In 2015, when Yamaha handed back the Sequential moniker to Dave Smith, there was much rejoicing from the community (and I expect similar feelings were expressed within the walls of the company) and a new era dawned, bringing with it a selection of hardware that crossed some boundaries, from the much praised Prophet Rev2, the vintage vibed OB-6 and Prophet 6, to the more recent re-issue of the wonderful Prophet 5.
This left a space in the lineup for something modern and mono that didn’t sit in the same area as the Prophet X but would provide players with a synth that had the familiarity we musicians yearn for yet an experience that was new and exciting. The curtains were pulled back to reveal the Pro 3. So, what is the Pro 3 and why would you buy it over any of the other Sequential products?
Comparisons have been made, whether rightly or not I’m unsure, to both Moog’s Sub 37 and Arturia’s MatrixBrute, both of which I have in my studio. It’s easy to see why these thoughts cross people’s minds, as there are some similarities: the Moog has a somewhat modern interface with vintage warmth and the Brute offers a similarly extensive modulation system; but in reality these three machines all differ with just small areas of crossover.
Physically the Pro 3 (we will concentrate on the SE version,with wood panels and tiltable control surface – the standard is much the same, just lighter and with decals rather than silkscreen printed livery) is solidly built and hefty enough to inspire confidence in its road worthiness. The jacks around the back all engage satisfyingly, from the 1/4” dual outputs to the 1/8” CV in and out patch points. USB is there of course, although it doesn’t offer audio, and there is MIDI in, out and through, plus an audio input. A stereo headphone jack is up front and left and it’s worth spending some time using it, as it really highlights some of the sound design options.
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