Peter Mahr was born in Vienna, Austria into a family of classical music lovers. However, in his youth he fell in love with synthesizers and electronic music. Ever since, his passion for music and synths has evolved significantly. He is a musical autodidact and over the years he has contributed music to smaller film projects and websites. By training Peter is a molecular geneticist and lives in Switzerland.
We chatted with Peter on how he uses the Prophet XL in his music:
What made you choose the Prophet XL?
As you know, for many years I’ve been a Sequential/DSI user. Therefore I’m always curious when you guys announce any new instrument. Once I read about the Prophet X’s specs I thought it might be a successor to the Prophet-12, which I liked a lot. The idea of having samples instead of a set of digital waveforms made it very appealing to me. And when I heard the excellent filter, it was clear that I had to have the Prophet X. It took some time, but the Prophet XL eventually became one of my favorite synthesizers. It’s the only analog/hybrid synthesizer in my studio now.
How are you using it?
I have a small studio and that’s where I use the Prophet XL. Currently, I’m working on a small project with a friend whom I’ve known for over 30 years and who lives more than 16,000 km away. This has been a lot of fun and I have used the PXL. Now I’ve also started to program sounds which I will use in my next video.
What’s one of your favorite things about it?
There are several things I like about the PXL. The most obvious is the filter. Listen to the first sound in this video and you’ll know what I mean:
It turns this sound into something completely different. And I also have to say that recording this line and playing it with the sequencer has been a lot of fun. The mix of samples and digital waveforms is another feature which makes this synthesizer very interesting and its sound range diverse. I also have to say that I like the idea of new samples which are delivered over the time. This is great for people like me, as I’m forced to use what’s in there instead of scrolling through thousands of waveforms. Whenever 8Dio releases a new set, it opens another door to a new room for me.
What does it give you that other synths might not?
The PXL offers me the sounds that I prefer to use. As mentioned before, the samples lead to a flexibility at the very beginning of the sound and with the four LFOs, envelopes. and the internal effects, together with the sequencer, everything you need to get started is included. But that’s all just specifications and features, because what really matters to me is whether an instrument inspires me or not. The Prophet XL does it like not many others. You have to work very hard to keep me curious.
Any interesting tricks or techniques you’d like to share?
When I create sounds, it’s actually never for the sake of programming, but because I want to use the sound musically. Therefore I’m afraid that there is nothing new or nothing that has not already been said by colleagues. What I generally like to do is to store several variations of a single sound and use them in different places on a track. Gain staging is also something of high importance and I usually push the outputs quite heavily. Another thing I like are the random waveforms in the LFOs. For example, I use one LFO to modulate effect parameters, and at the same time the filter cutoff. In this way, you can assign a higher effect amount or a higher parameter value to the individual, brighter tones.
MORE ABOUT THE PROPHET XL
For more information, check out the Prophet XL product page here.
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