January 2nd, 2014

Dreaming of a Prophet 5


So recently I realised I have never properly listened to or played on some classic synths. One in particular that has caught my fancy recently is by Sequential called the Prophet 5.

I have heard the Pro-One used in lots of Vince Clarke stuff, and know how amazing that synth is, although have never played about on one of those either. The Prophet 5 is a whole other beast.

For some reason, classic synths such as these, I generally and simply put out of mind, in the belief that I would never, ever be able to afford such a beautiful selection of machines. And it is likely for this reason that I have probably not ventured more into the details of their sound.

Recently I have realised that things can come true, and generally do, if we are wise enough to see them and believe in it like we did when we were kids. I think much of the time we tend to grumble about stuff, complain, and ‘act like adults’, even if that means being boring. We say we are kids at heart, but when reality hits home we stand up and be the person we need to be. We tend to get sucked along by the push for this and that, and it can be difficult to stop and try and look at things a little differently. The difficulty comes through even when we think we have worked it out, we realise we haven’t at all, and this whole process starts all over again. The efforts and promises we make to do something, to change, to be better, to save money, to write more music etc, all basically comes around to bite us and we spend the next few weeks justifying it to friends that we changed our mind and yada yada yada (I noticed I yada yada a lot since watching Seinfield)

So, I decided something today, something partially inspired by Andreas Tilliander and his incredible activity in 2013, and specifically his buying only one big piece of equipment that year… in his case an Arp 2600… that I would buy myself a Prophet 5 at the end of the year as a gift to myself for achieving all the things I have set out for myself… which there are many. For me to get this Prophet 5 I basically need to be really excellent this year in many ways… but thinking of that Prophet 5 sat in front of me… wow! what a pay off that would be come December. Just like a kid, or certainly as I did as a kid, I am dreaming of this synth, it will come true… and oddly enough I actually did dream of this synth all last night :)

The clincher for me was being able to hear what I am told is a reasonably accurate software emulation provided by Arturia. As all emulations, having heard and owned some originals, are basically as good as they are able to create to their own platform, i.e. the computer. Those micro details, flaws, characteristics are always lost in emulations, and these are to my experience what make the real deal that more interesting. It is a living thing, it does things it shouldn’t and you build that all important relationship with that thing. I am sorry, I can’t build a god relationship with something that I can delete as easily as I can accidentally. You try accidentally deleting a Prophet 5 sat in your studio.

Anyway… I suggest if you haven’t done so already, to go listen to the Prophet 5, or your favourite synth, and go and get one sometime, someday specific.

So tonights upload is a Nord Modular patch based somewhat on the very interesting configuration of the Oscillators in the Prophet 5. Oscillator B is controlling the filter, and along with some limitations the Prophet 5 enforces, that sounds it creates are ever more sweeter to my ears. Expect many more Prophet 5 based synth sounds.