Dave Smith On The New Sequential Pro 3 Synthesizer

At the 2020 NAMM Show, we talked with synth pioneer Dave Smith, who showed us his new Sequential Pro 3 synthesizer.

The Sequential Pro 3 synthesizer is a hybrid analog/digital synth that features 2 VCOs, a wavetable oscillator, three filter options, three LFOs, loopable envelopes, a step sequencer and more. The updates mean it can make all sorts of traditional monophonic synth sounds, but with sound design capabilities that go way beyond that.

Sequential Pro 3 Features:

  • Two analog, voltage-controlled oscillators
  • One DSP-based digital oscillator
  • Analog oscillators produce three classic wave shapes: (triangle, saw, pulse) with variable shape modulation/pulse width on each
  • Digital oscillator produce 32 digital wavetables of 16 waves each with wave morphing, plus classic wave shapes (sine, triangle, saw, variable-width pulse) and super saw
  • Digital oscillator 3 can function as an LFO for complex wavetable-based modulation
  • White noise generator
  • Hard sync, per-oscillator Glide, Oscillator Slop
  • 3-voice paraphonic mode with individually-gated envelopes per oscillator
  • Three classic filter types
  • Filter 1 is a 4-pole, 24 dB per-octave, Prophet-6 low-pass filter
  • Filter 2 is a classic, 4-pole, 24 dB per-octave, transistor ladder filter with optional resonance compensation
  • Filter 3 is a 2-pole, 12 db per-octave, OB-6 state-variable filter. It can be continuously varied between low-pass, notch, and high-pass operation, with an optional band-pass mode.
  • Three syncable LFOs with phase offset and slew per LFO
  • Five waveshapes: triangle, saw, reverse saw, square, and S&H
  • Four ADSR envelopes with delay (Filter, VCA, and two Auxiliary envelopes)
  • Envelopes freely assignable to multiple modulation destinations
  • All envelopes can repeat/loop
  • Tuned feedback with Grunge for extra-aggressive tonal destruction
  • Programmable analog distortion

Sequential is making two versions of the Pro 3: a standard edition, and a special edition with wood trim and a tilting panel. Details on the Pro 3 are available at the Sequential site.

22 thoughts on “Dave Smith On The New Sequential Pro 3 Synthesizer

    1. Certainly by the same logic you wouldn’t advocate to then replace those 6 Behringers with 36+ kazoo’s?

      Cost is not always king.

    2. “Really unsure of why anyone would buy this thing versus, what, 6 Behringer monos?”

      Because Behringer is literally copying what Dave Smith was doing better 40 years ago.

      Behringer’s mono synths are nice for what they are, but you could buy every Behringer mono made and still not have half the sonic capabilities of the Pro 3.

      The Pro 3 is a better value, too, because it not only is a lot more synth for the money, but Sequential synths keep their value, while Behringer synths sell used on Reverb for half their original price.

      So, while a Behringer mono is a decent entry level synth, something like a Pro 3 offers way more capability in the short run, and a lot more value in the long run, too. If you don’t understand that, you are either new to synthesis or you may just not want or need a powerful synthesizer.

    3. I don’t get why Dave Smith stuff has the reputation it does. Many of his products have had well documented issues, to the extent that the tempest never even got some of the advertised features completed.

  1. So many people get excited by this move of dropping an oscillator for 2 analogue vcos, I don’t get it.
    4-osc architecture is what made the Pro 2 so unique and versatile. Not only there was the option to make them sound more analogue than analogue, they also offered so many extra waveshapes and algorithms to turn them into wavetables, 4-op FM, do the Mono/Poly-style round-robin waveforms, and play massive 4-note chords. Let’s be honest, when it comes to oscillators the analogue over digital argument is a pure delusion today.

    1. Dave Smith talks about this in the video.

      It’s not an analog vs digital thing, they just don’t want to keep making the same synths forever – they want to make new ones with different capabilities.

      Maybe it means you can get a good deal on a Pro-2, too!

      1. I get the “we don’t wanna repeat ourselves” argument, and it’s a laudable one on paper. However, I don’t see how losing an osc, replacing 2 of them by ultra-classical sounding analogue ones and losing the ability to route at least 2 filters in series can be seen as any sort of “advancement” over their previous model. I’m kinda afraid that this synth will NOT bring the second-hand price of the Pro 2 down unfortunately. And the Pro 2 is on top of my list of most desired synths!

  2. Its one of the better examples of the loose trend of monosynths with modular connections and sometimes a bit of useful paraphony. Dave plainly said it was focused on being a modular master with its own inner voices. Its a wise move to make the CV options programmable. That’s a Bob Moog-quality design decision. I’m sure he knows his stuff; I’ve had 3 Prophets & they’ve all been major tools of merit.

    I think the wavetable is a brilliant addition. You can almost wave-sequence it and it goes far beyond the usual 3-osc. analog voice path. It gives you a lot more than you lose with that third Pro2 analog oscillator gone. Its not unimaginable to add a Behringer piece to your stack, but if you’re really focused, start with a known maker of serious instruments. It pays off in stability.

  3. Whenever I sit down with a DSI synth I marvel at the craft that goes into them. The range of each parameter has been carefully selected. Interactions between each section is optimized for the most musical results.

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