The Sequential Prophet-5 is a 5-voice analog polyphonic synthesizer first introduced in 1978 by Sequential Circuits. It was one of the earliest synthesizers to have full programmability of sounds and quickly gained popularity among musicians and producers due to its unique sound and innovative design. The Prophet-5 has seen several revisions over the years, with the most recent being the Prophet-5 Rev4, which was released alongside a 10-voice companion, the Prophet-10.
The Prophet-5 was designed by Dave Smith, the founder of Sequential Circuits. Dave Smith’s vision for the instrument was to create a polyphonic synthesizer that was both powerful and musical. The original Prophet-5 was a groundbreaking instrument, and its design has influenced the development of many other synthesizers over the years.
Impact and Popularity
The Prophet-5 has been used by numerous artists and producers across various genres, including Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, and Tony Banks. Its unique sound and innovative design have made it a sought-after instrument among musicians and producers. The Prophet-5’s impact on the music industry can still be felt today, as its legacy continues to inspire the development of new synthesizers and instruments.
Technical Specifications and Features
The Sequential Prophet-5 features a 5-voice analog polyphonic synthesizer with a full, five-octave, semi-weighted Fatar keyboard. It has two CEM 3340 VCOs per voice, with simultaneously selectable waveforms for oscillators A and B. The Prophet-5 also includes a Poly-Mod (Polyphonic Modulation) section that allows all five voices to have separate modulation paths. Other features include:
– Velocity sensitivity and aftertouch
– USB, MIDI, Gate, and CV ins/outs
– A Vintage knob for setting various Prophet-5 models
– Pitch and modulation wheel
In 2020, Sequential reintroduced the Prophet-5 with the release of the Prophet-5 Rev4, which embodies all three revisions of the legendary synth. This new version offers improvements in stability and reliability while maintaining the classic sound and design of the original Prophet-5. Sequential also released a 10-voice version called the Prophet-10, realizing Dave Smith’s original vision for the instrument.