The Official Sequential/DSI Forum

Hardware Sequencers

dvb

Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2018, 09:21:46 PM »
I'm currently using Synthstrom Deluge. Originally got it to fill the sampler/drum machine hole in my rig but kept it because it's an amazing sequencer. 128 button jelly roll plus an intuitive interface without sacrificing capability. CV capable, unlimited tracks, decent synth engine(s) so you can write a scratch track "in bed" or on the beach (runs on USB/battery) then port that track to an external module with one button push.

Has limits of course like everything else but I'd recommend it to anyone who needs a sequencer as an all around tool & scratchpad vs just a pure MIDI logistics machine.
Yes indeed the Deluge does sound amazing. It was at one time on my list of candidates. The Deluge also only has 1 MIDI input/output and relies on USB for greater connectivity. Indeed I am looking at a pure MIDI logistics machine (well said!).


That is one of its limits and while I'm loathe to spend valuable budget on boring logistical gear, a MIDI patchbay can resolve that issue fairly cheaply. I've one on the way that has the massive added bonus of turning my Rev2 into a multi-zone capable controller, something I've missed since I started using it as my keyboard controller.
DSI Prophet Rev2 | Roland Juno 106, V-Synth XT | Elektron Monomachine, Rytm | Moog Grandmother | Synthstrom Deluge | Squarp Pyramid

Gerry Havinga

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Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2018, 10:17:10 PM »
I just noticed this video: https://youtu.be/oVME_l4IwII about Why Modern Music Is Awful.

I found it an interesting watch (we knew it already of course). But it motivates me to work on creating more harmonically complex tracks with more deeper levels of composing (chord progressions, transpositions, etc.). To create something that keeps feeling good and is not boring or in the wrong way repetitive.

When I started watching this, I expected invective not about current popular music, but modern classical (or art) music, so I was prepared to rise up in defense. But as for modern popular music, I might grant the video's case (loudness wars, timbral variety, etc.), but with plenty of exceptions.

When I listen to process pieces like Piano Phase, YouTube commenters get passionate about how awful "modernist" music is, while I sit there in amazement at how novel rhythms evolve within this specific series of note classes. Certainly Piano Phase can be done with a sequencer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIeYg61ThWg&t=578s), but the musicianship required to perform it as a human (duet, but especially solo) is inspiring. And but also, forget the fact that calling 50-year-old classical music "modernist" says a lot about how stagnant that scene might still be.

There's certainly great music being written today. I don't think I need to go any further than Phillip Glass's Piano Concerto #3 (2017). It's not on YouTube, nor any other streaming service that I could find, so you'll probably have to buy it. But it's just beautiful, and worth purchasing. The third movement might be one of my favorite pieces of music, period.

Sequencers provide valid tools for serious composition, I think. Repetition is a thing that the brain likes, but only when the thing being repeated has enough going on. Thus, I find the eight-step sequencer inadequate, except as a tool for switching things. A common modular technique is "sequencing the sequencer," and you can get anything between nice complexity and incomprehensible chaos. I don't know if these kinds of techniques can be done within a single Cirklon, but it's a good way to break the perception of rigidity that modern ("popular") music may have picked up.
Thank you, this is inspired thinking. Sequencing the sequencer is certainly on my list of things to get into. Starting with Kordbot (should arrive soon) --> Digitone and eventually Cirklon --> Digitone/Kordbot  and other combinations.

There is a really great amount of excellent music being made and produced, probably more than ever. In my personal experience I only know a small amount of people that nowadays goes out of their way to find the good stuff. My teenage (step) kids know little else than each others' play lists on iTunes and Spotify. I believe what has happened in the last 20 years with regards to popular music is a logical effect from a focus on making money and getting returns on investment.  When the need to make money is taken out of the equation, creativity is boundless. But we are not all that fortunate to be able to do that.
Prophet X, Prophet Rev2 and Evolver desktop, Waldorf Blofeld, Roland System-1, Korg Microstation, Nord Rack 2, Akai S5000, Dato DUO, Elektron Digitone, Deepmind12D, Schrittmacher, Bitwig v2. Daw-less...

https://soundcloud.com/user-252754541
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1QKocb4H6mNRVJ01qyqd

Gerry Havinga

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    • For the love of electronic music
Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2018, 10:30:58 PM »
I'm currently using Synthstrom Deluge. Originally got it to fill the sampler/drum machine hole in my rig but kept it because it's an amazing sequencer. 128 button jelly roll plus an intuitive interface without sacrificing capability. CV capable, unlimited tracks, decent synth engine(s) so you can write a scratch track "in bed" or on the beach (runs on USB/battery) then port that track to an external module with one button push.

Has limits of course like everything else but I'd recommend it to anyone who needs a sequencer as an all around tool & scratchpad vs just a pure MIDI logistics machine.
Yes indeed the Deluge does sound amazing. It was at one time on my list of candidates. The Deluge also only has 1 MIDI input/output and relies on USB for greater connectivity. Indeed I am looking at a pure MIDI logistics machine (well said!).

That is one of its limits and while I'm loathe to spend valuable budget on boring logistical gear, a MIDI patchbay can resolve that issue fairly cheaply. I've one on the way that has the massive added bonus of turning my Rev2 into a multi-zone capable controller, something I've missed since I started using it as my keyboard controller.
Which MIDI patchbay did you order?

I managed to pickup a second hand Anatek SMP-16 patchbay (audio + MIDI) and am just starting to put it into service so I can switch easily between laptop + Digitone sequencing. Just a beginning but works really well.
Prophet X, Prophet Rev2 and Evolver desktop, Waldorf Blofeld, Roland System-1, Korg Microstation, Nord Rack 2, Akai S5000, Dato DUO, Elektron Digitone, Deepmind12D, Schrittmacher, Bitwig v2. Daw-less...

https://soundcloud.com/user-252754541
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1QKocb4H6mNRVJ01qyqd

megamarkd

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Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2018, 12:02:31 AM »
I took too long to edit my accidentally posted too soon post, so here's the rest.  If someone could remove the post above, it would be as if nothing ever went wrong....

I'm a little obsessed with sequencers.  Umm, Pyramid I haven't played with much for some reason.  It's an unorthodox box that doesn't really do linear, which is surprisingly alien to me.  Beast of a sequencer though going far beyond the regular functions of a workstation sequencer.

QY700 is another beast but of a different nature.  Truly GM sequencing at it's finest, but does require a great knowledge of MIDI to run without using GM synths. It likes to send every reset and zeroing messages that exist, especially if you are using the pattern mode, you need to tailor the track to the exact preset on the synth/dmachine you are using it with.  The way around it is to use filtering or editing out the messages after each initial recording pass.  It also has a woeful event max which sorta forces the user to resort to the patterns (and the pain that comes with that).  Aside that, you can really ride the sequencer with it's mixer screen.  The buttons and keys are great and no digiencoders to fail like on later Yammy machines.  There's something about punching in values with a keypad that is satisfying.

Q80.  Great box.  Linear sequence with no pattern mode that I can remember, but did have a phrase recording function I used to paste out linear compositions.  Higher event max than the QY700, but two line displays are hard to go back to.  Going from an M1 sequencer to the Q80 was a dream though.

MV8000 has a crazy good sequencer on it with features that are only rivaled in my kit by the Pyramid.  Excellent drum/pattern + linear sequencer, CC envelope/lfo generator, easy to edit, pita to use as a sampler though.  Not really tried it out as a performance sequencer as such, though it's quite flexible on the sample triggering side of things, and I also recall some way of triggering the patterns for muting/unmuting percussion. 
I really use it as a modulations utility for hard printed CC's.  Pyramid uses actual LFO's to modulate CC's but without printing the output to a pattern or the like, so to have a particular modulation or swell of CC's occur on cue exactly the same each time the MV8000 is perfect. 

The Fat Controller is great fun, if hard to find now.  Fun 2x8/1x16 step sequencer.  As well as MIDI out it has two CV and two trigger outs plus sync24.  Can run as 2x8 step sequences or an 8 + 16 step sequence via CV+trig.  Got slide on CV which in conjunction with hold can give 303 like sequencing.

Then there's the Arturia stepsequencers I have, Beatstep Pro and Keystep.  Both are quite nifty loop sequencers that I am really revolving every other sequencer I own around.  The BSP has a pattern chaining function so can work well along side my linear sequencers and the Keystep's a simple but very usable chord progression machine pretty much.  Sequencing the BSP transposition via the Keystep is a natural thing to do really, which brings us to:

A common modular technique is "sequencing the sequencer," and you can get anything between nice complexity and incomprehensible chaos.

That's one of the things that has saved my Rhythm Wolf from the 2nd hand pages. I run a gate out from a BSP to it's clock in to advance it.  Usually a bass drum or tock sequence.  I've tried writing sequences on it like that but it's much more successful if I write a pattern that will stand alone if played with a regular clock.

I setup a little patch where I had my Keystep feeding the arpeggiator in the Bitstream 3x (it's got some preset note intervals for some of it's arpeggio patterns for pseudo-sequencing).  Result was like something Kate Bush would have written.

Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2018, 11:08:30 PM »
My prioritized list at the moment is:
  • Sequentix Cirklon
  • Squarp Pyramid
  • Manikin Schrittmacher
  • Elektron Octatrack

I somehow missed this thread so am a bit late to the party.

I have three of these:

The Cirklon is a great piece of kit, highly recommended.

The Pyramid I just haven’t got on with, with the recent OS release I keep meaning to give it another go but when compared with the Cirklon I just kept thinking “why is this so hard to use?”

The OT is also an amazing piece of kit, but as a sequencer for external gear I would give it a miss.


I seems like the only downside of Cirklon is actually obtaining one!

It also seems a bit awkward to use CV. You have to buy the upgrade board, and then one of the breakout boxes. Of course, when you're done, there's a lot more CV than you get with the Squarp Pyramid, but it seems like it's more elegant to use one or more MIDI-to-CV modules in lieu of the Cirklon's analogue buss.



Yep getting hold of one is not that simple, I was lucky and got one of the first batch. Since then I have upgraded the screen to the newer version, apart from that it has been totally solid.

The CV on the Cirklon is excellent, the advantage over a MIDI-CV converter is you are not going anywhere near MIDI with its sloppy timing and serial nature with bandwidth issues.An envelope per CV was added recently as well, pretty useful. Every CV output can also be calibrated to make sure different modules stay in tune.

Gerry Havinga

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Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2018, 11:14:39 PM »
The Fat Controller is great fun, if hard to find now.  Fun 2x8/1x16 step sequencer.  As well as MIDI out it has two CV and two trigger outs plus sync24.  Can run as 2x8 step sequences or an 8 + 16 step sequence via CV+trig.  Got slide on CV which in conjunction with hold can give 303 like sequencing.

Then there's the Arturia stepsequencers I have, Beatstep Pro and Keystep.  Both are quite nifty loop sequencers that I am really revolving every other sequencer I own around.  The BSP has a pattern chaining function so can work well along side my linear sequencers and the Keystep's a simple but very usable chord progression machine pretty much.  Sequencing the BSP transposition via the Keystep is a natural thing to do really, which brings us to:
Thanks for the great write-up megamarkd. Looks like the Fat Controller is a real fun sequencer. Unfortunately Frostwaves  domain is up for grabs so I don't think they are in business anymore. Perhaps I can pick one up second hand .....

I do have an Arturia Beatstep, which I bought looking for a step sequencer to try out 3 years ago, but it is back in it's box as I really don't like it. There is no visual feedback what notes/key the system is running in. Perhaps I wasn't ready for it then. I do understand the Pro is much better in that respect.

I did buy a second hand SQ1, which has the same issue for me, but for some reason I feel more comfortable with it. I got to still find a way for it to be slaved to an external clock somehow (if at all possible). Incidentally buying it second hand got me introduced to some great local people that are manufacturing the Dato DUO synth. We stayed in touch since.

The more I read up about this subject and investigate, the more I realize I would want a multi-tiered sequencer setup. Kind of a master sequencer that keeps the beat and triggers other sequencers within the right key, or outside if I want that. These second tier sequencer can run their own melodies, patterns whatever which I can then adjust in real time. Hmmmmm interesting.
Prophet X, Prophet Rev2 and Evolver desktop, Waldorf Blofeld, Roland System-1, Korg Microstation, Nord Rack 2, Akai S5000, Dato DUO, Elektron Digitone, Deepmind12D, Schrittmacher, Bitwig v2. Daw-less...

https://soundcloud.com/user-252754541
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1QKocb4H6mNRVJ01qyqd

chysn

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Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2018, 07:31:12 AM »
I did buy a second hand SQ1, which has the same issue for me, but for some reason I feel more comfortable with it. I got to still find a way for it to be slaved to an external clock somehow (if at all possible).

There are two ways to slave SQ-1 to an external clock:

(1) USB MIDI: The SQ-1 appears as two MIDI devices, MIDI Out and CTRL. Send MIDI clock to the CTRL device.

(2) CV: SQ-1 will respond to a 5V eurorack-type clock signal going to the SYNC IN jack. By default, for some reason*, it advances two steps per pulse. There's a totally forgettable procedure in the manual that explains how to change this, but I've totally forgotten it. Set and forget.

* Yeah, I know, it's for compatibility with Volcas. But it's still a ridiculous default setting.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2018, 07:32:48 AM by chysn »
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

dvb

Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2018, 06:22:06 PM »
I went with the Nexus Plus 2x8. I chose it over the MX-8 as I balanced live performance + studio considerations. 2 inputs is a bit meager but the straightforward interface won the day. Figure I can add another box later.

I'm currently using Synthstrom Deluge. Originally got it to fill the sampler/drum machine hole in my rig but kept it because it's an amazing sequencer. 128 button jelly roll plus an intuitive interface without sacrificing capability. CV capable, unlimited tracks, decent synth engine(s) so you can write a scratch track "in bed" or on the beach (runs on USB/battery) then port that track to an external module with one button push.

Has limits of course like everything else but I'd recommend it to anyone who needs a sequencer as an all around tool & scratchpad vs just a pure MIDI logistics machine.
Yes indeed the Deluge does sound amazing. It was at one time on my list of candidates. The Deluge also only has 1 MIDI input/output and relies on USB for greater connectivity. Indeed I am looking at a pure MIDI logistics machine (well said!).

That is one of its limits and while I'm loathe to spend valuable budget on boring logistical gear, a MIDI patchbay can resolve that issue fairly cheaply. I've one on the way that has the massive added bonus of turning my Rev2 into a multi-zone capable controller, something I've missed since I started using it as my keyboard controller.
Which MIDI patchbay did you order?

I managed to pickup a second hand Anatek SMP-16 patchbay (audio + MIDI) and am just starting to put it into service so I can switch easily between laptop + Digitone sequencing. Just a beginning but works really well.
DSI Prophet Rev2 | Roland Juno 106, V-Synth XT | Elektron Monomachine, Rytm | Moog Grandmother | Synthstrom Deluge | Squarp Pyramid

Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2018, 09:52:51 PM »
The Fat Controller is great fun, if hard to find now.  Fun 2x8/1x16 step sequencer.  As well as MIDI out it has two CV and two trigger outs plus sync24.  Can run as 2x8 step sequences or an 8 + 16 step sequence via CV+trig.  Got slide on CV which in conjunction with hold can give 303 like sequencing.

Then there's the Arturia stepsequencers I have, Beatstep Pro and Keystep.  Both are quite nifty loop sequencers that I am really revolving every other sequencer I own around.  The BSP has a pattern chaining function so can work well along side my linear sequencers and the Keystep's a simple but very usable chord progression machine pretty much.  Sequencing the BSP transposition via the Keystep is a natural thing to do really, which brings us to:
Thanks for the great write-up megamarkd. Looks like the Fat Controller is a real fun sequencer. Unfortunately Frostwaves  domain is up for grabs so I don't think they are in business anymore. Perhaps I can pick one up second hand .....

I do have an Arturia Beatstep, which I bought looking for a step sequencer to try out 3 years ago, but it is back in it's box as I really don't like it. There is no visual feedback what notes/key the system is running in. Perhaps I wasn't ready for it then. I do understand the Pro is much better in that respect.

I did buy a second hand SQ1, which has the same issue for me, but for some reason I feel more comfortable with it. I got to still find a way for it to be slaved to an external clock somehow (if at all possible). Incidentally buying it second hand got me introduced to some great local people that are manufacturing the Dato DUO synth. We stayed in touch since.

The more I read up about this subject and investigate, the more I realize I would want a multi-tiered sequencer setup. Kind of a master sequencer that keeps the beat and triggers other sequencers within the right key, or outside if I want that. These second tier sequencer can run their own melodies, patterns whatever which I can then adjust in real time. Hmmmmm interesting.

You know I was playing around with some of my workstations like the FA08 And Kurzweil while scoring a WW1 short film and while stand-alone sequencers are nice, there’s also something to be said about using the sequencer inside a workstation to midi sequence external gear as well as internal sounds.
Prophet 6, Prophet X, Moog Sub 37, Tempest Drum Computer, Roland V Piano, Fender American Stratocaster, Roger Linn Adrenalinn iii, Origin Effects Cali76 and SlideRig compressor, ASUS Zenbook Pro Computer, Soundcraft MTK 22 Mixer, Mark Of The Unicorn Digital Performer 10 Software.

megamarkd

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Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #29 on: June 09, 2018, 11:11:19 PM »
I went with the Nexus Plus 2x8. I chose it over the MX-8 as I balanced live performance + studio considerations. 2 inputs is a bit meager but the straightforward interface won the day. Figure I can add another box later.

Wow, what a choice!  I know that given the option of the Nexus vs the MX-8, it'd be the MX-8 without a second thought.  2in/8out is the simplest thing the MX-8 could do, but I guess if that's the most complex routing you want, the Nexus will suffice.
The MX-8 is sitting as the pinnacle of MIDI routers in my mind right now, to the point of my consider deleting all this talk of it until I obtain one myself.

I'm always on the hunt for decent MIDI routers, currently running a JLCooper MSB2+, Yamaha ME80P, an ex-broadcast co. bespoke 8/16 router that I have worked out how to run as a switch (has no manual and the designing engineer is not id'ed anywhere), Kenton Merge4, Phil Rees V3 and an iConnectivity MIO4.  Oh, and a Studio Master MIDI analyser (invaluable!)
An MX-8 could do away with the MIO4 but won't when I do get one (and I will get one) due to the MIO4's USB routing functions.  If it wasn't for things like MIDI echo/delay and couple of other unique features and front-face editing, I'd not bother with chasing down an MX-8 and just run with iConnectivity's brilliant range of MIDI utility boxes.

Which MIDI patchbay did you order?

I managed to pickup a second hand Anatek SMP-16 patchbay (audio + MIDI) and am just starting to put it into service so I can switch easily between laptop + Digitone sequencing. Just a beginning but works really well.

Ooh, nice looking box you've snatched up there.  I toyed with the idea of getting another company's MIDI controlled mixer, but decided to go with an mixer with MIDI automated faders for that hand's-on thing I seem to need so much.

You know I was playing around with some of my workstations like the FA08 And Kurzweil while scoring a WW1 short film and while stand-alone sequencers are nice, there’s also something to be said about using the sequencer inside a workstation to midi sequence external gear as well as internal sounds.

The M1 sequencer was my first.  I realised when I stopped using it that I'd been spoilt by it to a good extent, and it's a very limited sequencer in the grands scheme of workstation things.  Way back when Cubase was first released on Windows, a friend used it as an excuse to put windows on our machine.  I tried it out and that was the beginning of my life-long hate affair with computers-as-musical-tools.  Took it and Windows off and went back to using the computer as a Wolfenstein machine.
I've since made amends with Windows and we now agree to get along, but I still prefer a device devoted to music, not co-opted into doing it doesn't want to do when it's much better suited to and prefers playing games.

Since I'm here now way off the topic, anyone else notice the trend of using old SoundCanvas's as audio-adapters for the true 90's 386 cd-rom gaming experience?  It's actually pushed the prices of the things up.  Who'd have thunk it back in 2000 that all those SC-55's that were bloating hockshops at $50* a pop would make the sellers $250* today?

*all prices are AUD and are accurate to currency rates at time of publication.

Gerry Havinga

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    • For the love of electronic music
Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2018, 04:17:51 AM »
I did buy a second hand SQ1, which has the same issue for me, but for some reason I feel more comfortable with it. I got to still find a way for it to be slaved to an external clock somehow (if at all possible).

There are two ways to slave SQ-1 to an external clock:

(1) USB MIDI: The SQ-1 appears as two MIDI devices, MIDI Out and CTRL. Send MIDI clock to the CTRL device.

(2) CV: SQ-1 will respond to a 5V eurorack-type clock signal going to the SYNC IN jack. By default, for some reason*, it advances two steps per pulse. There's a totally forgettable procedure in the manual that explains how to change this, but I've totally forgotten it. Set and forget.

* Yeah, I know, it's for compatibility with Volcas. But it's still a ridiculous default setting.
Thanks chysn. I will try to sequence it over USB. I presume it needs a USB host, this won't help me with the Cirklon, but I can slave it off Bitwig. See also my other reply to Lobolives post.
Prophet X, Prophet Rev2 and Evolver desktop, Waldorf Blofeld, Roland System-1, Korg Microstation, Nord Rack 2, Akai S5000, Dato DUO, Elektron Digitone, Deepmind12D, Schrittmacher, Bitwig v2. Daw-less...

https://soundcloud.com/user-252754541
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1QKocb4H6mNRVJ01qyqd

Gerry Havinga

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Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2018, 04:40:01 AM »
You know I was playing around with some of my workstations like the FA08 And Kurzweil while scoring a WW1 short film and while stand-alone sequencers are nice, there’s also something to be said about using the sequencer inside a workstation to midi sequence external gear as well as internal sounds.
The last few weeks I tried exactly that using the Digitone. The Digitone slaves (over USB) quite well from the laptop, with Bitwig providing the clock. Interesting to see the Digitone does seem to drift a 0.1 / 0.2 over a beat, with a track I am composing at 125BPM.

The MIDI flow goes like this and works nicely (to my ears):
  • Bitwig sequencing my Akai S5000 over 5+ MIDI channels, through one port on a USB M-Audio MIDI-Port 4x4. The Akai does have 2 MIDI ins, so this can go much further.
  • Bitwig clocking the Digitone and at the correct moment, in the preceding pattern, sends a program change. Taking into account that the Digitone needs to finish it's pattern which I currently have set to 64/64 measures in each pattern for this song.
  • Digitone running several internal tracks, additionally clocking and sequencing the Rev2 and Evolver over 3 MIDI channels. All MIDI coming from the Digitone is routed through the Anatek SMP-16.
So far so good, when I start Bitwig from the beginning of the track I first launch an "empty" Digitone pattern. Which is set to the same voices and effect settings as the rest of the patterns for this song. This avoids any unwanted delay sweeps, when changing patterns. The MIDI channels running from the Digitone work very well. Addressing the Rev2 poly-phonically (with 3 notes at a time) works fine.

This feels like a good beginning for a setup where I will replace the laptop with a Cirklon. As the Cirklon does have a USB interface it can also replace the M-Audio. This has the advantage of being portable for pattern setup and composing on the Digitone.
Prophet X, Prophet Rev2 and Evolver desktop, Waldorf Blofeld, Roland System-1, Korg Microstation, Nord Rack 2, Akai S5000, Dato DUO, Elektron Digitone, Deepmind12D, Schrittmacher, Bitwig v2. Daw-less...

https://soundcloud.com/user-252754541
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1QKocb4H6mNRVJ01qyqd

Gerry Havinga

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    • For the love of electronic music
Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2018, 05:28:20 AM »
I somehow missed this thread so am a bit late to the party.

I have three of these:

The Cirklon is a great piece of kit, highly recommended.

The Pyramid I just haven’t got on with, with the recent OS release I keep meaning to give it another go but when compared with the Cirklon I just kept thinking “why is this so hard to use?”

The OT is also an amazing piece of kit, but as a sequencer for external gear I would give it a miss.


I seems like the only downside of Cirklon is actually obtaining one!

It also seems a bit awkward to use CV. You have to buy the upgrade board, and then one of the breakout boxes. Of course, when you're done, there's a lot more CV than you get with the Squarp Pyramid, but it seems like it's more elegant to use one or more MIDI-to-CV modules in lieu of the Cirklon's analogue buss.



Yep getting hold of one is not that simple, I was lucky and got one of the first batch. Since then I have upgraded the screen to the newer version, apart from that it has been totally solid.

The CV on the Cirklon is excellent, the advantage over a MIDI-CV converter is you are not going anywhere near MIDI with its sloppy timing and serial nature with bandwidth issues.An envelope per CV was added recently as well, pretty useful. Every CV output can also be calibrated to make sure different modules stay in tune.
Wow you acquired three sequencer of my list of 4  ;) nice. I was interested in the Octatrack, as a future replacement for my Akai sampler and (external) sequencer. Could you elaborate a bit more about why you don't recommend the OT for sequencing external gear?

At the moment I own a Digitone and it works surprisingly well as a mono and polyphonic MIDI sequencer. I started using the Digitone's MIDI LFO and Modwheel control to generate some movement adjusting the Rev2 filter from within the pattern. It does the job! Triggering the next pattern from another sequencer requires some careful timing, but I got it to work perfectly using Bitwig. It was never my intention to use the Digitone as MIDI sequencer  :)

But now DSI has released the Prophet X, I am starting to lose my interest in the OT. Let's see at the end of the year how easy it will be to import one's own samples into the X.

I don't have a any modular gear, if you don't count the SQ1. I am waiting for the Neutron to become available later this year. The Neutron is very affordable and seems to offer a lot of goodness. Since the announcement of the Prophet X, the Neutron might be the only (semi) modular gear I will buy for a few years, I need to save up now..... In that case would you still recommend me getting the Cirklon CV kit and breakout box anyway?

Another thing about the Cirklon is that it also seems to be a good investment. Last year I have seen one being advertised second hand here in the Netherlands (including CV), for over 2000 Euros. The ad disappeared within a month ......
Prophet X, Prophet Rev2 and Evolver desktop, Waldorf Blofeld, Roland System-1, Korg Microstation, Nord Rack 2, Akai S5000, Dato DUO, Elektron Digitone, Deepmind12D, Schrittmacher, Bitwig v2. Daw-less...

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Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2018, 06:02:46 AM »
The Fat Controller is great fun, if hard to find now.  Fun 2x8/1x16 step sequencer.  As well as MIDI out it has two CV and two trigger outs plus sync24.  Can run as 2x8 step sequences or an 8 + 16 step sequence via CV+trig.  Got slide on CV which in conjunction with hold can give 303 like sequencing.

Then there's the Arturia stepsequencers I have, Beatstep Pro and Keystep.  Both are quite nifty loop sequencers that I am really revolving every other sequencer I own around.  The BSP has a pattern chaining function so can work well along side my linear sequencers and the Keystep's a simple but very usable chord progression machine pretty much.  Sequencing the BSP transposition via the Keystep is a natural thing to do really, which brings us to:
Thanks for the great write-up megamarkd. Looks like the Fat Controller is a real fun sequencer. Unfortunately Frostwaves  domain is up for grabs so I don't think they are in business anymore. Perhaps I can pick one up second hand .....

I do have an Arturia Beatstep, which I bought looking for a step sequencer to try out 3 years ago, but it is back in it's box as I really don't like it. There is no visual feedback what notes/key the system is running in. Perhaps I wasn't ready for it then. I do understand the Pro is much better in that respect.

I did buy a second hand SQ1, which has the same issue for me, but for some reason I feel more comfortable with it. I got to still find a way for it to be slaved to an external clock somehow (if at all possible). Incidentally buying it second hand got me introduced to some great local people that are manufacturing the Dato DUO synth. We stayed in touch since.

The more I read up about this subject and investigate, the more I realize I would want a multi-tiered sequencer setup. Kind of a master sequencer that keeps the beat and triggers other sequencers within the right key, or outside if I want that. These second tier sequencer can run their own melodies, patterns whatever which I can then adjust in real time. Hmmmmm interesting.

You know I was playing around with some of my workstations like the FA08 And Kurzweil while scoring a WW1 short film and while stand-alone sequencers are nice, there’s also something to be said about using the sequencer inside a workstation to midi sequence external gear as well as internal sounds.

This is where I think the product roadmaps of most fell off the cliff.

There's a ton of groove boxes out there, but for those of us who actually want to play a keyboard, the options are limited to high-end workstations (mostly aging now) or MIDI controllers with sub-par keybeds.

Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2018, 11:02:47 PM »
I somehow missed this thread so am a bit late to the party.

I have three of these:

The Cirklon is a great piece of kit, highly recommended.

The Pyramid I just haven’t got on with, with the recent OS release I keep meaning to give it another go but when compared with the Cirklon I just kept thinking “why is this so hard to use?”

The OT is also an amazing piece of kit, but as a sequencer for external gear I would give it a miss.


I seems like the only downside of Cirklon is actually obtaining one!

It also seems a bit awkward to use CV. You have to buy the upgrade board, and then one of the breakout boxes. Of course, when you're done, there's a lot more CV than you get with the Squarp Pyramid, but it seems like it's more elegant to use one or more MIDI-to-CV modules in lieu of the Cirklon's analogue buss.



Yep getting hold of one is not that simple, I was lucky and got one of the first batch. Since then I have upgraded the screen to the newer version, apart from that it has been totally solid.

The CV on the Cirklon is excellent, the advantage over a MIDI-CV converter is you are not going anywhere near MIDI with its sloppy timing and serial nature with bandwidth issues.An envelope per CV was added recently as well, pretty useful. Every CV output can also be calibrated to make sure different modules stay in tune.
Wow you acquired three sequencer of my list of 4  ;) nice. I was interested in the Octatrack, as a future replacement for my Akai sampler and (external) sequencer. Could you elaborate a bit more about why you don't recommend the OT for sequencing external gear?

At the moment I own a Digitone and it works surprisingly well as a mono and polyphonic MIDI sequencer. I started using the Digitone's MIDI LFO and Modwheel control to generate some movement adjusting the Rev2 filter from within the pattern. It does the job! Triggering the next pattern from another sequencer requires some careful timing, but I got it to work perfectly using Bitwig. It was never my intention to use the Digitone as MIDI sequencer  :)

But now DSI has released the Prophet X, I am starting to lose my interest in the OT. Let's see at the end of the year how easy it will be to import one's own samples into the X.

I don't have a any modular gear, if you don't count the SQ1. I am waiting for the Neutron to become available later this year. The Neutron is very affordable and seems to offer a lot of goodness. Since the announcement of the Prophet X, the Neutron might be the only (semi) modular gear I will buy for a few years, I need to save up now..... In that case would you still recommend me getting the Cirklon CV kit and breakout box anyway?

Another thing about the Cirklon is that it also seems to be a good investment. Last year I have seen one being advertised second hand here in the Netherlands (including CV), for over 2000 Euros. The ad disappeared within a month ......

2nd hand Cirklons seem to sell for near or more than the new price, people get fed up of waiting for a new one so the used prices are pretty high.

The CV board can always be added at a later date if you get more CV gear, for the Neutron maybe the midi route would be ok depending on what CC support it has.

In one of your previous posts I noticed you talking about having a master sequencer that could control other sequencers. The Cirklon can do this sort of thing internally where tracks can control other tracks, for example you could have one track running slowly to transpose another track. It does some quite advanced things, have a look at AUX events in the manual.

Gerry Havinga

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Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2018, 02:21:24 AM »
2nd hand Cirklons seem to sell for near or more than the new price, people get fed up of waiting for a new one so the used prices are pretty high.

The CV board can always be added at a later date if you get more CV gear, for the Neutron maybe the midi route would be ok depending on what CC support it has.

In one of your previous posts I noticed you talking about having a master sequencer that could control other sequencers. The Cirklon can do this sort of thing internally where tracks can control other tracks, for example you could have one track running slowly to transpose another track. It does some quite advanced things, have a look at AUX events in the manual.
Good point about the CV gear, I am not sure if the waiting list for the expansion and breakout box is long also, otherwise it might be prudent to order the lot.

I read about the AUX events being able to manage events on another track, so much looking forward to this. In the meantime I do love the ability to hangout on the couch, accompanied by purring cats, preparing a track on the Digitone.
So far my testing, driving the Digitone sequencer and sound engine from an external master (clock) works very well.
Prophet X, Prophet Rev2 and Evolver desktop, Waldorf Blofeld, Roland System-1, Korg Microstation, Nord Rack 2, Akai S5000, Dato DUO, Elektron Digitone, Deepmind12D, Schrittmacher, Bitwig v2. Daw-less...

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Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2018, 03:22:37 PM »
I went with the Nexus Plus 2x8. I chose it over the MX-8 as I balanced live performance + studio considerations. 2 inputs is a bit meager but the straightforward interface won the day. Figure I can add another box later.

Wow, what a choice!  I know that given the option of the Nexus vs the MX-8, it'd be the MX-8 without a second thought.  2in/8out is the simplest thing the MX-8 could do, but I guess if that's the most complex routing you want, the Nexus will suffice.
The MX-8 is sitting as the pinnacle of MIDI routers in my mind right now, to the point of my consider deleting all this talk of it until I obtain one myself.


Yeah, I kinda agonized over it actually as I've been burned both ways:

1) Do you buy what you need now without regard for future capacity? That's how I went from a Deepmind 12 to a Rev2 in the span of 2 weeks (when the guy showed me the Rev2, I kept asking him to turn off the FX & marvelled that the sound hardly changed, in stark contrasst to tthe DM12).

OR

2) Buy way more spec than you need, trusting that you'll use it all at a later date. This is how I have a 500-series case w/ summing mixer up for sale now, having never even installed a 500 module.

I went for the Nexus Plus primarily because there was absolutely no menu-diving & no need to waste any brainpower on how to program it. Live ease of use & portability was more important than studio, where my band will probably play most sequenced parts anyway for more human feel.

I will probably end up with both in the future though!
DSI Prophet Rev2 | Roland Juno 106, V-Synth XT | Elektron Monomachine, Rytm | Moog Grandmother | Synthstrom Deluge | Squarp Pyramid

megamarkd

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Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #37 on: June 12, 2018, 03:16:43 AM »
Yeah, I kinda agonized over it actually as I've been burned both ways:

1) Do you buy what you need now without regard for future capacity? That's how I went from a Deepmind 12 to a Rev2 in the span of 2 weeks (when the guy showed me the Rev2, I kept asking him to turn off the FX & marvelled that the sound hardly changed, in stark contrasst to tthe DM12).

OR

2) Buy way more spec than you need, trusting that you'll use it all at a later date. This is how I have a 500-series case w/ summing mixer up for sale now, having never even installed a 500 module.

I went for the Nexus Plus primarily because there was absolutely no menu-diving & no need to waste any brainpower on how to program it. Live ease of use & portability was more important than studio, where my band will probably play most sequenced parts anyway for more human feel.

I will probably end up with both in the future though!

I've come close many many times to buying a Nexus but then think to put that money towards something a that is more of a workhorse.  It was finally taken off the cards when I got the custom switch.  The Nexus would have been a merger/splitter for my two Arturia sequencers but that would have wasted the processing functions.  I think I spent maybe three years hunting for an MSB2+, either being pipped at the post on eBay or having local sellers on gum tree insisting pick-up only.
So yeah, I'm happy to wait for an MX-8 to show up at the right time.

Gerry Havinga

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Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #38 on: June 12, 2018, 11:47:41 PM »
Only a little about sequencers but a great interview with Dave Smith by AudioNowCast:

https://youtu.be/j-yqvFxIc7k
Prophet X, Prophet Rev2 and Evolver desktop, Waldorf Blofeld, Roland System-1, Korg Microstation, Nord Rack 2, Akai S5000, Dato DUO, Elektron Digitone, Deepmind12D, Schrittmacher, Bitwig v2. Daw-less...

https://soundcloud.com/user-252754541
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1QKocb4H6mNRVJ01qyqd

chysn

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Re: Hardware Sequencers
« Reply #39 on: June 13, 2018, 05:10:13 AM »
Only a little about sequencers but a great interview with Dave Smith by AudioNowCast:

https://youtu.be/j-yqvFxIc7k

DSI could do a great Sequential-branded sequencer. They've got the software experience, the experience with assignable CV, and the awesome Prophet 5/6-style pushbuttons.
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn