Dave Smith Instruments Prophet '08

Dave Smith Instruments Prophet '08

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Prophet '08, Analog Synth from Dave Smith Instruments.

2 user reviews
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Dave Smith Instruments Prophet '08 tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Dave Smith Instruments
  • Model: Prophet '08
  • Category: Analog Synths
  • Added in our database on: 08/30/2007

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Dave Smith Instruments Prophet '08 user reviews

Average Score:5.0( 5/5 based on 2 reviews )
 2 reviews100 %

revega's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Dave Smith Instruments Prophet '08
The Prophet 08 is the synth symbolizing the return of Dave Smith (Sequential Circuits Mr) in the race for analos modern, polyphonic, hybrid view (Evolver requires). For specifics this is the most important:
Polyphony 8 notes (one of the only ones to offer it now)
2 classical oscillators
Curtis low-pass filter 2 and 4 pole
VCA architecture
52 buttons
4 LFOs Prophet
3 envelopes per voice + sequencer
Layers by two programs
5 octave keyboard
Velocity sensitive touch
Knobs Pitch Bend and Modulation
Dimensions: 883.9 x 98.4 x 307,3mm
Weight: 10 Kg and poorly resistant considering the number of times I've moved.


Once it is cleared of encoders of the first version then you have a very good grip and not hand knobs in good order.
Setup is simple but still requires a little time getting started. The manual is not much use, at most, give some ideas on the use of sequence or menus.
For editing sounds is easy, sauvergarde two banks of 128 sounds, 256 memory locations which is enough when you love doing sound research.
The sequencer is a real plus, quite simple when you know how to program the operation of the analog sequencers or 4 x 16 and not routable as you like, great !.
The modulation matrix makes a search engine which is not tired and it is difficult to go around.


I believe the Prophet 08 has caused much ink to its release on this (among others) as many have expected the re-birth of the illustrious Prophet 5. Dream naive because I do not think this model one day reproduces at a rate consistent (40,000 f at the time anyway, that is around 30 times the minimum wage !!!! As if you took out a New Prophet 5 ° Ed .... € 40,000 !!!! ???) if the specified linked to it and the complexity of the internal circuitry is resumed. As Dave Smith said, the world Chanhe and also as a synth design at the component level in its logical use.
So yes, even if it is not the same machine, it still feels a kinship between these two Prophet, obviously. We can then no doubt that the P08 is a machine for raw and refined and modern deep sounds, analog.
A standalone synth highly distinctive grain and undeniable presence. The filter is excellent and disperses a very 80's sound, it's pretty obvious (like Oberheim OB8 or Roland Jupiter / Juno, see ARP with the range of organ / synth)) and very special. Casually, if you know a synthesizer program can also be found on grain Prophet 5, this is not the same potato but it happens to more than troubling similarities (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v = L0VnGI-C36W). We can make it do almost anything you want it still sounds relatively well.
Envelopes can seem a little soft but curiously it does not bother me at all, it's part of the signature of the P08 and identity and it counts.
The factory sounds are distressing (ultra-bound), it is far from the quality of programs Evolver KB but hey it's a synthesizer so it is up to each build their own sounds. With a lot of opportunities at hand it is pleasant enough and arrive quickly to very powerful result, basses, leads, strings, fx.
The integration of sounds in a mix, among other machines is remarkable, and it just sounds warm.
A very interesting demo that illustrates quite well the capabilities of the machine:

Another very revealing of the 'retro' potential P08


I have a few years and I have never regretted the purchase. I did customize the USA with DSI to get rid of the terrible encoders have the first version and the version of PE. The game is worth the effort and the result is perfect. Here you can play, program and sweat gear without worry.
We can nitpick and criticize him a keyboard a little 'cheap' but personally it never bothered me.
Value for money? Is there anything else on the market with similar characteristics? Not less than type in the tired (and still I'm not sure) and there is no safety net.
Given the park synth that I've had in my life, and after years of use, I can without hesitation place at the top of the ladder, next to those I never resell because this is exactly the kind of instrument that never fails to sing your inspiration. Top notch!

ménélassou's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Dave Smith Instruments Prophet '08
First Contact unpacking: the machine is not very heavy (still 11 kg), fine and compact (the width is just over that of her 5 octave keyboard). Original aesthetics with strong reference to the lineage of Prophet analog, I find it quite successfully (opinion not shared by those around me!). Facade matte black, finely chrome pots, illuminated display in red, full of red LED, it's retro, it's hot! And also the inevitable wooden sides, trendy ...

The Prophet '08 is an 8 voice analog synth with 51 pots without end, a classic for the master volume, 27 buttons, mostly bright.

Analog of COD to VCA, through the VCF, of course! So no D / A. The synthesizer is based on the use of CI Curtis. Digital circuits are used to their exploitation, LFO, the sequencer, the arpeggiator, the memories and MIDI.
8 voices: each voice has 2 DCO, a white noise generator, a low-pass VCF 12 or 24 dB / octave, a VCA, ADSR envelope generators 3 + time (1 attributed to the VCF, a VCA and 1 assignable to that can be completed), 4 LFOs, 4 modulators.
Programs: 2 banks of 128 programs. Each has two sub-programs A and B.
Assignment of the vote (8 leds visualization):
· Mode 8 voice poly (monotimbral) subroutine choice A or B
· Mode stack (monotimbral): superposition of two sounds of the subprogrammes, 4 voice polyphony
· Mode split (bitimbral): 2 keypad zones, a sub-program, 4 voice polyphony zone
· Modes unison: 1 vote (2 tilt), 8 votes (16 tilt!) With 3 levels of detuning
Arpeggiator: up, down, assignable
Sequencer: 16 steps of analog, 4 tracks, adjustable number of steps per track, activated by pressure and keeping notes
· Module COD / White Noise: waveforms triangle, sawtooth, triangle mixed-sawtooth, rectangle with width adjustment from 0 to 99%, PWM, set the mix of COD 2, glide speed for each DCO; hard synchro
VCA · Module: output volume, pan
· LFO: tempo-sync (or its divisions or multiple) and Note, configurable routing
· Module (almost everything can be modulated) source, destination and intensity adjustable, five sources of additional modules: mod wheel, velocity, aftertouch, "breath control", expression pedal
• 2 stereo audio outputs (4 jacks) and main output B (sub-program B)
• 1 stereo headphone
· MIDI in, out, thru; DIN plug "Poly Chain" to connect multiple cascading P8
• 1 expression pedal jack / input CV
• 1 Jack Sustain
· Connection alim. external (13.5 VDC)


First, the keyboard announced as having a semi-weighted keys, it is rather light! Pleasant though. In my opinion, DSI would have done better to offer a more pro keyboard in its SE rather than frills and bright signature of Mr. Dave Smith (whom I respect very much, for that matter).

The overall organization is very clear orders, served by a very well thought out display. In particular, the LCD automatically displays the corresponding parameter in knob that is activated. The top line reminds constantly setting start and press "compare" is used to switch at any time to the original program.
In a traditional organization to one with analog subtractive synthesis, this is not to say simplistic and huge modulation routing capabilities, their management by the four lines of the sequencer, the multiple clock settings for the LFO, the arpeggiator and sequencer bring him versatility. And it's a little trap, the standing invitation to all grind, while exploring the other side is her expressiveness in the game

The positioning of the two wheels can be confusing. I find it very appropriate to the contrary: an invitation to position the left hand near the pots. There are many, is to use them and not get lost in the display pages and other digital keyboards!

The endless pots are not serrated and are sometimes a little improvement, especially for fine adjustments (must be thorough and sometimes it skips several values). Nothing too serious but it will not hope to find a program on the fly during a live performance. However, using the switch "layer B" mode poly 8 voice switches instantly from one subroutine to another, very practical live.

The pan setting returns to adjust the width of distribution of voices in the stereo. This explains the presence of stereo audio outputs so that there is no chorus or delay or any other instrument on board. Why two pairs? To separate out the sounds of the subprogrammes A and B.

The MIDI implementation is extensive. The machine is causing and the operation of most commands will generate a MIDI message.

In conclusion, it is a very nice synth for simple and convenient to use both programming Thurs His many parameters that promise a lot of time to experiment and I do not get bored anytime soon!
Other than that, I would have seen a pro version (rather than SE) with a semi-weighted keyboard really knobs and encoders-notched style from those of the evolver desktop users ... for the bouncing around from scene to scene. For the home studio, it suits me perfectly.


It exudes a general feeling of warmth and beautiful musicality. It is accompanied by a good definition of envelopes that can be very fast, providing a good momentum. The engine is punchy!

The steering is very precise filters. I can not discern differences in sound color from one note to another assignment when the voice is dynamic.
-Mode 24 dB / octave, push the resonance leads to self-oscillation and adjustment halfway monitoring allows the keyboard to "play the filter" with the right notes throughout the entire keyboard. In addition, this setting strongly influences the behavior of the VCF, especially the impression of "definition" of the filter. A reproach mode 24 dB / octave, the resonance control is not enough progressive.
-Mode 12 dB / octave, I am beautiful even if the filter, then adjust the resonance is no longer very effective. Perhaps the nostalgia of old analog synths ...

The accuracy that can be found also in terms of COD can be manhandled by a drift adjustment (5 levels of "slope") to introduce a dose of instability, characteristic of some of his ancestors.

The Prophet '08 is both out of the deep bass, big, fat, flapping, beautiful tablecloths, sounds of "brass" from soft to flashy, percussive sounds and delicate hammered, leads to hell ... and always with a beautiful musicality. In addition, he inherited in part from the next "crazy" and experimental range Evolver ...


With its philosophy based on a button = 1 (except in programming mode the sequencer), the Prophet '08 is nice and easy to use. The enormous potential routing modulations also make a craft far from boring even if does not reach the degree of "tweaking" of the Evolver. It's a real musical instrument "all terrain", a cross between the old analog Prophet and Evolver. Its sound and expressiveness gives him a good character said. Its position among the polyphonic analog is very interesting in view of its price (not the SE version I would describe as unnecessary) and I quickly snapped from its announcement and listening to the first few demos (thank you in passing to Doct).

A publisher / library for Mac and PC is available at www.davesmithinstruments.com (for $ 50, anyway!). It could be useful for immediate visualization of the routing and modulation sequencer tracks 4.

Regarding the extension "poly chain," I can not imagine a stack of Prophet '08 to expand the polyphony but I would not mind the arrival of an expander version. That said, for my current use, I do not feel the need for an extension to 16 votes or more.

My main criticism is that the pots, encoders me look pretty "cheap", I read the same criticism about Polyevolver in a forum. One might regret the absence of FM and ring modulation of COD 2 but it does not seem necessary on this instrument. For cons, I would have enjoyed the presence of a high-pass filter (and why not a filterbank!) And a ribbon controller ...

It's been a while since I wanted to buy a poly synth and now it appears, not too expensive, not bulky, a good pedigree and modern electronics. I appreciate it and for 2 ½ months and if I did not order one I would run!

Dave Smith Instruments Prophet '08 news

Dave Smith Prophet '08 Shipping

Dave Smith Prophet '08 Shipping

Published on 05/12/08
Dave Smith Instruments has announced that their Prophet '08 Synthesizer Module is now shipping.

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