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Pro 3 is a flagship mono/paraphonic synthesizer. A hybrid instrument, the Pro 3 features three classic analog filters (Prophet-6, OB-6, and ladder) and three oscillators (two VCOs and one wavetable oscillator) along with a powerful new 16-track sequencer, and the ability to connect with modular synths through its four control voltage ins/outs.
Sequential founder Dave Smith says:
In many ways the Pro 3 is the evolution of a concept that started with the classic Sequential Circuits Pro-One. Pack as much power as possible into a compact footprint and make it sound awesome. To do that, we built on the strengths of its modern-day counterpart, the Pro 2, and created a worthy successor to both that sets a new benchmark for raw power and versatility.
Part of this sonic versatility comes from the Pro 3's oscillators: Two voltage controlled oscillators provide traditional triangle, saw, and pulse waves with waveshaping, while a third digital wavetable oscillator provides 32 tables of 16 waves each with wave morphing. Three vintage-style filters shape the sound of these oscillators. Filter 1 is a 4-pole low-pass design based on the Prophet-6 filter. Filter 2 is a classic transistor ladder filter with optional resonance compensation to preserve its low-end punch. Filter 3 is a classic 2-pole, state-variable design based on the OB-6 filter that can be continuously varied between low-pass, notch, and high-pass operation, with an optional band-pass mode. A Drive control provides additional punch to all three filters.
The feature set of the Pro 3 is rounded out with a multimode arpeggiator, three LFOs, four loopable ADSR+delay envelopes, dual digital effects (delays, reverbs, and various time-based effects), tuned feedback, analog distortion, and extensive modulation possibilities. The LFOs, delay, and arpeggiator can be synced to either the internal clock or an external MIDI clock. A programmable position-sensitive touch slider and pitch and mod wheels provide nuanced control over live performance. The synth is also capable of 3-voice paraphonic operation. This makes it possible to play 3-note chords where the three individual oscillators share a common filter and envelopes.
The full-featured sequencer provides 16-track sequences of up to 64 steps, with ratcheting, variable gate and sequence lengths, multiple playback modes, and paraphonic operation. It also syncs to MIDI clock and external audio input, and inputs/outputs control voltages. In addition to notes, sequence tracks can control any parameter in the 32-slot, 171-destination modulation matrix.
Another key feature of the Pro 3 is its four scalable rear-panel control voltage inputs and outputs, which allow compatibility with modular synths. Control voltages are routed from within the modulation matrix and run at audio rates for extreme modulation effects. "We wanted to make the Pro 3 as flexible as possible," said Smith. "The CVs and deep mod matrix make it a mini modular in its own right — without all the patch cables."
You can choose between the Pro 3 Standard, and the Pro 3 SE, a special edition version of the synthesizer that puts the same synthesis power into a collector-worthy design that features a tilt-up control panel and full, premium-grade walnut trim.
A Three-Generation Legacy
The Sequential Pro 1 and Pro 2 mono synths achieved nearly legendary status in their time. So it was only natural that we build on their strengths with an even more worthy successor. Enter the Pro 3, Sequential's 2-VCO + wavetable mono/paraphonic synth — a new benchmark for raw sonic power and unrivalled versatility.
The Power of 3
The Pro 3 boasts three oscillators, three vintage filters, three LFOs, four loopable envelopes, a massive 32-slot mod matrix, and a 16 x 16 x 4 sequencer. Throw in dual digital effects and four control voltage ins and outs, and you've got a hugely powerful instrument that's as exciting to program as it is to play.
A Next-Generation Classic
The Pro 3 is a hybrid of solid, old-school analog synthesis paired with versatile digital technology. Its two voltage controlled oscillators provide warmth and presence while its third wavetable oscillator provides digital edge and grit. With 32 tables of 16 waves each and wave morphing, tonal possibilities are immense. Tuned feedback with grunge, and analog distortion deliver industrial-grade nastiness on demand.
Three Filters Based on Vintage Designs
At the heart of the Pro 3's ballsy sound are its vintage-style filters. Filter 1 is a 4-pole low-pass design based on the Prophet-6 filter. Filter 2 is a classic transistor ladder filter with optional resonance compensation to preserve its low-end punch. Filter 3 is a classic 2-pole, state-variable design based on the OB-6 filter that can be continuously varied between low-pass, notch, and high-pass operation, with an optional band-pass mode. An additional Drive control provides still more punch when you really want to get down and dirty.
Possibly the Pro 3's most powerful performance tool is its sequencer. With 16 tracks, 16 steps, and 4 phrases, it features both real-time and step input, ratcheting, variable gate and sequence lengths, multiple playback modes, and paraphonic operation. It also syncs to MIDI clock and external audio input, and inputs/outputs control voltages. In addition to notes, sequence tracks can control any parameter in the 171-destination modulation matrix.
Plays Well with Modulars
The Pro 3's flexible architecture opens the door to not only processing external audio, but also to interfacing with modular synths through its 4 rear-panel control voltage inputs/outputs and a dedicated gate output. Control voltages can be assigned and routed from within the modulation matrix and can run at audio rates for extreme modulation effects. Some of the many parameters that can be sent to the CV outputs include oscillators, LFOs, envelopes, and sequencer tracks, allowing the Pro 3 to become the central hub of a modular or multi-synth setup.
Effects, Envelopes, LFOs, an Arpeggiator, and Extreme Modulation
The Pro 3's Effects section provides delays, reverbs, time-domain effects such as chorus/phasing/flanging and more. There are four loopable five-stage envelope generators, three syncable LFOs with slew and phase offset, a full-featured arpeggiator, and a 32-slot modulation matrix with dozens of modulation sources and over a hundred destinations.
Monophonic and Paraphonic Operation
The Pro 3 was designed to be a super-powerful monosynth, but it is also a versatile 3-voice paraphonic synth. This makes playing 3-note chords not only possible, but with creative use of effects and some per-oscillator modulation, very expressive.
Put all of this sonic power in a three-octave, semi-weighted keyboard with velocity and channel aftertouch, add backlit pitch and mod wheels and a location-sensitive touch slider, and you've got one of the most inspiring synths ever made.