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Focusrite Buys Sequential

Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #20 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.

LPF83

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Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #21 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.
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

jok3r

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Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2021, 06:14:15 AM »
It would be cool to have the Components software from Novation for Sequential products. ;-)
Prophet Rev2, Novation Peak, Arturia DrumBrute Impact, Korg Kronos 2 88, Kurzweil PC 361, Yamaha S90ES

Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2021, 06:56:18 AM »
A Prophet 5 with a "Made In China" sticker just doesn't feel right...

LPF83

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Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #24 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.


Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #25 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.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 08:57:47 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: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #26 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.

Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #27 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.

LPF83

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Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #28 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.
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #29 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.   
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 08:55:20 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: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #30 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.

Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #31 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.
Regards
Derek

----------

Prophet X, Yamaha Montage 7, SY99, TG77, EX5R, AN1x, FS1r, Motif Rack ES (with PLG150-AN and PLG150-VL), Korg Kronos X61, Nord G2 Engine, and way too many VSTis!

LPF83

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Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #32 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.

Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

LPF83

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Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #33 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


Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

LPF83

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Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #34 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.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 04:53:11 PM by LPF83 »
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

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Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #35 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.
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LPF83

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Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #36 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.
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #37 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.

Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #38 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.

Re: Focusrite Buys Sequential
« Reply #39 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. 
Sequential Equipment: Poly Evolver Keyboard, Evolver desktop,   Pro-2, OB6, P-12
 

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