Dave Smith InstrumentsProphet 12 Hybrid Polyphonic Synthesizer


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Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12

The Prophet 12 is one of Dave Smith’s crowning achievements. More than just a combination of the Prophet ’08 and Poly Evolver, the Prophet 12 is an expansive, flexible evolution of both with tons of additional features and a total of 12 voices.

Combining the efficiency of a digital front end with an all-analog signal path, each voice features 4 oscillators (for a total of 48 oscillators), a sub-oscillator, resonant analog filters (a low-pass Curtis filter and a high-pass filter), and analog VCAs. Additionally, each voice contains a digital Character section that offers five high-quality effects designed to drastically or subtly manipulate each signal. There are also syncable four-tap delays (per voice), 4 LFOs, and an arpeggiator that can be clocked either internally or externally.

Sonically, the Prophet 12’s oscillators can be cross-modulated with the utmost digital precision, making the synthesizer quite adept at amplitude and frequency modulation. Combined with the control section, this offers a wealth of possibilities for those willing to venture into uncharted sonic expressiveness.

In terms of user control, the Prophet 12 is unmatched in its expediency and ease-of-use. Every knob corresponds directly to a function with absolutely no menu diving. All parameters can be immediately accessed and altered via the front panel. The keyboard section features a 61-key, semi weighted board spanning five octaves, complete with velocity and aftertouch. In addition to the traditional pitch bend and modulation wheels, the Prophet 12 contains two programmable touch sliders that offer even more tactile control over one’s performance.

Prophet 12 Features


  • Five DSP-based oscillators per voice (including one sine wave sub oscillator)
  • Four classic wave shapes (saw, square, triangle, sine) per oscillator
  • Twelve selectable complex shapes per oscillator
  • Three noise types per oscillator: white, pink, violet
  • Shape modulation
  • Oscillator cross modulation: frequency modulation (FM) and amplitude modulation (AM)
  • Hard sync on each of the four oscillators

Character Effects

  • Five high-quality digital effects. Thicken the signal and add harmonics or completely destroy the signal pre-filter.
  • Girth and Air are high and low shelf equalizers with harmonic excitement. Useful for thickening and/or adding air to the signal.
  • Hack and Decimate are sample and bit rate reduction algorithms which can add subtle grit or completely destroy the signal. It's harsh yet musical!
  • Drive is a soft saturator for adding soft distortion and harmonic content to the signal


  • Famed Curtis 2- or 4-pole resonant analog low-pass filter (self oscillates in 4-pole mode) per voice
  • 2-pole resonant analog high-pass filter per voice

Feedback and Delay

  • Tuned feedback
  • Four-tap syncable multi delay with feedback and amount per delay per voice


  • Four Delay + ADSR envelopes (LPF, VCA , and two Auxiliary envelopes)
  • Auxiliary envelopes 3 and 4 freely assignable to multiple modulation destinations
  • LPF and Auxiliary envelopes can repeat/loop.


  • Four syncable LFO's with phase offset and slew per LFO


  • 16 x 2 modulation matrix with over 100 mod destinations
  • Modulation assignment buttons enable quick and easy modulation routing


  • Sophisticated programmable arpeggiator with up, down, up+down, random, assign modes
  • Re-latching arpeggiator

Programmable Distortion

  • Independent programmable stereo analog distortion per layer.


  • More than 50 knobs and 50 buttons enable deep and comprehensive editing with little to no menu diving.
  • Backlit pitch and mod wheels are easily visible in low light situations and have a smooth yet precise feel and response.
  • Independently adjustable upper and lower pitch wheel range.
  • Two assignable position- and pressure-sensitive latchable touch sliders for enhanced interactivity and control.
  • Full-sized, 5-Octave, semi-weighted keyboard with velocity and channel aftertouch


  • 396 user and 396 factory programs
  • Direct program access using numeric keypad and dedicated User, Factory, and Bank buttons
  • Playlist mode for generating easily accessible setlists of your favorite programs. Create four play lists with up to forty programs each!


  • 1 MIDI In, 1 MIDI out, and 1 MIDI Thru port
  • USB port for bidirectional MIDI communication
  • 1 Sustain/footswitch input
  • 2 expression pedal inputs
  • Main stereo output (2 x 1/4" phone jack)
  • Layer B stereo output (2 x 1/4" phone jack)
  • Headphone out (stereo 1/4" phone jack)


  • 1 universal IEC AC power inlet for internal power supply
  • Operates worldwide on voltages between 100-240v, 50-60Hz, 30 watts maximum power consumption
  • Oiled bubinga wood end panels and trim
  • 38.4" L x 12.8" W x 4.15" H (97.5 cm x 32.5 cm x 10.5 cm)
  • 26 lbs. (11.8 kg)
Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12 Hybrid Polyphonic Synthesizer Reviews