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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Sequencers
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 1:16 pm    Post subject: Grab that can of babyoil! Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Sequencers...

It might be me.. but.. something happened in the early 80s.. something..
which changed the meaning of the term sequencer.
Before than the sequencer was a weird unit with leds and pots and lotsa in/outs.

The use of sequencers has kind become synonymous with step sequencing and grooves.. which is all fine.. but these monsters can be used for more.

Some obvious uses are for doing step filtering.. sending CVs to filters while a sequence is played or.. layer an expressive filtering on top of handplayed lines. .. and.. for creating interesting and advanced envelopes.

Do you guys have any sequencers stories you want to share?

And then a pix, start drooling ( just checking if the stage is level!):

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

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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Howard..do you have a pix of your sequencer? The one you build yourself?
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I guess you can blame MIDI, or at least the early makers of midi recorders, who called their products sequencers.
Maybe it was a logical step.
I have an old Sequential Circuits model 800 sequencer that was a kind of analog/digital hybrid. Digital recording and storage, but outputs control voltages.
If the early HW sequencer designers had digital technology, they probably would have just made recording/playback devices and we would have never seen all the cool analog step sequencers!
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

True. Good point. Among the hybrid gear I had several of those early Roland MCs and those early MSQ .. or was that CSQ? those were black.. CV gate stepsequencers. Pretty easy to handle but limited.
The analog style sequencers were the best.. and the same design proves useful today. Doing envelopes using a sequencer is so amusing. Great!

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wow, someone remembered. In my opinion, nobody has yet to make a sequencer that does what this one does. I need to get out my soldering iron, and spend a few weeks with a scope and fix this puppy. Laughing

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Aha.. it is specifically made for the Moog modular..!
Hmm.. and yes.. seems like this is a nifty design...

Neat box! Get that little groover running! Cool

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

aha.. 3 CV per step?

Hey.. the more I look at this one the better it looks!

How is the portamento implemented? More like the slew generators?

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BTW: This one is now up and running now at the TEKS office.



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

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seraph
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
The use of sequencers has kind become synonymous with step sequencing and grooves.. which is all fine.. but these monsters can be used for more.

Some obvious uses are for doing step filtering.. sending CVs to filters while a sequence is played or.. layer an expressive filtering on top of handplayed lines. .. and.. for creating interesting and advanced envelopes.

Do you guys have any sequencers stories you want to share?



you can do stuff like that with Matrix, the step sequencer inside Reason, you can hear its use in Mega-N, my last track uploaded today on http://go.berkleemusic.com/seraph

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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

...and I DID hear that, you clever devil! That little tune has some very nice patches going! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
I did hear you were in geek patch mode when you recorded that song! I love it!

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
aha.. 3 CV per step?

Hey.. the more I look at this one the better it looks!

How is the portamento implemented? More like the slew generators?


Yes, just a simple integrator with adjustable slope.
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seraph
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
I did hear you were in geek patch mode when you recorded that song! I love it!

No Stein, I was in Mega-N(erd) patch mode Shocked

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ahhh... that is what I guessed at .. seeing the front panel. Did you design the lot from scratch up or did you use some schematics for parts of the unit? You have a clock in there. 1973? Is that too early for the 555 family ICs?
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
Ahhh... that is what I guessed at .. seeing the front panel. Did you design the lot from scratch up or did you use some schematics for parts of the unit? You have a clock in there. 1973? Is that too early for the 555 family ICs?


Yes, it has and internal voltage controlled clock, and yes it was based on a 555 timer circuit. You could plug in a Moog oscillator if you wanted really accurate 1 volt per octave tracking.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Cool
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Howard, how does that forward/rev thing work?
You can switch direction by hi/low voltage on the IN socket?
And the switch is manual or override or?

I have seen this implemented in different ways.
BTW: reminds me of how S/H can be used with a comparator logic gate in order to go hi and low and send the sequencer in forward or backwards mode.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2003 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

How does the Matrix (inside Reason) sequencer compare to a hardware sequencer? I am very close to buying the P3 hardware sequencer, but if there is a comparable software version I would consider it.

Here is the P3 info:
http://www.colinfraser.com/p3/p3.htm

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2003 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

it's hardly comparable.
For example you may instantiate as many Matrix as you need, patching them up is a matter of seconds, each pattern can be 32 steps long, you can set it up to be bipolar or unipolar (it outputs positive and negative values or anly positive ones), it can output CV (so to speak) ang "gate" values, you can apply it to play notes or to control anything you can think of etc. but best of all:
it's already there, it's easy to use, it does not take half an hour to try a few things, it takes only a "virtual" patch cord to connect it and, for me, all these things set me free to experiment Exclamation

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2003 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If you want a software step sequencer that does everything you could imagine, check out SoftStep:

http://geneticmusic.com/
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2003 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A similar thing is the Numerology for Mac OS X. Great app.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2003 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
Howard, how does that forward/rev thing work?
You can switch direction by hi/low voltage on the IN socket?
And the switch is manual or override or?

I have seen this implemented in different ways.
BTW: reminds me of how S/H can be used with a comparator logic gate in order to go hi and low and send the sequencer in forward or backwards mode.

Yes, it works exactly as you say. A nice thing happens when youi plug an oscillator into the FWD/REV input that is not synched to the clock osc. This gives you a meandering melody. If you use an adjustable pulse (square) wave, you can get the meandering to favor the forward or reverse direction.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2003 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Your sequencer design is excellent! It basicallly seems to be able to do all vital functions very well. Has this thing ever been in production?
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2003 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

AS has a lot of nice modules. Their sequencer is not quite a divine howardian device... but.. pretty cute anyway.

http://www.analoguesystems.co.uk/modules/rs200.htm


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2003 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Back around 1985 I had gotten my hands on a Minimoog and really wanted an analog sequencer but they were hard to find or were just out of my budget. So, I got hold of a Commodore 64 and built a D/A convertor (based on a Signetics chip) that connected to the expansion port on the back of the C64. I had trigger and CV coming out of it and I had to program the steps using DATA statements in commodore BASIC...what a PITA! but - I had my sequencer!

I use MIDI sequencers now - so much easier to input data then using DATA statements but you still have to have a MIDI/CV-Gate interface to interface with analog synths. I do however miss having real knobs to enter the data in...that makes it so much easier to make changes on the fly - and sometimes pleasant mistakes..
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2003 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
Your sequencer design is excellent! It basicallly seems to be able to do all vital functions very well. Has this thing ever been in production?

Sorry for the late respones. Must have missed this one.

No, it has never been in production. There is only one prototype.
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