Behind the music of Frenzy Jones and Dope Buzz is Victor Atanasov. Victor has been involved with the electronic music scene for more than a decade and has worked with the likes of the featured female vocalist on Prodigy’s hit single Smack My Bitch Up, as well as with Prodigy’s engineer. Victor’s music has been played numerous times on the biggest radios such as BBC Radio 1, Kiss 100 among others with great feedback from some respectable names in the music scene and business. In the recent years Victor has experimented with new sounds and genres with synthesizers and drum machines.
We chatted with Victor on how he uses Sequential instruments in his music:
What made you choose Sequential?
Dave Smith and Sequential are a brand that have proven their exceptional quality throughout the years with their high-end products. The sound of all instruments has become easily recognizable and legendary. It has become a standard of how a good synthesizer should be made. Any serious musician dealing with synthesizers should consider getting a DSI/Sequential product and adding it to their set-up. The diversity of the products is something important as well. They suit all genres, no matter if you are after jazz, funk, synthwave, or techno, Sequential will always be the right choice. I have been dealing with electronic music instruments for more than 20 years now and have had and worked with most of the classics. Sequential is definitely among the top and best manufacturers. After having some experience with the classic Prophet line, I remember back in the 00’s when the Evolver was released. Having four oscillators, two analog and two digital with all Prophet VS wavetables, the sounds that were created with it were unbelievable. It was different and new, the modulation possibilities, the powerful sequencer, something you can’t find anywhere else. Being the first Dave Smith product after a bit of time, it was standing out and extremely big-sounding, no matter it was initially delivered in a small package and as a mono synth. It was the start of something new and exciting. At the moment I have four DSI/Sequential synths in my set-up I use on daily basis and in almost all of my productions. Having a 16 voice Rev2 as my main poly synth, for that thick and rich analog sound, the ability to split or layer two sounds (16 voices definitely makes a difference for this over the 8 voice version), the versatility it offers. Having the Pro 3 as my main bass/lead synth, for all those sequenced parts and keeping the low end tight at all times. For the modulation possibilities it offers and the three filter types to sculpture the sounds you are after. To me it is like a modern modular, but without all the hanging cables. Having the Prophet 12 for all those experimental and lively timbres, unique pad and fx sounds, a modern Prophet VS to my ears. Also having the Toraiz AS-1 , which is a collaboration between Dave Smith and Pioneer DJ. It is like having a mono Prophet-6 in a stage ready and portable format. All Sequential products just inspire you to write music without even switching them on, that’s what I really love about synthesizers and I find it here.
How are you using them?
I use Sequential synths as the main tone in my productions. The 16-voice Prophet Rev 2 is an all-around machine. As I use it for keys, pads, chords, so I use it for bass and sequences, poly and mono, the low end on this thing is very punchy. It is very versatile and can serve as your main synth. I end up recording the MIDI information for a melody and then use it with different presets, different octave ranges and then mix everything together for one big and full session. Or I program a sequence, play it and mess around with the sound while it is running. Maybe play it for 5 minutes, or so while recording all into my DAW, so later on I can chop it, reverse it and manipulate it in different ways to get some nice results. I also use the built-in effects directly from the unit; I’m finding them brilliant and great sounding and inspirational.
The PRO 3 is a different beast. I treat it as a modular with so many modulation options available, the results are astonishing. I end up creating great sounds within minutes, it is so easy and joyful to work with it, you have all of the controls right in front of you. The tuned feedback is also amazing, giving that raw edge to the tone. Without any external processing you can get so much right out of the box. The filters as well, you have the three classic filters right at your fingertips to choose from. And the sequencer on this synth, it is so advanced. It can be sent out to control external gear, an extremely useful feature.
The Prophet 12 is a sound designers dream. I use it for those weird effects and pads. I love the ability to be able and mix classic waveforms like sine, saw etc. with wavetables. It just opens up so many possibilities for unique sounds unheard before, a whole new world of tones. And you have four oscillators available here (plus one sub oscillator for a total of five) for a very rich timbre, the Character effects are making the sound so lively as well. Add some proper linear FM it offers and you have a beast of a synthesizer. I use this one for Synthwave productions mainly, as the tone really matches the feeling of that nostalgic era.
The Toraiz AS-1 is perfect for live performances, having a great sound in such a small package. It’s like having a monophonic version of the Prophet-6 in a stage ready unit. I use it mainly for programming sequences, rather than playing it as a mono synth hooked to a MIDI keyboard. Lately I’ve been using it as my main synth line synth in my productions. All four of the Sequential synths I own at the moment are just complimenting each other and are a great part of my sound and music.
What are your favorite things about them?
What I love about Sequential/DSI synths is that not only they cover old school vintage and what the company is known and loved for, but they keep improving and have put that classic sound to a new age, so it carries the modern with it as well. The instruments are made for today’s and tomorrow’s musician in mind. The richness of the sounds, the warmth, no matter if VCO, DCO, or digital oscillators, the tone is always full and big sounding and alive, always bringing innovations to the the music world. They just keep you excited and eagerly waiting for what the new product will be. No wonder Sequential’s sound is unmistakable and can be heard in countless and timeless hit records. Sequential’s support is one of the greatest I’ve come across as well, always there to help and solve whatever it could be.
What does Sequential give you that other synths might not?
The richness and warmth of the tone is something I look for when on the lookout for an analog gear. The ability to be able and change parameters easily as well, to have all right in front of you and not to dive in as much into menus. And Sequential gives all that with their products.
Any interesting tricks or techniques you would like to share?
Messing around with the tuned feedback on a programmed sequence really gives you those cinematic sequences heard in recent sci-fi movies and series. Add some tape delay to it and check the results!
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