My Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 6 Synthesizer Review
About Dave Smith Instruments
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.
My Initial Thoughts
If you ever had the pleasure of using Prophet 5, then you would automatically know that this new synth from Dave Smith is a standing ovation to it.
However, while I expected it to have similar functions, Prophet 6 excels when it comes to analog sounds and high-quality controls.
The final product is an incredible analog synthesizer that represents fantastic value for money.
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Feel, Specifications, Dimensions, and Integrations
Even though Prophet 5 opened the doors to a variety of musical options, this synth still lacked a few key features that are a must nowadays.
However, Dave Smith integrated them into Prophet 6, meaning that the final product is a better value for money than its predecessors.
It has similarities with the previous model, but there are a few features that stand out.
Apart from voltage-controlled oscillators and amplifier, they enhanced the sound while making this model.
Furthermore, it surprised me when I discovered how much the newly added studio effects contribute to the melody.
When it comes to the design, you are looking at a complex instrument that wants you to play it right away.
I had a few issues along the way while I was still getting to know all the features.
However, the manual it comes with offers easy instructions, so even a beginner would know how to use it.
Advanced Features and Performance
This is a polysynth that comes with six voices, meaning you are going to have a lot of fun customizing the tunes.
There are also two VCOs per voice, and unlike the previous model, they are entirely new.
Dave Smith did not want just to integrate the older versions, so they built a new one instead.
Regarding memories, there are 500 fixed and another 500 which you can overwrite.
Once I got Prophet 6, I immediately started reading the manual.
It is not too difficult to use, but it has many functions, and that might confuse a beginner at first.
However, once you get going, it proves to be an outstanding synth that rarely appears on the market.
I especially love how they integrated the oscillators in this instrument, and how you can easily adjust the waveforms to your liking.
One thing that might surprise an analog enthusiast is the fact that Prophet 6 is not entirely built that way.
There are some digital additions, like the ADSR contours and the LFO. However, when it comes to the sound, it still offered a powerful result every time I used it.
Furthermore, the fact that this instrument does not contain complicated menus was fantastic to me. It is sometimes too much, even for an advanced user.
Having a more straightforward interface helped me concentrate more on the music and less on the technical parts.
Pros & Cons of Prophet 6
It is a simple model that offers a fantastic sound with ease
The sounds are smooth and classic, but not outdated
It comes with six voices; has many opportunities to customize
This is not a synth for you if you crave for more digital sounds
It comes with a four-octave keyboard - less than the previous models
Might be a bit too simple for experienced sound designers who require more options
My Final Thoughts
Although Prophet 6 has many similarities with the Prophet 5, it is still a valuable piece of equipment to have in your arsenal.
The instrument is well-made, sturdy, and features a modern twist to the classic design.
Apart from that, it will not limit you too much when it comes to your creativity, so you will be able to create fantastic melodies while using it.