Dave Smith is one of the world’s best known and well respected synth designers ever to grace the soldering iron. He has been making world-class instruments since the early 70’s and is referred to as the “Father of MIDI” after having developed the technology we still use to this day. Fast forward more than 30-years, Smith’s company DSI is still releasing some of the most sought after hardware synths on the market and has now given us our first taste of the brand new REV2 poly synth at NAMM 2017. Head below for all the details:
DSI is making direct comparisons between the new REV2 and the previously released Prophet ’08 synth. This time around will be getting up to 16-voices, bi-timbral operation (allowing us to stack/split two completely independent patches), a much more extensive modulation matrix and a polyphonic step-sequencer (separate for each layer, up to 64 steps and up to 6 notes per step).
DS fans will be happy to know the 2/4-pole Curtis filters (per voice) are intact alongside a pair of Dave’s modern-era DCOs and a sub-octave generator. These are literally the same filters found in the Prophet ’08, but we are getting a new wave shape modulation feature with REV2. We will be able to adjust to pulse width of all 4 available DCO shapes (sawtooth, triangle, sawtooth + triangle, and pulse).
On the hardware side of things, REV2 sports an OLED display, a five-octave, semi-weighted keyboard (velocity and channel aftertouch), an integrated power supply (goodbye wall wart) and full USB support for your Mac. More details from DSI below along with a video starring the man himself are below:
“We’ve created a monster,” says Dave, “and I mean that in the best possible way.”
As for pricing and availability, the REV2 16-voice poly synth will hit store shelves in the “second quarter of 2017 with a projected MAP of $XXX.” We will update this post when final pricing details are available.
A Modern Classic Reinvented
The REV2 is Dave Smith’s reimagining of his Prophet ’08 poly synth — a modern classic that has appeared on countless recordings and stages since its debut in 2007. As Dave puts it, “The REV2 is the realization of our effort to enhance and improve everything we could about the original design — all at a more accessible price.”
The REV2 retains all of the key features of the Prophet ’08 and expands on them. It has twice the polyphony, twice the mod matrix, waveshape modulation on all waveforms, digital effects per layer in stacked or split voice mode, a polyphonic step sequencer per layer, and more. The result is a true analog powerhouse.
Best of all, you can download any of the many existing libraries of Prophet ’08 sounds and they will not only sound identical, but can be enhanced with the new features.
With 16 voices to play with, you have the freedom to allocate them as you wish. Play two-fisted chords, stack two 8-voice sounds for massive, complex textures, or split the keyboard into two completely separate 8-voice instruments.
The REV2 gets its bold, punchy sound from its 2/4 pole, low-pass, resonant Curtis filters per voice. These are the same filters used not only in the Prophet ’08, but in many classic instruments of the 70’s and 80’s. A separate Audio Mod control adds additional harmonic complexity and movement.
A powerful new feature unique to the REV2 is waveshape modulation. You can now vary the “pulse width” of any of the four waveforms (sawtooth, saw+tri, triangle, square). Using the Shape Mod control, you can manually dial in a desired waveshape width or use an LFO or other mod source for continuously shifting timbre. Even single-oscillator sounds take on new depth and dimension. The tonal possibilities are vast.
Effects Per Layer
The effects section provides reverb, delays (standard and BBD), chorus, phase shifter, ring modulation, and distortion. In stacked or split voice mode, you can apply a different effect to each layer. Effects parameters can be modulated through the Mod Matrix.
Extended Mod Matrix
Also present from its predecessor is an easy-to-assign Mod Matrix, now twice as big, with 8 individual slots and many more sources/destinations. It’s a veritable sound designer’s playground.
Poly Step Sequencing
The polyphonic step sequencer allows up to 64 steps and up to 6 notes per step. You can create a different sequence for each layer when you are working in stacked or split voice mode, making it a powerful tool for composition or performance. The sequencer also functions as a modulation source in gated mode, allowing you to create up to 4 different 16-step sequences for complex modulation. Sequences allow ties and rests, and can sync to an external MIDI clock. The arpeggiator features note repeats, re-latching, and can be synced to external MIDI clock, as well.
The knob-per-function front panel offers instant access to REV2 functions. Included are 512 permanent factory programs and 512 rewritable user programs.
All of this polyphonic power is packed into a five-octave, premium-quality, semi-weighted keyboard with velocity and channel aftertouch. Other road-worthy features include an integrated power supply, USB support, and a crisp OLED display, making the REV2 an ideal instrument for gigging or recording, and an analog powerhouse like no other.