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DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation

DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« on: November 16, 2015, 09:27:53 PM »
DSI has fairly dominated the last few NAMMs with fabulous new instruments.  This year, the closest thing we know of to a new product will be the Prophet 6 Module.  But of course, it's no longer really new, nor could it have occupied the company's R+D since the Prophet 6 Keyboard appeared.  So, what else might be up DSI's sleeve for this winter?  I would expect another module to appear soon, as the company branches out into modular instruments.  Perhaps one day we'll even see a cabinet.  But what's most tantalizing to the imagination is the recent retiring of those five instruments all at once.  It leaves DSI with only one mono synth - the Pro 2; which begs the question, will DSI soon produce another item from the Sequential side of things - specifically, a monophonic synthesizer?  After all, the "Prophet One" name is still available.  That's what I expect in the near future.  Any other guesses?
« Last Edit: November 19, 2015, 07:43:13 AM by Sacred Synthesis »

chysn

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Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2015, 04:26:44 AM »
Of course, the Prophet One is the thing that I want to see.

Other than that, I think it's time for DSI Modular to get serious and put up a complete modular starter package with a "classic" DSI DCO, a snappy EG, and a digital multi-LFO module. It would basically be, "Yeah, there is no more Mopho. Here, build your own damn Mopho."
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Moog Little Phatty w/ CV Outs, Arturia MicroBrute, KMI QuNexus
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Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Razmo

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Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2015, 05:16:25 AM »
I'd still like to see a hybrid sample-oscillator polysynth from DSI... Maybe even one that will allow for user wavetable technology as well, as that would be rather simple to implement in a sample-oscillator synth as well... Waldorf obviously has no intention of creating one that is a hybrid... they rely on 100% digital for that, and have since the Microwave.

Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2015, 08:13:32 AM »
To help illustrate things, I decided to list the current instruments (w/o the retired models):

Prophet-6 Keyboard
Prophet-6 Desktop
Prophet 12 Keyboard
Prophet 12 Desktop
Pro 2
Tempest
Prophet '08 Keyboard
Prophet '08 Desktop
Mopho x4
DSM01 Curtis Filter Module
DSM02 Character Module

Those are 5 synth engines in the higher price range (Prophet 12, Prophet-6, Pro 2, Prophet '08, and Tempest), one clearly affordable 4-voice polysynth in the medium price range, and two Eurorack modules.

Taking into account that the prices of the Prophet '08 Keyboard and Module, the Prophet 12 Module, and the Mopho x4 have been lowered recently, one could be tempted to assume that those will be next on the retirement list - minus the Prophet 12 Module. At this point, that's of course pure speculation. Nevertheless, the Prophet '08's DCO engine (up to the Mopho x4) is the second oldest one DSI came up with, which seems to make it logical that this line of instruments is going to be next in line.
This allows for two conclusions: First of all, it's certain that DSI has now a gap in terms of low priced gear. Secondly, DSI might soon be left with only hybrid instruments, plus the Tempest. From that point of view it seems likely that further analog engines will be exclusively developed under the banner Sequential.

Either way, since both brands - DSI and Sequential - have to be kept organized in tandem, I wouldn't expect an immediate replacement for each of the five retired instruments, simply because of logistical restraints.

What I could imagine is also a monosynth based on the Prophet-6. Other options include a couple of more Eurorack modules. The Pro 2's oscillators come to my mind (I'm mentioning these exclusively because of the 13 Superwaves) as well as maybe some kind of sequencer module.
Other than that, I could definitely imagine entry level synths that are based on the Prophet-12's/Pro 2's architecture, but I have no clue what these could look like. Maybe, just maybe, a desktop version of the Pro 2 might still happen one day although I couldn't see the benefits if it's not approximately the same size as the Prophet-6 Desktop (i.e. Pro 2 minus the keyboard). Otherwise its whole appeal would be lost, and who would like to menu dive to enter the sequencer mode for example (that includes the option to record the automation of certain parameters on the fly for which you need a couple of knobs at hand instantly)?

All in all, though, these are all ideas based on already existing engines. Mainly because I can't imagine DSI/Sequential to release yet another flagship synth by early spring. If they would do so, it had to be something entirely different from the Prophet 12 and the Prophet-6. Given the developements in the Eurorack scene, the options for a new engine are countless. It would have to make sense as a stand alone synth though and be worth more than the sum of its parts. But I'm also confident that DSI/Sequential is able to surprise us with something we might not even expect them to do.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 08:16:47 AM by Paul Dither »
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2015, 08:43:17 AM »
I, too, wouldn't expect to see a new flagship for some time.  The higher end seems to be well-provided for with the P12 and P6, but I would expect to eventually see a full-sized Sequential instrument that surpasses the P6.  I think in the near future we'll see a mid-range instrument or two, perhaps even a four-voice Sequential keyboard.  But I most expect a mono synth.  It's NAMM that is of greatest interest right now.

As for the Prophet '08, I shudder at the thought of it being discontinued, although the day is surely approaching.  But I have DSI's word that it will not be soon.  Now could some one give me DSI's definition of "soon"?  :'(
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 08:50:35 AM by Sacred Synthesis »

Razmo

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Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2015, 09:34:43 AM »
Well... it seems logical, that something will be build on the P6 voice architecture later... otherwise DSI would not have made separate voice-boards for the P6... I bet they have plans on using these boards for other products as well... if not I do not see any reason to make them into small voiceboards in the first place... but one thing we can be certain off, is that we'll see new bells and whistles... even if it's a simple replacement 1-voice P6 to replace the now obsolete Mopho.

Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2015, 09:57:14 AM »
But one thing we can be certain off, is that we'll see new bells and whistles... even if it's a simple replacement 1-voice P6 to replace the now obsolete Mopho.

I think folks would be quite happy to see such an instrument.  It seems inevitable at this point.  We might as well place our orders now!

Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2015, 10:31:23 AM »
Great analysis, Paul Dither! I too agree that there is a lack in low cost instrument product range for DSI (and Sequential if that is an issue at all). So I hope that Dave and his team do not continue the sequential process of making one highly priced flagship instrument after another. But I do hope DSI and Sequential will continue to make more flagship instruments in the future as the market need that. Just please not every time!

Also I hope that DSI will not make any more monophonic instruments. You may ask: Why!? Well the front panel have a significant cost in itself and by having more voices the instrument gets a better price/performance rating. So my suggestion is that they make a duophonic instead of a monophonic instrument complete with layers and stack/split modes as this allows for stereo panned sounds as well as the usual stack/split use cases.

When it comes to the actual voice features in the coming NAMM candy one just have to guess. DSI have surprised us before and will hopefully do so again. So that could very well happen again next NAMM too! The rumor goes that Moog is on its way with a Minimoog Model D reissue. That will surely attract some attention. Wonder how the new thing made by DSI/Sequential will compare on the attention attraction front.

Maybe it could be time for a DSI instrument with a new multi-mode filter? My current dream is a state-interpolating multi-mode filter similar to what Modal 002/001 got just with free choice of filter mode for each of the three mode positions being interpolated between (similar to oscillator shapes on Prophet 12 and Pro 2). Would be a cool machine!

Dave have in recent instrument announcement videos talked about audio rate CV computation. Cool! So lets see more digital modulation features inspired from the modular world to allow for more expressive voices than what DSI instruments have provided before. The Oberheim Xpander needs a modern day update!

Anyway, you guessed it! Yet Another Voice Architecture Rant (TM). Sorry! 8) But maybe I could just manage to mention the need for multi-timbral features as well as the need for both analog and digital oscillators in the same voice. ;)

An interesting discussion is the price range it would make sense for DSI to offer products in. Look at recent years: Tempest, Prophet 12, Pro 2 and Prophet-6 (with the Mopho reissues deliberately omitted). None of these are exactly affordable machines. Could we expect DSI and Sequential to continue in the higher priced range only or would it make sense for them to make low/mid cost instruments too? Is the lower cost desktop module a dead end? What is the lowest price it would make sense for DSI and Sequential offer products for?

Well, only time will tell. Market positioning is an intricate art! Just hope we are not looking at a new line of jewels.
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Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2015, 10:41:21 AM »
Also I hope that DSI will not make any more monophonic instruments. You may ask: Why!? Well the front panel have a significant cost in itself and by having more voices the instrument gets a better price/performance rating. So my suggestion is that they make a duophonic instead of a monophonic instrument complete with layers and stack/split modes as this allows for stereo panned sounds as well as the usual stack/split use cases.

That would be an excellent idea, and it would offer an alternative to the very expensive Oberheim Two-Voice Pro.

Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2015, 10:47:13 AM »
I, too, wouldn't expect to see a new flagship for some time.  The higher end seems to be well-provided for with the P12 and P6, but I would expect to eventually see a full-sized Sequential instrument that surpasses the P6.

That might take a while. The Prophet-6 is still fairly new and sells rather well, especially if you take into account its price tag. An instrument that would surpass it would also (have to) be quite expensive. And unless instruments like the Modal Electronics 008 are not becoming part of the mainstream, I can't really see that happening. After all, you can already have a 12-voice Prophet for $4,998. I would situate a Prophet-6 with roughly the same modulation options like the Prophet '08 in between that price and the price of a single Prophet-6 Keyboard, but definitely not below $3,000. But why would Sequential be killing off its flagship? - To be honest, the latter is the main reason I don't expect anything like that to happen, at least not within the next three years.

As for the Prophet '08, I shudder at the thought of it being discontinued, although the day is surely approaching.  But I have DSI's word that it will not be soon.  Now could some one give me DSI's definition of "soon"?  :'(

"Soon" would be Winter NAMM 2016. I would at least expect the Prophet '08 to make it through the next year, since I'd still imagine it to be quite popular, especially at its current price. Nevertheless, I interpret the latest retirement series as a way to start giving the DCO synths the count.
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2015, 10:55:21 AM »
But I have DSI's word that it will not be soon.  Now could some one give me DSI's definition of "soon"?  :'(

Well there are two options here:
(1) Maybe someone got a good offer for that extra Prophet 08 module that you need?
(2) Or maybe a new instrument would make you prefer to combine your Prophet 08's with this new module?

I would not worry here at the the state of synthesizer voices progresses over time and a new Curtis chip machine with more and better sounding oscillators could be a perfect match for your existing Prophet 08 setup.

That would be an excellent idea, and it would offer an alternative to the very expensive Oberheim Two-Voice Pro.

Thereby entering the strong fundamentals versus modulation options discussion again. I would love for DSI to make strong fundamental machines with plenty of modulation options.

A good argument for having layers in a two-voice is that the work required by making a poly from a duo or the other way around will be less as all the basic voice features already exists and are more or less ready to use in the next instrument with the same voice architecture. The simpler it is for DSI to make lower cost desktop modules the more likely its going to happen. The Prophet 12 module user interface layout also shows a good direction for such modules front panel. In other words there are plenty of good technical as well as musical reasons for duophonic rather than monophonic instruments.
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Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2015, 10:57:49 AM »
That might take a while. The Prophet-6 is still fairly new and sells rather well, especially if you take into account its price tag. An instrument that would surpass it would also (have to) be quite expensive. And unless instruments like the Modal Electronics 008 are not becoming part of the mainstream, I can't really see that happening. After all, you can already have a 12-voice Prophet for $4,998. I would situate a Prophet-6 with roughly the same modulation options like the Prophet '08 in between that price and the price of a single Prophet-6 Keyboard, but definitely not below $3,000. But why would Sequential be killing off its flagship? - To be honest, the latter is the main reason I don't expect anything like that to happen, at least not within the next three years.

As for the Prophet '08, I shudder at the thought of it being discontinued, although the day is surely approaching.  But I have DSI's word that it will not be soon.  Now could some one give me DSI's definition of "soon"?  :'(

"Soon" would be Winter NAMM 2016. I would at least expect the Prophet '08 to make it through the next year, since I'd still imagine it to be quite popular, especially at its current price. Nevertheless, I interpret the latest retirement series as a way to start giving the DCO synths the count.

Remember that Dave is good for a few surprises; he's not that predictable.  A couple of those Mopho keyboards surprised us, and the Prophet 6 certainly did as well.  So, the Prophets 6 and 12 may not always be the top of the DSI line.

Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2015, 10:58:45 AM »
An interesting discussion is the price range it would make sense for DSI to offer products in. Look at recent years: Tempest, Prophet 12, Pro 2 and Prophet-6 (with the Mopho reissues deliberately omitted). None of these are exactly affordable machines. Could we expect DSI and Sequential to continue in the higher priced range only or would it make sense for them to make low/mid cost instruments too? Is the lower cost desktop module a dead end? What is the lowest price it would make sense for DSI and Sequential offer products for?

Only an insight into their accounting could answer that. I'd interpret it as a matter of confidence though, if they start to focus more on pricier products; just like Modal Electronics, who simply say something like "we make real instruments for real musicians and that has its price." - It takes a bit of risk to embrace that sort of niche. On the other hand, it has always been part of DSI's image to also appear like an affordable manufacturer, which was even highlighted when the reduced prices for the Prophet '08 Keyboard and Module, the Prophet 12 Module, and the Mopho x4 were announced. In that regard, I wouldn't necessarily expect them to get rid of more affordable instruments for good.
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2015, 11:03:20 AM »
Remember that Dave is good for a few surprises; he's not that predictable.

Same thought here! So we just have to sit back and wait for the NAMM fun (and noise candy).

The process is probably best described by their own words:
https://twitter.com/dsiSequential/status/559271256092971009

. o O ( sounds like Carson )
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 12:22:35 PM by dslsynth »
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Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2015, 11:03:29 AM »
Remember that Dave is good for a few surprises; he's not that predictable.  A couple of those Mopho keyboards surprised us, and the Prophet 6 certainly did as well.  So, the Prophets 6 and 12 may not always be the top of the DSI line.

Sure. I just don't expect another flagship this soon, that's all. There's still plenty of stuff to cover for DSI/Sequential, though, and Razmo already pointed in one direction.
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2015, 11:09:00 AM »
Dave's business model seems to be to build whatever he wants and whenever he wants to!  It sounds reckless, but it's a bit refreshing.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 11:11:31 AM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2015, 11:17:04 AM »
In that regard, I wouldn't necessarily expect them to get rid of more affordable instruments for good.

Fingers crossed!

I hope that DSI will one day return to the low voice count duophonic/polyphonic desktop module business though I could be worried that Dave just wants to continue the jewel direction.

And then there is this discussion about modern multi-dimensional controllers which basically require a multi-timbral polyphonic synthesizer. So if DSI wants to be the preferred supplier of analog voices for such controllers they better start thinking about implementing multi-timbral features soon! That market is growing. KMI recently announced this interesting product allowing guitar players intricate control over individual synthesizer voices:
http://www.keithmcmillen.com/labs/stringport-2/

Only promising event is the complete surprise of supporting the MIDI Tuning Standard in Prophet-6 and later Prophet-12. That was a pretty good idea to move in that direction! Even one voice per channel multi-timbral would be great!
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Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2015, 11:22:18 AM »
Dave's business model seems to be to build whatever he wants and whenever he wants to!  It sounds reckless, but it's a bit refreshing.

Well, Dave is a design artist. His just expresses himself in terms of synthesizers rather than other forms of spatial and/or temporal expression.
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Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2015, 11:47:03 AM »
And then there is this discussion about modern multi-dimensional controllers which basically require a multi-timbral polyphonic synthesizer. So if DSI wants to be the preferred supplier of analog voices for such controllers they better start thinking about implementing multi-timbral features soon! That market is growing. KMI recently announced this interesting product allowing guitar players intricate control over individual synthesizer voices:
http://www.keithmcmillen.com/labs/stringport-2/

In the podium discussion with Roger Linn and Tom Oberheim at this year's Gear Fest (by Sweetwater), Dave made it clear that he's primarily interested in the traditional keyboard controller, as it doesn't require any re-learning process. So unless he doesn't take a sudden 180 degree turn, I wouldn't expect anything in that direction.
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

Razmo

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Re: DSI at NAMM 2016 Speculation
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2015, 12:08:21 PM »
For some reason, Dave seems to enjoy making new itterations of his older popular synths... he always says that he do not want to do what he allready did, so he simply reuse the names a bit... the word "Prophet" has been overused in my opinion... but that may hint that he could once again create a new old one... and Sequential has made a sampler in the past... Prophet 2000 I think it was called? ... I can only hope that he'll be doing something with samples at some point... he also has the Wavestation on his list of achievements... if KORG would allow it, I'm sure he could end up making a new hybrid Wavestation or something similar... sample oscillators is the only thing Dave has not revisited with the exeption of the Tempest, but that's for a totaly different use.

I'm not saying that's eventualy what he will create... I just HOPE it will be because I'd really like to create sounds with small looped snippets of sampled waveforms, run through analog filters and VCA's.

But other than that... I really don't care what he's up to... it's usualy exiting anyway, and I REALLY do not need more GAS right now  ;D