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Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???

Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2019, 11:04:40 PM »
I still think the announcement and release of the Novation Summit made Sequential change any possible plans of a Prophet 12 successor.

That doesn’t make sense to me. They would have been 3/4 to 7/8 of the way through a design when the Summit was announced. They can’t just change plans that deep into the process.

Sure they can. There’s no deadline.

no.. but stopping production halfway thru would certainly not be cost-free... they may change some specs on what they were currently doing, but honestly, I don't think there is any reason NOT to take on the Summit... thats competition, and pretty normal. Not trying to make a better digital front-end synth that would take on the Summit, would be like giving up...

Possibly but Dave even said they are working on a bunch of things, maybe they simply decided to switch their focus to another project after the announcement.
Prophet 6, Prophet X, Tempest Drum Computer, ISLA S2400 Drum Sampler, Fender American Stratocaster, Roger Linn Adrenalinn iii, ASUS Zenbook Pro Computer, Soundcraft MTK 22 Mixer, Mark Of The Unicorn Digital Performer 10 Software.

Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2019, 11:06:28 PM »
Maybe we will see my idea for the Pro 4 come to light after all. Seriously though if that happens, that would be two in a row for me.
Prophet 6, Prophet X, Tempest Drum Computer, ISLA S2400 Drum Sampler, Fender American Stratocaster, Roger Linn Adrenalinn iii, ASUS Zenbook Pro Computer, Soundcraft MTK 22 Mixer, Mark Of The Unicorn Digital Performer 10 Software.

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Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2019, 02:01:28 PM »
If there was a thing to announce for NAMM it would’ve been announced already right? So were on a different time table I guess.

Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2019, 02:07:58 PM »
In light of all the new synths and synth companies, the question is, What does Dave Smith do better than the others?  What can still be identified as the character of his instruments?  I still think it's possible for Sequential to prevail, even if they no longer seem so unique, due to the competition on all sides.

There are a few areas where they seem to be very good: Interface, having a collection of features that function together as an instrument, and pricing above the mass market but under where the boutique sellers are going. Everybody thought the P12, Prophet 6 and OB 6 were expensive, but they turned out well below instruments like the Quantum or the Moog One. And the VCOs were ahead of the poly VCO trend.

So they've done a super-expensive über-rompler with stereo analog filters. Something like the Evolver or a successor to the VS is a hole in their legacy, and of course only Waldorf is doing anything beyond were the Wavestation went. And the X/XL is not really like a Prophet 2000, so a true non-workstation hardware sampler is something missing right now. Dave is also a big software guy and has done a lot of work on virtual instruments, and he could bring some of those back in a hardware format. There's something to be said for a hardware VST that will never get behind OS upgrades and has intuitive physical controls.
Prophet 12, Modal 002, MFB Dominion 1, Behringer DeepMind 12D, Korg Polysix & EX-8000, Roland JX-8P, Ensoniq SQ-80, Kawai K3m and now an OB-6!

Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2019, 03:49:49 PM »
In light of all the new synths and synth companies, the question is, What does Dave Smith do better than the others?  What can still be identified as the character of his instruments?  I still think it's possible for Sequential to prevail, even if they no longer seem so unique, due to the competition on all sides.

Generally speaking, I'd say that usefulness has always been a particularly strong aspect of most Sequential instruments, i.e. the perfect balance between features and the ease of use. If Sequential release a new instrument, you can almost always expect a very well laid out synth that's ready to be used immediately, but still deep enough to discover new facets over time. Another point that almost goes hand in hand with this is a strong focus in terms of the synth's engine. Sequential don't typically aim for synths that are supposed to do everything or cover half a dozen of synthesis methods at the same time, which in turn would run counter to their trusted design principles. These are some of the aspects I would describe as objectifiable strengths.

Of course there's much more competition around these days. An analog or hybrid poly synth is no longer a unique selling point all by itself and we probably won't witness the announcement of an instrument anymore that will have the same impact as the Prophet-5 had in 1978 or the DX7 in 1983 to mention just two well-known examples. Innovations still take place, though, and some surprising designs can also be based on a recombination of already familiar features, but with a clever twist.

Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2019, 06:00:19 PM »
Yes, in other words, Sequential offers a balance of features and price.  It used to provide the upper end in synthesizers, but now it's in the middle.  Plenty of features, but never everything in one instrument; reasonably priced, and yet not cheap.  But can we speak of a DSI/Sequential sound?  I think it used to have a familiar sonic character, but now it's broadened sufficiently to lack such a character. 

I realize nearly everyone wants innovation from synthesizer manufacturers - always something new and groundbreaking.  Let me put in a word for solid, stable, and basic.  Just give me an instrument like the Prophet '08/Rev 2, Prophet 12, or Prophet 6.  Work out the bugs and make it enduring.  Then leave it to the musician to work wonders with it.  That's all I ask - merely a fine musical tool that will be around for years to come.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 06:02:28 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2019, 11:23:40 PM »
I may be weird, but one of the things that (to me) is an advantage of Sequential instruments is actually something most probably do not even care much about... it's MIDI specifications. It's one of the things that is always well spec'ed on Sequential synths, and organized in a way that even an old program like SoundDiver can have editors made for the synthesizers... it's actually a part of a synth that I study REALLY carefully before I buy a synthesizer... the only exception to this is the TEMPEST which really sucks in it's MIDI specs.

Of course the other aspects of a synth is just as important, but I believe that because Sequential is not packing their synths with extreme loads of features that would complicate the MIDI specification (like TEMPEST again), their synths appeal to me. They know how to make their synths focused, but still flexible enough and with a deep engine.

I'm almost 100% certain, that synths like MOOG ONE and QUANTUM, though very powerful synths, are so complex that it's MIDI specs for SysEx would either not exist, or be so convoluted you would have program a dedicated editor for them in some way... using a universal editor-maker would probably not be feasible because of the complexity, and as long as Sequential do not create their own editors, this is crucial to me. So I hope Sequential will continue this trend for years to come.

When it comes to new synths, I'm not really sure about what I really want to see anymore... aside from the obvious better MIDI spec'ed TEMPEST that I'd certainly like to see, I guess that there are currently enough options if you just want some deep polysynths, analog or hybrid... a new synth will almost always give you something others do not have, but many will (if their engine is deep enough) overlap so much you could do most with all of them... you really do not need 20 different axes to chop a tree if you need to be honest about it would you?

When the big polysynths with deep engines have to compete, I feel they all do the basics so well, that this is not really a selling point anymore, something else is needed, and to me what is needed is CHARACTER (in the audio itself), to make them more interesting, because let's face it; you REALLY do not need more synths do you? ... you can make music FINE without another synth, and I think that's what makes it hard to come up with yet new and innovative stuff really because they need to convince us, that we NEED a new synth, even though we really do not.

But we are not just creators of music and sounds... we're also collectors of synths, and that's what drives us to get more... and more... and more... but at the same time, we want to justify the purchases, so we keep on wanting new features, new character, more flexible engines etc. etc... Maybe it's just time to think about what we NEED, instead of what we WANT?

I'm not talking about stopping being innovative, and create synthesizers, but maybe everything is just happening too fast, and more time should be spend perfecting what we already have instead... many are buying new synths even before they have utilized their latest purchase to their max... like a row of "half eaten pies" in a line behind you... typical neo-liberal consumerism at it's ugliest.

Anyway... we will never be making any music, if we constantly focus on all the innovative stuff that has not been made, and that we do not have... but I guess that's a human trait... always longing for what we do not have, instead of using what we DO have.

End of rant...
« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 11:27:36 PM by Razmo »
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Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #27 on: July 21, 2019, 04:19:21 AM »
Yes, in other words, Sequential offers a balance of features and price.  It used to provide the upper end in synthesizers, but now it's in the middle.  Plenty of features, but never everything in one instrument; reasonably priced, and yet not cheap.  But can we speak of a DSI/Sequential sound?  I think it used to have a familiar sonic character, but now it's broadened sufficiently to lack such a character.

But all instruments have their own character. In the early days the Evolver sounded different from the Prophet '08 and then you had the Prophet X, the Rev2, the Prophet-6, the OB-6, the Tempest, the Prophet 12, and the Pro 2, all with their unique sonic characteristics. Sure, the palette has broadened, but I wouldn't say that there is a lack of character due to that. Whether the sonic characteristics of each instrument speak to you is of course a different matter, which is why I left the sound aside in my post above, as it's such a subjective thing. Of course we can break down why certain synths sound the way they do in technical terms, but that's usually not how we assess this topic when we play or program these instruments.

I realize nearly everyone wants innovation from synthesizer manufacturers - always something new and groundbreaking.  Let me put in a word for solid, stable, and basic.  Just give me an instrument like the Prophet '08/Rev 2, Prophet 12, or Prophet 6.  Work out the bugs and make it enduring.  Then leave it to the musician to work wonders with it.  That's all I ask - merely a fine musical tool that will be around for years to come.

I'm not even so sure that nearly everyone wants innovation or groundbreaking designs all the time. Sure, there's a lot of theorizing talk about this in forums, but if nearly everyone just wanted innovation, almost no one would use hardware synths any longer, as they're arguably extremely limited when compared to their virtual cousins that only cost a fraction of hardware. Instead, we saw an enormous desire for not only hardware synths, but also analog or hybrid designs. By now, some people seem to get bored more and more with analog only designs, so we can observe a shift towards more hybrid or digital designs in both the Eurorack scene as well as the classic hardware synth world.

The Prophet '08/Rev2, Prophet 12, and Prophet-6 have all been around for years. The Prophet '08/Rev2 engine has been out for almost twelve years by now (!), the Prophet 12 production ran for roughly five and a half years, and the Prophet-6 is now in its fourth year and still very popular. By comparison, the DX7 mk 1 was produced for four years, the Korg M1 for six years, and the Prophet-5 also for six years. So the time the later Sequential instruments have been in production is not particularly short when you compare it to the production lifecycle of the polyphonic top sellers in synthesizer history.

What has to be taken into account, though, is the business reality that you have to remind everyone that you're still existing each and every year by announcing a new product. I don't think this is a particular burden for Sequential, as they've mentioned on numerous occasions that they still have plenty of ideas for future designs.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2019, 04:21:18 AM by Paul Dither »

Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2019, 04:42:10 AM »
I'm almost 100% certain, that synths like MOOG ONE and QUANTUM, though very powerful synths, are so complex that it's MIDI specs for SysEx would either not exist, or be so convoluted you would have program a dedicated editor for them in some way... using a universal editor-maker would probably not be feasible because of the complexity

I think the One and the Quantum have not really been conceptualized to be used with an editor. The goal behind these instruments was to use them as stand-alone devices.

I'm not talking about stopping being innovative, and create synthesizers, but maybe everything is just happening too fast, and more time should be spend perfecting what we already have instead... many are buying new synths even before they have utilized their latest purchase to their max... like a row of "half eaten pies" in a line behind you... typical neo-liberal consumerism at it's ugliest.

It all goes back to the agile method for production design, which arose from the world of software development in the 1990s. The method was implemented to deal with a shortage of software products around a time when powerful PCs were made available to any household. There was a market to fill, but there were not enough products around to take advantage of that. So a method was needed to get new software out as fast as possible and deal with improvements or bug fixes later. Today, the method is applied to almost every product and service.

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Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2019, 07:45:45 AM »
I'm almost 100% certain, that synths like MOOG ONE and QUANTUM, though very powerful synths, are so complex that it's MIDI specs for SysEx would either not exist, or be so convoluted you would have program a dedicated editor for them in some way... using a universal editor-maker would probably not be feasible because of the complexity

I think the One and the Quantum have not really been conceptualized to be used with an editor. The goal behind these instruments was to use them as stand-alone devices.

I'm not talking about stopping being innovative, and create synthesizers, but maybe everything is just happening too fast, and more time should be spend perfecting what we already have instead... many are buying new synths even before they have utilized their latest purchase to their max... like a row of "half eaten pies" in a line behind you... typical neo-liberal consumerism at it's ugliest.

It all goes back to the agile method for production design, which arose from the world of software development in the 1990s. The method was implemented to deal with a shortage of software products around a time when powerful PCs were made available to any household. There was a market to fill, but there were not enough products around to take advantage of that. So a method was needed to get new software out as fast as possible and deal with improvements or bug fixes later. Today, the method is applied to almost every product and service.

And any other synth from Sequential with knobby interfaces was not meant to be used standalone then?...
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Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2019, 08:00:19 AM »
And any other synth from Sequential with knobby interfaces was not meant to be used standalone then?...

Sure. But as you said they are easier to integrate when it comes to working with editors. And in the case of the Quantum and the One, developers particularly pointed out that these instruments have been build to be used without too much computer interference (other than what you would typically use when recording to a DAW). Moog's Amos Gaynes even pointed out that dealing with SysEx is awful and ridiculous in this day and age or something along these lines. The Quantum was also developed in a way that makes the use of an additional computer unnecessary beyond editor-related aspects. As you indicated, it would be an awful lot of work to develop editors for these two instruments, particularly because the necessary information is not documented detailed enough.

Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2019, 08:12:03 AM »
But we are not just creators of music and sounds... we're also collectors of synths, and that's what drives us to get more... and more... and more... but at the same time, we want to justify the purchases, so we keep on wanting new features, new character, more flexible engines etc. etc... Maybe it's just time to think about what we NEED, instead of what we WANT?

This is where I put on the brakes.  I don't want one more musical instrument or device than I need, and I can work with one less.  I got the gear bite when I first got back into this field in the significant year of '08, but I've surgically eliminated the GAS problem.  For me, it is all about the music, and it comes accompanied with the desire to always use a minimal amount of equipment. 
« Last Edit: July 21, 2019, 08:44:43 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2019, 08:15:58 AM »
Yes, in other words, Sequential offers a balance of features and price.  It used to provide the upper end in synthesizers, but now it's in the middle.  Plenty of features, but never everything in one instrument; reasonably priced, and yet not cheap.  But can we speak of a DSI/Sequential sound?  I think it used to have a familiar sonic character, but now it's broadened sufficiently to lack such a character.

But all instruments have their own character. In the early days the Evolver sounded different from the Prophet '08 and then you had the Prophet X, the Rev2, the Prophet-6, the OB-6, the Tempest, the Prophet 12, and the Pro 2, all with their unique sonic characteristics. Sure, the palette has broadened, but I wouldn't say that there is a lack of character due to that. Whether the sonic characteristics of each instrument speak to you is of course a different matter, which is why I left the sound aside in my post above, as it's such a subjective thing. Of course we can break down why certain synths sound the way they do in technical terms, but that's usually not how we assess this topic when we play or program these instruments.

The Evolver undoubtedly has a distinctive sonic character, as does the Prophet '08, but these two instruments are also identifiable to my ears as closely related.  The analog side of the former does sound close to the latter.
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Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2019, 08:45:28 AM »
And any other synth from Sequential with knobby interfaces was not meant to be used standalone then?...

Sure. But as you said they are easier to integrate when it comes to working with editors. And in the case of the Quantum and the One, developers particularly pointed out that these instruments have been build to be used without too much computer interference (other than what you would typically use when recording to a DAW). Moog's Amos Gaynes even pointed out that dealing with SysEx is awful and ridiculous in this day and age or something along these lines. The Quantum was also developed in a way that makes the use of an additional computer unnecessary beyond editor-related aspects. As you indicated, it would be an awful lot of work to develop editors for these two instruments, particularly because the necessary information is not documented detailed enough.

In my view, it's only redundant using SysEx if you have a large enough touchscreen on the device itself... and if the interface on them are well and logically laid out, and actually I don't find that many synths have this... it's beginning to show up on more and more synthesizers these days, but otherwise they were reserved for big workstations more or less.

If companies made big screens like on the QUANTUM or ONE, then I'd have no problem with it, but the usual small OLED displays on Sequential products simply will not meet my needs of a large screen for editing sounds when the engine is so complicated that it's impossible to make a one-knob-per-function UI.

Another thing is, that even if you have a large screen on a synth, if the editor on it is not well implemented, then you lock your synth to this bad design... if you make a full MIDI spec, then anyone who are unsatisfied with the way the on-device screen works, may create their own editor... this will always be a more flexible system, than limiting the user to the screen interface you designed for the synth... people have different needs, and there will always be users who want to do something differently.

This is why I like that Sequential at least still make decent SysEx implementation on their instruments.

I already have one synth with it's own screen (my V-Synth GT), and I would not want an editor for that one, because it's very well done on this synth, but even if I did not like it, the V-Synth, despite being very very deep, do have a full MIDI SysEx spec... i just do not happen to need it for this particular instrument.

There is one problem with on-device screens though... if you have many of these you will have to constantly move around to sit in front of the devices, which to me would be a problem... I really like to have my editors on ONE big screen... so I certainly would want to see editors made for ALL synths being made... i really think we live in a time, where this is not too much to ask for... we're not all living on stage with our studios.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2019, 08:55:41 AM by Razmo »
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Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2019, 09:01:32 AM »
I realize nearly everyone wants innovation from synthesizer manufacturers - always something new and groundbreaking.  Let me put in a word for solid, stable, and basic.  Just give me an instrument like the Prophet '08/Rev 2, Prophet 12, or Prophet 6.  Work out the bugs and make it enduring.  Then leave it to the musician to work wonders with it.  That's all I ask - merely a fine musical tool that will be around for years to come.

I'm not even so sure that nearly everyone wants innovation or groundbreaking designs all the time.

Yes, you're right, which is why I added the word "nearly."  Having followed the forum discussions for years (like yourself, Paul), it just seems like too many people have expectations or demands that require Sequential to jump through the innovative hoop with each new instrument.  The new one always has to be an unforeseen masterpiece.  That's unrealistic and it sensationalizes the field.  I wish that Sequential would use its consolidated brains to create synthesizers for the long haul, those that would not pass in eight years like a fashion or expression.  I'm thinking of the Prophet 12 as I type this.  Will it even be replaced, or will it be forgotten and its place taken merely by another innovation, as happened with the Poly Evolver Keyboard?  And I would say the same about the Pro 2. 
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Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #35 on: July 21, 2019, 09:06:15 AM »
If companies made big screens like on the QUANTUM or ONE, then I'd have no problem with it, but the usual small OLED displays on Sequential products simply will not meet my needs of a large screen for editing sounds when the engine is so complicated that it's impossible to make a one-knob-per-function UI.

The One and the Quantum are very much their own computers already. Sequential doesn't follow this design paradigm which would also involve menu diving. The OLED displays they're using are enough for the purpose of the instruments so far and a menu structure that always follows a flat navigation hierarchy without any 'diving' being involved, as you only have to toggle between tabs.

Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #36 on: July 21, 2019, 09:13:35 AM »
The Evolver undoubtedly has a distinctive sonic character, as does the Prophet '08, but these two instruments are also identifiable to my ears as closely related.  The analog side of the former does sound close to the latter.

That's true. I just meant to say that the other Sequential instruments have a distinctive character as well, even if they sound different from the Evolver and Prophet '08 which is their raison d'ętre. The latest addition to the family, the Prophet X, does have a very strong sonic character even though one might think it's more like a chameleon due to the samples that can be changed according to anyone's needs. But the filter certainly gives it a special sheen.

Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #37 on: July 21, 2019, 09:53:22 AM »
Having followed the forum discussions for years (like yourself, Paul), it just seems like too many people have expectations or demands that require Sequential to jump through the innovative hoop with each new instrument.  The new one always has to be an unforeseen masterpiece.  That's unrealistic and it sensationalizes the field.

Yes, I totally agree. Plus: it's not like innovations didn't take place during the past few years. A lot of Sequential's instruments have been streamlined in terms of commands (how to assign mod sources and destinations, for example) and the overall workflow. It's just that those were rather 'quiet' improvements.

I wish that Sequential would use its consolidated brains to create synthesizers for the long haul, those that would not pass in eight years like a fashion or expression.  I'm thinking of the Prophet 12 as I type this.  Will it even be replaced, or will it be forgotten and its place taken merely by another innovation, as happened with the Poly Evolver Keyboard?  And I would say the same about the Pro 2.

Like I said above: There's also always a business side to all that. I don't know how well the Prophet 12, the Poly Evolver, or the Pro 2 sold in comparison to the Prophet '08/Rev2, the Prophet-6, and OB-6. When it comes to the one I'm most familiar with of all these, namely the Pro 2, I think that it was largely underappreciated for what it is actually capable of, as I still can't think of a more powerful mono synth (many Pro 2 owners seem to be in agreement about that). Maybe it was the craze about all things analog only at its time of release that didn't put it on more people's radars. Maybe it was because most people rather wanted a Pro-One reissue. It certainly didn't get any bad reviews as far as I know. It has only been over the past 12 months that I saw people becoming interested in it again or users writing about it. There's certainly a parallel to how the Poly Evolver was received.

Eight years, however, are a long time in the industry and many instruments don't ever make it that long as far as their production lifecycle goes. There are some notable exceptions, but they are few.

Whether the Prophet 12 or the Pro 2 will be officially replaced by related successors is an open question. I'd say it's possible, but the competition is much stiffer now than it was around the time those were released. The Summit/Peak, the Quantum, the Prologue, and the Super 6 are amongst the synths any possible successor would have to compete with immediately. That alone doesn't make it more or less unlikely, though, as all of the named products are based on very different approaches.

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Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #38 on: July 21, 2019, 09:59:19 AM »
What most aficionados associate DSI with is the Curtis filter, which also seems to be the major point of contempt as well. I used to think that complaint was overblown, but having owned a lot of the Curtis line-up (Evolver, Tempest, Prophet 12, REV2) and a lot of the non-Curtis line up (OB-6 & P6), I can say without a doubt the move to other filters is welcome. Sequential is the only company that constantly releases interesting products imo. At the end of the day, it's not about a distinct (limited) sound, but their approach that's still very much their own and can't be replicated by others. Thus having very different sounding instruments, yet all with the Sequential philosophy is much better not only from a business standpoint, but for having an expanded repertoire as well. Nor is it practical to say (If I had to guess, probably due to GAS and a limited income) they should never change their line-up. Such stagnation would inevitably lead to bankruptcy. Sequential has the sales numbers info and they know when a product is beyond its sales potential.

The only thing I wish is that there was a little more effort put towards major OS updates, which would also extend the public interest in the products. Releasing a synth yearly for such a small company severely limits their resources to do so.

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Re: Do you think Summer NAMM 2019 will give us a surprise .... ???
« Reply #39 on: July 21, 2019, 01:08:30 PM »
If companies made big screens like on the QUANTUM or ONE, then I'd have no problem with it, but the usual small OLED displays on Sequential products simply will not meet my needs of a large screen for editing sounds when the engine is so complicated that it's impossible to make a one-knob-per-function UI.

The One and the Quantum are very much their own computers already. Sequential doesn't follow this design paradigm which would also involve menu diving. The OLED displays they're using are enough for the purpose of the instruments so far and a menu structure that always follows a flat navigation hierarchy without any 'diving' being involved, as you only have to toggle between tabs.

If the SysEx is adequate... then yes... then those small displays are enough for what their synths does, but if not, then by no means would it be enough for me... I seriously hate programming the REV2 from the front panel because of the layer switching problem where all controls no longer match... what is "enough" for one, may not be for others.

In fact, the only Sequential synth I'd be satisfied with, if it had no SysEx is the OB-6 and P6... simply because they sport a true one-knob-per-function approach...
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