My Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12 Synthesizer Review

About Dave Smith Instruments

Co​​​​mpany Details

DSI is helmed by legendary instrument designer Dave Smith, the original founder of Sequential Circuits in the mid-1970s. 

Dave designed the Prophet-5, the world’s first fully-programmable synthesizer and the first musical instrument with an embedded microprocessor.

Dave Smith Instruments Website

My Initial Thoughts

Dave Smith did the world of synths a favor when he released Prophet 12 on the market.

Regarding digital vs. analog, this is a perfect example of how both types can work together.

The end product is something extraordinary and unique in the music industry.

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Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12 Polyphonic Synthesizer
4 Reviews
Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12 Polyphonic Synthesizer
  • Designed from 35 years of master synth...
  • Twelve voices, highest polyphony of any...
  • Knob-per-function interface makes sound...

Feel, Specifications, Dimensions, and Integrations

In terms of the overall design, I was impressed when I saw Prophet 12.

There are many synths on the market that might look similar to it.

However, when you compare them to this instrument, they kind of look like a child's synth, to be honest.

This is a fantastic looking synth that weighs a bit more than you would expect it.

Even though it features a slim design, and it comes with a wooden trim, it is tightly packed.

Therefore, it is not something you can easily carry around with you - unless you do not mind lunging almost 12 kilograms with you on gigs.

When it comes to sounds, the fact that it comes with twelve of them is an extraordinary feat.

You rarely see so many opportunities on the market, and that can inspire many aspiring musicians from the start.

This is a hybrid analog/digital synth, but do not expect it to sound like the other ones.

Frankly, the sound of this instrument would sell it to practically anyone on the spot.

However, it does have some similarities with previous Prophet models.

It features a digital front, as well as an analog signal path.

While this may sound a bit complicated to the beginners, you do not have to worry.

Dave Smith made sure that it features a user-friendly layout, and that makes it really worth the money.

There are more than fifty knobs and buttons that allow you to experiment while creating incredible sounds.

It makes up for the fact that it might have a learning curve at the beginning - in the end, it is worth it.

There are five DSP-based oscillators for each of the voices, as well as five digital effects.

These are of exceptional quality, and they added a nice touch to the sequences I was making.

Furthermore, the arpeggiator is much more sophisticated than in other models.

Advanced Features and Performance

It would be hard to say that this synth did not meet my expectations.

There are very few flaws and many advantages.

The fact that it marries two six-voice synths into two different layers makes all the difference, even for people who have already tried other instruments similar to this one.

The thing that impressed me the most is the fact that I have access to almost everything from the control panel.

Some models usually have complicated front parts that make me reach for the manual often.

However, this is not the case with Prophet 12.

Pros & Cons of Prophet 12


This is a highly efficient synth that represents the best of both digital and analog worlds

You can create pretty much any sound with it, and each one turns out wonderfully

The interface is intuitive, and it does not require much practice


It does not come with dual manuals like other DSI models, it might be a bit difficult to get used to for beginners

The keyboard could be better quality, especially considering the price range

It is a bulky instrument - it might be challenging to carry it around with you

My Final Thoughts

It is no wonder Dave Smith feels that this is a prime flagship product for his company.

While Prophet 12 may lack in some details, it makes up for it by giving its users a fantastic sound and multiple functions.

In addition to that, it enhanced my creativity in the best way possible, meaning you can expect it to be a fabulous addition to your studio.

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