I think my prophet 12 is faulty, can anyone help?

The Dave Smith Instruments Prophet-12 Analogue Synthesizer

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messiaen
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I think my prophet 12 is faulty, can anyone help?

Post by messiaen » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:49 am

At first when I played the prohet through a bass amp it sounded terrible, fuzzy and awful even though its not the worst amp in the world, a Roland Bass Cube and quite clean.

So eventually connected it up ot my hifi with decent connectors. Played a few pre-sets, turned a few knobsm sounded great, but after a while I began to notice that NO MATTER WHAT sound I had dialled in there was always in the background this kind of distortion, nad fizzyness to every sound, I became aware that it WAS ALWAYS PRESENT....

worse when I was buidling my own sounds , using just a couple of oscillators and envelopes, nothing complex, no lfo distortion etc, When I played the keys this low fewquency distortion would kick in on certain notes at random, At fist i thought it was the way i was playing, i.e not hitting key properly but I carreid on playing and it just kept happening, so I am beginning to supsect this has a serious fault and will get in returned. I am so dissapointed as I have been looking forward to playing this for months.

Don't get me wrong with everyhing going full tilt its a wonderful brutal beast and capable of amazing sounds it seems, but Try as I might i could not make it ever sound clean or crisp, I just could not get rid of this background distorted sound, even when everything was daielled back to zero there was always this slight harshness and ringing to the sound, is that just the way its made OR DO I HAVE A FAULTY PROPHET?

Cheers

Messiaen

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chysn
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Re: I think my prophet 12 is faulty, can anyone help?

Post by chysn » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:28 pm

Hey there, have you tried it with headphones? That seems like an easy way to rule out other equipment.
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messiaen
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Post by messiaen » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:20 pm

yes tried it with bass amp, through headphones and through my good quality hi-fi system and was the same so its the synth not other equipment

Pym
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Post by Pym » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:21 pm

Contact support, if it's something faulty they'll help you rule it out and get it fixed up quick
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natrixgli
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Post by natrixgli » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:27 pm

Note to Messian -

Well you finally decided on a synth and clearly you decided to go all out, but MAN you have the worst luck. Hope DSI gets you sorted out quickly. Let this not be another affair like your Poly61!

- a GS user.

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elmquist
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Post by elmquist » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:59 pm

@messiaen: Hopefully you are already working with DSI support on the problems. Two topics that comes to mind are (1) re-calibrate the instrument and (2) possible noise from a USB connection.

Other than that its really a DSI problem getting it right.

All the best, welcome to the forum and congratulations with your new instrument!

messiaen
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Post by messiaen » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:54 pm

Well, its too late as had it collected today, its basically unplayable as it is, so will get a refund and may get another one, but want to play in in a store first through a proper pa, its just a shame.....

Pym
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Post by Pym » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:08 pm

I'm not sure what exactly the problem was and can't really troubleshoot whether it was "expected" or not without an audio example. If it happens again (or if anyone else has this issue) please let support know and attach an audio example so we can figure it out.
messiaen wrote:Well, its too late as had it collected today, its basically unplayable as it is, so will get a refund and may get another one, but want to play in in a store first through a proper pa, its just a shame.....
Chris Hector
https://soundcloud.com/iampym
Dave Smith Instruments

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elmquist
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Post by elmquist » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:29 pm

messiaen wrote:Well, its too late as had it collected today, its basically unplayable as it is, so will get a refund and may get another one, but want to play in in a store first through a proper pa, its just a shame.....
Send DSI support an email with the serial number of the instrument and where you bought it. Then DSI can track the instrument down and have it checked out to figure out what really happened.

markwalkerjr
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Post by markwalkerjr » Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:29 am

Messian,

I saw the devolution of the Prophet 12 thread on the GS forum, so I thought this was a more friendly and appropriate place to respond. I have serial number 34 and I have noticed none of the problems you are having with my Prophet 12. Just to be sure I wasn't in a cloud of joy by finally getting my hands on this synth, I went back and played with it tonight paying particular attention to the things you brought up here and on the GS forums. I started from a basic patch and tweaked away and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't replicate the behavior unless I went crazy applying FM (which I am new to and have little to no understanding of at the present time). Once I dialed back any FM I had clean signals throughout unless I added distortion, feedback, or some of the character sections to the signal path which are obviously all there for the express purpose of mangling your sound.

I will say that some of the factory presets have noise when you are not playing them or have other strange artifacts, but I have been led to believe by DSI this is the way they were programmed and play into some of the depth and complexities possible with all the modulation possibilities. Most of the presets are "meh" anyways and I have been busy creating my own sounds, but I do take time here and there to keep running through them for keepers. I do hope these get unlocked for us in the future or they get some better stuff mixed in there.

As a note, I have played the synth through a pair of sennheiser headphones and my dynaudio BM-5A speakers. I have an amp I use live, but I just use it for reference/hearing what I am playing and run everything straight into a submixer for the sound guy to get direct signals because I think most amps sound like garbage with synths.

Not sure what was going on with yours or the other guys, but except for some of the presets I am not seeing any of those issues. Hope you get to test one soon that sounds like mine because I think you would have loved it based on what it seems like you are looking for in a synth. Good luck.

Mark

mjb800
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Post by mjb800 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:29 am

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Last edited by mjb800 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

mjb800
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Post by mjb800 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:37 am

I did contact DSI. Not trying to be a jerk.

Just trying to figure out what is up with my synth.

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ctrlshft
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Post by ctrlshft » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:34 pm

I had an issue very similar to your report with my first Tetra, turned out to be a power issue in the unit (not the wallwart).

I agree though that a sound demo of the issue is important, that's what DSI Support used as validation of the issue.

Keiserns Nye
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Re: I think my prophet 12 is faulty, can anyone help?

Post by Keiserns Nye » Sun May 08, 2016 12:15 pm

Hi,

I'm suspecting I'm having the same issue you are having/had with your prophet 12. Curious if everything has worked out for you. I've currently sent a report to DSI. Were you able to pinpoint the problem and fix it?

M07
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Re: I think my prophet 12 is faulty, can anyone help?

Post by M07 » Wed May 18, 2016 9:22 am

Hi guys, i am experiencing the same problem, but i've found a few workarounds:

I think it's to do with the fact that vca's or some component in the output chain of the prophet 12 distort fuzzily when overdriven too much.

I suspect it may be a physical thing, and not solveable with firmware. It often happens when too many voices ( and oscillators) play at the same time. The added amplitudes of these causes the p12 to distort.

However! i found ways to minimize and sometimes counteract this effect, making the synth useable again:
(especially in all factory patches)

1. use both outputs A and B , this seems to distribute the amplitude pileup into 2 separate ones ( A and B)

2. If both the vca amount and vel to vca amount are too high, the added level of the 2 results in said distortion quickly, so reduce both levels, especially if one of the 2 is high ( near 127). as a rule of thumb i don't go over 112. to remove distortion, levels as low as 64 may be nessecary
so also check:

3. All oscillator levels. reduce these by 25 to 50 percent and listen to the magic. Ahem.

The result of this is no more fuzzy background distortion, and a less harsh sounding tone.
Tradeoff is some loss of dynamics, so you can get some background noise/static when compressing heavily

Try it, and let me know if this works for u guys!
Sound design tips and tricks always welcome
grtz,
M

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