Dave Smith On The New Sequential Pro 3 Synthesizer

At the 2020 NAMM Show, we talked with synth pioneer Dave Smith, who showed us his new Sequential Pro 3 synthesizer.… Read More Dave Smith On The New Sequential Pro 3 Synthesizer

Sequential Pro 3 SE Synthesizer Debuts At 2020 NAMM Show

At the 2020 NAMM Show, pioneering synth manufacturer Sequential is introducing the Pro 3 SE – a special edition of its new Pro 3 synthesizer. The Pro 3 synthesizer is the latest generation of the company’s Pro 1 monophonic synthesizer. The original Pro 1, introduced in 1981, is revered as one of the most important… Read More Sequential Pro 3 SE Synthesizer Debuts At 2020 NAMM Show

Sequential’s Pro 3 is a new synth, while the others clone – so how does it stack up?

One person who isn’t just copying Dave Smith is – Dave Smith. Sequential are back with the new Pro-3, a flagship mono/paraphonic synth instrument.

Okay, to be fair – a Sequential synth (or Dave Smith Instruments synth) is always going to give you certain predictable elements, if in different combinations. But the Pro-3 at least continues the evolution and refinement of that line. And it offers an extraordinary amount of depth as a result – in the sense that you could really just play with this thing a … long … time … happily so …

The Pro 3 is right in line with the Pro line – the Pro 1 and Pro 2 monosynths, that is – but with some new ideas thrown into the mix. With that in mind, let’s first talk about what just went away – the Pro 2, the previous flagship monosynth. And in some ways, the Pro 2 is likely to be missed – for its uniquely accessible oscillators and architecture, and its 4-voice paraphonic mode.

The Pro 3 is pretty irresistible, though, in that it does three things:

  1. Builds a new architecture around three of everything – three oscillators (2 analog + 1 wavetable), three LFOs, and three filters to choose from to keep it fresh.
  2. Acts as a central workstation, with a powerful front panel sequencer (building on the Pro-2) and now CV integration so it fits in with modular.
  3. Costs just US$1599.

And that last one is a big deal. A producer can easily save up for this one instrument and wind up with a massively flexible powerhouse for sound design, with sequencing built in. Sequential’s stuff has managed to get more powerful but less expensive, and yet you still get something that feels luxurious, boutique, and – well, personal, in a way a big mass-produced thing might not.

This is Dave. As far as we know, no one has yet cloned him or his team.

Some highlights:

Dual digital effects – again, you can do a whole lot right on this one keyboard, but without menu diving as you might on a digital workstation

A 32-slot mod matrix for loads of modulation

Analog integration – four CV ins, four outputs, dedicated gate output – all running at audio rate (take that, MIDI!) and all assignable from that powerful mod matrix

Classic Sequential analog oscillators, times two

One wavetable oscillator for the edgy digital spice when you need it, for the third oscillator – 32 tables of 16 waves each, with wave morphing, so a lot of spice

Three vintage filters to choose from – 4-pole low pass (a la Prophet-6), 2-pole state-variable (a la Oberheim OB-6) for continuously moving between low-pass + notch + high-pass,

Analog distortion, Drive control on the filters

And all of this combines with a sequencer, included on the keyboard so the workflow is integrated. That includes ratcheting, input via both real-time and step-input, and works with both MIDI and CV (and analog and MIDI clock, too).

Plus, the sequencer integrates with the mod matrix – noticing the pattern here? That justifies the inclusion of a sequencer on the keyboard, because then integration is already done for you. Instead of spending your time programming, or working to assign your sequencer to your instrument, you can get right into playing and sequencing.

(I say all of this because – I just read some concerns from a colleague, and this is essentially my answer.)

So sure, you get 3-voice paraphonic mode instead of 4, but as deep and wild as the Pro-2 was, the Pro-3 seems deeper and wilder.

The SE edition, if you have extra money and want something more collectible. Also – tilt-up panel is definitely cool, whether or not you crave wood.

Heck, in this giant wave of polysynths, the Pro-3 is a pretty damn good argument for getting back to monosynths again.

And you know the package will be plenty luxe, as per usual Sequential standards. If you want it to be even more so, you can spring for the Special Edition, for US$2099. That includes a tilt-up control panel and “full, premium-grade walnut trim.” I’m sure it’ll be a collectors’ item, but I’m tempted to just buy a stand to tilt this up and then go with a nice bottle of bourbon while I invite friends over for some Pro-3 jams, you know?

A little birdie told me some close friends of CDM might have worked on this beautiful beast, and I know it’ll be at NAMM, so I will send our espionage network out to learn more.

But even in this deluge of synths, the Pro-3 looks really lovely.

More on the somewhat complicated endless stream of DSI/Sequential instruments can be perused in the PDF chart they put together. Basically, if you want a really cheap 4-voice, find a used MOPHO X4. The Pro-2 was all digital oscillators, but you did get more of them – 4x + 1 sub oscillator, meaning a used Pro-2 should still be on your radar if you’re thinking Pro-3. And then there are the very excellent polyphonic Prophets.

More at Sequential (formerly DSI aka Dave Smith Instruments):


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Sequential Pro 3 Synthesizer Coming To 2020 NAMM Show

At the 2020 NAMM Show, Sequential is introducing the Pro 3 synthesizer.… Read More Sequential Pro 3 Synthesizer Coming To 2020 NAMM Show

KORG wavestate synth is modern successor to Wavestation

Don’t call it a comeback. KORG R&D is reimagining one of their more unique ideas from the 90s – but the result promises to be very 2020.

First – about the 90s instrument that started this. The Wavestation worked with “vector synthesis”. The idea was, start with multiple sound sources (four is a good number), and cross-fade between them.

The 1986 Prophet VS from Sequential brought the idea to market. But when Sequential died, Korg picked up the torch (and the research, and some of the brains – including John Bowen and Dave Smith).

Enter the Wavestation (1990). The Prophet VS’s joystick worked as well on the Korg. And the Wavestation added another idea – wave sequencing, so you could piece together multiple sounds in… uh… sequence. (Hey, I’m still coming back from the holidays.)

The KORG wavestate is not a Wavestation remake. But it is getting the band back together again – John Bowen, John “Skippy” Lehmkuhl (Plugin Guru), and Peter “Ski” Schwartz. They all worked on the 1990 synth, and they’re back on this one.

But now, all of that 1990 futurism is coupled with a body that looks like KORG’s recent ‘logue keyboards, new features, and samples measure in the gigabytes instead of megabytes. (That was 2 – two! – megabytes on the original. So the Wavestation sounded like a 1990 ROMpler, and the 2020 wavestate doesn’t.)

KORG also took the wave sequencing idea, and built on it. Wavestation: duration, sample, pitch are sequenced, but they’re repetitive. wavestate: independent timing, sample sequence, and melody, plus shapes, gate times, step sequencer values, independent lanes – all add together for something dynamic and organic.

And another thing – digital in 2020 can mean modeled sounds that are indistinguishable from analog. (Don’t send letters. It’s true.) Want a filter that sounds like an MS-20? Polysix? Both are in there.

So in other words, instead of bringing back a 1990s thing and pretending it’s relevant now – yes, Frasier reboot, I’m looking at you – the KORG wavestate is something new. (Think more Bojack Horseman – 90s references, but self-aware.)

There are just a hell of a lot of features in this thing, a totally new take on wave sequencing, in a more compact and friendly form factor, plus modeled filters and a bunch of effects. And you can play all this from the front panel with tons of real-time controls.

That combination sounds fantastic.

Available this month for $799.99.


  • Wave Sequencing 2.0 (more parameters, lanes!)
  • Deep, hands-on modulation
  • Gigs of samples, coming from KORG, third parties, and the Kronos and Krome libraries
  • Wavestation original samples and wave sequences, for the retro touch when you want it
  • Modeled filters, including MS-20 and Polysix
  • 64 stereo voices
  • 4 Layers with Vector control (4x what you had on the original)
  • 14 simultaneous effects (meaning this is more OASYS or Kronos than Wavestation)
  • Tons of effects (Wave Shaper, Talking Modulator, Reverse Delay, Multiband Mod Delay, OASYS Overb, etc.)
  • Set Lists and Smooth Sound Transitions
  • Randomization (dice button)
  • 37 full-size keys

Where did this come from? Well in addition to some of the original Wavestation creators, the Belgian artist Airwave, KORG R&D in the USA (including their voicing team and veterans of OASYS and Kronos) all worked together in California. And clearly that got an infusion of some of the Japanese designs on the ‘logues.

This does mean making some choices, though. KORG’s competition here may come from itself – the ‘logue line offers its own distinctive sound, makes different choices about limitations, and features the open ‘logue SDK. So much as I love vector synthesis, I’m a little torn – I’m still partial to those ‘logues for their focus on one hand, and their openness to development on the other. At least it’s nice to have the choice.

And all of this proves that a synth maker can draw on its past designs but make new instruments, not just recreate old ones. I think having the choice of remake or new approach is ideal. And KORG is uniquely delivering both options in parallel.

But I digress – as has already been leaked (including in KORG teasers), more might be on its way.


The post KORG wavestate synth is modern successor to Wavestation appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Sequential arbeitet an einem Pro 3 – Nachfolger des Pro 2

Sequential Pro 3Sequential Pro 3

Pro One war der erste aus der Reihe und eigentlich „eine Stimme“ aus dem Prophet 5. Sie war etwas rauher und ist für einen knackigen Sound bekannt. Viel Später und mit neuem Namen kam der Pro 2, der dem Prophet 12 an die Seite gestellt wurde als „Monofone“ Version, die aber 4 stimmig paraphon spielbar ist. Was wird der Pro 3 können?

Eigentlich ist genau das die Frage? Ein Facelift und ein bisschen besser oder ein komplett neues Modell mit neuen Möglichkeiten? Dazu könnte man mutmaßen, dass es vielleicht auch einen Nachfolger für den ohnehin länger abgekündigten Prophet 12 anbieten wird. Damals war er das komplexeste was SCI bis dahin gebaut haben und der Pro 2 auch. Er war nämlich nicht einfach „eine Stimme“ des P12, sondern hatte zwei Filter, die eigens für ihn entwickelt wurden. Sie waren bewusst verschieden, um möglichst flexibel zu sein. Die vier Oszillatoren mit aufwendiger FM / AM Möglichkeit und Wavetables ließen ihn weit mehr sein als einfach „ein Analoger“. Auch der Prophet 12 war ein Hybrid. Der Pro 2 und Prophet 12 sind aus den Läden bereits verschwunden, einige Prophet 12 Desktops gibt es noch.

Registriertes Warenzeichen

Pro 3 wurde als neues Warenzeichen registriert.Das Bild zeigt den Pro 2 und eigentlich gibt es viele Gründe, dem Pro 3 in dieser Richtung neues Leben zu geben. Der erste ist schlicht: weil er quasi ausverkauft ist und nach dem P12 einfach die Lager leer sind. Bevor man jetzt die gleichen Modelle erneut unverändert baut, wäre etwas Neues besser, um von sich reden zu machen.

Beim P12 würde ein verbesserter Bassbereich sinnvoll sein, damit wohl auch ein neues Filter und ein paar Updates und mehr Wavetables, die dann auf den Pro 3 übergehen könnten. Es wäre auch umgekehrt denkbar, dass dieses neue Filter dann aus dem Pro 3 kommt. Dieses Mal vielleicht auch mit Sequencer? Das wäre ein kleines Update, so wie der heutige Rev 2, Nachfolger des Prophet 08 ist. Bei SCI kennt man inzwischen Sampling. So wäre es denkbar, dass die ohnehin digitale Oszillator-Sektion Samples oder eigene kurze Attack-Samples bekommt oder komplexere Wellenformen in neuer Weise akzeptiert. Um den Pro X nicht zu gefährden, wäre es dann vielleicht begrenzt im Speicher und eher für kurze Samples gedacht, die ein paar Wellendurchläufe oder auch nur eine speichern und damit auch mit wenig Speicher klar kommen würden.

Den Pro 3 zeichnet sicher auch ein aufwendiger Sequencer aus, er könnte mehr Steps haben und komplexer werden oder mehr Performance-Elemente anbieten. Was wirklich kommt, weiss niemand. Wie die Preise und Verfügbarkeit sind ebensowenig. Sie würden sich jedoch sicher am Pro 2 orientieren.

Weitere Information?

Wirklich weitere Informationen gibt es noch nicht, auch nicht auf der Website von SCI. Zur NAMM 2020 werden wir erstmals etwas oder mehr erfahren, vielleicht auch vorher durch „Leaks“. Ob es auch einen neuen Prophet 12 geben wird ist bisher unklar, denn der Pro 2 hat sicher vermutlich besser verkauft. Womit man nicht rechnen sollte sind mehr Stimmen. Dies würde mehr Oszillatoren bedeuten und technisch sind die auch machbar, aber vielleicht überrascht Dave Smith uns ja…

The ultra-rare Sequential Prophet T8, reborn as a flagship add-on

It was the stuff of legends – a richly capable polysynth from the mind of Dave Smith, with only 800 units making it into the world. But now as makers chase the same clones on repeat, the T8 finds its way onto another innovative and overlooked flagship, today’s Sequential Prophet X and XL.

I wouldn’t normally write about sample packs, let alone add-ons for particular hardware. But Sequential’s Prophet X and XL are already uniquely sophisticated instruments – monster polysynths combining dozens of gigs of “deep sampling” sample content with analog synthesis, in a hybrid giant. The sample shop that assembled the sounds for that Prophet, 8dio, have gone back to painstakingly recreate the T8 as an add-on to the new Prophets.

The resulting combo could be the best modern Prophet available at the moment. The T8 had the soul of a Prophet-5 architecture, but was decades head of its time by unveiling polyphonic aftertouch keys (take that, MPE). Those T8 sounds, sampled here in detail, are a natural pairing with the Prophet X’s stereo analog filters, deep modulation, dual digital effects, and polyphonic step sequencer, plus its own superb keyboard.

8dio worked with Dave’s own, immaculately maintained T8 for the samples.

8dio has also made add-ons featuring the ARP 2600 and OBX.

The pack is just US$48, so while picking up a Prophet X or XL is hardly cheap, what you do get here for your investment is a serious alternative to assembling a bunch of software plug-ins for this sort of sound design depth.

Sequential Prophet X/XL Add-On 5 T8

The bad news here is really about a limitation of the new Prophets – Sequential doesn’t do polyphonic aftertouch or MPE on their new keyboards (though there is polyphonic glide). I’m rather hopeful that the reemergence of the T8 prods Dave and team to consider doing that, following Bay Area leaders like Roger Linn who helped drive the adoption of polyphonic expression in MIDI. These sounds deserve some control from more than one of your fingers at a time. (You get just mono aftertouch on the Prophet X/XL.)

But whether you’re a Sequential owner or not, it’s worth spending some time revisiting the T8 in all its 1983 glory – this is an early 80s synth that seems more like something you’d get now.

You absolutely should check out this copious review / history from greatsynthesizers.com for everything you could hope to want to know about this axe:


There’s a lot of stuff in that keyboard – optical sensing, release velocity as well as polyphonic aftertouch.


Photo at top – greatsynthesizers; seriously, do go check them out!

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Sequential announces Prophet 12 Limited Edition analog/digital hybrid synth

Sequential Prophet 12 LE

Sequential has announced the Prophet 12 LE, a special numbered, limited edition of the Prophet 12 analog/digital hybrid synthesizer. The limited edition synth features a custom, arctic white finish with maple end caps. It will be strictly limited to 100 instruments worldwide and will commemorate the last of these synthesizers that Sequential will create. Dave […]

The post Sequential announces Prophet 12 Limited Edition analog/digital hybrid synth appeared first on rekkerd.org.

Dave Smith ist nun offiziell Sequential!


Dave Smith Instruments führt alle neuen Geräte ab jetzt und die Firma selbst nun wieder als Sequential!

Der Name war Dave Smith von Yamaha offenbar freiwillig und kostenfrei wieder zur Verfügung gestellt worden, was nicht unbedingt selbstverständlich ist. Darauf hin wurde der Prophet 6 auch bereits unter dem Namen gebaut und auf den Markt gebracht. Die aktuellen Modelle wie Prophet 12 und Rev 2 sind bisher alle noch Dave-Smith-gelabelt.

Nun versammelte sich die Mann/Frauschaft und verkündet die Rückkehr für alle Geräte, damit sind bisherige Geräte natürlich alle Vintage und müssen sofort wieder abgegeben werden bzw. werden nun alt und wertlos. Nein – natürlich nicht, sie werden nur jetzt mit dem neuen Namen verkauft und sind sonst so wie bisher. Die Firma wird also keine Synthesizer mehr als DSI oder Dave Smith Instruments bezeichnen.

Ohne Circuits…

Interessanterweise hat man sich dennoch des alten Zusatzes „Circuits Inc.“ entledigt, was zur gängigen Kurzbezeichnung SCI führte. Den großen Erfolg hatte Dave Smith mit dem Prophet 5, der nicht als erster polyphon war jedoch der erste „bezahlbare“ Synthesizer, der so aufgebaut ist wie noch heute analoge Synthesizer und basiert auf Curtis-Chips. So wie heute auch.

Wir wünschen Dave alles Gute und viel Erfolg.

Sequential.com ist nun also die Hauptsite und es wird wohl noch einiges passieren, ob neuere Geräte ab jetzt schon mit neuem Logo ausgeliefert werden? Nun, der Prophet X wird sowieso schon so ausgeliefert, neue Auflagen der bisherigen Synthesizer vermutlich ebenso. Dave entschied auch gern dafür, weil es ein Team ist, nicht nur „er selbst“ und natürlich aus historischen Gründen sagt er vergnügt in seiner Ansprache. Wir gehen davon aus, dass einfach der Firmenname sich jetzt ändert und Geräte ab der nächsten Produktionsreihe alle so heißen werden.

Dave Smith war auch wesentlich bei der Entwicklung von MIDI mit beteiligt, ebenso hat er mit seinen Instrumenten einige stilprägende Instrumente platzieren können, vor allem den Prophet 5 und den kleinen monophonen Pro One. Der Begriff Prophet ist schon immer eng mit ihm verbunden, weshalb auch Korg den Prophecy „nach ihm“ benannte. Korg war damals Teil von Yamaha und daher gab es eine entsprechende Querverbindung.

• Die offizielle Firmenwebsite ist: www.sequential.com

In diesem Video stehen mal eben Tom Oberheim, John Bowen, John Chowning (FM „Erfinder“), Roger Linn und Dave Rossum (E-mµ) neben oder hinter ihm: