Sequential Circuits Pro-One
Strictly speaking this one bursts through our price barrier, but it has been around long enough to start appearing in the second hand or trade-in market, so let's not be too Draconian with the rule book.
Immediately in the Pro One's favour is that it uses similar technology and components to Sequential Circuits' famed Prophet Five. Thus you'd expect fat, pure and sweet oscillators, a fast envelope generator and a rounded filter — and you wouldn't be disappointed. The Moog Rogue may be dirtier, but the Pro-One has a tighter and cleaner tone overall.
It's also blessed with an enviably versatile modulation section that occupies almost a quarter of the front panel sending the filter envelope, LFO or second oscillator to four separate destinations — oscillator A frequency, oscillator A pulse width, oscillator B frequency, oscillator B pulse width and the filter. What's more, it's routed directly or via the modulation wheel. A definite 10 out of 10 and perfect if you like setting up a sound that has mod running all through and then introduce another form of special effect with the performance wheel. Excellent syncing growls.
VCO 1 offers ramp and square waveforms (with pulse width), VCO 2 supplies triangle, ramp and square, as does the LFO. All the control sections are ringed in white on a black background
The built in 40 note sequencer caused a stir when Sequential Circuits first launched the synth. But now the advent of Rolands 100 note digital version on the SH101 has dulled its shine. But the arpeggiator remains a handy gadget, running up or up and down the notes you're holding, even if you do end up pushing the latch switch with your nose.
Not cheap and it isn't especially robust. The plastic front panel bends under the influence of a finger though it makes a change to see real wood tucked on at the ends. If your cash is low, it might pay to look elsewhere but if the ackers are less of a problem, the Sequential Circuits' sound is worth the few extra bob.
Review by Paul Colbert
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