As a huge Yaz fan I have always wanted a Sequential Circuits Pro-One. The wonderful Noyzelab blog has posted some scans showing the patches that made up one of my favorite songs Only You. Looking from a window above It’s like a story of love…
“Five sets of panel layouts for the SCI Pro One synth by Vince Clarke, for the track Only You by Yazoo. Scanned from my copy of music technology magazine One.. Two.. Testing Issue No1 1982.” – noyzelab
Sometimes things seem to change however often they are just the same. I absolutely adore my Sequential Circuits TOM and indeed also my Roland TR-8. Check out the interesting video above showing TOMs glitch mode vs one of the TR-8’s Scatter modes.
“I drive Glitch Sound in Sequential TOM, I compared it with Scatter of Roland TR-8.” – Yokushe
Wave Alchemy has created a Kontakt sampled version of the classic Sequential Circuits Pro One synthesizer called the Pro-II. The Pro One is best known as the synth heavily used on every Yaz record. It has a very clear sharp sound with very fast envelopes. In addition to the sample library there is a sequencer and “fully editable effects as well as specially created reverb IR’s (Impulse Responses) recorded from our Eventide DSP-7000 Harmonizer.”. As usual I recommend getting the real thing. However, with the Wave Alchemy you can save your presets, work on an airplane, have polyphony and skip the vintage synth repair bills. 3.9GB sound library including 6587 multi-sampled 24-bit WAV samples. £39.95
“Inspired by one of the most popular synths of its time, Pro II combines classic sounds with modern sound shaping tools to achieve a versatile and fully programmable hybrid synthesizer!” – wavealchemy.co.uk
The best marriage between a specific synthesizer and artist has to be Vince Clarke and his Sequential Circuits Pro One. You hear layers of the Pro-One on the wonderful sounding Yaz albums. Vince has started what looks to what will be a series of videos called The Analogue Monologues talking about his toys. He starts with the Pro-One of course… I’m looking forward to more.
The Analogue Monologues is a new series of mini video documentaries. In each webisode Vince talks about one his analogue synths and explains where the on/off switch is. This series proves, once and for all, that he really doesn’t know much about anything (a must see!).” – vinceclarkemusic.com
Here’s my notes on this video: The old Letterman intro is way cooler than the new one. What an incredible sound at 6:30. Quite ironic when Dave asks, “How to you make a living?”. Does a Prophet 08 sound like the the old 5? Really?
I think it’s very important in electronic music to be extra wary of letting any part repeat without any change for too long. I like to add little variations all over my music. There are thousands of ways to make mini-breakdowns and fills interesting. Here’s a technique I use from time to time that involves hihats and Ableton’s Random plug-in. You can click the image above to enlarge it.
This is a fairly simple trick. In this example, I open a Drum Rack and load in a set of Sequential Circuits Drumtraks samples. You can get the same sample pack free from: http://samples.kb6.de. Next, I click on the Show/Hide Chain List icon to reveal all the samples being used and click/highlight the closed hat. I also click the Show/Hide Devices icon which reveals the closed hat’s waveform. I grab an instance of the Ableton Random plug-in and drag it in-between the waveform and the Drum Rack module. Inside the Random plug-in I set the Chance parameter to 93%, Choices to 12 and the Scale to 1.
Now whenever I want to add a little spice to a fill I drop out the kick, change a few snares, add some more HiHats and automate the Random plug-in to turn ON. Here’s an audio example. Listen to bar 4 and 8:
You can have the Random plug-in effect many different elements including filters, pans, and note lengths. If you keep the Chance Parameter set low you can add a subtle unique mark on your music.