With all the incredible synthesizers now on the market and more and more being released each year many younger musicians may not realize that up until 1978 you could not store any patches in your synthesizers memory. That all changed when Sequential Circuits released the groundbreaking Prophet 5 synthesizer. In 1978 Dave Smith, former Moog clinician John Bowen, and businesswoman Barbara Fairhurst, the staff of Sequential Circuits, presented the first barely working prototype of the Prophet 5 at the winter NAMM show. The Prophet was also one of the first polyphonic synthesizers and could play up to five notes at the same time. Very primitive by todays standards, but back in 1978 it was truly 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.
On a personal note, the Prophet 5 was my first synthesizer. I bought a used Revision 1 in 1979 and actually 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!
In 1983 Sequential was still making the Prophet and the Rev 3's now had Midi included and were much more reliable due to the Curtis chips that they were now installing. I bought one and used it to create the sounds now being offered for sale, but the sound of the Rev 3 was not nearly as good as the earlier models so I wound up selling it to purchase a Rev 2. I used the Rev 2 for many years in the studio and finally sold it when I could no longer maintain it. It just got to a point where it was not worth the upkeep any more. Sad, but true. I still miss it.
1977 - Glory Days at Sequential
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. If you don't have that kind of cash to spend on an original Prophet 5, the software company Arturia makes a virtual software version of the Prophet known as the Prophet V. We have also produced a great set of sounds for the Arturia Prophet V that uses the best of our original Prophet VS sounds, Prophet 5 sounds and more! The software has received great reviews for its sound quality compared to the original Prophet although IMO I've yet to hear a virtual analog instrument which actually sounds as good as the original. That's the reason why original analog instruments (with all their faults) still sell for a very high price. Native Instruments has also released the "Pro-53" software synth which is also a virtual version of the Prophet. Dave Smith Instruments in order to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Prophet have developed the Prophet '08, an 8-voice analog synthesizer.
Sequential Circuits went out of business in 1987 and a small group of ex-Sequential employees formed Wine Country Productions in an effort to provide after market support for all Sequential Circuits products. Wine Country Productions acquired the entire remaining Sequential stock, technical documentation, software, and spare parts. Since that time, Wine Country Productions Inc. has provided spare parts, technical service, and operational support for the entire line of Sequential Circuits instruments so you if have an old prophet that needs parts that's the place to go to.
Our Prophet 5 Sounds are available as system exclusive or standard midi files. They are also compatible with the Arturia Prophet V. We have also done extensive sampling of the Prophet over the years and many of the sounds are available in WAV, Akai, Reason or Kontakt formats so it's the next best thing if you don't happen to have a vintage Prophet in your collection. Just click on the above "catalog" link to get to our main catalog where you can find everything. Our sounds will also get you back in business if your Prophet's battery has died and you lost all the sounds in the memory. If you need any more info please contact us via phone or e-mail.