DSI Prophet '08 vs. Oberheim OB-8

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themilford
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DSI Prophet '08 vs. Oberheim OB-8

Post by themilford » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:36 pm

Really this hasn't been done?

I know the Inside Synthesis review compared the P'08 to the OBXA... I chose the OB8 because it's newer and has midi and supposedly has a disadvantage in sound under the OBX and OBXa. Wanted a fairer shootout I guess. But feel free to compare any of them to the P'08.

My dream always has been to have a real OBXa (being the stupid Geddy fan I am) but I would hate to lug the thing around... If the P'08 is really as close as anything else on the new market these days... I'm sold.

I know the programming is deeper on the P'08 but just how deep into a patch can you get on the OB8? Are there splits and layers? How's the Midi? How's the arp?

General Pros and Cons: weight, size, sound, cost, etc.?

THANKS!

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Re: DSI Prophet '08 vs. Oberheim OB-8

Post by Z » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:15 pm

Not all OB-8's have MIDI. Mine doesn't. According to VSE database, the factoy MIDI is rather limited. Encore Electronics makes a MIDI retrofit kit.

Both OB-Xa and OB-8 will do splits and layers. I think the OB-8's arpeggiators is a simple one if I recall.

For live situations, you'd probably be better off with the P'08.

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Re: DSI Prophet '08 vs. Oberheim OB-8

Post by themilford » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:28 pm

Thanks Z.

I'm gonna avoid the DCO vs. VCO debate here because I think it's largely a dead horse made of baloney... with other factors weighing more heavily on the comparison.

As far as creating raw sounds would the P'08 come up short against the OB-8 in any way? Meaning, would the OB-8 have any advantages as far as waveform options, osc1&2 interplay or cross-mod, etc... could I for the most part at least have all the same features as the OB? Does the OB-8 do anything the P'08 can't? Not sound-wise but feature/function-wise?

I have a Matrix 6... I assume, and at least from the videos, the P'08 has a punchier sound even though the chips are supposed to be descendants. I chalk up the Matrix's mushy sound to slowish envelopes and a weak output stage... which has little to do with chips.

What are the glaring differences?

I tend to use synths in a simple way. Performance-based, classic powerful sounds to augment a rock band. I don't really have much use, not yet anyway, for the sequencer or syncing it to anything else. I have a live drummer... so it's old-school block chords and bass lines.

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Re: DSI Prophet '08 vs. Oberheim OB-8

Post by V301H » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:56 am

The OB-8 has some compromises in the programming department. For instance, the Modulation routings are somewhat limited and the Mixer section is switched On/Off/Half rather than being continuously variable. Noise is either on or off, no adjustable level. It does have several LFO functions rarely, if ever, found on other Synths. Surprisingly, in spite of all this it is capable of some complex and unusual sounds. The overall sound quality of the OB-8 makes up for any limitations.

The P'08 has more flexibility in it's programming parameters. Three Envelope Generators with Delay that can go negative is one example. Variable Mixer is also a plus as is Velocity. Better MIDI implementation and LFO Sync options not found on the Oberheim. Filter options seem to be pretty much comparable. Just don't expect the P'08 to sound as big as an OB-8.
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Re: DSI Prophet '08 vs. Oberheim OB-8

Post by themilford » Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:35 pm

THNAKS!

So, let's get subjective for a minute... when we say "sounds bigger" what do we mean? Like more bass? Wider frequency range? Is the sound more tansparent so more of the individual notes come through?

I know the OB-X family sound "big"... how and where does the P'08 come up short in this category specifically? Can it be fixed with EQ or ourboard gear?

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Re: DSI Prophet '08 vs. Oberheim OB-8

Post by Sir Ruff » Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:27 pm

themilford wrote:Thanks Z.

I'm gonna avoid the DCO vs. VCO debate here because I think it's largely a dead horse made of baloney... with other factors weighing more heavily on the comparison.
Honestly, unless you are talking about the overall package, rather than pure sound, I think this is the key issue when comparing these two... The OB-Xa, and to a lesser extent the OB-8 (and to an even lesser extent, the Xpander) all have VCOs that, despite auto-tuning on the latter, still go slightly out of tune over time, and just end up giving a subtle but lively out-of-phase sound to chords/pads, which (to me) is pretty much the only reason to own VCO synths these days. Essentially each voice is kind of doing its own thing. I think that's a key part of where the largess of the "OB"-sound lies. You get won't get this on the P'08 (or even a P-5 for that matter, despite the same chips as the OB-xa/8).

Saying that though, I was impressed with the P'08 when I demoed it, and could easily see it being a modern "safe" equivalent to these older beasts if weight, reliability and cost were issues. It doesn't have that sound, but it certainly got close enough. Some additional effects would definitely make it sound "big".
As far as creating raw sounds would the P'08 come up short against the OB-8 in any way? Meaning, would the OB-8 have any advantages as far as waveform options, osc1&2 interplay or cross-mod, etc... could I for the most part at least have all the same features as the OB? Does the OB-8 do anything the P'08 can't? Not sound-wise but feature/function-wise?
I'm pretty certain the P'08 kills the OB-8 in terms of features/mod options, so I think you will end up with a much wider range of sounds. If you're ok with the basic DCO sound, I'd say go this route.
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Re: DSI Prophet '08 vs. Oberheim OB-8

Post by themilford » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:34 am

The P'08 "Slop" function doesn't make up at all for this DCO/VCO issue? Seems like a great solution on paper...

I have a Prophet 600 and when is starts to drift to far it becomes a problem in the live setting... even the AX has this issue. But once warmed up, if I have the luxury at the gig, they are pretty stable (read: I get by only hitting the tune button once durring a 45 minute set).

I almost always have the two oscillators slightly detuned anyway which helps to make for a bigger sound... I'm sure the P'08 would be better at this than say the Matrix 6.

I thought the Xpander was DCO?

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Re: DSI Prophet '08 vs. Oberheim OB-8

Post by Sir Ruff » Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:18 am

themilford wrote:I almost always have the two oscillators slightly detuned anyway which helps to make for a bigger sound... I'm sure the P'08 would be better at this than say the Matrix 6.

I thought the Xpander was DCO?
It's funny, a lot of people still seem to think that about the xpander! Still VCOs and still prone to subtle (and nice) drift. But it tunes rock solid if you want.

I honestly think the P'08 is your beast. 8-)
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Re: DSI Prophet '08 vs. Oberheim OB-8

Post by SWAN » Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:03 am

I have an OB8 and have tried/owned the DSI stuff a fair amount.

Its a decision that is dependent on what sort of analogue sound you like - and how highly you value versatility and options...

The OB8 to me has a more vintage tone which is preferable to me. It also sounds more organic. The MIDI isnt always implemented so well - for example - my MIDI (aftermarket kit) has latency (10-20ms)...

The P08 has a smoother more modern sound and is slightly more punchy. It is not quite as organic as the OB8 due to its DCO which are digitally controlled. It also is more versatile due to more Mod options. It is also a good deal smaller in size than an OB8 and probably more stable in live environment.

On the surface the sound is quite similar - but for me the OB8 tone has a quality that makes me take it over DSI every time. I dont find the DSI stuff has the same open, sizzling top end that vintage analogue has...if I were to describe the sound in words I'd say the OB8 is more woody and the P08 is slightly plastic.

However - there is a lot to say for the Pros of the P08...so really its personal preference and circumstances...

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Re: DSI Prophet '08 vs. Oberheim OB-8

Post by spookyman » Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:13 pm

If you want to recover that old VCO polyphonic drift with a modern synthesizer, the Prophet 08 is not the first choice...Give a look to Studio Electronics Omega 8/Code. The VCO's are allmost drifting like in the old polyphonic boards from the 80's.

But i also know that the price is not the same...a little bit more expensive than the P08.
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Re: DSI Prophet '08 vs. Oberheim OB-8

Post by steveman » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:30 pm

spookyman wrote:...Give a look to Studio Electronics Omega 8/Code. The VCO's are almost drifting like in the old polyphonic boards from the 80's.

But i also know that the price is not the same...a little bit more expensive than the P08.
A little bit ?!! :shock: :o How about over 2 and 1/2 times the price for the 8 voice? Jeez.
Always liked the sound of the SE stuff in the demos I've heard but way too rich for me.

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Re: DSI Prophet '08 vs. Oberheim OB-8

Post by spookyman » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:24 pm

I know...i was a caustic, when i said a little bit. I know, for the 8 Voices version (Omega8), you pay twice as much as the P08. That's the reallity. Another question could be, is it worth to spend twice the money only for the sound of the Omega8 ?

IMHO, yes. For me, it's really the ultimate analog polyphonic synthesizer you can have today, with a huge and fat sound, a very intuitive interface, and good hardware quality. But it's a pricy choice.

Prophet 08 is the best bang for the buck analog polyphonic synthesizer. Perhaps not as fat as the Omega8, the build quality is more "light", but you have a powerful modulation matrix, a keyboard (Omega8 is only available in rack), and a lot of knobs to control/programm the synth.
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