Dave Smith Prophet 2000/2002

Sampler and Sampling discussion (techniques, tips and tricks, etc.)
KVRer
6 posts since 8 Oct, 2021

Post Fri Oct 22, 2021 12:51 pm

Hi, I couldn't find a thread for this, so I thought I should make one.

Has anyone got experience with Dave Smith's 12-bit sampler, the Prophet 2000/2002 (rackmount/keyboard versions, respectively)? It has Curtis filters and some fun options for sound design, but it runs on floppy format.

My struggle is that the current market, open source or otherwise, for floppy emulators is really geared towards Windows users, and I'm on a mac. I have purchased a floppy emulator that takes USB sticks, but it's basically just gathering dust because I can't find a turn-key solution for the software to run it.

Does anyone have any experience with converting a floppy-based sampler into something a Mac can communicate with?

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KVRAF
21938 posts since 7 Jan, 2009 from Croatia

Post Fri Oct 22, 2021 1:18 pm

Run Windows in a virtual machine?

KVRist
159 posts since 5 May, 2020

Post Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:29 pm

I had one of those, the rack 2002, expanded WAY up to 512K 12-bit words. I got it used for a small fortune back in 86 or 87, and got a few great sounds from it. (It allowed me to leave the CP70 and Rhodes at home for certain gigs, though sadly I didn't have a fully-weighted master keyboard.) I donated it to a high school in the late 90's, along with other gear I'd replaced.

I don't remember whether the floppies were even readable on a PC. That would be the first thing to verify. Chances are good, but not guaranteed.

BTW it was made by Sequential Circuits, not DSI. Manufactured in the late 80's, so don't let the numbers fool you into thinking it's from this millennium.

Despite the quality of the filters (which are probably degraded after 25 years anyway) there's no way I'd prefer one to using a computer, with more memory, a screen, and 16-bit samples. But my experience with 12 bits is one reason why I scoff at those who think they need 24 (unless using non-normalized samples.)

Running in a VM is worth considering, but usually the host owns the hardware and the VM uses it vicariously. No idea whether it would work for a floppy drive.

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KVRAF
6365 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:41 am

I found this, including a mac version…
http://synth.curlsystems.de/

On the other hand all virtual machines are able to grab a USB port directly. Any peripheral including dongles should work…

KVRist
159 posts since 5 May, 2020

Post Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:00 am

Wow, what I wouldn't have given to have that back in the day! It looks like that talks to the Prophet via MIDI sysex, so the disk remains in the Prophet.
On the other hand all virtual machines are able to grab a USB port directly. Any peripheral including dongles should work…
True but back in the day if you put a floppy formatted for PC in a Mac it wouldn't work. The drives themselves were incompatible (depending on the year etc.) as Macs ran the spindle at different speeds depending on how far out the sectors were, to increase density. That was eventually phased out, but you couldn't share floppies between Mac and PC, or even share drives between them. No idea whether this is still an issue, though.

But I also don't know quite what a USB floppy emulator is and how it would help here. A USB floppy drive could help. I even had one of those, to access my Ensoniq MR76 floppies on my laptop du jour. But I don't know whether the Prophet-formatted disks would work in one. As I said, chances are good but not guaranteed.

Anyway, my guess is that the Curly Systems editor is an excellent solution; forget the floppies other than to save the samplesets for use at the gig.

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