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Sequential Circuits

Sequential Circuits
« on: October 13, 2015, 02:13:47 PM »
Today's history lesson: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWyFTiF8L22yoTR15rccFsNzGXTydQFXe

I uploaded this playlist because I couldn't find these files anywhere else online. There used to be links to these files on the old forum but they don't work anymore. Also, I know that this is technically not "other hardware," except for purely historical reasons. Beyond that, there's not really a sub forum for vintage Sequential stuff.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2015, 05:21:42 PM by Paul Dither »

Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2015, 08:25:44 PM »
Those recordings are interesting, amusing, and historically valuable.  They surprisingly made me appreciate even more the Prophet 08, which has a less raw and a more refined character. 

I've often wondered if Dave Smith would ever produce again an instrument the size of the Prophet 10.  Could the new Sequential brand provide the format?  I wish.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2015, 08:39:45 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2015, 09:00:26 PM »
Those recordings are interesting, amusing, and historically valuable.

Indeed. Imagine a demo like that done today.

They surprisingly made me appreciate even more the Prophet 08, which has a less raw and a more refined character.

The audio quality is not superior. Unfortunately, I only have the files in MP3 format. But you're right, the sound is a bit harsh here and there.

I've often wondered if Dave Smith would ever produce again an instrument the size of a Prophet 10.  Could the new Sequential be the format?  I wish.

The equivalent to that would be a Prophet-12 (2x Prophet-6) - at least with regard to the name. So I guess the according name at least is out of the question. I also remember one Winter NAMM video in which Dave was asked, whether he'd do a follow-up of the Prophet-10 next. He only chuckled and said "no." I don't think it would make sense economically. Such an instrument would roughly cost about $5000. Let's not forget that only 600 Prophet-10s have been sold between 1980 and 1984 (well, actually not too bad for a $8790 instrument). Plus: The trend rather seems to be that things get smaller or at least more portable.

Be it a 61 keys instrument or a mono synth under the banner Sequential: They need to find a good functional reason to introduce such instruments without cannibalizing their other products that could be too similar in some regard.

Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2015, 09:06:25 PM »
I guess I can be content with two Prophet '08s!

Sure. That's already a Prophet-16 anyway.

Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2015, 09:11:46 PM »
I guess I can be content with two Prophet '08s!

Regarding the Sequential line, I'd say they could manage to produce a monophonic instrument based on the Prophet 6 architecture without "cannibalizing their other products".  After all, the Mopho SE presumably will not be around for long, and the Pro 2 is an entirely different creature.  Those would be the closest DSI synthesizers to such an instrument.  Plus, the name "Prophet 1" is available.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2015, 09:14:57 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2015, 09:29:35 PM »
Regarding the Sequential line, I'd say they could manage to produce a monophonic instrument based on the Prophet 6 architecture.  After all, the Mopho SE presumably will not be around for long, and the Pro 2 is an entirely different creature.  Plus, the name "Prophet One" is available.

Theoretically, yes. I guess it's too soon to figure out what the Sequential philosophy is going to be. Will it be the all analog boutique brand? (The Prophet-6 is already too successful to be boutique, though.) Will there be something like state of the art full analog versions of some former DSI products? (Highly unlikely.) Or will DSI and Sequential just be one anyway?

If the recently lowered prices for some DSI instruments are anything to go by, you might be right in that we might have to say goodbye to a couple of products in the near future. The Prophet-12 Module is affected by the price-cutting as well though, and I don't expect it to disappear anytime soon - except, of course, it doesn't sell well in comparison to the keyboard version.

What they could still do apart from a monophonic Prophet-6: a drum machine (maybe a mid-priced instrument below the Tempest), further Eurorack modules, effect processors (again maybe in Eurorack format), and a synth that goes beyond the Evolvers and Prophets in terms of synthesis.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2015, 09:35:55 PM by Paul Dither »

Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2015, 09:39:10 PM »
I expect that DSI will remain the more modern line of DCO and DO synthesizers in which Dave's creativity and ingenuity can have free range, whereas Sequential will be the old school line of VCO synthesizers.  I could see these two lines continuing parallel to each other, although it would make development a bit more complicated. 

I imagine either the Mopho Keyboard or the Mopho SE will be the next to go.  Of all the DSI synthesizers, these two are certainly the most similar.  My main concern is that the Prophet '08 Keyboard or Module will also soon be discontinued, since I'm not quite done with these.  I know they still sell quite well, but every instrument has a production life only so long, and the P08 is now almost eight years old.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 08:11:07 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

dslsynth

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Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2015, 02:14:20 AM »
If the recently lowered prices for some DSI instruments are anything to go by, you might be right in that we might have to say goodbye to a couple of products in the near future.

What products besides the *droool* Prophet 12 module have their prices lowered? Could this be a result of changed availability of the Curtis chips that DSI uses? Or perhaps a realization that the future belong to discrete electronics machines to match the competition soundwise which in turn causes a shift away from Curtis chip based machines? Doubt we will get official word from DSI on this but its an interesting speculation!

PS: Thanks for sharing the demos! :-)
#!/bin/sh
cp -f $0 $HOME/.signature

Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2015, 04:24:02 AM »
I just had a listen and couldn't believe how bad it sounded, then I noticed the input meters on my audio interface were reading levels.

My Mac had decided to change my default OS audio device to a BOSS SY300 I had plugged in, so the OS audio was being routed to the SY300, passing through the FX and then back into the Mac where I had input monitoring on and to my speakers. Technology eh!

Sounds better once I changed it.

Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2015, 05:48:20 AM »
Today's history lesson: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWyFTiF8L22yoTR15rccFsNzGXTydQFXe

I uploaded this playlist because I couldn't find these files anywhere else online. There used to be links to these files on the old forum but they don't work anymore. Also, I know that this is technically not "other hardware," except for purely historical reasons. Beyond that, there's not really a sub forum for vintage Sequential stuff.

Oh I love that old sound, not the actual patches so much but the feeling the whole production gives me. But I love old horror movies as well due to the sound. Thank you for sharing.

Here in Sweden the prices have gone up high on DSI stuff and other brands as well due to the strong US dollar currency at the moment. Since I bought my Prophet 08 in may it's gone up 30%.
Prophet '08 owner since 2015

Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2015, 08:13:43 AM »
Here are the price drops at Sweetwater.  They average $150-$200, which is a substantial percentage on the smaller instruments.

http://www.sweetwater.com/c510--Synths_Modules?params=eyJmYWNldCI6eyJCcmFuZCI6WyJEYXZlIFNtaXRoIEluc3RydW1lbnRzIl19fQ
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 08:29:37 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

dslsynth

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Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2015, 09:45:09 AM »
Well it was a retirement thingy:
https://twitter.com/dsiSequential/status/654334902842691584

"Retiring #Mopho, Mopho Key, Mopho SE, #Tetra, & #Evolver!"
#!/bin/sh
cp -f $0 $HOME/.signature

Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2015, 10:04:25 AM »
Yikes!  Thank you, Dslsynth, for posting that.  I had missed it. 

So the last Evolver is going.  It's kind of sad.  Has anybody heard any news about the Prophet '08?  After all, it's older than everything else on that list, except for the Evolver desktop.  And the price drops do include both the P08 Keyboard and Module (as well as the P12 Module).

Thank you, DSI, for telling us about this beforehand.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 10:44:09 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2015, 10:22:17 AM »
Thanks for reposting the tweet, dslsynth!

Yes, it was kind of foreseeable, wasn't it? You don't lower prices for no reason. Seeing the last Evolver going is a bit like seeing the Voyager going - it's where it all started again for Dave.

Curtis chip supplies could also be a reason. It's also necessary to move on, especially since they're now running DSI and Sequential in tandem and they didn't hire twice as many people, so DSI/Sequential have to gain some resources somehow. This gives them lots of room to breathe and focus on the most recent and coming instruments.

Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2015, 10:43:37 AM »
Yes, this day was inevitable.  I just didn't expect DSI to clean out so much all at once.  I'd guess they're doing this, in part, to save the remaining chips and other resources for the Prophet '08.

This also clears the way for more Sequential possibilities, since there will be less repetition between the two lines of instruments.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 10:47:35 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

dslsynth

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Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2015, 11:17:49 AM »
Well I kind of suspected something like that from a technical point of view when I saw the price drops and it turned out to be true. Still waiting for the official word on why. Good to know the tweet sharing was appreciated.

The only box I miss from the line of discontinued products would be a Tetra or two but unless they are offered to me for something like $100 each they are completely out of my reach financially. Also I have learned in the past that running after a discontinued product to get one at the last possible moment and that possibly at very high costs may not always be the best idea because a new and much better solution may/will arrive sometimes in the future. I mean, just look at Moog MF-104 later replaced by the far more powerful MF-104M.

If we should speculate a little on the future product ranges what I would wonder most about is what the price range future DSI and Sequential products will be in. What we have seen in recent years are mainly highly priced flagship products (aka the jewel syndrome). I personally hope that DSI would make a new platform smaller voice count lower cost hybrid voice architecture desktop module. But we could just as well see Dave wanting to continue the sequential process of creating one flagship instrument after another. Which is understandable if one thinks about the market and artistic impact they make but its sad for low budget users like me who came to DSI because of their affordable fairly advanced voice architecture machines.

And if I should mention the unmentionable there seems to be happening a reduction of software work backlog in their current product line fairly soon. Mopho module needs the EWI fix which is already made but not published yet (ref old forum), Tetra may have a few issues, Evolver desktop have a number of MIDI bugs while the Mopho keyboards seems to be working fairly well. Would be nice if these things would be fixed one day!

Right now it seems that DSI are focusing their product range towards the higher priced items.

Good for DSI. Bad for me! :'(
#!/bin/sh
cp -f $0 $HOME/.signature

Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2015, 11:29:58 AM »
Exciting news! I'm really hoping for new innovations below $1000 then.
Prophet '08 owner since 2015

Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2015, 11:44:44 AM »
I'm not sure what to think about the immediate future.  DSI/Sequential introduces one new product per year, or sometimes two in the case of a module version.  So, it's not as if these five instruments could be quickly replaced.  I don't interpret the discontinuations as meaning they'll churn out two or three quickly.  It's probably due more to necessity, to scarcity of parts and difficulties with old software.  But I do hope there are some items of various sizes in the future, especially modules.  The thing I've most liked about DSI has been the variety of instruments that could be combined - this keyboard with that module.  It allows for custom-tailored growth according to your exact needs.  But these discontinuations will leave us with only two expensive modules. 

This is also a problem for someone like myself who powers bass pedals with synthesizer modules; the choices will soon be too few and impractical for that.  Modules like the Evolver and Tetra were just perfect for it, and I had intended to eventually add one or the other.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 11:48:53 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

dslsynth

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Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2015, 11:53:35 AM »
@lnetzel: Well only time will tell if that is great news or not! Fingers crossed for more affordable DSI products. But it would be a pleasant surprised than I am hoping for rather than something that I expect to happen.

@Sacred Synthesis: It would be a wise move by DSI if they made (more) affordable modules too as that would accommodate less wealthy users. Would guess that a four voice module would be great for bass pedals as that allowed a stereo panned pair of filters for each foot. Or?

There is also quite some discussion on their facebook page too. Its interesting to follow the additions and predictable removals in this discussion:
https://www.facebook.com/davesmithinstruments/photos/a.121344287890444.16494.120221274669412/1087736227917907/?type=3
#!/bin/sh
cp -f $0 $HOME/.signature

Re: Sequential Circuits
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2015, 12:00:39 PM »
@Sacred Synthesis: It would be a wise move by DSI if they made (more) affordable modules too as that would accommodate less wealthy users. Would guess that a four voice module would be great for bass pedals as that allowed a stereo panned pair of filters for each foot. Or?

Yes, indeed.  Two Tetras would have been ideal in order to allow both for stereo panning and polyphonic playing, since you often want to double octaves or add an upper fifth for final chords.  It had long been my practice as a church organist to end a piece with this sort of immense fullness in the bass.  On a synthesizer, this could sound at least as dramatic.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 12:09:48 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com