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The Prophet '08 Among Prophets

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #180 on: May 26, 2016, 08:59:33 AM »
I discovered that if I set the Pan Spread to 127, the two layers are always panned to opposite sides. This means that if the two layers are similar you still get the spacious sound. I certainly can't tell that with each note played the voices are swapping between the left and right channels.

Unfortunately I tried this again last night and the two layers were always panned on the same side. So this idea doesn't work.

Jason, I'm a newbie here, but can you turn MIDI off before switching channels? Or pull the cable (yuck I know). The other possibility is to use a MIDI filter to filter out the channel change...

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #181 on: June 15, 2016, 08:23:34 AM »
In addition to the module, I use my Prophet '08 keyboard to control a Hammond organ module (btw, the best one that I've found is the HX3). I intent to keep the Midi channel on 3 for controlling the module and then switch to Midi channel 1 or 2 to play the organ. I'm hoping that, with only these two slaves, I won't need a Midi thru box. When I make the switch from playing synthesizer to playing Hammond, I first turn down the volume on the keyboard and then change channels. As long as the volume is turned down, it works fine. The issue is that when I change to channel 1, the module also changes to channel 1. So if I accidentally touch the Prophet's volume pedal, the module volume jumps up and becomes audible.

I'm curious about this method of changing MIDI channels.  Since you're using one keyboard to control two modules, why wouldn't you make the changes at a little keyboard mixer?  It would be as simple as releasing one button and pressing another; it would take one second.  There would be no need to go into Global or to adjust volume levels.  I make this kind of change constantly while I'm playing, and even though I'm in a music room, still, everything I do is live.

If it isn't too small for your needs, a Mackie 802 VLZ4 could be just perfect for this use.  Use the Mute buttons to come and go from your modules.
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/802VLZ4
« Last Edit: June 15, 2016, 02:19:22 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #182 on: June 16, 2016, 02:40:14 AM »
Moinmoin,

I seem to have some time, so I write my own experience with mixers, which I think have many advantages, even if You use the P'08 alone:

  • The P'08 has some output noise at high frequency that is independent of its volume setting. This is minimized by cranking the P'08 volume totally up and setting the overall volume at the mixer (which is the right method of mixing, anyway...).
  • I use some sort of "blending" banks A and B a lot, which is of course possible by changing voice volume parameters, but more direct with banks A and B going into separate mixer channels. The P'08 knobs remain free for other things and after all, we use analogue synths in order to tweak all parameters live and directly, dont we?
  • You won't find all effects You like with stereo inputs. To find an effect with two stereo inputs is nearly impossible. But if You use a mixer with aux outputs (effect send), You will be able to use effects with monophonic inputs on the P'08 stereo outputs.
  • Not only at rehearsals, but especially in live-situations it is a real charm to control the volume relations of Your own stuff Yourself. To blend this with the other musiscian's sound remains complex enough for the poor sound guys (which will even love You for supplying a "ready" stereo-line-signal...).

This said, I will describe my use of a mixer:
My "normal" setup is P'08 (2 stereo channels), Transcendent 2000 (analogue synth, mono channel), an old Rhodes VK1000 (stereo channel) and sometimes a MIDI extender with sampled mellotron-strings (stereo channel) and "some effects":

Prefade, in order to have them independently from the original sounds, I
  • use a Moogerfooger MIDIMuRF, which has mono input and stereo output and
  • route the other keyboards through the T2000's filter, mixing their sound swith its VCO/noise, making a wonderful and flexible "wahwah" in combination with a foot pedal, or even stranger things.
Two homebrew effects are used post fade:
  • BBD-reverb - used for sound effects as the "roomsize" is tweekable in realtime - and
  • "3-BBD-string-chorus" - the gizmo making strings from cheap sounds in 70s ARP, Logan, Crumar String keyboards

My mixer BTW is a soundcraft M4, which I selected because it has 4 aux outputs, 2 of them pre-, 2 post fade, which is what I wanted for the effects-thing I described above. The effect returns may come in normal channels as well as in 4 extra stereo channels, leaving the main channels free for the instruments. In addition it has "control room" and additional mono-outputs that double the stereo main out, which serves me perfectly as a private monitor live and at rehearsals: Independent from other people's hearing again...
I just started to experiment with the mono output feeding an old Leslie clone, this definitely is fun ;)

Of course there is a disadvantage: Next to the drummer, my stuff uses the most room on stage as well as during transport. If the Leslie-clone remains in the setup, I will even top him, can't have everything...

Martin

Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #183 on: June 16, 2016, 06:57:50 AM »
    You won't find all effects You like with stereo inputs. To find an effect with two stereo inputs is nearly impossible. But if You use a mixer with aux outputs (effect send), You will be able to use effects with monophonic inputs on the P'08 stereo outputs.[/li][/list]

    I try to maintain maximum stereo at every step.  That's why I like the Lexicon MX300 and even the cheap little Nanoverb 2.  They have both stereo inputs and stereo outputs.  It does get more difficult to find effects with stereo inputs if you go the pedal route.

    Jason

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    Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
    « Reply #184 on: June 16, 2016, 02:58:23 PM »
    Since you're using one keyboard to control two modules, why wouldn't you make the changes at a little keyboard mixer?  It would be as simple as releasing one button and pressing another; it would take one second.  There would be no need to go into Global or to adjust volume levels.  I make this kind of change constantly while I'm playing, and even though I'm in a music room, still, everything I do is live.

    Thanks for the idea. ...So just keep it set to channel ALL and control with the mixer volumes. That hadn't actually occurred to me because I have been intending to put the mixer down on the floor on a rack or something, so that it's not as visible to an audience. However, I haven't actually done this yet; I still have it up on a stand similar to your setup. I have a lot to learn about mixers, but I don't think I have mute buttons that will work as simply as yours. Please advise if you see an option:
    http://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/zed-10fx/

    Of course, I could do the same thing with the volume knobs, and that probably would be a bit easier than what I'm doing now. I currently have the '08 and '08 module going into the two stereo channels and the Hammond module going into channels 1 and 2, panned Left and Right. (With my Tetra sucking up channels 3 & 4.) So it would mean adjusting four knobs. 

    I've been keeping my eye on the "TS to TRS Question" with the hopes that someone will hit on a way to cut down on the number of channels I'm using!

    Thanks for the idea, S.S.

    Jason

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    Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
    « Reply #185 on: June 16, 2016, 03:07:32 PM »
    • The P'08 has some output noise at high frequency that is independent of its volume setting. This is minimized by cranking the P'08 volume totally up and setting the overall volume at the mixer (which is the right method of mixing, anyway...).

    For some reason, I had the impression that this wasn't the best way to run the '08, even though it was my understanding that it normally is for other keyboards. I've been keeping the '08's around 12:00. I will have to look into changing this.

    Thanks for your suggestions on how you set up your mixer. As I just mentioned, there is still a lot that I don't know about mixers.

    By the way, if anyone is looking for chorus pedals with stereo in/out, the Diamond Halo does the job and is all analog. Having said that, I am only using reverb on my Prophets. The Allen and Heath Zed has several combinations of effects, but I mainly keep it on just reverb.
    « Last Edit: June 16, 2016, 03:10:07 PM by Jason »

    Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
    « Reply #186 on: June 17, 2016, 01:23:49 AM »
    Moinmoin,

    Jason wrote:
    Quote
    I've been keeping my eye on the "TS to TRS Question" with the hopes that someone will hit on a way to cut down on the number of channels I'm using!

    You will not cut down on the number of channels by different cabling only, as one stereo signal will always use up one stereo channel, no matter what cable(s) is used to feed it.
    Using a TS -> TRS cable will possibly save You an input jack, not a channel !

    Apologies if this insults You, but do You confuse symmetrical/balanced TRS inputs (which are mono: T=signal, R=inverted signal, S=ground) with unbalanced TRS stereo inputs (which are stereo: T=left, R=right, S=ground)?

    Martin

    Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
    « Reply #187 on: June 17, 2016, 07:43:10 AM »
    Thanks for the idea. ...So just keep it set to channel ALL and control with the mixer volumes. That hadn't actually occurred to me because I have been intending to put the mixer down on the floor on a rack or something, so that it's not as visible to an audience. However, I haven't actually done this yet; I still have it up on a stand similar to your setup. I have a lot to learn about mixers, but I don't think I have mute buttons that will work as simply as yours. Please advise if you see an option:
    http://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/zed-10fx/

    Yes.

    I use my mixer like an effects device; meaning, I'm at it constantly, even as I play.  I keep it close out of necessity, and see it as an integral part of my keyboard set up.  I think this makes sense for a synthesist who operates as a one-man ensemble.  But I realize your circumstances are different from mine.

    I'm not familiar with your mixer, so I'll just put in a good word for the Mackie VLZ line.  I've used three of them by now, and will be upgrading to a fourth soon.  They're simple, well-built, quiet, have no onboard effects, and work well for stereo keyboards.  They have just the controls needed for my live music room recordings, which might not be so unlike your performances. 

    I think the best policy for a synthesist is to use a mixer with as many channels as he or she can afford.  There's nothing worse than having to use one channel when an instrument really needs two.  So, you might want to eventually consider the 1202 or 1402.  Just a suggestion for the future.
    « Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 07:58:49 AM by Sacred Synthesis »

    Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
    « Reply #188 on: June 19, 2016, 08:44:54 AM »
    It's always interesting to hear how you configure your instruments for solo performance, Sacred Synthesis.

    Until recently my synths were all hooked up to the computer via an over-elaborate and less than reliable set of audio interfaces. I've since switched to a Zed 14 mixer. All stereo synths are connected accordingly (only Jupiter 6 and Minitaur are mono) and if something isn't consistently connected it simply isn't used.

    I'm using 2 effects sends, to an El Capistan delay and a Big Sky reverb. I experimented with stereo sends to these fx pedals (both jumpered to accept stereo input) but found it didn't make enough of a difference to keep that way. The output from those pedals is 100% wet and stereo. The dry synth audio is generally the only part I feel needs to be kept fully stereo.

    I'm curious - Do you run your MX300 and Nanoverb on effects sends or between synth and mixer?

    Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
    « Reply #189 on: June 19, 2016, 09:10:14 AM »
    Fuseball,

    I guess I'm following my instincts.  Many moons ago when I was playing in bands, I functioned as the "sound guy" as well - which meant only that the mixer was to my right, so that I was generally responsible for the band's mix, getting rid of feedback, adding onboard reverb and EQ, and so on.  So, my mentality is still that the mixer is part and parcel of the keyboard set up, and not some sort of unfortunate afterthought or complication to it. 

    I use the Lexicon MX300 only for reverb, but it provides it for all the instruments.  So, naturally, I run it in the mixer from the Aux. send-return and adjust the depths channel-by-channel.  It works exceptionally well this way and is trouble and hassle free.  I use the Nanoverb 2 only for delay on the upper Prophet '08, so that's hooked up in between the instrument and the mixer.  I intend to replace it with a second Lexicon, even though the Nanoverb works quite well, up to a certain depth; but it does start to hiss and distort a bit beyond a certain point.

    My objective is always to keep my set up simple and direct, with minimal wires.  Because it's entirely instrument-oriented, and because I don't use any sorts of drum machine, sequencers, computers, or other devices, I'm able to do this.  But I'm also nearly forced to keep things simple, because I haven't a fraction of the techno-wizardry that you guys have!
    « Last Edit: June 19, 2016, 09:35:32 AM by Sacred Synthesis »

    Jason

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    Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
    « Reply #190 on: July 03, 2016, 10:51:02 AM »
    Regarding my MIDI switching issue, while S.S.'s mixer solution worked better than what I had been doing, I still want to get my mixer down into a rack for a cleaner look on stage. I had been looking at a discontinued Phil Rees product, but they are going for around a $100, when they can be found at all. But at some point, I stumbled upon this product which is cheap and exactly what I wanted:

    http://www.sears.com/new-midi-cable-ab-2way-switch-box-5pin/p-SPM6165300408

    I'm really loving my Prophet '08/Desktop Module setup. I also continue to use my Tetra controlled via my extremely flexible Yamaha S70/XS. I just did a big bass sound for Foreigner's Cold as Ice. After programming the fun sound on the '08 and transferring it to the Tetra, I then dialed in some of the sub-octave oscillator generator and feedback and the end result was even better on the Tetra.
    « Last Edit: July 03, 2016, 10:52:34 AM by Jason »

    Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
    « Reply #191 on: July 06, 2016, 04:31:27 AM »
    I just did a big bass sound for Foreigner's Cold as Ice.

    Ohhh!  Let's here it, please.  :)
    DSI Prophet '08; Sequential P6; SCI Pro-One

    Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
    « Reply #192 on: July 15, 2016, 12:49:15 PM »
    I have very much appreciated the enthusiasm for the P08 and its derivatives in this thread (and some of the others). This enthusiasm, along with my recent less-than-stellar experiences with the P6 and OB6, have inspired me to hook up my Tetras again and re-evaluate them . . . in TRUE STEREO! It's been a lot of fun, and I really do like the way this engine sounds. Just want to say thanks for the contributions and inspiration.
    « Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 01:05:58 PM by Bryan_D »
    DSI Pro 2 | DSI Tetra | Moog Minitaur | Analogue Solutions Nyborg-12 | Behringer DeepMind 12 | Korg Radias-R | Roland JV-1010 | 104HP Modular | Arturia BeatStep Pro | Ableton Live 9 | Strymon Big Sky | Eventide H9 | Boss DD-500 | Zoom MS-70CDR | iPad

    Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
    « Reply #193 on: July 15, 2016, 01:01:37 PM »
    Ditto.  It's nice to see some enthusiasm for an instrument that deserves it.  Reading complaint after complaint can be depressing, even if you happen to like the instrument that others are complaining about.  It can make you question your own contentment with it, as if it might just be that you don't see what others see.  This is where the forums can spread misery.  Putting it all aside, this thread is a breath of fresh air.

    Jason

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    Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
    « Reply #194 on: July 18, 2016, 08:19:30 AM »
    Foreigner's Cold as Ice.    Ohhh!  Let's here it, please.  :)

    I'm afraid that I just don't have a good method of recording right now. But I really like this thread, so here's an attempt: I am able to run a single line into the mic input of my Yamaha S70/XS and then record onto a thumb drive. So, these recordings are a little distorted, and they are only one channel.

    Keeping that in mind, the first clip is the Prophet doing the Cold as Ice sound, and the second is the same sound with added sub and overdrive on the Tetra. I haven't been able to attach all of the clips, and so you can hear them at my bandmix site link below (at the very bottom of the page).

    To keep the post on the subject, I also am including a little demo of a few sounds I made for the '08. The first clip is a segment from Rosanna by Toto. It demonstrates how we can use the third Envelope to make a little "blip" at the beginning of a horn sound. I discovered this method in an old instruction video by the Toto man himself: Steve Porcaro. He's not much of a teacher (and he's high as a kite in the video), but I think his programming is very impressive. The idea is to add a very short descending pitch to one of the oscillators and then blend it in with the second "straight" oscillator. In my experiments with the third Envelope, I found the Amount range to Osc 1 Freq was best from 7-25. This example was set to 11. The other variable is the Decay rate, which seems best from 20-30; this one was set to 22. It is my understanding that neither the OB-6, nor the Prophet-6 is capable of such a blip (Steve's word), because they don't have the third Envelope.  8) The other feature from this clip that cannot be done on the other instruments is the Split that you will hear, where I play a MiniMoog part lower on my Prophet '08.

    The second little demo is a String sound that makes use of all four LFO's: frequency and PWM for each Oscillator... which again, cannot be done on the other instruments. By the way, is there a way to track these LFO's with the keyboard? In the same video by Porcaro, he demonstrates tracking the LFO's so that they get faster as you play higher. This allows the strings to sound better across the whole keyboard. If there's a way to do this on the '08, I can't figure it out.

    The third little clip is the sound that I developed for the lead in Come Sail Away by Styx. I just like the sound.... and am learning to accept, and even appreciate, the subtle clicks.  ;)
    « Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 08:26:58 AM by Jason »

    Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
    « Reply #195 on: July 18, 2016, 08:33:29 AM »
    By the way, is there a way to track these LFO's with the keyboard? In the same video by Porcaro, he demonstrates tracking the LFO's so that they get faster as you play higher. This allows the strings to sound better across the whole keyboard. If there's a way to do this on the '08, I can't figure it out.

    First, really nice sounds and explanation of how you created them! I believe you can create a modulation with the key number as the source and an individual LFO frequency or all LFO frequencies as the destination.

    Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
    « Reply #196 on: July 19, 2016, 06:12:57 PM »
    Most people who have been contributing to this thread are very sophisticated so they already know this.  Just wanted to share my recent experience in the hope it helps others.

    I've been getting a lot of crackles on presets, and I was beginning to wonder whether the internal circuitry was running too hot or something. Last night I discovered the VCA Env Amount knob! Turning this knob sets the output level of the voice into the mixer. Seems to make the sound have less of that drilling brightness, but that could be my imagination.

    There have been complaints about the Prophet '08 filter. I think a lot of it has to do with a misunderstanding of how modulation works. Basically you take the Filter Frequency and add the Env Amount scaled by the envelope (127 on sustain is full scale), add the Velocity amount scaled by the key velocity, and add the key amount multiplied by some key number. That gives the final filter frequency. Very logical, and it's how the entire modulation system works.

    Once I started to get control of the filter I was creating sounds that I wanted to hear. I also modulated the oscillator frequencies with noise (I used a mod amount of 1) and added some audio mod to brighten the filter. These are tricks that mephistofeles wrote about in another forum.

    Anyway, at this point I was making sounds my brain wanted to hear. I started getting lost in the sound and couldn't stop playing. I now get what people have been saying: The Prophet 08 doesn't have a single big sweet spot. You need to find the sweet spots, but when you do, you get that huge dopamine rush.

    This is an amazing machine.

    Jason

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    Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
    « Reply #197 on: July 20, 2016, 06:34:14 AM »
    I've been getting a lot of crackles on presets, and I was beginning to wonder whether the internal circuitry was running too hot or something. Last night I discovered the VCA Env Amount knob! Turning this knob sets the output level of the voice into the mixer. Seems to make the sound have less of that drilling brightness, but that could be my imagination.

    Once I started to get control of the filter I was creating sounds that I wanted to hear. I also modulated the oscillator frequencies with noise (I used a mod amount of 1) and added some audio mod to brighten the filter.

    Thanks for your insightful posts! I still have a lot to learn, and you've given me some things to experiment with. I definitely need to check out your suggestion of using a key number as the source and LFO frequencies as the destination. That does seem like it should get me what I'm looking for with keyboard tracking. Does anyone have any advice on how they like to set this?

    I've also never done anything with the VCA Env Amount knob. I have a few sounds that seem to overdrive and distort quickly, and so I am hoping this may help with those sounds. I have a wonderful Pink Floyd type horn sound that does this a bit- the only fly in the ointment in an otherwise lovely sound.

    I like your explanation of the filter; that's a good way of thinking about it.

    I'm especially interested in: "I also modulated the oscillator frequencies with noise (I used a mod amount of 1) and added some audio mod to brighten the filter. These are tricks that mephistofeles wrote about in another forum." I noticed this in another thread and attempted to use a random wave shape to modulate an oscillator... but I didn't have good results. Would you please give your settings for this and for the audio mod?? Is there still a link to check out these old posts?

    I noticed that Sacred Synthesis mentioned using audio mod on his last (brilliant) video, and I really don't understand what how it works.

    Many Thanks,
    -Jason

    Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
    « Reply #198 on: July 20, 2016, 11:31:27 AM »
    tumble2k, your post is spot on.

    What you say about the filter is also true for the VCA or modulation with envelopes generally. If you positively modulate a parameter, the modulation amount is added to the set value of the parameter (or subtracted in case of negative modulation).
    Using the velocity amount parameter it can be confusing. I have other synths where the velocity amount uses the set value of the destination for velocity=127 (full velocity) and reduces the value for lower velocity values.

    I often use VCA velocity amount on the Prophet08. If I do that, I have to dial back the VCA env amt, because its initially at 127. There's no higher value possible, so the VCA vel amt can't add anything to it. This is why I always use the inverse value (e.g. vel amt 64 -> env amt 63 | vel amt 80 -> env amt 47), if I want to retain volume but not cutting off high velocity values.
    I also, like you said, dial back VCA env amt, if my patch seems to distort, but it seems to me that lowering the overall patch volume (misc parameters -> voice volume) is achieving the same result.

    Re: The Prophet '08 Among Prophets
    « Reply #199 on: July 20, 2016, 12:48:45 PM »
    I'm especially interested in: "I also modulated the oscillator frequencies with noise (I used a mod amount of 1) and added some audio mod to brighten the filter. These are tricks that mephistofeles wrote about in another forum." I noticed this in another thread and attempted to use a random wave shape to modulate an oscillator... but I didn't have good results. Would you please give your settings for this and for the audio mod?? Is there still a link to check out these old posts?

    I noticed that Sacred Synthesis mentioned using audio mod on his last (brilliant) video, and I really don't understand what how it works.

    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. Higher LFO rates did not help this problem. I think this is what you're saying doesn't give good results.

    Therefore I was forced to use a modulation slot. The last modulation source is noise. I set one slot as follows:

    Mod source: noise
    Mod dest: oscillator 1 frequency
    Mod amount: 1

    I set another slot as follows:

    Mod source: noise
    Mod dest: oscillator 2 frequency
    Mod amount: 1

    Interestingly it seems that choosing the same source for both modulations does not make the two oscillators track with each other in this case. I'm not sure why. Anyway somehow getting the randomness in the oscillator frequency this way sounds better than using the Random LFO. I'd like to hear opinions.