Sequential Prophet 6 Series
The Sequential Prophet 6 harnesses the elements that made the original Prophet-5 so special and combines them with modern features such as stereo digital effects, polyphonic step sequencing, variable waveforms, assignable aftertouch and more. It’s fitting that the Prophet 6 was the first to proudly bear the Sequential logo since the '80s, as it delivers the quintessential analogue sound that became synonymous with the iconic company and brings it into the modern age.
Part of what makes the Sequential Prophet-6 so appealing is its inviting knob-per-function design, which puts virtually all of its parameters at your fingertips… no screens in sight! It’s very reminiscent of classic synths and makes it an absolute joy to program. The Preset button is on hand to activate the live panel mode, where all the knobs jump to their physical position - what you see is what you’re hearing. The Prophet-6 is one huge sweet spot, which makes designing jaw-dropping sounds a breeze. Once you’ve found a sound you want to keep, you can store it in one of the 500 user preset slots. There are also 500 set factory programs, which have been meticulously crafted by leading sound designers.
Discrete Analogue Components
At the core of the Prophet-6’s rich, punchy & organic sound are the 2 discrete VCOs (voltage-controlled oscillators) per voice. Both Osc 1 & Osc 2 boast continuously variable waveshapes, which can blend between Triangle, Sawtooth & variable-width Pulse waves. This presents a lot more versatility and complexity than simple on/off switches for each shape and a huge range of flavours can be obtained from exploring the in-between shapes. Each voice also features a Triangle wave Sub oscillator that’s an octave below Osc 1, which is great for adding bottom-end weight to your patches.
While the Prophet-6’s VCOs are rock-solid, as befitting a modern synth that you’d expect to use for live performances, you can dial in the tuning instability that you’d find on an older Prophet with the Slop knob. This simple yet highly effective knob gradually invokes more pitch drift as you turn it up, from subtle enrichment all the way to “there’s something wrong with my synth”.
If your Prophet 6 Keyboard or Desktop isn’t updated to the latest OS, it’s well worth taking the very short amount of time to do so. The latest firmware adds MPE compatibility and the incredible Vintage mode that was originally found on the Prophet 5 & Prophet 10 Rev 4. Vintage mode can be used instead of Slop and introduces per voice variations to accuarately emulate the magic of old-school synthesizers.
P-5 Inspired Filter
Staying true to Sequential’s storied lineage is the Prophet 6’s 4-pole & resonant low-pass filter, which is sonically inspired by the legendary Prophet-5. The low-pass filter’s character can be altered depending on where the Osc levels are set in the Mixer, with an old-school Prophet sound at lower levels and a more driven, modern one at higher levels. Not only does this filter excel at adding vintage warmth & depth to your sounds, its self-oscillating capabilities when the resonance is cranked mean it can also achieve otherworldly effects.
Unlike its forebear, the Prophet 6 provides additional sonic flexibility with its 2-pole resonant high-pass filter. The high-pass can be used to sculpt out obtrusive low-end in a band mix, boost low-end at high resonance settings, replicate Elka Synthex-style sweeps, work in tandem with the low-pass for band-pass filtering and more.
A huge part of what made the P-5 sound so distinctive is the Poly Mod section, which has been given an update on the P-6. Just like on the P-5, you have 2 modulation sources - the Filter Envelope and Osc 2 - which now have bi-polar control and 5 destinations at your disposal. Osc 2 is very flexible as a source, as it can transform into a polyphonic LFO when the Low Freq button is engaged.
An astonishing variety of timbres can be conjured up by experimenting with the Poly Mod section’s capabilities. For example, you can use the Filter Envelope to gradually fade-in Osc 1 by modulating the pulse-width when the Shape knob is all the way to the right.
The P-6 also features a global LFO, which can be assigned to 5 destinations. This versatile LFO can run into audio rates at high settings, boasts 5 waveshapes and can be synced to both internal & external clock for rhythmic effects. A handy addition to the LFO is the Initial Amount knob, which allows you to precisely dial in the LFO without having to use the Mod Wheel (which you had to do on the original P-5).
While the P6 is a fantastic polyphonic synth, it’s also a potent mono-synth that can excel at ripping leads and thunderous. When the P6 is used in monophonic Unison mode, you can choose how many voices are stacked, the amount detuning between them, the Note Priority (Low, High & Last) and whether the envelopes are retriggered when you play a new note.
Stacking 6 detuned voices together (that’s 12 VCOs at once) can create some truly room-shaking patches. Unison mode also features a Chord Memory feature, which allows you to play a chord with one note (perfect for those House plucks & Minimoog-esque 3 oscillator leads) and store it within the preset to use later.
Moving In Stereo
A huge advantage of the Sequential Prophet 6 is its studio-quality effects and stereo capabilities. The Prophet 6 features a stereo analogue distortion circuit (which can add subtle warmth or full-on grunge mayhem at higher settings) and a dual digital effects section. The 24-bit, 48 kHz effects are akin to having an arsenal of top-notch stompboxes inside of your synth, with 2 BPM syncable delays (BBD-style & Digital), 3 lush reverbs (Spring, Hall & Room) and gorgeous modulation effects.
The Prophet 6’s digital effects reside on a side-chain, which preserves the synth’s analogue signal whether the effects are on or off. If you’re an analogue purist or prefer to use external effects, you can switch the Prophet 6 digital effects off with the push of a button.
To create instant width, you can reach for the Pan Spread knob, which gradually distributes the Prophet 6’s voices across the stereo field.
Inspiring Performance Features
The Prophet 6 is equipped with a powerful arpeggiator and a polyphonic step sequencer, which are on hand to help generate inspiration and act as compositional tools. The arpeggiator features an array of time divisions, 5 play modes (up, down, up/down, random & assign) and can span up to a 3 octave range. The step sequencer can record up to 64 steps with up to 6 notes per step and you can punch in rests & ties. Once your sequence is running, you can transpose it and play over the top with any free voices.
Sequential have bestowed the Prophet 6 with velocity-sensitive envelopes and Aftertouch, which allow you to dynamically alter the sound of your patches as you play. The Aftertouch can be assigned to 6 destinations and there are a variety of response curves to choose from depending on your playing preferences.
Buy a Prophet 6 Keyboard or Desktop from GAK today and find out why it's become the synth of choice for leading artists such as Kevin Parker (Tame Impala), Kimbra, James Blake, Thom Yorke, Flying Lotus, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) and countless others.