Sequential Pro 3 Synthesizer Review

“It sounds really good!”… Read More Sequential Pro 3 Synthesizer Review

Synth maker Sequential checks in on how they’re running in the pandemic

Sequential this week ran a video this week showing us how the makers of the Pro 3, Prophets, and more are keeping productive during the pandemic. We wished Dave Smith a happy birthday recently; here’s what everyone else is up to.

The San Francisco, USA-headquartered company is at home as part of California’s shelter-in-place program. But this is a chance to see how an independent synth maker is working – and to see some of the faces of the team.

Tony, Sequential’s engineering, has the best backdrop – with a Minimoog and a Prophet-5 there. Sorry, second best – Jerry is apparently in outer space.

The good news for synth fans is, they’re all running from home from support to design to repairs. And, oh yeah, they do confirm they’re actively continuing progress on something new.

I’d heard that something like that might be in the works, so it’s great to hear it isn’t slowing down.

Meanwhile, if you need to ogle something from the house that Dave built, there’s this:

Hi to everybody in California (and East Coast USA, for Jerry, and everyone else around the world) from Berlin.

Oh and by the way, of course, we saw some faces with the stay-at-home Superbooth videos, but if anybody wants to record some video message or… send us a recipe… feel free to say hi!

One bonus, from 2018 – thanks, YouTube algorithm – Domi Degalle can play a lot better than I can.

The post Synth maker Sequential checks in on how they’re running in the pandemic appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Dave Smith (Sequential) wird 70 und kündigt etwas an…

Dave Smith 70Dave Smith 70

Anders als Wolfgang Palm scheint Dave Smith fit zu sein und absolut Lust zu haben Synthesizer zu entwickeln. Nicht ohne Grund ist Sequential führender Hersteller polyphoner analoger Synthesizer.

Nach seinem Geburtstag setzt sich Dave an die Kamera und bedankt sich bei allen für die Gratulationen zu seinem siebzigsten Geburtstag. Außerdem erwähnt er, typisch Dave Smith, nebenbei – hier stünde normalerweise schon ein anderer Synthesizer als der Pro 3. Er sei im August so weit ihn zu zeigen aber jetzt sei es noch etwas zu früh.

Man säße viel „zu Hause“ wegen der bekannten Umstände und da lässt es sich gut entwickeln. Schauen wir auf das Portfolio von Sequential, so haben wir Monophone Synthesizer (Pro 3), den klassischen großen in zwei Varianten (Prophet 6, OB6) und Sampler (Prophet X) und die günstigen Polyphonen (Rev 2). Was aktuell fehlt sind kleinere Synths wie der Mopho oder Tetra und ein großes aufwendiges Gegenstück zum Pro 3. Das wäre eine Art Nachfolger des Prophet 12. Aber wir kennen Dave Smith ja gut genug. Da sollte keine Kopie kommen oder etwas, was wirklich da beginnt, wo der Prophet 12 aufhörte. Die Engine des Pro 3 wäre eine Basis für eine polyphone Version oder aber eine ganz andere Idee mit einigen Spezialitäten, wie etwa etwas mehr Pro 2 und damit mehr „digitalen“ Anteil?

Folgte man bisherigen Synthesizerlinien, würde der neue große SCI Synthesizer ein Prophet 16 sein – aber weil die Zahl die Anzahl der Stimmen bedeutet, möge es auch ein anderer Name sein dürfen und eher so etwas werden wie der Pro 3 ohne Sequencer aber mit 6-12 Stimmen. Die Filterumschaltung aus dem Pro 3 ist aufwendig – weshalb man hier auch reduzieren könnte. Wir warten also jetzt auf August. Prophet 70?

Weitere Information

…gibt es nicht, auch nicht wenn man auf die SCI Page schaut, denn offiziell ist ja noch nichts. Es geht im August los, sagt Dave.

Video

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):

Previously:

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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.

Features:

  • 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.

https://www.korg.com/us/

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…