Sequential Prophet-6 6-voice Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer

49-key, 6-voice Analog Synthesizer with Discrete VCOs and Filters, Enhanced Poly Mod Section, and Dual Effects Section
Sequential Prophet-6 6-voice Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer image 1
Sequential Prophet-6 6-voice Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer image 1
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Sequential Prophet-6 6-voice Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer
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A New Prophet with Deep Roots

The Sequential Prophet-6 is Dave Smith's tribute to his groundbreaking analog polysynth, the Prophet-5. Says Dave: "It's not a reissue, it's vintage with a modern twist." Driving this 6-voice beast are two discrete VCOs plus a sub oscillator per voice. Other features are two discrete filters per voice, a studio-grade, digital dual effects section, analog stereo distortion, onboard arpeggiator and step sequencer, a knob-per-function top panel, and a full-size, 4-octave, semi-weighted keyboard with velocity and aftertouch. We Sweetwater synth aficionados are ecstatic over Dave Smith Instruments' Sequential Prophet-6. You will be, too!

Dave Smith Instruments Sequential Prophet-6 at a Glance:
  • Pure, cutting-edge analog: modern, yet classic
  • Studio-grade dual effects engine
  • Poly Mod and polyphonic step sequencer
  • This synth is amazingly easy to program
  • And it's even easier to play
Pure, cutting-edge analog: modern, yet classic

At the core of the Sequential Prophet-6 are two newly designed, discrete voltage-controlled oscillators (reinforced by a sub oscillator) per voice. These modern analog oscillators feature continuously variable waveshapes with triangle, sawtooth, and variable-width pulse waves. Two discrete filters per voice give you Michelangelo-class tone-sculpting prowess: a four-pole, resonant lowpass (inspired by the original Prophet-5 filter), and a two-pole, resonant highpass. Voltage-controlled amplifiers complete the Prophet-6's pure-analog signal path.

Studio-grade dual effects engine

The Sequential Prophet-6 sports a dual effects section that delivers studio-quality reverbs, delays (standard and Bucket Brigade Device - aka BBD), chorus, and phase shifter. Although the effects are digital, with 24-bit/48kHz resolution, true bypass maintains your pure-analog signal path. Also onboard is a 100% analog independent stereo distortion effect. In the early '80s, the Prophet-5's polyphony and patch memory were huge technological achievements; onboard effects were nothing but a pipe dream (if that). Kind of makes you appreciate the age we live in all the more, no?

Poly Mod and polyphonic step sequencer

The Prophet-5 rocked a feature called Poly Mod, and so does the Prophet-6 - with enhancements, of course. As with its predecessor, the Prophet-6's modulation sources are Filter Envelope and Oscillator 2 (both with bi-polar control). Destinations include Oscillator 1 frequency, Oscillator 1 shape, Oscillator 1 pulse width, lowpass filter cutoff, and highpass filter cutoff. Unison mode (featuring configurable voice count of 1-6 voices and key modes) also makes an encore. The Prophet-6's polyphonic step sequencer accommodates up to 64 steps and up to six notes per step, letting you build sequences polyphonically, with rests and external MIDI clock sync. There's also a full-function arpeggiator that you can sync to external MIDI clock as well.

This synth is amazingly easy to program

Dave Smith designed the Sequential Prophet-6 with a knob-per-function top panel that gives you instant access to virtually all its functions. You get 500 permanent factory programs, arranged in 10 banks of 100 programs each. You can, additionally, create and save up to 500 user programs. Toggle off the Preset button and you're in Live Panel (what you see is what you hear) mode, in which the sound of the Prophet-6 switches to the current settings of its controls.

And it's even easier to play

Dave Smith Instruments equipped the Sequential Prophet-6 with more than awe-inspiring sound. To inspire your creativity, this formidable synthesizer is fitted with a four-octave, semi-weighted keybed. Four octaves is, in our humble opinion, the optimal compromise between two-handed playability and portability, which makes the Prophet-6 your ideal gigging buddy, particularly when you factor in the instrument's tour-tough build quality. These keys, which are velocity and channel-aftertouch sensitive, feel silky smooth and just beg to be played. So go ahead - sit down for a sound design session with the Dave Smith Instruments Sequential Prophet-6. We promise, you'll be hooked!

Dave Smith Instruments Sequential Prophet-6 Features:
  • All-analog signal path; discrete VCOs and filters
  • 6 voices; 2 voltage-controlled oscillators plus sub oscillator per voice
  • 2 discrete filters per voice: 4-pole resonant lowpass and 2-pole resonant highpass
  • Digital dual-FX section (true bypass maintains a full analog signal path)
  • Multimode arpeggiator; 64-step polyphonic step sequencer
  • Full-size, 4-octave semi-weighted keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
Dave Smith Instruments Sequential Prophet-6: essential!

Additional Media

Dave Smith Instruments OB-6 and Sequential Prophet-6 Synthesizer Comparison
Sequential Prophet-6 Tweaking by Sweetwater's Daniel Fisher

Tech Specs

Sound Engine Type(s) Analog
Number of Keys 49
Type of Keys Semi-weighted
Other Controllers Pitchbend, Mod Wheel
Polyphony 6 Notes
Number of Presets 500 x Factory, 500 x User
Effects Types Reverb, Delay, Chorus, Phase Shifter, Distortion
Arpeggiator Yes
Sequencer 64-step
Audio Outputs 2 x 1/4", 1 x 1/4" (headphones)
USB 1 x Type B
MIDI I/O In/Out/Thru/USB
Pedal Inputs 2 x 1/4" (expression pedal), 2 x 1/4" (footswitch)
Height 4.6"
Width 32"
Depth 12.7"
Weight 20 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number DSI-2600

Customer Reviews

Based on 22 reviews
Write your review

Beautiful Sound!

Wow! Blown Away - what Sweetwater 5 star rating refers to is an apt description of this beautiful sounding musical instrument. You see the tired analog vs. digital vs. software debates all over the Internet, and because I like all flavors of sound sources, I could care less to get into that. But I mention it because there is a "depth of field" I hear in this instrument I don't get the sense of from my DCO or soft synth instruments. They all are cool to me, but this synth instantly became the one I just tweak & LISTEN to even if there is no musical goal involved but the pleasure of hearing it. This is the one I can play the most simple repeating sequence and fall deep down the rabbit hole listening to it for a long time while tweaking the sound. And it is so easy and accessible to understand how to tweak the sound. Funny that the manual even says right at the start to just turn it on and start twisting knobs! Before buying, I heard a lot of great demos on the net, then bought it after playing with it a local music store. But only after getting it home & connecting to my Apollo 8P with Mackie HR824 speakers did I finally get the feeling of "oh wow, this is easily one of the best things I have ever bought". One final comment, this is not your "I want to make a whole lot of weird cutting edge noises" instruments. It does have good mod routing to make lots of crazy synth sounds, but to me the strong suit of this instrument is it's musicality. The sounds it makes are very beautiful. There is a sublime, subtle, intangible aspect of it's sound that excites the ears when you hear it connected to a good sound system. My style is more on the down tempo, moody, electronic side of the spectrum and this instrument is absolutely perfect for that!
Music background: Gutiarist turned synth enthusiats. DAW hobbyist.

Yes, it is as good as it seems

Until you get something into your rig and hear it and play with it a bit, it's hard to sure that it's really as good as it claims to be. Hard to be sure that it's really worth the price. The Prophet 6 is better than it claims to be. It's not possible to describe how amazing it sounds. I have other DSI gear that is based on DCOs - analog oscillators that are digitally controlled. So before I got it I wondered if it was worth it to pay the extra money for true VCOs - analog oscillators that are analog controlled. From the very first note, I confirmed that it is absolutely worth it. It costs more to get true VCOs, but the sound quality is unmatched. If you're wondering whether all this great 100% analog tone is diminished in quality when it goes through the on-board digital effects, I'm here to tell you that no, it isn't. I'm not sure how they did it, but the digital effects sound great and perfectly complement the 100% analog synth sounds going into them. Of course you can bypass the effects and record for later effects in mixing or outboard effects, but having it all in one box is very helpful. For instance, being able to synchronize the delays with the LFOs, arpeggiator, and/or step sequencer gives you a unique ability to create unified sounds that are ready to go right out of the PA. You'd have to spend thousands more on semi-modular or modular gear to get that kind of power with as good or better sound quality. The only thing I could possibly want to be different is it would be nice to have a two-pole filter option, but that's a small thing. Live or in the studio, you'll find the Prophet 6 sounds and plays as good or better than any other poly synth you can buy new. You won't be disappointed.
Music background: Semi-pro musician, teacher, writer, engineer

Poly Analog Perfection!!

I purchased one of the first Prophet 12's, and you can see my glowing review of that axe on that page. I still love the '12 - it sounds fantastic, it's impressively deep, and has an extremely wide sonic palette. You can make huge analog sounds with it, for sure - that's mostly what I use it for. I didn't hesitate in ordering the '6, but in the back of my mind wondered if it would be redundant with the '12. What an idiot I was. While the '12 can make great analog sound, the '6 *is* analog sound. It just sounds right - and, due to the differences in architecture, it sounds different than the '12, even when creating the same sounds. The point I'm making: you need both the '12 and the '6, without a doubt. Sorry, bank account. I'm old enough to remember when the Prophet 5 appeared in stores, but not quite old enough to have been able to afford to buy one new - I was 14 when the P5 debuted, and buying my first car was ultimately a higher priority. Now, many years later, it's a thrill just to be able to plunk down the ol' credit card and buy a Prophet 6 brandy-new. Old guys rule! But I digress. IMHO, the Prophet 6 sounds very much like a Rev 2 Prophet 5, but better, with velocity and aftertouch, and with dual digital effects that are extremely useful sound crafting tools. Considering the original P5 was $5500 (in 1978 dollars!) and the new-and-improved P6 is $2800, what on earth are you waiting for? I feel somewhat sorry for anyone with a vintage analog synth, as the market value of your vintage axe just went down. Until now, vintage gear was really the only way to get That Sound - I myself owned several vintage synths, but got tired of taking them to be repaired; it was always a crap shoot to see how many voices of my beloved OB-8 would turn on, on any given day. The Prophet 6 has the vintage sound, plus improvements, with the reliability of a brand new piece of gear. (Imagine depending on a computer from 1978!!) Pros: * true analog organic goodness - I'd put it up against *any* vintage synth for tone quality and expressive power. It just sounds awesome, warm, organic, phat, whatever adjective you can come up with. It sounds like an analog polysynth is supposed to sound. And that's a very good thing, indeed. * very high-grade keyboard - This keyboard is deliciously solid and velvety. Best synth keyboard ever, IMHO * great, classic old-school UI hides nothing behind menus, hidden parameters, etc., making it very fast and easy to dial in anything you want and perform with the knobs and buttons. Cons: * The old-school UI is a little clunky for patch selection. Overall, it's vintage cool, but not having names for patches makes it difficult to remember them. Also, the old-school UI makes it difficul to dissect patches, as you can't see what is set in the pots. The Prophet 12 does a fantastic job with this, btw, enabling parameter comparison and value readout. Hopefully SoundTower will soon have a Prophet 6 editor for managing patches and reverse-engineering other people's patches. * No 12db low-pass filter. Hard to complain about this too much, as it already has gorgeous sounding LP and HP filters, the latter of which was not found in the P5. A 2-pole LP would have been a great addition, perhaps taking it into Oberheim territory, but it's probably unfair to wenge too much over its absence. * Six voices and four octaves is a little truncated compared to others, e.g., 12 voices and five octaves of the Prophet 12. And yet, it really isn't a problem; the Prophet 6 is so huge sounding, you don't need to stack layers or add more than two oscillators (the P12 has four oscillators per voice). Bottom line: if I could only afford one professional synth, this would be it. Fortunately, I don't have to choose: my current arsenal includes the Prophet 6, Prophet 12, Moog Voyager, ARP Odyssey, and, hopefully soon, Oberheim Two-Voice. Each offers its own palette of sonic color, and each is awesome in their own way. But, gun to my head, I'd pick the Prophet 6, as it can truly cover the mono lead and poly territory in such a deliciously musical way. It's not as deep and flexible as the Prophet 12, isn't as liquid & rubbery as the Moog, and it doesn't have the in-your-face aggressiveness of the ARP, but it just friggin' sounds fantastic and musical and, to sum up, it sounds exactly how an analog polysynth *should* sound like. Thanks, Dave Smith & Company - you've done it (again) !!!
Music background: Musician, Writer, Engineer, Producer


I received #00082 from Sweetwater a couple of weeks ago. I ordered back in January, as I thought the feature set was perfect for my performance needs. My first synth was a Prophet 5 back in the 80s, and I have not had an analog synth since. I saw the NAMM presentations and had to have it. Build quality is top notch and, as the other reviewer noted, the best keybed you will ever use, just a joy to play. Sound is rich and massive, and having used my Access Virus for the last two years (a great synth as well) there really is a big difference in the characteristics of a truly analog synth. It is simple to program, in fact, I play a lot of 80s music in my bands, and getting the tones out of this thing is a snap if you know your way around subtractive synthesis. The modern features arp, sequencer, velocity, aftertouch, and the effects make this a great performance or recording instrument. With my Nord Stage2, the Virus, and the Prophet-6, I have all the bases covered. Great purchase!
Music background: Composer, Producer, Performer

Great synth

I've not played the p6 in person yet, but I am basing my opinion on videos I've seen....and I am VERY impressed. The reviewer above me stated that all vintage gear prices will now take a nosedive. This has never been the case nor will it be now. I've not seen the value of TR-808's & 909's go down since the introduction of the TR-8, so.....
Music background: Composer, Producer, Sound Design
See also: Sequential, Sequential Synthesizers