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SEQUENTIAL/DSI => General => Topic started by: LPF83 on April 27, 2021, 04:19:56 AM

Title: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LPF83 on April 27, 2021, 04:19:56 AM
https://www.musicradar.com/news/focusrite-buys-sequential-taking-ownership-of-dave-smiths-analogue-synths
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LoboLives on April 27, 2021, 05:25:01 AM
Wonder if that means they are going to move production from USA to China.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: DavidDever on April 27, 2021, 05:53:44 AM
Congratulations to the Sequential team–all corporate changes aside, this seems like a great next step for a company that has been a solid advocate for innovative, yet musician-centered product design.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LoboLives on April 27, 2021, 07:50:06 AM
Personally I'd like to see Sequential have a budget line and a high end line. Perhaps this might be a good way to do that.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 27, 2021, 07:50:37 AM
Ah well, at least it's not Behringer that's buying Sequential.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: IsoldeandIsobelle on April 27, 2021, 07:55:57 AM
It did Novation no harm... quite the opposite, in fact. Best Wishes to Dave and his team in going forward.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LPF83 on April 27, 2021, 08:02:46 AM
Wonder if that means they are going to move production from USA to China.

It could happen, although lately there's a new awareness of the risks of dependency on China, that may make this less tempting than in the past.

Also many companies are aware that changing a newly acquired subsidiary itself is risky -- too many changes can diminish the value of the brand they paid for.

Ah well, at least it's not Behringer that's buying Sequential.

That was the first thought that came to mind for me too.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LPF83 on April 27, 2021, 08:07:10 AM
It did Novation no harm... quite the opposite, in fact. Best Wishes to Dave and his team in going forward.

My hunch is that it is probably a good move for Dave and the team overall.  When Dave's 70th birthday came around, I wondered what the long-term plan would be, and in many ways this seems like a logical next step.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LoboLives on April 27, 2021, 08:33:43 AM
Wonder if that means they are going to move production from USA to China.

It could happen, although lately there's a new awareness of the risks of dependency on China, that may make this less tempting than in the past.

Also many companies are aware that changing a newly acquired subsidiary itself is risky -- too many changes can diminish the value of the brand they paid for.

Ah well, at least it's not Behringer that's buying Sequential.

That was the first thought that came to mind for me too.

Personally I'd hate to see Sequential move their entire production to China. It reminds me of when Sequential had a deal with Italian organ maker Seil in which they made budget products under the Sequential Circuits banner.

http://www.vintagesynth.com/sci/prelude.php

http://www.vintagesynth.com/sci/fugue.php

Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LoboLives on April 27, 2021, 08:36:57 AM
Sequential responded to me on Facebook when I asked about them moving production to China.

"...Sequential’s day-to-day operations and product development remain unchanged and will continue to be guided by Dave Smith and his team."

That doesn't say anything about production or manufacturing itself. When Focusrite brought Novation manufacturing was outsourced to China with obviously R&D and the day to day stuff remaining in the UK
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LPF83 on April 27, 2021, 09:05:25 AM
Sequential responded to me on Facebook when I asked about them moving production to China.

"...Sequential’s day-to-day operations and product development remain unchanged and will continue to be guided by Dave Smith and his team."

That doesn't say anything about production or manufacturing itself. When Focusrite brought Novation manufacturing was outsourced to China with obviously R&D and the day to day stuff remaining in the UK

What can happen in these cases (and I hope it doesn't), is the parent company says "we don't want to introduce product X, because our marketing team sees overlap between that design and product Y that our other subsidiary just released".  Not that product cannibalism isn't a valid concern, but sometimes small company independence and innovation gets lost to overall corporate strategy.

Hopefully they stay hands off enough to let Sequential continue doing what they are doing.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LoboLives on April 27, 2021, 09:18:12 AM
Sequential responded to me on Facebook when I asked about them moving production to China.

"...Sequential’s day-to-day operations and product development remain unchanged and will continue to be guided by Dave Smith and his team."

That doesn't say anything about production or manufacturing itself. When Focusrite brought Novation manufacturing was outsourced to China with obviously R&D and the day to day stuff remaining in the UK

What can happen in these cases (and I hope it doesn't), is the parent company says "we don't want to introduce product X, because our marketing team sees overlap between that design and product Y that our other subsidiary just released".  Not that product cannibalism isn't a valid concern, but sometimes small company independence and innovation gets lost to overall corporate strategy.

Hopefully they stay hands off enough to let Sequential continue doing what they are doing.

That's another good point. Sequential could try and produce something and they might say "Well it's a bit too similar to Novation's upcoming product."
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 27, 2021, 09:49:22 AM
I can't help but wonder what a Summit might have done to a Prophet 12.  It's hard not to see the former as a threat to the latter, and so on into the future.  I hope Novation doesn't badly affect Sequential's innovation.  ???
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LoboLives on April 27, 2021, 10:14:57 AM
I can't help but wonder what a Summit might have done to a Prophet 12.  It's hard not to see the former as a threat to the latter, and so on into the future.  I hope Novation doesn't badly affect Sequential's innovation.  ???

It is weird to to have two brands under a single umbrella making essentially competitive products. Maybe Sequential will be analog only from now on and Novation will offer digital/analog hybrids or pure digital synths?
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 27, 2021, 10:18:01 AM
I can't help but wonder what a Summit might have done to a Prophet 12.  It's hard not to see the former as a threat to the latter, and so on into the future.  I hope Novation doesn't badly affect Sequential's innovation.  ???

It is weird to to have two brands under a single umbrella making essentially competitive products. Maybe Sequential will be analog only from now on and Novation will offer digital/analog hybrids or pure digital synths?

That itself would be a terrible effect, since Sequential is brilliant at hybrid instruments.  Haven't many of us been hoping for something of a Poly Evolver Rev2?
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LoboLives on April 27, 2021, 10:21:10 AM
I can't help but wonder what a Summit might have done to a Prophet 12.  It's hard not to see the former as a threat to the latter, and so on into the future.  I hope Novation doesn't badly affect Sequential's innovation.  ???

It is weird to to have two brands under a single umbrella making essentially competitive products. Maybe Sequential will be analog only from now on and Novation will offer digital/analog hybrids or pure digital synths?

That itself would be a terrible effect, since Sequential is brilliant at hybrid instruments.  Haven't many of us been hoping for something of a Poly Evolver Rev2?

Now that might not happen.

Actually I even wonder if Sequential itself will just be focusing on reissues. Prophet 5, OBX, Pro One, Prophet T8 etc and Novation will be the one developing new stuff. That might be the only way they realistically could operate under the same umbrella.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 27, 2021, 10:25:05 AM
Well, Sequential always has new products on the way, and the nearest ones presumably haven't been developed under the watch of Novation, so we can rest easy for a while.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LoboLives on April 27, 2021, 12:02:35 PM
Well, Sequential always has new products on the way, and the nearest ones presumably haven't been developed under the watch of Novation, so we can rest easy for a while.

Dave said the next two instruments are analog so I'm assuming OBX and Pro One reissues.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: AlanC on April 27, 2021, 12:10:48 PM
Let's hope Focusrite's ownership of Sequential is as benign as Yamaha's ownership of Bösendorfer.

Regarding Novation, their designer Chris Huggett, who also designed the EDP Wasp, OSC Oscar and was responsible for the operating systems of the Akai S-series samplers as well as the various Novation synths, sadly passed away in October 2020.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 27, 2021, 06:16:01 PM
Novation has been able to produce a few respectable and original instruments, in spite of being owned by a monolith.  Hopefully, the same will be true for Sequential, and Dave will be able to maintain an independence.  But it's hard not to be a tad concerned that corporate interests will play a larger part in Sequential's day-to-day operation - more so than they ever before have. 
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: BobTheDog on April 28, 2021, 05:33:55 AM
Sequential responded to me on Facebook when I asked about them moving production to China.

"...Sequential’s day-to-day operations and product development remain unchanged and will continue to be guided by Dave Smith and his team."

That doesn't say anything about production or manufacturing itself. When Focusrite brought Novation manufacturing was outsourced to China with obviously R&D and the day to day stuff remaining in the UK

What can happen in these cases (and I hope it doesn't), is the parent company says "we don't want to introduce product X, because our marketing team sees overlap between that design and product Y that our other subsidiary just released".  Not that product cannibalism isn't a valid concern, but sometimes small company independence and innovation gets lost to overall corporate strategy.

Hopefully they stay hands off enough to let Sequential continue doing what they are doing.

Then why buy them?

My guess is there will definitely be changes, the only question is the timescale.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LPF83 on April 28, 2021, 05:59:11 AM
Sequential responded to me on Facebook when I asked about them moving production to China.

"...Sequential’s day-to-day operations and product development remain unchanged and will continue to be guided by Dave Smith and his team."

That doesn't say anything about production or manufacturing itself. When Focusrite brought Novation manufacturing was outsourced to China with obviously R&D and the day to day stuff remaining in the UK

What can happen in these cases (and I hope it doesn't), is the parent company says "we don't want to introduce product X, because our marketing team sees overlap between that design and product Y that our other subsidiary just released".  Not that product cannibalism isn't a valid concern, but sometimes small company independence and innovation gets lost to overall corporate strategy.

Hopefully they stay hands off enough to let Sequential continue doing what they are doing.

Then why buy them?

My guess is there will definitely be changes, the only question is the timescale.

I'm afraid I don't quite don't follow your question (why buy)... there are just as many reasons that an organization like Focusrite might possibly want to expand their product portfolio by acquiring the works of the Father of MIDI and Polyphonic Synthesis as there are reasons Dave would want to sell to them.  We could speculate about Focusrite's internal corporate strategy, but it would be just that -- speculation.

I'm not sure to what extent Focusrite let Novation retain their independence, compared to how they operated before.  I've had more than one Novation synth and MIDI controller, and I've had more than one Focusrite audio interface, and they more or less felt like two different companies to me.  But there are a lot of factors that can affect that dynamic.

From a sheer brand-value standpoint, adding Sequential synths (and their pedigree) to their portfolio is something that a lot of larger companies would be proud to do.  I mean, the history behind the Prophet, plus the fact that there is a spot-on reissue of the P5 being sold today.  That alone is gold in coolness factor.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: jok3r on April 28, 2021, 06:14:15 AM
It would be cool to have the Components software from Novation for Sequential products. ;-)
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LoboLives on April 28, 2021, 06:56:18 AM
A Prophet 5 with a "Made In China" sticker just doesn't feel right...
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LPF83 on April 28, 2021, 07:19:04 AM
A Prophet 5 with a "Made In China" sticker just doesn't feel right...

If the Made in China thing does happen, it would be interesting to see what happens to resale value on pre-acquisition Sequential gear that was made in the US.


Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 28, 2021, 07:23:13 AM
Let's face it: this is the first step in a decision we've all been dreading.  Need I say that Dave is a mortal, and that all things under the sun have an end?  Sequential will have to reflect the fact, and so will we.  Let the man gently and slowly enter his retirement in peace.  He deserves it.  He's served us all so well.

Perhaps we won't notice significant changes at Sequential for some time, but they'll come.  I just prefer to be prepared and expectant, rather than be caught off guard when a larger announcement is made.  Believe me, I hope everything continues with Sequential as normal, but this decision does come as a surprise.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LoboLives on April 28, 2021, 07:30:40 AM
Let's face it: this is the first step in a decision we've all been dreading.  Need I say that Dave is a mortal, and that all things under the sun have an end?  Sequential will have to reflect the fact, and so will we.  Let the man gently and slowly enter his retirement in peace.  He deserves it.  He's served us all so well.

Perhaps we won't notice significant changes at Sequential for some time, but they'll come.

Better start getting them while the getting is good.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LoboLives on April 28, 2021, 07:33:51 AM
A Prophet 5 with a "Made In China" sticker just doesn't feel right...

If the Made in China thing does happen, it would be interesting to see what happens to resale value on pre-acquisition Sequential gear that was made in the US.

Absolutely insane.

However, after reading the acquisition report it seems pretty clear they won’t be outsourcing at least not any time soon. But that could change on a dime if Focusrite wanted it to.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LPF83 on April 28, 2021, 07:35:55 AM
Let's face it: this is the first step in a decision we've all been dreading.  Need I say that Dave is a mortal, and that all things under the sun have an end?  Sequential will have to reflect the fact, and so will we.  Let the man gently and slowly enter his retirement in peace.  He deserves it.  He's served us all so well.

Perhaps we won't notice significant changes at Sequential for some time, but they'll come.

Changes no doubt, although I like to think of it as a fitting strategy to keep Sequential going.  Rupert Neve sold Focusrite in 1989, and they've continued to make great products.  Even if Dave wants to keep working another couple of decades, I think it is a good thing (and wise) to solidify the ground it stands on, because that way things are sustainable as the inevitable age related health issues start to require time away from work.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 28, 2021, 07:38:28 AM
Let's face it: this is the first step in a decision we've all been dreading.  Need I say that Dave is a mortal, and that all things under the sun have an end?  Sequential will have to reflect the fact, and so will we.  Let the man gently and slowly enter his retirement in peace.  He deserves it.  He's served us all so well.

Perhaps we won't notice significant changes at Sequential for some time, but they'll come.

Better start getting them while the getting is good.

That thought crossed my mind, but I don't think it's time to be worried.  But I also wouldn't be surprised to see a bit of uncertainty push up the prices of the old DSI gear.  The prices of Poly Evolver Keyboards are already through the roof.  This Focusrite decision could have some significant practical effects on the used synth market.   
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: BobTheDog on April 28, 2021, 10:45:16 AM
Sequential responded to me on Facebook when I asked about them moving production to China.

"...Sequential’s day-to-day operations and product development remain unchanged and will continue to be guided by Dave Smith and his team."

That doesn't say anything about production or manufacturing itself. When Focusrite brought Novation manufacturing was outsourced to China with obviously R&D and the day to day stuff remaining in the UK

What can happen in these cases (and I hope it doesn't), is the parent company says "we don't want to introduce product X, because our marketing team sees overlap between that design and product Y that our other subsidiary just released".  Not that product cannibalism isn't a valid concern, but sometimes small company independence and innovation gets lost to overall corporate strategy.

Hopefully they stay hands off enough to let Sequential continue doing what they are doing.

Then why buy them?

My guess is there will definitely be changes, the only question is the timescale.

I'm afraid I don't quite don't follow your question (why buy)... there are just as many reasons that an organization like Focusrite might possibly want to expand their product portfolio by acquiring the works of the Father of MIDI and Polyphonic Synthesis as there are reasons Dave would want to sell to them.  We could speculate about Focusrite's internal corporate strategy, but it would be just that -- speculation.

I'm not sure to what extent Focusrite let Novation retain their independence, compared to how they operated before.  I've had more than one Novation synth and MIDI controller, and I've had more than one Focusrite audio interface, and they more or less felt like two different companies to me.  But there are a lot of factors that can affect that dynamic.

From a sheer brand-value standpoint, adding Sequential synths (and their pedigree) to their portfolio is something that a lot of larger companies would be proud to do.  I mean, the history behind the Prophet, plus the fact that there is a spot-on reissue of the P5 being sold today.  That alone is gold in coolness factor.

Of course it’s speculation, along with every other post here.

Logic determines that there is a cost, that cost has to be offset against future profit.

From my personal experience when the company you work for is purchased, things change.  There is a cost.

As you speculate this is speculation, time will tell.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: Derek Cook on April 28, 2021, 12:05:31 PM
I can't help but wonder what a Summit might have done to a Prophet 12.  It's hard not to see the former as a threat to the latter, and so on into the future.  I hope Novation doesn't badly affect Sequential's innovation.  ???

I have a Summit and a Prophet X and they are both quite different. They go together like peaches and cream.

I hope the acquisition by Focusrite gives the support for Sequential to carry on. It's a tough world out there.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LPF83 on April 28, 2021, 03:43:36 PM
Sequential responded to me on Facebook when I asked about them moving production to China.

"...Sequential’s day-to-day operations and product development remain unchanged and will continue to be guided by Dave Smith and his team."

That doesn't say anything about production or manufacturing itself. When Focusrite brought Novation manufacturing was outsourced to China with obviously R&D and the day to day stuff remaining in the UK

What can happen in these cases (and I hope it doesn't), is the parent company says "we don't want to introduce product X, because our marketing team sees overlap between that design and product Y that our other subsidiary just released".  Not that product cannibalism isn't a valid concern, but sometimes small company independence and innovation gets lost to overall corporate strategy.

Hopefully they stay hands off enough to let Sequential continue doing what they are doing.

Then why buy them?

My guess is there will definitely be changes, the only question is the timescale.

I'm afraid I don't quite don't follow your question (why buy)... there are just as many reasons that an organization like Focusrite might possibly want to expand their product portfolio by acquiring the works of the Father of MIDI and Polyphonic Synthesis as there are reasons Dave would want to sell to them.  We could speculate about Focusrite's internal corporate strategy, but it would be just that -- speculation.

I'm not sure to what extent Focusrite let Novation retain their independence, compared to how they operated before.  I've had more than one Novation synth and MIDI controller, and I've had more than one Focusrite audio interface, and they more or less felt like two different companies to me.  But there are a lot of factors that can affect that dynamic.

From a sheer brand-value standpoint, adding Sequential synths (and their pedigree) to their portfolio is something that a lot of larger companies would be proud to do.  I mean, the history behind the Prophet, plus the fact that there is a spot-on reissue of the P5 being sold today.  That alone is gold in coolness factor.

Of course it’s speculation, along with every other post here.

Logic determines that there is a cost, that cost has to be offset against future profit.

From my personal experience when the company you work for is purchased, things change.  There is a cost.

As you speculate this is speculation, time will tell.

I've had similar experiences when acquisitions occurred at companies I've worked for, although none of these companies were synth or audio companies...they were just mainstream corporate tech companies in hungry pursuit of as much profit as possible. 

I've been told that the music instruments and audio industry has a different outlook and has a philosophy that is much more collaborative than competitive.  I remember even Pym (primary software engineer for Sequential) replying on these forums with a similar perspective; many others have conveyed the same over the years and from what I can tell, the industry does move to a "different beat" (gratuitous pun).  This could be because the fundamental goal of making music is a considered an "art of the heart", and one piece of music typically isn't "better" than another, it's just different, and more or less to the taste of a individual or listening audience... the same can mostly be said about musical instruments.

To attempt to answer the question of "why buy?" (and know I wasn't trying to debate the topic, I truly wanted to understand your question better), I think for Focusrite it is an opportunity to add a truly legendary brand with an awesome reputation to their portfolio... as some said, perhaps their long-term vision is Sequential for vintage analog products and Novation for digital/modern.  Or maybe it's such that every synth has enough of its own character that neither of the subsidiaries need to compartmentalize. 

Thinking of another past audio industry acquisition that seems to have turned out well is Yamaha's acquisition of Steinberg, another company with a strong pedigree in their niche.  Cubase has only gotten better, I suspect some of their hardware offerings may not have ever happened without Yamaha...yet Steinberg seem to have fully retained their own identity some 18 years later.  Unless you look for the Yamaha relationship you almost never realize its there.

I think change is inevitable with or without an acquisition -- not many companies just stand still decade after decade.  Guess we'll just have to hope the net positive result of changes with Focusrite are greater than they would have been if Dave did nothing and closed shop when he got too old to run it.

Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LPF83 on April 28, 2021, 04:11:34 PM
I had not seen this video until now, but I believe Dave's comments are genuine.. I also believe I have a better grasp of the "why" (from Dave's standpoint) now.  It allows him to do what he really enjoys doing in his later years, instead of all of the other distractions that come with running a company.  I can't emphasize enough how I relate to what he's expressed here.

https://youtu.be/Ts13-iZt22E


Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LPF83 on April 28, 2021, 04:49:27 PM
A Prophet 5 with a "Made In China" sticker just doesn't feel right...

If the Made in China thing does happen, it would be interesting to see what happens to resale value on pre-acquisition Sequential gear that was made in the US.

Absolutely insane.

However, after reading the acquisition report it seems pretty clear they won’t be outsourcing at least not any time soon. But that could change on a dime if Focusrite wanted it to.

Possibly, it depends on the terms of the contract.  It is not uncommon for various forms of "creative freedom" type clauses or stipulations to be added that gives one side the right to do this or that.  I have a feeling Dave protected the interests that were important to him.  He may care deeply about being close to manufacturing, or he might have found it to be something he wanted to get away from.  Retaining the ability to staff as one sees fit is a pretty common item to be on the table for contracts...  I accepted a position once with a small start up to direct their technology efforts, and one of the stipulations I had written into my contract was that I had full reign over choosing who to hire for a given position that reported to me directly or indirectly.  I gave up a lot of things in exchange for certain rights (for example, according to the contract, they owned ANY invention I created while employed by them, whether I did so during working hours for them or not which in retrospect is kind of crazy... but it was the deal at the time).

I'm sure he did what he thought was best, he strikes me as the type that would be a good negotiator, and would probably care that his name never becomes associated with poorly made synthesizers.  It is possible for good quality products to be made in China, there's just a lot of junk coming out of it because a lot of outsourcers aim for the lowest price possible, and from what I've seen if you ask Chinese manufacturers to make it dirt cheap, they will cut every corner necessary to give you the lowball price.  Many of them have the capacity for premium goods, it's just that the cost rises significantly and it starts to approach the cost of manufacturing domestically.

I might also add the Made in China Focusrite audio gear I've had (3 units total) have been rock-fucking-solid.  The only reason I don't still have the first Focusrite interface I bought is because it used Firewire and a Windows 10 update finally decided it didn't like Firewire anymore.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: chysn on April 28, 2021, 07:25:48 PM
Good stuff can be made in China, certainly. And I don't really have a good read on how U.S.-made products are perceived in the world market. Focusrite will give Sequential a more international profile, in which the country of assembly might not be all that relevant. So, business as usual for now; but the lure of low manufacturing costs will be tough to shake off in the long run, as pressure to remain in the U.S. drops off.

C'est la vie.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LPF83 on April 29, 2021, 07:42:46 AM
Good stuff can be made in China, certainly. And I don't really have a good read on how U.S.-made products are perceived in the world market. Focusrite will give Sequential a more international profile, in which the country of assembly might not be all that relevant. So, business as usual for now; but the lure of low manufacturing costs will be tough to shake off in the long run, as pressure to remain in the U.S. drops off.

C'est la vie.

With musical instruments, I think the perceived value of instruments being manufactured in the country of origin for that instrument (whether USA or another country) adds a certain amount of sales appeal to the brand.  I'm sure Moog pays a premium to manufacture domestically, but it is a big selling point that seems to have worked out well for them, and I would think wards off a certain stigma or devaluing of the brand that might occur if they were to suddenly offshore manufacturing.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LoboLives on April 29, 2021, 12:31:53 PM
Good stuff can be made in China, certainly. And I don't really have a good read on how U.S.-made products are perceived in the world market. Focusrite will give Sequential a more international profile, in which the country of assembly might not be all that relevant. So, business as usual for now; but the lure of low manufacturing costs will be tough to shake off in the long run, as pressure to remain in the U.S. drops off.

C'est la vie.

With musical instruments, I think the perceived value of instruments being manufactured in the country of origin for that instrument (whether USA or another country) adds a certain amount of sales appeal to the brand.  I'm sure Moog pays a premium to manufacture domestically, but it is a big selling point that seems to have worked out well for them, and I would think wards off a certain stigma or devaluing of the brand that might occur if they were to suddenly offshore manufacturing.

Yup there's a reason why people strive for a USA Made Gibson or Stratocaster and not a Mexican made one or Chinese made one.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: Pounk on April 29, 2021, 02:02:08 PM
I'm the happy owner of a Novation Summit and a Bass Station II. I used to own a Novation Peak. I never experienced a single issue with any of them. On the other side I remember my buggy Tetra, the Mopho keyboard I had to exchange because of one octave not sensitive to velocity and my newly acquired PRO 3 with a faulty endless encoder and random parameters values changes without touching the knobs. Sequential support is stellar and I continue to buy their products because they sound amazing. But If I had, from my own experience, to focus on the build quality and quality check only, I would bet my money on the chinese made Novation synths. And I would add that Novation continues to extend the functionalities of my 2013 Bass Station II. I'm confident that Sequential will keep to release great products and to deliver great support as a member of the Focusrite family.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: Soundquest on April 30, 2021, 10:31:10 AM
In the above post I found a familiar sentiment.   I think the acquisition will allow better depth in future product QA/QC.   The Novation influence will likely lead to easier OS updates and software.   Meanwhile , Dave's knack for excelling in ergonomics, among other things, will be a help to Novation.   

If you don't want something made outside of your home country, I completely understand the prerogative.    However, I don't think quality needs to be the worry in this day in age just because its coming from the "Far East".   At least not in the electronic instrument market, or should I say electronics market period.      I'm seriously impressed with the ASM Hydasynth- which I think is Chinese assembled.  Not sure where the Summit was put together, but ditto.    Another one that always struck me as solid was Nord.  I think that was Swedish made.    Except for the dinky keys, the rest of the Lead 4 was like a tank.  Never a issue with any of these. 
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LPF83 on April 30, 2021, 12:45:43 PM
In the above post I found a familiar sentiment.   I think the acquisition will allow better depth in future product QA/QC.   The Novation influence will likely lead to easier OS updates and software.   Meanwhile , Dave's knack for excelling in ergonomics, among other things, will be a help to Novation.   

If you don't want something made outside of your home country, I completely understand the prerogative.    However, I don't think quality needs to be the worry in this day in age just because its coming from the "Far East".   At least not in the electronic instrument market, or should I say electronics market period.      I'm seriously impressed with the ASM Hydasynth- which I think is Chinese assembled.  Not sure where the Summit was put together, but ditto.    Another one that always struck me as solid was Nord.  I think that was Swedish made.    Except for the dinky keys, the rest of the Lead 4 was like a tank.  Never a issue with any of these.

Many Chinese facilities have the capability to manufacture high quality goods.  Part of the reason for the stigma is that some very high profile media cases have emphasized cultural differences in US vs Chinese manufacturing. 

One example that comes to mind is the Lumber Liquidators case.  They offshored manufacturing of wood flooring materials to China -- many of the floors, once installed in homes were emitting insanely dangerous and ongoing levels of formaldehyde into the air of people's homes, levels that would never pass inspection of US based manufacturing facilities because of our regulations.  So, when investigators went to the facility in China, the facility said "we told them we could produce CARB compliant materials but that it would cost extra... they didn't want those, they wanted the cheapest price possible".

So, where does the problem lie there?   Well part of it is the US company that used offshoring as a way to circumvent regulation and lower cost of production, opting for the cheapest shit possible.   But then again, the Chinese company knowingly produced and shipped a product that could endanger human lives, just to win the contract.

Basically there is this "dynamic of evil" that can form in offshoring work, because it disperses potential accountability across cultural borders.  And because of that there have been a lot of horror stories emerging from Chinese manufacturing, that aren't an indication of whether good quality is possible, its more of an ethical question about how low is someone willing to stoop to make a buck.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: BobTheDog on May 01, 2021, 12:49:09 PM
Let’s be honest, “made in China” really has no negative context anymore in a quality context.

The main reason that China is the next superpower is their ability to make stuff that basically no one else can anymore, it was laughable when Apple marketed the MacPro 2013 as made in America when nearly everything about it was made in China and that was 8 years ago.



Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LPF83 on May 01, 2021, 05:40:50 PM
Let’s be honest, “made in China” really has no negative context anymore in a quality context.

The main reason that China is the next superpower is their ability to make stuff that basically no one else can anymore, it was laughable when Apple marketed the MacPro 2013 as made in America when nearly everything about it was made in China and that was 8 years ago.

I agree with part of what you're saying or alluding to, that offshoring to a foreign nation comes with the cost of skill loss and the inability to self-sustain becomes a natural consequence of that.   There has been an increased awareness of this in the last couple of years though, it more or less just becomes a question of whether enough people are paying attention.

To say "Made in China" no longer has a stigma attached (what I think you meant when you used the word context), I think you'd be an outlier if you live in North America and that's your position, because its an understatement to say the vast majority of folks here would disagree.  Whether or not that stigma is warranted in all cases?  Yes that's another story and I'm sure opinions and anecdotal experiences differ...... but I covered some of the reasons why well enough in the post before this one.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LoboLives on May 01, 2021, 06:48:22 PM
In the above post I found a familiar sentiment.   I think the acquisition will allow better depth in future product QA/QC.   The Novation influence will likely lead to easier OS updates and software.   Meanwhile , Dave's knack for excelling in ergonomics, among other things, will be a help to Novation.   

If you don't want something made outside of your home country, I completely understand the prerogative.    However, I don't think quality needs to be the worry in this day in age just because its coming from the "Far East".   At least not in the electronic instrument market, or should I say electronics market period.      I'm seriously impressed with the ASM Hydasynth- which I think is Chinese assembled.  Not sure where the Summit was put together, but ditto.    Another one that always struck me as solid was Nord.  I think that was Swedish made.    Except for the dinky keys, the rest of the Lead 4 was like a tank.  Never a issue with any of these.

Many Chinese facilities have the capability to manufacture high quality goods.  Part of the reason for the stigma is that some very high profile media cases have emphasized cultural differences in US vs Chinese manufacturing. 

One example that comes to mind is the Lumber Liquidators case.  They offshored manufacturing of wood flooring materials to China -- many of the floors, once installed in homes were emitting insanely dangerous and ongoing levels of formaldehyde into the air of people's homes, levels that would never pass inspection of US based manufacturing facilities because of our regulations.  So, when investigators went to the facility in China, the facility said "we told them we could produce CARB compliant materials but that it would cost extra... they didn't want those, they wanted the cheapest price possible".

So, where does the problem lie there?   Well part of it is the US company that used offshoring as a way to circumvent regulation and lower cost of production, opting for the cheapest shit possible.   But then again, the Chinese company knowingly produced and shipped a product that could endanger human lives, just to win the contract.

Basically there is this "dynamic of evil" that can form in offshoring work, because it disperses potential accountability across cultural borders.  And because of that there have been a lot of horror stories emerging from Chinese manufacturing, that aren't an indication of whether good quality is possible, its more of an ethical question about how low is someone willing to stoop to make a buck.

Let's be honest, the average North American doesn't care about the lives of Chinese workers unless said workers are flying into town from Wuhan.

For me it's more a question of completely cancelling someone's job and outsourcing it. I am not saying that's what Sequential is doing but if they are closing their US manufacturing facility and allowing Focusrite to outsource it completely to China then that's really shitty. This is why I think much like Fender or Gibson or guitar brands they have different tier instruments. A higher tier American manufactured line and an outsourced lower tier line. Even a Japanese company like Ibanez does this with their "Made In Japan" tier, "Made In Korea" tier and "Made In Indonesia" tier.

But completely obliterating established jobs or even the option for a tiered system and just allowing the entire process to be completely outsourced? It feels really uninspired and doesn't make me want to take an interest in said company. I'm sure Dave doesn't give a damn what we think, he's made his money and I guess that's the end goal for most entrepreneurs.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LPF83 on May 01, 2021, 07:29:53 PM
Let's be honest, the average North American doesn't care about the lives of Chinese workers unless said workers are flying into town from Wuhan.

This is why I said what I did about the responsibility for the health risks for being shared.  In the case I highlighted, the Chinese factory was saying they can meet CARB (California Air Resources Board) regulatory requirements for manufactured wood floors at a premium price, but the USA outsourcer said they didn't care about that, they wanted the cheapest price possible (basically corporate greed didn't care that many customers would likely die a slow painful death from cancer due to formaldehyde exposure).  This has been a repeating theme in the history of corporate greed, it's really not something new.

Anyway was mostly explaining that it's not always about "perceived sturdiness" of a product, it's all of the ethical concerns that seem to get blurred in the process of overseas manufacturing.

For me it's more a question of completely cancelling someone's job and outsourcing it. I am not saying that's what Sequential is doing but if they are closing their US manufacturing facility and allowing Focusrite to outsource it completely to China then that's really shitty. This is why I think much like Fender or Gibson or guitar brands they have different tier instruments. A higher tier American manufactured line and an outsourced lower tier line. Even a Japanese company like Ibanez does this with their "Made In Japan" tier, "Made In Korea" tier and "Made In Indonesia" tier.

But completely obliterating established jobs or even the option for a tiered system and just allowing the entire process to be completely outsourced? It feels really uninspired and doesn't make me want to take an interest in said company. I'm sure Dave doesn't give a damn what we think, he's made his money and I guess that's the end goal for most entrepreneurs.

Job preservation is something I personally do care about, but I also think the average consumer is hypocritical about this issue.  They will condemn low-cost manufacturing in the name of job preservation, and then vote with their wallet by buying the cheapest products they can find, making noise out of their mouths and arse at the same time.  In the case of synths, everybody likes cheap synths that sound good.... in order to keep jobs in North America are they willing to pay twice the price?   Take a look at the Moog One -- honestly if I were a fan of the sound, I would have bought one a long time ago....  It's a Made in USA poly synth that costs less than a Made in USA poly synth cost in the late 70's or 80's adjusted for inflation, yet most complain about the price and many won't consider synths that cost more than a few hundred bucks, or certainly nothing over $2k.

In terms of what Dave decides to do, I think we should wait and see, it's too early to start assuming Sequential synths will be made in China soon.  I'm sure he's aware that Moog's "handcrafted in USA" strategy has worked out well for them, even if it's made their product line more expensive.  He is also at a point in his career where he does not need to chase the fast buck, and no doubt cares about the Prophet pedigree and lasting legacy.

I wouldn't be surprised if the chip shortage problem had everything to do with his decision to sell.  Something like that can destroy a small company in short order, so he may have been forced to do what was necessary to partner with someone who had more power in the supply chain... and if that means Dave Smith's synth designs put together in China versus Sequential just closing their doors, then honestly I'll take the Chinese made synths.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LoboLives on May 02, 2021, 10:10:40 AM
Let's be honest, the average North American doesn't care about the lives of Chinese workers unless said workers are flying into town from Wuhan.

This is why I said what I did about the responsibility for the health risks for being shared.  In the case I highlighted, the Chinese factory was saying they can meet CARB (California Air Resources Board) regulatory requirements for manufactured wood floors at a premium price, but the USA outsourcer said they didn't care about that, they wanted the cheapest price possible (basically corporate greed didn't care that many customers would likely die a slow painful death from cancer due to formaldehyde exposure).  This has been a repeating theme in the history of corporate greed, it's really not something new.

Anyway was mostly explaining that it's not always about "perceived sturdiness" of a product, it's all of the ethical concerns that seem to get blurred in the process of overseas manufacturing.

For me it's more a question of completely cancelling someone's job and outsourcing it. I am not saying that's what Sequential is doing but if they are closing their US manufacturing facility and allowing Focusrite to outsource it completely to China then that's really shitty. This is why I think much like Fender or Gibson or guitar brands they have different tier instruments. A higher tier American manufactured line and an outsourced lower tier line. Even a Japanese company like Ibanez does this with their "Made In Japan" tier, "Made In Korea" tier and "Made In Indonesia" tier.

But completely obliterating established jobs or even the option for a tiered system and just allowing the entire process to be completely outsourced? It feels really uninspired and doesn't make me want to take an interest in said company. I'm sure Dave doesn't give a damn what we think, he's made his money and I guess that's the end goal for most entrepreneurs.

Job preservation is something I personally do care about, but I also think the average consumer is hypocritical about this issue.  They will condemn low-cost manufacturing in the name of job preservation, and then vote with their wallet by buying the cheapest products they can find, making noise out of their mouths and arse at the same time.  In the case of synths, everybody likes cheap synths that sound good.... in order to keep jobs in North America are they willing to pay twice the price?   Take a look at the Moog One -- honestly if I were a fan of the sound, I would have bought one a long time ago....  It's a Made in USA poly synth that costs less than a Made in USA poly synth cost in the late 70's or 80's adjusted for inflation, yet most complain about the price and many won't consider synths that cost more than a few hundred bucks, or certainly nothing over $2k.

In terms of what Dave decides to do, I think we should wait and see, it's too early to start assuming Sequential synths will be made in China soon.  I'm sure he's aware that Moog's "handcrafted in USA" strategy has worked out well for them, even if it's made their product line more expensive.  He is also at a point in his career where he does not need to chase the fast buck, and no doubt cares about the Prophet pedigree and lasting legacy.

I wouldn't be surprised if the chip shortage problem had everything to do with his decision to sell.  Something like that can destroy a small company in short order, so he may have been forced to do what was necessary to partner with someone who had more power in the supply chain... and if that means Dave Smith's synth designs put together in China versus Sequential just closing their doors, then honestly I'll take the Chinese made synths.

I've actually seen comments on social media of people openly bashing people who own expensive gear and even the gear itself simply out of spite for not being able to afford it. I have never once seen the opposite occur. Generally people who can afford expensive instruments are too busy being happy and enjoying themselves to waste energy.

Personally for me, if Sequential do decide to take their entire production process overseas and close down their US based manufacturing all together, it very well may be the cure for my GAS. As of right now, all this news has done has motivated me to think about what I'm purchasing more carefully and consider buying more Sequential gear (things I never really focused on-OB6-Pro 3) before the entire operation is "Made In China."
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: A Thousand Eyes on May 02, 2021, 10:25:59 AM
Personally for me, if Sequential do decide to take their entire production process overseas and close down their US based manufacturing all together, it very well may be the cure for my GAS.

I agree with this sentiment 100%.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LPF83 on May 02, 2021, 01:15:00 PM
I've actually seen comments on social media of people openly bashing people who own expensive gear and even the gear itself simply out of spite for not being able to afford it. I have never once seen the opposite occur. Generally people who can afford expensive instruments are too busy being happy and enjoying themselves to waste energy.

The reason owners of nice gear never bash those without is often because they were in that position once themselves.  I wasn't born with a synth hardware budget, I worked for it.  And I'm actually thankful for my younger years when I struggled, because every time I sit down to the gear I have now it reminds me of a time when I had so much free time and creative energy but didn't have the proper gear to channel it.  Now I long for the days when I had so much free time!


Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: dizzy on May 02, 2021, 06:01:45 PM
I've always thought novation made solid reliable stuff especially for the price, they are my goto suggestion when people are getting started and want to buy some gear. I think it could be cool.

I can also see a world where litigious or aggressive competitors might end up taking a lot of time, energy and money from what is still a relatively small business. Something a bigger org with a global footprint is better equipped to deal with and frees Dave and his team focus on making cool synths.

I've always liked the peak/summit, I just didnt really like the core sound, just always seemed a bit to polite and felt a bit meh to me. The reverb sounded lush though. I'm not gonna buy a synth just for the reverb though. A collab/cross over would be cool to see.

It's inevitable that Dave will step back at some stage, I'd say it's better to do it now and he can help shape the culture and work practises and be there for the adjustment and learning period.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: Sorcerio on May 02, 2021, 06:54:06 PM
I'm wondering about the transfer of an active warranty. I just bought my OB-6 a month ago and registered it on the Sequential site. I just went onto the Novation site for a Bass Station related thing and noticed this at the bottom of the page.

Why am I seeing a selection of brands?

We are a family of brands, all committed to removing barriers to creativity. You’ll find the products you own from all of our brands in one place, streamlined to get you what you need, as fast as possible, with a single sign-on for all.

And listed with the rest of the Focusrite family of brands was Sequential. It would be cool to have a log-in account and to be able to view my Sequential products in a similar manner as my Novation ones. I dig uniformity. But yeah still wonder about how the warranty stuff will carry over.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: Pym on May 03, 2021, 02:40:47 AM
Nothing about our business is changing any time soon, including our warranties

I'm wondering about the transfer of an active warranty. I just bought my OB-6 a month ago and registered it on the Sequential site. I just went onto the Novation site for a Bass Station related thing and noticed this at the bottom of the page.

Why am I seeing a selection of brands?

We are a family of brands, all committed to removing barriers to creativity. You’ll find the products you own from all of our brands in one place, streamlined to get you what you need, as fast as possible, with a single sign-on for all.

And listed with the rest of the Focusrite family of brands was Sequential. It would be cool to have a log-in account and to be able to view my Sequential products in a similar manner as my Novation ones. I dig uniformity. But yeah still wonder about how the warranty stuff will carry over.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: Pounk on May 03, 2021, 11:17:40 AM
I'm wondering about the transfer of an active warranty. I just bought my OB-6 a month ago and registered it on the Sequential site. I just went onto the Novation site for a Bass Station related thing and noticed this at the bottom of the page.

Why am I seeing a selection of brands?

We are a family of brands, all committed to removing barriers to creativity. You’ll find the products you own from all of our brands in one place, streamlined to get you what you need, as fast as possible, with a single sign-on for all.

And listed with the rest of the Focusrite family of brands was Sequential. It would be cool to have a log-in account and to be able to view my Sequential products in a similar manner as my Novation ones. I dig uniformity. But yeah still wonder about how the warranty stuff will carry over.

I would love to use a module like Components to manage my PRO 3 library/wavetables. And I would love to have a proper forum dedicated to my Novation instruments  :)
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LoboLives on May 05, 2021, 12:08:00 PM
Dave says they will still be US made. WHEW!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uf5TnMnlyKg
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 05, 2021, 12:55:17 PM
Always my favorite words coming from Dave Smith:

"We've got an awesome new product coming out...mmm...July, August or so, maybe another one later this year."
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LoboLives on May 05, 2021, 12:59:30 PM
Always my favorite words coming from Dave Smith:

"We've got an awesome new product coming out...mmm...July, August or so, maybe another one later this year."

Likely an OBX reissue and a Pro One reissue.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: jok3r on June 08, 2021, 12:56:43 PM
Today the prices for all Sequential instruments went up 200€ at Thomann. Does this have something to do with Focusrite, or are this finally the delayed results of rare materials all over the world?
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LoboLives on June 08, 2021, 02:54:28 PM
Today the prices for all Sequential instruments went up 200€ at Thomann. Does this have something to do with Focusrite, or are this finally the delayed results of rare materials all over the world?

Likely the later. The cost of aluminum has increased a lot.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: Hector Space on July 25, 2021, 03:59:18 AM
1. No man (or company) is an island.
2. King Canute got his feet wet.
3. Uli Behringer’s empire is a hard fact to ignore.
4. Focusrite size adds muscle to both market presence and procurement. As has already been said adding new markets to DSI’s list and for purchasing and procurement especially for specialist items needed for keyboard manufacture (E.g. keybeds, displays, DSP, Flash Memory) reducing cost and ensuring availability.

It's not in Focusrite's interest to undermine the DSI/Sequential brand.
So most of this is good news for Dave Smith fans.

My view of Focusrite is that it is much more than just Novation. Novation has a very different niche to DSI.
Title: Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
Post by: LPF83 on July 25, 2021, 05:19:00 AM
It's interesting because at Sweetwater I see price increases on some products (like the Rev2 and Prophet 5) but not others (like Prophet 10).

No doubt aluminum prices got crazy.  I had a 4-tier keyboard stand shipped from Jaspers in Germany to the USA one year ago, and if I ordered the same stand today it would cost 40% more.

It wouldn't surprise me if there were some pricing adjustments under the Focusrite brand.  A larger company is more likely to align their pricing strategy with lots of projections and what not -- exactly the kind of stuff Dave doesn't like to do.