Sequential Take 5 Analog Synth
Sequential Take 5 Analog Synth
Overview by GAK
The Sequential Take 5 is a powerful, portable and affordable 5-voice analog synth from the iconic US manufacturer. From thunderous basses to enveloping pads to punchy brass, the Take 5 can handle it all with ease. There’s no doubt that Sequential have packed an impressive feature-set into the compact Take 5. Everything you’d expect from a premium poly synth is here, including two rich VCOs per voice, studio-quality onboard effects and a juicy analogue low-pass that’s based on the Prophet-5 Rev4.
Fat Analog Sound
At its core, the Sequential Take 5 shares a lot of DNA with the legendary Prophet-5. Like the P-5, the Take 5 is equipped with five voices of polyphony, two VCOs (voltage-controlled oscillators) per voice, a pair of envelopes and a 4-pole analog low-pass filter. In fact, the Take 5’s filter is based on the Prophet 5 Rev 4’s design so you can expect exceptional warmth and richness. Because the Take 5’s filter is fully resonant, it can be driven into self-oscillation at higher settings - perfect for otherwordly effects and sweeps. Plus, with key tracking enabled, you make the filter track the keyboard and use it as another oscillator.
Perfect For Performance
Sequential have designed the Take 5 analog synth to be a prime performance keyboard that’s rugged and compact enough to handle the rigours of live use. Slick and expressive playability is catered for by the premium Fatar keybed and 44 full-size keys, which feature freely assignable velocity & bi-polar channel aftertouch. Other performance controls include a ridged Mod Wheel & spring-loaded Pitch Wheel, polyphonic glide (portamento), monophonic Unison mode (with configurable voice count & note priority) and a Hold switch for latching held notes.
The Take 5’s key-split allows you to go beyond its 3.5-octave keyboard by dividing the Take 5’s keyboard into two separate performance zones. This gives you a much wider playable range than you’d usually find on such a portable synth and is handy if you have to quickly leap between two registers.
Nowadays, more and more synth players want a gigging synth that’s a straightforward, all-in-one solution. That’s where the Take 5’s dual digital effects and dedicated overdrive come in. These studio-quality effects are on hand to add space & texture to your patches - without having to plug in any external boxes!
The first slot is a multi-effect, which contains a variety of delays (stereo, BBD, tape), modulations (chorus, flanger, phaser, ring mod, vintage rotating speaker), distortion and a high-pass filter for shaving off the low-end. Each effect has a trio of tweakable parameters that changes depending on the effect, including Time, Depth/Mix and Feedback/Misc. The second slot houses the reverb, which features adjustable damping, pre-delay, decay and tone so you can tailor it to your heart’s content.
Between the filter drive, distortion effect and dedicated overdrive, the Take 5 can go from subtle saturation all the way to pure grunge filth.
Where the Take 5 has an edge is the flexibility and versatility of its oscillators. Each oscillator features a continuously variable wave shape, allowing you to seamlessly blend from Sine to Sawtooth to Square (with variable pulse width). Exploring the in between waveforms, you can easily conjure up a wide range of exciting sounds with solely the oscillators. In addition, Osc 1 features a Square wave sub-oscillator which can add weight and bottom-end to your patches. Osc 2 can be synced to Osc 1 for those harmonically complex, metallic timbres.
Other audio sources include a Noise generator, which is essential for percussive patches and sound effects. The Take 5’s Noise source presents an extra level of versatility, as it can blend between two flavours of noise - Pink and White.
Both oscillators, the sub-oscillator and noise source feature a dedicated level control in the Mixer section for rapid on-the-fly adjustment.
Vintage & Modern
Another feature that’s shared with the Prophet-5 Rev4, Prophet-6 and OB-6 is the Vintage knob. With a single knob, you can smoothly transition from a tight, modern sound to a more organic, looser one. You can use the Vintage at extreme settings to make your Take 5 sound incredibly wonky - or even broken! The Vintage knob accurately emulates the beautifully inconsistent pitch, filter and envelope behaviour from voice-to-voice that give old-school synths their desirable character.
One of the most appealing things about the Prophet-5 is how immediate and inspiring it is to play. The Take 5 is no different, with its assortment of tactile knobs you’ve got practically everything right at your fingertips. For performance and sound design, the Take 5’s interface is an absolute joy to use. Features that would normally be buried under a menu are right on the front panel, including analogue FM for those bell-like timbres. We’re huge fans of the enlarged Cutoff knob, which is a lot of fun to reach for when you’re filter sweeping.
For players that prefer a “what you see is what you get approach”, you can hit the Preset button to make the front panel live and have the knobs jump to their physical position.
Modulation-wise, Sequential have equipped Take 5 with a global & a per-voice LFO (low-frequency oscillator) and a pair of 5-stage ADSR + delay envelope generators, which can be assigned to a variety of destinations. The envelope amounts can be controlled with velocity if you want them to dynamically react to your touch, whilst the LFOs can be synced to clock and boast a variety of wave shapes (triangle, sawtooth, reverse sawtooth, square & random).
The Take 5 presents an ideal balance of simplicity and depth. It’s easy to create a fantastic sound with the Take 5 without being a synth expert, simple bread-and-butter patches like strings, brass and pads sound top-notch thanks to its lush analogue sound. For avid sound designers that want to build complex and evolving patches, the Take 5’s sound engine and modulation capabilities present a wide scope of sonic possibilities.
Assigning mod routings is a breeze. If you want to control the amount of LFO 1 with the Mod Wheel, simply hold the Source Assign button, move the Mod Wheel, hold the Destination Assign button, then twist the LFO 1 Amount knob. It’s as quick as that.
When you’ve created a patch that you want to keep, you can store it in one of the 128 user slots for instant recall. The Take 5 also comes with 128 permanent factory patches, which have been meticulously crafted by a team of leading sound designers.
For instant gratification and inspiration, you can engage the Take 5’s fully-featured arpeggiator and step-sequencer. The arpeggiator is packed with a variety of play modes (up, down, up + down, random), note repeat and can span up to 3 octaves. The 64-step sequencer is polyphonic, allowing you to record chordal patterns and play over the top with any remaining voices.
Because the arp, sequencer and delay effects can all be synced to clock, you can conjure up exciting rhythmic patterns with ease.
As you’d expect from a high-quality modern synthesiser, the Take 5 is outfitted with an array of connectivity. In addition to traditional 5-pin MIDI In, Out & Thru, you also have a bi-directional MIDI via USB for patch management & interaction with your DAW, a main stereo output and a stereo headphone out. For hands-free control, you can connect an expression pedal and a momentary sustain pedal or footswitch.
With the Take 5, Sequential presents by far one of the best analogue synths in its price range. Whilst the Take 5 is the most affordable synthesizer in Sequential’s impressive roster, it can easily keep up with its siblings when it comes to sound, features and playability. If you’ve always lusted after a synth from one of the most prestigious synth builders out there, the Take 5 is an excellent option. The Take 5’s sleek, compact form factor makes it an amazing synth for live use and easy to integrate into a space-conscious studio.
- Two analog VCOs per voice
- Continuously variable wave shape (sine, sawtooth, variable-width pulse) per oscillator
- Hard sync: oscillator 1 syncs to oscillator 2
- Square wave sub-octave generator (oscillator 1) per voice
- Keyboard tracking on/off for each oscillator
- Front-panel FM (frequency modulation)
- Oscillator 1 amount
- Oscillator 1 sub-octave amount
- Oscillator 2 amount
- White noise amount
- Four-pole, resonant, analog low-pass filter per voice, based on Prophet 5 Rev 4 design
- Filter can be driven into self-oscillation with the Resonance control
- Bi-polar filter envelope amount
- Two 5-stage envelope generators (ADSR + delay) with variable routing (filter, amplifier, gate)
- Velocity modulation of each envelope amount
- Envelopes freely assignable to multiple modulation destinations
- Five wave shapes: triangle, sawtooth, reverse sawtooth, square, and random (sample and hold)
- Clock sync (internal or external MIDI clock)
- Freely assignable to multiple modulation destinations
- One dedicated reverb with damping, pre-delay, decay and tone
- One multi-effect with stereo delay, BBD delay, tape delay, chorus, flanger, phaser, ring mod, vintage rotating speaker, distortion, high-pass filter
- Dedicated Overdrive effect
- Recreates the characteristics of vintage synthesizers by introducing micro-fluctuations in oscillators, filter, and envelopes per voice.
- Source: channel (mono) aftertouch with bi-polar amount
- Aftertouch freely assignable to multiple modulation destinations
- Master clock with tap tempo
- BPM control and display
- MIDI clock sync
- Up, down, up+down, random, assign modes
- Syncs to MIDI clock
- Re-latching arpeggiation
- Polyphonic step sequencer with up to 64 steps with ties and rests.
- Full-sized, semi-weighted, 3.5-octave premium Fatar keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
- Spring-loaded pitch wheel with selectable range per program with independently adjustable upper and lower pitch wheel range transpose controls
- Low-split mode creates two independent performance zones with different octave ranges
- Hold switch latches held notes on
- Polyphonic glide (portamento)
- Unison (monophonic) mode with configurable voice count, from one to all five voices, and key modes
- Factory switch: when off, the front panel is live; what you see is what you hear
- 128 user and 128 factory
- 1 MIDI In, 1 MIDI Out, and 1 MIDI Thru port
- USB port for bidirectional MIDI communication
- 1 Sustain/footswitch input
- 1 Expression pedal input
- Main stereo output (2 x 1/4″ phone jack)
- Headphone out (stereo 1/4″ phone jack)
- IEC AC power inlet for internal power supply
- Operates worldwide on voltages between 100 and 240 volts at 50 to 60 Hz; 14 watts maximum power consumption
- Premium, 3.5-octave, semi-weighted Fatar keyboard
- 25″ L x 12.75″ W x 4.4″ H (63.5 cm x 32.4 cm x 11.2 cm)
- Weight: 17 lbs (7.7 kg)