Thursday, 25 July 2019

OB-6s now have SEQUENTIAL on the back!

OB-6s now have SEQUENTIAL on the back!
And of course, Tom's very stylish signature on the front and back.
Wonder if they will put the Oberheim on it too, now he has got the trademark back from Gibson?
There's room for it in the top middle of the rear panel (just!)

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Got an OB-6!! :))

Big smiley face! I got an OB-6 to go with the Prophet-6. :-))

Two of a perfect pair.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Yes Live on YouTube, old video/film. Prophet-5 on stage Wakeman Rev 1 probably.

More treats on YouTube! Yes live 1978/79. If the footage is 1979 then it might be a Rev 1, depends on the time of year (video was from Philadelphia Spectrum 21 June 1979); but the sound is 28 September 1978 so a Rev 1 is guaranteed, if Rick was using it. He seems to be on the '79 footage. You can see it here on Siberian Khatru at 7m 40s. This show had amazing performances of Awaken, The Silent Wings of Freedom, Heart of the Sunrise, Roundabout and the medley including The Fish, Perpetual Change and Soon from The Gates of Delirium is also fabulous playing. Why this is not on a live album I could never understand. You really have a group here at the height of their playing abilities, pretty much unmatched even though they are not my completely favourite band, they were awesome here, truly.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

The insides of the Prophet VS

The insides of the Prophet VS!
Including the sample and hold chips and other Curtis (CEM) ICs. 
Click to enlarge!
CEM5530/6651 S&H and CEM 3365 DAC

CEM5530 S&H  
One voice with CEM 3379 VCF


 Close up of the 8 voices including 8 x CEM3379 filters on Voice board

Power supply and CPU /logic board

Voice board in its entirety: oscillators A/B/C/D on left, filters on right:

Voices on left board then the output board on the right:

All of it from the output end:

Joystick board (on left) and the left hand of the two boards under the panel controls (on the right):

Lovely synth.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

REVISION ONE Rev 1 Prophet-5s on stage and screen!

OK, so I saw this and decided that I need to post on this page everything I see of Rev 1 Prophet-5s on YouTube or other videos of performances on this page. I have seen them with Rick Wakeman, Peter Gabriel and now Sky and David Bowie! I've seen other too and I can't remember who. If/when I find them again, they are going on here.

My preference is for real, live performances on video. Also for photos of early Prophet-5s on stage keyboard rigs and for music videos (but you never know for sure if that is the actual instrument used) or photos/videos of musicians' studios. Any real use of the Revision one Prophet really.

I saw this one tonight: Sky Toccata. One of the first synth sounds that got me going was actually a Rev 1 Prophet-5 according to this! (Caveat: in another video, that time of a live performance, the keyboards player used an ARP Quadra on stage).

As I update this on 5 July, someone on the DSI instruments forum suggested that I should look at David Bowie videos from that time. And here is one! 1978 David, Prophet-5 Rev1 (in a mirror) in the first minute of the video!

Here they are

David Bowie Live 1978. The Rev 1 Prophet-5 is visible in the first minute and audible very shortly after that! This video has actually now been been removed by a useless and petty organisation that gets its money from an unjustified monopoly and should be privatised immediately:

OK here is a snippet which shows the P-5 Rev 1 on the first track Sense of Doubt. I love the bell sounds coming from that RMI synth! It sounds so 1980s:

Sky - Toccata (Video of studio track):

Peter Gabriel - Rockpalast 1978 (full show):
I can't see the red front panel light on the videos but it can be seen clearly on stage photos (see below) but it has to be a Rev 1 because it's 1978 and Pete and/or Larry Fast had at least one Prophet-5 between them then. Best to watch this video and then check out 9m48s, 34m22s, 39m34s and 42m53s to avoid the stupid advert at the start of the video playback, or just watch the whole thing!

This is what I was really looking for: an original original Prophet-5 being actually played live. It had to be with Gabriel, an innovator in so many ways (well his keyboards guy Larry Fast!):

OK here's a rundown. You can see the Rev 1 actually being played at:
First view - Moribund the Burgermeister: (weird whistly sound):

Humdrum (flute)

I don't Remember (brass?)

Solsbury Hill (synth)

and the Polymoog at 35:04 - that is gorgeous!

Found this on a boring night in hopeless England in 2018, what a find! Drfum free Humdrum with Prophet-5 and Polymoog (most likely 1978):

Then there is the wonderful Peter Gabriel South Bank Show documentary for the recording of the PG4 or "Security" album. It looks like he has a Rev 1 and a Rev 3 in the studio. The Rev 1 is here I think:

Excellent picture of Larry Fast's studio from 1978 with Rev 1 Prophet-5 easily recognisable by the power switch on the front panel:
"A simple but powerful array of gear - Moog 15, 360 Systems Frequency Shifter, 2 Oberheim Mini-Sequencers and SEM, Mini-Moog, not sure about the 2 white boxes or switch matrix to the right (might be DIY stuff), Oberheim Digital Sequencer (with LED "2" showing), Paia Phlanger and Stringz n Thingz, and original Rev 1 Prophet 5. (I think. Going from faded memory here. ;-) )"
Same pic here:

Great view of Larry Fast's keyboard setup with Rev 1 P5 and one of Gabriel's more interesting early songs, fab brass sound may come from the P5:
"Peter Gabriel performing White Shadow live at the Bottom Line in New York City, 04 October 1978. Photos from that year are also included"
The recording is probably from the bootleg "Some Old Some New."

I'm looking for footage of Rick Wakeman with a Prophet-5 going as far back as 1978 if possible. Here are a couple of images from the Yes 1978 tour. I have not seen him actually play it though - but it did look mighty cool on stage I guess! That wonderful wedge-shaped Prophet-5 is clear as day in front of Wakeman above Steve Howe's parked guitars.

This is linked to a wonderful gallery of photos from the night. Here is another one. Wakeman's Rev 1 P5 is on top of his Polymoog (interestingly exactly the same as Larry Fast's in the Gabriel live video)

Here: putting Rick Wakeman Prophet-5 in search box:
"Yes perform on stage at Madison Square Garden New York September 1978 Rick Wakeman He plays"

and also
"Rick Wakeman of Yes performs on stage at Wembley Arena, on October 28th, 1978 in London, England.
October 28, 1978"

Less useful link, more general:

You can see the P-5 on the monochrome photo 3/4 down the page. Nice photo, labelled "That's Anderson in the background and White at right in Tulsa back in 1978."
The article itself refers to the late and great bassist Chris Squire.

YouTube Video from 1979 (Rev 1 therefore not guaranteed, could be a Rev 2.0 perhaps but there is a P5 in his keyboards rig at his upper right - the Minimoogs are at upper left):
Yes - Philadelphia, PA 6/21/1979 21 June 79.
You can see the P-5 on this video at 41m41s and also earlier in the first song:

More treats on YouTube! Yes live 1978/79. If the footage is 1979 then it might be a Rev 1, depends on the time of year; but the sound is 28 September 1978 so Rev 1 is guaranteed. You can see it here on Siberian Khatru

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Prophet-5 Revision 2 front panel and various short music videos #3, #4, #5.

Here are three short videos showing my old Prophet-5 revision 2 which I have now exchanged (it was in need of repair for the past 10 years). The pictures were taken days before I let it go and the music is from years ago in 1999, on old tape recordings, played on my hi-fi using a lovely Denon cassette deck that I bought from the local BHF charity shop a year ago for 10 GBP.
The video shows the P5's front panel and rear panels, including MIDI connections and cassette interface (both retrofits on such an early instrument, one of the first 400 made). It shows the ultra mellow sound that could be got from the SSM sound generation microcircuits that made the early Prophets happily sound to good and also be so hard to repair, sadly. The Prophet-VS is also broken now after 18 years of fun playing.

Prophet-5 Revision 2 front panel & gratuitous filter sweeps jam.

Prophet-5 Revision 2.0 strummed acoustic instrument sound with purring cat.

Prophet-5 Revision 2 acoustic instrument type sound Jam from 1999. Revision 2.

Description for the videos:
Prophet-5 Revision 2 front panel & gratuitous filter sweeps and other jams from tapes recorded around 1999.
Front panel sections: modulation, oscillators, mixer, filter, amplifier.
Thanks to Dave Smith for developing such an amazing instrument. I had always wanted to own one; now I have let it go. I enjoyed making sounds on this more than on anything else, even when they were rough and even when it went out of tune. It was the instrument where you would just play the same note gratuitously again and again just to hear it again and wait for it to fade away.
Other synths arpeggiated in the background are the Roland JP-8000 (Arctic E-knows sound on cat video) and Korg Prophecy (guitar sound on cat video). Prophet-5 is the jamming instrument that sounds alive with the presence. Rough jam recorded to cassette tape in 1999, so playing is rough, totally live, just tinkering with the sound.
This was the day I let go of the P-5 (now broken, hopefully going to be restored by someone else) -  and while clearing up, I found the old tape recording the previous day in a box.
Video file P1300052.

All music and videos copyright David Bellamy 2017 (as if anybody is gonna steal it!)

Video #2: DSI Sequential Prophet-6 filter sweep demo jam: stepping? quantization? Harmonics! See description

Video #2:

DSI Sequential Prophet-6 filter sweep demo jam: stepping? quantization? Harmonics! See description

Diagram showing the harmonics / overtones series generated by a chord, much of which is easily audible with resonance high on the Prophet-6 filter:

Description for this second video:
"Prophet-6 filter demo jam. 
Compare Prophet-5 revision 2.0:
Demonstrating the "stepping" in the P-6 filter resonance, which in my view is probably always related to harmonics / overtones of the notes being accentuated by the filter resonance at the cutoff frequency and not to quantization of the cutoff knob.
When I say quantizaion, I mean apparent quantization becausue I actually think now that it is all overtones sounding. THE FILTER IS JUST TOO GOOD!! It's most apparent when resonance is at 9-10, which is when the resonance is at its narrowest bandwidth (highest quality factor), which is where you would expect it.
This was a jam not a demo at first but I posted it because I had a lot fun making the thing and trying to get a handle on this Prophet-6 filter. So no complaints about camera work please - it's difficult to hold the camera, play the synth notes and tweak the controls with only two hands!
Features filter sweeps using cutoff knob, filter envelope amount know and low frequency oscillator, alone or in combination. No particular order.
To me, the question might become - why don't you hear this "stepping" effect so much on other synths?
I'm getting to like the sound of the Prophet-6 more and more.

At high frequencies, any overtones are so close together that I guess they merge and they are indistinguishable.

At mid frequencies (around 2-4 octaves above the note played), the harmonics are close together but are still distinguishable as notes. They almost follow the chromatic scale but some will be missing depending on how many notes you are playing and which notes they are. This is where the apparent stepping occurs. Careful listening reveals that there are gaps and the stepping is not quite chromatic.

At lower frequencies, 1-2 octaves above the note, you can clearly hear the 2nd, 3rd and 4th harmonics (1st, 2nd and 3rd overtones) separately.

2:54 With filter keyboard tracking OFF, HALF and FULL.

The effect is greater with filter keyboard tracking ON because each note will have a different filter cutoff frequency, lighting up more overtones.
So with keyboard tracking OFF, you get fewer harmonics because of this. I stopped mid-sentence when I was talking.
On any kind of high resonance filter sweep, as the cutoff frequency comes down on the down-sweep, the harmonics become more sparse and you get a deceleration effect as you get to the bottom of the cycle. This gives the effect of a sine wave type LFO wave, even though it's a triangle (apparently).

Also, since it is a polyphonic synth you can get more overtones than with a monosynth because you can play more notes at once. This is probably why people are noting this on effect polysynth like the P6 (they did on the P5 too).

To make the sweeps as smooth as possible, you probably need to do one or more of these things:
*play only one note at a time
*Have filter keyboard tracking OFF
*Use square waves on the oscillators (that don't have even harmonics, only odd) instead of saws (that have odd and even)
*avoid setting the cutoff in the region where the harmonics are almost chromatic
*set the resonance not above 9 or
*sweep really quickly

The overtones will probably also depend on which wave shape you use of course! Square waves don't have even harmonics, only odd ones but saw waves have odd and even (you can tell intuitively because of the skewed look or asymmetry of the saw shape).

I don't remember hearing that region of the harmonics so clearly on my old Revision 2.0 Prophet-5 with SSM filters. Instead, there was a kinf engine like pushing up sound as the resonance passed through the close spaced overtones and it was a little more vague and less obvious.

5:05+ growly harmonics and near 5:30 you can clearly hear the nearly chromatic part of the harmonic series.

At 6:28-6:50, I said there is some quantising sound on a filter sweep WITHOUT THE... I meant "without the cutoff knob being used" - only the LFO - but again it is just harmonics. You can hear that it is nearly chromatic but not quite. So I conclude that it is just overtones being lit by the resonant filter.

At 7:30-8:30 not a lot happens because I forgot what controls I had moved.

8:22+ and 9:20+ I get the run of almost chromatic notes followed by an arpeggio of the lower harmonics coming out.

At 9:20 you get several chords with arpeggios of harmonics - and again at 10:25+.

9:54 I particularly like this sound! Slow harmonics - leading to almost chromatic ones.

10:23+ I speed it up a bit and get better apreggios of harmonics.

11:45+ Slowing it down again, I get a favourite sound at the end.

Video file MVI 7410.

Sequential, Prophet-6, Prophet, filter, cutoff, harmonics, overtones, resonance, quality, quality factor, Q, keyboard, tracking, sweep, knob, low frequency oscillator, LFO, tone colour, tone color, Prophet-5, Dave Smith Instruments, Dave Smith, DSI,"