Dave Smith Reimagines the Prophet 5 Synthesizer
By James Grahame
Back in the late 1970s, the distinctive sound of the Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 synthesizer graced nearly every pop album. It was the first programmable polyphonic synth, capable of playing a whopping five notes simultaneously. It was also unbelievably expensive, retailing for almost five thousand dollars.
Company founder Dave Smith released a range of groundbreaking instruments throughout the 1980s before jumping successfully into the world of software synthesis. The software market quickly became overcrowded, and he opened a new boutique synthesizer company called Dave Smith Instruments a few years later. His hybrid digital/analog Evolver series earned rave reviews, and everyone thought that a drum machine would be the next product to see the light of day.
We were wrong -- Dave had a surprise up his sleeve. The new Prophet 08 analog synthesizer was developed in almost complete secrecy. It offers a 5 octave keyboard, eight analog voices featuring genuine Curtis analog lowpass filter chips and digitally-controlled analog oscillators (DCOs) and a glorious front panel that offers 52 knobs, almost two dozen buttons, and oodles of blinky LEDs. It retails for $2199, available now. [thanks for the tip, John!]