The story of Sequential Circuits, the leading synthesizer manufacturer of the 1980s. One of the great American synthesizer companies, founded and led by San Francisco electronics and computer graduate, Dave Smith, Sequential Circuits Inc. paved the way for music of the future. Smith brought easy, affordable and powerful polyphonic synthesis to all levels of music production in the form of the ground-breaking Prophet-5 synthesizer.
We met Dave Smith. The famous synth pioneer is very agile and inventive, and he doesn’t seem to become older! He proudly presented the Prophet-6, OB-6 and Pro-2 – the current first class instruments of DSI. I had some questions regarding the family’s prehistoric ancestor Prophet-5, but Dave was not very much interested, which is, admittedly, quite understandable. True pioneers don’t live in the past. They look ahead!
While part 1 of my NAMM report focused primarily on Eurorack Modular and synthesizer accessories, I want to start part 2 with the proverbial elephant in the room (and literal behemoth amongst current fare), the Matrixbrute from Arturia. A (much) bigger brother to the Mini and Micro “brutes” the Matrixbrute features a fully analog (audio) signal path from its 3 oscillators, 2 filters (1 multi-mode Steiner Parker filter, 1 Transistor Ladder LPF) and ends with an analog effects section that boasts delay, chorus, flange and reverb. On paper, the Matrixbrute is an absolute dream …
A duophonic monster with an intimidating 64 LED backlit button array matrix that not only allows a user to route complex modulations but is also a full fledged step sequencer, preset access terminal and more. I personally love the “Brute” oscillators that Arturia produce and I’ve found that while somewhat limited, the Minibrute will hold its own next to much more expensive and sought after instruments.
Dave Smith Instrument announces the Prophet 12 module – a space-saving tabletop and rackready reworking of the Prophet 12 keyboard. “We have had many requests from professional musicians for a small, easily portable version of the Prophet 12 keyboard, with all the same features and […] sound,” says Smith. “The new Prophet 12 module is just that: it has all the power of the Prophet 12 keyboard – in fact, it has the exact same voice board – and it fits into a backpack.”