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[New Module] seqSQUARED: The analogue pattern generator
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HexInverter



Joined: Aug 21, 2010
Posts: 338
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A demo video for seqSQUARED is now live on YouTube!

I am hoping to make a more involved video later where I demonstrate some more of the features and with some more interesting patches.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzjJgNXJdSE

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sympleSEQ -- the simple to build analog step-sequencer

seqSQUARED -- the Analogue Pattern Generator
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HexInverter



Joined: Aug 21, 2010
Posts: 338
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

UPDATE: Quantizer/other features update

Alright folks! I know it's been quiet around these parts for a bit! Sorry about that. I can assure you I've been hard at work working on things (sourcing good potentiometers, and solving some hardware problems), as well as working things out with all of the other people involved!

With that, I have a pretty major update to tell you about. Grab a coffee or something because it's probably a bit of a read for me to fully explain it!

I'll present a "short version" for all of you that don't care to read the whole story, but, I encourage you to read my wall of text below if you really want to understand my reasoning behind this Smile

First off, this decision was NOT made without a serious amount of scrutiny and weighing things out. I actually consider it bad form on my part to change anything hardware/functional at this point in the process because funds have already been committed for a specific feature-set. Usually one expects to not alter the design features in any way once money has been laid down, so, this situation would never have entered my mind were it not for it seeming so difficult to keep the feature. For this, you have my most sincere of apologies. I do not feel good about it at all, but I feel in my heart that it is what must be done! :bang:

In the future, I wish to not have to resort to public funding to support my quirky projects, so I apologize once again for making everyone a "guinea pig", so to speak! Hopefully soon, I will be enough in the green that projects can carry over and support the next one without external funding.

Because there has already been a substantial amount of investment in this project, as well as a large amount of support for the basic quantization feature, it is only because I really feel it should be removed that I have come to this decision.

I know that everyone wants the most functionality for their buck, and it is with that in mind that I came to the decision to remove the quantizer in favour of much more unique features.


////////////////////////////////////////////////////

THE SHORT VERSION:

The bad:

- The quantizer feature is being removed from seqSQUARED. It's just not economical from a design/bill-of-materials-cost standpoint to have an accurate quantizer built in that only does semitone quantizing (especially with SO many great quantizers out on the market in both DIY and ready made form!). Also, the quantizer being in limits the CV the module passes through to 5V, which sucks for things like filters and other modulation destinations.

The good:

- This allows CV greater than 5V to pass through seqSQUARED. CVs will no longer be clipped at 5V like with the quantizer in!
- This frees up I/O pins on the microcontroller to put the chaos CV feature back in
- Free I/O pins on the microcontroller means making seqSQUARED more of what its core functionality is supposed to be: an analogue pattern generator. I am adding the ability to have patterns greater than 8 steps in length, as well as some other little things that will make the overall pattern creation experience a LOT better than it is if I leave in the quantizer.


If you are furious with me and completely opposed to this design change, please, ask me for a full refund! hex[at]hexinverter.net I recommend that you at least read the full version below before making up your mind though!

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

THE LONG VERSION:

When I set with the design goals in mind for this project, having a basic semitone quantizer was one of the first things I played around with making on the microcontroller. I want seqSQUARED to not only be an analogue pattern generator, but something that makes sequencers more functional in other ways.

I did not, however, fully understand exactly what goes into making an accurate digital quantizer. It was an excellent learning process in which my imagination and research furthered my knowledge in many ways!

It turns out that it is quite the involved process to accurately (within .1%) reproduce an analogue signal on the other end with a digital microcontroller. It requires a lot of expensive microcontroller peripherals (precision voltage reference, and a 12bit DAC) which add up to a lot of cost on the bill of materials. While cost is definitely NOT a huge motivator to me here (I honestly couldn't care if it cuts into profits for me...the price is set and that's that!), parts complexity definitely poses a threat to builders and myself while assembling units.

Basically, it takes the same amount of hardware/cost to make a super simple semitone quantizer as it does to make a very elaborate quantizing unit, of which there are many on the market today.

So, what we have if we keep the quantizer is some seriously underused hardware and I/O pins that could be doing crazy musical quantization in another module. The quantizer also imposes a 0-5V limitation on the CV input without additional hardware (making the quantizer even MORE complex).

We are also at a limit with I/O pins and board complexity where adding the ability to extend to patterns longer than 8-steps (for that extra irregular variation only every few bars) is not possible due to lack of interfacing space.

I am really determined to keep deep menu editing OUT of seqSQUARED.

Bottom line: Freeing up the I/O pins and saving $$$ on the BOM (bill of materials) with the removal of the quantizer will free up resources for adding more features and controls completely unique to this module, such as the Chaos CV input which was previously removed. It will also solve a number of complex design challenges that are caused solely by the quantizer. It is not that I cannot solve them with it there -- it's more like I just don't think it's worth keeping for all the effort and resources it will take to keep it there!

I have spoken with a number of people (some technical, some not) about this matter and asked their opinions, and the consensus seems to be weighted to removing the quantizer as well in favour of other more economical and unique features

I can't stress enough how we are not losing things entirely here -- it is to make way for more unique features and programming ability for seqSQUARED, while solving a number of design challenges!

So, in conclusion, to the 90% of folks who are into the quantizer, I am sorry for dropping this bomb on you. Please accept my apologies as a design error and believe me when I say that it is in the best interest of the module to go this route!

Once again, I totally feel like crap about changing anything at this point. The game changes entirely when people have already laid down money for a product, but, I have slept on this idea for days and just can't see it being better with the quantizer in the picture.

If you missed it above, I am fully prepared to provide refunds to whomever feels that they do not want to own this module any longer, with these changes. Feel free to email me if so: hex[at]hexinverter.net

If you haven't already, read the short version above as well so it's clear in your mind exactly what is being added to replace it.

If any of this is unclear to you, please, don't hesitate to ask questions! If it's urgent, I can always be found by email! ( hex[at]hexinverter.net )

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sympleSEQ -- the simple to build analog step-sequencer

seqSQUARED -- the Analogue Pattern Generator
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HexInverter



Joined: Aug 21, 2010
Posts: 338
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Still working on the new PCB layouts!

Hoping to get these done and the boards sent out for manufacturing before the weekend!

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

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sympleSEQ -- the simple to build analog step-sequencer

seqSQUARED -- the Analogue Pattern Generator
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HexInverter



Joined: Aug 21, 2010
Posts: 338
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Just about ready to send off for the final prototype boards! Smile

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

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sympleSEQ -- the simple to build analog step-sequencer

seqSQUARED -- the Analogue Pattern Generator
--> Put yourself on the hexinverter.net mailing list to be notified when in stock!
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HexInverter



Joined: Aug 21, 2010
Posts: 338
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The preliminary Bill of Materials is up for seqSQUARED!

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvD8ZRA_UZL8dGNMdWFsQlZDdGlydmZ3NERYR2NKYnc

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seqSQUARED -- the Analogue Pattern Generator
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diablojoy



Joined: Sep 07, 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Hex
have decided i will do 5
but just boards and pic's this time so the $45 option
can a multiple order be done ? or can you set up a special for me

thanks

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adambee7



Joined: Apr 04, 2009
Posts: 420
Location: united kingdom

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi man, is it ok 4 2 boards and 2 pics? Very Happy Very Happy
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HexInverter



Joined: Aug 21, 2010
Posts: 338
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey guys Smile

@Diablo: 5!!! Oh boy! You're building another monster aren't you? hahaha!

@Adam: Great to have you on board! I can do that yup Smile

Yup, I will set up a couple of options for both of ya! Hold on...

...there we go! Options for 2 and 5 PCBs have been set up, with shipping discounts as well as a little discount on your larger order, Diablojoy.

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sympleSEQ -- the simple to build analog step-sequencer

seqSQUARED -- the Analogue Pattern Generator
--> Put yourself on the hexinverter.net mailing list to be notified when in stock!
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diablojoy



Joined: Sep 07, 2008
Posts: 796
Location: melbourne australia
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
You're building another monster aren't you? hahaha!


I like to think of it as one big monster
now if only i could get my backlog down a bit
it might actually start to look like one. Laughing
thinking of trying 16 sequencers into 4 seqSQUARED's then into the the 5th
might be kinda cool or perhaps just Confused anyway wont know unless i try it.
going to start doing some stuff in euro but obviously a different panel for 1/4 inch jacks
thanks for setting up the special will sort it tonight.

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HexInverter



Joined: Aug 21, 2010
Posts: 338
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

diablojoy wrote:
Quote:
You're building another monster aren't you? hahaha!


I like to think of it as one big monster
now if only i could get my backlog down a bit
it might actually start to look like one. Laughing
thinking of trying 16 sequencers into 4 seqSQUARED's then into the the 5th
might be kinda cool or perhaps just Confused anyway wont know unless i try it.
going to start doing some stuff in euro but obviously a different panel for 1/4 inch jacks
thanks for setting up the special will sort it tonight.


Haha wow! That's going to be insane man. I hope it works for ya...thinking about it, I don't see why it would not work electronically speaking. As I have mentioned, seqSQUARED is simply switching through gate/CV sources and passing them to the output. You are for sure going to have one beautiful array of blinky lights if all works out! haha

No problem man, happy to offer combinations for people that want them. Just ask! Smile

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sympleSEQ -- the simple to build analog step-sequencer

seqSQUARED -- the Analogue Pattern Generator
--> Put yourself on the hexinverter.net mailing list to be notified when in stock!
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HexInverter



Joined: Aug 21, 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

My laboratory is filling up with parts! Smile


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seqSQUARED -- the Analogue Pattern Generator
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HexInverter



Joined: Aug 21, 2010
Posts: 338
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

New demo video Very Happy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-W1hu5xJJcE

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sympleSEQ -- the simple to build analog step-sequencer

seqSQUARED -- the Analogue Pattern Generator
--> Put yourself on the hexinverter.net mailing list to be notified when in stock!
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HexInverter



Joined: Aug 21, 2010
Posts: 338
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

UPDATE: I have just ordered the microcontrollers for seqSQUARED Smile They are set to arrive on the 12th (according to Microchip). Shipments will begin shortly after that.
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xpmtl



Joined: Aug 10, 2007
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Location: Brussels, Belgium

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Damn i've been too slow for indiegogo Rolling Eyes

Is there still a possibility to order one pcb set + chips?

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HexInverter



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

xpmtl wrote:
Damn i've been too slow for indiegogo Rolling Eyes

Is there still a possibility to order one pcb set + chips?


No problem! They will be available for purchase in my webstore right after I am done fulfilling preorders Smile

Webshop: http://www.hexinverter.net

Throw yourself on my mailing list and you'll get a little email the moment they are in stock Smile

http://blog.hexinverter.net/?page_id=14

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sympleSEQ -- the simple to build analog step-sequencer

seqSQUARED -- the Analogue Pattern Generator
--> Put yourself on the hexinverter.net mailing list to be notified when in stock!
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xpmtl



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

great news, thanks
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HexInverter



Joined: Aug 21, 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Microcontrollers are here!

Pre-ordered kits and PCBs are going to the post office today!


Pre-assembled and tested modules will begin shipping in the next few days as I assemble and test them by hand.

Expect a shipping notification today or tomorrow...

Depending what you ordered, your order might not have tracking. THIS IS PERFECTLY NORMAL! Rest assured it should arrive in due time (this varies based on your locale, of course)

If it has been longer than 35 or so days, and it has still not arrived, please contact me and I will file an insurance claim with Canada Post. It's rare, but it does happen from time to time unfortunately.

I will post updates as they happen.

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

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seqSQUARED -- the Analogue Pattern Generator
--> Put yourself on the hexinverter.net mailing list to be notified when in stock!
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HexInverter



Joined: Aug 21, 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Manuals are now available for download!

Assembly Manual: http://www.hexinverter.net/public/seqSQUARED_ASSEMBLYMANUAL.pdf

User Manual: http://www.hexinverter.net/public/seqSQUARED_USERMANUAL.pdf

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seqSQUARED -- the Analogue Pattern Generator
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diablojoy



Joined: Sep 07, 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Hex
received my boards and PIC's
yesterday in the mail
really nice finish on the boards
who are you using for the fab house if i may ask ?
all good thanks again

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vtl5c3



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hiya Hex,

I went to your site today to order the seqSquared PCB + Parts, but it looks like there are none left. Will you be doing another run?
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HexInverter



Joined: Aug 21, 2010
Posts: 338
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

vtl5c3 wrote:
Hiya Hex,

I went to your site today to order the seqSquared PCB + Parts, but it looks like there are none left. Will you be doing another run?


Hey man!

Ah yes, I am actually out of stock at the moment!

I am ordering another batch of circuit boards in the next month or so. Right now, my primary focus is getting sympleSEQ v2.0 out the door (which I am awaiting a massively expensive panel order for). So, whenever funds start to come in from that, I will have the money to make the seqSQUARED PCB order.

Expect to see more stock sometime in late November/early December.

If you are not already on it, feel free to place your name on my mailing list to receive an email when stock is replenished!

http://eepurl.com/pDf_5

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hexinverter.net -- Shop DIY projects and modules for modular synthesis

sympleSEQ -- the simple to build analog step-sequencer

seqSQUARED -- the Analogue Pattern Generator
--> Put yourself on the hexinverter.net mailing list to be notified when in stock!
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