Features of the Prophet-5
The Prophet 5 is a 5-note polyphonic synthesizer. You can emit up to 5 notes at the same time. The price was as high at 1.7 million yen, but it was able to store 40 types of tones (later expanded to 120 types). When analog monophonic (single note) synths such as the Minimoog were at their peak, synthesizers did not have a memory function. When changing the timbre, the musician changed the timbre by moving the knobs and sliders on the synthesizer panel while playing the instrument. Therefore, even if there are similar sounds, the exact same sounds do not exist. It was such an era. The tone memory function, which allows you to save your own sounds and produce the same sounds at the touch of a button, is epoch-making and has also contributed to alleviating the playing burden of musicians. In addition, since complex modulation (polymodulation) is applied, it was possible to create a metallic tone with many overtones. The pad sounds peculiar to analog, which are indispensable for polysynths, were also frequently used. It is also memorable that many musicians used Prophet-specific tones when performing solo.
Prophet 5 has a basic configuration of 2VCO + VCF + VCA + LFO. There are four versions, and the chips such as those for the filters are different, so there are different preferences such as the late model with high stability and the early model with good sound output. It was used by many musicians mainly in the 1980s, and is known as the favorite polysynth for YMO and Ryuichi Sakamoto (honorific title omitted).
Sequential Circuit Profit 5
Prophet-5 loved by Ryuichi Sakamoto
Sakamoto first used the Prophet-5 with YMO. In the early days of YMO, he used the Korg Polysynth and Polymoog, and the Roland Jupiter 4. After that, when the Prophet-5 was released, this became his main synth. Sakamoto preferred smart and plastic arp tones to Moog's thick tones. He says, "I feel the sensuality of the fluffy plastic sound." Both the Korg Polysynth and the Polymoog were characterized by a thin sound rather than a thick sound. In YMO's first world tour, he mainly played the Polymoog and ARP Odyssey, but in the second world tour, the Prophet became his main piece of equipment, and the Prophet is still used as one of his main synths.
In an interview with Keyboard Magazine, what Sakamoto like about the Prophet-5 is that (1) you can't make many tones, but the core sound is good. (2) Since the resonance of the filter is unstable, and he made a scale with resonance (raised). Sometimes it becomes a strange sound that does not have an equal temperament, and its instability is attractive. Moreover, he says that the sound changes from moment to moment. Points of dissatisfaction were (1) the number of notes small at only five, so if you press many keys, the sound will get cut off in the middle. (2) The click of the pitch wheel is ambiguous and you cannot save the wheel settings. (3) The keys are light and deep. But even with that, it's conceivable that the Prophet-5 was his main synth for nothing more than good sound.
■ Recommended album: "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" (1983)
A masterpiece that won the British Academy Film Award for Best Composition. Sakamoto achieved the feat that the performers also produced the soundtrack.
Recommended song: "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence"
The strings and pads that sing the sub-theme from the beginning are the Prophet-5. It's an ambient music-like development, with a melody that you won't forget once you listen to it…impressive.The backing that colors the background of the melody reminiscent of the Gamelan of the theme part is also a typical tone of the Prophet-5.
Chicken Shack / Keyboard Player: Toru Tsuzuki
Chicken Shack is a quintet led by saxophonist Hidefumi Toki (early saxophonist Tatsuro Yamashita), guitarist Jun Yamagishi, and keyboardist Toru Tsuzuki. I also saw the band several times at live house Roppongi Pit Inn. Toki's glossy soprano saxophone was wonderful, and it featured a fashionable sound that mixed jazz fusion and blues. Tsuzuki is a jazz musician who mainly plays the piano. In the Chicken Shack, he played the Prophet 5 with the Fender Rhodes piano. The Prophet-5 was well integrated into the band.
■ Recommended album: "Chicken Shack" (1986)
Recommended song: "TOFU"
A song by bassist Derek Jackson. After the complicated saxophone theme is Tsuzuki's synth solo with the Prophet-5.Many musicians preferred to use the presence of Prophet, which has a slightly increased filter resonance.
Recommended song: "STINKY SNAKE"
A song that starts with rap by Jun Yamagishi, the guitarist. The Prophet solo reminiscent of a guitar solo is excellent following the impressive theme. At first, it was mistaken for a guitar solo. The bend and wheel operation of the Prophet is wonderful!
Musicians, albums, recommended songs, keyboards used this time
- Artists: Ryuichi Sakamoto, Toru Tsuzuki (Chicken Shack)
- Album: " Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence " "Chicken Shack"
- Song titles: "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence" "TOFU" "STINKY SNAKE"
- Instrument used: Sequential Circuit Prophet 5