heavy duty pitch + gate sequencer module comparison

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mdoudoroff
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heavy duty pitch + gate sequencer module comparison

Post by mdoudoroff » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:11 pm

In an attempt to impose some order on the relatively-fully-featured sequencer market, I’ve begun working up a comparison chart similar to my stereo mixer comparison.

I will endeavor to keep this up-to-date. If I can make this more useful, let me know. Corrections and augmentations cheerfully entertained.

http://doudoroff.com/sequencers/

UPDATES:
2019-04-29 added the RYK M185
2019-03-30 reworked the Gate Handling column
2019-12-30 minor updates
2019-10-28 added Befaco Muxlicer
2019-10-27 added Qu-bit Bloom to the comparison, updates
2019-10-15 removed Pittsburgh Sequence Designer
2019-10-13 minor updates
2019-09-30 added Tesseract Sequencer
2019-09-30 added Oakley Sequencer
2019-09-06 added Octone, other updates
2019-09-05 added WMD Metron+Voltera
2019-05-13 added Erica Black Sequencer, Livestock Shepard
2019-05-08 added Endorphin.es Ground Control
2019-05-03 added USTA, release years
2019-02-13 added CFM1
2018-09-19 added René 2
2018-07-30 added Pittsburgh and Random Source sequencers, misc updates
2018-04-26 misc updates, added Red Light District, Varigate 4+, and Lifeforms Micro Sequence
2017-11-01 updates to FLXS1, added Squarp and 1010Music Toolbox
2017-08-15 NerdSeq updates
2017-07-03 Corrections
2017-06-29 Added column on gate sequencing features; added Rene, Popcorn and Mattson sq816
2017-06-18 Rough draft
2017-06-19 Various tweaks and additions
Last edited by mdoudoroff on Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:22 am, edited 10 times in total.

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Timmy
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Post by Timmy » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:19 pm

Not quite sure why the Sequins app in Ornament & Crime has been excluded. Lack of knobs/sliders? But several of the ones included don't have knobs or sliders either. O&C would also be the cheapest sequencer in that list, even as a ready-built module, and cheapest by a long shot if you DIY. Also the second smallest (only Copper Traces is narrower).

Here's a quick overview of the Sequins sequencer in O&C v1.2 firmware. It has been enhanced in the v1.3 firmware which is now available:

[video][/video]
Last edited by Timmy on Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dysonant
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Post by dysonant » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:47 pm

Great work on this, as usual. Just an FYI that Varigate 8+ has ratcheting.

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mdoudoroff
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Post by mdoudoroff » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:20 pm

Timmy wrote:Not quite sure why the Sequins app in Ornament & Crime has been excluded. Lack of knobs/sliders? But several of the ones included don't have knobs or sliders either. O&C would also be the cheapest sequencer in that list, even as a ready-built module, and cheapest by a long shot if you DIY. Also the second smallest (only Copper traces is narrower).
Fine with me! Added. (Confession: I’m a very happy O&C user, but I’ve never even fired up Sequins. I should give it a try one of these days!)
dysonant wrote:Great work on this, as usual. Just an FYI that Varigate 8+ has ratcheting.
Thanks! Fixed!

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Timmy
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Post by Timmy » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:36 pm

I think "tracks" is a bit ambiguous. Does that mean "channels" or "stored sequences"? Maybe change "tracks" to "channels", "outputs per track" to "outputs per channel", and add a column for "number of stored sequences"?

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geremyf
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Post by geremyf » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:38 pm

Metropolis has ratcheting as well as repeat. It's nice to see a table like this where they are all on one page, and for purchasing a first sequencer it may be enough. However, more detail could be added. Things like support for din sync, slide type, max voltage (octave) range, etc.

Also, teletype should be added. According to your current columns it would be:
Shipping yes
18 hp
64 steps
4 (configurable)
1 cv/1 gate (configurable, expanders available for more per track outputs)
8 triggers/1 cv (expander availble to provide more inputs)
Ratchet / Repeat
$480
Telex/tracker

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Post by mirth23 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:46 pm

This is a cool idea! I might Twisted Electrons Cells to the bottom section since it's got similar characteristics as the René.

Another couple that could be added to the bottom section that aren't quite sequencers but designed more around interesting arp creation are the Bastl Popcorn and the WMD Arpitecht.
geremyf wrote:Also, teletype should be added
can teletype work without a monome?

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Post by geremyf » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:08 pm

Absolutely. In fact, a monome cannot even hookup directly to a teletype. I don't have a monome but a teletype + telelxi expander. I bought them to control the e370 I have on order and it has been a revelation.

I'm going to get an ansible too, not for a monome but it provides a 4 voice midi to cv interface in addition to being a teletype output expander.

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Post by mirth23 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:24 pm

geremyf wrote:Absolutely. In fact, a monome cannot even hookup directly to a teletype. I don't have a monome but a teletype + telelxi expander. I bought them to control the e370 I have on order and it has been a revelation.

I'm going to get an ansible too, not for a monome but it provides a 4 voice midi to cv interface in addition to being a teletype output expander.
oh wow, TIL. I always assumed it connected to a grid with the usb in front. I was looking at teletypes, anisible, and white whales the other day and was frankly a bit confused by the product line and how everything interrelates (even more confused than I realized, I guess!)

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Post by authorless » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:33 pm

Doepfer A-155v (classic sequencer design, but without full gate features)
Lol, what?
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Post by akrylik » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:38 pm

Ratcheting/repeating has a rather large focus, no? Perhaps that column should be changed to something like Grid Flexibility and then include one or more of the following:

- xox style
- ratcheting
- clock division and multiplication
- variable step and gate duration
- 4/4-only vs any meter
- and so on

And then perhaps one more column for Meta Sequencing?

- pattern sequencing
- randomization
- direction changes
- looping
Last edited by akrylik on Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by akrylik » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:40 pm

authorless wrote:
Doepfer A-155v (classic sequencer design, but without full gate features)
Lol, what?
What is so funny? :hmm:

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Post by akrylik » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:50 pm

Also I like your categorization of the UI-styles. Good idea for a quick overview.

How about the sequencer's relationship with pitch?

- quantized vs unquantized
- microtonal vs chromatic-only
- user scales

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Post by Hovercraft » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:59 pm

Nice work! Thanks. You might add the Social Entropy Engine to the external list. Also, the Fluxus One has a modulation output, arps are only one of the modulation options. It'll also output LFOs and envelopes.

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Post by basicbasic » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:18 pm


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Post by neonmercury1 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:39 pm

what about rene?

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mdoudoroff
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Post by mdoudoroff » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:24 pm

Timmy wrote:I think "tracks" is a bit ambiguous. Does that mean "channels" or "stored sequences"? Maybe change "tracks" to "channels", "outputs per track" to "outputs per channel", and add a column for "number of stored sequences"?
Of course there’s really no standard terminology to follow. “Tracks” is pretty common, and seems no worse than the other suggestions.

I’ll ponder the “stored sequences” idea, although that could get confusing, fast. (And I’ll add that I have yet to see a Eurorack sequencer with a compelling system for storage—this is one of my current peeves.)
geremyf wrote:Metropolis has ratcheting as well as repeat.
It didn’t used to, but I see they recently added that feature! Will update.
geremyf wrote: It's nice to see a table like this where they are all on one page, and for purchasing a first sequencer it may be enough. However, more detail could be added. Things like support for din sync, slide type, max voltage (octave) range, etc.
Thanks. I’ll see what I can do.

I’m going to just take your word on Teletype and add it.
mirth23 wrote: h wow, TIL. I always assumed it connected to a grid with the usb in front. I was looking at teletypes, anisible, and white whales the other day and was frankly a bit confused by the product line and how everything interrelates (even more confused than I realized, I guess!)
Everyone seems a little confused. (Monome is a company, not a product. And they’re a damned confusing company, too. Brilliant, perhaps, but confusing.) Anyway, they offer the Grid and Arc controllers. My impression is that the White Whale, Earthsea and Meadowphysics modules are all discontinued, replaced with Ansible.
authorless wrote:Lol, what?
I may be mistaken, but as far as I can tell, the 155 only supports gates that are the duration of the entire step. I suppose that’s a bit arbitrary (does the DU-SEQ really do “better”?) Will ponder.
akrylik wrote: Ratcheting/repeating has a rather large focus, no? Perhaps that column should be changed to something like Grid Flexibility and then include one or more of the following:

- xox style
- ratcheting
- clock division and multiplication
- variable step and gate duration
- 4/4-only vs any meter
- and so on

And then perhaps one more column for Meta Sequencing?

- pattern sequencing
- randomization
- direction changes
- looping
I’ll see what I can do, although some of these are probably too specific or can’t really be compared reasonably.
akrylik wrote: How about the sequencer's relationship with pitch?

- quantized vs unquantized
- microtonal vs chromatic-only
- user scales
All these sequencers support quantization except where noted. I’ll try to add something about microtonal support, though—that’s a good one.
hovercraft wrote:Nice work! Thanks. You might add the Social Entropy Engine to the external list. Also, the Fluxus One has a modulation output, arps are only one of the modulation options. It'll also output LFOs and envelopes.
Will add.
basicbasic wrote:Not sure if it belongs in the list but Ladik's sequencer series of modules may be of interest (which allows you to kind of build your own sequencer)
I’m not sure either, but I’ll study it.
neonmercury1 wrote:what about rene?
René doesn’t really meet the requirements because it doesn’t quite support gate sequencing in conjunction with CV sequencing. It has gate processing/filtering features, but can’t actually generate a gate by itself. I’m almost splitting hairs here, I know, but I also know René very well at this point—it’s been my primary sequencer for a couple years now.

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Post by Jumbuktu » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:37 pm

Great work, but what about hex-inverter orbitals? And xaoc moskwa?
Last edited by Jumbuktu on Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Timmy » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:43 pm

mdoudoroff wrote:
Timmy wrote:I think "tracks" is a bit ambiguous. Does that mean "channels" or "stored sequences"? Maybe change "tracks" to "channels", "outputs per track" to "outputs per channel", and add a column for "number of stored sequences"?
Of course there’s really no standard terminology to follow. “Tracks” is pretty common, and seems no worse than the other suggestions.

I’ll ponder the “stored sequences” idea, although that could get confusing, fast. (And I’ll add that I have yet to see a Eurorack sequencer with a compelling system for storage—this is one of my current peeves.)
Maybe "tracks/channels" to distinguish it from "tracks/songs"?

Anyway, Sequins in O&C can store 4 sets of sequences which can then be chained in various ways to provide a sequence of up to 64 steps - so 64 rather than 16 steps is probably more accurate. By "store" I mean the sequences are saved to the flash memory on the module and thus persist after turning the power off and back on again.

Such comparison tables always end up being much more complex and involved than they seem at first glance, and it is impossible to keep everyone happy about what is being compared and how each data item is defined...

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Post by akrylik » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:29 am

mdoudoroff wrote:
authorless wrote:Lol, what?
I may be mistaken, but as far as I can tell, the 155 only supports gates that are the duration of the entire step. I suppose that’s a bit arbitrary (does the DU-SEQ really do “better”?) Will ponder.
In typical analog fashion, the A-155 gate lengths are exactly the same as the pulse length of the incoming clock. So you can vary the gate length by changing the pulse width of the incoming clock.

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Post by Daisuk » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:23 am

Nice list! :)

The Eloquencer has repeats as well (as a "step mode").

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Post by justintonation » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:01 am

The verbos voltage multistage has independent gate length and pitch cv. Plus slew per step. And some other cool features.

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Post by mdoudoroff » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:58 am

Jumbuktu wrote:Great work, but what about hex-inverter orbitals? And xaoc moskwa?
Orbitals is discontinued. I’ve added Moskwa, with some misgivings. Moskwa straddles the line between a “heavy duty sequencer” and a utility sequencer (of which there are zillions). I am worried about scope creep. But for now, it’s there.
Timmy wrote:Maybe "tracks/channels" to distinguish it from "tracks/songs"?

Anyway, Sequins in O&C can store 4 sets of sequences which can then be chained in various ways to provide a sequence of up to 64 steps - so 64 rather than 16 steps is probably more accurate. By "store" I mean the sequences are saved to the flash memory on the module and thus persist after turning the power off and back on again.

Such comparison tables always end up being much more complex and involved than they seem at first glance, and it is impossible to keep everyone happy about what is being compared and how each data item is defined...
I’ve clarified the table somewhat and will continue to try to tighten it. It’s going to take a lot of work before the thing really stabilizes.

Yes, this table can never be more than a starting point. I’ve even added a caveat at the top regarding that.
akrylik wrote:In typical analog fashion, the A-155 gate lengths are exactly the same as the pulse length of the incoming clock. So you can vary the gate length by changing the pulse width of the incoming clock.
Yeah, I know. I’ve added the A-155 for now, but with some misgivings. We’ll see how it wears.
justintonation wrote:The verbos voltage multistage has independent gate length and pitch cv. Plus slew per step. And some other cool features.
I’ve added the multistage, but with misgivings. I felt doing so also obliged me to add the Control Forge. This may, in turn, oblige me to add René and god knows what else in the future. I don’t mind if it’s constructive.

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Post by mattsb » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:10 pm

I know you are focusing "inrack" but this is starting to intrigue me..

http://www.kilpatrickaudio.com/?p=carbon

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Post by Jumbuktu » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:14 pm

mdoudoroff wrote:
Jumbuktu wrote:Great work, but what about hex-inverter orbitals? And xaoc moskwa?
Orbitals is discontinued. I’ve added Moskwa, with some misgivings. Moskwa straddles the line between a “heavy duty sequencer” and a utility sequencer (of which there are zillions). I am worried about scope creep. But for now, it’s there.
Thanks. I understand the issue of scope creep.

Pity Orbitals is no more. It was a brilliant sequencer for a reasonable price.

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