Keyboardist Neara Russell combines creative musicality with diverse technical skills. A native Wisconsinite, Neara graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston with a full-ride Presidential Scholarship before relocating to Los Angeles as a full-time performing musician and writer/producer. Neara is currently touring as bandleader/keyboardist for Atlantic artist Hayley Kiyoko. She is music director for artists Skylar Grey and Bonnie McKee, and has toured with Alina Baraz, Duke Dumont, Betty Who, and Bridgit Mendler. As a writer/producer, Neara recently co-wrote & produced the title track for Monogem’s “100%” EP and has released three albums of original music.
We chatted with Neara about how she’s using the Prophet Rev2:
What made you choose the Prophet Rev2?
“I wanted an analog polysynth with classic Prophet sounds, but also needed a touring board with reliably stable oscillators and maximum programming flexibility. The Rev2 feels like a digital workstation to me while I’m designing patches, then delivers that unmistakable analog sound for performance.”
How are you using it?
“I’m currently on tour with Atlantic artist Hayley Kiyoko, and my Rev2 is the only analog polysynth in my touring rig. I use it to cover pads, bass, and lead patches in the set. Hayley’s music is particularly synth-heavy, so I get lots of opportunities to feature these sounds.”
What’s one of your favorite things about it?
“One of my favorite features for this particular set is the mod matrix. I’m able to throw a filter on the mod wheel or an LFO on an oscillator, synced to a BPM, with an ease I haven’t found in other boards. I love the bi-timbral option for keyboard splits. I also appreciate the ability to read parameters without pot jumping—seems like a minor feature until you need to recreate a patch on the fly.”
What does the Prophet Rev2 give you that other synths might not?
“I’ve taken this board around the world though many climates and have found the Rev2 to be 100% reliable. I’ve had zero tuning issues and haven’t needed a calibration yet. This is a solid, road-worthy board that is still able to deliver the Prophet sound you would expect.”
Any interesting tricks or techniques you’d like to share?
“Pairing my Rev2 with a Strymon BlueSky was my favorite experiment so far! They sound great together. This also frees up my onboard FX for other stuff; I’m workng on building a larger pedalboard specifically for my Rev2 to expand my FX options.”
MORE ABOUT THE PROPHET REV2
For more information, check out the Prophet Rev2 product page here.
Find your local dealer for pricing here.
If you’re using DSI products in interesting ways, tell us about it. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.