NAMM 2020: It’s been a little while since Dave Smith’s Sequential brand announced a new synthesizer, so we were quietly expecting something new for this year’s NAMM show. Following an initial leak, Sequential has now officially unveiled its latest flagship synth, the Pro 3 – and it looks great!
The Pro 3 is a three-oscillator paraphonic synth that combines both analogue and digital components. There are two analogue oscillators each with saw, triangle and variable-width pulse waves. These are joined by a DSP-powered digital oscillator that can produce 32 types of morphing wavetable, along with analogue oscillator emulations and a supersaw mode.
This DSP oscillator can also function as a complex wavetable LFO for interesting modulation possibilities. There’s also an additional noise generator, plus controls for hard sync, per-oscillator glide and a Slop feature for introducing analogue-like inaccuracies.
There are three analogue filter types onboard - a Prophet-6 LPF, a Moog-style ladder filter and the continuous, state-variable design from the OB-6. The ladder filter here includes an optional resonance compensation feature to maintain bass presence even with the resonance cranked. The OB-6 model also has a bandpass switch to complement its morphable low-pass, notch and high-pass modes. The inclusion of a drive control lets users add a touch of grit at the filter stage too.
On the modulation front, the synth has four freely-assignable, looping ADSR envelopes plus three syncable LFOs with phase-offset and slew. A 32-slot modulation matrix with 171 possible destinations should allow for copious amounts of routing options.
On the digital side of things, the Pro 3 has dual effects sections boasting multiple types of reverb, delay and modulation effects including chorus, phasers and flangers. It also promises a programmable analogue distortion and tuned feedback for aggressive tonal effects.
While the Pro 3 is a monosynth at heart, it can also be used in a three-voice paraphonic mode with individually gated envelopes per-oscillator.
Finally, the package is rounded off by a powerful-looking sequencer with 16 tracks, each capable of 16 steps and four phrases. On its rear, the hardware has four CV inputs and outputs, plus a gate out, and it seems the sequencer can be used to control the synth itself and external hardware simultaneously.
The Pro 3 will be available in two forms, the standard model (pictured below) and a hinged, wooden-ended special edition version (top). Both versions have a 37-note keyboard. There's also a multimode arpeggiator included.
“In many ways the Pro 3 is the evolution of a concept that started with the classic Sequential Circuits Pro-One,” says Sequential founder Dave Smith: “Pack as much power as possible into a compact footprint and make it sound awesome. To do that, we built on the strengths of its modern-day counterpart, the Pro 2, and created a worthy successor to both that sets a new benchmark for raw power and versatility.”
The standard version is due for release by the end of January, priced at $1599 and the wooden paneled special edition will arrive in February with a price of $2099. Find out more at the Sequential site.