Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2

44-key Monophonic / Paraphonic Hybrid Synthesizer with 4 DSP Oscillators, 2 VCFs, 5 Envelopes, 4 LFOs, Effects, 32-step/16-track Step Sequencer, CV I/O, Arpeggiator, and More
Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2 image 1
Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2 image 1
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Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2
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Dave's Next-gen Monosynth

To say that the Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2 is a monosynth based on the Prophet 12 would be selling this remarkable synthesizer short - yet you can't deny that benefits greatly by borrowing from its big brother, especially where its overall playability is concerned. The first thing about the Pro 2 that struck the synth nuts here at Sweetwater was how easy it is to get around, but diving into its controls, we discovered a world of new possibilities. Highlights include a 32-step/16-track step sequencer, dual vintage analog filters, and loads of CV connectivity. And, of course, you'll find tons of hands-on controls and modulation options on the Pro2. Keep reading to find out why we're so excited about this monosynth.

Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2 Synthesizer at a Glance:
  • DSP-driven oscillators and effects you simply won't believe aren't analog
  • Freakishly powerful analog signal path lets you shape your sound to perfection
  • Quite possibly the most powerful step sequencer ever built into a monosynth
DSP-driven oscillators and effects you simply won't believe aren't analog

There's one really good reason to put digital signal processing in an otherwise analog synth, and that's to accomplish something your simply can't do in the analog domain. The Pro 2 gets this 100% right. Its four DSP-driven oscillators include complex waveforms, including 13 Superwaves, providing you with an incredible palette of sounds, and selectable noise colors, hard sync, slop, and individual glide controls just add icing on the cake. True 4-voice paraphonic mode lets you play chords, without giving up the advantages of a monosynth, and you can beef up your base tone with a dedicated sine wave suboscillator. The Pro 2 also comes packed with five high-quality Character Effects, including Girth and Air shelving EQs with harmonics, Hack and Decimate bit-reduction distortion, and Drive soft saturation. Tuned feedback takes your tone over the top, and four delay lines (the last of which is a sweet digital bucket-brigade delay) let you add dimension to your sound.

Freakishly powerful analog signal path lets you shape your sound to perfection

Beyond the Pro 2's Character Effects section, the whole signal path is totally analog. The vintage filter section includes a Dave Smith Instruments classic 4-pole resonant analog lowpass filter inspired by the original Prophet-5, which is followed by a 2-pole state-variable (lowpass/highpass/band pass/notch) filter inspired by the Oberheim SEM. Each filter has a dedicated envelope, as does the VCA. There are two additional envelopes and four syncable LFOs (along with 44 additional mod sources) you can freely assign to 140 destinations via the epically powerful modulation matrix. Last but not least, a beautiful analog distortion effect lets you dirty up your Pro 2's overall tone.

Quite possibly the most powerful step sequencer ever built into a monosynth

We've already touched on the MASSIVELY COOL 16 x 2 modulation matrix, with its 50+ mod sources and 140+ destinations (including the 4 x 4 CV I/O), now, check out what you can do with it. Onboard the Pro 2 is one of the most flexible step sequencers we've ever seen. It gives you up to 32 steps per sequence, and 16 tracks to play with. Record real-time inputs, rests, and variable-length phrases, then clock the whole thing to MIDI or CV input. Best of all, the sequencer lets you control not just oscillator pitch, but any parameter available to the modulation matrix. Top it off with a sophisticated arpeggiator, and you've really got to hand it to the guys at Dave Smith Instruments, the Pro 2 is an astounding little synth.

Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2 Synthesizer Features:
  • An insanely powerful hybrid digital/analog synthesizer with full MIDI and CV support
  • 44 full-sized keys with velocity and aftertouch plus 50 knobs and 65 buttons make this one extremely playable synth
  • Adjustable pitch wheel, mod wheel, and 2 pressure-sensitive touch strips provide additional hands-on control
  • 4 DSP-driven oscillators with complex waveforms (including 13 Superwaves) let you create immensely fat and complex sounds
  • Sine wave suboscillator, 3 noise types, PWM, AM and FM cross modulation, and more let you fatten up your tone
  • True 4-voice paraphonic mode with individually-gated envelopes per oscillator allow you to play chords
  • Five high-quality digital Character Effects include harmonic excitement and distortion types in addition to tuned feedback
  • 4 delay engines include 3 syncable delays with feedback, pan, and filtering plus 1 digital bucket-brigade delay
  • Dual analog filters include a Prophet-5 style 4-pole resonant lowpass filter and a SEM inspired 2-pole multimode filter
  • Both filters and the VCA include dedicated envelopes (all envelopes can repeat/loop)
  • 2 additional envelopes plus 4 syncable LFO with phase offset and slew are freely assignable via the modulation matrix
  • 16 x 2 modulation matrix with over 50 mod sources and over 140 mod destinations lets you setup extremely complex sounds
  • Send parameters including oscillators, LFOs, envelopes, etc to CV outputs at up to audio rates
  • 4 x 4, 1V/octave CV I/O plus gate out lets you integrate with modular synths
  • Advanced step sequencer provides up to 32 steps per sequence and up to 16 tracks, supporting all modulation matrix parameters
  • Sequencer can sync to MIDI clock, external audio, and CV input
  • Re-latching arpeggiator with up/down/up+down/random/assign modes supports real-time input and variable-length sequences
  • Stereo analog distortion lets you add even more grit to your sound
  • 396 factory programs provide plenty of inspiration to get you started, and 396 user programs let you store and sort your favorites
You haven't heard what a synthesizer can do till you play a Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2!

Additional Media

Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2 Synthesizer Demo - Sweetwater at Summer NAMM 2014

Tech Specs

Sound Engine Type(s) Analog/Digital
Number of Keys 44
Type of Keys Semi-weighted
Other Controllers Pitchbend, Mod Wheel
Polyphony 4 Notes
Number of Presets 396 User, 396 Factory
Effects Types LFO, Delay, Filters, Envelopes
Arpeggiator Yes
Sequencer 16-track
Audio Inputs 1 x 1/4"
Audio Outputs 2 x 1/4"
USB 1 x Type B
MIDI I/O In/Out/Thru
Pedal Inputs 1 x Sustain, 1 x Expression
Power Supply 100V-240V
Height 4.15"
Width 29.2"
Depth 12.8"
Weight 18.7 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number DSI-2400

Customer Reviews

4/5
Based on 11 reviews
Write your review
5/5

I couldn't ask for a better synth

For eight long months I agonized over what I should purchase, DSI's Pro 2 or Arturia's MatrixBrute. In my eyes, both were similar in many respects, but the MatrixBrute had what I considered to be a better 'instant' sound and greater modulation capabilities. Plus, I was extremely hesitant to spend 2k on a paraphonic synth with digital oscillators. Knowing that I was going to be lugging my new purchase around with me everywhere though, I picked the Pro 2 because it didn't weigh 44+ pounds. I also wanted to try something that didn't sound like it was trying to be a Moog. I mistakenly thought, "in a worst case scenario I could always sell it and get the MatrixBrute,". Ha! First off, the somewhat negative reviews regarding the OS updates are in dire need of updating themselves. DSI has released two updates in the past seven months, and the latest (1.3.0) not only added paraphonic sequencing, but fixed and corrected 99% of the known OS bugs. In my experience, the Pro 2 is near flawless in operation and works well with my DAW (Abelton user here) via USB. Easy peasy. I'm happy with the Pro 2 as it is now, but I look forward to any additional features they intend to add in any new updates. Now let's talk about the oscillators... I won't go into my analog bona fides, but I'll admit that I was an analog snob as a result of them. The Pro 2 is impressive enough that I've given up on the Digital osc vs. Analog osc debate. The minute variations, tuning problems, and wiring quirkiness I've come to love about my aging collection can easily be replicated in the Pro 2 if desired. That's one of the more interesting things about the Pro 2 I've found in my experience; in that it helped me better understand what it is exactly that I liked in my old gear. A lot of times it's not just because "it's analog" but because it's something else I didn't realize till I tried to mimic it on the Pro 2. On this point, if you wish to remain an analog snob, then avoid the Pro 2 at all costs. It will force you to reconsider your sacred beliefs. I absolutely love the filters! It's like the best of the 80s in one piece of hardware! The one thing that doesn't get mentioned enough is the boost DSI included on filter 1, something that catapults the Pro 2 into Pro One sounding territory. I figure that some folks were trying to keep this a secret, but it was bound to come out sooner or later. I don't know if there's more that I could add that other reviews haven't, but I love, love, love these filters! Build quality on the Pro 2 is top notch. The key bed feels great, the knobs feel awesome, the LED screen is nice and sharp, I'm new to the touch sliders though. I'm getting used to them and it feels completely natural to use my palm to adjust the pitch and mod wheels while my fingers adjust the touch sliders. I'm still on the fence on whether the latch buttons for the sliders should be on the top or bottom of the sliders, but I'm adjusting to the current layout easily enough. I also thought the Pro 2 would be a menu-diving headache but was proved wrong there too. The layout of this thing is just ingenious and knob-per-function is invaluable! Overall, I expected less of the Pro 2 and got way more than I anticipated. Months in I'm still learning more of it's capabilities (CV function, external routing combinations, etc.) and anticipate that I won't have everything down for at least a couple more years. It's a deep, deep, deep piece of equipment and demands attention, but working with it is an absolute joy. I could write pages more to this review, however I need to cut it short and get back to my Pro 2. In conclusion, I had my doubts in the beginning, now I'm changing my will to have it buried with me when I die. It's that good.
Music background: Hobbyist
5/5

Absolutely In Love!

I've had the Pro 2 for a little over two weeks and I'm blown away. It's ridiculously easy to use even if you have very little knowledge of synthesis yet it sounds incredible. Even though the oscillators are digital the overall sounds coming out of this thing can sound analog with a few very tiny tweaks and of course the analog filters. I've been producing progressive house for a handful of years and decided to get rid of my Virus Ti2 in exchange for the Pro 2. This synth has had a dramatic impact on my productions! Also, when you call to order, hit up Mike Arango at extension 1334...he has given me extraordinary service in last 2 years!
Music background: produer/dj
5/5

Amazing Synth

Incredible sounding oscillators and filters. Deep modulation capabilities. Well built, great size. The paraphonic mode is very useful. I love the CV features. Great sequencer and Arp. Probably the most versatile, useful and favorite synth I've owned...and I've owned a few! Highly recommended.
Music background: Musician
5/5

Pro 2

Want to learn how to program on a synth, hands on? This is what your looking for, wow! The most user friendly interface I have ever had, thank you Dave Smith! Touch a knob, bang the info is there, on a super sharp led, love it, this synth is so deep, it's hard to give it justice in a review. The duel filters kick ***, the modulation routings are endless, and very very intuitive, this board begs for exploration with real time results, in fact I've had many creative moments just dissecting the on board presets and hitting the compare switch in real time on a sequence, this keyboard is a classic, I could go on and on but I can't keep my hands off of it, try it, you'll see.
Music background: all
5/5

Amazingly deep & incredibly fun!

The Pro 2 is a sound designer's dream come true! If has so much flexibility and such an amazing array of sound shaping capabilities that you can create practically any sound you can dream up. Complex modulation options allow you to program sounds that can literally come alive and the combination of conventional modulation wheels with the two ribbon controllers give you incredible performance control. This thing is deep! But what really brings the whole package together is the amazingly intuitive and useful user interface. The beautiful OLED display clearly shows any parameter you need to see, including a graphical representation of wave shapes, envelopes and even filter routing! It's even large enough to show 16 sequencer steps at a time which is very handy when doing in-depth editing. You can buy an editor for the synth, but honestly, I don't think you need it with this great interface! I've had a number of synths over the years including a Roland Juno 60, Yamaha CS20m, Oberheim Matrix 6, Roland MKS-80, a Moog Sub Phatty and a DSI Mopho X4 (sold it to get this one). The Pro 2 is rising to the top of the list as an instant classic!
See also: Dave Smith Instruments, Dave Smith Instruments Synthesizers