Sequential Take 5 Synthesizer Pairs Classic Prophet Sound With Modern Effects

Synth pioneer Dave Smith has officially introduced the Sequential Take 5 synthesizer, a new five-voice VCO/VCF-based polyphonic synthesizer that combines features from the Prophet-5 rev4 with modern effects.

The Sequential Take 5 features two VCOs and a sub oscillator per voice, a 4-pole, resonant analog filter taken from the Prophet-5 Rev 4, 44 full-size keys, and a premium Fatar keybed. The keyboard can be split into two separate performance zones, giving you access to a wider playable range than many other compact synths.

The Take 5 also features dual digital effect processors and a dedicated overdrive, continuously variable wave shaping, and front-panel access to analog FM, which mean that the synth can cover a wide range of sonic territory, from vintage to modern.

Two voltage-controlled oscillators provide traditional sine, saw, and pulse waves with waveshaping, while simple analog FM means that you can create harmonically complex, bell-like FM timbres. The Prophet-5-lineage 4-pole analog filter shapes the sound of the oscillators and sub oscillator in classic fashion while a Drive control provides additional punch.

A Vintage knob adds micro variations to oscillator, filter, and envelope behavior from voice to voice.

The Take 5 feature set is rounded out with two LFOs (1 global, and 1 per-voice LFO), ADSR+delay envelopes, dual digital effects (a dedicated reverb and a suite of time-delay and other effects) a separate additional overdrive effect, and extensive modulation possibilities. A 64-step polyphonic sequencer and multimode arpeggiator complete the picture.

Dave Smith

“The Take 5 puts the classic Sequential sound and legacy into the hands of people who may not have been able to experience it before,” says Dave Smith, Sequential founder and lead product designer.

“Packing this much performance power into such a small footprint was the kind of challenge we love. Throughout development we were amazed by how huge this synth sounds and how crazy versatile it is. It was a joy to work on and I’m looking forward to hearing what our customers create with it.”

Sequential CEO David Gibbons sums up the Take 5 like this: “For players that have wanted to get into analog poly synths but have been put off by price or complexity, the Take 5 is the perfect gateway to subtractive synthesis and the creative power of Sequential’s best synths. It is pure Sequential sound and quality at a price that’s within reach of almost anyone. Portability is also a huge plus — you can transport it from studio to stage without breaking a sweat or leaving any features or playability behind.”

Features:

  • OSCILLATORS
    • Two analog VCOs per voice
    • Continuously variable wave shape (sine, sawtooth, variable-width pulse) per oscillator
    • Hard sync: oscillator 1 syncs to oscillator 2
    • Square wave sub-octave generator (oscillator 1) per voice
    • Keyboard tracking on/off for each oscillator
    • Front-panel FM (frequency modulation)
  • MIXER
    • Oscillator 1 amount
    • Oscillator 1 sub-octave amount
    • Oscillator 2 amount
    • White noise amount
  • LOW-PASS FILTER
    • Four-pole, resonant, analog low-pass filter per voice, based on Prophet 5 Rev 4 design
    • Filter can be driven into self-oscillation with the Resonance control
    • Bi-polar filter envelope amount
  • ENVELOPES
    • Two 5-stage envelope generators (ADSR + delay) with variable routing (filter, amplifier, gate)
    • Velocity modulation of each envelope amount
    • Envelopes freely assignable to multiple modulation destinations
  • LOW FREQUENCY OSCILLATOR
    • Five wave shapes: triangle, sawtooth, reverse sawtooth, square, and random (sample and hold)
    • Clock sync (internal or external MIDI clock)
    • Freely assignable to multiple modulation destinations
  • DIGITAL EFFECTS
    • One dedicated reverb with damping, pre-delay, decay and tone
    • One multi-effect with stereo delay, BBD delay, tape delay, chorus, flanger, phaser, ring mod, vintage rotating speaker, distortion, high-pass filter
    • Dedicated Overdrive effect
  • VINTAGE KNOB
    • Recreates the characteristics of vintage synthesizers by introducing micro-fluctuations in oscillators, filter, and envelopes per voice.
  • AFTERTOUCH
    • Source: channel (mono) aftertouch with bi-polar amount
    • Aftertouch freely assignable to multiple modulation destinations
  • CLOCK
    • Master clock with tap tempo
    • BPM control and display
    • MIDI clock sync
  • ARPEGGIATOR
    • Up, down, up+down, random, assign modes
    • Syncs to MIDI clock
    • Re-latching arpeggiation
  • SEQUENCER
    • Polyphonic step sequencer with up to 64 steps with ties and rests
  • PERFORMANCE CONTROLS
    • Full-sized, semi-weighted, 3.5-octave premium Fatar keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
    • Spring-loaded pitch wheel with selectable range per program with independently adjustable upper and lower pitch wheel range transpose controls
    • Low-split mode creates two independent performance zones with different octave ranges
    • Hold switch latches held notes on
    • Polyphonic glide (portamento)
    • Unison (monophonic) mode with configurable voice count, from one to all five voices, and key modes
    • Factory switch: when off, the front panel is live; what you see is what you hear
  • PATCH MEMORY
    • 128 user and 128 factory
  • IN/OUT
    • 1 MIDI In, 1 MIDI Out, and 1 MIDI Thru port
    • USB port for bidirectional MIDI communication
    • 1 Sustain/footswitch input
    • 1 Expression pedal input
    • Main stereo output (2 x 1/4″ phone jack)
    • Headphone out (stereo 1/4″ phone jack)

Sequential Take 5 Audio Demos:

Pricing and Availability:

The Sequential Take 5 is available now at a US MAP of $1,299.

87 thoughts on “Sequential Take 5 Synthesizer Pairs Classic Prophet Sound With Modern Effects

  1. Nice, seems like decent vale but of course its all about how it sounds! – tough competition around with things like the Korg Mililogue XD which is comparable and costs half as much (and has that cool ‘logue’ programable 3rd oscillator and fx)

      1. It’s a 2-osc synth with 5-voice polyphony, this mean we have 2 same oscillators x5. Don’t count the oscs like in digital synths, there isn’t any 10-osc analog synth. Technically yes, we have 10 oscs, but these oscs are not independent (independent = each osc with its unique wave). it’s 2 same oscillators x5 as i wrote before.
        For example, the Yamaha CS80 is a 2-osc / 8-voice synth. Technically the CS80 has 16 oscillators, but not 16 independent oscillators, this mean that you can’t hear 16 different waves at once, you hear instead 2 different waves at once, and all these x8 times (8-note/voice polyphony). This translated to a 2-osc / 8-voice synth, not to a 16-osc / 8-voice synth.

      2. Yes of course. I mean it looks nice I guess but somewhat bland compared to what other Dave Smith releases. But on the other hand I guess I’m comparing to the evolver/prophet8/12/X and not the Prophet/OB6 and rev4.

    1. If it’s the same oscillators/filters/VCA as the rev4, then it’s on par with one of the greatest sounding analog polysynths ever made (spoiler: I own a vintage P-5 and a new rev4 P-10, and a roomful of classic analog synths). If that’s the case, you’re missing the point by poo-pooing the feature set – you don’t buy a synth like this because it has 57 oscillators and 46 LFO’s. You buy because it’s warmiest, vibiest, gooeyist analog polysynth on the market.

  2. Not really price competitive with respect to its feature set on paper. If it sounds truly awesome, it’s a good value. If it merely sounds good but not inspiringly good, it’s not a super-compelling proposition. Of course, I was underwhelmed by the polybrute on paper when it was announced, but then changed my mind. This doesn’t appear to have any innovative features like that, though. So it’s gotta have great sound/hands on experience.

  3. Looks pretty compelling to me, as it covers much of what many are are asking for: VCOs, Prophet 5 VCF, effects and a compelling price point. To me this is exciting and a great response to the “clone” wars.

    1. ‘Take 5’ is a great name, because it’s unique and memorable. Also the way that they sneak a keyboard into the logo is cool.

      To me, it suggests taking a break from the boring and spending some time in the world of synthesis.

      You may be too young to know this, but the original Prophet-5 marketing was to have a low-rent “Lord of the Rings” Gandalf guy playing a synth. Cheesy as hell.

      The synths made the name iconic, not the other way around.

      People dissed ‘Moogerfooger’, ‘Mother-32’, ‘DFAM’, ‘Matriarch’, too, but everybody knows and remembers exactly what they are.

      1. In my country “Take 5” is one of the rudest and most insulting phrases you can say to someone during an argument/fight. It is related to “facepalm” and is a display of lack of respect. But, of course, this is not going to hurt sales, it is just that owning this synth here makes it difficult for the owner to answer to the question “Hey, what’s the name of your new synth?” …. hehe.

  4. Prophet 5 guts in a Pro3 case, with a sub $1,500 price sounds like a good market niche to fill. For those folks who want the true Prophet sound but can’t afford one, this will be highly appealing. Not everyone needs every synth to be groundbreaking in features and functions.

  5. Got dammit. Just got a Pro 3 about a week ago. Amazing synth but.. that price though. Cant wait to hear how it sounds so I can get more pissed. Sequencer doesnt look as deep which is one of the best parts of the pro 3, all the tracks and ability to sequence parameters live or stepped. But still. I guess teasers a few months in advance has its upside.

  6. I think the name is clever. You automatically know it’s 5 voices and it’s a nod to rhythmic creativity by referencing Dave Brubeck’s classic jazz tune in 5/4. Also the price, if true, is pretty stunning to me. I think it’s the cheapest per-VCO price of any Sequential synth.

  7. They took 5 keys to go from 49 to 44 keys and stuck those 5 keys in the logo.

    The low split thing sounds like a really cool idea–I’m assuming it drops the bottom note by 1 or 2 octaves to compensate for the compact keyboard. Has anyone done that before?

  8. People holler about the small stuff too much. Dave has always offered smaller or starter type synths. Look, it has a resonant filter and aftertouch, both often missing elsewhere. I’ll also take the three and a *half* octaves as a plus. Its better than just three.

    Its not meant to be a P-12. Its a little brother version of the Pro 3, with some added P-5 powers. The timing for this was smart, coming closely on the heels of the costly Prophet-5 reissue. It’ll get some good financial love.

    1. Stop talking about yourself in the first person, sir. But I agree, It’s accessible which is a very big market right now as well as being backed by quality, its a no brainer.

      1. Assembled in the U.S.A. is not the same thing as Made in the U.S.A. The American Federal Trade Commission permits great latitude to “Assembled in the U.S.A.” designation which allows manufacturers to enjoy the perception of American made, when in reality all of the components are permitted to be made in another country (or multiple nations) with up to 95% of the assembly already completed prior to shipment. That means Sequential could ostensibly make this claim whilst only assembling the front panel and then claim the “Assembled” designation.

        And manufacturers are allowed to self determine the percentage of assembly completion, thus meeting any threshold is rather easy.

        Whilst it is difficult to know precisely the degree assembly participation by Sequential, it is safe to assume that the parts are not made in the U.S.A.

        Reference: https://www.themadeinamericamovement.com/made-in-usa-certified/difference-between-assembled-made-in-usa/

        https://www.globaltranz.com/defining-terms-of-auto-manufacturing/

        https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/complying-made-usa-standard

        1. Oh, for goodness sake. Hardly any electronic parts are made in the USA for financial and supply reasons. Hardly any PCB assembly is done in North America, either. That’s just a reality of globalization and it’s unreasonable to expect that Sequential or Moog should pay an enormous premium just to be able to slap “made in the USA” on their stuff.

          What is critically important is that the device is assembled, calibrated and tested in the USA by people who know what they’re doing.

          1. Exactly. From first-hand experience, with synths from companies like Moog & Sequential, you’re paying a little more for actual people make sure you get a reliable, calibrated synth. They’re not going to be perfect (see the P5 rev4 incident), but they’re going to make sure it’s right for you.

            I have two Behringer synths, which were fair values, but the build quality is definitely not what I’m used to, the feel is a little cheap, and they clearly are not doing any real testing or calibration, because I had to spend a couple of hours with my Behringer D to get it right. For somebody that just wants their synth to work, that would be a show-stopper.

            I’ll accept that hassle for getting a minimoog clone for $350, but with anything from Sequential, I’d have higher expectations and also be willing to pay more.

            Don’t expect your ‘assembled in USA’ synth to have all the parts made in the USA – that’s currently economically impossible because labor is so cheap in China.

            I don’t really think the ‘Made in USA’/’Assembled in USA’ tag means much, by itself, because basically every cell phone is made in China and they are miracles of engineering, assembly and reliability. But I do trust the reputation companies and their gear – and hold them more accountable for delivering on expectations, too.

          2. I am not certain that I was criticising the designation, rather I was clarifying the differentiation from my own personal experiences in manufacturing. I think quality is a measure of engineering, quality control, methods employed, processes, and a genuine commitment to being client/customer-centric.

            We have all experienced world class engineering made in China as well as “crap” in our respective native countries irrespective of the technical prowess of said native land.

  9. Sounds like a boy pop band name. ugh. every time i look at it on my rack i will think of pimple faces and bleached hair….be interesting to hear how it sounds tho. Maybe i can put a sticker over the name…

  10. I think this could be a killer product. It’s about the size of a Minimoog (range wise) but offers 5 voice polyphony. It looks well made, and has an internal power supply, in addition to being compact enough that travelling musicians could take it on a plane as a carry on. Being able to do a basic split on this could also be amazing; having a four note chord in the LH while soloing over it in the RH. It looks more deeply programmable than the Prophet/OB-6 but may have a lot of that Prophet mojo. No one criticizes the relative simplicity of the Prophet 6/OB-6 because they just sound so damned good.

    Maybe this will fill a gap in the market between the simple and inexpensive Minilogue XD and more advanced polysynths like the Rev 2 and Prologues.

    1. One feature I’d like to point out that is important to live performers (and is missing on the otherwise great Rev2) is the existence of patch select buttons. I REALLY wish the Rev 2 had those…

  11. It has more voices and keys than the Pro-3, so I wouldn’t expect it to cost less. Usually the polyphonic version is the more expensive one, see MatrixBrute/PolyBrute or Monologue/Minilogue.

  12. Argh. I pined for the P12 when it was available but could never afford it. Then it went away only to be replaced by the Prophet X a little while later and still way out of my league. To my knowledge, there has never been a 12×4 analog oscillator synth prior or since. Hell, even in the VST world, that particular configuration is a rare bird. I look for one once in a while on Revereb and Ebay but, the few that show up are still going for their original retail price — which is still out of my reach. Sigh . . .

  13. If this had microtuning, I’d replace my minilogue XD with this one. Always wanted a Dave Smith poly but the prices always seemed too steep.. this time the price seems on point!

  14. Take5 Could hit a sweetspot on the poly synth market imho!

    All the articles on differnt sites say “dadsr” envelope but the front panel clearly shows an “adsr” + amount knob (?)

    Liking: keyboard where the lowest note is an F.
    Missing: a high pass filter. (at least i see none on the front panel)

  15. looks like a replacement / gap filler for the Mopho X4. very cool. Dave’s synths sound amazing, i’m sure this will be no different, and could offer a way in to Sequential for many people.

  16. Analog analog analog all over the shop. DS made the fantastically creative, quirky and unique sounding synth with the Evolver. Why he doesn’t revisit and er.. evolve (sorry for the stupid pun) his design is strange to me. I can only speculate that they’re catering to an unadventurous market – wanting to recreate sounds of the past. Nothing wrong with that, -but a bit sad if that’s the reason. I’m sure a next generation Evolver could’ve pushed the envelope – again.

    1. Completely agree. I’ve not had the fortune of owning an Evolver of any type but I do have a Hydrasynth. Give me something to explore new sonic territory any day. One could say you might as well stick to plugins and that they wouldn’t sound any worse – and there may be truth to it, but where would be the fun in that? The hydra (keyboard at least) has the killer poly aftertouch and ribbon controller in addition to having such an easy interface for what can get quite complex under the hood.
      That being said, analog polys certainly have merit and sound wise would beat the hydra any day if programmed with the same patch. And of course the hydra is all digital…

      1. For which reason should this be remembered?

        Does it have a special sound character compared to what Dave Smith already have delivered?

  17. Schubert, there is a high-pass filter under the effects section. That’s how it works on the Prophet X as well. I’d like it on the front panel as a knob so I could dial in band-pass things easily, but its in there.

    1. oh that’s where it hides … could have read the specs, my bad.

      Bears the question: can the multi fx engine stack effects or can you just select one?

      (it’s just nice to roll off the lowend for some lead or pad patches …)

  18. This has features that the Prophet 5 does not have (sub-oscillator, effects, etc.). Other than the smaller keyboard and walnut case, what is better about the Prophet 5 for an additional $2,500?

  19. Looks like same old stuff to me, where does this one innovate except in the lower voice count , reduced keyboard range and hopefully lower price point?

  20. I understand why many are scorned about this “release” (yet to be). I for one do not understand what’s the thing with all the praised ultra quirky noise making modules that have exactly zero appeal to me.
    In the end, it all boils down to the audience it is targeting.
    Keyboards like this specifically target the usual live keyboard player who is more committed into actual playing than sound crafting. The front panels is all about live gigging, a lot of it is committed for performance (step sequencer and mod sections are just two buttons, in contrast the effects section is full of knobs). Low split is genius. 44 keys is enough (paired with any 88 or 61 main keyboard). The price is welcome. 2 LFOs are enough. 2 ADSR are enough. All of it is right on the front panel without menù digging.

    This can be very well be the analog gold standard for the gigging keyboard player.

    1. It generates a lot of, rather polarizing, comments everywhere! Guess that’s a good sign?
      (Normally that only happens when “B” anounces a clone.)

  21. Roland seem to be one of the few makers who are quiet / falling behind these days.
    Once were leaders in analog synth products, then went digital / ROMplers / workstations, now … ???

    1. … now a plugin called zen core wich is the latest battology of the phantom engine used since ages for all kinds of products *yawn*

  22. If this was a smaller version of the Prophet-X instead of another vintage inspired subtractive design, I’d be very happy.

  23. Take 5 or Want 10 ?
    This might well be my sequential synth of choice. Only question: is five voices enough? A Ten Voice version would be a no brainer for me even at a steeper price.

    Mentioning that a prophet 5 is 2,64 times more expensive.

    PS.: So Glad it has this feature: “Factory switch: when off, the front panel is live; what you see is what you hear”
    Sobbingly missed that on the rev2 and pro3.

  24. I don’t know how the prices are in the US, but here in the Netherlands the Take 5 is listed for 1290 euros, compared to the rev2 that is listed for 1350, and the rev2 module which is 1170. I don’t really understand why people are calling it “competitively priced”. It’s 3 voices less than the rev2 and costs about the same. And filterwise, I think the rev2 sounds pretty damn good, nothing that amazing to me about the Prophet 5 filter that really distinguishes it as a big bonus feature compared to the already very decent filter included in the Rev2. Besides, people who are that finnickity about a certain vintage filter type, they’re not in the market for a “budget synth”. All the rest of the specs read to me like a scaled down rev2 for the same price as a rev2.

    I fear analogue is headed back into the realms of secondhand sites and a next revival in 20 years. All the big hype around new synths these days is for rehashed mid 80s DX, Wavetable and vector-synth type designs, and analogue now seems to consist of Behringer clones of old synths, or A-brand companies basically repackaging the same ideas over and over again with slightly different spec limitations and price brackets. This one is another great example, like the sub25, which is just a sub phatty with a couple of extra knobs from the sub37, which is all still very reminiscent and similar to the ideas they included in the Voyager. Here it’s a scaled down rev2. Next it will be a scaled up tetra or a Prophet 13, with a new paintjob and an extra drive circuit, or a slightly improved keybed. DSI really should start adding the lower case i to their iProphet umptieth range of products.

    And if that’s the way it’s going to keep going with these companies, they’ll just end up competing with their own products from a couple of years ago, that can be obtained secondhand for less, but offer all or more of the features the new products offer. People will lose interest, the business model collapses, and we’re stuck with Roland VA’s and VSTi’s again for 2 decades because no-one in the industry believes true analogue is “viable as a market”. My only hope is that the secondhand market will eventually collapse as well, and I can buy all the analogue synths I ever wanted at bargain prices, but I doubt that’s going to happen any time soon.

    1. Agree, I just see too much of the same old rehashed here, we need some innovation – there are 1000s of new and interesting things to do in the synth space, they’re probably mostly not analogue, though the odd filter might not hurt, and Dave knows this, the Prophets 12 & XL both use FPGAs, the XL has amazing samples (though you can’t do anything interesting with them). Time to leave the beaten track!

      1. I still think there’s a space for hybrid synths that has hardly been properly explored and exploited. Korg did well with their Minilogue XD/prologue line, combining analogue and digital oscillators, through an analogue filter and in to a digital fx processor. I feel a lot more could be done in that realm, using various true analogue elements like oscillators, drive circuits, wave folders, ring modulators, filters, combined with digital control, additional digital effects and an additional wavetable/FMbased digital soundsource.

        In modular, this approach seems to be the way most people build their systems, but I’ve seen very little of that being translated into factory-built synthesizers, which I think is a missed opportunity.

    2. “I don’t really understand why people are calling it ‘competitively priced'”

      Here are modern Sequential’s selection of VCO-based synths. Sorry I’m using USD instead of Euros.

      Prophet 10 Rev4: $4,399
      – 10 fully articulated voices
      – 2 CEM3340 VCO’s and 1 lowpass VCF per voice switchable between SSI2140 or CEM3320
      – 1 global LFO with the ability to use one of the VCO’s as a per-voice modulation source
      – amp and filter envelopes
      – musical but limited polymod modulation routing
      – metal chassis enclosed in wood
      – 61 key full-size Fatar keybed with velocity and aftertouch that can be assigned to amplitude and/or filter frequency

      Prophet 5 Rev4: $3,599
      – same as above but with 5 voices instead of 10

      OB-6: $3,099
      – 6 fully articulated voices
      – discrete VCO’s (with a square wave sub) and modulatable SVF based on the SEM reissue
      – 1 global LFO with the ability to use one of the VCO’s as a per-voice modulation source
      – amp and filter envelopes
      – musical but limited x-mod modulation routing
      – 2 DSP-based global effects per patch
      – hidden analog distortion circuit
      – metal chassis with wooden endcheeks
      – transposable 49 key full-size Fatar keybed with velocity and aftertouch that can be assigned to pitch, LFO amount, amplitude, and filter frequency

      Prophet 6: $2,899
      – similar to above except there is a LP VCF and HP VCF per voice instead of a SVF, oscillators and filter are discrete and based on the original Prophet 5 SSM designs, triangle sub instead of square

      Pro 3 Standard/Special Edition: $1,599/$2,099
      – monosynth with 3-note paraphonic mode
      – 2 discrete VCO’s similar to the P6 plus a user-customizable digital wavetable oscillator
      – 3 selectable filters based on Prophet 6 LP, OB-6 SVF, and a Moog-like 24db Ladder with or without bass compensation
      – 4 envelopes
      – deep matrix-based modulation routing where nearly everything can modulate everything else
      – analog tunable feedback and overdrive circuits
      – 2 DSP-based global effects per patch that can be modulated
      – arpeggiator, sequencer that can control pitch and/or be used to modulate various synth parameters
      – 4 CV in/out + 1 CV gate connections for interfacing with other gear
      – transposable 37 key full-size Fatar keybed with velocity and aftertouch that can be routed basically anywhere
      – probably stuff I’m missing, it’s a pretty complex synth

      Take 5: $1,299
      – 5 fully articulated voices
      – 2 SSI2130 VCO’s (with square sub) and 1 lowpass SSI2140 VCF per voice
      – 1 global LFO and 1 per-voice LFO
      – 2 envelopes that can be used for amplitude/filter control in various combinations and/or as modulation sources
      – deep matrix-based modulation routing
      – 1 DSP-based global effect and 1 DSP-based reverb per patch, both of which can be modulated
      – (analog?) overdrive circuit
      – similar build to the Pro 3 Standard Edition (metal chassis with plastic endcheeks?)
      – splittable/transposable 44 key full-size Fatar keybed with velocity and aftertouch that can be routed basically anywhere
      – probably stuff I’m missing because I haven’t got one yet

      So yeah, compared to other Sequential VCO offerings it’s cheap as chips, and compared to the other Sequential VCO polysynths it’s a bit more compact with a more robust synth engine.

  25. i’ve heard Dave compare having many synths in his line up to how electric guitar players have lots of different guitars and i think this is accurate. can an audience tell the difference between a Strat and a Tele? or a Squier Strat and a Fender Strat? maybe not, but us nerds can and we’ll keep nerding till the end of time. i am also surprised at the subtle differences in sound and feature set of the Sequential line but i have to say i’m very glad for the options.

Leave a Reply