The Sequential Circuits Pro-One Synthesizer

This video is a ‘voyage into the heart of the Sequential Circuits Pro-One, by Marko Ettlich.

Key features of the SCI Pro One include:

  • monophonic analog synthesis
  • 2 Osc I Saw, Pulse, Square, Sync, Noise
  • Filter – 24dB lowpass
  • Crossmodulation, FM
  • Step sequencer, arpeggiator

While the build quality and the options on the Pro One are inferior to some vintage monophonic synths, the Pro One was cheap, powerful and sounds great and is, to many users, a classic.

The Pro One has been used by Prodigy, Depeche Mode, Vince Clarke, New Order, Soft Cell, Sigue Sigue Sputnik and many others.

If you’ve used the Pro One – let us know what you think of it!

via MusicMarketingTV


15 thoughts on “The Sequential Circuits Pro-One Synthesizer

  1. Great video.

    Always loved it, but when it came to choosing between the Yamaha CS-30 and the Pro one, I had to go with the C-30. I’ll never let go of the Prophet-600 though.

  2. Definitely an example of the “less is more” effect. Puzzling, since I really like polysynths and it drives me nuts when I can’t play more than one note! But sometimes when you strip out the unnecessary you end up with something that sounds really big and powerful.

    Some of this sound definitely lives on in the modern DSI instruments, not to mention the great sequencing capability which enables you to use them as rhythm boxes. Another of my favorite things to do on the P ’08 is to layer a mono patch and a poly patch – it sounds immense and is a blast to play!

  3. I sold this and an ARP2600 in 1982 for $300 for both! I am writing this from my room in…”ah, nurse time for my medicine?…”

  4. there is a growliness to the pro one that i absolutely love. so much character to the oscillators. my prophet 600’s oscillators and filter come very close in sonic character, but the envelopes lack the snappiness that makes the pro one such a great synth for rhythmic stuff. would love to own one someday but i only see the prices going up. :/

  5. The first synth I could afford, and I still have it. The filter and envelopes sound great, but the plentiful cross-modulation capabilities (along with the modest sequencer/arpeggiator) made the Pro One capable of a huge range of great sounds from a very simple and clear interface.

  6. This is my very first synth…. and I got it for free. Back in high school I had a guitarist friend whose dad had used the Pro-One for a bass in his bar band. Once they got a “real” bassist, the dad gave the synth to my buddy who didn’t know what to do with it. In his words, “My dad gave me this old keyboard. I turned it on and it just made this god-awful sound and I can’t figure out how to make it stop. You play piano… Do you want it?” I said sure, and he gave it to me. The unstoppable sound? Yeah, the “Drone” switch was set to “ON”.

    That was almost 20 years ago. I still have this synth and use it quite a bit. A year or two ago I replaced the octave-select pot for OSC A as well as all of the key bushings. It does need to be professionally serviced – something which just hasn’t been in my budget – but I’ve come to really enjoy the little quirks it has developed over the years.

    1. very jealous.. i can’t even imagine the glut of unwanted analog monsters around 1990, with everyone naively thinking that new technology would result in superior synthesizers.

      1. Yeah, I didn’t have a clue at the time what I had inherited. In fact – and I’m ashamed to admit this – I actually used to step on the poor thing. On purpose. Some other friends and I had a band (like you do) and both of my hands were busy with my mom’s Yamaha PSR-something-or-other, but we needed more sonic impact in our closer. So I patched up some sort of “implosion” sound on the Pro-One, set it on the floor under the Yamaha, and “played” it with my foot. Repeatedly. At every show. I can’t believe I did that. Teenagers are stupid.

        Rest assured, I treat it with much more care now.

        The Moog Rogue – which I also inherited from another source – has (fortunately) never been subjected to such atrocities while in my possession.

        And then there’s the part when I think about the fact that I could now almost get two months’ rent out of selling it, even in its current condition. But I just can’t bear to part with it.

  7. i have a mopho and a pro one, and i can tell you they are not even in the same ballpark sonically.

    the mopho is great, but the filters on the pro one are HUGE and very musical.

    you can make a mopho sound sweet no doubt, but it just doesn’t scream like a pro one and the filters are more digital sounding.

    the pro one was worth every penny i paid and then some. never selling.

  8. I bought one new arond 1982 and gigged around minneapolis and played it at First Ave, etc. I still love it. I hear complaints about build quality but mine has never needed any work but cleaning the pots out from dust. I learned about subtractive synthesis with this and old oscillascope. Sure was a lot sweeter than the Yamaha DX7’s the cheaters used who had to buy their patches.
    Old schoool. Shit i am old school.

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