Zak Riles


We chatted with Zak Riles about how he’s using the Pro 2. For more information about Zak, please see the links below.

What made you choose the Pro 2?

“I had previously been using the DSI Mono Evolver which I loved. When the Pro 2 was released, I bought it immediately because the front panel design with the 32-step sequencer looked perfect for my live setup. It seemed to have so many sonic possibilities for the studio.”

How are you using it?

“In my live setup it’s the main hub that receives MIDI clock from Abelton and distributes CV/Gate to all of our other gear while running the main sequences. I run a cable from the Gate Out jack across the stage to a Juno-6 trigger input for synchronized arpeggios. I play guitar which is also synced up with a Timeline delay pedal. It’s really nice to get everything going through the Pro 2 with all of its modulation capabilities. In the studio, I’ll often start a template for a song with the Pro 2. It can create so many sounds, like smooth pads for ambient stuff, rhythmic drum machine type sounds (I think there’s a preset called “Get a Tempest”) and of course, the classic Tangerine Dream-style sequences. I also recently added the Pro 2’s audio input to my patchbay and have been using it as an external effect processor for drums, guitar, and so on.

What’s one of your favorite things about it?

“Mainly the sound. It can sound so thick and nasty (in a good way). You can really get under the hood and tweak the waveshapes to sit just right into mixes. Riding the two different cutoff filters and adjusting the routing while tracking a sequence creates a lot of movement and is my favorite feature on the synth.”

What does it give you that other instruments don’t?

“How tightly it syncs with all of our other equipment. When I send a program change from Abelton, the Pro 2 immediately switches and starts a sequence without any delay or latency and it doesn’t drift. I’ve tried this with other synths and they never synced quite as tightly as the Pro 2.”

Any interesting tricks or techniques you’d like to share?

“One trick is to take a sound and start slowly adding the Pro 2’s analog distortion and synced BBD feedback to the point of making a massive drone while slowly lowering the master volume. It doesn’t get too out of control and creates a huge wall of sound. So much fun. Many thanks to Dave Smith for creating so many unique and enjoyable electronic instruments.



Music from the new Grails record featuring the Pro 2:



For more information, check out the Pro 2 product page here.

Find your local dealer for Pro 2 pricing here.

If you’re using the Pro 2 in interesting ways, tell us about it. Contact us at .