This ver­sa­tile cut from the Prophet-5 lays it down low

Computer Music - - Make Music Now -

Use in mu­sic

Vince Clarke was the most fa­mous pro­po­nent of the Pro One. Clarke jumped ship from Depeche Mode dur­ing the same year that the Pro One was re­leased. As it hap­pens, this is also the synth upon which he built his next band’s hit – the block­buster ballad Only You by Ya­zoo. Vir­tu­ally ev­ery sound on the hit sin­gle – in­clud­ing the bass sound and kick drum – was made us­ing the Pro One.

Chromeo’s Hot Mess and Don’t Turn the Lights On both use the Pro One for bass sounds. The Pro One was the main synth on Skinny Puppy’s Re­mis­sion EP. It’s also been used by Hard­floor, Über­zone, Mouse On Mars and The Prodigy.

How it works

Sequential Cir­cuits made their mark with the pro­gram­mable, poly­phonic Prophet-5, first re­leased in 1978. That costly clas­sic came in at a whop­ping £2845, but that didn’t slow sales in the least. Those wish­ing for an en­try level op­tion would wait a full three years for the mono­phonic Pro One, which packed a sin­gle voice worth of Prophet into a 37-key pack­age.

As with its big­ger brother, the Pro One of­fered dual os­cil­la­tors and a 24dB res­o­nant low­pass fil­ter. This last bit was based on the much-loved Cur­tis fil­ter chip, as found in later re­vi­sions of the P-5. The os­cil­la­tors them­selves sounded ex­pan­sive and ex­pen­sive, with deep lows and clear, cut­ting highs. More im­pres­sive were the mod­u­la­tion op­tions, pro­vid­ing loads of po­ten­tial sources and des­ti­na­tions. Both VCA and fil­ter were pro­vided, with full ADSR en­ve­lope gen­er­a­tors – perfect for craft­ing bass patches.

Those bass patches could then be driven with the on­board se­quencer, into which the proud owner could step-en­ter up to 40 notes. An arpeg­gia­tor pro­vided ad­di­tional sequential du­ties.

Get the sound

The Pro One is one of the few vin­tage in­stru­ments to be di­rectly cloned by ana­logue al­chemists u-he, whose Re­pro-1 is a note-for-note copy with an as­ton­ish­ingly au­then­tic sound. If you can’t swing the $99, you can get a taste from their free Re­Pro-Al­pha, a cut­down proofof-con­cept that pre­ceded the com­mer­cial ver­sion. Spec­tra­son­ics Tril­ian fea­tures plenty of sam­pled Pro One wave­forms.

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