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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Jan-17 > BACK TO THE FUTURE

BACK TO THE FUTURE

The Sequential Circuits Inc Pro-One has sealed its place in history as a monophonic version of the Prophet-5. Surely there’s more to it than that? Dave Gale enters the mod matrix to find out…
Emblazoned with the classic SCI font, the Pro-One packs a huge punch in a mid-sized monosynth

Despite the hindsight that springs forth about the 1980s being the ‘me’ decade, I still look back with the fondest of memories, particularly to the earlier part of the decade, where there was a veritable hotbed of activity relating to the production of these now-classic synthesisers. It’s easy to think that the Japanese had it all sewn up at this point, with the likes of Korg and Roland producing a multitude of great affordable synths, many of which were polyphonic, but the American tradition in great synths also continued during this period, as started by the likes of Moog and ARP.

There was never a better time to play ‘spot the synth’ on the tele-box, as most machines from that time had the legend firmly emblazoned on the back of every machine, and no moniker was more mystical (at least in my head) than Sequential Circuits Inc. This company saw the rise of synth legend Dave Smith – the SCI name emanated from the first run of products, which largely focused on sequencer or drum-machine designs, but the groundbreaking SCI synth came in 1978, in the shape of the Prophet-5.

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