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The starting point was Dave Smith’s modern classic, the Prophet ’08. Says Dave: “The REV2 is the realization of our effort to enhance and improve everything we could about the original design — all at a more accessible price.” You can even download existing Prophet ’08 libraries; not only will they sound spot-on, but you can enhance them with the new REV2 features. The Prophet ’08 was, of course, an 8-voice synth. The REV2 not only doubles the polyphony, but also lets you allocate voices as you wish: deploy monster two-hand chords; stack two 8-voice patches for massive, intricate textures; split the keyboard into two independent 8-voice instruments; and play duets with yourself — the sky’s the limit.

Curtis filters: classic design, incredible sound

The synth largely owes its audacious, authoritative sonics to its per-voice 2/4-pole, resonant lowpass filters, based on the chip design pioneered by the late Doug Curtis. These are the same filters used in many classic synthesizers of the 1970s and ’80s — and also in the Prophet ’08. The filter section includes a separate Audio Mod control that lets you dial in motion and harmonic complexity.

Shape Mod gives you tremendous sonic flexibility

The REV2’s two per-voice digitally controlled analog oscillators each feature four selectable waveforms: sawtooth, sawtooth+triangle, triangle, and square. The waveshape modulation feature lets you continuously vary the pulse width of any of the waveforms, infinitely multiplying your sonic possibilities. And the Shape Mod control allows you to manually dial in a specific waveshape width or use an LFO or other modulation source to continuously shift timbre. Even single-oscillator patches take on new depth and dimension.

Powerful FX engine and Mod Matrix

The beefy effects engine onboard the REV2 serves up tasty reverbs, standard and vintage-style BBD (Bucket Brigade Device) delays, phase shift, chorus, ring mod, and distortion. With the REV2 set up in split-voice or stacked mode, you can apply a unique effect to every layer. You can even modulate effects parameters using the REV2’s Mod Matrix — a popular feature from the Prophet ’08. On the REV2, the Mod Matrix is double the size, with eight individual slots and expanded sources and destinations. It’s a sound designer’s dream.

Polyphonic step sequencer

Dave Smith Instruments equipped the REV2 with a powerful polyphonic step sequencer that accommodates up to 64 steps with 6 notes per step. A compelling tool for performance or composition, the poly step sequencer lets you craft a unique sequence for each layer in split-voice or stacked mode. You can also use the sequencer as a modulation source in gated mode, where you can achieve complex modulation with up to four different 16-step sequences. Sequences permit ties and rests and can sync to external MIDI clock. The separate arpeggiator, which supports note repeats and re-latching, can also sync to external MIDI clock.

Programmability, tweakability, playability, reliability

The REV2’s knob-per-function top panel gives you per-knob programmability and instant access to all functions, including 512 killer factory patches and 512 rewritable user programs. Grab a knob and tweak away, for real-time control over any parameter. The premium 5-octave, semi-weighted velocity- and aftertouch-enabled keybed on the REV2 feels silky and superb. Like all DSI synths, the REV2 is built tour-tough to shrug off road abuse. With its integrated power supply, USB support, and crisp, bright OLED display, the REV2 is the perfect polysynth for stage and studio.

Dave Smith Instruments REV2 Features:

  • 16-voice polyphony lets you allocate voices as you wish
  • 5-octave, semi-weighted keyboard with velocity and channel aftertouch
  • Dual DCOs, sub-oscillator, and 2/4-pole resonant lowpass Curtis filter per voice
  • Waveshape modulation, Modulation Matrix, bi-timbral operation
  • Onboard FX engine with reverb, delays, chorus, phase shift, ring mod, and distortion
  • Polyphonic step sequencer, advanced arpeggiator
  • Per-knob programmability and real-time tweakability
  • Crisp OLED display is easy to see on darkened stages
  • Integrated power supply, USB support

Tech Specs

Sound Engine Type(s) Analog Oscillators (digital control)
Number of Keys 61
Type of Keys Semi-weighted with velocity and aftertouch
Other Controllers Pitchbend, Mod Wheel
Polyphony 16
Number of Presets 512 factory programs, 512 editable user programs
Oscillators 2 per voice (sawtooth, triangle, pulse)
Effects Types Reverb, Delay, Chorus, Phase shifter, Ring modulation, Distortion
Arpeggiator Yes
Sequencer 64 steps, 6 notes per step
Audio Outputs 2 x 1/4″ (main stereo out), 2 x 1/4″ (B stereo outs), 1 x 1/4″ (headphones)
USB 1 x Type B
MIDI I/O In/Out/Thru
Pedal Inputs 2 x 1/4″ (sustain, pedal/cv)
Other I/O 1 x 1/4″ (sequencer)
Features Waveshape modulation on all waveforms, polyphonic step sequencer per layer, 8-slot modulation matrix
Power Supply Standard IEC AC cable
Height 3.8″
Width 35.1″
Depth 12.7″
Weight 20.5 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number DSI-2816

Via Sweetwater