This is one lucky cat, with both a Sequential Prophet 6 and an OB6 from Dave Smith Instruments. And the keyboard versions at that 😻
Photo by Jon Sellers via the Facebook group Synthesizer Freaks.
The two instruments are quite similar in layout and overall architecture but have distinct sounds and other characteristics. The P6 is a classic Prophet. while the OB-6 has the distinctive sound of its Oberheim filters.
Cat showing off a Sequential Prophet 6. By maxeredussence on Instagram.
We at CatSynth are a bit envious of this kitty, as we covet the Prophet 6 (and the Rev 2). I love my Prophet 12, but these are completely different instruments and complement one another. You can read our NAMM 2015 review of the Prophet 6 here.
Interesting looking grey kitty on a Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 analog synthesizer, one of the first fully programmable polyphonic analog synths, the Prophet 5 is the most classic synthesizer of the eighties, made from 1978 -1984 —————- I find the image of the cat most striking.
Our first stop at NAMM 2015 was Dave Smith Instruments. And they certainly had big news, with both the acquisition of the legendary Sequential Circuits (aka “SEQUENTIAL”) brand name and their first instrument under the new name, the Prophet 6.
We were able to talk with Dave Smith himself about the “new old name” and the new instrument.
The Prophet 6 itself is quite a sight. It includes the industrial design, lettering and other features from the Prophet V, and includes custom component based VCOs and analog filters.
It has a rich sound that ranges from the lusciousness of the Prophet 12 to the nastiness of the Evolver, though it doesn’t really do the same things as either of those instruments. As described in the video, it doesn’t have the complexity and feature set of the Prophet 12, but it’s not intended to. It is it’s own creature, and probably best as a lead synth used in conjunction with others. And it was definitely fun to play.
It does appear that both the Dave Smith Instruments and Sequential brands will be used on future offerings, which we look forward to seeing and hearing.
MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), the protocol that we use to connect musical instruments together, has officially been around for 30 years now, and the occasion was being marked with an exhibit at NAMM:
There were some of the earliest instruments as well as those demonstrating how it is being used today. The Yamaha Disklavier series was quite prominent, as an instrument that is both acoustic and a MIDI device at the same time. There was also the Prophet 600, a forerunner to the Prophet 12 we reviewed yesterday and the first commercially available instrument to implement MIDI.
In the middle, between “1983” and “2013”, were a few of the devices I remember from the mid-1980s.
I had a Yamaha box (a sequencer) with the same beveled shape as the TX7 pictured here. And I was quite interested in the Atari ST computer, though was never able to get one. Both devices seem quite primitive today. Unlike the analog synthesizers that we have been reviewing, earlier digital devices don’t seem to hold up as well. Nonetheless, the MIDI protocol itself is still vital for much electronic music-making, despite its well-documented limitations in speed and resolution.