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Gated Sequencer Tips!

Gated Sequencer Tips!
« on: June 09, 2018, 11:06:27 AM »
The gated sequencer is one of my favorite features of the Rev 2 but also of the Prophet/MoPho/Evolver line in general. I've seen some people get confused as to what it does but I also sometimes encounter new tricks people suggest. So here's a place to share tips and tricks.

What does the gated sequencer do? (Skip if you know already...)
If you think about note step sequencers, they basically let you program one or more notes per step for a set number of steps then loop back to the beginning at the end. The gated sequencer allows you to do the same thing with almost all of the parameters of the Rev 2, increasing or decreasing the amount of the modulation per step. For example you can choose destination filter Resonance and set higher values just for the final steps for a squelchy build up. Since you have 4 sequencers, these modulations of different parameters can be programed together with or without notes.

The other main thing about the gated sequencer is that you have to hit a key to engage the sequencer, but that also lets you easily transpose the sequencer by hitting another key.

Long filter sweep
Select destination Osc All Freq for Seq 1, program a note per step. Try C/C/G/G/C/C/F/F if you don't know what to enter. On the step after the last step you want select Reset for the value. Now hitting play will play that sequence. Now for Seq 3 choose Cutoff and choose values that get bigger in the middle of the sequence then smaller again--maybe 20/30/40/50/60/70/80/90/80/70/60/50/40/30/20/10. Note that this is twice as long as the note sequence. Now hit a key you should hear that each step has a different cutoff amount than the last. Now on Seq 4 select Slew (which is only on 2 and 4) for destination, set value for Steps 1 and 2 to 127 and Reset on step 3. Now you should hear more of a smooth filter sweep as the notes play rather than abrupt cutoff changes per step. You may need to adjust the patch parameters to really hear the difference.

Endless variation
One huge advantage of the DSI 4x16 sequencer is that each sequencer can have a different number of steps. So you can use Seq 1 to play a note sequnce of 16 notes, Seq 2 to bring in rhythmic noise levels on steps 1, 5, and 9 with a reset on 13 for 12 step sequence for some polyrhythm. Now use Seq 3 to modulate pulse width of Osc 1 with a sequence of maybe 7 steps and Seq 4 modulates cutoff with 15 steps. Now you have a note pattern that repeats with timbres that seem like they're always in flux.

Modulate the modulators
The sequencer doesn't only have to be used for audio. One thing modular synthesists love about using modules is you can patch things where a modulator like an LFO is modulated by another LFO and also an envelope. The Rev 2 lets you do a LOT of that: With a wet filter patch set the destination to LPF Attack or LPF Decay. With a patch where cut off is modulated by an LFO, set the destination to LFO Amount, set the Clock Divide to Quarter and listen to how the LFO comes in and out.

These are all some basic uses of the 4x16 gated sequencer. I'll pipe in with more complex things but let me know what tricks you've come up with!

Re: Gated Sequencer Tips!
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 09:46:09 PM »
So I guess no one actually uses the gated seq. :-\

Re: Gated Sequencer Tips!
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 10:21:09 PM »
I haven’t gotten to it deeply yet, but your post inspired me a few days ago when I read it. It’s my task for the weekend, so I thank you!

Re: Gated Sequencer Tips!
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2018, 10:52:16 PM »
So I guess no one actually uses the gated seq. :-\

I'm going to when my REV 2 arrives today!!

jg666

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Re: Gated Sequencer Tips!
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2018, 03:40:28 AM »
I still haven’t tried out the gated sequencer. To be honest I skimmed through your first post and though that it sounded like something to try out but then forgot about it!

I will try and find the time this weekend though, but I do need to read through your post in more detail to try and understand what’s happening etc. Many thanks for sharing the information :
DSI Prophet Rev2, DSI Pro 2, Moog Sub37, Korg Minilogue, Yamaha MOXF6

Re: Gated Sequencer Tips!
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2018, 05:46:47 AM »
Nice tips bud! I haven't really touched the gated sequencer at all!

panic

Re: Gated Sequencer Tips!
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2018, 07:25:16 AM »
I am still just a mopho-key+tetra user, but I love the gated sequencer a lot. Actually, the fact that its programming interface wasn’t carried over from the rev1, still makes me doubt which version to upgrade to, because programming it the mopho-rev2 way is somewhat cumbersome.

I don’t like it as a melodic sequencer, too limited/inflexible, but it is a great modulation tool. So I mostly use it in the “no gate” mode for:
- controlled stepping filter effects
- rhythmic noise-patterns on sustained notes
- rhythmic sub-osc paterns underneath sustained notes
- customized LFO-waveforms!

In summary: “No gate” mode actually turns the sequencers into keysync-LFOs, with a lot of flexibility to design their shapes (using them 2 by 2 with slew smoothing out the transitions if needed).

A final trick to share: the sequencers are available as mod sources, but not as mod destinations. However, you can work around this using the mod matrix, because you can use the modulators as destinations…
If you don’t understand what I mean, here is an example I use from time to time, “aftertouch controlled rhythmic tremolo”:
- select the gated sequencer, put it in no gate mode
- select sequence 1; destination: env 2 amount; program your sequence pattern (press a key to hear the effect); now turn the destination off again
- go to the modulation section; set seq 1 as mod 1-source; set env 2 as destination; set amount to 0
- still in the modulation section, select pressure; set mod 1 as destination; set amount to taste

 You can now use aftertouch to have your rhythmic tremolo effect fade in and out. Of course it doesn't have to be aftertouch, you can use modwheel, envelopes, LFOs or other sequences to bring your tremolo effect in.

Razmo

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Re: Gated Sequencer Tips!
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2018, 07:38:24 AM »
The Gated sequencer is in fact DSI's biggest mistake to omit on the Prophet 12 in my opinion... yes it is an overlooked feature, but probably because it takes some digging in to figure out how to use it... it can seem rather convoluted for users not familiar with old analog sequencers I guess. It's perfect for rhythmic "neverending" motion to sounds, and I think most don't see it as much as a modulation source as they see it a pitched sequencer... I'd ten times over rather have the gated sequencer than the new polyphonic one, that's for sure... I still don't get why they omitted it on the Prophet 12 since that synth is probably the most modulating heavy synth DSI has made to date, maybe only rivaled by their new Prophet X. Having the ability to rhythmically modulate a lot of the Prophet 12's audio rate mod matrix would have opened up for so much more ...

jg666

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Re: Gated Sequencer Tips!
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2018, 11:11:26 AM »
Are there any audio or video examples of the gated sequencer in use so I can get a rough idea of just what is possible please?
DSI Prophet Rev2, DSI Pro 2, Moog Sub37, Korg Minilogue, Yamaha MOXF6

Re: Gated Sequencer Tips!
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2018, 12:45:28 PM »
Are there any audio or video examples of the gated sequencer in use so I can get a rough idea of just what is possible please?

I received the rev today and went straight to it.  It is fairly easy of you read the few lines in the manual.

jg666

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Re: Gated Sequencer Tips!
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2018, 01:12:11 PM »
I’ve had a few too many beers tonight watching the World Cup so I will have a go tomorrow :)
DSI Prophet Rev2, DSI Pro 2, Moog Sub37, Korg Minilogue, Yamaha MOXF6

Re: Gated Sequencer Tips!
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2018, 04:06:05 PM »
Glad my post inspired some of you to try it out. I wasn't fishing for "likes"--just trying to start a chat about the seq and selfishly find some of your tricks!

The Gated sequencer is in fact DSI's biggest mistake to omit on the Prophet 12 in my opinion... yes it is an overlooked feature, but probably because it takes some digging in to figure out how to use it... it can seem rather convoluted for users not familiar with old analog sequencers I guess. It's perfect for rhythmic "neverending" motion to sounds, and I think most don't see it as much as a modulation source as they see it a pitched sequencer... I'd ten times over rather have the gated sequencer than the new polyphonic one, that's for sure... I still don't get why they omitted it on the Prophet 12 since that synth is probably the most modulating heavy synth DSI has made to date, maybe only rivaled by their new Prophet X. Having the ability to rhythmically modulate a lot of the Prophet 12's audio rate mod matrix would have opened up for so much more ...
I was almost onboard with the P12 as a new evolution of the Evolver until I saw the 4x16 was missing. :(
I ended up getting the Rev 2 instead as it increases polyphony, the mod matrix, etc.

Re: Gated Sequencer Tips!
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2018, 08:43:15 AM »
I am still just a mopho-key+tetra user, but I love the gated sequencer a lot. Actually, the fact that its programming interface wasn’t carried over from the rev1, still makes me doubt which version to upgrade to, because programming it the mopho-rev2 way is somewhat cumbersome.

I don’t like it as a melodic sequencer, too limited/inflexible, but it is a great modulation tool. So I mostly use it in the “no gate” mode for:
- controlled stepping filter effects
- rhythmic noise-patterns on sustained notes
- rhythmic sub-osc paterns underneath sustained notes
- customized LFO-waveforms!

In summary: “No gate” mode actually turns the sequencers into keysync-LFOs, with a lot of flexibility to design their shapes (using them 2 by 2 with slew smoothing out the transitions if needed).

A final trick to share: the sequencers are available as mod sources, but not as mod destinations. However, you can work around this using the mod matrix, because you can use the modulators as destinations…
If you don’t understand what I mean, here is an example I use from time to time, “aftertouch controlled rhythmic tremolo”:
- select the gated sequencer, put it in no gate mode
- select sequence 1; destination: env 2 amount; program your sequence pattern (press a key to hear the effect); now turn the destination off again
- go to the modulation section; set seq 1 as mod 1-source; set env 2 as destination; set amount to 0
- still in the modulation section, select pressure; set mod 1 as destination; set amount to taste

 You can now use aftertouch to have your rhythmic tremolo effect fade in and out. Of course it doesn't have to be aftertouch, you can use modwheel, envelopes, LFOs or other sequences to bring your tremolo effect in.
Nice tips! Sounds like you use it a lot like I do--rhythmic and evolving modulation. And yeah, I was kind of disappointed that the Rev 2 didn't use the rows of knobs to program the sequencer. I'm still hoping they add the ability to program via the keyboard like on the PolyEvolver...

Another quick and easy tip:

Wave per Step
- Set mode to Keystep
- Set destination to Osc Shape
- Set a different value per step
Now for each key you hit, the sequencer will advance one step, which means each note will have a slightly different wave form, creating some subtle differences with each note played.



dsetto

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Re: Gated Sequencer Tips!
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2018, 09:28:01 PM »
Excellent thread! (Sorry it's just a "like").