The Sequential Circuits Prophet 600 is a 6-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer released in 1982. It was the first commercially available synth to include MIDI functionality. The 600's analog voice's are controlled by a Zilog Z80 CPU. Though state-of-the-art at the time of its release, the Z80's specs means the synth feels limited and slow to respond to changes compared to modern instruments.
Luckily, synthesizer enthusiast & engineer GliGli has written new firmware for the Prophet 600, designed to run on a Teensy++ development board. Replacing the 600's Z80 with a Teensy++ running Gligli's firmware adds a long list of features to the classic synth, including:
- Increased resolution for sound parameters
- Faster, smoother amplifier and filter envelope generators
- New LFO function generator with a wider range
- Dedicated vibrato
- Unison detune
- Mix Overdrive
- Full Midi In control of parameters
- Improved tuning procedure
Swapping out the Z80 for the Teensy++ is a relatively simple process, and can easily be reversed if you decide you prefer the 600's original functionality. Some basic modifications will need to be made to the Teensy++ board before usage.
- Prophet 600 Synthesizer
- Solid core jumper wire
- IC puller/extractor
- Soldering iron & solder
- Needle nose pliers
- Solderless breadboard
- Mini USB cable
- X-acto knife or razor blade
- Conductive foam & antistatic bag (for storing old microcontroller)
Once you have all tools & materials ready, we can move on to programming the Teensy++.