NAMM: Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12 and Mopho X4

Dave Smith Instruments is one of my perennial stops at NAMM. This year they introduced two new keyboard instruments, the Prophet 12 and Mopho X4.

The Prophet 12 is gorgeous, but is also a powerful synthesizer. It’s odd to think of twelve voices of polyphony as a lot, but then one must consider that DSI synths are often monophonic. I did of course have to get my hands on one of these:

It plays very smoothly, both from the keyboard and while turning the knobs. I particularly liked the tuned feedback combined with both the highpass and lowpass filters. It was simultaneously a nasty sound but also very polished and playable.

The Mopho X4 was also fun. It is basically a four-voice version of the popular monosynth with a new physical design:

It plays like the original Mopho, very punchy and thick. It doesn’t quite have the smoothness of the Prophet, but it is not supposed to.

As usual, I wouldn’t mind having one of these myself, but they don’t come cheap. We will have to see…

CatSynth video: PHOENIX – Love Like A Sunset Sound (nearly)

By KidsAtMidnight on YouTube, via matrixsynth.

PHOENIX – Love Like A Sunset Sound (nearly)

Was supposed to be working on new track (and feeding the cat) but got sidetracked by the MoogerFoogers. Found a sound a bit like the mad glissando CS80 at the start of Love Like A Sunset so tried to work out the part a bit. Stole the Marimba-like bit from the Multitrack they put online.

Arthur (cat) was just hungry and attention seeking. He’s not normally too bad a chewer. Mind you, I did find all but one knob from my Digi002 in the hallway once. Bad boy …

Dave Smith Instruments Tempest and Mopho at NAMM

Another perennial stop at NAMM is the ever-growing booth of Dave Smith Instruments. I had a chance to talk with one of the senior representatives on my regular use of the DSI Evolver in my live shows and my fondness for the instrument (despite the tendency of the knobs to fall off). I of course also had to play the Mopho because it was there:

But the real star of the booth this year was the Dave Smith Instruments Tempest, a collaboration of Dave Smith and Roger Linn.

I started with an existing pattern in the sequencer and immediately used the drum pads to subvert the pattern while attempting to remain in the tempo and meter. The pads are very comfortable and playable, and I found it quite intuitive to get different effects of each even without knowing in advance that they would do that.

This would be a great instrument to have in a live performance (and for recording as well), but probably something to ponder for a later time given its retail price of USD $1999.