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Author 251e sequence transcribed
mIgmOd
 While trying to learn how the 251e sequencer actually works, I transcribed a "performance" of a seemingly simple sequence. For this purpose the duration and cv of each stage are irrelevant, since I was looking to understand how various loop points would effect the final order of stages. The "composition" was a 15 stage sequence with the "beg loop" on stage 11 and 1 cycle loop points on stages 3, 7, 11. In my notation this looks like this: 0,1,2,3(1),4,5,6,7(1),8,9,10,11(1){start},12,13,14{cycle}. This is how the 251e performed it: 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11(1),12,13,14 0,1,2,3(1) 11,12,13,14 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7(1), 0,1,2,3(1) 11,12,13,14 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14 0,1,2,3(1) 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7(1), 11,12,13,14 0,1,2,3(1) -back to the beginning- I find it interesting that, beside alternating 1 & 0 loops (since loop # decreases with every cycle), the loop points also alternate between jumping to the "beg loop" (in this case, stage 11) and jumping to the first stage (stage 0). It sure is interesting (to me anyway) to see how all these nested loops play out in real time. I'm planning on using the 251e to generate sequences that I'll be using in my next acoustic ensemble piece. It'd be nice if there was midi out on these things, but transcribing the sequences by hand is certainly good exercise for my brain! For the record, the durations I used were an array of 1/4 & 1/8, with the cv tuned to simple just intervals. The result was a seemingly unpredictable arrangement of 4/4 & 5/8 measures.
companyofquail
 that was really nice of you to type this out. i am sure this will help some new or potential users understand the 251e a little better
momo
 Yes thanks for sharing this! I am only just getting to know this module and am loving it so far. It's quite straight forward once you get the hang of it. I found the manual reading a little clumsily in places, but threads like this here on Muffs are so useful in such moments
companyofquail
 i guess i will cross post this here in case someone stumbles across it looking for 251e information Random 1) Press and hold the STAGE knob. 2) Press and hold the END knob. 3) Press the CV OUT knob. You can also randomize the intervals: 1) Press and hold the STAGE knob. 2) Press and hold the END knob. 3) Press the INTERVAL knob.
jurekprzezdziecki
 companyofquail wrote: i guess i will cross post this here in case someone stumbles across it looking for 251e information Random 1) Press and hold the STAGE knob. 2) Press and hold the END knob. 3) Press the CV OUT knob. You can also randomize the intervals: 1) Press and hold the STAGE knob. 2) Press and hold the END knob. 3) Press the INTERVAL knob.

wowo, interesting hidden function. where did you found it? will try that today:)
Lyonel
 jurekprzezdziecki wrote: interesting hidden function. where did you found it?

On this thread, Zebra (Ezra Buchla) posted : Wed 18 May, 2011 1:12 am

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=29389&start=all&post days=0&postorder=asc
jurekprzezdziecki
Lyonel wrote:
 jurekprzezdziecki wrote: interesting hidden function. where did you found it?

On this thread, Zebra (Ezra Buchla) posted : Wed 18 May, 2011 1:12 am

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=29389&start=all&post days=0&postorder=asc

thanks, studying completed
corkyburger
 I'm really struggling to get my head around looping on the 251e. What I want to do seems like it should be relatively simple. Program a 32 stage sequence and then break it down in to 4 loops where I can choose how many times each loop repeats. I manage to get this to work with two loops running, but as soon as I go beyond this, the looping seems to take on a mind of its own and just doesn't operate as expected. Sometimes it will jump back to the beginning, sometimes it will jump back to a loop begin point within the sequence. Has anyone had any success running a simple looping setup as I described at the top? Thanks in advance.
corkyburger
 OK, I just consulted with Todd Barton, who admitted he wasn't completely conversant with the 251e, so he suggested I email Charles who used to work for Buchla. The short story is that the looping functionality of this module is buggy as hell. It just won't operate as it should. Simple repeating loops with clear control over amount of loops AND simple cycling back to stage zero doesn't work. I'm doubtful there will ever be a firmware update for this module, (or for that matter any 200e module) so be warned. I considered getting rid of the 251e but I'm going to see if it is worth it for the crazy stuff it does. It probably is, but right now I'm pissed off at being misled by Buchla sales pitches where the reality is very different.
corkyburger
 Just wanted to add, Todd and Charles were great and did as much as they could to help me.
Kent
 corkyburger wrote: I'm doubtful there will ever be a firmware update for this module, (or for that matter any 200e module) so be warned.

Yeah, 251e looping is buggy. I use the 251e for its other features.
PDT
 If the last stage of a sequence is supposed to jump to a loop beginning but also features the "end" or "cycle" function, "end" or "cycle" will override the loop. You can probably consider this a bug, but it's also not random. I don't know exactly what you want to achieve when you talk of a simple 32 stage sequence that is broken down in 4 loops. if you want to have something like (loop 1-8), (loop 9-16), (loop 17 to 24), (loop 25 to 32). That's definitely possible. The tricky part is the last loop, though. If you want to loop 25 to 32 for any other time than an infinite loop, it will not work. Because then you have to stet stage 32 to cycle, which will override the loop. But if you want to adjust your loops manually, as a part of a performance, you can do that. Have an infinite loop between stage 25 and 32 and when you want to jump to stage 1, simply press the cycle button on stage 32. One part which seems to be confusing to a lot of users, and unfortunately the "manual" doesn't really help, is the fact that you have a counter for a loop, but you also have a counter for the loop beginning. I don't have a system in front of me, but for your 32 step sequence try the following: Stage 00: Loop beg = on, end=A Stage 07: end=A Stage 08: Loop beg = on, end=A Stage 15: end=A Stage 16: Loop beg = on, end=A Stage 23: end=A Stage 24: Loop beg = on, end=A Stage 31: end=A Once you start the sequence, it will run from stage 1 (00) to stage 8 (07) and will start to loop. Once you adjust 07,end=A to end=off, the sequence will advance to the next loop between stage 9(08) and stage 16(15). Once you adjust 15, end=A to end=off it will loop the next section, and so on. To jump from the last stage to first, simply activate the cycle function on the last stage. In case you don't want to have manual control over your loop counters (end
corkyburger
Kent wrote:
 corkyburger wrote: I'm doubtful there will ever be a firmware update for this module, (or for that matter any 200e module) so be warned.

Yeah, 251e looping is buggy. I use the 251e for its other features.

I don't really know any more than you, but it seems unlikely to me that it will happen.
corkyburger
 Thanks for your answer PDT. I'm going to try your suggestion out when I get a chance later. I had a hunch that the final loop would be an issue as you describe. So the only way to make that happen is manually. Which isn't great for performance, not such a problem in the studio. And YES the Loop Beg counter has been a mystery to me, so thank you for finally unlocking that one. There is so much that is great about the module, and its unlikely that I'll sell it, but I'm eyeing up the ER-101 and a bunch of minijack to banana cables right now!
PDT
 corkyburger wrote: There is so much that is great about the module, and its unlikely that I'll sell it, but I'm eyeing up the ER-101 and a bunch of minijack to banana cables right now!

I actually bought the ER-101 the moment it was released because I wanted to have something like the 251e in Eurorack. While the ER-101 is a nice module, it's not a 251e. Very different beasts, especially without the ER-102.

They share a similar UI, but that's it. To me, both modules look a bit like an Excel sheet version of a sequencer. But while the ER-101 has more of a bookkeeper soul, the 251e feels like a musicians Excel sheet. Not a 100% accurate at times, but it makes me smile because you can just feel that musicians heart. The bookkeeper can blame the musician for being a mess. The musician can blame the bookkeeper for being a bit stiff and boring.

Choose whatever works for you.
Good luck!
mutierend
 The 251e is one of the modules that made me want a Buchla system. I am really bad at using it. I haven't used it in a single track that I've recorded. I play with it a lot, but I have no clue how to be effective with it. I'll never get rid of it. The 251e, in my system, is the essence of Don Buchla. (I don't have a 252e.) It looks like something that would appeal to him. It's deep and complex and based on math. Aesthetically, it's beautiful. Essentialism aside, the 251e requires a time investment that is akin to that required by the, say, 291e, in order to really take advantage of it, and that time investment likewise requires adapting to its quirks. Just some thoughts on a sunny Saturday morning.
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