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#2830177 - 01/22/17 12:07 PM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: dsetto]
dsetto Offline
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Registered: 01/28/15
Posts: 511
Loc: Los Angeles
Is someone willing to give me a synopsis on the differences between the chips between Prophet 6 and Prophet '08?

I've read things like:
Prophet '08:
- "synth on a chip"
- filter & VCA together

Prophet 6:
discrete.

___
What is discrete?
---
I know Voyager's circuit board is larger than a Prophet '08's board.
I know Moog System 15 is larger than Voyager.
I believe the new Model D have larger parts than a Voyager.

Where do the Prophet 6 parts fall into that scheme? I would imagine smaller than new Model D.

--
I assume, the larger the part, the more "discrete", ... the better tone.

---

And then somewhere, there's a connection to less latency. I am talking about latency under 1ms. Not perceptible to most. But, present. And, important to some.

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#2830180 - 01/22/17 12:20 PM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: dsetto]
J. Dan Offline
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Discrete just refers to using individual components (transistors, etc) to build the circuit as opposed to using and integrated circuit (chip). An integrated circuit could theoretically contain the exact same circuit as the one made from discrete components - the advantage being tighter tolerances in manufacturing, lower cost when mass produced, and smaller footprint. I don't know that there is necessarily anything magic about discrete components. Probably more a matter that people happen to prefer some of the historic designs that were discrete compared to others that happen to be IC's. Also, many manufacturers used some of the same chips, so the discrete designs may be more unique.
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#2830182 - 01/22/17 12:26 PM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: J. Dan]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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#2830195 - 01/22/17 01:02 PM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: ElmerJFudd]
matted stump Offline
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Discrete also generally means easier to repair in 20 years. Custom synth chips may not continue to be made after a synth model is discontinued.

Some people claim that discrete sounds bigger and more ballsy because the electron paths are wider than in a complex chip with shrunken gates.

Don't know about that. The original Prophet 5 had 4 custom chips by SSM - a VCO, VCF, VCA, and TG (hardware envelope.) The filter design was new for its time, contained 4 operational transconductance amplifier cells, and was incredibly musical.

The new P6 recreates that filter using matched discrete transistors to recreate those OTA cells.
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#2830208 - 01/22/17 01:28 PM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: matted stump]
J. Dan Offline
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Yeah, there are definitely different levels of flexibility and availability.

At one end of the spectrum, you have synths like Andromeda using ASIC's (application specific integrated circuits). Completely custom made just for them. Expensive to produce, and once they're gone, they're gone.

Then you have chips like SSM and Curtis that, after going out of production, will eventually run out. But they were mass produced and there are a lot of them out there, along with companies who recover them from dead synths. I managed to source some SSM chips to repair my Jupiter 6 some years back. Compared to the ASIC example - cheaper, easier to get, but not customizable.

Then there are those who build the circuits around off-the-shelf OTA's like the CA3080 and LM13600 - not designed specifically for synths. Since they have such a wide range of uses in other applications, they're even cheaper and almost guaranteed not to go out of production.
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Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2830262 - 01/22/17 05:27 PM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: dsetto]
Al Coda Offline
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Originally Posted By: dsetto

I've read things like:
Prophet '08:
- "synth on a chip"
- filter & VCA together


Not only, itīs more,- DCO, filter and VCA together !

You can read it HERE
Itīs a microprocessor controlable chip, so the modifiers/modulation sources can be created in software.

I can buy a single vintage CEM3396 for about EUR 15,-.

Dunno what the reissue (DSI-PA397) costs.
DSI and another company are the only customers.
In large quantities it might cost only 5 bucks or less (just guessing !),- resulting in the basic 16 voices in a REV2 cost less than 100 bucks.

Well, when you have the chips you donīt have the machine assembled and working and there are costs for developement, design and other parts as well,- but you get the idea how itīs possible to sell a 16-voice analog keyboard-synth for less than 2K bucks today.

When realizing a 6-voice analog w/ discrete circuitry and the manufacturer is a small and idealistic boutique one, it will cost about 3.5K bucks.
The Obie OB-X like Relic-6 desktop module from Shearelectronics is such example.

So, DSI/Sequential Prophet-6 and DSI/ Oberheim OB-6, partially using discrete analog circuitry are already good deals for what they do.

Explanation of "discrete" already done by Dan and Moe above.

A.C.

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#2830317 - 01/22/17 09:04 PM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: Al Coda]
dsetto Offline
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Thank you, guys! Great technical info. I'm gonna need a little time to absorb it. It's what I asked for.

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#2830627 - 01/24/17 05:49 AM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: dsetto]
Theo Verelst Offline
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Little remark about the analog chips in synthesizers. It's a certain amount of money to create the chip "plans", and then somehow it's a matter of getting production facility to actually make the chip as well as making sure it functions according to specs. Making a wafer for the chips is expensive. Someone needs to make sure that whole process is (co-) started and properly seen through up to putting the tested chips in a case. The advantage of using analog chips is that there are way smaller differences between the transistors on a chip than between discrete transistors from a box of the same kind. There are chips with only a few transistors on them for this reason. Another essential part for filters and oscillators, capacitors, cannot normally be put on a chip, so at least that is also needed discretely when using chip synth parts.

About the difference between the Rev2 and others: I've taken a little time to download some vids with it it and while contemplating on my final after-after post-processing for a good compromise remix setup for a lot of the A-grade materials I've tested to work with it, I've played some Rev2 (Rev-2 ?) through my setup and that turned out very interesting. Clear matches of the synth sound with the processing and much more smooth, musical and way funkier result!

Anyhow, after the bit of NSF type formulations: I think the P12 is more suitable for the big shows and lots of power in the PA system, but the Rev2 is interesting and also pretty varied.

T.

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#2830780 - 01/24/17 04:21 PM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: Al Coda]
hardware Offline
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Loc: Nashville, TN.
Originally Posted By: Al Coda
Originally Posted By: dsetto

I've read things like:
Prophet '08:
- "synth on a chip"
- filter & VCA together


Not only, itīs more,- DCO, filter and VCA together !

You can read it HERE
Itīs a microprocessor controlable chip, so the modifiers/modulation sources can be created in software.

I can buy a single vintage CEM3396 for about EUR 15,-.

Dunno what the reissue (DSI-PA397) costs.
DSI and another company are the only customers.
In large quantities it might cost only 5 bucks or less (just guessing !),- resulting in the basic 16 voices in a REV2 cost less than 100 bucks.

Well, when you have the chips you donīt have the machine assembled and working and there are costs for developement, design and other parts as well,- but you get the idea how itīs possible to sell a 16-voice analog keyboard-synth for less than 2K bucks today.

When realizing a 6-voice analog w/ discrete circuitry and the manufacturer is a small and idealistic boutique one, it will cost about 3.5K bucks.
The Obie OB-X like Relic-6 desktop module from Shearelectronics is such example.

So, DSI/Sequential Prophet-6 and DSI/ Oberheim OB-6, partially using discrete analog circuitry are already good deals for what they do.

Explanation of "discrete" already done by Dan and Moe above.

A.C.


The Relic 6 is awesome.
The way he can add "Spread" to 2 EGs on the VCF and get that swirl is incredible.
I want that black version and I hate desktop synths.

That's a fantastic sounding synth.
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#2830856 - 01/25/17 05:35 AM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: matted stump]
marczellm Offline
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Originally Posted By: mate stubb
Some people claim that discrete sounds bigger and more ballsy because the electron paths are wider than in a complex chip with shrunken gates.
That sounds like major bullshit.
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#2830860 - 01/25/17 05:57 AM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: marczellm]
RABid Offline
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I'm on the waiting list. Think it is time to sell off many of my other DSI synths and consolidate. The bad thing is the price on older model DSI's tend to fall pretty far. Guess that is an effect of them releasing so many new products.
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#2830864 - 01/25/17 06:10 AM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: marczellm]
DarkyLord Offline
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Registered: 02/10/01
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Loc: Springfield, Virginia
Originally Posted By: marczellm
Originally Posted By: mate stubb
Some people claim that discrete sounds bigger and more ballsy because the electron paths are wider than in a complex chip with shrunken gates.
That sounds like major bullshit.


Could be, but maybe not. Bigger/ballsier sound may result from larger discrete transistors/op amps that can be pushed into saturation which draw more current resulting in more thermal dissipation. More heat can be handled easier by using wider traces, larger parts, local heat sinks etc. But it depends on the specific component spec we're talking about. There are surface mounted parts (i.e. small) that handle larger currents than some discrete parts so it really depends on the design.

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#2830903 - 01/25/17 09:09 AM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: DarkyLord]
matted stump Offline
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Originally Posted By: Markyboard
Originally Posted By: marczellm
Originally Posted By: mate stubb
Some people claim that discrete sounds bigger and more ballsy because the electron paths are wider than in a complex chip with shrunken gates.
That sounds like major bullshit.


Could be, but maybe not. Bigger/ballsier sound may result from larger discrete transistors/op amps that can be pushed into saturation which draw more current resulting in more thermal dissipation. More heat can be handled easier by using wider traces, larger parts, local heat sinks etc.


Exhibit one for those who believe this is the rebuilt Moog Modular. When Gene Stopp recreated it a couple of years ago, he made sure that all the wide paths of the circuit boards were recreated along with the original thru hole packaged components.

He knows a lot more about it than I do. The rebuilt machine sounds every bit as monstrous as the original.
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#2830927 - 01/25/17 11:08 AM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: matted stump]
GhostlySilver Offline
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Originally Posted By: mate stubb


Some people claim that discrete sounds bigger and more ballsy because the electron paths are wider than in a complex chip with shrunken gates.


This reminds me Alexander Dumble's infamous "electrons in a crystal lattice" quote. Luckily for him, his amps are best known for being used by great players (Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, etc.), not for the crystal lattice thing.
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#2830930 - 01/25/17 11:10 AM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: Al Coda]
GhostlySilver Offline
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Originally Posted By: Al Coda

When realizing a 6-voice analog w/ discrete circuitry and the manufacturer is a small and idealistic boutique one, it will cost about 3.5K bucks.
The Obie OB-X like Relic-6 desktop module from Shearelectronics is such example.


Practically deserves its own thread. I hope the kid does well.

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#2831048 - 01/25/17 05:56 PM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: DarkyLord]
dsetto Offline
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Posts: 511
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Markyboard
Originally Posted By: marczellm
Originally Posted By: mate stubb
Some people claim that discrete sounds bigger and more ballsy because the electron paths are wider than in a complex chip with shrunken gates.
That sounds like major bullshit.


Could be, but maybe not. Bigger/ballsier sound may result from larger discrete transistors/op amps that can be pushed into saturation which draw more current resulting in more thermal dissipation. More heat can be handled easier by using wider traces, larger parts, local heat sinks etc. But it depends on the specific component spec we're talking about. There are surface mounted parts (i.e. small) that handle larger currents than some discrete parts so it really depends on the design.


I think there is something going on. I can't assess the validity of this, but I like it's attempt to explain it.

To me, there are two fundamental aspects.
- Timbre
- Response speed

My comparisons are not vast. They mainly include:
- Brief moment on a current Moog Model 15
- Lots of time on a Voyager
- brief moments on a Prophet '08, Prophet 6, OB-6

I've seen the innards of the Voyager, a System 55. Somewhere I remember figuring a Voyager innard is larger than a Prophet '08. And, I believe the current Model D has larger parts than a Voyager.

I know the timbre of a Model 15 was amazing. I know the timbre & responsiveness of the Voyager felt more direct & faster than a Prophet '08. (Very unscientific, and with time in between.) I know the timbre of the OB-6 & Prophet 6 are nice.

So, that's why I've come to the unscientific conclusion that larger parts may lead to more satisfying timbre.
As far as Response Speed - I believe that's a matter of a lack of digital, or slow digital parts.

But, I really have no idea.

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#2831049 - 01/25/17 05:58 PM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: dsetto]
dsetto Offline
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Loc: Los Angeles
So, while I remain intrigued about this - I'm not basing my decision on it. I really want my first polyphonic analog. I'm finally ready for one. And there are great choices today. I'm going for 5 octaves, bi-timbral, plenty of voices, & programmability to explore for a long time. I'm not going for highly refined or high character timbre.

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#2831055 - 01/25/17 06:33 PM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: dsetto]
J. Dan Offline
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Yeah u know it could also just be that discrete components, with wider tolerances, just have more variance. Just like how randomness between oscillators when blended create a "fatter" sound, there could be some of that in okay with filters as well. The imperfections could be what make it sound pleasing. Chips have tighter tolerances and greater repeatability.
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#2831070 - 01/25/17 07:16 PM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: dsetto]
Al Coda Offline
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Originally Posted By: dsetto


... 5 octaves, bi-timbral, plenty of voices, & programmability to explore for a long time.


Youīll need at least 8 voices,- better 12,- for satisfying polyphonic bi-timbrality !

The Oberheim Xpander is 6-voice and 6-part multitimbral.
The advantage is, you can define how many voices will play in the upper and lower parts of the keyboard when creating a 2-part split patch.

But w/ many other synths, when you pressed the DUAL/SPLIT button(s), it was always half of the voices in the lower and the other half of the voices in the upper part of the keyboard.
The only options were setting upper and/or lower parts to monophonic or unison, but you didnīt save any voices for the other part.

In the Xpander there are quasi 6 monophonic synths and in Matrix-12 there are ... well ... 12.

That "Multi-Patch Mode" in Xpander and Matrix-12 was/is really cool īcause you assign the same Single-Patch to as many voices as you want for that timbre and have the other voices for other timbres/patches freely assignable as well.
Different keyboard trigger and voice assignment modes for each part come in addition.

Among other important features, I really miss that kind of access to the single voices in all the new poly-analogues out there, may it be DSI, Sequential or Tom Oberheim stuff.

But they all know how it worked in the past and let us wait now the same way they already did in the past as well.

You get your flagship analogue in snippets ...
This one has only 1 LFO, the next one will get 2 and 3 ENVs instead of only 2 and so on.
Buy 3 or 4 smaller ones before youīll get access to the full featured toy in future.
It might need years until Iīd get again what I already had decades ago.
Possibly I donīt need that anymore then because of age.

But when the renaissance of analog will continue, they all will come w/ reissues of their old big flagship synths, then bundled w/ modern technology FX and some more modulations.
The only question is WHEN.

A.C.

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#2831122 - 01/26/17 02:57 AM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: dsetto]
DarkyLord Offline
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Originally Posted By: dsetto
I'm not going for highly refined or high character timbre.


Then you might also consider a VA. I do think the Rev2 sounded great when I tried it out and may be an excellent choice based on your criteria. Not as deep programming wise as you may want, thus the VA suggestion.

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#2831158 - 01/26/17 06:26 AM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: DarkyLord]
dsetto Offline
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J. Dan, 'wider tolerance->more variance' is an intriguing theory.
AC, thanks. There are lots of synths on the horizon.
Markyboard, I hear you. For my first one - and only one for a long time- if I can, I'm going with DSI's latest practical analog. I think it'll inform me on the observations I've posted here.

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#2831164 - 01/26/17 06:56 AM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: dsetto]
DarkyLord Offline
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Originally Posted By: dsetto
J. Dan, 'wider tolerance->more variance' is an intriguing theory.


Anyone who's been involved with electronic circuit design knows this to make sense from an engineering perspective.

Originally Posted By: dsetto

Markyboard, I hear you. For my first one - and only one for a long time- if I can, I'm going with DSI's latest practical analog. I think it'll inform me on the observations I've posted here.


I think you will be quite pleased. One thing often overlooked is the keybed which can make or break the experience. The Rev2 uses the Fatar Tp9/s which has a fantastic feel and response to velocity and after touch.

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#2831338 - 01/26/17 05:06 PM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: DarkyLord]
dsetto Offline
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Registered: 01/28/15
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Loc: Los Angeles
I appreciate good keybeds. I'm tuned in to keyboard manufacturers that use them. It's part of my purchase-radar stats.

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#2831728 - 01/28/17 12:12 PM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: dsetto]
Spotting Jonah Offline
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Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: dsetto
I appreciate good keybeds. I'm tuned in to keyboard manufacturers that use them. It's part of my purchase-radar stats.


Couldn't agree more. I've returned great sounding synths because the keybed was horrible.
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#2836531 - 02/17/17 08:46 PM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: Spotting Jonah]
Spotting Jonah Offline
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Loc: Northern California
Am I seeing things, or did DSI just switch out the first look of the REV2, ominously absent any reference to the name "Prophet", and replace it with a very prominent "Prophet" name on it?
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#2836532 - 02/17/17 08:51 PM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: Spotting Jonah]
Spotting Jonah Offline
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http://www.emusician.com/Portals/3/StandardImage/REV2_Front-Angle.jpg

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/REV2-16

I wonder if that was always planned, or a response to feedback. Anyone know the back story?
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#2836541 - 02/17/17 09:59 PM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: Spotting Jonah]
count doerflera Offline
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at least it still has 5 octaves. thu
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#2836611 - 02/18/17 07:42 AM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: count doerflera]
joegerardi Offline
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Originally Posted By: davedoerfler
at least it still has 5 octaves. thu


And thank God for that!

..Joe
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#2862177 - 06/22/17 05:31 AM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: joegerardi]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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#2862179 - 06/22/17 06:14 AM Re: DSI Rev 2 [Re: ElmerJFudd]
RudyS Offline
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A, coincidence. I was just hit by a GAS attack and checking youtube clips of the REV 2. My piano teacher had the original P08, and I always found it a bit static somehow. Maybe it's my imagination, but on the clips the P08 sounds better. Might also be the effects.

That bladerunner patch n the clip above however doesn't give me the shivers as the original.
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