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What is it about Sequential synths?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Lives for gear
What is it about Sequential synths?

So I know the P5 / P1 and even the new Prophet-6 are widely heralded as some of the best synths out there, but as much as I've tried I just can't get into their sound.

Often I've heard people say you either like the "American synths" or the "European/Japanese" stuff, but in my case I love American synth sounds from Arp, Moog and Oberheim and the early Roland sound so it's not that.

Is it really just the CEM chips/filter that make Sequential instruments so different than the other brands? Note I also don't care for the Jupiter-6 or Matrix-series and I guess these also had CEM inside, right?

Sorry if it's an odd question, but one starts to think about a lot of things in lock-down times
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Probably because of all the songs the synths were used in:
What's your favorite song featuring the Prophet 5?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

None of the Sequential/DSI synths would make my list, even for a top 20.

Brand power is a thing. And, as noted above, so is nostalgia.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post

Is it really just the CEM chips/filter that make Sequential instruments so different than the other brands? Note I also don't care for the Jupiter-6 or Matrix-series and I guess these also had CEM inside, right?
Prophet 5 didn't have CEM until Rev 3, Prophet-6 doesn't use CEM either.
Jupiter 6 uses CEM3340 only for oscillators but not the filter or VCA - and CEM3340 was used very much across the globe at the time - that includes OB-8/OB-Xa and Memorymoog too
So no it's not Curtis chips.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
I think Carson(?) put it best when he said (and I paraphrase this as I can’t remember the exact phrase):

“Some people just don’t like good things, you get used to it.”
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
So I know the P5 / P1 and even the new Prophet-6 are widely heralded as some of the best synths out there, but as much as I've tried I just can't get into their sound.

Often I've heard people say you either like the "American synths" or the "European/Japanese" stuff, but in my case I love American synth sounds from Arp, Moog and Oberheim and the early Roland sound so it's not that.

Is it really just the CEM chips/filter that make Sequential instruments so different than the other brands? Note I also don't care for the Jupiter-6 or Matrix-series and I guess these also had CEM inside, right?

Sorry if it's an odd question, but one starts to think about a lot of things in lock-down times
I'm definitely a Sequential fan - P5, two P6s (don't ask!), a Pro One, an Evolver and recently a Drumtraks. I was drawn to SCI stuff when I started playing keyboards. I couldn't say - technically - what appeals to me. I had a rev 2 P5 years back, now I've a rev 3. Naive now as then, a Prophet 5 was/is a Prophet 5, filter chip be damned. Pro One was my first synth (thanks, dad!), and while I have a lifetime of associations with it and am a nostalgic person by nature, I still use it all the time simply because I dig the sound. The P6 had me before I'd ever seen or heard one, and that IS all about nostalgia, right? It was aimed at those like me who missed their P5s or at those who never had the chance to own or play a 5, but loved the legend. I have mixed feelings about the sound of the P6, as it seems some others do, too. Because it doesn't sound EXACTLY like a P5, we get grumpy! That said, I've learned to love it in all its modern glory. It does some things a 5 can't. The Prophet 6 is always my answer now to the eternal "if you could only keep one synth" question. Anyway, sure, I have an affinity for the Sequential brand. I've never been the sort to wear the brand name of a shoe on my shirt, but it's nice to discover that beyond the "thing" of the gear itself, Sequential is a good company. Dave Smith's passion for synths is compelling, and the product support is excellent.

All of this said, I'm not trying to "convince" anyone to like something that doesn't appeal to them. I'm just giving my personal twang. Life's too short (or long, depending) to worry about synthesizers that don't rock us properly!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
For me, the interface of DSI/Sequential synths starting from Prophet 12 (or thereabouts) is superior to any other synth manufacturer. That is worth a lot of love.

As for sound - do you really want people to describe why they love a particular sound? You either like it, or you don’t. As someone else mentioned, they don’t use CEM filters in everything, (and some other manufacturers also use it), so it’s not that.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
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apessino's Avatar
Sequential makes some of the most creative, best sounding, best engineered and most usable synthesizers on the market.

Also, I was under the impression hat brand bashing threads were a big no no on this forum, and for good reason. Let me know if that has changed cuz I got a certain brand in mind I am itching to ask an "odd question" or two about.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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pppch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
So I know the P5 / P1 and even the new Prophet-6 are widely heralded as some of the best synths out there, but as much as I've tried I just can't get into their sound.

Often I've heard people say you either like the "American synths" or the "European/Japanese" stuff, but in my case I love American synth sounds from Arp, Moog and Oberheim and the early Roland sound so it's not that.

Is it really just the CEM chips/filter that make Sequential instruments so different than the other brands? Note I also don't care for the Jupiter-6 or Matrix-series and I guess these also had CEM inside, right?

Sorry if it's an odd question, but one starts to think about a lot of things in lock-down times
in the earlier versions of the p5, ssm chips were inside, the sound was much better. unfortunately not so reliable.
I'm not sure if it was because of the power supply, Korg had fewer problems

you can also ask what distinguishes a ppg wave from the microwave
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
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tjontheroad's Avatar
Sequential's form of innovation comes from their intuitive design that sounds great and emphasizes making music painlessly. The level of detail isn't readily apparent until you start using their gear and is missed when you're not.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
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Shadowkast's Avatar
 

I mean, you either like the way they sound and feel or you don't. Not much to understand.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Guru
 
fiddlestickz's Avatar
I had a mono evolver keys didn't like the sound or filter so sold it. Played a P6 in store for literally hrs one day and walked out drooling. Prior to this I thought it was a plain sounding machine from on line demos, I was very wrong. OB6 also glorious, played it in another store for half hr one day. Toraiz AS1 has a beautiful sweet sound for a mono, and now I have a Pro3 which i'm still finding my way around, but the overall sound is raw and vibrant not at all like the others Ive tried.

I want a P6 so bad it hurts, but they are now past 5K in Australia and that's just way out of control for me.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Kja
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I like them all but own only a prophet 6 because they are very expensive!! Anyway, I think it has the most beautiful sounding analog oscillators I have ever heard.. far from the usual big ballsy thing you get where the brand is screaming " buy this because it's a huge analog sound!!" I love that they are not just doing what everybody else does but what is very useful.. plus the envelopes are so bubbly!! The filter so organically liquad!! I don't get how you can not like them? I love them because they are not trying to be another Moog or something..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
I haven’t played any of them in person, but really like the way the Prophet 12 and Pro 2 sound (online demos), with the digital oscillators. Maybe it’s the more hybrid sound I’m after.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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Looneytune's Avatar
I own plenty of Sequential but for me the 80”s Roland sound wins hands down, I like the old Roland sound more then my old Moog stuff too. One exception being the Pro One.

I suppose everyone has their taste.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Looneytune View Post
I own plenty of Sequential but for me the 80”s Roland sound wins hands down, I like the old Roland sound more then my old Moog stuff too. One exception being the Pro One.

I suppose everyone has their taste.

The best thing to me is being able to mix and match. My Micromoog loves my Pro One, they're pals. My Juno 6 and my Prophet 6 share a very short MIDI cable, if you know what I mean. Certain synths of very different mothers paired up can sound like psychic twins.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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thats a substantial collection of sounds to not like.

i dont have brand favorites like many others do.
theyre tools and toys to be used as you see fit and your skill allows. (oh and budget)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by apessino View Post
Sequential makes some of the most creative, best sounding, best engineered and most usable synthesizers on the market.

Also, I was under the impression hat brand bashing threads were a big no no on this forum, and for good reason. Let me know if that has changed cuz I got a certain brand in mind I am itching to ask an "odd question" or two about.
This was certainly not intended as brand bashing, more just trying to figure out if there is something I'm not seeing or hearing because these synths just never sound right to me, yet I know they are super popular (past and present). I thought maybe it's just the filter I don't like but apparently that's not it. I mean if you listen to strings on a P5 vs an OB-8 or JP-8 there is such a difference, to my ears with the latter group sound much more rich and smooth.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
This was certainly not intended as brand bashing, more just trying to figure out if there is something I'm not seeing or hearing because these synths just never sound right to me, yet I know they are super popular (past and present). I thought maybe it's just the filter I don't like but apparently that's not it. I mean if you listen to strings on a P5 vs an OB-8 or JP-8 there is such a difference, to my ears with the latter group sound much more rich and smooth.
Your original post came across to me as curiousness, just wondering what others are hearing in Sequential gear that you're not. The very subjective world of synth worship is a funny place, no? I've always liked the sound of Oberheim synths but was never drawn to them, partly cos I'm not a big fan of their look. Too big, too blue, too seemingly hollow inside. I was biased against Juno synths forever, until I was given one and totally fell for its sound.

The Prophet 5 is the most beautiful synth, to my eyes. As an instrument, it's a complete thought. The P6 is the most beautifully playable synth. I don't know if you've had direct experience of any Sequential stuff...? Maybe that's a factor? But I'm not a salesman for the company, I'm just taking another chance to geek out.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Addict
 
Michael T's Avatar
Weird how I just ran across this thread. I recently purchased a Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 synthesizer. It arrived fast from Armens and I plugged it in with a mono floor monitor. I had to fight back the tears it sounded so beautiful. Just analog creaminess and warmth that I never heard before without crackle, without hiss, without harshness and no need for eq at all. I even emailed customer support and told them how much I appreciated Dave and his team engineering such a magnificent synthesizer. O and hi guys, it's been a while...

Last edited by Michael T; 2 weeks ago at 09:59 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
Lives for gear
I think another reason why people like their Sequential synths isn't entirely musical.

If you look through their history - Dave Smith and the team were always at the cutting edge of the innovation, no matter the era. First it was the programmable poly synth Prophet-5, then it was MIDI in Prophet-600, then it was a hybrid of digital waveforms and analog filters in Prophet VS, then it was madly complex wavetable synthesis of Wavestation, then it was the analog resurgence that is Mopho/Tetra/Prophet '08 when everybody else was still doing digital (except Moog, but let's not mention Moog because they are a one trick pony, a good trick at that granted), then it was Prophet X which is like your high quality Kontakt library put into a top notch hardware form with analog filters and so on. Now you have Pro-3, which is pretty wild as far as monos go in this very crowded monosynth market.

People may be buying so many Sequential products exactly because it's always something new and brave - and that may be another reason for their popularity.

Apart from the sound of course.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #22
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synthRodriguez's Avatar
I had the P6 for a while and really liked its sound. While I do miss it sometimes, to me it just didn't bring enough to the table for the cash outlay.

If it'd had another octave worth of keys though, it probably would still be in the studio.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synthRodriguez View Post
I had the P6 for a while and really liked its sound. While I do miss it sometimes, to me it just didn't bring enough to the table for the cash outlay.

If it'd had another octave worth of keys though, it probably would still be in the studio.
That's why they have the desktop version. So you can use it with whatever keyboard you want.
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