by Stefan Wyeth | 4,5 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 4 Minutes
Polyphonic Paradise: Prophet 5 Alternatives

Polyphonic Paradise: Prophet 5 Alternatives  ·  Source: Arturia / Behringer

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We investigate some of the best Prophet 5 Alternatives to create the lush, warm sounds that this classic polyphonic synth is known for.

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Still regarded as one of the greatest-ever analogue keyboards, the Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 is a legendary analogue polysynth from the late-1970s.

The Prophet quickly rose to prominence, arriving on the market before its direct competitors like the Oberheim OB-X or the Roland Jupiter 8. While there were other polysynths like the Yamaha CS-80 around, the Prophet offered patch memory, easier programmability, and more mobility for traveling musicians.

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Sequential Prophet 5
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Prophet-5 Alternatives

The Prophet is known for its pad sounds, as we’ve heard famously on songs like In The Air Tonight and Everybody Wants To Rule The World. However, it also has snappy, precise envelopes so you can also create more percussive sounds like those used on Japan‘s memorable space ballad, Ghosts.

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Recreations of the Prophet are available in a range of software plug-ins which we’ve previously discussed in a previous article. However, we will now also look at some examples of keyboards, desktop synths, and even Eurorack modules that allow you to create similar sounds.

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Arturia Prophet 5 V

There are many software recreations of the Prophet, but with its wide scope of features, the Arturia Prophet 5 V is certainly one of the picks of the litter.

Arturia Prophet-V
Arturia Prophet-5 V · Source: Arturia

Not only does it replicate the Prophet’s control layout and sound, but the Prophet 5 V has a range of other features too. From under-the-hood voice dispersion controls to advanced modulation options, its flexibility makes it a very versatile instrument.

In addition, the keyboard section allows customization for your playing style, and the effects section has a range of 16 different effects to add expression and colour to your sounds.

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Arturia Prophet 5 V
Arturia Prophet 5 V

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Behringer Pro-800

The Behringer Pro-800 may not be a direct derivative of the Prophet 5, per se. However, it’s still an impressive analogue 8-voice desktop module that is, in fact, inspired by the less famous Prophet 600.

Behringer Pro-800
Behringer Pro-800 · Source: Behringer

The Pro-800 throws you into the world of analogue polysynths at a mere fraction of the cost of any current or vintage synth from Sequential. With this in mind, it’s a perfect choice as your first synth, or better yet, your first polyphonic synth.

Meanwhile, aside from the control layout, it also carries some key Prophet features like the Poly Mod section. Overall, the Pro-800 provides a great gateway into creating your own analogue sounds.

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Behringer Pro-800
Behringer Pro-800
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TipTop Audio Z2040

Creating the Prophet 5’s architecture in Eurorack format is a tough ask indeed, but modules like the TipTop Audio Z2040 are certainly a step in the right direction.

TipTop Audio Z2040
TipTop Audio Z2040 · Source: TipTop Audio

This 8 HP module recreation of the Prophet 5 Rev 2 filter has the familiar sonic characteristics you need. Furthermore, each of its controls can be modulated with external CV signals.

These parameters include gain, cutoff frequency, resonance, FM, and VC-FM. In addition, there’s a VCA that can be placed before or after the filter in the signal path. Overall, the Z2040 is a versatile filter for your Eurorack system for Prophet-style sounds and more.

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Tiptop Audio Z2040
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KORG Minilogue XD

It might not have five voices technically, but the KORG Minilogue XD is a great option when you need a compact keyboard-based synth. Its analogue VCOs have enough warmth to create Prophet-style pad sounds, while the digital oscillator offers even more versatility.

Korg Minilogue XD
Korg Minilogue XD · Source: Korg

For starters, there are four different voice modes, including Unison, Arp/Latch, Poly, and Chord. Furthermore, the 16-step pattern sequencer gives you a new creative angle for sound creation, and its motion sequencer provides even more depth.

To give your sounds a more finished edge, the Minilogue XD is also equipped with a digital effects section with delay, reverb, and a range of modulation effects.

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Korg Minilogue XD
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Sequential Prophet REV2 Series

Compared to the Prophet 5 reissue, the Prophet REV2 Series is a slightly more affordable way to get the pure analogue Prophet sound in your studio. There are three different versions, including an 8-voice desktop module and keyboard versions that go up to 16 voices.

Sequential Prophet REV2
Sequential Prophet REV2 · Source: Sequential

Rather than simply recreating the Prophet’s design knob for knob, the REV2 Series offers a versatile feature set, with some key additions that make these synths inspiring and creative instruments.

For starters, there are two DCOs per voice, a Curtis low-pass filter, three envelopes, four LFOs, a 6-note per step polyphonic sequencer, an effects section, and an additional set of outputs.

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Sequential Prophet REV2-8 Desktop
Sequential Prophet REV2-8 Desktop
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Sequential Prophet REV2-8
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Sequential Prophet REV2-16
Sequential Prophet REV2-16
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Polyphonic Paradise: Prophet 5 Alternatives

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One response to “Polyphonic Paradise: Prophet-5 Alternatives”

    Paul M Boos says:
    0

    I’d heard the Sequential Take5 was a more affordable way to get a Prophet sound and was suprised not to see it listed. How does it fare in comparison?

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