MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index
 FAQ & Terms of UseFAQ & Terms Of Use   Wiggler RadioMW Radio   Muff Wiggler TwitterTwitter   Support the site @ PatreonPatreon 
 SearchSearch   RegisterSign up   Log inLog in 
WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Sequencing. I'm almost afraid to ask
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Sequencing. I'm almost afraid to ask
Just me
I'm ready to start populating a 3rd cabinet and want to devote it to sequencing.
After going through the various websites, reading the posts here and listening to the stuff I want to emulate, I'm more confused than ever on what to spend my money on. So many choices, so little understanding as to the strengths and weaknesses.

I want to do the sort of stuff heard on those glorious 70's - 80's recording with the driving sequencers and the pads played with them. I do not want to have to interface with something off board. (Computer, drum machine, etc.) It would be nice if the drum machine clocked off the sequencer.

Is there anywhere with a clear explanation of the differences between the stuff that is available?

STG stuff is nice and small, but can it be run with out a drum machine?
What are the musical differences between the Moon and the Q-960?
There is a nice writeup on the Q-119 Vs the Q-960.
Are MIDI sequencers a viable option? (Albiet off board devices.)
I've got money to burn but am so lost in the hyperbole.
I've tried reading Morbius's posts, but quickly get lost in the minutia.

Maybe I should just grow another pair of arms to play sequences.
drewtoothpaste
Make sure you get a quantizer, whatever you do.

If you haven't used an analog sequencer before, a Frostwave Fat Controller might be a good choice as it has a built-in quantizer, syncs to midi, built-in clock divider, CV/G out with built-in glide, configurable as 2x8 or 1x16. (Standalone not modular.)
synthguru
Just me wrote:
I'm ready to start populating a 3rd cabinet and want to devote it to sequencing.
After going through the various websites, reading the posts here and listening to the stuff I want to emulate, I'm more confused than ever on what to spend my money on. So many choices, so little understanding as to the strengths and weaknesses.

I want to do the sort of stuff heard on those glorious 70's - 80's recording with the driving sequencers and the pads played with them. I do not want to have to interface with something off board. (Computer, drum machine, etc.) It would be nice if the drum machine clocked off the sequencer.

Is there anywhere with a clear explanation of the differences between the stuff that is available?

STG stuff is nice and small, but can it be run with out a drum machine?
What are the musical differences between the Moon and the Q-960?
There is a nice writeup on the Q-119 Vs the Q-960.
Are MIDI sequencers a viable option? (Albiet off board devices.)
I've got money to burn but am so lost in the hyperbole.
I've tried reading Morbius's posts, but quickly get lost in the minutia.

Maybe I should just grow another pair of arms to play sequences.


I can help you out with this smile
Chapter 7 of my Modular Synth Classes text covers this wink

If you want to do some TD-like Berlin School then a couple of Q960s and enough modules in your system to be considered two or three voice, then you are well on your way.
You could also do fine with one Q960, one Q119 and a Q171 Quantizer.
A sample and hold module synced to your sequencers and ran through the Quantizer set to a certain scale can produce the illusion/effect of a third sequencer, too.
The key here really is having enough modules to produce complete "voices" for each sequence layer.

Zon
ach_gott
>>So many choices, so little understanding as to the strengths and weaknesses.<<

Droolmaster0 is the resident expert having used most of the options out there. I have a few things under my belt, mostly nonmodular.

>>I want to do the sort of stuff heard on those glorious 70's - 80's recording with the driving sequencers and the pads played with them. I do not want to have to interface with something off board. (Computer, drum machine, etc.) It would be nice if the drum machine clocked off the sequencer.<<

Unless you want to trigger the actual drum sounds with a trigger sequencer, afaik, you're pretty much out of luck there.

>>STG stuff is nice and small, but can it be run with out a drum machine? <<

You can run it without a DIN master clock, yes.

>> What are the musical differences between the Moon and the Q-960? <<

The differences are largely in the control section. The 960 does a standard sequencing job from one clock. The m569 can have 4 clocks, be reset to any step (with expanders), etc.

>> Are MIDI sequencers a viable option? (Albiet off board devices.) <<

Absolutely. I use an Octopus, a P3, and a Fat Controller. The Fat Controller is fantastically simple and fun to dick around with. It is NOT my go to sequencer, though. Being a "notes" kind of guy, I find its visual slider positioning fine for an experimentation, but orchestrating with it? Meh.

The Octopus is great fun, fairly difficult to learn, and I often forget how to get to the more obscure options on the machine. That said, the visual feedback is instantaneous and it's a joy to play around with.

The P3 is a workhorse. Most of what I do with it you could do with software, but I am not much for monitor screens. The Cirklon should be out this year and provide nice sequencing for both MIDI and CV machines.

For what you want to do TDreamy sounding type stuff, I'd go for the Q960. If you find yourself needing something more complex, go for the m569.
suitandtieguy
My vote for first sequencer if you have no drum machine or other sync master is the Q960.
kindredlost
Just me wrote:
I'm ready to start populating a 3rd cabinet and want to devote it to sequencing.


applause You gonna have fun now!

Just me wrote:
I want to do the sort of stuff heard on those glorious 70's - 80's recording with the driving sequencers and the pads played with them. I do not want to have to interface with something off board. (Computer, drum machine, etc.) It would be nice if the drum machine clocked off the sequencer.


I drive my Sequential Circuits Drumtraks off a pulse from the modular to the cassette in. Sort of unusual. You may need to incorporate a separate clock source. It doesn't have to be a computer. Going from the modular to a drum machine is a bit harder. Most drum machines are using a midi signal. Some vintage stuff of course is not.

Just me wrote:

STG stuff is nice and small, but can it be run with out a drum machine?


Yes. The shift inputs will work with the appropriate triggers/gates.

Just me wrote:
What are the musical differences between the Moon and the Q-960?


The Q960 is a classic design for mostly conventional Berlin School sequencing. Be sure to get the RF option for reset functionality. The Moon series are more versatile in some ways. The trigger sequencer is a classic already.

Dretoothpaste is 1000% correct. A quantizer is a good idea.

Just me wrote:
There is a nice writeup on the Q-119 Vs the Q-960.


http://www.synthesizers.com/sequencers.html

Just me wrote:
Are MIDI sequencers a viable option? (Albiet off board devices.)


Numerology is great. It takes a bit of a learning curve but it can cough up some awesome sequencing power. Node is another fine software program to do less predictable sequencing.
bwhittington
My method of learning about analog sequencers was just to buy one and figure it out. For some reason, reading about them just made me a little dizzy.

That said, a few thoughts from my narrow experience:

-The major, major difference between the Moon M569 and the Dotcom Q960 is that each row has its own clock input. That's a gigantically cool feature. Used with a pulse divider, multiple sequencers (or a sequencer with a multiple clock inputs in the case of Moon's) can be programmed with much more intricate patterns.

-Skip/reset functions are super valuable. We had a discussion at one point of the merits of three Dotcom Q119's vs. the M563. There are advantages to the Q119 in that comparison, but a major feature it lacks is a stage skip. The negative space in a musical part is pretty important. Yes, the M569 has these functions, too. I'm not advocating the $1600 option, but there is a lot of whiz-bang there.

-I would see some value with getting multiple sequencers instead of one really expensive one. Two Q119's can do some stuff that others can't, a Q119 and Q960 would do some things that the M569 can't, and so on. This is because most all of the sequencers have unique extra features that others don't, like random modes, pendulum modes, stage length settings, inputs/outputs, etc. Having two that play off of one another could be a dynamic choice. Or, the Q960 with its complement of accessory modules . . .

-One thing I really appreciate about the Moon stuff are the switches for each step. You can work up some nice rhythms that way. It's an easy, playable way to vary up patterns. The M563 trigger sequencer would be a neat tool in that regard as well.

-An array of the smaller sequencers out there (STG Time Modules, Encore UEG) would make for a nice set up, too. Their strength is mainly that each module/row has its own clock input. See above. Though they compromise on a lot of the extra features given their space constraints. Either would be a good supplement to another sequencer, too.

-MIDI sequencers are going to interact differently. I'm thinking of the Doepfer stuff, all of which is pretty cool in its own ways, but the one thing they lack is a voltage controlled clock. Half the fun of analog sequencing, to me, involves modulating the clock signal to vary the speed or freaking the sequencer out.

-The Q962 sequential switch works with any sequencer (or by itself; it's basically a 3-stage sequencer). These little guys add a lot. A pulse divider and quantizer should be invited to the party, too. If I were picking, I probably would go with a cheaper sequencer if the rest of the money could be spent on these types of accessory modules.

This was vague in places, but I need to wrap this up. I really think the best thing to do is to just buy one. Even the lowly Q119 has its strengths, the Q960 suite is a rock solid choice, and the M569 would be great, assuming all its kinks have been ironed out (didn't John or someone have an minor issue with theirs?). And I'm sure there are other fine choices like Modcan beyond the ones you mentioned.

Cheers,
Brian
Just me
Just to add. I've already got the Q-171/Q-172 Quantizer. S/H and Signal selector. My drum machines do not have DIN sync. (RX-5 and DR-770)
Muff Wiggler
synthguru wrote:
Chapter 7 of my Modular Synth Classes text covers this wink


Where does one find this text? thanks!
Just me
I'm taking the VCA class next. Maybe I should go for chapter 5 after!
synthguru
Muff Wiggler wrote:
synthguru wrote:
Chapter 7 of my Modular Synth Classes text covers this wink


Where does one find this text? thanks!


I used to teach synthesizer classes at Synthony Music in Phoenix, AZ and upon finding that no available book was appropriate, I decided to write my own textbook for teach synthesizer programming.
I haven't had it published _yet_, but each student that attends my classes is given chapters one at a time as they progress through the classes.
Chapter 7 of my book deals with Controllers and Sequencers.
Currently, the only way to get the chapters is to attend the classes. Chugging Beers
Zon
synthguru
Oh yes!
Forgot to mention d'oh!
I am teaching again but email me directly so this doesn't appear as some sort of ad.

Thanks,
Zon
JohnLRice
I love me some sequencers for shore! love

If you could give a ballpark figure on what you are willing to spend and how much space you are willing to provide, I could give you a senario or two of what I would get. hyper
JohnLRice
For your pondering pleasure, here are some quick ugly pics of what modules are in my two "sequencer" racks. I do have a couple sequencing related modules in other racks but this is the majority of it.



ed buller
This is ( as you no-doubt realise )is a tricky question......not far off..."what kind of car should i buy ?".. But you are right to ask it. And judging by all the answers you did so in the right place...

to consider:

1. How many separate synth voices can you make with your system ?

2. What kind of sequencer music are you trying to play ? ( classic 8 note steady sequencing with a dotted delay , Tangerine Dream Klaus Schulze )
or more groovy funky stuff.


3. How much on the fly fiddling and improvisation will you want to do ?


let me know

all the best

ed
Just me
ed buller wrote:
1. How many separate synth voices can you make with your system ?


3 max

ed buller wrote:
2. What kind of sequencer music are you trying to play ? ( classic 8 note steady sequencing with a dotted delay , Tangerine Dream Klaus Schulze )or more groovy funky stuff.


TD early style stuff as that is what I'm most familiar with

ed buller wrote:
3. How much on the fly fiddling and improvisation will you want to do ?


Enough to break it up so it isn't monotonous.

John L Rice wrote:
If you could give a ballpark figure on what you are willing to spend and how much space you are willing to provide, I could give you a senario or two of what I would get.


22 MU spaces and up to $3K. I do really want to get that cool ratcheting sound.
suitandtieguy
Just me wrote:
22 MU spaces and up to $3K. I do really want to get that cool ratcheting sound.


do you want to sequence in a vacuum or do you want to work with other stuff?

either way, i would srsly recommend the Synthesizers.com Q960. start where they started, and then move from there.
ed buller
Ok That helps

your choices:

1. The Moon 569 + a trigger generator of sorts ( 563 is good ). With this you would have 4 voices. the 563 could run fast enough for the TD ratchet. it has a built in quantizer

2. STG. You could put together a nice system for 3K. Lots of possibilities .

3. DOT.com. You could get 2 960's and a couple of 962'961.s This is basically what Tangerine Dream used up until Ricochet. All the sequencing on pheadra and Rubicon was basically monophonic. Chris would just switch ( 962 ) between output rows on the 960 ( 2nd side of rubycon is a classic example of playing a pair of 960's )

however if you want ratcheting you will need multiple sequencer's running together ( moon 569 ). This Ratchet module from COTK is a red herring in my book. It may well give the desired result but it's not the way they did it.


hope all this helps

ed
bwhittington
$3k is a healthy budget to get started. You could go with either M569 or 2x Q960/961's (the Q961 is a nearly essential companion to the Q960, in my opinion, as is the RF option on the Q960) and still get a nice assortment of supporting modules. An M563 would be an awesome addition to anyone's rig, as would a couple of Q962's which really give you a versatility. Not to mention all the other options from Moon that I haven't used personally.

Depending on what else you have, you might want to allocate some of the funds to some additional utility modules A Dotcom Distributor could be used a voltage source in conjunction with a Q962 to transpose a sequence, for example, or patched after a row's output to produce a triad if you wanted. Additional EG's and VCA's would likely always be welcome, too.

I'm kind of liking STG's recommendation of a single Q960 to start, along with a few supporting toys. Once you get it all working, the relationship between the modules and the way you like to use them will become clear. At that point spending the rest of your budget would be pretty easy. Spending $3k exactly the way one of us thinks isn't really the point.

Cheers,
Brian
Tronman
Just me wrote:
Just to add. I've already got the Q-171/Q-172 Quantizer. S/H and Signal selector. My drum machines do not have DIN sync. (RX-5 and DR-770)


If they have midi out, you can use one of these:

http://www.analoguehaven.com/doepfer/msy2/
EMP3
JohnLRice wrote:
quick ugly pics


Quick maybe.

Ugly, no. Mr. Green

In terms of looks my diminutive P3 pales to a lot of the sequencers here, however it is a surprisingly capable sequencer for those Berlin School mid 70's vibes.

Some examples at the link in my sig....
Just me
JLR, I do plan on doing it in a vacuum. When this whole wretched mess is together I intend it to be 66 spaces of modular with keyboard and a Minimoog. (I can fit all of that plus my effects rack on 2 a-frames for live work. No computers or other off board stuff to try to set up/teardown in the alloted 15 minutes!)

I've got and or had computers and MIDI sequencers in the past and personally find them to be mind numbing, difficult, space hogs and too hard to use.

Damn, I wish there was a place to actually touchy feely this stuff and try it out.
JohnLRice
Just me wrote:
Damn, I wish there was a place to actually touchy feely this stuff and try it out.

PNW Synth Gathering
Julty 24th 2010
Renton Technical College
Renton WA
USA

thumbs up
klstay
IMHO you are also want to make sure to include a digital delay that will sync to CV to tap input. You may not always want to use it, but at times you will really want that sync.

If three voices really is your max for the foreseeable future and at least one of them will be used for lead/drone/etc. then the big moon unit is quite possibly overkill - especially since you already have a quantizer so a built in unit is less of a bonus.
synthguru
ed buller wrote:
Ok That helps

your choices:

1. The Moon 569 + a trigger generator of sorts ( 563 is good ). With this you would have 4 voices. the 563 could run fast enough for the TD ratchet. it has a built in quantizer

2. STG. You could put together a nice system for 3K. Lots of possibilities .

3. DOT.com. You could get 2 960's and a couple of 962'961.s This is basically what Tangerine Dream used up until Ricochet. All the sequencing on pheadra and Rubicon was basically monophonic. Chris would just switch ( 962 ) between output rows on the 960 ( 2nd side of rubycon is a classic example of playing a pair of 960's )

however if you want ratcheting you will need multiple sequencer's running together ( moon 569 ). This Ratchet module from COTK is a red herring in my book. It may well give the desired result but it's not the way they did it.


hope all this helps

ed


I love ratcheting! I think we all do here. hyper
You can do ratcheting with a Q960 and a Q962.
Not with the flexibility of a dedicated ratcheting module (number of shots selection) but by using the Q962 as a clock divider - you can run the Q960 at a third the rate of your ratcheting speed.
1) Use an oscillator as a clock to shift the Q962, but patch it into a multiple first. (this is your 3X tempo ratchet speed).
2) Use one the the Q962 trigger outputs to shift the Q960 (now running 1/3 as fast as the clock oscillator). Notice that the Q960 now steps with every third "blink" of the Q962 trigger output lamps.
3) Whip up your desired patch the Q960 is driving (bassline, etc.) while tuning the oscillator you are using as a clock to the desired tempo.
Now for the ratchet:
4) Use the output of your clock oscillator from the multiple and have it trigger another envelope generator. Note this envelope triggers three times as fast as the Q960 is shifting.
5) Patch the output of this envelope generator into a mixer (so you have a knob to bring in ratcheting when you want).
6) Patch the output of that mixer into your filter and VCA (mixing it with the envelopes you are using already in your sequencer line).
Note: Both your filter and VCA for your sequencer patch are now being controlled by two envelopes - one for the sequencer patch and the other for the fast, ratchet 3X as fast triggering.
Now, you can ratchet all you want with the mixer knob that brings in the ratchet envelope.
You can even automate this in an unpredictable manner by using a sample and hold module and a VCA to gate the ratchet envelope - which will give you ratcheting every now and then, automatically.

This is how I did ratcheting on my track "Unattainable" on my "Looking Forward" CD.

Zon
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Page 1 of 2
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group