Sequential Circuits created many innovative products during their ten year run from 1977 to 1987. Their first synthesizer, the Prophet-5 was the first programmable synth. That meant that you could actually store sounds in the synths memory and recall them with the push of a button. Very primitive by todays standards, but back in the day it was a big deal. It's been used by everyone from Peter Gabriel to Philip Glass and is one of the true classic synths that came out of the 70's.
Perhaps their most innovative instrument - and one of my favorite synths, turned out to be one of their last products produced, The Prophet VS. The VS used Vector Synthesis as its revolutionary new means of sound creation. It uses a total of four oscillators per voice with 127 waveforms (32 user) and waveform crossfading using the joystick. The Prophet VS included 96 waveforms which were all 12-bit samples. Four of these waveforms are assigned to the oscillator slots and they are then processed by an analogue signal path, with low-pass filters based on the Curtis chips; the same that were used in the Prophet 5. The hybrid of digital and analogue helped make the Prophet VS sound unique.
The Original Prophet-5 & Prophet VS
The Prophet 5 was my first synthesizer. I bought a used Revision 1 in 1979 that had serial number #101 - which was in fact the very first Prophet 5 offered for sale to the public. The first 100 were beta machines and taken by employes and friends from Sequential Circuits. It had an amazing sound, but never worked right due to the unreliable SSM oscillator and filter chips installed in it. As soon as the unit heated up it would turn off. Sometimes it came back on, sometimes not. I can't tell you how many times I had to ship it out to Sequential to be repaired, but the staff at Sequential got to know me so well that they practically gave me a new Prophet 2000 when it was released just to make up for all the problems that I had with the Rev 1 - Prophet 5!
Original Prophets still command a high price and when one gets offered for sale it usually sells for a least $1000. US dollars - depending on the condition. So many musicians were very happy to see Arturia release a virtual software version of the Prophet 5 and Prophet VS known as the Prophet V. It has all the original parameters as the original Prophets and even a very cool "Hybrid Mode" where you can combine all the functions of both Prophets into one very awesome synth!
I've owed several different Prophet's over the last 30 years and still have a Prophet VS rack in our studio - which continues to get lots of use. So for us, programming a Prophet is like riding a bicycle - you never forget how to do it! The collection of sounds that we have programmed for the Arturia V collection is done with expert care from someone who knows the Prophet 5 and VS very well - so you can be sure that the sounds are well crafted and sound great.
One of the great things about the Prophet V is that you can import sysex files that were programmed on the original Prophets. We then took our original Prophet 5 and Prophet VS sound collections and imported the best patches to use as a starting point. The patches were then tweaked using the new Prophet V parameters. We made good use of the added modulation routings as well as the new delay and chorus effects using the joystick and aftertouch - none of which were on the original synths. Included are 40 Prophet 5 Patches, 40 Prophet VS Patches and 20 new Hybrid mode sounds which bring this collection to an amazing new level in virtual analog sound. The results are outstanding.
Our Prophet V Collection is available as a download via our free e-mail delivery. Just open the file in your Arturia software and your ready to roll! Pick the Mac or PC "patches" format when ordering online at our web site. Please contact us if you need any more info.