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Prophet 08 experiences and opinions? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 2nd September 2011
  #1
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Prophet 08 experiences and opinions?

The Prophet 08 has been in my thoughts for a long time and maybe I will bye one this fall, I don't know... What is your experiences and opinions of the P08 - good and bad?

I know it's not a P5 with the same claws, but still a good analog synth... or?

I have a smaller bunch analog synths, among them Oberheim Xpander that I understand sound similar.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #2
Gear Head
 

Just ordered one tonight. I'm excited.
Old 5th September 2011
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

I had the desktop model for a while. It really sounds great - as expected for something from Dave Smith. I sold it after a few months to help with a serious upgrade to my near-field monitors.

It is polyphonic, but not mult-timbral. That said, if you are just looking for a good analog poly synth, it is worth it.
Old 5th September 2011
  #4
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sftd's Avatar
 

I've thought about buying one.

Sent from my PC36100 using Gearslutz.com App
Old 5th September 2011
  #5
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tvsky's Avatar
love my 08 , gets lots of use in lots of tracks.

has an aggressive , precise modern tone that is very useful , punchy envelopes , great modulation . Its bi timbral although I tend to use both parts to make a single more complex sound.

its not vintage though , lots of people don't like its character . But I think for the money , its quick , useful , reliable , sounds good in a track , cuts through very well .
Old 5th September 2011
  #6
Here for the gear
 

I've been thinking about getting one too. Any differences between the desktop and keyboard model?
Old 5th September 2011
  #7
Gear Nut
 
pseudonym813's Avatar
 

As far as functionality goes, I don't think so. I don't recall any "keyboard only" functions in skimming through the manual. But the keyboard is pretty nice imo. Good aftertouch, as I'm sure you've read.
Old 5th September 2011
  #8
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shadowfac's Avatar
 

I also have the rack (non-PE) version, which I bought a couple years ago. I've used it in a few songs but not as much as I would like to, mainly because I've gone mostly modular in the last year, but also because I got tired of having issues with my MIDI interface (Midisport 8x8/S) and practically stopped using my rack synths. I've already sold half of my rack synths and I'm currently debating whether to keep or sell the P08. If I decide to keep it, I will probably upgrade it to the PE version and buy a new, smaller MIDI interface.
Old 5th September 2011
  #9
I quite like it.

My overall impressions (I've had one for about a year):

It can be quite buzzy sounding but also lush and warm if you take the time to program it.

Tons of modulations options, lots of room to grow. I power it on whenever I feel like experimenting with things I can't do on my mono synths (like 'hrm I wonder what it would sound like if a sequencer modulated an envelope's decay time'). Of course if you own a modular this isn't a big deal. You get 4 sequencers, 4 LFOs and 3 envelopes (on top of the usual sources) and all are freely assignable to pretty much any parameters. Plus you can stack or layer two complete independent sets of these things (so if you wanted 8 sequencers each with variable lengths running at the same time you could do that). It can get quite insane and requires a fair bit of imagination and creativity to put to good use (something I'm still trying to learn).

The keyboard has a really nice feel IMO, one of the best I've played on. It's synth action, but has a certain chunky-ness to it, great for using as a controller for rhodes/organ type sounds as well.

But remember it all comes down to the sound. It seems there's lots of love and hate for this synth. So regardless of how it looks in the specs, if you don't like the overall sound (and it does have 'a sound') then you probably won't appreciate the bells & whistles.

Try to audition it first (but be aware that the presets are mostly meant to be tech demos so try to keep an open mind).

[shamelessplug] Also feel free to check out my youtube channel in my sig, I have a few videos featuring the prophet 08 [/shamelessplug]
Old 5th September 2011
  #10
Gear Head
 

I have the desktop version. When I first got it and skimmed through presets I was pretty disappointed. After spending time programming my own patches it totally rocked my world! So many mod sources and destinations plus the stack function just makes it sound great. The synth is polyphonic so make sure to use it that way and it is a full sounding beast!

The P08 has its own character, as others have stated. I find a lot of my patches have a certain brass or shine to them. I like it a lot. If you get the desktop version I highly recommend ordering a knob upgrade kit from DSI store. The desktop's small knobs feel very cheap and aren't as responsive as the keyboard ones (unless you have really huge hands! The spacing is a little tighter but I had no issues).
Old 5th September 2011
  #11
Gear Addict
 

i group the p08 with the LP in that it is a good modern day analog synth that is 'inspired' by its heritage, but the sound is distinctly modern
even with the p08's "slop" parameters, it is still way too clean (although it does not have a rolled off high end like the LP does)

one very important note of advance: DO NOT BUY THE ENCODER VERSION

it is, really, UNUSABLE ... buy the PE
Old 5th September 2011
  #12
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sizzlemeister's Avatar
 

I have an encoder version P'08 - no problems with the encoders, either. You just have to USE them and they work fine. If they get jumpy, just turn them 20 times in each direction. (I've had a PEK, too, and the same was true for it).

I'm finishing up an all-P'08 piece and may post it this week. I don't know what's up with the "haters", but there are only two criticisms of it that fly with me: the mid-range is a bit weak in the filters, and the 12db filter is too tame. Very minor issues, IMHO, and every synth has its weakspot.

I love the mod options and the snappy envelopes. The 24db filter is very nice overall and with the routings available you can get some characteristic, old CEM tones out of the P'08.

I run mine through a DP2 or a Line M9 mostly and with those I'm able to make some very nice tones and textures with it.
Old 5th September 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
I dunno... I had one and sold it due to multiple quality issues. Since bought a Tetra and it's been OK, but I am still on the fence whether or not I like the DSI/Curtis-synth-on-a-chip sound. Personally I'd rather have a Juno-6/60 than a P08 keyboard. Even the Prophet-600 would have more vibe to my ears.
Old 5th September 2011
  #14
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shadowfac's Avatar
 

I think it also depends whether you want lots of character or lots of flexibility. I love the character of the Junos but they are a bit boring to me due to their limited modulations, so I would use them only for a few specific parts. Also, since I use my P08 to complement my analog modulars, I don't require lots of character from it.
Old 5th September 2011
  #15
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BTByrd's Avatar
With 8 voices, 3 EGs, modulation sequencer, and modern MIDI implementation, there's really nothing that can quite compete with the P08 specwise without costing 2-5 times as much. And in addition to its being full featured, it sounds great.

Most of the problems people have with this synth are a consequence of their evaluating it with a Prophet 5 or 10 as their baseline. This comparison makes some deal of sense; the Prophet 08 is, after all, a Prophet. But the P08 wasn't intended to replace your vintage kit, so the P5 isn't really the appropriate baseline. From what I can tell on the forums, many of the people who hate on the P08 (encoders aside) are disappointed because it doesn't precisely emulate their favored 30-year-old relic. But if you take the P08 on its own terms, as a synth to be evaluated in terms of its own sound and featureset, I think it represents not only a tremendous value but also a pretty fantastic synth in its own right.
Old 5th September 2011
  #16
Gear Addict
 
SynthesizerPatel's Avatar
This thread's of particular interest to me as I'm about to (hopefully) sell my Gaia and get either a Prophet 08 PE or, if I can afford it, a Poly Evolver.

So, out of curiosity, has anyone else gone from a Gaia (or similar) to one of the above? How did you rate the change?

Also, what are people's thoughts on the P08 vs Evolver?


Hope I'm not hijacking this thread, it is still more or less on topic.
Old 5th September 2011
  #17
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shadowfac's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SynthesizerPatel View Post
This thread's of particular interest to me as I'm about to (hopefully) sell my Gaia and get either a Prophet 08 PE or, if I can afford it, a Poly Evolver.

So, out of curiosity, has anyone else gone from a Gaia (or similar) to one of the above? How did you rate the change?

Also, what are people's thoughts on the P08 vs Evolver?


Hope I'm not hijacking this thread, it is still more or less on topic.
Don't know about the P08 vs Evolver thing, but I basically bought my P08 to replace various synths in my arsenal: Korg MS2000R, Ensoniq ESQ-1, and Oberheim Matrix 6R. Overall, I've been pleased with the decision and haven't missed any of my older synths (although I do miss the ESQ-1's keyboard). And, IMO, the P08 sounds better and is more flexible than any of those - well, maybe not more flexible than the MS2000 with its digital waves and effects, but they do have similar architectures.
Old 5th September 2011
  #18
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by BTByrd View Post
With 8 voices, 3 EGs, modulation sequencer, and modern MIDI implementation, there's really nothing that can quite compete with the P08 specwise without costing 2-5 times as much. And in addition to its being full featured, it sounds great.

Most of the problems people have with this synth are a consequence of their evaluating it with a Prophet 5 or 10 as their baseline. This comparison makes some deal of sense; the Prophet 08 is, after all, a Prophet. But the P08 wasn't intended to replace your vintage kit, so the P5 isn't really the appropriate baseline. From what I can tell on the forums, many of the people who hate on the P08 (encoders aside) are disappointed because it doesn't precisely emulate their favored 30-year-old relic. But if you take the P08 on its own terms, as a synth to be evaluated in terms of its own sound and featureset, I think it represents not only a tremendous value but also a pretty fantastic synth in its own right.
In my case I've never owned a P5 so can't say my sentiment is based on this. In fact i have even said before that I've never understood the hype on the P5 based on the demos I've heard online. Again, I think I may just be the type of person who in general doesn't like the DSI/Sequential/Curtis sound. And to me doesn't matter what the specs are on a product and the value for the money based on that - what only matters is whether or not I like the sound.
Old 5th September 2011
  #19
Gear Nut
 

overrated.
Old 5th September 2011
  #20
Lives for gear
Prophet 08 experiences and opinions?

Underrated.
Old 5th September 2011
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BTByrd View Post
With 8 voices, 3 EGs, modulation sequencer, and modern MIDI implementation, there's really nothing that can quite compete with the P08 specwise without costing 2-5 times as much. And in addition to its being full featured, it sounds great.
This. I loved mine but I didn't get to use it as much as it would have justified keeping it.
Old 5th September 2011
  #22
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Carey M's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReasonableLogic View Post
overrated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chembros
Underrated.
I think it's safe to say, that it's not an analogue for everybody heh

- CM
Old 5th September 2011
  #23
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shadowfac's Avatar
 

X-rated
Old 5th September 2011
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfac View Post
X-rated
Yeah it gives you wood ...


... side panels
Old 5th September 2011
  #25
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by SynthesizerPatel View Post
This thread's of particular interest to me as I'm about to (hopefully) sell my Gaia and get either a Prophet 08 PE or, if I can afford it, a Poly Evolver.

So, out of curiosity, has anyone else gone from a Gaia (or similar) to one of the above? How did you rate the change?

Also, what are people's thoughts on the P08 vs Evolver?


Hope I'm not hijacking this thread, it is still more or less on topic.
I went from Gaia - amongst other synths - to PE 08. To begin with I hated the Prophet (though I didn´t like my Gaia much either). Then I accepted the Prophets limitations/character and concentrated on coaxing certain tones out of it, and at times I´ve been blown away (personally I can´t stand the brassy, treble sounds, but you can tweak it in a more fluid and deep direction). I´m not crazy about the user interface, which I find more menu-driven than the many knobs would suggest.

Then I dragged my Gaia out again (accepting it´s limitations also) and now they coincide, along with a moog sp, Andromeda, doepfer dark energy etc. I say, hang on to your Gaia, even if you get something else, despite what a lot of GS say about it. It sounds just fine and has many uses. Sometimes a so called "digital" sound is exactly what you´re looking for; complex pads, whispering rhythmic ethereal noise, even low frequency stabs and high pitched flute-kinds of things can be done brilliantly by the Gaia, though most people would probably agree that a sound that is meant to be the focal point of a track is best done by a great analog - like the prophet.
My 2 cents.
Cheers!
Old 5th September 2011
  #26
Gear Addict
 
SynthesizerPatel's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by axs1 View Post
I went from Gaia - amongst other synths - to PE 08. To begin with I hated the Prophet (though I didn´t like my Gaia much either). Then I accepted the Prophets limitations/character and concentrated on coaxing certain tones out of it, and at times I´ve been blown away (personally I can´t stand the brassy, treble sounds, but you can tweak it in a more fluid and deep direction). I´m not crazy about the user interface, which I find more menu-driven than the many knobs would suggest.

Then I dragged my Gaia out again (accepting it´s limitations also) and now they coincide, along with a moog sp, Andromeda, doepfer dark energy etc. I say, hang on to your Gaia, even if you get something else, despite what a lot of GS say about it. It sounds just fine and has many uses. Sometimes a so called "digital" sound is exactly what you´re looking for; complex pads, whispering rhythmic ethereal noise, even low frequency stabs and high pitched flute-kinds of things can be done brilliantly by the Gaia, though most people would probably agree that a sound that is meant to be the focal point of a track is best done by a great analog - like the prophet.
My 2 cents.
Cheers!
That's really helpful, thank you.

If I'm honest, I'm a BIT daunted by the complexity of the Prophet, and hearing there's a fair bit of menu-diving required doesn't help.
One of the things I like about the Gaia is its ease of use, it IS really easy and FUN to programme - I have a nagging feeling I could get a bit bogged down with jargon and having to really KNOW synthesis to get the best out of the Prophet. [yes, I'm thick]
Old 5th September 2011
  #27
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Mefistophelees's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SynthesizerPatel View Post
If I'm honest, I'm a BIT daunted by the complexity of the Prophet, and hearing there's a fair bit of menu-diving required doesn't help.

One of the things I like about the Gaia is its ease of use, it IS really easy and FUN to programme - I have a nagging feeling I could get a bit bogged down with jargon and having to really KNOW synthesis to get the best out of the Prophet. [yes, I'm thick]

I don't find there's very much menu diving, there's a little involved but it's very straight forward.

Complexity wise it's all there but you don't have to know it all to get good sounds. Perhaps think of the extra complexity as something to learn over time. - watch out for the 4 mods though, if one of them is on and you're not aware of it you'll get very confused (as I did).

Sound wise I did find the presets a bit "DCOish" for my liking but one turn of a detune knob and it became a very different story, you can make it sound very analogue and very big if you want to.
It also has a certain brassiness to the sound but you can fix that with EQ if it's too much.
Old 6th September 2011
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by axs1
I say, hang on to your Gaia, even if you get something else, despite what a lot of GS say about it. It sounds just fine and has many uses. Sometimes a so called "digital" sound is exactly what you´re looking for; complex pads, whispering rhythmic ethereal noise, even low frequency stabs and high pitched flute-kinds of things can be done brilliantly by the Gaia, though most people would probably agree that a sound that is meant to be the focal point of a track is best done by a great analog - like the prophet.
My 2 cents.
Cheers!
This is sound advice.

I have both synths also. They complement each other well. As far as the interfaces go, programming the P08 can be a struggle at times-I agree with an earlier post that in spite of all those lovely knobs the workflow for patches isn't as straightforward as you think.
Old 6th September 2011
  #29
Gear Addict
 
SynthesizerPatel's Avatar
If I could afford to keep the Gaia AND buy the Prophet, I definitely would.

I DO like the little Gaia, I'm just in a position where I can afford a true (poly) analogue, IF sell the Gaia.
Old 6th September 2011
  #30
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Zombie H's Avatar
 

I demo'd the Prophet 08 & Poly Evolver both ALOT before eventually going on to get an A6 (phew).

I really dont like the P8 that much - the Poly Evolver tho I was very close to buying and still like the sounds alot
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