SequentialPro 3 SE Hybrid Keyboard Synthesizer (Special Edition)
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Sequential Pro 3 SE
Sequential's Pro 3 SE is the spiritual successor to the Pro-One and Pro-2, continuing to employ the best aspects of analog and digital technology to provide an uncommonly powerful hybrid workflow. Pro 3 SE offers all the same features as the standard edition Pro 3, but adds a tiltable control panel (a la Minimoog) and high-quality walnut trim, providing a distinct look that stands out on stage and in the studio. Like the Pro-2, the Pro 3 combines analog and digital features into a powerful instrument that can act in either monophonic or paraphonic roles. In the case of the Pro 3, this means the choice of monophonic or three-note paraphonic control of two analog VCOs, one wavetable oscillator, and a multi-mode analog filter section.
The two analog VCOs provide triangle, saw, and pulse waves with variable shape control of each—allowing for PWM and more novel waveshape animations. The digital oscillator provides access to 32 wavetables of 16 waves each, complete with wave morphing. Several of these tables are oriented to edgier digital tones, though more traditional shapes and supersaw shapes are also accessible. And as of firmware update 1.1, Pro 3 users may import their own custom wavetables via Sequential's web-based Wavetable Generator. This combined with white noise, per-oscillator glide, hard sync, and "oscillator slop" makes for an uncommonly lively oscillator section.
The filter section provides a choice of one of three classic filter types. The first is a 4-pole, -24dB/Oct filter based on the Prophet-6, with a characteristically smooth response. The second filter type is another 4-pole design—a transistor ladder filter with optional resonance compensation for preserving low-end punch even at higher resonance settings. The final filter type is a 2-pole, -12dB/Oct state-variable filter based on the OB-6. It provides continuously variable selection between lowpass, notch, and highpass modes, as well as an optional bandpass mode. Subsequently, a dual digital effect section provides access to effects including stereo delay, BBD-style delay, ring modulation, rotary speaker, reverbs, and several other time-based effects. These combined with the options for tuned feedback and "Grunge" makes for a hugely flexible means of tone-shaping at the end of the signal path.
Of course, with so many interesting synthesis parameters, one would hope for a powerful means of modulation...and the Pro 3 delivers. There are three syncable LFOs with controllable phase offset and slew, providing triangle, saw, reverse saw, square, and random S&H shapes. Four DADSR envelopes with optional looping modes cover filter and VCA-based articulation as well as general-purpose modulation needs. Four CV inputs and four CV outputs make it simple to integrate the Pro 3 with modular synthesizers, and of course, the 32-slot, 171-destination modulation matrix makes it simple to route any source to any destination—turning the Pro 3 into something not unlike a self-contained modular synth itself.
The Pro 3 also offers plenty of integrated performance controls. The three-octave keyboard offers velocity and channel aftertouch, while backlit pitch bend and modulation wheels and a position-sensitive touch fader provide several flavors of left-hand inflection. These combined with the fully-featured arpeggiator and 16-track, 16-step, 4-phrase sequencer make it such that you can play the Pro-3 in any number of ways: paraphonic sequencing, external CV, traditional keyboard control, and much more.
The Pro 3 is one of Sequential's most powerful synthesizers to date. Equally at home in roles as a monosynth, paraphonic keyboard, or as the central hub of a modular system, it's safe to say that a synthesizer this flexible doesn't come along every day.
Pro 3 SE Features
- Next generation synthesizer following the Pro-One and Pro 2
- Special edition version features tilt-able control panel and premium walnut trim
- Hybrid synth with the best of analog and digital technology
- Monophonic or three-note paraphonic voice operation
- Three-octave keyboard with velocity and channel aftertouch
- Backlit pitch & mod wheels and position-sensitive touch slider for assignable performance control
- Two analog voltage-controlled oscillators and one wavetable oscillator
- 32 tables of 16 waves with wave morphing
- Tuned feedback and analog distortion
- Three selectable filters: 4-pole lowpass filter based on Prophet-6, transistor ladder lowpass with resonance compensation, and OB-6 multimode filter
- 16-track, 16-step, 4-phrase sequencer with step and realtime input
- Sequencer options include ratcheting, variable gate length, CV I/O access, and more
- Sequence any internal parameter via the 32-slot modulation matrix
- Easy integration with modular via 4 dedicated CV inputs and 4 CV outputs
- Effects section offers delays, reverbs, and other time-based effects (including phaser, flanger, and more)
- Four loopable five-stage envelopes
- Three syncable LFOs with slew and phase offset control
- Fully-featured arpeggiator
- MIDI: In/Out/Thru via 5-pin DIN, USB
- CV I/O: 4 in, 4 out via 3.5mm jack, -10/10V range
- Sustain: 1x 1/4" input
- Expression pedal: 1x 1/4" input
- External audio input: 1x 1/4" input
- Output: Stereo via 2x 1/4" jack
- Headphones: 1x stereo 1/4" jack
- Power: 100–240VAC via IEC
- Dimensions: 26.5 x 13 x 3.5", 67.3 x 33 x 8.9cm
The Pro 3 is the newest in a long line of amazing monosynths from Sequential, following in the footsteps of the Pro-1 and Pro-2. Like its predecessors, the Pro 3 features a remarkably robust modulation section, enabling the creation of complex tapestries of sound. When combined with the internal effects, 16-track sequencer, arpeggiator, and the option for three-note paraphonic behavior, the Pro 3 can be basically whatever synth you want it to be.
Two VCOs, a wavetable oscillator, three classic filter types, CV/Gate I/O, and a world's worth of modulation make the Pro 3 one of the most exciting announcements at NAMM this year.
The Pro 3 is not beholden to any musical style—capable of everything from smooth leads to complete tracks of jarring, edgy rhythmic sequences, it is every bit monosynth as it is drum machine or destructive sound device. It offers two analog oscillators and one wavetable oscillator, which can each operate with relative independence: the option for three-note paraphony means that polyphonic textures and sequences can easily be coaxed out of this instrument.
The extensive modulation options, though, are what really brings it to life. It offers looping envelopes, LFOs, a 16-track modulation sequencer, a huge modulation matrix, and even assignable CV inputs and outputs. Paired with the velocity and aftertouch-capable keyboard and arpeggiator, this means that the Pro 3 can be played in a huge number of ways. So whether you're used to working with sequencers, modular synths, or keyboards, the Pro 3 can easily find a place in your setup.
Among all of its other sonic resources, Pro-3 contains a 16-track, 16-step, 4-phrase sequencer. You might wonder—why does a monosynth (or even a three-note paraphonic synth) need a 16-track sequencer? The answer lies in the 171-destination modulation matrix: in addition to producing notes, the sequencer can be used to automate the majority of parameters in the synth.
With both realtime and step input, it becomes easy to create complex, evolving timbres and rhythms based on an intuitive, parameter lock-style sequencing method. By changing the sounds' settings step by step, it becomes possible to turn the Pro 3 into much more than the typical monosynth. Basslines and leads aside, the Pro 3 can also be a generative texture generator, a grinding wavetable-based drum machine, and most anything else you could imagine.
Alexander makes excellent use of the Super 6 and Pro 3 for engaging and atmospheric tones, as well as giving some tips on how to make your performances expressive with aftertouch and velocity to add dynamic qualities to your compositions!