$29,00 (USD) OR €26,00 (Euro) to
this paypal address: [wcologarb at gmail.com] writing "pro3 patches"
+ your email in the title / note.
Choose the correct currency in the "Recipient Gets" currency menu if you see it
(please do not use PLN currency:) I will send the
soundpack after I get notified about your payment
(max 24 hours).
Via Debit / Credit Card:
Send me an e-mail letting me
know you'd like to have your card charged - I will send you a payment request
and it will be processed by my Paypal and your bank (you don't have to own a Paypal account,
your card is enough, it's 100% safe -
here's full explanation).
How many patches?:
You will receive all the sounds from my Youtube &
Soundcloud demos plus extra sounds (220 original presets + their variations
= 228 presets in total). Of course all the drums & sequences are also stored as patch data,
so you will have those too, and you can adjust them or bypass the sequencer and play the sounds
What genre / style?:
There is no one style. It's a wide
variety of sounds that are meant to inspire and make you look at the synth in a
different light. Some patches are bread & butter, some offbeat; they're the
result of me trying to find the limits of the instrument. The patches are
ready-to-use in music or can serve as starting points; you can find the textures
or the dynamics that you like and tweak them to suit your exact taste or purpose.
I tried not to include patches that would overlap with any other soundsets out
there, so 90% of my patches should be original-sounding to you.
What format / import method?:
My patches come under the name "WCOG" in 2 soundbanks (A and B) saved
as sysex files
exported directly from my PRO-3.
Any external stuff / processing?:
I did not use
any external FX in the demo;
all the delays, reverbs, noises and
other effects are part of the PRO-3 engine
& mod matrix.
I recorded my demo straight through an audio
card. Also, you don't need any custom wavetables for my patches to work - just a standard Pro-3 unit.
Notes on grades lower than 3/3:
[modern]: it has tons of
features, but it's not a Hydrasynth/ Opsix type of potential
[vintage]: has all the grungy gadgets and slops, but often it's a stable /
[timbre plasticity]: best timbre variety of all monos, but often "thick" or "generic"
[ui & ease of use]: some menu-diving, stiff knobs, strong LED lights
When I got it out of the box and placed it on my
stand and looked at it in all its glory... I came to the conclusion this must be the ugliest
contemporary synth (I have the standard version, not SE). All these shades of gloomy gray and the radioshack knobs
must feel like an abomination to anyone who's ever seen or touched
a Korg Prologue or
a Moog SUB-37.
Arturia also painted their Matrixbrute pavement-gray, but at least they furnished it with
some wood to warm it up. Sequential gives us gray panel, gray knobs,
and gray plastic cheeks with a huge, cheesy logo engraved in them. Why oh why???
The painter / architect in me craves more colors and more elegant materials, but
the skinflint in me does not want to pay the 20% premium for the Special Edition;)
If you judge this book by its cover, or the front layer, you will instantly get the impression there's a lot
to have fun with. You will think it's an instant-gratification synth with tons of potential
for easy patch-making.
Someone commented under my facebook post that Pro-3 screams "play me!". But you must not be not complacent
and you must not fall into this trap. Using just the front panel will quickly get you
many sounds which raise eyebrows and draw attention, but which I
to be cliche, boring and ugly. All the gadgets, distortions, feedbacks and filter
morphs won't get you beyond the initial impressions the majority of people had about this
synth when it came out - that it's too harsh and metallic (digital) sounding.
So here's the deal. Somewhere behind the horizon there is a different, hidden reality, and only after
entered it did I
find top quality, variety and inspiration in my PRO-3. I am of course speaking about the mod matrix and
other features hidden in menus (filter compensation, slews, slops, sequencer
lanes with ratchets & durations, etc). This is the second layer where all the subtle
changes take place. I'm disclosing the highlight of the show at the very beginning, but frankly
this is the most important piece of information I can give you, as I think no other
synth benefits as much from those subtle changes and / or modulations as the PRO-3.
Prior to entering
this new realm, there was just
something wrong with this synth each time I played it. The envelopes had an ugly slope
and the overall sound did not satisfy me - it sounded too thick & tight, too hi-fi, too generic
and familiar, like a moogy Nord Lead or the now decade-old Mono Evolver. But
second layer allowed me to dial in many new & interesting timbres and bring
some organicness into the picture.
Once again the old truth about modern Sequential
synths comes back to mind: that they need some additional modulations because
they don't shine out of the box. The
REV-2 also needed a couple of additional
modulations to make it sound more organic, whereas the
Korg Prologue for example doesn't need that -
the oscillators sound "right" on their own. Despite the PRO-3's abundance of knobs and buttons, the
SUB-37 and the
seem to be more direct in terms of sound appeal, and getting satisfying results with Moog & Arturia
synths is a more
prompt affair. Pro-3 has a thicker force field around its sound, or "steeper learning
curve" if you want to make full use of its potential, and that's why I wouldn't recommend it
if you're a total
beginner - impatient beginner, that is.
Then, after several weeks of playing and experimenting
(or practicing patience) it
turned out there is an upside to this complexity; it became obvious the PRO-3 is the most versatile mono
out of all three. It delivers much more
timbre variety than SUB-37 or the Matrixbrute. If I had to build an an
entire soundtrack using just one mono synth, PRO-3 would be it. The overall sound is full spectrum; it fills the room with
all possible frequencies. PRO-3 and REV-2 have the deepets possible bass out
the PRO-3, unlike the REV-2, is not "brassy" - it's smooth and punchy. It's a quality, rich sound that can go from
harsh, digital texas-chainsaw-massacre territory to subtle, vintage smalltown-yazoo-party.
It's an adventure.
Although I have to say I don't quite understand the
idea of the synth. Or should I rather say: I don't fully like the execution of
the idea. The idea is that it's an analog-digital hybrid with 3 filters, effects,
sequencer and mod matrix. But there is some element in this setup that does not
want to dance to the same rhythm as all the other elements of the party. The PRO-3
feels to me like a fusion of various devices: analog filters, digital
oscillators, brutal distortion, tuned feedback, modulatable effects and what not - but it's like all
these elements come from various backgrounds and often they have difficulty integrating
into something coherent. Quite often I have to bypass some
module (like FX) or re-arrange it because
it's ruining my sound. By saying "re-arrange" I mean, for example, creating a
completely new envelope curve by modulating its Attack or Decay with another
Finding a sweet spot in the PRO-3 is often like playing cat and mouse. The sound of
this synth oscillates somewhere between a generic sounding
VA, 80's digital synth and something crazy, like a
Aelita. Check out the Formanta P-432 - a
digital synth that's clean yet dirty. The PRO-3 really reminds me of it;) Ok
let's be serious. The PRO-3 sound oscillates somewhere between Moog's clarity and
dirtyness. I remember that the feedback / distortion & FX on Mono Evolver were like a cherry
on top - they did wonders. The PRO-3, on the other hand, often ends up sounding ugly
after applying them. It's much more tricky and my experiments with this synth are like a
coin toss with a 50-50 chance that I'll come up with something good. In other
words - I have to use less experimenting and more conscious sound design. My
approach with this synth is that I try not to look at it in the traditional way
of mixing the three oscillators in a mixer to get a "synthy sound", but rather
leaving just one or two oscillators active / audible, and shifting my focus to the paraphony /
sequencing / modulating, and treating one of the 3 available oscillators as a mod source for
something else. This yields much more interesting & creative results.
section that can easily be overlooked but absolutely should not -
the waveshaping. It will give you as much variety / plasticity as the filters.
It doesn't just change the wave from sine to saw to pulse. There is one hundred
variations of these waves hidden in each increment of the waveshape knob. These
are small variations, but they should be explored nonetheless.
There's a lot of knobs & buttons right in
front of you, but unlike Matrixbrute, the PRO-3 is less intuitive and will demand some menu-diving.
Most of the time it's the "painless" type of menu diving. The screen and the font is easy to read
in the standard view, if a little bit cluttered when in matrix view (the font
changes into a very small one when you enter the mod matrix). You can
use shortcuts for modulation assignments. Many times there are two ways to reach your desired parameter (soft knobs,
soft buttons, value knob). The mod matrix is "intelligent"
- it will find the nearest free slot and fill it up if you start the assignment
procedure (PS. as always, "intelligent"
machines will do something stupid from time to time; if you
make a "creative mess" in your mod matrix and clear one of your sources in a
slot but not its destination, the PRO-3 will think it's a free slot and fill
this slot instead of filling a new one; this will result in a creation of something unintended).
It's funny, because the
Matrixbrute has the mod matrix right on top of its panel (and it's so huge
that you cannot miss it),
but it sounds so good that many times I can do with no patching
whatsoever. The mod matrix is simply not necessary. A filtered oscillator plus some general knob tweaking is enough to come
up with something interesting and organic. The core sound of the PRO-3 is more
static, and it needs the mod-matrix
like a fish needs water. Ironically, its mod matrix is hidden and
harder to see.
The value knobs skip values sometimes, but
it's not frustrating, as it takes only a fraction of a second to fix a value. Speaking of knobs: those are the most
user-unfriendly knobs I've ever touched. It's just unbelievable how much
resistance they have and how much force is needed to twist them in a brand-new,
unused unit. Maybe Sequential was fed up with people comlaining about wobbly
REV-2 knobs and this time they made ultra-tight knobs? Also, those LEDs will cause a severe
photic retinopathy in anybody who's silly enough to stare at them while playing the
PRO-3 in a dark room. Adjustable LED light intensity would be very welcome on
We have a lot of mono synths on the market, but only
a couple of them come with patch memory. Out of these, I think only three come
in full size: PRO-3, Matrixbrute and SUB-37. They are pretty close in terms of technical
prowess and modular interconnectivity. Only the SUB-37 stands out by
its conspicuous lack of third
oscillator and onboard effects. The PRO-3 also stands out with what seems to be
the deepets mod matrix and the most powerful, 11-animation-lane sequencer on the market.
This leaves us with only two criteria to judge against: the
sound & the interface.
The Moog sound is, obviously, the Moog sound;) Solid,
pure, classy, synthetic and crystalline, but somewhat cold or static. The Matrixbrute
sound is warm, dirty & gnarly, if hard to control or escape / subdue. The PRO-3 sound is
the most varied
one and the most elusive & hard to pin down. This is due to the digital oscillator, onboard FX and those Prophet + Moog +
Oberheim filters that you can choose between. With PRO-3 you can go from 100% smooth
& clean to 100% extreme & dirty, plus some place halfway between
these two states (thanks to the state-variable filter giving you two
differently-filtered sounds in one patch). If I say that this synth wins in versatility,
it will be an understatement. Arturia and
Moog are not as flexible in the area of oscillator waveshaping and FX mangling
(SUB-37 has no FX!), but what is more important is that the level of modulation
depth in the Pro-3 takes it to a completely new level. It's no longer just a
synth - it's also a "track generator", meaning you can build entire,
detailed short "tracks"
or "structures" with it.
PRO-3 also wins when it comes to the keyboard - it has the nicest
action of all three. However, I feel like I need to use EQ on both the
Matrixbrute and the Pro-3, which leaves me with the conclusion that it's the
Sub-37 that seems best suited for instant music-making (or placing-in-the-mix).
Alas, many times it needs external delay or reverb.
When it comes to the UI, I'd have to think really
hard which synth is the winner. PRO-3 may actually be the loser. Not because
it's interface is bad, but because the synth's engine is so complex that there
needs to be some compromise - something must be hidden in a menu, some other
thing must be small instead of full-size. The SUB-37 also has some things hidden
in a menu or in the software, that's why the Matrixbrute is a sure winner in
this category. But this issue is a tricky / subtle one. Moog SUB 37 is super
easy as long as you don't use the sequencer. Arturia seems great for
someone with ADHD - "touch this, touch that, wow, I came up with something cool!" But if your mind is calm, and
if you like predictability and
order during a journey from place A to place B - PRO-3's workflow & UI may prove better suited.
What's more, you don't need software to fine-tune the sequences. And there is no
irritating e-ink display like in Matrixbrute. Once you learn PRO-3's design, there is nothing to grumble about.
The only thing which makes me doubtful in expressing
any definite (or definitive) opinions about the PRO-3 is the fact that I have never played the
Pro-2. And, to be honest, I have the impression that the Pro-2 is a more capable
synth. It has 4 oscs, 4 lfos, serial / parallel filter routability and what not.
I'm not saying that 4 oscillators and 4 lfos are things one can't
live without - many times I'd really have to think hard to find a way to make
use of all that additional wealth. But I feel I'm missing the point of the
lacks the PRO-2's oscs, and the lfos, and the linear / exponential FM switchability,
and the gateway buttons which show values for any chosen module, and the longer
there must be something else that it's better at. I wonder what it is. Is it
more vintage sounding? Probably. Does it sound better than SUB-37 or the
Matrixbrute? No, just different. If I were to keep the PRO-3, it would
definitely be for the 2-pole OTA state-variable filter, tuned feedback and paraphonic sequencer
(which makes it super easy to introduce creative & interesting randomness to your music). These
three features are the main sources of the synth's originality and make it really
valuable & interesting, regardless of the idea or intent behind its
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