Sequential’s monster Trigon-6 just got smaller and more accessible. You get all of the features of the keyboard Trigon-6, but BYO controller and this three-oscillator, analog beauty is more accessible. And more welcome news: both Trigons get global MIDI Polyphonic Expression support in an update. (There’s a reason you see the Trigon desktop posing with an Expressive E Osmose.)

This is the same as Sequential’s other desktop outings – including the Oberheim. It’s the full deal, minus the keyboard, without any sacrifices. As a result, the US MAP is down to US$2499, and the unit weight is just shy of 5 kg.

Everything else holds true. The Trigon-6 is a deep analog polysynth that feels like the ultimate culmination of everything Dave Smith worked on, even if it shipped after his passing. Even that beautifully, logically laid-out panel looks like the next evolution of Dave’s ideas. Honestly, if I had to pick a single instrument to invest in, it’d be hard not to choose this one – especially with today’s MPE-supporting update.

The basic architecture:

  • 3 VCO + ladder filter – times 6 voices (like this is sort of a huge analog modular rig in a compact box!)
  • Complete analog signal path
  • Knob-per-function panel (which if you were to build the modular equivalent, you wouldn’t be able to get to through all the cables…)
  • Deep modulation and poly mod
  • Unison mode
  • Dual digital FX
  • Stereo analog distortion

Francis Preve did a deep dive with sounds for us last fall – everything still holds true with this one:

Oh yeah, and the multimode arpeggiator and polyphonic step sequencer mean the desktop unit is very performance-friendly on its own. But with MPE, you can add a ton of expression if you couple this with something like the Linnstrument or Push 3 or Expressive E Osmose. Any of those would be a dream setup. The Linnstrument a kind of perfect Bay Area couple, for instance, with an eminently playable grid and an alternative to the keyboard approach. The Osmose would deliver its own rich digital engine alongside the Sequential analog 6-voice poly.

But whether or not any of us is picking up the Trigon-6, the ongoing growth of support for MIDI Polyphonic Expression is great news for everyone, as it lifts hardware and software compatibility across the whole ecosystem.

The new OS out today works with both Trigons – the desktop version will ship with it; keyboard owners can download it. It’s a global implementation, so however you map MPE is the same across all patches. (Like if MPE controls filter cutoff, it does so everywhere.)

That’s a little disappointing if you had per-patch ideas in mind, but on the other hand, it’s easy and consistent – and Sequential had to work with Trigon’s available UI. I’m personally an advocate of keeping that mapping consistent, just as that’s the way an acoustic instrument can work, but I could see those who want more.

The bargain buy from Sequential remains the awesome Take 5. And I would not be disappointed if they were to do a Take 5 desktop, but no sign of that yet! From our last update on that:

Regardless, it’s great to see Sequential continuing to make these gorgeous instruments. They’re an inspiration even as I tinker with software sounds.