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Squarp Pyramid vs. Pioneer Squid
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next [all]
Author Squarp Pyramid vs. Pioneer Squid
tioJim
Hello

Struggling to differentiate the Squid and the Pyramid with the verdict falling on the Pyramid with it's far larger feature set.

I see some obvious differences, and similarites, but not sure why I'd choose a Squid over a Pyramid?
KaOsphere
Having owned both :

Pyramid is a far more complete sequencer.
Powerfull, reliable, with tons of cool stuff like instrument definition etc...
But, I always found its workflow unintuitive and convoluted.

Some might argue that it is best for linear sequencing, but it is limited to 8000 midi events which makes it not so powerfull in that domain. So it doesn’t really shines in that field versus a daw...

Pro : powerful midi fx, euclidean sequencing, poly sequencing, instrument definition.Built like a tank. Import type 1 midi files. Unlimited track length. Real polymetric / rhythmic sequencing.

Cons : unintuitive, limited midi events per project, tons of button combination, no velocity on pads. Real time editing of tracks is slow. Miss playhead direction.Sequence mode quite convoluted. Pattern mode not so easy to access.Hard to have a clear overview of what is happening when you have multiple tracks with different size and time signature.

Squid is more of an instrument to me. Never opened the manual. Plug,play,improvise, jam. Find interesting motives, record.

Pro : time modulation per track, step deactivation, groove bend, midi import type 0 or 1 ( but only import one track in type 1). Velocity on pads. Really intuitive interface. Tracks colours, variable light intensity. Build variations is a breeze.

Cons : feels a bit plasticky. No midi exposed parameters. 64 steps max per track. No midi fx. Lacks lfos to automate some parameters beyond automations. Absolutely not suited for linear sequencing. pattern sets limited to 16 snapshots. Global trig probability per track and not per step.

You want something to stay otb and sequence everything : go Pyramid.

You want an instrument to plug and jam, ( edit later ) : go Squid.

In my setup, the squid has replaced the pyramid, more fun...I use homemade G2 patches and a bomebox to mangle its outputs like hell. For linear sequencing, bitwig is my main tool.
hdd
Nice feedback,

I'm looking at this too, i'm wondering what you called "linear sequencing"

but for me the pyramid is a winner as the squid will not be able to record correctly polyphonic sequence.
tioJim
ka0sphere, amazing! Thank you so much for your time, exactly the kind of info I was after

hdd, why do you say can’t record polyphony properly?
KaOsphere
I oppose linear sequencing : lay notes on virtually infinite tracks
Vs
Pattern based sequencing : assemble fixed length patterns to build songs.

The squid has eight note polyphony per step, the pyramid does not have such a limitation.
tioJim
KaOsphere wrote:
The squid has eight note polyphony per step, the pyramid does not have such a limitation.


8 notes per step per track or per step total?
KaOsphere
8 notes per step per track...Else it will be a real bummer ! smile
DiscoDevil
The SQUID is completely unusable as a live performance sequencer or even as a decent arranger for anything more than a single song at a time. Once you run out of Pattern Sets (16), you can no longer change more than one pattern at a time since Pattern Sets are the only way you can group patterns together across tracks.

Why they did this, I cannot comprehend. I cannot think of a single other multitrack sequencer ever created that has this ridiculous limitation. It requires up to 7 button presses to change a single pattern so even trying to change 3 patterns simultaneously at the end of a bar could take up to 21 button presses and an inhuman amount of manual dexterity.
KaOsphere
DiscoDevil wrote:
The SQUID is completely unusable as a live performance sequencer FOR MY WORKFLOW.


FTFY.

I,for exemple, absolutely do not care about this feature...

I’ll support any feature request though...The more happy users, the better for the life of a product.
DiscoDevil
KaOsphere wrote:
DiscoDevil wrote:
The SQUID is completely unusable as a live performance sequencer FOR MY WORKFLOW.


FTFY.

I,for exemple, absolutely do not care about this feature...

I’ll support any feature request though...The more happy users, the better for the life of a product.


You don't care about being able to change patterns on your 16 track sequencer more than 1 at a time?
tioJim
Hey DiscoDevil

Yeah so I’m trying to gauge the impact of this limitation for me personally. First up, yup seems like a big omission.

So I’m not initially planning to use it live. It’ll be for creative sequencing in the studio, capturing ideas.

Is the following true:

Each track has 64 patterns
It’s easy to change patterns for a single track at a time
To change multiple patterns at once you have to use a pattern set
There’s only 16 of those
Ok for one ‘song’ but limiting for multiple songs
The alternative, a new project with a new pattern set, is cumbersome to dial in and slow to load

Does that sum it up?
DiscoDevil
I'm curious to hear about your live performance workflow where you don't need to do pattern changes at regular intervals. You play the same pattern for the whole performance or you just change 1 pattern at a time and don't need the other 15 tracks on the sequencer? I am not being a smartass, I am really interested in what makes this a usable live performance sequencer for others since most people I talk to seem to think that being able to change patterns on multiple tracks at the same time is some exotic feature that isn't necessary. How is a feature that has existed on every single multi sequencer ever created not needed for this one?

How do you make this work?
DiscoDevil
tioJim wrote:
Hey DiscoDevil

Yeah so I’m trying to gauge the impact of this limitation for me personally. First up, yup seems like a big omission.

So I’m not initially planning to use it live. It’ll be for creative sequencing in the studio, capturing ideas.

Is the following true:

Each track has 64 patterns
It’s easy to change patterns for a single track at a time
To change multiple patterns at once you have to use a pattern set
There’s only 16 of those
Ok for one ‘song’ but limiting for multiple songs
The alternative, a new project with a new pattern set, is cumbersome to dial in and slow to load

Does that sum it up?


16 tracks/64 patterns per track

Each pattern change requires from 4-7 button presses unless you're only working in a single track then you just stay on the pattern page and shift back and forth between the 4 pages on that track to select your patterns.

You have to either use a Pattern Set or have some insane manual dexterity that allows you to hit up to 7 buttons per pattern before the end of the next bar when you want to change it.

There are only 16 of these. Think of a Pattern Set as a "Pattern" on pretty much every other sequencer you've ever used. When you change patterns on a normal sequencer, all of the sequences assigned to the tracks in that pattern change when you select the next pattern. Since the SQUID is Track based, you have to select the track you want to edit first and then select the pattern. The Engine functions similarly but includes 128 "Snapshots" so you can easily change patterns and settings on multiple tracks.

Creating a new Project for each song would be fine but won't work live because the process is cumbersome, slow and when the project does load, it's "stopped" so you still have to stop the music and restart it every time you want to switch to a new song.

The SQUID is a brilliant pattern generator and the UI is extremely intuitive and rewarding. Beyond that, they blew this one for anything other than studio work. If they weren't advertising it as a live performance sequencer it would be slightly different but when you think about the architecture of it, the product does not make sense. Why allow you to have 64 Patterns per Track and 16 Tracks if they only ever intended to let you create 16 total meaningful pattern associations between tracks? How did they expect people to use so many patterns across so many tracks with such a convoluted way to access them all? Even if you're trying to write a single song on it, having to stop the thing every time you want to switch to a new part of the song is ludicrous. Even creating Pattern Sets is not easy. You'd think you could just push a button or two and create Snapshot 1, 2, 3, etc right? Nope. You get a little grid on the screen and have to assign each pattern to each track in the "Set" manually.
DiscoDevil
If you haven't considered it, the Engine is a brilliant sequencer.

Cons - UI is not very intuitive. Have the manual handy
- Only 8 tracks
- Might be harder to track down for a reasonable price

That's about it. The list of pros is vast

I was initially VERY excited about the SQUID as the SP-16 is my main workhorse right now and I thought it would be such a great tool to add to the live rig for doing more complex sequences. My excitement quickly turned to WTF and finally rage when I realized just how ridiculously hamstrung the thing is for no apparent reason other than incompetence on the part of the designers. If I held out any hope that it would be fixed in a software update, I'd be much more quiet about it but considering I am still waiting 3 years later for some basic bug fixes on the SP-16 that have existed since launch, I'm not holding my breath.
DiscoDevil
Brand new SQUID update released today! No mention of what's fixed but "Made an actual usable product" is not listed so I can assume it's nothing important.
Sir Ruff
DiscoDevil You seem to have been on a one person mission to point out every single flaw on the SQUID...at length... and over and over again. Maybe just point interested parties to your lengthy GS posts rather than filling up another thread with the same comments here (never mind, see you’ve already done it).
DiscoDevil
Sir Ruff wrote:
DiscoDevil You seem to have been on a one person mission to point out every single flaw on the SQUID...at length... and over and over again. Maybe just point interested parties to your lengthy GS posts rather than filling up another thread with the same comments here (never mind, see you’ve already done it).


Nope. Just one, huge, gaping, glaring and ridiculous flaw. The kind of flaw that people should know before they buy.

There are plenty of other flaws I can point out if you're interested?
Sir Ruff
DiscoDevil wrote:
Sir Ruff wrote:
DiscoDevil You seem to have been on a one person mission to point out every single flaw on the SQUID...at length... and over and over again. Maybe just point interested parties to your lengthy GS posts rather than filling up another thread with the same comments here (never mind, see you’ve already done it).


Nope. Just one, huge, gaping, glaring and ridiculous flaw. The kind of flaw that people should know before they buy.

There are plenty of other flaws I can point out if you're interested?


Ok, but you've made your point. And just because it's a big deal for you doesn't mean it's going to be a big deal for everyone else. And honestly, if it's such a dealbreaker, why do you still own it?
DiscoDevil
Sir Ruff wrote:
DiscoDevil wrote:
Sir Ruff wrote:
DiscoDevil You seem to have been on a one person mission to point out every single flaw on the SQUID...at length... and over and over again. Maybe just point interested parties to your lengthy GS posts rather than filling up another thread with the same comments here (never mind, see you’ve already done it).


Nope. Just one, huge, gaping, glaring and ridiculous flaw. The kind of flaw that people should know before they buy.

There are plenty of other flaws I can point out if you're interested?


Ok, but you've made your point. And just because it's a big deal for you doesn't mean it's going to be a big deal for everyone else. And honestly, if it's such a dealbreaker, why do you still own it?



Oh, I thought the person asking me directly for my input on several points warranted a response.

Do you really want to know why I still have it or are you just asking to try to point out some hypocrisy?
Sir Ruff
DiscoDevil wrote:
Do you really want to know why I still have it or are you just asking to try to point out some hypocrisy?


No, I genuinely want to know why you are keeping a product you seem to really dislike to the point of posting vast screeds against it.
DiscoDevil
Sir Ruff wrote:
DiscoDevil wrote:
Do you really want to know why I still have it or are you just asking to try to point out some hypocrisy?


No, I genuinely want to know why you are keeping a product you seem to really dislike to the point of posting vast screeds against it.


Because I have 8 other sequencers I can use to supplement it. People looking for ONE sequencer to either replace an existing workflow or get started on a new rig should know that this one will not function as a live performance sequencer or for anything other than a scratchpad for transferring 4 bar .mid files to their computer. A thread looking for comparisons between a fully featured sequencer that actually can function in the studio AND live vs one that cannot is the kind of place that this info might be useful.
tenembre
DiscoDevil wrote:
Sir Ruff wrote:
DiscoDevil wrote:
Do you really want to know why I still have it or are you just asking to try to point out some hypocrisy?


No, I genuinely want to know why you are keeping a product you seem to really dislike to the point of posting vast screeds against it.


Because I have 8 other sequencers I can use to supplement it. People looking for ONE sequencer to either replace an existing workflow or get started on a new rig should know that this one will not function as a live performance sequencer or for anything other than a scratchpad for transferring 4 bar .mid files to their computer. A thread looking for comparisons between a fully featured sequencer that actually can function in the studio AND live vs one that cannot is the kind of place that this info might be useful.


Yeah in its current state it's just my drum sequencer. It excels at that, and mutes + individual instrument pattern changes are usually what I want anyway, as opposed to pattern sets that change all instrument patterns at once. Being able to switch out just (say) a hat pattern without having to prepare that move in advance is pretty damn neat.

I can't personally do non-drum material within a 64 step limit anyway, so the Squid was never going to be my everything sequencer. Hence my only mild dismay at the limited number of pattern sets. YMMV. I'm not at all certain that the OP was looking for ONE sequencer, but if someone is looking for a one ring to rule them all studio centerpiece, I'd suggest skipping both the Pyramid and the Squid, and getting an MPC, RS7000, Cirklon, or similar.
DiscoDevil
tenembre wrote:
DiscoDevil wrote:
Sir Ruff wrote:
DiscoDevil wrote:
Do you really want to know why I still have it or are you just asking to try to point out some hypocrisy?


No, I genuinely want to know why you are keeping a product you seem to really dislike to the point of posting vast screeds against it.


Because I have 8 other sequencers I can use to supplement it. People looking for ONE sequencer to either replace an existing workflow or get started on a new rig should know that this one will not function as a live performance sequencer or for anything other than a scratchpad for transferring 4 bar .mid files to their computer. A thread looking for comparisons between a fully featured sequencer that actually can function in the studio AND live vs one that cannot is the kind of place that this info might be useful.


Yeah in its current state it's just my drum sequencer. It excels at that, and mutes + individual instrument pattern changes are usually what I want anyway, as opposed to pattern sets that change all instrument patterns at once. Being able to switch out just (say) a hat pattern without having to prepare that move in advance is pretty damn neat.

I can't personally do non-drum material within a 64 step limit anyway, so the Squid was never going to be my everything sequencer. Hence my only mild dismay at the limited number of pattern sets. YMMV. I'm not at all certain that the OP was looking for ONE sequencer, but if someone is looking for a one ring to rule them all studio centerpiece, I'd suggest skipping both the Pyramid and the Squid, and getting an MPC, RS7000, Cirklon, or similar.


It's very useful for a few things. Drums are a struggle for me on it though. Without a predefined "drum" mode, having to manually recreate a drum mapping for every single step of every pattern is daunting. It's another Con on the list for me. You should be able to create a drum template ahead of time that only uses a single Track and doesn't require you to manually edit each step of each sequence every time. This is another big WTF in my book.
tioJim
tenembre wrote:
I'm not at all certain that the OP was looking for ONE sequencer,


Trust me, you don't wanna know! I go round and round in circles with sequencing (loops? ha!). There's no one size fits all I guess.
Sir Ruff
tenembre wrote:
DiscoDevil wrote:
Sir Ruff wrote:
DiscoDevil wrote:
Do you really want to know why I still have it or are you just asking to try to point out some hypocrisy?


No, I genuinely want to know why you are keeping a product you seem to really dislike to the point of posting vast screeds against it.


Because I have 8 other sequencers I can use to supplement it. People looking for ONE sequencer to either replace an existing workflow or get started on a new rig should know that this one will not function as a live performance sequencer or for anything other than a scratchpad for transferring 4 bar .mid files to their computer. A thread looking for comparisons between a fully featured sequencer that actually can function in the studio AND live vs one that cannot is the kind of place that this info might be useful.


Yeah in its current state it's just my drum sequencer. It excels at that, and mutes + individual instrument pattern changes are usually what I want anyway, as opposed to pattern sets that change all instrument patterns at once. Being able to switch out just (say) a hat pattern without having to prepare that move in advance is pretty damn neat.


Interesting--I was specifically thinking of it as kind of a MIDI ideas sequencer, but actually it seems like it would work this was as a dedicated drum sequencer as well. I understand that each instrument has to get its own track, but then once you've done that I guess you get a lot more flexibility in terms of how each instrument can be programmed. Probably only gets really frustrating when you're trying to do both musical notes and drums together to create a whole song.
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