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. The Studio 440 was the first sampling drum machine and The Prophet 2000 was one of the first affordable digital samplers. Who can forget the amazing Prophet T8 with it's weighted keys and classic Prophet sound. But perhaps their most innovative instrument (and one of my favorite synths) turned out to be one of their last products produced, The Prophet VS digital synthesizer.
The Prophet 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 very unique. The Prophet also included a very small amount of RAM that you can use to load in your own samples via the Midi sample dump standard. The OS revision of a VS can be checked during power up. Version 1.2 is the last update.
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. The VS rack can sell for double that since it's considered by many to be the "Holy Grail" of synthesizers and less then 1000 were made making it a rare instrument. If you don't have that kind of cash to spend on an original Prophet VS, 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 Prophet V is a very clever virtual synth that combines the Prophet 5 and Prophet VS into one virtual instrument. The software has received great reviews for its sound quality compared to the original Prophet's 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.
Prophet VS Rack
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. Several members of the Sequential team became part of the Korg R&D department and Dave Smith consulted with Korg at this time. As a result the Korg Wavestation synthesizer, which included Vector Synthesis was born. Sequential was bought by Yamaha and Vector Synthesis technology also went into Yamaha's SY-22 and TG-33 although it never sounded as good as it does in the Prophet VS.
Our Prophet VS 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 VS 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.