An 8-voice polyphonic digital
with a 61-note keyboard
. Released in 1986
, becoming the last synth from Sequential
The Prophet VS introduced the vector synthesis sound generation technique to the masses. The sounds are formed by assigning 12-bit waveforms to 4 digital oscillators and then setting a balance for them with a joystick controller.
For modulation, the PVS features a 4-pole (24dB/octave) low-pass VCF. There are two LFOs per voice, switchable between sawtooth, triangle, square, ramp and random waveforms. Also available are three multi-stage looping envelopes for the VCF, VCA and pitch.
Attack transients similar to the ones on the famous Roland D-50 were considered by the design team, but left out due to the lack of RAM.
96 preset waveform combinations are available on the internal memory along with 32 user-programmable patches. Extra 100 sounds can be stored on a memory cartridge.
The keyboard is velocity (but not aftertouch) sensitive, and can be split and layered.
Other features include a syncable arpeggiator and advanced MIDI implementation. A rackmount version was released, but is nowadays rare and expensive.
The unit uses CEM chips 3378/3379, 3381/3382, 5510 and 5530. At least the last two (which both are sample/hold circuits) were custom-made for Sequential, and hard to find nowadays if needed to be replaced.
The PVS is well known for its meaty bass sounds, which are created by aliasing noise since the low-end waves aren't interpolated.
After the company folded, the engineer team was hired by Korg to work on the Wavestation, which is more or less an improved version of the Prophet VS.
Famous users include Brian Eno and Kraftwerk.
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