Recreating The Lead Sound From Talking Head’s ‘Burning Down The House’ on Prophet-5

Sound designer Paul Schilling shared this video, which explores recreating the lead sound from Talking Head‘s Burning Down The House.

Schilling demonstrates the patch with the Sequential Prophet-5, but provides tips for recreating it on the Prophet-6, as well.

What he say about it:

“I only mention this at the end of the video, but the way I hear it in the original, the filter in this sound is wide open. The character comes mainly from the combination of pulse waves, detuned unison, and oscillator sync. I focus mainly on the oscillator, unison and glide settings but the envelope settings are also quite simple…fast attack and release, sustain all the way up.”

Tips for creating this on a Prophet-6:

  • To get a fresh “init patch”: While holding down the PRESET button, press the WRITE button
  • To set the number of Unison voices: Hold down UNISON button, use the BANK/DECREMENT and TENS/INCREMENT buttons to set the number of voices
  • To set Unison detune amount, use the SLOP knob
  • To get Osc A to have both saw and square/pulse waves, set the SHAPE knob to 2 o’clock (halfway between saw and square shapes)


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