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The Prophet '08 Among Prophets

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #340 on: April 20, 2017, 02:22:31 AM »

Your post, Sacred Synthesis, reflects exactly my personal reception (and sort of analysis) of Your recordings. Your interest in "sacred and classical" music makes You use sophisticated polyphonics. "Sophisticated" is not meant however in terms of modern Jazz, but that thing deliberately used by the composers of classical european music.
BTW: Characterising myself as a modern Jazz afficionado (and musician), Johann Sebastian Bach is definitely one of my favourite musicians of all times. Back to sound programming...
Although slop may be used in orchestral sounds, it has to be handled - at least in my personal opinion - with care: The typical 70's string machines as e.g. (ARP) Solina sound good in their own right, but neither are real string sounds nor can be used as such (in the way You described e.g. reed sounds). One of the main reasons to my ears is: slop!
This normally results in too much swirling and may even change dignity into ridiculousness, which may or may not be wanted...

Slop in my opinion is heavily needed and used by musicians striving for typical lead sounds. This mostly means monophonic lines, even if sometimes supported by "some other note". If needed at all, harmonic complexity will be achieved by contrast between the lead line and the fellow musicians. Used like this, slop in many cases will make the sound become more prevalent, which of course is a good thing for lead lines.

At least this is just the opinion of


Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #341 on: April 20, 2017, 06:29:07 AM »
Yes, I'd agree with your statements about the use of Slop.  It certainly has its uses in the world of contemporary music and soloing, but not within my type of music - among other reasons, because I'm never trying to emulate an old analog synthesizer with unstable oscillators.  I couldn't get far enough away from the sound of unstable oscillators!

I've many times tried to incorporate Slop into my sounds, but even the least amount causes the opposite effect I'm after.  For example, perhaps the most electronic-sounding tuning of two oscillators is heard when the two become very closely tuned, so that the beating is almost stopped.  The beating then sounds as a slow twisting phase - not in the least bit smooth or warm, and exceedingly electronic-sounding.  Even when using a setting of "1," Slop will eventually move your oscillator tuning of "3" to "5" to a "1," thus creating that most electronic-sounding effect.  This has ruined a few otherwise decent organ patch recordings I've made.

This doesn't mean I can't ever use a second oscillator tuned to a "1" setting.  No, I do so all the time; that's my usual setting for monophonic patches.  But I often lower the volume of the second oscillator so that the beating is softened and the tone sounds more natural.  My object is to find the middle ground in which no sound is static - since the acoustical environment always contributes some effect - but neither is the sound overly modulated, especially in a way that draws undue attention to the modulation.  This is one reason, by the way, that parameter increments on a synthesizer need to be ever-so-slight.  For example, the LFO Amount on the Poly Evolver's third envelope, even when set to "1," is far too deep for a gentle delayed vibrato.  The Prophet '08 is much better.  This is one reason I find the P'08 to serve as an excellent monophonic synthesizer: it's ability to provide subtle settings and slight increments.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 06:58:39 AM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #342 on: June 17, 2017, 05:01:00 PM »
When I listen to the simple VCO sound of the something like a OB-X, like in this video, I can't help wishing that I could get such a full, alive sound. Why can't someone develop an effect to give us a sound like that?

Instead of using Slop, I've been playing around with the following settings in the Mod matrix and fine tuning, using a 12dB filter and attaining a "CS-80" or "OB-X" style Vangelis patch with long attack and delay/release times, and low sustain values. (Starting from a basic patch, hold Program, and +/Yes at the same time) You could use either Pulse waveform set to 60-70 or sawtooth for the oscillators, with the mix at around 64 (in order to get that beating sound) both set to the same note (OSC1 and OSC2 set to C3 or C2, etc):

Mod Source:            KeyNumber
Mod Destination:     OSC1Freq
Mod Depth:             1! (Sounds like a chorused/old piano at the higher registers if tuned more than this!)

Fine tuning OSC1:   Between -30 and -20

Now, depending on the register you are playing in, to make the "beating" faster or slower, play around with the fine tuning of OSC1 from -40 to -20. The great thing about the Prophet 08 is the accessibility of the controls, so mess around with the filter settings and ENV amount controls to get more harmonic bite. Just a little tweaking and there we have the Vangelis Blade-Runner sound. That's it! I have a Lexicon so I add a touch of the ol' chorus and reverb to it. The idea for this came from watching a video on the Korg Minilogue and thinking, "I could do the same thing on my Prophet 08!"

« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 05:33:45 PM by wimichae »

Re: Prophet '08 among Prophets
« Reply #343 on: June 23, 2017, 09:20:12 AM »
Third, I set the modulation wheel to control the filter cut off frequency for dynamic changes, and I use this a lot throughout the music.  Fourth - and here's the catch - the patch has to have a deep stereo field.  Since I use a P'08 Keyboard in conjunction with a P'08 Module, I dump the patch from the keyboard to the module and then pan each instrument to opposite sides at the mixer.  This is essential to the overall sound and gives it a spacious depth that a mono signal could only envy.

I agree with Sacred Synthesis on these two points. Typically when I am designing a sound on the Prophet '08, I will involve both timbres. The left hand will often be set up for the bass sounds utilizing the last octave or so. This is so I can play an octave apart and get both timbres, typically playing the root of whatever chord I am in. I often find myself controlling frequency cutoff with the mod wheel. There are times when my bass part is set up in unison with the mod wheel also controlling pan spread, with 0 being when the mod wheel is turned down and the filter closed, and about 50 with the filter open when the mod wheel is up. I get pretty massive bass sounds this way!

After designing a patch, I find myself desiring a wide stereo field as well. While I don't have two Prophets, I achieve this utilizing pan spread. Typically, I will set up a slow triangle LFO free running, and the amount set to zero. Then, using the mod matrix, I set the modulation source as either the mod wheel for dynamic changes I control, or I set up envelope 1 (Filter envelope) or envelope 3 as my modulation source. With patches where the attack and decay is slow, I set up the filter envelope with a moderate amount to give it a swirling effect. For sounds with a snappy attack and decay with a moderate amount of sustain, I set up envelope 3 with some delay to allow the sound to have the attack, and then sort of swirl.

I also discovered how to obtain the sound of a stereo delay without a bucket brigade delay pedal. This works best on bell-like, piano-like, or plucked instrument sounds with a quick attack and decay on the filter envelope with little sustain. First, I set up my main bell/piano/plucked instrument sound, and set LFO 1 to a sawtooth wave, set to low pass frequency and I turn on either key sync or I use timing sync set up fast or slow depending on how quick I want the initial echo to be. I will set the depth to determine the brightness of my delay. At this point I adjust the release time on the amplifier envelope to control the delay time. Then, I set up another LFO with pan spread as the destination, depth controlling the wideness of my stereo field, and the timing sync as twice LFO 1. So, if LFO 1 frequency was 1 step, LFO 2 frequency would be 2 steps, if LFO 1 frequency was an eighth note step, LFO 2 frequency would be a quarter note step. Add a little reverb to it, and it is a perfect delay!

The Prophet 08 is such a good instrument for teaching subtractive analog synthesis, I find myself finding new jewels every day!  ;D ;D

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #344 on: June 23, 2017, 01:56:05 PM »
Oh yes, I almost forgot on the stereo delay without a delay pedal, make sure to select a sawtooth shape for LFO 1 modulating the filter for the delay sound, and select a SQUARE wave for LFO 2 at twice the frequency. Otherwise it will sound off. Originally I got this idea from inside synthesis on youtube and from reverse engineering Program 27 "Delay<MW>EarlRef," but I believe the manuals for newer DSI equipment have a similar procedure in there.

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #345 on: June 23, 2017, 04:52:48 PM »
So there are two ways I know of to inject some variation into the rock solid frequencies of the oscillators: use an LFO or use the modulation matrix. The advantage of using the LFO is that modulation slots are kind of valuable -- you only have four (I wish we had 16 like the Prophet 12!). But I haven't been able to get good results from using the Random LFO. Mephistofeles says that the rate is best between 70-100 IIRC, but I still hear the oscillators burbling.

I was experimenting with the injection of random noise modifying Oscillator frequency to create a flute patch. This idea came from looking through the old MS-20 settings examples manual. Thank goodness Korg keeps all the manuals for their equipment as downloadable PDFs! I used a triangle wave and a square wave (or a Pulse Width of 40-60, experimentation is best!) for my oscillators with mix set at around 64. You can experiment with different settings of the pulse width and mix to get a more reedy sound or a more round sound. The flute timbre is obtained with a fast attack (2-6), quick decay and release (so the sound is the same if you strike the keys or hold the keys) and a moderate sustain (above 50) on both the filter and the amplifier. Experiment with keyboard tracking, filter envelope velocity, and low pass filter cut off until you find a sound that suits your taste, and that's it for the body of the flute sound. I made my patch a unison patch with global settings "Unison mode" set to "one voice" so I would not play more than one flute sound at a time. I played around with different "unison assign" settings until I found "last retrig" and I think this is best for how a recorder or penny whistle sounds in real life.

For the "chuff" at the beginning of the sound, I set up Envelope 3 with zero attack, a fast decay and release (set to the same times), zero sustain, with a moderate amount of envelope depth, and the destination as Mod 1. I also used a moderate amount of velocity in order to make the flute sound more intense when you strike the keys harder, to emulate blowing on the flute harder. In the 1st slot of the Mod Matrix, I have the source set as noise and the destination set as OSCALLFREQ (all oscillator frequencies) with the amount set at 0. This will make the patch sound chuff and then sustain with no noise in it. I also added a little vibrato by routing a fast (60-75) triangle shaped LFO 1 through OSCALLFREQ setting the amount at about 5-10. You could set the amount of the vibrato LFO to zero and using the mod matrix to set up either pressure or mod wheel with destination as the vibrato LFO amount with the amount as 5-10.

I still have not found a way to make it "squeak" in the same way a pennywhistle will if you blow too hard at the initial attack, but I'm still experimenting. I tried setting pressure with destination as OSCfreqall up one octave, but that just sounds too odd. Happy synthing!

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #346 on: August 12, 2017, 03:11:50 PM »
One thing I've learned from emulating the stereo spread of the Poly Evolver on the Prophet '08 is that, having heard it, there's now no turning back to a mono sound.  Whatever instrument I intend to use, it must have a parallel module version available to combine with the keyboard version.  Period.  That's an expensive requirement, but absolutely worth it.  This allows for the Prophet '08, the Prophet 12, the Prophet-6, the OB-6, and hopefully in the near future, the Rev2 as well.  Unfortunately, it means the Pro 2 is out.  I so wish DSI had made a Pro 2 Module because, now that I've learned the P12 has a beautiful sound, I'm sure the Pro 2 would fulfill my quest for the ideal monophonic synthesizer.  But no, stereo is supreme.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 03:50:20 PM by Sacred Synthesis »