already pretty noticeable, and +20 is downright grungy.)
* Don't forget the high pass filter in the effects. A low cutoff (somewhere around 9-11) plus lots of resonance will bring out the bass like you wouldn't believe.
Old 22nd May 2019
  #5364
Lives for gear
 

You can also boost samples by 3,6,9db in the instrument misc section to drive the filter a bit more. But clipping happens faster.
Old 22nd May 2019
  #5365
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottfrost View Post
The price difference isn’t enough to justify it. Also warranty would have to go bac’ to your original purchaser.

Long and McQuade have good service and prices. I even was told once they’d price match a US retailer. After all the conversions. Might be worth checking out.
Yah good points. From what I can tell my choices are steve’s, mood audio and L&M.

So close to pulling the trigger! Is the manual printed out or is it just a PDF? Also...do you guys use external sequencers out of curiosity?

Cheers
Old 22nd May 2019
  #5366
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Lady Gaia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy Lee Gibson View Post
So close to pulling the trigger! Is the manual printed out or is it just a PDF?
I don’t remember a printed manual but I couldn’t swear to it one way or another. Things change so much with new firmware updates that a lot of modern devices no longer ship with much of anything on paper.

So I’d encourage you to go ahead and download the current manual, as well as the addendum for the latest major OS update. It’s all well written and informative, a good place to start even before you get the instrument.

Quote:
Also...do you guys use external sequencers out of curiosity?
Oh yes. Depending on what I’m exploring, I’ll use the Prophet X sequencer for a simple pattern, my Kurzweil Forte’s sequencer as a scratchpad for the two instruments together, or Logic Pro X for a fully featured sequencing and recording environment. I wouldn’t say I’ve found my ideal workflow just yet so I’m curious what others do.
Old 22nd May 2019
  #5367
Gear Addict
 
unease's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Gaia View Post
The drive can actually add fair a bit of punch but it's definitely not going to push you into overdrive territory.

There are quite a few other options, though:

* Look into basic bit hack and sample decimation. They can give the sound a lo-hi, angry character if that's what you're looking for, and they're modulation targets starting with v2 of the Prophet X firmware.
* Then there's rapid filter cutoff modulation which can also grind a surprising amount of dirt into the signal. Try either an LFO cranked to the maximum frequency or one of the audio sources like Inst1/2 or Osc1/2 targeting cutoff with relatively small modulation amounts (single digits are already pretty noticeable, and +20 is downright grungy.)
* Don't forget the high pass filter in the effects. A low cutoff (somewhere around 9-11) plus lots of resonance will bring out the bass like you wouldn't believe.
Yes, there are still possibilities to do interesting things for sure! Subtle audio rate modulation is something that I use a lot to get some dirty quality. When it comes to the character section I mostly only use the Drive (not the analogue drive that is on the Prophet-X) since the others tend to get a bit too digitally mushy. Is the digital Drive available on the PX?
Old 22nd May 2019
  #5368
Lives for gear
 

I’ve been so enamored by the Grand Piano 1928 and ArcoChamber C-D. I’m now actually debating getting the 8dio kontakt packs for them, so I can get more polyphony. I am trying my darn hardest to stay away from any setup that involves a computer, but if I must, I guess I must.

But I’m throwing this question out to fellow PX owners, since they can hear these patches. Do you know of any other hardware workstation or sound module that can come close to those sounds? I’ve had the Roland integra, and maybe the strings can come close, but I’m pretty sure no piano comes close. How about kurz, Yamaha, or Korg?

It’s the mellowness of the lower and mid velocity samples on the piano that just get me.

Any suggestions?

Side note: If Dave made a simple rompler (dare I say even with no digital filters even) with 8dio sounds and 64 note polyphony, maybe 4-8 parts, it’s but it in a heartbeat.
Old 22nd May 2019
  #5369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vertflyer View Post
I’ve been so enamored by the Grand Piano 1928 and ArcoChamber C-D . . . Do you know of any other hardware workstation or sound module that can come close to those sounds?
No. I have a Montage 7, Kronos 2, and an Integra-7. No hardware ROMplers that I know of have factory samples that sound like those. The 8Dio samples I find really organic. The slightly detuned pianos are my favorite and nothing close can be found on any of my ROMplers—one of the principle reasons I bought the Prophet X (which I actually do use more as a ROMpler).

I have quite a good orchestral EXs add-on library for my Kronos, and both Chris Hein and Tina Guo solo-cello AU libraries for Logic, but again, nothing quite sounds like 8Dio's "perfectly imperfect" string samples, the varied and short-articulations in particular (e.g., "marcato," "col legno," etc.); perhaps in pricer multi-$1,000 VST/AU libraries (e.g., Orchestral Tools' Metropolis Ark I, II, III).

I actually have little interest in 8Dio's current sample packs (though I did buy the ARP2600 and OB-X packs, but only because the were on sale), and instead have been waiting for their long-promised "full-orchestra" sample sets—another big reason for my initial Prophet X purchase.
Old 22nd May 2019
  #5370
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studio460 View Post
No. I have a Montage 7, Kronos 2, and an Integra-7. No hardware ROMplers that I know of have factory samples that sound like those. The 8Dio samples I find really organic. The slightly detuned pianos are my favorite and nothing close can be found on any of my ROMplers—one of the principle reasons I bought the Prophet X (which I actually do use more as a ROMpler).

I have quite a good orchestral EXs add-on library for my Kronos, and both Chris Hein and Tina Guo solo-cello AU libraries for Logic, but again, nothing quite sounds like 8Dio's "perfectly imperfect" string samples, the varied and short-articulations in particular (e.g., "marcato," "col legno," etc.); perhaps in pricer multi-$1,000 VST/AU libraries (e.g., Orchestral Tools' Metropolis Ark I, II, III).

I actually have little interest in 8Dio's current sample packs (though I did buy the ARP2600 and OB-X packs, but only because the were on sale), and instead have been waiting for their long-promised "full-orchestra" sample sets—another big reason for my initial Prophet X purchase.
Sounds like you are the perfect person to answer that question!

I remember the kronos having some larger memory pianos, but I guess its still the way 8dio recorded their pianos. It makes the normal workstation piano sound so boring..

thanks!
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