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Dave Smith Instruments asked us to return to the sound design world and join a stellar team to create some of the patches for their upcoming super synth: the Pro 2. Since we’re avid and long time users of the Pro One, the name alone peaked our curiosities. Once we got the absolutely stunning synth back to our studio, we were blown away not just by the raw sound quality of the new voice architecture, but also by the sheer number of possible control options. If there is a synth out there that is truly the best of all worlds and that is almost intentionally designed to sit right in the middle of a full studio set up, it most certainly is the Pro 2. 4 CV outputs (that can be used as gate outputs too), 4 CV ins, audio input, dual MIDI outputs … it’s exactly the kind of thinking a professional studio and live musician would employ in synth design.
As a sound designer, what was most interesting was the arrangement of the new filters. Not only do both the SSM and SEM inspired analog filters sound fantastic on their own, but they can be used together to create very complex effects. Since their routing (serial, meaning one filter into the other, or parallel, meaning both filters running together) is completely user assignable and modulatable (all parameters regarding the filter can be accessed via the modulation matrix and modulated by pretty much anything) incredibly rich and complex effects can be created. The first patch (first string sound you hear in this video) takes full advantage of this new architecture to create a very sophisticated and distinct jet phasing effect.
The same tonal integrity can be found on the digital delays. This time around there is a new BBD style analog modeling delay that is warm and lush. When combined with delay time modulation from an LFO, an extremely rich chorus effect results. I might also mention that the audio input itself is of very high quality and presents a clean and full bodied pre amplifier stage that just sounds good. The last two sounds in the video use this input with a bass guitar.
Absolutely no external fx or sequencing were used when recording this demo of our patches for the factory bank. Everything you hear was done with the internal sequencer, live playing, and employing the abundant set of controls on board the Pro 2. Also, these are all single patches, so no multitracking was involved. The sounds were tracked via a Precision 8 mic pre using both outputs from the Pro 2 and straight into a Digidesign 192 IO feeding Pro Tools HD.”