For more videos from NAMM, see SOS's dedicated YouTube channel, where all the video content we've shot at the show resides.
The NAMM Show seems to start earlier every year. Manufacturers now compete to announce their products in the days before the show to avoid them being lost in the rush of announcements during the show itself. So we've already seen several big launches, such as those recently announced from Korg and Roland, and some manufacturers have been talking to us about their new NAMM releases for several weeks.
However, there was one that was released in the old-fashioned way yesterday without much fanfare, just as everyone was setting up for the show in Anaheim — the Pro 3 from Sequential. We were given a sneak preview in the hotel over the road from the show early on the first day of NAMM, by none other than Dave Smith himself: founder of the original Sequential company and the co-father of MIDI and the Prophet 5, now once again producing products under the Sequential name.
As the name suggests, the Pro 3 is a three-oscillator synth: two VCOs and one digital wavetable oscillator. These can be combined to make a fat-sounding monosynth, or the oscillators can be used to play separate notes in a three-voice paraphonic mode. The signal then passes through four loopable envelopes and three filter types: a four-pole low-pass based on the Prophet 6's filter, a classic transistor-based ladder filter, and a two-pole variable-mode design based on the filter in the Oberheim OB-6. There are also effects, a 32-slot mod matrix, an arpeggiator and a powerful 16-track, 16-step performance sequencer intuitively accessed via 16 backlit buttons on the front panel. It sounds great, as you can hear from Dave's real-time demo; you can soon bring a raw sequence to life with ties, slew and swing options.
In this video, Dave is performing on the special edition model of the Pro 3. This will retail in the USA for $2099 and includes the hinged top panel, which allows the controls to be set at three different angles. The standard edition, shown at the end of this clip, has fixed controls and will retail for $1599 in the US. According to Dave, the standard edition Pro 3 will be available in a couple of weeks, while the special edition will begin shipping in February.