Sequential Reintroduces the Prophet®-5, the Synth that Revolutionized an Industry
After months of clandestine development, Sequential today announced the reintroduction of its most famous and beloved instrument: the Prophet-5. Timed to coincide with founder Dave Smith’s 70th year, the instrument revisits a landmark era in American analog synthesizer design and marks an authentic and authoritative return to roots for the legendary pioneer of electronic instruments.
“It’s not often that you get to revisit your past, retrieve some of its magic, and give it new life,” said Dave Smith. “The Prophet-5 was one of the most exciting instruments to appear in an equally exciting time for music and technology. It’s gratifying to rediscover that its sound and aesthetics are just as appealing now as they were then.”
Faithful to the original, the new Prophet-5 features five voices with two multi-waveform analog oscillators, resonant analog low-pass filters and amplifiers, and a filter and amplifier envelope per voice. Modulation is provided by a multi-waveshape LFO and Poly Mod, a ground-breaking modulation scheme for its time that allowed the filter envelope and oscillator B to be routed to a variety of destinations including filter cutoff frequency, oscillator A frequency, and oscillator A pulse width.
The new Prophet-5 features original, genuine Curtis VCOs and filters as used in the Prophet-5 Rev3, as well as the Dave Rossum-designed SSI 2140 filter, the modern counterpart of the original SSM 2040 Rossum designed in the Prophet-5 Rev1 and Rev2. “We made the new Prophet-5 the best of all Prophets by embodying all three revisions of the original. We did this by adding a Rev switch to the front panel, so you can choose your preferred filter.”
Smith continued, “We also researched what made the original P-5 sound the way it did — organic and alive — and found that a lot of that desirable character was due to fluctuations and differences in the response times and frequencies of the individual oscillators, filters, and envelopes from voice to voice. So we also added a Vintage knob that loosens all of them up like they were in the old days. You can dial in progressively more vintage character as you go from a very stable “4,” as in Prophet-5 Rev4, all the way to “1,” as in Prophet-5 Rev1, which was the most temperamental of all Prophet-5s. We’ve even included the original factory sound set for the full vintage experience.”
Other modern enhancements include velocity sensitivity and aftertouch to increase expressiveness, as well as MIDI and USB connectivity. Control voltage and gate ins/outs are also present for connecting modular synths and other gear. The new Prophet-5 is housed in a collector-worthy, premium-quality, steel and hand-oiled sustainable black walnut heartwood body, with a full, five-octave, semi-weighted Fatar keybed.
Sequential is simultaneously offering the Prophet-10, a ten-voice version of the synthesizer with the same sound engine and collector-worthy design. “I originally designed the first Prophet in both five-voice and ten-voice versions. But the five-voice model was the one that achieved mass production. We thought it would be fun and fitting to reintroduce the ten-voice as well, to make the circle complete.” Sequential Circuits’ later product, the dual-manual, bi-timbral Prophet-10, was a different instrument in both concept and execution.
Both models will are available now!
- Two authentic CEM 3340 VCOs per voice
- Simultaneously selectable wave shapes. Oscillator A: sawtooth, pulse. Oscillator B: sawtooth, triangle, pulse.
- Pulse width per oscillator
- Hard sync: oscillator 1 syncs to oscillator 2
- Low frequency mode (oscillator 2)
- Keyboard tracking on/off (oscillator 2)
- Oscillator 1 amount
- Oscillator 2 amount
- White noise amount
- Four-pole, resonant, low-pass filter per voice
- Switchable between authentic versions of the Prophet-5 Rev1/2 filter and Prophet-5 Rev3 filter
- Rev1/2 filter is a Dave Rossum-designed 2140, the modern counterpart of the original 2040 filter found in the Prophet-5 Rev1 and Rev2
- Rev3 filter is a Doug Curtis-designed CEM 3320
- Filter can be driven into self-oscillation with the Resonance control
- Keyboard tracking: off, half, full
- Four-stage (ADSR) envelope generator
- Velocity modulation of envelope amount
- Four-stage (ADSR) envelope generator
- Velocity modulation of envelope amount
LOW FREQUENCY OSCILLATOR
- Three wave shapes: sawtooth, triangle, square. All waveshapes can be engaged simultaneously
- Both Initial Amount and mod wheel control
- Mod destinations: oscillator A frequency, oscillator B frequency, oscillator A and B pulse width, filter cutoff
- Sources: filter envelope and oscillator B
- Destinations: oscillator A frequency, oscillator A pulse width, filter cutoff
- Recreates the characteristics of various Prophet-5 models by varying the behavior of oscillators, envelopes, amplifiers, and other parameters. Go from a very stable “4” — as in Prophet-5 Rev4, (the new version) — all the way to “1,” as in Prophet-5 Rev1, the rarest and most temperamental of all Prophet-5s.
- Channel (mono) aftertouch
- Destinations: filter cutoff frequency, LFO amount
- Full-sized, semi-weighted, premium Fatar 5-octave keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
- Mod wheel
- Spring-loaded pitch wheel with selectable range per program (1 to 12 semitones up and down)
- Polyphonic glide (portamento)
- Unison (monophonic) mode with configurable voice count, from one to all five voices (10 voices for Prophet-10) and key modes
- Preset switch: when off, the front panel is live; what you see is what you hear
EFFORTLESS TO PROGRAM
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-10 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.
THE WHOLE PACKAGE
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-5/10 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.
- 200 user and 200 factory programs in 5 banks of 40 programs each
- Direct program access, including Prophet 5-style single-button access to the current set of 8 programs
- Mono output (1 x 1/4” phone jack)
- Headphone output (stereo, 1/4” phone jack)
- MIDI in, out, and thru ports
- USB for bidirectional MIDI communication
- Control voltage in/out (1 x 1/4” phone jack) 0- +5V input/output signal. Configured for 1-volt-per-octave operation.
- Gate in/out (1 x 1/4” phone jack). Accepts a 1.5 to 15-volt on/off signal to gate the envelopes of a single voice on the Prophet-5. Outputs a 15-volt on/off used to gate the envelopes of an external synth.
- Low-pass filter cutoff expression pedal input
- Volume expression pedal input
- Sustain footswitch input
- IEC AC power inlet for internal power supply
Operates worldwide on voltages between 100 and 240 volts at 50 to 60 Hz; Prophet-5: 20 watts maximum power consumption. Prophet-10: 28 watts maximum power consumption
- 37.5” L x 16.4 W x 4.9″ H (95.25 cm x 41.6 cm x 12.4 cm)
- 31 lbs (14.06 kg)
- Roadworthy all-steel construction with premium black walnut heartwood body and trim
Originally launched in 2002 as Dave Smith Instruments, Sequential is helmed by legendary musical instrument designer and Grammy® award winner Dave Smith. Dave’s many accomplishments include the creation of the Prophet-5—the world’s first fully programmable polyphonic synthesizer—and his legacy as the primary driving force behind MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface).
The company’s products are used by an ever-growing roster of well-known musicians and are available from music retailers worldwide. Instruments include the Pro 3 and Pro 3 SE, Prophet X, the Prophet-6, OB-6, and Prophet Rev2. Sequential is based in San Francisco, where its instruments are also assembled. Visit www.sequential.com.