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Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12 LE

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Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12 is a digital-analog hybrid Synthesizer with 12 voices. Due to the extensive equipment w...  All product info

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Digital-analogue hybrid Synthesizer

Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12 is a digital-analog hybrid Synthesizer with 12 voices. Due to the extensive equipment with control elements this instrument can be operated intuitively. Thanks to its sophisticated circuitry, the Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12 offers great flexibility in influencing the sound process in a variety of ways. For this reason, the Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12 makes enormously lively sounds possible and shows in an impressive way what immense power and expressivity can be drawn from a modern Analog Synthesizer one!

With the OS 1.3 operating system, Prophet-12 receives an enormous increase in performance through linear FM synthesis, which further increases the bandwidth of the sounds.

The Oscillators of the Prophet 12 LE

Four high-resolution DSP oscillators and a suboscillator provide the basic framework for the synthesis. All classic waveforms (sawtooth, square, triangle & sine) are represented, combined by 11 more complex wavetables offered by the DSP technology, drastically increasing the Prophet 12 LE's bandwidth even further, not to mention the new FM synthesis added from OS 1.3 (late 2015).

With the "Shape" parameter the different wavetables can be "passed through". This parameter can also be automated thanks to the modulation matrix, which makes it possible to realize the cult wavetable sounds. The Shape control also changes the basic waveform of the "analog" waveforms, similar to a pulse width change of the square waveform.

Which oscillator is currently being edited can be seen wonderfully at the LED´s dedicated especially for this purpose. The circular arrows visualize which oscillator is modulated by which oscillator: OSC4 is modulated by OSC1 if required, be it for SYNC, FM (frequency modulation), or AM (amplitude modulation). OSC3 is modulated by 4, OSC2 by OSC3 and OSC1 by OSC2.

After the button of the OSC to be edited has been pressed, all relevant buttons and push buttons are available. Only the Sub Octave knob is intended for OSC1, the rest is for everyone. All four oscillator levels can also be changed simultaneously after all four OSC pressure switches have been pressed simultaneously.


Completely new is the possibility to influence the basic sound of a sound by the so-called "character" parameters. The name is program here: "Girth" influences the bass frequencies, "Air" the high frequencies, "Decimation" reduces the sample rate of the output waveform, "Drive" simulates tape saturation and "Hack" reduces the word width of the oscillator.

That's the way to think about it: Normally, an Synthesizer EQ has a fixed basic character, which is influenced by the subsequent editing of an EQ so that it fits into the current Mix one. With the Prophet 12 LE, the basic character of a sound can already be steered in the right direction with the parameters mentioned above, without having to integrate external equipment.
Of course, this doesn't replace the post-processing of an EQ Mix , but it's a nice thing that you can change the basic character of the instrument with every patch. It's easy to get the hang of it and this highlight feature will be appreciated by the user just as quickly, I'm sure!

Versatile connection options

Prophet 12 LE can be integrated into your studio environment either via USB or the usual MIDI sockets. One Sustain Pedal and two foot pedals (sills) can be connected as supporting performance elements. In addition to the headphone output, a total of two summing outputs are available. (Out A&B)

Filter and display level

The Prophet 12 LE's filter is based on the legendary Curtis chip filter design that Dave Smith has incorporated into many of his creations Synthesizer . The filter works with either 12dB or 24dB slope steepness. The filter has its own envelope curve, which is conveniently located directly below the parameters. The signal then passes through a resonant high-pass filter. The serial combination of LPF and HPF provides the user with a selective and exact elaboration of the respective sound. As you can see on the legend, both the LPF HPF and the HPF have an individually adjustable filter tracking (Key Amount). Since the values can be set differently from each other, the filters behave accordingly differently from each other, which can sound very organic and lively. While working on Prophet 12, any change in a value is shown on the display. The selection of the timbres is done via the +/- buttons on the numeric keypad, or via the encoders above the display - here, too, every step is visualized by the high-contrast display. The selection of the different banks is made by LED pressure switches.

LFO and modulation

The four LFO ´s can be assigned 93 different parameters. Optionally the LFO ´s run free, or synchronously to the master tempo. To the right of the LFO 's is the modulation Matrix , which has 26 modulation sources and the same 93 modulation targets that are used in the LFO same way. The assignment of the modulation sources is done by pressing the "Assign Mod Source" pushbutton and then selecting and confirming the modulation target. The modulation target is then declared in the same form using the "Assign Mod Destination" pushbutton. Finally, the "Amount" control is used to adjust the efficiency of the modulation source to the modulation target.

Delay and feedback level

Finally, we turn to the Effect Section of Prophet 12 LE. After looking at the above graphic, the feedback function is easy to understand: the analog output of VCA ´s is an input into a tunable Delay one whose output signal is mixed with the outputs of the oscillators.

The mixed signal then goes through the character effects again. Each timbre has its own tunable Delay tone, the pitch of which is determined by the Tune control. The intensity of the feedback is controlled by the Feedback Amount. As a result of the feedback circuit new harmonics are created. This allows the sound of the instrument to be varied again. If we think back to the possibilities of influencing sound we have already discussed above, then we may already say that the Prophet 12 LE is really extraordinary. The Prophet 12 LE offers one stereo, four-tap Delay per tone. It can be used as a simple Delay , or in combination with modulations and short Delay times as a flanger and Chorus in combination with modulations. This Delay can be synchronized to the clock and several modulation sources are available which can be routed to the Delay panning.

Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12 LE at a Glance:

  • 12-part polyphony
  • 4 oscillators per voice for classical and complex waveforms
  • 1 sub-oscillator
  • Linear FM (new feature from OS 1.3)
  • Analog low-pass and high-pass filters
  • Analog VCA 's
  • Arpeggiator
  • character section
  • 4-Tap Stereo Delay
  • Two programmable touch sliders (position and pressure sensitive)
  • Pitch and modulation wheel
  • Display: LCD
  • Connectors: 2 x Stereo Line-Out (L/R) 6.3 mm jack
  • Headphone output
  • MIDI -In/Out/Thru
  • USB to host
  • Sustain, Pedal 1+2
  • dimensions: 97,5 x 32,5 x 10,5 cm
  • weight: 11,8 kg

Introducing the Prophet 12 Synthesizer

Prophet 12 - Linear FM with Dave Smith and John Chowning


  • Manufacturer: Dave Smith Instruments
  • Construction / Number of Keys: 61
  • Velocity sensitive: Yes
  • Adjustable Velocity Curve: Yes
  • Keyboard Split: Yes
  • Aftertouch: Yes
  • Sound Generation: Hybrid analog/digital
  • Polyphony: 12
  • Number of Sounds: 792
  • Arpeggiator: Yes
  • Integrated Effects Processor: Yes
  • Number of Knobs: 59
  • Number of Keys: 58
  • Pitchbend, Modwheel: Pitchbend and Modwheel
  • Display: Yes
  • MIDI Interface: IN/OUT/THRU, 5-Pin
  • USB MIDI Interface: Yes
  • LINE OUT: Yes
  • Headphone Connection: Yes
  • Volume Pedal Connection: Yes
  • Sustain Pedal Connection: Yes
  • Power Supply: Adapter, internal
  • Width (cm): 97.5
  • Height (cm): 10.5
  • Depth (cm): 32.5
  • Weight (kg): 11.8
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* RRP = Recommended Retail Price by Manufacturer for Germany
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