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Trying to decide a sequencer set up.

Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2016, 04:23:40 AM »
It's probably ill advised, but I'm banking on the rumored MPC Live as my future sequencer. I've got the Touch now so any work I do will transfer over once it a) comes out and b) gets the initial bugs sorted.

Oh and it's a sampler. Two MIDI outs.

Could be a while. Will know more at NAMM

This could be interesting for sure. I'm really interested to see what DSI, Moog, Roger Linn, and others come up with. I don't like getting my hopes up for NAMM too much anymore. A lot of the time it just ends in disappointment.

Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2017, 12:56:00 PM »
I'm looking and Engine, Pyramid and now waiting for the release of Elektron's Digitakt which in its early stages seems to be a drum machine, sampler and midi Sequencer all in one. It's said to be released on April so only a couple of months away.

Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2017, 03:47:34 PM »
It's said to be released on April so only a couple of months away.

Then add the usual two years of painful updates and firmware debugging/testing! ;)

Seriously, it looks like a smaller and more affordable Octatrack. Surely droolable! Its on my GAS list.
#!/bin/sh
cp -f $0 $HOME/.signature

Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2017, 09:33:27 PM »
I keep looking at the Octatrack and turning away. It just seems to complex to me for a sequencer, and I'm not terribly interested in mangling samples.

Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2017, 01:43:02 AM »
A great little device for sure...but I don't think it can ratchet steps or chain sequences together.

I've got a BSP and love the thing.  No, it can't ratchet, but it can chain sequences.  You can't save chains, though that could change as there is a rumour the firmware is to be updates with some of the features of the Drumbrute added.

I too am a big fan of sequencers and a few of them.  I bought a Behringer BCR-2000 a week ago with the idea of turning it into a Zaquencer (when I get paid next).  The Zaquencer is a 4trk step sequencer with a pattern chaining and step ratcheting.  I should really try the demo, but I keep getting distracted when it comes to finding a device to use as a midi interface to send the required sysex file (can't be sent via the BRC-2000 midi in port).
Here's a link to the Zaquencer project: https://zaqaudio.com/

Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2017, 03:12:10 AM »
You know the Engine Sequencer is looking quite appealing as well. Although I'm not sure how confusing it would get without a menu. I guess like anything, once you get used to it, it'll become second nature.

Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2017, 03:14:41 AM »
A great little device for sure...but I don't think it can ratchet steps or chain sequences together.

I've got a BSP and love the thing.  No, it can't ratchet, but it can chain sequences.  You can't save chains, though that could change as there is a rumour the firmware is to be updates with some of the features of the Drumbrute added.

I too am a big fan of sequencers and a few of them.  I bought a Behringer BCR-2000 a week ago with the idea of turning it into a Zaquencer (when I get paid next).  The Zaquencer is a 4trk step sequencer with a pattern chaining and step ratcheting.  I should really try the demo, but I keep getting distracted when it comes to finding a device to use as a midi interface to send the required sysex file (can't be sent via the BRC-2000 midi in port).
Here's a link to the Zaquencer project: https://zaqaudio.com/

This looks great as well.

Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2017, 01:48:54 AM »
[No post edit or delete in here?  Let me know if I am wrong.]

I tried out the Zaquencer demo firmware last night and it's quite fun.  The scale mode makes an amateur like myself seem like a composer.  But I'm not sure if my idea of ratcheting is what it really is.  I had this idea that step ratcheting would have the sequence step backwards for the number of steps set from the ratchet point, then move on forward again.  This seems to repeat the step a set number of times at a set length apart.  I was using my Tetra to try out the demo and ratcheting sounded terrible.  I might not have a grip on how it's supposed to work (well obviously not how I thought), I'll try it with monophonic patch tonight.
As there is no saving on the demo, I can't try out pattern chaining, but I'm sure there is no surprises with that.
The two MIDI CC levels per step is quite some fun and put it on par with the Evolver sequencers as far as them being a modulation source on top of sequencing notes.  NRPN's would have been even better, but can't have it all.
I've not done anything with the LFO yet.
Step mute is pretty usual for a stepper, but this also has step skip, similar to the Volca series Active Step mode.  Again great for making dancers fall over when you start dropping steps out.
Chord mode is fairly flexible even though you set a root note for the chord then select a chord formation from a chart.  The chart includes all the regular chord shapes; major, minor, 7th's, 9th's, 11th's etc, as well as the ones I can't name and then the same again an with the tops notes an octave higher and then another set two octaves higher and finally intervals (best mode for a 4 voice poly ;) )
The 20min limit on the demo and my need to sleep meant I have a little more to sus out on the Zaquencer, but come payday wednesday, I'll be ordering my full firmware.  Gonna pencil in the knob labels to the scribble strip I think, looks more ghetto that way.



You know the Engine Sequencer is looking quite appealing as well. Although I'm not sure how confusing it would get without a menu. I guess like anything, once you get used to it, it'll become second nature.

I think it has lights over the steps to indicate which are active and the 3 digit display tells you the value.  BSP does well with that method and touch sensitive dials to allow peeking at the values without changing them. 

One company who made their name on sequencers (with a sampler attached) is Akai.  They dropped the ball in the mid 00's but are back again.  Check out the MPC X.  Stand alone for a start puts it firmly on my gas list, then there are the 8 CV out's which can be configured to CV or GATE.  Two MIDI in's and four out's is ridiculously good.  Then there is the sampling/audio io side of it being just as good.  The instrument is being talked up as an Ableton beater (without actually saying "this thing will give Ableton Live a run for it's money")

Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2017, 03:42:14 AM »
I've gone the Social Entropy "Engine" option for my setup!

New batch just out!

Waiting game now!!

Tim

Vermona Perfourmer MkII, Boomstar SEM, Prophet 08, Tempest, MFB Urzwerg MkII, Vermona filter lancet, Korg Microsampler, Ensoniq DP4, Korg DVP1, Engine Sequencer, Zoom R24 Multitracker and Novation Impulse 61 controller.

Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2017, 12:14:43 PM »
I just have to figure out the operation of the Engine. I was hoping to use one of my other synths as a controller (While still having it's own sound happen) to transpose sequences on the fly as opposed to having to hold down a button and do it much like the Sub 37 (Which is something that NEEDS to be addressed in the OS update of the Prophet 6/OB6 and something I hope is implemented in the REV2.)

I still have my eye on the Two Voice Pro but my god $5000 for the thing is a big decision and a big price leap from an Engine sequencer and Two ARP Odyssey Modules.

Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2017, 12:25:27 AM »
Just ordered a Pyramid for Christmas, I blame you LoboLives :)

Will let you know how it goes...

How did you manage to get on with this device?

Razmo

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Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2017, 12:54:34 AM »
Try looking at the Yamaha QY700 eventually... don't know if it will meet your specs, but it's hardware, looks cool, is very well built, and will even work with polyphonic material, and has 4 MIDI outputs. a lesser alternative is the Yamaha QY300.

Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2017, 03:45:51 AM »
Try looking at the Yamaha QY700 eventually... don't know if it will meet your specs, but it's hardware, looks cool, is very well built, and will even work with polyphonic material, and has 4 MIDI outputs. a lesser alternative is the Yamaha QY300.

I have a QY700 and it's a powerhouse.  Only thing that annoys me about it is that due to the onboard sound module it send a bunch of prog change and reset data every time it's started from zero.  You can block it all using the filter, but it's a pain.
It's only got two MIDI out's but the other two DIN ports are MIDI in.  The in's can be echoed on one or both the out's and there is some fairly useful filtering (as I mentioned earlier).  You can use is as a regular linear recorder/sequencer or run patterns, or both.
The sounds in the onboard module are pretty damn good for a built-in, with the same drum synth as the RY-30.  It also has the little pitch bender and modwheel on it like the RY-30.  Even the little rubber keybed is surprisingly good.
I got sick of running linear sequencers awhile ago and started buying a few step sequencers.  In a crazed state of GAS, grabbed a 2nd hand Pyramid.  I'm using the QY700 as a cc recorder/sequencer for my VM200 faders now.  The Pyramid is my new master sequencer, heheheh.

Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #33 on: June 19, 2017, 05:09:27 AM »
Thank you for suggesting the Yamaha QY700

How does the polyphony / chord functionality work in practice? Just glancing over a manual, I see that you can somehow assign a track as "bass" after which it will move with the root note, and that can program chords? The Pyramid also has some chord-related functionality.

With some sort of 1-note bass/chord/arpeggiator triggering, my set up has come back full circle to my first keyboard that I got as a child, the Yamaha PS-55: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW4G08kMdJQ (not me in the video :-) )


Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2017, 01:36:38 AM »
Heheheh, I've felt the same way about the scale/chord/arp functions on some of my gear.  It's like I'm playing a auto-accompaniment organ from the 70's but with new century sounds sometime.  Running a Keystep sequence into the Bit Stream 3x's arpeggiator (it runs melodies on it's arp more than merely cycling through the notes over a selected octave rang) and then transposing the Keystep (one finger action!) can sound like some insanely gifted player improvising a solo.

The auto-chord feature of the QY700 I've never really used.  I tried it out when I first got it, but that was in 2003 so I can't remember what it was like.
I bought the QY700 when I feedback-looped my Kawai Q80 to death accidentally while trying to capture cc.  Although the pattern maker recording process was a bit crappy, the Q80 was a beast of a sequencer.  I think it had a greater event memory than the QY700 has (the QY700 will fill up pretty quickly if you don't assign tracks playing loops to patterns then layout the patterns in the sequencer).

The scale/'smart pad' function of the Pyramid is great.  Unlike the Beatstep Pro, it actually restricts the notes you can play on the rubber keypads to those in the scale you have chosen.  You select a root note and a scale (or mode) and that dictate the note on the 'keyboard' and sets the 'smart pads' (the eight lower pads) to chords in that scale.  It makes my musical education a little redundant, which is okay, as it all was pretty much forgotten when I stopped playing guitar, lol.

The Pyramid is an odd sequencer as it runs on loops.  There isn't really a start and finish of a sequence, but it's not a step sequencer, though it can resemble one.  It can be set-up to run like a linear sequencer by using the sequence chain function, though I've found I can run one sequence with some stupid amount of loops programmed to it's 48 tracks then muting/unmuting the tracks, which is pretty much how I work anyway, but I used to use the mute buttons on my mixer.

I run many sequencers at once.  Each has it's speciality and it's weaknesses.  No sequencer is the ultimate answer to what you want to do.  Some are horrible for loop-making but are great for linear work.  I have a Fat Controller that is absolutely hopeless for note sequencing but rules for running CV and TRIG/GATE (I sync my delay from one of it's trig-outs).  I'm coming close to owning as many sequencers as I do synths!

chysn

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Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2017, 04:22:54 AM »
If you need MIDI only and not CV, it comes down to two choices: Either use a computer with a DAW, or get a nice-condition Alesis MMT-8.

Yeah, it was introduced in 1987. But you know what else was introduced in 1987? Jean-Luc Picard. And, like Sir Patrick Stewart, the MMT-8 just gets better with age. I mean... not literally better with age. If you buy one, you need to make sure that all the buttons work, that the display has good contrast, and that the plastic screw shafts aren't broken.

The buttons are conductive rubber, but they aren't inevitably degraded in 2017. If the sequencer has been well taken care of, they can be fine. Make sure that they work with a normal press, without having to lean into them.

The displays do lose contrast over time. Fortunately, the LCDs are easy to find on ebay, and replacement is super easy, as everything is accessible in the chassis.

An MMT-8 that has been carelessly assembled as disassembled several times might have cracked or broken screw shafts. These breaks might prevent the two halves of the sequencer from connecting firmly, so check that out.

But if you find a good MMT-8, it's sequencer paradise. Easy to use, decent mass editing and event editing options. Performance-oriented track muting, a nice and loud internal metronome click. Both sequences and songs can be chained (meaning, you can choose what plays right after the current one ends).

I've seen lots of MIDI sequencers and, for me, the MMT-8 nailed it 30 years ago. I don't need one any more because I don't really use MIDI, but it's an amazing instrument.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 04:26:28 AM by chysn »
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Moog Little Phatty w/ CV Outs, Arturia MicroBrute, KMI QuNexus
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

RobH

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Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #36 on: June 27, 2017, 02:58:25 PM »
My favourite sequencer has to be my metropolis, its amazing, start a eurorack its got tons of great sequencers!!!

I intend on getting a good quantizer as well and running lfo's and envelopes through them i hear some pretty awesome synth lines made this way!

Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2017, 08:34:22 PM »
Thank you for suggesting the Yamaha QY700

How does the polyphony / chord functionality work in practice? Just glancing over a manual, I see that you can somehow assign a track as "bass" after which it will move with the root note, and that can program chords? The Pyramid also has some chord-related functionality.

With some sort of 1-note bass/chord/arpeggiator triggering, my set up has come back full circle to my first keyboard that I got as a child, the Yamaha PS-55: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW4G08kMdJQ (not me in the video :-) )

I got everything repatched and the QY700 up and running.  I'd forgotten just how complex the thing can be!  It has a section devoted to this super advanced swing it uses.  Like a 'humaniser' but more like a form to squeeze the MIDI through and pop out some really amazing rhythms and swing beats out.  Insane transpose functionality too.  And that's aside the keyboard scaling feature.

A really complicated sequencer that has been described as "Ableton Live for the 90's".  Can work as a simple sequencer, or you can score movie soundtracks with it.  I'm sticking with running it as an automations machine.  It's doing well at that since I emptied the memory (amazingly I found some 3.5" disks to back up all the old data in it).

Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #38 on: July 10, 2017, 10:02:02 AM »
One company who made their name on sequencers (with a sampler attached) is Akai.  They dropped the ball in the mid 00's but are back again.  Check out the MPC X.

I decided to go with an Akai MPC Live (sold out everywhere, I managed to get it from a small synth shop in Amsterdam and ship it to Tel Aviv). It is a remarkable piece of equipment, observations after 1 week of use.

It is the versatility of the interface, and the things you can do without a laptop, even without a power connection. Sequence monophonic analog gear with steps. Sequence polyphonic analogue gear with chords/scales. Throw in a quick drum pattern to set the frame of an improvisation. Quickly record a guitar chop in the looper. Convert a MIDI pattern to a sample. Sample your monophonic synth and build 4-voice jazzy chords with it. Add an audio loop. This thing is really well thought through.

The only drawback: it has the "silky soft" plastic finish all over it, that will turn sticky for sure after 3 years in a hot climate.


Re: Trying to decide a sequencer set up.
« Reply #39 on: July 11, 2017, 03:34:32 AM »
I decided to go with an Akai MPC Live (sold out everywhere, I managed to get it from a small synth shop in Amsterdam and ship it to Tel Aviv). It is a remarkable piece of equipment, observations after 1 week of use.

Nice one.  I've a small fund going for an MPC-X when they make it to this country, I'm a sucker for MIDI outputs and have just added a switch and router to the network which are hungry for data to slap around.

It is the versatility of the interface, and the things you can do without a laptop, even without a power connection. Sequence monophonic analog gear with steps. Sequence polyphonic analogue gear with chords/scales. Throw in a quick drum pattern to set the frame of an improvisation. Quickly record a guitar chop in the looper. Convert a MIDI pattern to a sample. Sample your monophonic synth and build 4-voice jazzy chords with it. Add an audio loop. This thing is really well thought through.

Wow that sounds like a dream world!  I'm currently running a Beatstep Pro, a Keystep and a Pyramid to achieve what you say is coming out of one box.  And the QY700 has been described as "Ableton Live for the 90's".  What you described sound Akai have actually done it.  But really it's not that amazing I guess, after all it's merely running their DAW software on a purpose-built computer.  E-MU used to do it with the Ultra samplers, but it ended up going the other way with EOS turning into a software sampling suite (which Creative actively ignored and left to stave to death, thanks guys...)

The only drawback: it has the "silky soft" plastic finish all over it, that will turn sticky for sure after 3 years in a hot climate.

Oh the joy that was the Nexel surface on Waldorf's 90's synth and those wonderfully spongy-yet-hard knobs that adorned their XTk.....I found that baby wet-wipe can bring the Nexel back some life, but those knobs, I almost want to cry!