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Resolution #3 (Welcome Take 5)

  • Music

OK, so I’m running a bit behind, but back at the beginning of the year, I resolved to make more time to make the music I want to make. I recently played my final show with 7Souls (which I wrote about here), and this past Friday, I played one final fill-in show with my friends in Midnite Run.

My Kronos at my last show this past Friday.

I also took another step away from playing in cover bands. Yesterday, I sold my Korg Kronos, and purchased a shiny new Sequential Take 5. The Kronos has served me exceptionally well over the past two-and-a-half years, and in my opinion, it was the best performance keyboard that has ever been made. I’ve written about it in many posts over the past couple of years.

My very first “real synthesizer,” and the last “real” analog synth I’ve owned, was a Sequential Circuits Prophet 600, and I had a great time making bleeps and bloops with it, and also used it playing in a couple bands, until I was wooed away by the then-new idea of vector synthesis. I couldn’t afford Sequential’s Prophet VS, nor the Korg Wavestation VS. But I could just barely afford a Yamaha SY35, and so I traded away the Prophet 600 to cover part of the cost of an SY35. I’ve missed the Prophet ever since. Enter the Take 5.

I wasn’t initially going to replace the Kronos with an analog synth — a Yamaha MODX6+ or Roland Fantom 06 was what I’d originally intended because they’re both extremely capable and sound great and are also easy to carry — at that point, I thought that I may still do some fill-ins. I finally ruled the Fantom out when I learned that the new nZyme model expansion couldn’t be used with it. The Yamaha may yet join the stable, but if I’m honest, my Korg Wavestate and opsix synths can do much of what the MODX+ could do, and in some ways, more.

Turning our attention back to the Take 5 now, it’s Sequential’s “gateway drug,” being the least expensive model they offer. And, on the surface, it appears to be a pretty basic 5-voice analog poly-synth with a pair of primary oscillators, a white or pink noise source, and a sub-oscillator which feed through a single low-pass filter. There are a pair of ADSR envelopes, a pair of LFOs, and a basic arpeggiator.

The Take 5 is a lot deeper, though, than its basic specs imply. There’s a fairly robust modulation matrix which I haven’t yet had time to dive into, for one thing. The oscillators have continuously variable wave shapes ranging from sine, through sawtooth and squarewaves with variable pulsewidth, and the waveshape can be modulated. Of course, there’s hard sync and basic FM, and apparently delay and ramp times on the LFOs, which each feature five waveforms. There are some included effects covering basic modulation, delay, and reverb, as well as an overdrive and a control called “vintage” that allows a little bit of oscillator drift. The 44-key keybed feels amazing and features aftertouch (although it’s not poly-aftertouch) which is a welcome addition — I loves me some aftertouch! I’m not going into any kind of dive into all of this. There are a zillion videos on YouTube that cover it all in excruciating detail.

Another important feature of the Take 5: it’s also a lot of fun!

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