MATRIXSYNTH: Prophet 12 Bi-Timbral Soft Ethereal Pad

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Prophet 12 Bi-Timbral Soft Ethereal Pad

Sacred Synthesis
Published on Aug 15, 2017

"This improvisation uses a sound somewhat similar to one I created on the Prophet '08 and liked very much for its haunting dramatic quality (

The pad consists of two layers in stereo. One layer has the oscillators set to a square waveform with a slight amount of slow pulse width modulation. The other layer consists of a number of combined pitches tuned high above the first layer and with sample and hold (random modulation) applied to the filter. Normally the use of S+H entails a bit of popping, since the wide jumps in the cut off frequency are sharp and pronounced. However, the Prophet 12 offers a fabulous Lag feature that allows you to soften and round off these jumps by making them gradual, much as portamento (glide) affects steps from one pitch to another. This is a wonderful feature, and a rare one. This second layer creates the soft bubbly bristly effect in the background that somewhat increases in volume as the piece progresses.

In addition, since each layer is sent to different mixer channels, I've taken advantage of the opportunity to process them differently: the fist layer receives a moderate amount of reverb, whereas the second layer receives a much greater amount, which further smoothens out the sample and hold effect and adds a distant dreamy quality.

DSI Prophet 12
DSI Evolver Desktop
Hammond XPK 200L Pedalboard

Lexicon MX300 for reverb

Performed live and recorded directly to a Tascam CD-RW900 Mk II


The photograph is of the Old North Bridge and Minuteman Statue in Concord, Massachusetts, site of the beginning of the American Revolution.

'By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
their flag to April's breeze unfurled.
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
and fired the shot heard 'round the world.'

- Ralph Waldo Emerson"

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