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Prophet 12 Love?
Old 12th June 2017
  #1
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🎧 5 years
Prophet 12 Love?

I'm contemplating getting a prophet 12 but have started to hear that it's oscillators sound very thin. Even adding an osc doesn't seem to fatten the sound. This strikes me as a bit odd that a synth that costs this much would lack in the oscillator department.
Anyone else feel the same way towards the 12?
I have listened to a lot of videos on youtube and think it sounds fantastic.

Is the prophet rev2 in the same league as the prophet 12?


I'd be interested in hesring a few opinions on the 12.
Old 12th June 2017
  #2
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Oscillators are not a problem: digitally generated but at 4 per voice (+sub) there's no chance of running out of combinations. Detune and throw some movement via the extensive modulation. The low pass filter, however, is a Curtis chip which generates opinions; some have characterized as brassy.

Depends what you want to do with the synth. It's probably one of the best platforms for sound exploration.
Old 12th June 2017
  #3
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🎧 10 years
I usually say it's a decent synth, but not to my taste, to not offend the owners, but its got to be one of the worst sounding synths I've ever used, and it could have 16 oscillators per voice, and I'd still say that. They sound horrible. Thin doesn't quite cover it. Ugly. The analog filter, feedback and gain effect help a bit, but it's really lace on a turd. I ended up with a Tempest, that I'm using as a 6 voice poly, and it sounds fantastic to me. I wish they'd done full wavetable oscillators on it, but you get two analog DCOs and two digital oscillators that can do either sample playback (not your own) or digital waves (the VS ones are in there, among others). Yeah, it's not a lot of voices, but neither is the PolyEvolver or the VS.

Old 12th June 2017
  #4
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rids's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Damn Z, you really laid it out there. To each their own.

Analog8, if you want thick Osc, get the Prophet 6. That said, the P12 not Pro 2 lack fatness. They are digital Osc, so expect a different flavor than VCOs. The P12 and Pro 2 are about layering digital Osc and being able to do some unusual stuff with them. The Rev 2 is all analog DCO Osc in there. So whereas the P6 sounds thick and rich with harmonics, the Rev 2 will sound thick and smooth. And the P12 is it's own unique things apart from those. All different flavors. Don't somehow think the P12 is lesser because it's digital. If you want thick, get the P6. If you like what you hear in the P12 demos, that is all you need to know. Seriously. We're all different in our tastes. I have the Pro 2 btw, the P12 younger brother with most of the same guts and it's a blast to play.

Also, some people's demos don't use the Drive parameter. Imo, this is crucial to getting a more raw, analog like tone with some bite. It depends on the tone you want, but the Drive circuit does wonders on the signal. The distortion, not so much imo. ymmv
Old 12th June 2017
  #5
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🎧 5 years
I have a room full of high-end synths and the P12 is one of my absolute favorites. The capabilities are amazing, and I can make it sound great with ease. That being said, if you're looking for fat oscillators, get a Two Voice Pro.
Old 12th June 2017 | Show parent
  #6
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maisonvague's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing ➑️
I usually say it's a decent synth, but not to my taste, to not offend the owners, but its got to be one of the worst sounding synths I've ever used, and it could have 16 oscillators per voice, and I'd still say that. They sound horrible. Thin doesn't quite cover it. Ugly.
Good Lord. I'm not even an owner, and I'm offended.

Okay. So, tell us what you didn't like about it!
Old 12th June 2017
  #7
M32
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The P12 oscillators don't have much wow-factor straight out of the box. Also the filter opens up very high and the two give a lot of top end, making it rather harsh like this, especially when compared to other synths.

However, you can change the timbre a lot by slightly offsetting the waveshape to get a darker tone, and the first thing i do is to drop the cutoff freq a little.
Dropping the volume of the osc's by half also changes the tone immensely. All factory presets are pushing the filter way too harsh.

The sound of one oscillator isn't very impressive, but they stack up in a lovely musical way, if you play chords, they gell harmonically in a very nice way and the slop function, especially when used modulated by an envelope, is wonderfull.

The power of the P12 is in the modulation matrix, you can set up a lot of routings of aftertouch, velocity and envelopes to make the sound very dynamic and alive. They can be subtle modulation amounts, not obvious, but rather like how every time you strike a drum, it is a little different.
The P12 is a player's instrument, i often use the note velocity to also affect envelope atack times, giving a very expressive sound.

For very odd experimental sounds and FX the P12 is also unique, i've had 50's scifi, tape wobble, rain, electricity, organic and digital stuff just pour out.

2 times 4 oscs, 4 envelopes, 4 lfo's, 4 delay lines, karplus-strong feedback, Am, Fm(linear and logarythmic) digital drive and analog distortion and 12 voices does feed the creativity

Here are some demo's i made for a set of patches i am planning to put up for sale, i have to do about 15 more and organise them a bit to have a full set of 4 banks of 99 x2 patches. Usually A and B are complementary or stacked.

SoundFx and textures:


Pads (this demo was a while back, the best ones i've made arent even in it, and discovering new tricks i've been going back and re-tweaking older patches...)

Old 12th June 2017
  #8
M32
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from user Wytchcrypt @ dsi forum:



"The double circle parameters represent on/off buttons and the large circles represent knobs. My favorite part though, the circles with arrows pointing in represent mod destinations, while those with arrows pointing out represent mod sources. I look at this and just imagine it with a jungle of patch cords everywhere"

oddly enough, i realised i know this by heart
Old 12th June 2017
  #9
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I don't own a P12, but I've listened to this dozens of times. This sound is far from ugly.



Embed isn't working so well for me at the moment. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4wvzRCFI4kg
Old 12th June 2017
  #10
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🎧 5 years
Thanks guys for the feedback thus far.

The thing is, some of you may think I'm crazy, but I'm planning on selling my OB6 to get the prophet 12.
Although I love the sound and character of the ob6 I never seem to be able to get places I want to go with it.
It always ki d of end up with the same kind of sound if you know what I mean.
I know the 12 can do nice evolving pads and soundscapes and thats what I'm looking for at the moment.
Sadly I live too far away to a shop to go in and hear in person so I have to rely on youtube.
I like the programming possibilities the 12 ofters but just a bit put off now after hearing people say it doesn't sound good.
Old 12th June 2017 | Show parent
  #11
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beel Zebub ➑️
I don't own a P12, but I've listened to this dozens of times. This sound is far from ugly.



Embed isn't working so well for me at the moment. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4wvzRCFI4kg
Agreed. I've watched that vid a few times. It was actually one of them that turned me on to the 12 in the first place. I think it sounds beautiful.
I'm trying to imagine the 12 put through my eventide h9 max .
Old 12th June 2017 | Show parent
  #12
Deleted 0fc8128
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemosit ➑️
I have a room full of high-end synths and the P12 is one of my absolute favorites. The capabilities are amazing, and I can make it sound great with ease.
Exactly like I feel and I do have a great collection of synths in my studio as well. The Prophet-12 is my favorite one.

Having said that, the synth needs a little understanding, how to coax good sounds from it. But the effort pays off since synthesis is sheer endless with the Prophet-12
Old 12th June 2017 | Show parent
  #13
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog8 ➑️
Thanks guys for the feedback thus far.

The thing is, some of you may think I'm crazy, but I'm planning on selling my OB6 to get the prophet 12.
Although I love the sound and character of the ob6 I never seem to be able to get places I want to go with it.
It always ki d of end up with the same kind of sound if you know what I mean.
I know the 12 can do nice evolving pads and soundscapes and thats what I'm looking for at the moment.
Sadly I live too far away to a shop to go in and hear in person so I have to rely on youtube.
I like the programming possibilities the 12 ofters but just a bit put off now after hearing people say it doesn't sound good.
I have both, and I get what you mean. the prophet12 won't disappoint. Once you know how to program it with depth - it's a synth that keeps on giving.
Old 12th June 2017 | Show parent
  #14
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog8 ➑️
I like the programming possibilities the 12 ofters but just a bit put off now after hearing people say it doesn't sound good.
That's one of the problems with this site. People tend to put to much trust/confidence in what others think. Even if it's only a few people.

If you like something, like it. Don't second guess yourself just because other people don't like it. There are people here who have never even owned, let alone tried some of the gear they trash.
Old 12th June 2017
  #15
F5D
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🎧 15 years
The P12 is all about programming complex sounds and that is where it shines. It has plenty of unexpected sweet spots, when you start tweaking. No fully digital synth could do that. It is all about how the digital and analog parts with the feedback work together. It can get highly organic and sometimes close to acoustic instruments, especially when using the feedback. The oscillators alone without any modulation are not very powerful, but the modulation system with all the character and feedback are. If you are looking for an analog synth that will quickly lead to nice 80's analog sounds, go with the Prophet REV2 instead. Its basic sound is more analog and powerful. However, the P12 can mimic most sounds of P'08 / REV2, if you spend a little bit more time using subtle modulations to color the stable digital oscillators. IMO, the P'08 / REV2 is possibly the best poly analog currently available, if you want that brassy Oberheimish sound, whereas the P12 is easily the best digital analog hybrid available, offering dirtier and dustier sound compared to the Novation Peak for example. The Pro 2 sounds slightly better than the P12 thanks to the more complex filters, but is only a mono.

Last edited by F5D; 12th June 2017 at 04:19 PM..
Old 12th June 2017 | Show parent
  #16
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TRSC's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog8 ➑️
Thanks guys for the feedback thus far.

The thing is, some of you may think I'm crazy, but I'm planning on selling my OB6 to get the prophet 12.
Although I love the sound and character of the ob6 I never seem to be able to get places I want to go with it.
It always ki d of end up with the same kind of sound if you know what I mean.
I know the 12 can do nice evolving pads and soundscapes and thats what I'm looking for at the moment.
Sadly I live too far away to a shop to go in and hear in person so I have to rely on youtube.
I like the programming possibilities the 12 ofters but just a bit put off now after hearing people say it doesn't sound good.

The people who trash P12 are wannabee sound designers who don't know what they're doing, so they conclude the synth they're tweaking sounds like sh*t. The reality is, they can't design good sounds because they don't have the knowledge to do it correctly. The P12 sounds fantastic when in the right hands.
Old 12th June 2017 | Show parent
  #17
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TRSC ➑️
The people who trash P12 are wannabee sound designers who don't know what they're doing, so they conclude the synth they're tweaking sounds like sh*t. The reality is, they can't design good sounds because they don't have the knowledge to do it correctly. The P12 sounds fantastic when in the right hands.
Well I'd definitely regard myself as a novice programmer, but more than willing to get stuck in and get my hands dirty .....and most importantly, learn as much as possible in the process.
Old 12th June 2017
  #18
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mike vee's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
The prophet 12 is a glorious synth that sounds absolutely amazing. I'd have to think that anyone who thinks otherwise has a hearing problem or poor taste. It's the one hardware synth I will probably purchase again.
Old 12th June 2017
  #19
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🎧 10 years
Its truly amazing BUT not the most playable synth imo.Has a harsh angular nature at least maybe until you edit it too your liking.Still a serious tool for a keyboard warrior
Old 12th June 2017 | Show parent
  #20
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zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TRSC ➑️
The people who trash P12 are wannabee sound designers who don't know what they're doing, so they conclude the synth they're tweaking sounds like sh*t. The reality is, they can't design good sounds because they don't have the knowledge to do it correctly. The P12 sounds fantastic when in the right hands.
Or, perhaps the people who trash it aren't mesmerized by a healthy complement of modulation options and are actually listening to it. You can include Howard Scarr in the Prophet 12 detractors. I was having a conversation with him a little while ago where he voiced the exact same opinion. So, Howard Scarr is also a wannabee sound designer? In case you haven't heard of him, here's a link. He'd done a few things.

HOME

Can you make nice sounds with the Prophet 12? Of course (though, judging by the presets, DSI couldn't ). You can tweak around it's flaw. But on a $2K+ synth, I'm thinking that level of flaw is a fail. I got lot's of sleepy muted and distressed kinds of sounds out of it. But listen to that demo. That filter is kept nice and closed. Why? Because when it's open, the ugly sound of those oscillators shines right though. The moment you try to do an open filter, buzzy, bright sounding patch, it falls flat on its faceplate. So, keep those filter down, add a bunch of drive and reverb, and yeah, it can sound good, but I'd rather have a synth that isn't as complex that has great sounding oscillators. My experience in sound design is meaningless when I can play an initialized patch on my Audiothingies MicroMonsta and have it sound simple, but great regardless as to what oscillator/wavetable I choose, but in doing the same thing on the Prophet 12 sounded like crap to me, especially the traditional analog style waveforms. Those same waveforms, analog generated (DCO) on the Tempest sound great. So, I lose voices, effects, LFOs, etc, but IMO, I could easily create the types of sounds in that "vintage" video (they'd probably sound better) and not be afraid that if I opened up the filter I'd get that harsh dead Prophet 12 oscillator sound. When I want modulation options galore (as I often do) I'd turn to ZebraHZ and get a much better result.
Old 12th June 2017 | Show parent
  #21
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zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by F5D ➑️
...However, the P12 can mimic most sounds of P'08 / REV2, if you spend a little bit more time using subtle modulations to color the stable digital oscillators.
Here's where we start getting into fantasy land. I had hoped for exactly that, but there is no amount of modulation that could get the 12 to sound like an 08. (or MoPho, which is the other DSI synth I had at the time I owned the 12) Giving the oscillator a bit of gain did help, and actually get a kind of cool tone of its own, but more aggressive.

Even though I'm evidently a wannabee sound designer, I'm able to pull great sounds from the pair of Tetras that eventually found their home here. The Tempest can sound far closer to the Tetras than the 12 could, but, of course, the Tempest has a lot that's different about it in the context of using it as a polyphonic synth. (no unison mode, etc)
Old 12th June 2017
  #22
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
The P12 is the best DSI synth. It is true that the oscillators and filter aren't the best and being a poly it lacks the power of the Pro 2 but based on the sum of its parts it beats them all. You can also buy them at a reasonable price used.

I really don't understand why someone would buy any modern DSI synth just to replicate analogue synth sounds. Buy a P600, or a P5 if you can afford it, - much better synths than the P08, P6 and Rev 2 when it comes to producing those sort of sounds.
Old 12th June 2017 | Show parent
  #23
Deleted 46dc28f
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajman ➑️
The P12 is the best DSI synth. .
That honor goes to OB-6, IMO.

Last edited by Deleted 46dc28f; 12th June 2017 at 09:51 PM..
Old 12th June 2017 | Show parent
  #24
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog8 ➑️
Well I'd definitely regard myself as a novice programmer, but more than willing to get stuck in and get my hands dirty .....and most importantly, learn as much as possible in the process.
I think working within limitations is a great teaching tool for subtractive synthesis. For example, my SH-2 taught me so much in how 1 LFO can drastically change a sound depending on its modulation of VCO, VCA, or VCF.

The Prophet 12 offers so much I could see myself getting lost. Same thing happened when I dove into the Solaris.
Old 12th June 2017 | Show parent
  #25
F5D
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing ➑️
there is no amount of modulation that could get the 12 to sound like an 08.
I agree that the P12 cannot match the sound of P'08 / REV2. By 'mimicing', I meant that the P12 can get closer to the sound of P'08 / REV2 when utilizing its modulations, and for some might be a good enough substitute for those analog sounds as well. However, if you play and compare similar 80's style analog patches with P12 and P'08 / REV2, it is clear that the latter sound fuller and bigger. That is why I never let go of my P'08. It is simply better for those sounds.
Old 12th June 2017
  #26
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🎧 10 years
I think it would be great if you dedicated lots of time to it.Maybe even run it though something creamy to take the edge off it.Might sound like one step too many but could add the missing stage to smooth it out.But it aint as friendy as my nord lead 1......Something different.
Old 12th June 2017 | Show parent
  #27
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrod ➑️
If you like something, like it. Don't second guess yourself just because other people don't like it. There are people here who have never even owned, let alone tried some of the gear they trash.
This is some really good advice. Despite having lots of experience with synths, I still allowed myself to be influenced by all the negative opinions of the Moog Voyager and so kept putting off getting one. I finally caved into curiosity and ordered one sight unseen (with an option to return it after 30 days). The moment I began playing it, I knew it was here to stay. I've now got a policy of purposefully fostering interest in gear that gets trashed on Gearslutz.
Old 12th June 2017 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by F5D ➑️
I agree that the P12 cannot match the sound of P'08 / REV2. By 'mimicing', I meant that the P12 can get closer to the sound of P'08 / REV2 when utilizing its modulations, and for some might be a good enough substitute for those analog sounds as well. However, if you play and compare similar 80's style analog patches with P12 and P'08 / REV2, it is clear that the latter sound fuller and bigger. That is why I never let go of my P'08. It is simply better for those sounds.
OK, fair enough.

One thing I'll add is that I didn't think the "wavetable" (though can it be called a wavetable synth? See other thread for details!) sound were OK. Not stellar, but usable. I was disappointed by the waves they chose and how few there were, but none of them really sounded "ugly" like I think the saw/pulse/triangle sound.

Also, I should add that this is nothing like my critique of the Peak's oscillators, which I think sound maybe (yet to hear one in person) a bit dark and are also seemingly lacking more interesting sounding waveforms and a bigger variety of them.
Old 12th June 2017 | Show parent
  #29
F5D
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing ➑️
One thing I'll add is that I didn't think the "wavetable" (though can it be called a wavetable synth? See other thread for details!) sound were OK. Not stellar, but usable. I was disappointed by the waves they chose and how few there were, but none of them really sounded "ugly" like I think the saw/pulse/triangle sound.
Actually, I have found that most of the time, I tend to use only the basic waveforms and very rarely go for the wavetables with any synth. There is so much one can do with saw and square waves, utilizing sync and all other features, and of course modulating the oscillators to get other types of waveforms. I simply love saw waves.
Old 12th June 2017
  #30
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