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Rev2 or not to Rev2 in 2019
Old 2nd January 2019
  #31
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcearl View Post
They fixed the tuning issue in the last firmware. I think its a better sounding synth, and better built that the 08 by quite a margin (great reverb as well). It can also wander into the prophets brassy territory too. Would choose it over the rev2 if it was only going to be one synth...but I do like the curtis, also very limited modulation in the korg, no sequencer either ( can always use a pedal for AT, not ideal though) ...slutz buy both
Yeah, sadly this Gearslut can’t fit everything I’d like, so a keyboard that doesn’t have aftertouch has no place in my world. I think Korg also blew it by creating a cool user configurable oscillator that’s starved for modulation sources. I’d also venture to say that, to me, it doesn’t sound “better.” Better at some things, for sure, but I happen to really like that DSI Curtis sound. I’m currently looking at all my hardware in a very critical way, and I know that I’ll always want to have one in my studio, though I’m not sure if I’ll keep my Tempest or my Tetras. I’m relocating it all today, so we’ll see. Maybe I can find a way to fit both.
Old 2nd January 2019
  #32
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by odourboy View Post
The weakest thing on the Rev2 IMHO, is the filter. It works, but is quite vanilla and has no real character.
This is one of the weirdest comments I’ve ever read about that synth, or it’s predecessors. I can understand people not liking it’s character, but to say it doesn’t have character... I don’t get that at all.
Old 2nd January 2019
  #33
Gear Maniac
 

No worries. With time and experience you'll start to be able to pick up on these subtleties.
Old 2nd January 2019
  #34
Gear Head
 
ChewyJetpack's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PistolP View Post
Dear fellow sluts, first of all happy holidays!

I could get a DSI Rev2 for a fair price and I am contemplating to buy it but since I never really have had any analog or even hardware synths (only played them a bit in stores and other studios) my question is if it would give me a new palette, more organic sounds and something extra that I do not get from virtual instruments. I am producing pop, some hip hop and some edm.
I started venturing into hardware synths a few years ago, after 10+ years in-the-box. Here's what I learned:
  1. You won't necessarily make any sounds you can't make with software, other than the nuances of that specific synthesizer (just like when you pick up a new VST synth) and...
  2. That special 'analogue warmth' that everyone bangs on about. It's addictive, but it's super subtle - it's like audio cigarettes
  3. Touching knobs really does count for a lot, whether you think it will or not. It changes the decisions you make while creating music, and therefore changes the outcome of the music. I find it to be more inspired when I am physically interacting with something
  4. Make sure that you have an actual use in mind for the thing you're buying, rather than just a "want" for it. Don't buy something because it is analogue, for example. Buy it because you can envisage what you'll use it for.
  5. As per my last point, do your research. Read a lot about a lot of different synths. Pick the one that you can see working with your creative flow the best, and the one that you can see being the most useful

I was torn between the Rev2 and the Peak earlier this year. For me, the Peak won, because the filter sounds fatter, it can do wavetables and linear FM, and has 3 analogue distortion stages which cover everything from warmth to the apocalypse. I've not regretted it for a second. The Rev2 is a fantastic synth, but they are very different. Get the one that speaks to you the most.
Old 2nd January 2019
  #35
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Yeah, sadly this Gearslut can’t fit everything I’d like, so a keyboard that doesn’t have aftertouch has no place in my world. I think Korg also blew it by creating a cool user configurable oscillator that’s starved for modulation sources. I’d also venture to say that, to me, it doesn’t sound “better.” Better at some things, for sure, but I happen to really like that DSI Curtis sound. I’m currently looking at all my hardware in a very critical way, and I know that I’ll always want to have one in my studio, though I’m not sure if I’ll keep my Tempest or my Tetras. I’m relocating it all today, so we’ll see. Maybe I can find a way to fit both.
Oh I like the curtis sound too
Old 2nd January 2019
  #36
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by odourboy View Post
No worries. With time and experience you'll start to be able to pick up on these subtleties.
If you read though any DSI thread that’s about the modern Curtis based synths, you’ll find scores of posts about people either loving or hating that filter based on it’s character and I can’t remember reading another post that could call it “vanilla.” I can attest that it definitely had a personality of its own that puts its sonic signature on an oscillator, whether it’s the internal Curtis DCOs, DSP oscs from the Prophet 12 or the digital waves from the Evolver or Tempest (I’ve owned or still own all of these).

Anyway, I guess I have enough experience (starting with a Juno 106 in 83) to let you know that the character of the REV2’s filters can be noticed a mile away. Of course, there’s more to any synth’s character than it’s filter, but that one seems pretty obvious and distinct. I can also tell you that I’ve got Moog 24db ladder, 303, ARP, SEM (in a ATC-X), the Prophet style in my Prophet 6 and Pro 2, a modern Obie in the Pro 2, two Novation filters in my Bass Station 2 and the super flexible filter of the 002. That’s not including the scores of different filter types I have in plugins. Every filter is a bit different, but among those mentioned, I’d easily say that the Curtis filters sound more distinct to me than most. Whether you like them is a subjective thing, and I can see why someone wouldn’t... but to call them “vanilla...” I think you’ll have a hard time finding someone who agrees with you on that.
Old 25th February 2019
  #37
Lives for gear
YES.
Old 25th February 2019
  #38
Deleted b7a9c8d
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PistolP View Post
Dear fellow sluts, first of all happy holidays!

I could get a DSI Rev2 for a fair price and I am contemplating to buy it but since I never really have had any analog or even hardware synths (only played them a bit in stores and other studios) my question is if it would give me a new palette, more organic sounds and something extra that I do not get from virtual instruments. I am producing pop, some hip hop and some edm.
Absolutely, it's one of my favorite synths. Especially if you're more of a player and utilize the bi-timbrality. It sounds fat as hell in unison as well, I have the 16 voice. Also setting LFOs is a breeze. ALL companies should allow you to hold down the LFO and twiddle the knob destination to set it, instead of menu diving.

It's fantastic.
Old 25th February 2019
  #39
Kja
Lives for gear
As time goes on I find I care less and less about this forums "opinions". I have heard for the past year how much better the vintage prophet 5 is to my prophet 6 and the past week I have had the luck to make a friend that actually owns a prophet 5 and spent allot of time on it. I have found despite all the "opinions" they basically sound the same to me.. none of the vintage mojo or oscillator wobble people love to rant on and on about, they sound about the same, like a synthesizer, they both sound like a harmonica untell you start messing with it just like any other analog.. I mean there are small differences but nothing Earth shattering, I have been pretty eyes open about the whole experience and I think most people are just full of it, just get the synth you want and make music, everything else is academic, wine sniffing by folks that spend time polishing synth's rather than playing them. I bet the rev2 sounds great or the prologue, I haven't played them but most expensive synth's sound good, that is the point right? They are not gonna sound bad.
Old 25th February 2019
  #40
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That is a good point, I've been romanticising getting a P6 because I want something classic with Sequential written on it.

Truth be told I'm more excited by the Rev2 and its more in my price range. Just waiting on a good deal.
Old 25th February 2019
  #41
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kja View Post
As time goes on I find I care less and less about this forums "opinions". I have heard for the past year how much better the vintage prophet 5 is to my prophet 6 and the past week I have had the luck to make a friend that actually owns a prophet 5 and spent allot of time on it. I have found despite all the "opinions" they basically sound the same to me.. none of the vintage mojo or oscillator wobble people love to rant on and on about, they sound about the same, like a synthesizer, they both sound like a harmonica untell you start messing with it just like any other analog.. I mean there are small differences but nothing Earth shattering, I have been pretty eyes open about the whole experience and I think most people are just full of it, just get the synth you want and make music, everything else is academic, wine sniffing by folks that spend time polishing synth's rather than playing them. I bet the rev2 sounds great or the prologue, I haven't played them but most expensive synth's sound good, that is the point right? They are not gonna sound bad.
You’re right in the sense that someone’s opinion about basically anything will probably say more about the person than the thing. I also have no doubt that 90% of the differences between a Prophet 6 and a Prophet 5 are due to feature differences and parameter ranges. The other 10% come from component and design differences... but my point is that there is some difference. Your “about the same” is someone else’s “very different.” Personally, I’m with you in that I don’t really care that much about that difference and the modern features of the 6 more than compensate for any lack of “mojo,” which I also don’t really believe is a “lack” but just a difference.

I also think that a lot of people miss out on things because they’re hoping they can get their Prophet 08 to sound like a 6... and even a 5. I was even a bit guilty of that and found that having a 6 and an 08 (welll, my dual Tetra version) made me like both of them more because I could more easily dismiss each of their issues because where one was weak, the other was strong. I found a demo where a guy tries to show how his Peak could take the place his Behringer Model D, and then, to my ears, goes about proving how impossible that is. Not sure what he was thinking, though recently I’ve been paring down and I was thinking that I might find one VCO based mono that would be my only, and I failed. The contender, a Dominion 1, had been reported to “not sound like a Moog,” and I found that opinion to be in line with what I discovered. I spent a few days attempting to approximate patches I made on my ATC-X while using it’s 24 db ladder filter. I made some really great sounds, but none that could come close to the Studio Electronics synth. Those differences might not matter to you, but they do to me, so I keep both synths. I keep things like that in mind when someone tells me that their beloved vintage synth sounds totally different than anything modern. The amount of difference isn’t the issue, it’s the amount of care about that difference.
Old 25th February 2019
  #42
Kja
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
You’re right in the sense that someone’s opinion about basically anything will probably say more about the person than the thing. I also have no doubt that 90% of the differences between a Prophet 6 and a Prophet 5 are due to feature differences and parameter ranges. The other 10% come from component and design differences... but my point is that there is some difference. Your “about the same” is someone else’s “very different.” Personally, I’m with you in that I don’t really care that much about that difference and the modern features of the 6 more than compensate for any lack of “mojo,” which I also don’t really believe is a “lack” but just a difference.

I also think that a lot of people miss out on things because they’re hoping they can get their Prophet 08 to sound like a 6... and even a 5. I was even a bit guilty of that and found that having a 6 and an 08 (welll, my dual Tetra version) made me like both of them more because I could more easily dismiss each of their issues because where one was weak, the other was strong. I found a demo where a guy tries to show how his Peak could take the place his Behringer Model D, and then, to my ears, goes about proving how impossible that is. Not sure what he was thinking, though recently I’ve been paring down and I was thinking that I might find one VCO based mono that would be my only, and I failed. The contender, a Dominion 1, had been reported to “not sound like a Moog,” and I found that opinion to be in line with what I discovered. I spent a few days attempting to approximate patches I made on my ATC-X while using it’s 24 db ladder filter. I made some really great sounds, but none that could come close to the Studio Electronics synth. Those differences might not matter to you, but they do to me, so I keep both synths. I keep things like that in mind when someone tells me that their beloved vintage synth sounds totally different than anything modern. The amount of difference isn’t the issue, it’s the amount of care about that difference.
Yes I agree, my point is just that most new to synth's can get wrapped up in folks here dismissing synth's that don't cost three grand or higher when the differences are usually pretty small of like synth's, I'm not saying a Moog sounds like a sequential's sound or something. But I do think allot of analog synth's sound somewhat the same on a newbie level. All of these choices sounds good though.. pro5 loves to make them seem like they all will break your ears or something.
Old 25th February 2019
  #43
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Gnalvl's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcearl View Post
very limited modulation in the korg
Yeah, if they made a Prologue XD with 2 more envelopes and 3 more LFOs it'd be very close to an insta-buy for me.
Old 25th February 2019
  #44
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kja View Post
Yes I agree, my point is just that most new to synth's can get wrapped up in folks here dismissing synth's that don't cost three grand or higher when the differences are usually pretty small of like synth's, I'm not saying a Moog sounds like a sequential's sound or something. But I do think allot of analog synth's sound somewhat the same on a newbie level. All of these choices sounds good though.. pro5 loves to make them seem like they all will break your ears or something.
Oh sure. Could I make a sound that was indistinguishable from the Dominion to the ATC? Of course. Any of us who thinks that we don't have a lot of overlap, especially in analog instruments, is lying to themselves. Don't even go into the fact that I don't really need both types of sounds. I just feel like I need them, and I'm lucky enough to be able to have them.

As for pro5, he's a lot easier to take if you just put him on ignore and only see him quoted by other people.
Old 25th February 2019
  #45
vlz
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vlz's Avatar
I think the Rev2 is great. I bought the 8-voice then got a Prologue 16 to play alongside it. Then I realised having 16 voices was important and got the upgrade for it.

I am very happy with it, but I guess it depends on what you do. I'm a player and the 5 octave keyboard is really essential for a poly. That's the main reason I never considered the P6 or OB6.

As for hardware vs software, same thing really: for playing, hw is essential. I guess if you are mistly midi sequencing, it might not matter.
Old 26th February 2019
  #46
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kja View Post
Yes I agree, my point is just that most new to synth's can get wrapped up in folks here dismissing synth's that don't cost three grand or higher when the differences are usually pretty small of like synth's, I'm not saying a Moog sounds like a sequential's sound or something. But I do think allot of analog synth's sound somewhat the same on a newbie level. All of these choices sounds good though.. pro5 loves to make them seem like they all will break your ears or something.
This is a good point, if you look at a lot of criticism's of the Rev 2's sound, its that it doesn't sound like synths costing a lot more and there often seems a total lack of perspective.

Its hard to find a better poly synth for less, vintage or new and anything "better" often has the price tag to match. Its a great synth that will appeal to people used to highly featured softsynths.

But GS wouldn't be GS if paying like 3k for out of tune VCO's wasn't a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
Old 26th February 2019
  #47
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jbuehler's Avatar
 

I am still totally happy with my Prophet Rev 2. It wears many hats well. Not perfectly but well enough. A true musician would absolutely adore it. A vintage snob collector not so much. If you want to make real music this will do it.
Old 26th February 2019
  #48
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnalvl View Post
Yeah, if they made a Prologue XD with 2 more envelopes and 3 more LFOs it'd be very close to an insta-buy for me.
This has been my sort of soap box for the past decade. The 90s and 00s got me really used to having all sorts of modulation options at my disposal. Then my first modern analog, a MoPho, seemed to be well appointed, so I figured others would try to at least equal DSI or best them, and instead we get a lot of things from Korg and Roland that offer a paltry amount of LFOs and EGs. It's partially what has pushed me to embrace software as a solution. If you look at my current setup, it's more DSI/Sequential laden than I like, but the competition just isn't making instruments that I feel are advanced enough.
Old 16th March 2019
  #49
Just wanted to stop by and let you folks know that we've just released our first volume of patches for the Rev2. The first installment of sound demonstrations is up with more to come later today. Love making the demos almost as much as making the sounds. As always the patch names are in the comments. Almost forgot the patch list pdf.

Anyway thanks for reading,

Randy
Old 16th March 2019
  #50
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobustAmerican View Post
Just wanted to stop by and let you folks know that we've just released our first volume of patches for the Rev2. The first installment of sound demonstrations is up with more to come later today. Love making the demos almost as much as making the sounds. As always the patch names are in the comments. Almost forgot the patch list pdf.

Anyway thanks for reading,

Randy
Wow. Thanks for these. Makes me want a REV2. I can’t imagine listening those those and thinking, “oh man, those Curtis filters sound so horrible.” They seem great to me.
Old 16th March 2019
  #51
Lives for gear
Very enjoyable music auditioning your soundset, Randy. Congratz!

I have to admit, I almost returned my Rev2, a few times. It's a grower, and a keeper.
Old 17th March 2019
  #52
Thanks guys!
Old 18th March 2019
  #53
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cogsy's Avatar
 

Some fun experiments today: using the mono delay as a crusty sounding flanger. Use a very short delay time with high feedback (bordering on Karplus Strong string synthesis) then start to modulate the delay wet/dry mix, time, and feedback with the LFO's (low amplitude, slow rate). It sounds really good with slow attacks.

You could also mod the FX params with aftertouch or the mod wheel. This sort of flexibility and synthesis power is something that makes the Rev 2 a contender even in the presence of much pricier boards. It's a keeper
Old 18th March 2019
  #54
Lives for gear
Nice, defiantly buying them patches. Always more tools to the arsenal.
Old 18th March 2019
  #55
Have had mine about six months now. Still really like it. Its really deep. Somebody mentioned not really caring about having A/B architecture, and I can see how layering and spitting may not be your thing, but it can afford you some opportunities in other ways that are otherwise not possible on polys with less complex architecture. For instance, I want to use two oscillators per voice, but don’t want my filter FM to be synced with oscillator 1 pitch. So I use oscillator 2 on both layers as a sound source, then have oscillator 1 free on both layers to FM the filter at an independent pitch, differing slightly for some rather pleasant dirt.

Its a thinking person’s poly. Its a pleasure to program, which is why regardless of sound, which for me is more than adequate, it gets used A LOT. I almost never run into, “Ohh....that isn’t possible.”
Old 18th March 2019
  #56
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Ken Walker's Avatar
I use a DSI 16 voice Rev2. The pads you can program are stunning. It pairs well with my DM12. I'm the keyboardist for progressive rock band Overworld Dreams and both synths are an important part of my sound. I've been using Dave Smith designs ever since the Prophet 5, power supplies blowing up be dammed before the upgrade!
Old 18th March 2019
  #57
Lives for gear
My initial bad reactions to the Rev2 were due to what I percieved as the Curtis filters.... the low end disappeared when you roll down the cutoff, it was extra "brassy", and the sonic profile did not favor the low end like I remembered how my vintage synths were (Juno 106, DW-8000).

On top of that, there were MIDI quirks in Multimode that really pissed me off, esp since Dave was in on the original MIDI spec. For me as a performer, the quirks were more with the bi-timbral aspects rather than the sequencer complaints others have had:

- no aftertouch response on layer B
- split point not retained when receiving PC (Program Change)
- Bank/Program # not reflected in display upon PC, very confusing to sort out

But a Mio iConnectivty4 re-channelizing aftertouch and PC commands has solved half the issues.

The more I learn the Rev2, the better it gets. It helps a lot too with dedicated synth dudes like Razmo, Robust American, and GeoSynth producing great original patches.
Old 18th March 2019
  #58
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcearl View Post
I have the P08, which I love, but I wouldnt want it being my first synth let alone only synth. It is distinctly brassy, and is a great flavour, but I dont think covers as much ground as some other similarly priced synths. It also doesnt lend itself to pop or hip hop really, not that its genre specific or anything. I think the Prologue is more flexible, will do prophet style sounds as well as getting into obie territory...then youve got the hybrid wave forms that take it to another level...the JDXA can be found used at your pricepoint...that can cover just about anything but leans more towards the digital side...of course you could just get a deepmind and a boog, maybe some cash left over to add an Karp/neutron/AJ2/JDXI etc etc
Rev2 is great for hip-hop if you know how to use it and layer the right sounds, IMO. I use it all over trap stuff.
Old 19th March 2019
  #59
The Rev2 does wear many hats extremely well.

The filter bashers probably don't realize that all modulations are added up. And they add up quickly. It's very easy to end up with the filter wide open if you don't watch all the various sources of modulations. I actually used the 2 pole setting quite a bit however.

I was very surprised (back in 2017) when I got this synth to find that the "Glide Time" parameter isn't a mod destination. I mean they thought of everything else under the sun right. Anyway, I wanted to create a lead with 2 distinctly different glide times. I ended up using both layers with the MW controlling the balance between them. With the MW down you get a suitable glide time for a lead. With the MW fully up you get a very long Glide time. This worked great but what I wasn't prepared for was how they sounded together. Just a little bit of the longer glide time adds a very nice quality for slower mellow leads. This patch ended up being called "2 Glide High" in the final volume. In other words, if you have an idea it's probably possible with the Rev2 one way or another.

Thanks again guys!
Old 19th March 2019
  #60
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobustAmerican View Post
The filter bashers probably don't realize that all modulations are added up. And they add up quickly. It's very easy to end up with the filter wide open if you don't watch all the various sources of modulations. I actually used the 2 pole setting quite a bit however.
Agreed on that filter observation. I've learned quite a few techniques to mitigate the "Curtis effect":

- 2-pole mode on the filter
- Key Amt (filter keytracking) at low levels
- low LPF ENV amount
- HP Filter FX with very low cutoff and max res
- medium FX Distortion with tone lowered
- ENV or very slow LFO to OSC waveshape
- OSC mix set to just one OSC

Those last 2 techniques are really effective. I've found that the OSCs are as guilty as the filter. You can really get around that cold, DCO feeling by paying close attention to the OSC waveshape and sweeping it subtly to really expand the sonic palette. You can get something like detuning or swept filter effects, on one OSC, using waveshaping, before you even reach the filter.

Regarding your workaround for that Dual Glide patch -- OSC Glide is an NRPN destination (NRPN 3 and 8). Of course, you'll need to manipulate them via an external method. It would've been awesome if Dave left a couple knobs open to be assigned CCs or NRPNs freely, in order to modulate more than the displayed mod destinations.
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