Midibox seq v4+

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Hales
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Midibox seq v4+

Post by Hales » Sat Jun 20, 2020 4:18 am

Hi there,

I would like to renew my sequencers for modular and I would like to have more possibilities to build more complex melodies. Do any of you use the midibox Seq4+? Pros and Cons?

Thanks for your feedback!

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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by Gohan2A » Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:18 am

Hi, I have used it for several years, lot of possibility, but CV out does not work correctly (lack of precision).
Finaly more accuracy with midi>cv module like Hexinverter Mutant Brain.
Why i replaced it? Because live recording need of improvement (mostly for chords).
It's very powerful sequencer (8cv, 8gate, 8trig, 8sync and 2xmidi in 5xmidi out on mine..). Difficult to have removed from the setup.

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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by Hales » Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:36 am

OK, I see that they have some eurorack modules extensions for CV, gates… why did you prefer Hexinverter?
Also note that it is rather expensive, I also consider the westlicht performer, but I have the impression that it is less playable.

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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by Gohan2A » Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:48 am

why did you prefer Hexinverter?
Because in the world of midi to cv converter it is cheap, configurable, work great, few HP.
I replaced the midibox seq and the mutant brain with the keystep pro, some bugs, but better suited for me.

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revtor
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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by revtor » Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:04 pm

The midiphy eurorack cv module uses 12 bit DAC’s that are pretty good parts.. and since os 4.095, you can calibrate the cv outs from
Midibox. Can set them up to go bipolar too. Trigger length is adjustable from the midibox’s menu as well. I’d be suprised if this setup wasn’t good enough!! Perhaps your midibox / analog outputs were earlier versions.?
Last edited by revtor on Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by guigui » Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:23 pm

Could the owners explain what it's capable of? I mean, fills, mutes, probability (over trigger, MIDI effects), etc. I haven't found a clear list anywhere.

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teleport
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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by teleport » Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:29 am

The ucapps.de/ site and http://wiki.midibox.org/are the definitive resources for the midibox world, including the sequencer and it's constituent modules.

This pdf guide is a great starting primer to get a sense for the the feature set and operating approach :
http://wiki.midibox.org/doku.php?id=mid ... 7s%20Guide

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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by teleport » Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:45 am

oh, and not to forget the official manual - which also includes really useful screen graphics, audio example clips and links to a great series of youtube videos that go into great detail :

http://ucapps.de/midibox_seq_manual.html

... it's feature set and overall state of evolution in terms of the sophistication of the system is really in a class of it's own. Would recommend spending the time reading up with these materials if it's something you're considering - there's quite a lot to absorb, but the system is extremely rewarding. I've built both a v4 - (which sadly has been underused in my setup due to lacking a proper case) - and very recently the new Midiphy v4+, (it's actually not entirely buttoned up yet but I've been jamming constantly). Have been appreciating the new control surface layout as well.

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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by Gohan2A » Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:29 am

Perhaps your midibox / analog outputs were earlier versions.?
I have 12 bit DAC’s (64Y200), os 4.095, great for modulation, not precise enough for play notes. Best result with midi>cv converter like brain (I'm not the only one). For exemple "MAX525 DACs feature a sightly better performance than 64Y200"
I use fluke multimeter, or o'tool+ for calibration.

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revtor
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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by revtor » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:18 am

Maybe move this to General Gear?
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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by Funky40 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:29 am

+1 on move to general gear


i´m interested myself in the midibox V4+,
and am considering to build one in spring or winter.....


but i´m also interested to know about its operation.
Mainly if its quick to learn,...or if it more feels like "overloaded"......at least for somebody who has to dive in by new


here is a link to the midiphy page/shop. Not cheap this way, but i supspect alots of work less to get a complete Build donne
https://www.midiphy.com/en/shop/119/MID ... quencer-v4+

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teleport
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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by teleport » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:57 pm

Funky40 wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:29 am

i´m interested myself in the midibox V4+,
and am considering to build one in spring or winter.....
Do it! Found the video guides to be a great help - it took me about a month to get mine done once I'd accumulated the parts with an on-again-off-again approach working on it several evenings a week.
i´m also interested to know about its operation.
Mainly if its quick to learn,...or if it more feels like "overloaded"......at least for somebody who has to dive in by new
There is a lot going on in the MB Sequencer to be sure - my experience has been that that one can start working and producing solid results quickly, you can be building up X0X style tracks in minutes and grow into a fuller utilization of the more esoteric extents and capabilities of the system over time. It's not the kind of environment where one can completely ignore the manual - there is a very particular (and powerful) underlying logical paradigm that isn't totally obvious or necessarily familiar from other designs. It's not cast in the form of any other sequencers that I've used - (am coming from a background of experience using a JJOS MPC, before that an RM1X and before that an MMT8). The menu system is extensive but never too deep (no more than two levels generally) - there's a sense that the design is centered on a coherent vision, good balance of compositional and performance elements. The fact that almost all operations can be performed while the sequencer is running helps with the learning process a lot.

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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by tom » Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:21 pm

I have v4 and will build midiphy 4+ when I have some time.
No CV here.

The pro's for me are:
it's the closest thing to Cirklon for less money, open source, open hardware, with a more intuitive display.
Rock solid, never fails.
It's timing is tight and it has a huge ammount of functions.
Open and helpful forum. I know where the money goes and it doesn't feel like giving money for s!%t.
Metal enclosure.

Cons for me are:
no precise shift of latency on individual channels, as all midi-instruments have different latencies, I'd like to compensate them individually.
No scenes as in ableton or cirklon, but there might be some work around?

No fluid mirroring in the box, but it might be possible to set up something with ethernet and some sequencersoftware, as it does read and export midi files.
Does the Cirklon provide a realtime computer-screen-interface? Does 512 Vector do so?

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revtor
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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by revtor » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:34 pm

I am mid build on my Midiphy v4+

Tom you may want to look at phrase mode and song mode. It seems that most any configuration of pattern playback could be catered to

I’m looking forward to :
The 16 node midi router independent of the sequencer and seq parameter control via cc.. pretty powerful features. it could play it self in many twisted ways
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latigid on
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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by latigid on » Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:17 pm

The 64Y200 is a trimpoi. The AOUT_NG uses a TLV5630 12-bit DAC, which is not a great part and seems easy to overheat. Still, the calibration procedure can offset bit-wise per octave to smooth out the response.

The midiphy A1 Expander module uses MAX5500, functionally equivalent and maybe better than MAX525. At least cheaper. The scaling circuit uses inverting amps with precision references for offsets. The only downside is the fine-pitch soldering for the DAC, but it is doable with a reasonable iron and flux.

The more recent firmware allows 4x 8-channel modules to be used. So you can have 32 CV channels running.

Each port can get an individual delay, currently a beta feature.

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teleport
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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by teleport » Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:36 pm

latigid on wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:17 pm

The more recent firmware allows 4x 8-channel modules to be used. So you can have 32 CV channels running.
This is really exciting - I'm currently building up the set of eurorack breakouts and wondering if the use of all possible 32 CVC's is in addition to or exclusive of the Triggers, Gates & Clocks.

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latigid on
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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by latigid on » Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:07 am

teleport wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:36 pm
latigid on wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:17 pm

The more recent firmware allows 4x 8-channel modules to be used. So you can have 32 CV channels running.
This is really exciting - I'm currently building up the set of eurorack breakouts and wondering if the use of all possible 32 CVC's is in addition to or exclusive of the Triggers, Gates & Clocks.
Nice! It is additional to the digital side, so in effect you can have:

32 CV
32 gate
8 clocks
64 triggers

Now no one has tested a complete hardware setup of this size but it is possible from the software side.

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teleport
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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by teleport » Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:22 pm

latigid on wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:07 am

Now no one has tested a complete hardware setup of this size but it is possible from the software side.
Wow! - that is bonkers

.... (and also perhaps a tempting challenge)

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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by omega8870 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:26 pm

tom wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:21 pm
[...]

The pro's for me are:
it's the closest thing to Cirklon for less money, open source, open hardware, with a more intuitive display.

[...]

Cons for me are:
No scenes as in ableton or cirklon, but there might be some work around?


Does the Cirklon provide a realtime computer-screen-interface?
I'm pretty new to the world of hardware sequencers in general, but I would love to hear more opinions regarding the Midibox Seq v4+ vs Cirklon.

Also, could you provide more details about that "realtime computer-screen-interface?"

Thanks!

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revtor
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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by revtor » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:08 am

Midibox hardware uses something called “mios studio” which is a computer program that allows you to load firmwares to the midibox devices and also acts as a fairly comprehensive midi monitor. It’s not something I’d be using live..??? But definitely a good troubleshooting tool.

(This thread should be moved to General Gear!)
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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by tom » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:15 pm

Once I saw a Circlon in a shop which crashed and could not be recovered. The shop owner told me, that they just made a new update and now it hangs.
I guess this is rare but it's a no go for me and Midibox never crashed here.
Gohan2A wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:29 am
CV out does not work correctly (lack of precision)
[...]
not precise enough for play notes
Someone else experienced this?
realtime computer-screen-interface
I wanted to say: Would be cool to have a seamless integration, mirroring everything. I like composing and arranging on a computer screen.
I guess Maschine and Ableton Push are doing this, aren't they? But all midi runs on the PC.

If Midibox or Circlone would do this with the independed, tight and low latency hardware-engine as core, and the computer as editable mirror - would be a dream!
Maybe it is possible to mirror things not in realtime by transfering midi files!?

On the vintage Roland MV-8000 and MV-8800 you can connect a big screen...

They are both amazing. Buying or building any of the two Midibox / Circlon you can resell easylee )

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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by latigid on » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:01 pm

tom wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:15 pm
Gohan2A wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:29 am
CV out does not work correctly (lack of precision)
[...]
not precise enough for play notes
Someone else experienced this?
Needs to be restated: the "AOUT_NG" module uses a DAC with poor accuracy and the scaling/offset circuits are not optimal. This is largely solved with bit-wise software calibration of 1V octave steps and better DACs in the latest module.
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/midiphy-expander-a1

tom wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:15 pm
realtime computer-screen-interface
I wanted to say: Would be cool to have a seamless integration, mirroring everything. I like composing and arranging on a computer screen.
I guess Maschine and Ableton Push are doing this, aren't they? But all midi runs on the PC.

If Midibox or Circlone would do this with the independed, tight and low latency hardware-engine as core, and the computer as editable mirror - would be a dream!
Maybe it is possible to mirror things not in realtime by transfering midi files!?

On the vintage Roland MV-8000 and MV-8800 you can connect a big screen...
In theory it could be done but IMO the workflows are quite distinct. If you find that mouse editing within a DAW or similar is best for you, go for it! There are no wrong answers! What might be interesting is the upcoming MatriX (aka BLM16x16+X) that puts a massive grid of buttons within reach. This is cleverly synced to the sequencer, so you get visual feedback of knob movements on the MatriX and screen data in the other direction.

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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by oozitron » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:19 pm

I built my MIDIBox Seq V4 over five years ago and it was the answer to all my sequencing dreams (and still is!)

I built it on a tight budget, making my own panel, case and CV interface rack. Mine has 2 MIDI In, 4 MIDI Out, eight CV/Gate voices and 8 trigger outs. I spent $400 building it. While not an overly difficult DIY project, it takes time to gather up the info & parts that you need. Buying a kit would make it much easier!

Describing the machine is tough because it is so deep. Basically you have four Pattern Groups running at the same time; almost like having four separate sequencers running because you have 64 patterns available to each Pattern Group and you can change them independently. Each Pattern Group has four tracks. A track is basically either a step sequencer (with up to 256 steps) or a drum sequencer (up to 256 steps). A track has a MIDI output & channel (or a CV/Gate) destination, it has a length (which is independent of all the other tracks), a clock divider, a direction, etc.

There are 16 encoders and 16 buttons for creating or editing tracks (you can record with a MIDI device as well). The encoders change note values, velocities, lengths, etc, while the buttons turn on/off gates, slides, skips, etc. If you like playing with analogue step sequencers, you will love the MIDIBox sequencer.

And the best thing; *everything* can be edited while the machine is playing. You don't have to stop the machine to add notes, change notes, add slides, add a transposition, change the pattern, save the pattern, etc.

And Thorston continues to add new features to the firmware, which you easily download and dump into the machine.

It's confusing when you're getting started, so I made a bunch of videos to help people get going with theirs. Video #8 covers the CV/Gate stuff.


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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by omega8870 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:11 am

tom wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:15 pm
Needs to be restated: the "AOUT_NG" module uses a DAC with poor accuracy and the scaling/offset circuits are not optimal. This is largely solved with bit-wise software calibration of 1V octave steps and better DACs in the latest module.
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/midiphy-expander-a1
Figure me if I misunderstood, but do the CV accuracy issues stem from the 12 bit DAC? Supposedly 16 bit DACs are better for 1V/Oct voice CV control? Regardless, does the updated DAC, combined with proper calibration allow for accurate modulator voice tracking? If I were to commit, I would be using it to drive Eurorack voices & drums.
tom wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:15 pm
realtime computer-screen-interface
I wanted to say: Would be cool to have a seamless integration, mirroring everything. I like composing and arranging on a computer screen.
I guess Maschine and Ableton Push are doing this, aren't they? But all midi runs on the PC.

If Midibox or Circlone would do this with the independed, tight and low latency hardware-engine as core, and the computer as editable mirror - would be a dream!
This is kinda the dream I was hoping you’d answer for me!
The dream is an ultra powerful hardware sequencer, ala Cirklon/MidiBox combined with a simple HDMI video output to drive a screen.
That way you get a dedicated hardware interface for muscle memory, hardware for tight/latency-free outputs, and using an internal sequencer but visually displayed on a screen! The visual UI doesn’t have to be fancy, even something like a tracker, or tracker-esque inspired interface would be a great start.
oozitron wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:19 pm
I built my MIDIBox Seq V4 over five years ago and it was the answer to all my sequencing dreams (and still is!)

I built it on a tight budget, making my own panel, case and CV interface rack. Mine has 2 MIDI In, 4 MIDI Out, eight CV/Gate voices and 8 trigger outs. I spent $400 building it. While not an overly difficult DIY project, it takes time to gather up the info & parts that you need. Buying a kit would make it much easier!
If you have a moment, have you any familiarity with the MidiBox Seq v4+? The one listed on www.midiphy.com?

I’ve been digging around these high end hardware sequencers and I am very interested in the Seq v4+. As a professional builder myself I cannot imagine having any issues getting one up and running. I spoke to Sequentix a couple days, I was quoted an 18 month wait list to even get word about a Cirklon.

I think I could get the entire Seq v4+ Kit+BOM for around 900-1000USD, more for those really slick Eurorack modules.

Maybe that’s been the real answer this entire time.

oozitron wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:19 pm
Describing the machine is tough because it is so deep.

[…]

It's confusing when you're getting started, so I made a bunch of videos to help people get going with theirs. Video #8 covers the CV/Gate stuff.

[… YouTube …]

Andrew
I have totally watched all those video mate! Great work! Really helped me out to see that sequencer in action. If I remember correctly, I really wanted to see something about sequencing chords. Monophonic voices seem fairly straightforward.

Furthermore, safe to assume this workflow is exactly the same on the v4+?

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Re: Midibox seq v4+

Post by tom » Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:01 pm

omega8870 wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:11 am
Cirklon/MidiBox combined with a simple HDMI video output to drive a screen.
[...]The visual UI doesn’t have to be fancy, even something like a tracker, or tracker-esque inspired interface would be a great start.
yes! + mouse + sheet editor
Furthermore, safe to assume this workflow is exactly the same on the v4+?
As far as I know they are using a similar firmware!?
Biggest pluses on the 4+ (IMHO) are
the oled-screens,
extended memory for upcoming updates
and the small LED-matrix wich gives an overview of the looping tracks. This I have in my special v4 as extension, too and it is essential IMHO.
The midiphy version makes it easy to build a complete machine, - before it was harder to source everything including a case.
Go for it, you won't regret it, it is a very well thought out machine with modularity in mind, grown wisely for many years.

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