heavy duty pitch + gate sequencer module comparison

Cwejman, Livewire, TipTop Audio, Doepfer etc... Get your euro on!

Moderators: luketeaford, Joe., lisa, Kent

User avatar
mdoudoroff
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3808
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:10 am
Location: New York City

Post by mdoudoroff » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:23 am

Significant update to the comparison, today!

Most importantly, I added a new column to attempt to characterize and classify the gate-handling features/philosophy of each sequencer.

Also went ahead and added Rene, Popcorn and the Mattson sq816.

http://doudoroff.com/sequencers/

Corrections and constructive suggestions highly welcome! Could particularly use help from a Teletype user on filling in the blanks.

Cheers!
Martin

User avatar
geremyf
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1213
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:01 pm
Location: Boston

Post by geremyf » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:54 am

For teletype you can put 'any/64+'. It can act as a tracker and you can use as many or as few of the steps. You can also have unlimited steps if you calculate them algorithmically on each clock/trigger.

As for gate length, I would just put "variable". You can literally assign the gate length in milliseconds for each step, base it off the bpm, or you can do something like define it as a percentage of the incoming clock and scale it with the parameter knob. It is stupidly flexible.

User avatar
mirth23
Common Wiggler
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:15 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Post by mirth23 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:17 am

mdoudoroff wrote:
mirth23 wrote: o 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.
fwiw, your impression is consistent with my own findings after doing some additional digging over on the monome lines forum... one odd thing there is that ansible has no pots, so it's an incomplete replacement for the others.

thanks for doing all the great work on this list!

User avatar
mdoudoroff
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3808
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:10 am
Location: New York City

Post by mdoudoroff » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:37 am

geremyf wrote:For teletype you can put 'any/64+'. It can act as a tracker and you can use as many or as few of the steps. You can also have unlimited steps if you calculate them algorithmically on each clock/trigger.

As for gate length, I would just put "variable". You can literally assign the gate length in milliseconds for each step, base it off the bpm, or you can do something like define it as a percentage of the incoming clock and scale it with the parameter knob. It is stupidly flexible.
Thanks. I’ve updated the table. Went with “programmable”. :)
mirth23 wrote:fwiw, your impression is consistent with my own findings after doing some additional digging over on the monome lines forum... one odd thing there is that ansible has no pots, so it's an incomplete replacement for the others.

thanks for doing all the great work on this list!
You’re welcome. My guess is Monome wanted Ansible to be more open-ended than the original trio of modules were, which meant making it a “dumb” i/o interface and program host, and shifting the interactive burden entirely to the Grid or Arc.

User avatar
esko997
Common Wiggler
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:44 pm
Location: CT, USA

Post by esko997 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:07 am

Thank you very much for this, am having an incredibly hard time deciding on a new sequencer, this is helpful and informative. :yay:

User avatar
Timmy
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1236
Joined: Fri May 06, 2016 7:08 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by Timmy » Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:16 pm

For Sequins in O&C, there is currently gate on/off per step as well as global gate width.

User avatar
mirth23
Common Wiggler
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:15 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Post by mirth23 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:56 am

This thread / link / something is totally worth a sticky.

User avatar
mdoudoroff
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3808
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:10 am
Location: New York City

Post by mdoudoroff » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:14 pm

esko997 — it is hard; take your time


Timmy — Gah! Fixed.


mirth23 — I should hope so!

User avatar
mdoudoroff
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3808
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:10 am
Location: New York City

Post by mdoudoroff » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:00 pm

Updated the comparison, today, with new info on the FLXS1, and added the 1010Music Toolbox and upcoming Squarp Hermod.

http://doudoroff.com/sequencers/

User avatar
NMNMNMNMNMN
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:02 am
Location: Rotterdam

Post by NMNMNMNMNMN » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:56 pm

Perhaps I missed it, but the MidiBox should be on there! Not Euro per se, but I 'hacked' mine to fit right in. Capable of driving 8 X CV + gate, 8 clocks and up to 128 individual gates.

I can start naming all the functionality, but check this out: http://www.ucapps.de/
It's DIY only, 16 track simultaneously and tons of modulation on the midi-level.

This is my midi-box-oriented setup now: https://cdn.modulargrid.net/img/racks/m ... 448571.jpg

User avatar
mdoudoroff
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3808
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:10 am
Location: New York City

Post by mdoudoroff » Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:27 am

NMNMNMNMNMN wrote:Perhaps I missed it, but the MidiBox should be on there! Not Euro per se, but I 'hacked' mine to fit right in. Capable of driving 8 X CV + gate, 8 clocks and up to 128 individual gates.
I don’t believe I was aware of this (obviously venerable) project. Pretty high barrier of entry, but looks cool. Added to the list of external alternatives.

User avatar
mdoudoroff
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3808
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:10 am
Location: New York City

Post by mdoudoroff » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:06 am

My cautionary tale:

When I began this sequencer comparison, I had recently given up on my ER-101/102. I’d had Orthogonal Devices’ superb (it is superb!) sequencer for some time and had been moderately productive with it, but over the previous year, I had found myself favoring René and Brains and had even picked up an 8S (another basic 8-step sequencer). I’d gotten to the point where the ER-101 was the option of last resort, and that’s when I realized it was time for it to go.

I also had a Control Forge, which was a unique and intriguing tool, but I saw it (and still see it) as a different kind of critter.

Still, the notion lived on that there was a powerful multi-track melody+gate sequencer that would be the ideal heart of my system—I just had to find the one. Hence, I began this comparison and an effort to better understand them.

I knew two things:

1) I found the ER-101 a bit laborious (not fun enough)

2) I didn’t like how there was no way to visualize my overall sequence with the ER-101 and I could easily become confused by where I was and what was going on (making it even more laborious; the Control Forge was similar in this regard)

It was easy for me to rule out modules like the Stillson Hammer Mk2, because, while the sliders are visual, they often “lie” (their physical position often does not reflect the actual value). However, I was quickly seduced by the Eloquencer. It has a visual x0x grid, step editing looked certainly no harder than the ER-101, and there were so many obviously good ideas, such as the probability features. And eight tracks!!!

I eventually had the opportunity to grab an Eloquencer (it’s so scarce that buying was the only way to try it), only to sell it mere weeks later.

Why?

This was not the Eloquencer’s fault. The Eloquencer is an awesome sequencer, and it’s going to get even more awesome in coming months. The problem was my own faulty assumptions. The Eloquencer sort of addressed the things I had identified I didn’t like about the ER-101, but it didn’t address the unidentified problem that was lurking behind it all.

These “super sequencers” are little worlds unto themselves. That’s a fact of being compact (miniaturized) and dense (feature-rich). These devices really dictate their own process—it’s inherent in their design. When you’re working with these devices, you’re no longer patching: you’re programming a digital box. These sequencers take me out of my patch process and force me to switch my mode of thinking. They disrupt my process.

Process is everything in modular synthesis, and we each have our own.

What I’ve learned is that these super sequencers aren’t for me, and why that is. So: success! For my own use, I will now focus on classic-style sequencers (some of which are in the comparison). I will also maintain the comparison and keep it up-to-date, because it’s intellectually fascinating!

Meanwhile, good luck on your own quest.

User avatar
mirth23
Common Wiggler
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:15 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Post by mirth23 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:23 pm

Thanks for all of the work you've done on this, mdoudoroff, it has helped me develop my own thinking about sequencing, which is definitely an ongoing (and immature) process. I've personally gone from a BSP, which felt a little too much like not working directly with my system to me, to a Metropolis, which has some really nice qualities but is overkill for some of what I want to do and then seems like too little for other things I want it to do, and more recently to a FLXS1.

Like the Eloquencer, the FLXS1 is its own world as far as process is concerned, but I'm finding that it seems to jive with the way that I think about things. The CV ins also allow for a lot of opportunities to use single channels in the FLXS1 like more traditional modular sequencers, and I'm finding it a go-to tool for simple things while I dig through the more complex features.
mdoudoroff wrote:It was easy for me to rule out modules like the Stillson Hammer Mk2, because, while the sliders are visual, they often “lie” (their physical position often does not reflect the actual value).
This is always a surprising UX decision when I encounter it. It's generally a show stopper for me because I hate having to figure out where things really are if there isn't a visual indicator for them. I've been willing to make an exception for that with a Voltage Block, but I use that more as a modulation sequencer than as a pitch sequencer so I tend to care a little bit less about whether or not the slider is lying to me.

With this in mind, I'm surprised that we haven't seen more multi-channel sequencers in Eurorack that give honest information on the input devices. Circadian Rhythms might be the only example that I can think of offhand, and that's more of a trigger sequencer. The Tetrapad, while not a sequencer per se, is a step in the right direction since it can change modes and show what the sliders are set at in each mode. I'd love to see a sequencer based around knobs with indicators like the ones on the Midi Fighter Twister. That seems like a fairly straightforward approach to this problem.

61050
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 281
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:39 pm

Post by 61050 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:17 pm

Neat thread here. I am currently using a BSP myself, because it is just so damned powerful for what it is (and what it costs). Besides my main mixer and a slew of fx pedals, it is currently the only gear that isn't 'in the rack'. I keep going back and forth on whether to ditch it and get a skiff's worth of sequencers and controllers or to just stay the course.

User avatar
djthopa
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1825
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:48 pm
Location: Somewhere between a nappy and a wire

Post by djthopa » Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:31 pm

Cool idea! Love condensed information posts where a lot of info can be viewed at the same time.

This should be stickied!

Cheers

User avatar
porphyrion
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 279
Joined: Sun May 10, 2015 4:42 am
Location: belgium

Post by porphyrion » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:25 pm

mdoudoroff wrote:It was easy for me to rule out modules like the Stillson Hammer Mk2, because, while the sliders are visual, they often “lie” (their physical position often does not reflect the actual value).
The more time I spend with the SH2, the more it becomes this module that spits out 4-semi-random CV's that can be selfpatched/transposed in no time. The lack of visual feedback doesn't bother me at all but I will readily admit I don't use it as a classic sequencer (progressively building tracks).

I wish I could grow a third brain hemisphere just for the Verbos Multistage. If there's one module in euroland I'd like to know inside-out, it's the VMS with its individual step-outs, its strobe-functionality etc. I hope to find some spots with the VMS between the very basic sequencing it's so good at (but for which 8 steps just don't do it for me) and the over the top chaos that generally ensues when I start using strobe.

User avatar
WeepWow
Common Wiggler
Posts: 226
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:58 pm
Location: Ohio, USA

Post by WeepWow » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:22 am

Martin, Beautiful work.

May I suggest adding to the list:

Brain Seed
Sputnik 5-Step
:roll:

User avatar
mdoudoroff
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3808
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:10 am
Location: New York City

Post by mdoudoroff » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:47 am

WeepWow wrote:Martin, Beautiful work.

May I suggest adding to the list:

Brain Seed
Sputnik 5-Step
Lovely as they are, these aren’t pitch + gate sequencers.

User avatar
mdoudoroff
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3808
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:10 am
Location: New York City

Post by mdoudoroff » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:48 am

Today I posted misc updates to the comparison, added Red Light District, Varigate 4+, and Lifeforms Micro Sequence

:bananaguitar:

ookrsia
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 285
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:26 am

Post by ookrsia » Wed May 23, 2018 4:44 am

Thanks a lot for this awesome list! I really appreciate the time and effort you've put into this mdoudoroff.


In the past I've been sequencing my eurorack through a MIDI to CV converter module and only now I've been looking into sequencer modules. (NOTE: I've been looking into only the ones that are under 600 euros) And I gotta say I am surprised how limited a lot of these are concerning CV control. I understand that a lot of the sound/music people want to create with their euroracks is well served by these sequencers, but still.

The user has to make so many choices before or during playing, instead of using random, LFOs or such to help make decisions. Basically the clock seems to be the only thing you can really play around with, and i've read that some of the sequencers dont react well to irregular clocks.

Ratcheting, for example, seems to be a thing that could potentially be controlled with CV. It seems so weird that people are happy with manually choosing which step repeats and how many times. Du-Seq at least has that "external gates" selection, which is probably the reason I'm going to test it first.

It will be interesting if Intellijel ever release a Metropolis mk2.

User avatar
MvK
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 451
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:46 am
Location: Berlin

Post by MvK » Wed May 23, 2018 6:20 am

mdoudoroff wrote: These “super sequencers” are little worlds unto themselves. That’s a fact of being compact (miniaturized) and dense (feature-rich). These devices really dictate their own process—it’s inherent in their design. When you’re working with these devices, you’re no longer patching: you’re programming a digital box. These sequencers take me out of my patch process and force me to switch my mode of thinking. They disrupt my process.

Process is everything in modular synthesis, and we each have our own.

What I’ve learned is that these super sequencers aren’t for me, and why that is.
Thanks for exactly describing my problem with "super sequencers"! I believe the solution for me could be the very modular approach of the Ladik sequencer offering around the S-180. With the individual trigger outs and some logic it seems very flexible without forcing you to leave the patching mindset.

Image

there are 3 8-steppers each with CV and trigger expansions. The A-152 can adress them sequencially. The fun begins in patching the individual outs to clock another s-180, or to trigger the burst and take that as a clock for another seq. Use one CV sequence to cv a 2hp clock divider driving another Seq. So logic and Clocks are much more flexible and patchable and can act "between" the channels, not only on top of it.

Edit: here is the MGlink for module descriptions:
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/661542

User avatar
Foghorn
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1037
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:53 pm
Location: Ohio, US

Post by Foghorn » Wed May 23, 2018 7:14 am

A big +1 for the Ladik 180 series of sequencer tools.
Want more voltage outputs, add another set of output pots. (S-182, S-183 or S-184).
I use the mini sequencers (S-141, S-142 or S-143) to add transposition to the S-180 series.
The S-181 gives a per step trigger
Truly modular

Ladik sequencers

Also there are tools to help with clocking and timing (S-010, S-050, S-188 and S-190)

Ladik clock tools

I could fill a whole rack with these, I mean I did fill a whole rack.
I realize that this may not fit under the heading "Heavy Duty" but it seems that you can build a custom heavy duty sequencer out of modules here.

Foghorn
I'm not sure what's going on, but, well ah crap..what now?
.......Not really a musician.......

User avatar
mdoudoroff
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3808
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:10 am
Location: New York City

Post by mdoudoroff » Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:29 pm

Two recent—and rather impressive—demo videos for Hermod.

The first really gets at what makes Hermod special in the Eurorack context:

[video][/video]

The second compares the Hermod to its standalone sibling, Pyramid:

[video][/video]

User avatar
mdoudoroff
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3808
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:10 am
Location: New York City

Post by mdoudoroff » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:48 am

Added René 2 to the comparison! :party:

peripatitis

Post by peripatitis » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:28 pm

mdoudoroff wrote:My cautionary tale:....
What I’ve learned is that these super sequencers aren’t for me, and why that is. So: success! For my own use, I will now focus on classic-style sequencers (some of which are in the comparison). I will also maintain the comparison and keep it up-to-date, because it’s intellectually fascinating!

Meanwhile, good luck on your own quest.
I started first with the Rene, then the er101/102 combo and now the teletype.

So when recenelty i got to play with a verbos multistage it was so refreshingly hands on and instant, i had completely forgot about that aspect of sequencing :)

However i do not that if i had that sequencer instead, i would eventually find it too static and pattern-y for a lack of a better term.

Btw i find that the teletype can be more flexibly approached than other sequencers. More like a toolbox of behaviors than a sequencer. Plus you can always program a step sequencer type or a rene type module using the i/o expansions...
:tu: for the comparison.

p.s which sequencer did you settle for?

Post Reply

Return to “Eurorack Modules”