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Prophet Rev 2 Ableton Pack

I’ve had the Prophet Rev for a good few years now and have always loved the rich, warm, woozy sound it creates. It’s a well-known sound featured on classic albums and used by electronic music producers such as Tycho, Boards of Canada, Rival Consoles, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Thom Yorke, and Tame Impala.

This pack gives you access to those classic sounds at a fraction of the cost of the synth.

The pack contains 50 Synth Patches recorded from the Prophet REV 2 and turned into Ableton Instrument Racks. Each Rack has additional effects and controls to help you shape your sounds. You can read more about the Instrument rack below.

The rack also features a tape layer – the sounds of the Prophet recorded to old cassette tape. Each patch was recorded to tape to give the synth an even warmer, nostalgic character. The tape channel has been mapped to an Ableton Rack, so you can blend it to the original audio signal or use it separately.

The Ableton pack is available to buy on Gumroad.




The Prophet REV 2 Pack Contains

  • Ableton Live Pack.als 1.4GB
  • 50 x Prophet Rev Samples Dry
  • 50 Prophet Rev Samples Recorded to Tape
  • 50 x Ableton Instruments
    • Including Variation presets
    • 7 Multi-layer Split Patches
  • 1 x Ableton Project – Includes all Ableton Instruments
  • 50+ MIDI Files – Example MIDI clips for each Ableton Instrument.


Prophet Rev 2

The Synth – Prophet Rev 2

Dave Smith’s Prophet Rev 2 is a beautiful recreation of the classic Prophet 6 synth, popular in the 80s. Its well-known sound evokes 80s nostalgia, used by artists such as Brain Eno, Gary Numan and John Carpenter.

The classic sound of the prophet is now used by more modern artists such as Boards of Canada, Tycho and Rival Consoles. It’s no surprise, as it’s a truly versatile synth, allowing for lots of sound design possibilities.

My Prophet Rev 2 Synth

I recorded some custom patches and a selection of the Prophet’s factory presets. Some of the patches are SPLIT – which means they contain two layers either stacked on top of each other or on split across the keyboard. Both layers can be controlled independently and include their own separate tape layer.


The Ableton Instrument Rack

Each of the 50 patches comes in an Ableton Instrument Rack as seen below. To help emulate the feel of the Prophet Rev 2 I recorded a lot of the patches dry and added the effects in Ableton. This gives you more control over your sound design, and more control than the Rev 2 offers.

Effects

I followed the synth architecture of the Rev and provided some of the effects on the synth.

In the first part of the Ableton Rack there are two filters for you to sculpt your sounds, both have LFO control via the amount of LFO applied and the LFO’s rate. Filter 1 is set to a low pass filter in all patches. Filter 2 is either set to bandpass or a hi pass filter. You can change the filter type if you wish by scrolling over to the desired filter in the rack and expanding it. E.g. hover your mouse over “Filter 1” and hit “+”. Or right-click and “Unfold”.

You can do this for all parts of the rack if you want to go deeper with your sound design.

The Overdrive & Chorus are set the same through out the 50 patches.

Reverb, Delay & Delay times have been edited differently on some patches – this was done to emulate the original sound on the Prophet. You can edit these further by expanding the effect rack.

ADSR & Arpeggiator

In the second instrument rack you will see Attack, Sustain, Decay & Release (ADSR). These parameters control the amplitude envelope of the synth.

The arpeggiator is added to very patch – though not engaged by default on all patches. Some of the recordings take from the Propher were arpeggiated sounds. Where this was the case, I recorded each note individually and replicated the style of arpeggiation in the Ableton Rack.

The rack gives you control over the:

  • Arp Rate – BPM Speed of the Arpegiations
  • Arp Gate – Length of note
  • Arp Type – Arpegiattor pattern eg. Up, Down, Converge
  • Arp Distance – How far up the scale the arp will go
  • Arp Key – sets the Key of the Arp
  • Arp Steps – How many octaves the Arp uses.

If you’re keen to learn more about Ableton’s Arpeggiator check the Ableton site here.

DRY & TAPE

The final two dials are ‘dry’ and ‘tape’.

These are volume dials for the dry recordings and tape recordings. The two signals allow you to choose either the tape sound or dry sound of a patch. You can, of course, blend the two together to adjust the character of the sound.

Note – Be aware of gain staging when using both signals at full volume.


The Patches

  1. Golden
  2. Crunch Pad
  3. Keep Going
  4. Ice Arp
  5. Dying Light
  6. Cat Chorus
  7. Jupitor Wind
  8. Dystop
  9. Busy Arp
  10. Spider Arp
  11. Lethal Weapon
  12. Perky (SP)
  13. Gentle Arp (SP)
  1. Canadian
  2. Serious Pad
  3. Underwater
  4. Ripper
  5. Nerd Arp
  6. Fatty
  7. Bronze Harvest
  8. Intro Arp
  9. In The Country
  10. Desolate
  11. Isolated
  12. Plad
  13. Underpass
  1. Oh Bright One
  2. Boards of Manchester
  3. Divine Arp
  4. Sunrise
  5. Off World
  6. Science Class Is Over
  7. Little Squelch (SP)
  8. Smooth
  9. Maj 7 Stab
  10. P5 Lead
  11. Arpo (SP)
  1. Da Classic
  2. Funk Saw (SP)
  3. Hammer
  4. 80s Horror (SP)
  5. Annabella
  6. 80s
  7. Omni
  8. Underwater
  9. Ethereal
  10. Divine Chords
  11. Carpenter Pad
  12. Saddest Bass (SP)
  13. Moving Strings

*(SP) = SPLIT PATCH

Split patches

Some of the patches on the Prophet Rev synth are multiple sounds split between two layers, or allocated to separate octaves. Where this is the case I have split two sounds into 2 chains on Ableton and called them Layer A & Layer B.

Patches that have the Split feature will show Layer A & B in the chain to the left.

Each layer, like the Prophet, has separate filters, effects, and arp. To edit the instrument rack of a layer you will have to click on the chain to the left. Note in the picture below that Layer A is highlighted so that we can edit “Prophet Preset 12 Layer A.”

Perky Layer A

The picture below shows us highlighting Layer B. Notice that the instrument rack name has changed to “Prophet Preset 12 Layer B”, allowing us to edit it.

Prophet Ableton Pack Layer B
Perky Layer B

You can see which patches have the split feature in the patches listing above. They have (SP) next to them.

Recording to tape

After I recorded the Prophet Rev 2 into Ableton, I spent time chopping up the audio and creating the 50 Ableton instruments.

When the Prophet synth was initially released, it would have been recorded on tape. Some of the characteristics we associate with older analog-sounding synths come from the character of the tape. The degraded wow and flutter, the pitch warbling and saturated compression that tape can provide. So I thought it would be perfect to have a ‘tape dial’ on the Ableton Rack that allowed blending between the dry signal and a distorted tape sound to help recreate that sound.

The tape recordings in this pack are a mix of degraded, saturations, detuned and distorted.

To create the distorted tape sounds, I recorded the prophet sounds onto cassette tape.

Yamaha MT4X Multitrack Cassette Recorder

To capture a dirty, distorted signal and degrade the original sound, I dug out my trusty Yamaha MT4x 4 track tape recorder and an old Denon DR-M12HX cassette player. Unfortunately, the tape player on my 4 track tape player is broken. However, the preamps on channel 1+2 still work and create a lovely warm overdrive. I wanted to capture the character of this signal path in the recording so ran the audio through channels 1+2 and then into a Denon DR-M12HX Cassette deck. I then recorded the lot onto cassette.

Old Faithful – The Denon DR -M12HX Tape deck sitting underneath the Yamaha MT4x

Once printed to tape I recorded them back into Ableton, chopped up the audio and added the tape recorded synth sounds to the dry Ableton Instruments. They are on a separate Ableton chain, which now gives us two recordings of the same patch – one dry , one on tape. The tape dial lets us adjust the volume of each chain, so we can have an all tape sound, an all dry sound, or a mix of both!

Each patch has a dry chain and tape chain. Levels can be adjusted via the dry & tape dials.

The tape recordings have come out nicely. You can hear a lot of distortion in some of the recordings, in others is subtle. If you pay close attention, you can hear wow & flutter in the recordings and a little bit of degrading.

What’s great about having the two recordings is that you can dial in just how much “dirt” from the tape machine you want. You don’t have to commit to having an overly heavy tape sound – you can blend between the dry & tape signals and create the sound you want. Loads of flexibility!

Plus, it saves you from having to record the synth to tape yourself! 🙂


Who’s this pack for?

Anyone who is looking for characterful Analogue Synth Sounds!

This pack can be used for any genre, but will compliment Indie, Rock, and Electronic music perfectly. The Sound design will be of particular interest to Synthwave, Cyberwave, Electronica and Boards of Canada Fans. The pack is not limited to these genres though, by using the included Ableton Rack Effects it can be tailored to any particular style.

I hope you find much use for this pack 🙂

Prophet Rev 2 Ableton Live Pack

50 Ableton Live Instrument Racks made with samples of the Dave Smith Instruments Prophet Rev 2. Each Ableton instrument contains an additional “Tape Layer” of the synth sample recorded to dirty, distorted tape.

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