- A modern day PRO-One!?
- The high-spec monophonic synthesizer PRO 3 is here!
- Comes with paraphonic mode, three characteristic oscillators, and three vintage filter modes.
High-spec Analog Monophonic Synthesizer
From SEQUENTIAL comes the new monophonic synth, the PRO 3/PRO 3 SE! Anyone who hears the word PRO will surely recall the 1980s and the prophet & SCI PRO-One synths. These two new synths are the latest in the lineage to use the name PRO.
The front panel tilts up like a mini moog, and the body is made from walnut wood on the PRO 3 SE. The PRO 3 lacks the tilt up feature, and the body is made of plastic, but otherwise the spec is identical for both of these synths. We’re sure you can find one that suits your likes and needs.
The front panel shows the signal flow going from left to right, which is an easy to understand layout very close to that found on the mini moog. It’s intuitive to see where the signal is going, and this layout is super easy to come to grips with. The knobs are different from those used with the Prophet series, being grey, but very easy to see. And, we think the inclusion of large knobs in the filter section reflects the designers awareness of recent playing styles where the performer tweaks the filter live.
Analog-digital Hybrid Oscillators
Let’s look at the oscillators. We have two analog oscillators and one wavetable oscillator, for a total of three types of oscillators. It’s a hybrid system in which you can blend analog and digital oscillators.
With the analog oscillators, we have OCTAVE to control the fundamental pitch, and PITCH to control the fine tuning. SHAPE controls the waveform shape, continuously sweeping from triangle to sawtooth to pulse. The SHAPE MOD lets you modify the shape of the waveform.
The Wavetable offers 16 types of waveforms, each with a bank of 32 waves. Of course, morphing is possible, and there are analog type waveforms including sine, triangle, sawtooth, PWM capable pulse, and Supersaw.
By combining the thick, warm analog oscillators with the solid digital waveforms, it’s possible to come up with a variety of different sounds with different characteristics. Additionally, there is oscillator hard sync, and oscillator 3 can be set to work as an LFO via the LOW FREQ setting.
The PRO 3 is a 3-oscillator monophonic synthesizer, but it comes with a paraphonic mode. What this means is that you can play each oscillator individually, for polyphonic-like sounds, with each oscillator being individually gated, for chords and the like.
Each oscillator has its own level control in the mixer section, as well as there being a control for noise, which in this case is white noise. There is also a control for extrenal input, so it’s possible to run an external audio signal through the synth here.
3 Classic Filters
The filters on the PRO 3/PRO 3 SE are analog, of course. There are a total of three classic filters to choose from.
The filter is an important part in shaping the character of the sound, you could even say that the filter defines the sound, it’s THAT important. On the PRO 3, having one big fat knob right in the center of the panel is really a nice feature, which brings back memories of the classic synths of yesteryear.
4-pole, 24 dB/Oct, low pass filter as found on the Prophet-6.
4-pole, 24 dB/Oct transistor ladder filter, Moog style.
2-pole, 12 dB/Oct state variable filter as found on Oberheim synthesizers. The filter transitions smoothly from lowpass to notch to highpass, and it comes with a bandpass mode too.
If you want to make the filter even fatter, or add a bit of distortion, the Drive knob is just what you’re looking for.
Envelopes & TUNED FEEDBACK
The envelopes on the PRO 3 are of the ADSR type, and there are four of them. If you look at the panel layout you’ll see the filter and amp each have their own envelope controls, so there’s no need to hit a switch to select which controls you’re editing, meaning you’ve got smooth control at all times.
There are two AUX envelopes which can be used for modulation. Here we do have a switch to select between env 1 and 2. You can mess with the pitch, or the wavetable, or morphing, and editing is very quick!
It’s a very playable machine, with a very simple layout, and we think it’s just fantastic!
This is a term you’re probably not used to hearing. Tuned feedback affects and changes the sound in a very unique manner. Via the AMOUNT +/- you can change the sound. If you can imagine adding feedback to the original sound via a delay, you’ve got a good idea already what’s going on here. More simply put, it’s like adding a Flanger with high feedback.
LFO & Controllers
There are 3 LFOs, which are very easy to get your head around.
You can select which LFO you’re dealing with via the 1, 2, and 3 buttons. And, by adjusting the FREQUENCY and AMOUNT you can set the basic operation of the LFO. There are 5 waveforms to choose from, via the SHAPE button. In the LFO section, you’ll also find a DESTINATION button, which is where you can direct the modulation in a mod matrix style environment. All settings are shown on the display, so this is super easy to use.
Regarding playing and controls, you’ve got glide and hold, and of course the keybaord itself is velocity sensitive, a 3-octave affair made by Fatar. Next to the keyboard we have pitch and mod wheels, a touch slider, a transpose button and other controllers. The headphone jack is on the front panel under the wheels, so it’s really convenient as opposed to having one on the rear panel.
16-track Sequencer & Arpeggiator
The sequencer and arpeggiator on the PRO 3 are probably the absolute best we’ve ever seen on an analog synth, period.
Both step and realtime entry are possible, and you can link the four A, B, C and D selections for a total of 16 tracks, 16 steps. Each step has controllable ratchet, duration, and velocity parameters, as well as a variety of playback modes. Of course, it can sync to MIDI clock and CV.
The arpeggiator has five modes: up, down, up + down, random, assign mode. Also, it can be used together with the sequencer! This makes it possible to play back extremely complex sequences. There are 16 LEDs so you’ve got visual feedback of what’s going on as well.
So far, we’ve covered the basic features and fucntions offered with the PRO 3/PRO 3SE, but just looking at the panel you can see that there are over 60 knobs, and 70 buttons, as well as a display, and a parameter editor.
Also, the display and the buttons around it are extremely useful in editing the sounds, of which there are 1,024 from the factory! You can also control Set Lists, Play Mode and a number of other functions here.
The list is virtually endless. Your best bet is to check out our Demo & Review Video and listen to the sound of the synth, so you can see just how incredible a machine this is.