Prophet-5 (Rev. 3)
Classic 5-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer

Here it of the super-classic synthesizers of all times!!!  The Prophet-5.  This one in particular is a Version 3.2 (which I upgraded to 3.3 by adding the factory MIDI interface and 120 program memories)

The Prophet-5 was an absolute breakthrough when it came out in January 1978, because it could retain 40 patches... and it paved the way for other manufacturers

e resonance on the Prophet-5 filter is incredibly powerful!!  It reminds me of the squelch on an overdriven Roland TB-303 (perhaps also with the DevilFish modification) - it absolutely pierces through wall!

The Prophet-5 is a fantastic instrument for sound design also!  While it excels at synthesizing "real life" instruments, the Poly-Mod section is one of the best-kept secrets in synthland because it allows the user to create, quickly and precisely, special FX and other-worldly sounds that would be very difficult to recreate on newer machines!  I read that the Prophet-5 was used for the special fx in "Star Wars" and I believe it... You can get it to sound like dead androids, like kittens crying for their mom, like video games, like spaceships taking off... and so forth... truly wonderful for sound design.


Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 audio demos

File 1 Factory Programs audio demos  (stream all File 1 demos below)

Patch name with audio demo

My comments

11 Brass

The classic, super-gluey, fat analog synth brass of the 1980s!!

12 Low Strings

Typical digital/analog synth strings, just beautiful

13 Muted Clav.

The famous Prophet-5 analog Clav, which found its way as a classic preset in many newer ROMplers/workstations.  The mod wheel adds filter "wah-wah"

14 Percussive Electric Piano

A beautiful, intimate electric piano sound.  Isn't the "sonic character" of the Prophet-5 just lovely?? Mod wheel add tremolo.

15 Flutes

Realistic flute sound!

16 Harpsichord

And again, extremely realistic harpsichord sound!

17 Sync I

Classic sound of the 1980s!

18 Percussive Organ

Fantastic, mega-ultra-cool electric organ of the 1960s!!!  Just the right amount of key percussion, and you can add more Lounge-coolness by raising the vibrato amount via the mod wheel - great patch!

21 Unison Glide With Resonance

* A n a l o g  *  power in full effect... just listen how powerful and characteristic the "Unison" feature of the P-5 is...

22 Harmonium

Yep... also useful as some sort of accordion

23 Organ With Resonance

Another cool electric organ from the 1960s, with a bit of "rubbery" resonance on the filter

24 Toy Piano

Charming music box type sound

25 Trumpet-Flute

Highly expressive patch - a trumpet in the middle of the keyboard, hard flutes in the high registers

26 Filter Mod

Analog beauty

27 Reed Organ

Supremely realistic, works as accordion also

28 Brass In Fifths

Classic "Progressive" rock patch

31 Pipe Organ Flutes

Authentic representation of this type of sound

32 Sync II

The quintessential sync patch - the Cars' "Let's Go" patch

33 Electric Piano

Soft Rhodes, very beautiful

34 High Strings

Beautiful analog strings - the mod wheel adds wonderful animation to the sound

35 Octave Sawteeth

Cool analog poly sound - Set it Unison with glide, add TR-909 drum machine, it grooves

36 Release-Repeat

Nice play of envelopes

37 Delayed Harmonic

Cool delayed release

38 Echo-Repeat

Good sound with echo simulation

41 Pulse-Width Mod

Classic late 1970s New Wave type sound

42 Slow Sync Sweep

Powerful oscillators and LFOs

43 Fourths With Resonance

The extremely powerful resonant filters of the Prophet-5

44 Sweeping Harmonics

Contemplative, outstanding long reso-pad

45 Slow Sync

Oscillators slowly syncing

46 Random Arpeggiator

Very cool, different sound

47 Sawtooth Arpeggiator

With sawtooth

48 Clangorous Bells

Five years later, the Yamaha DX7 would arrive on the scene to be the king of "clangorous bells" thanks to FM, but I bet back in '78 these were hard to beat

51 Alien

The fantastic sound design capabilities of the Prophet-5

52 Noise Sweep


53 Descending Bells

More incredible sound fx

54 Descending Pulse Wave Mod

Great sci-fi fx

55 Helicopter

Realistic, reminds of Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side Of The Moon"

56 Resonance Bells

Hypnotic bells
57 Dupe Prog 11 n/a
58 Dupe Prog 16 n/a


File 2 Factory Programs audio demos  (stream all File 2 demos below)

Patch name with audio demo

My comments

11 Percussive Flute With Delay

Charming sound with analog echoes

12 Comping No. 42

Supremely analog, chorused beauty

13 Ensemble With Release

Very early 1980s

14 Cutting Through

Powerful synth sound

15 Quack No. 9

The cool resonance of the filter

16 Camp Argon

Fun, quick decaying synth sound, excellent for accompaniment

17 Reedy Solo

Like a bendable accordion

18 Solo Sync No. 73

Huge solo synth, with wild mod wheel modulation

21 Bass Guitar Unison

Realistic 1960s bass guitar

22 Spitting Organ


23 Slow Orchestral Brass

Stupendous, archetypal analog synthesizer brass - it doesn't get much better than this for this type of sound.

24 Pulse Width Echo

Thick, gluey, beautiful synth patch

25 Dept. Store Clarinet

Noisy, "cheap" clarinet?

26 Slow Strings

Classic analog string pad, with excellent, animated modulation

27 Solo Violin

Not sure about this one...

28 High Violins

Beautiful, realistic violins and string ensemble

31 Clav Slightly Muted


32 Electric Piano II

Very nice synthesized piano

33 Barking Organ

Organ with puppies in it!

34 1960's Organ

Perfect for many 1960s genres!  Can be used as standard console, or Farfisa/Vox type combo organ

35 Jazz Organ

Fantastic, classic Hammond B-3 type

36 Rock Organ

Overdriven organ for Rock

37 Angelic

Ethereal setting on a church organ

38 Fat Solo In Sync

Cool Minimoog type solo sound

41 Painful Solo

Oh yeah!

42 Electrocution

More crazy special effects from the Prophet

43 Launching Spacecrafts

Perfect science-fiction effects!!!

44 Digital Indigestion

Ha ha!

45 Whistle With Glissando

Cool stuff

46 Rubber Knife

Sound design is easy on the Prophet-5

47 Digital Solo

Different, characteristic digital-analog sound

48 Banshee Jets

Add the mod wheel for more fx

51 Descending Resonances

Crazy sounds

52 Cats Meow

Incredibly realistic cat sound!!!!!!!

53 Birds

Beautiful birds singing

54 Dog


55 Whistle

Realistic human whistling

56 Ascending Bleeps

More sci-fi effects

57 Morning After

Excellent post-atomic sound design effects

58 N.Y.C.

Fantastic, apocalyptic sound fx!!!

File 3 Factory Programs audio demos  (stream all File 3 demos below)

Patch name with audio demo

My comments

11 Malleted Marimba

Realistic, woody, happy marimba sound!

12 Trumpet With Spit

Expressive trumpet

13 Oboe

Nice, nasal oboe patch

14 Trombones

Cool analog synth brass

15 Percolating Grunge


16 Wurlie Electric Piano

The classic Wurlitzer electric piano sound

17 Church Organ

Add some quality large hall reverb to this, and it will sound realistic

18 Slow Brass


21 Triffid Organ

Bouncy, analog, gluey organ

22 Plucked Harp

Beautiful harp patch

23 Arco Violin


24 Arco Ensemble

Chamber ensemble, very cool

25 Harpsichord

A variant on the great harpsichord achievable on a Prophet

26 Slow Strings

Large, analog string ensemble

27 Plucking With Brass

VCF controllable via pedal

28 Water Organ

Superb special effect that really sounds like in a dreamy underwater setting

31 Pulse Width Delay


32 Dulcimer Organ

Beautiful, melancholic organ patch.  Raise mod wheel for that The Who's "Won't fooled again" effect.

33 Banjo

The envelope is a bit short but it works.

34 Du. Keg Solo

I think this is a take on the name of George Duke, who used these types of solo sounds.

35 Sync Comp

Wild sync

36 Flutes In Fifths

At the court of the king

37 Slide Guitar

Nice guitar sound

38 Steel Drums

Very metal-sounding

41 The Nuge R&R Guitar

And I guess this is a take on Ted Nugent's guitar sound.

42 Video Games

Space Invaders

43 Final Frontier

More excellent sci-fi sound fx

44 The Landing

Outstanding spaceship sound fx

45 Dead Droids

Nice unison sci-fi fx

46 Steam Engine

Cool train

47 Detroit Solo

Reminds of certain Zawinul sounds

48 Formula II Race Cars Passing Grand Stands

Powerful engines!

51 Snare

Quintessential analog snare drum :-)

52 Tom-Toms

Realistic toms!!

53 Tympani

Cool orchestral timpani

54 Electric Drums

The classic Simmons hexagonal pads

55 Bombs Dropping

Realistic war zone!!!

56 Gunshots


57 Wind

Classic sound fx

58 Thunder

Distant thunder...


Additional audio demos with multi-effects (a Lexicon MPX-1 effect processor was used)

'80s Sad Strings  Beautiful, quintessential analog strings, with excellent vibrato

'80s with delay  Classic early 1980s bouncy sounds, typical of that era.  Also, example of detuning the two oscillators

'80s  Warm, classic synth from the 1980s

Analog strings   beautiful strings

Bell + Atonal  more out-of-this-world bells and sound fx

Long Tweak!  Long example of sounds that can be achieved on the Prophet-5

One Osc to Two Osc  One oscillator is powerful enough?  Try two!!

Quacky Sync  The typical synth duck

Synth Brass  analog brass, quality

Wicked ResoFilter  Powerful

Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 video demo

Part 1 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3

Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 video demo Part 3 of 3

Features at a glance
Year of release: 1978
Polyphony: 5-voice
Presets: 40 (120 in Rev.3.3)
Rhythms: no
Keyboard: 61-keys (five octaves)
Responds to velocity: no
Responds to aftertouch: no
Sound generation method: analog
MIDI: available in Rev. 3.3, and also MIDIable via factory retrofit for earlier models
Sound expansion capabilities: no
Effects: no
Controls: knobs, buttons, wheels
Outputs: mono
Display: alpha-numeric LED
Misc: Wooden chassis


Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 pictures (click on thumbnails to enlarge)












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Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 review with audio demo - February 21, 2009