Faderfox SC4 step sequencer

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IR
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Faderfox SC4 step sequencer

Post by IR » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:17 am

I was curious as to what people think of this: http://faderfox.de/sc4.html

Only 8 steps visible at a time, but seems to allow linking all the patterns at once (up to 64 steps), or linking just a few patterns, also has LEDs to allow visual information on the 8 encoders on the current page.

Found pics of the back, also seem to use 1.8" MIDI connectors. hmmm....

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Post by hamildad » Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:01 pm

I've had various Faderfox controllers in the past and they're rock solid,

I just don't see the market gap that this is trying to fill....

6 months ago, a no computer hardware sequencer was a bigger deal but with the SQ1 and beatstep pro coming out all under £200, i'm not sure this has any big USP to make it worth investing in..

that said, Mathias is a really clever guy, he's not going to release a sequencer thats not up to scratch....

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Post by revtor » Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:09 pm

Copying/Pasting and Linking patterns is easy. A fun bunch of params. per pattern to get interesting sequences going. Really easy to affect all steps at once which is nice if you want to take the whole pattern is a new direction quickly.

A lot of the timing/repeats/pattern lengths etc is based on 96ppqn midi ticks (I believe), so that'll take a bit of getting used to, but let your ears guide your playing and have fun.

The button combos are not too bad, there are only three that you use and two of those are with two button next to each other so you can hit them with one finger. There are three "layers' to the seq controls and each layer has 8 or so parameters. Nicely thought out implementation overall. Great for the size.

MIDI in and out on 1/8" stereo jacks, one cable is included. Power via USB socket on back, you gotta figure that out on your own. (Easy these days)

I'll never use it as anything other than a sequencer so I wish the panel legends were dedicated to the seq. functions, but its straight forward enough that with an hour or two of tweaking you'll have it down. Gotta RTFM for sure in the beginning. ("How do I stop this thing!?!?" -lol)

Nice and tiny, it sits on my knee leaving hands free to tweak and then come back to the seq when changes are needed.

Low cost, seems solid, quick shipping. A+.

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Post by IR » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:38 am

hamildad wrote:6 months ago, a no computer hardware sequencer was a bigger deal but with the SQ1 and beatstep pro coming out all under £200, i'm not sure this has any big USP to make it worth investing in..
The Beatstep Pro only shows one knob value at a time, the FaderFox 8 knob values. Maximum sequence length is the same, but the Beatstep Pro allows two tracks of synths and a drum track. FaderFox is very small physically. Both cost about the same. They are different enough.

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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:33 am

hamildad wrote:
I just don't see the market gap that this is trying to fill....

6 months ago, a ....

I have had one for quite some time. Almost a year IIRC. It's been out long before the SQ1 or the Beat Step pro came out.
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Post by revtor » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:29 am

review pt. 2.

Playing with the faderfox a bit more, it has become really quick to tweak all the parameters of a sequence. The thing is simple overall, and because of that, its easy to get into it and just create lots of sequence variations easily, or get your sequence to where you hear it in your head. But per step there is a lot of depth so it quickly can go beyond static looping notes.

1 pattern plays at a time (monophonic) 8 steps. can chain up to 8 of these. (64 steps max)
Each step of a pattern has: Note value, octave value, velocity value, length, #of repeats, probability of playing and a CC value. There is the ability to randomize these values also (button combo) Great visual feedback of all these things which never leaves you guessing about any parameter. really really nice visual feedback via the led rings. endless encoders, so no parameter jumping.

patterns can be copied/pasted, transposed, be given swing, have different directions or random, and forced to scale.. each with only a turn of a dedicated knob that is also a pushbutton to turn these params on/off. All only one button press away from the main sequencing "page" (you could call it)

The sequence/step lengths and step repeats work in 32nd note resolution, while the sequence "nudge" is in 96ppqn ticks… good for getting the sequence to sit where you want it with regards to other synced gear.

you can control the transposition, activation of patterns, pattern length, pattern direction, scales and clock reset via external MIDI. Haven't gone there yet, but its conceivable. I can imagine one of these controlling two others.. would get pretty nuts!

sync is USB or MIDI internal or External. power 5v via USB "B" connector.


This thing is really fun and quick. Step repeats brings it to a place that few sequencers go. CC per step takes it one step further in terms of programming depth. Ability to zero everything out with a button press and turn of a knob gives you an easy "bad trip reset button".
Ability to randomize everything with a knob tweak gives you easy access back to that bad trip.
Lack of song mode, multi tracks etc etc etc keeps your mind off making music. This is one for the true wigglers. hahaha



~Steve
Last edited by revtor on Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:38 am

It's definitely not easy to use. Just leave it aside for a small amount of time and you'd have to learn the button combos and everything right from the start. Additionally the manual is not exactly well written.

Saying that it's a very fun sequencer indeed. Thank you for the review revtor.
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Post by revtor » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:43 am

Yeah the manual sucks indeed. . The hardest thing is getting it into sequence mode. Once the sequence is playing its all very fluid. (for me, at this point) time will tell. .
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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:46 am

revtor wrote:Yeah the manual sucks indeed. . The hardest thing is getting it into sequence mode. Once the sequence is playing its all very fluid. (for me, at this point) time will tell. .
I totally agree. It is very hands on once you know what to do, that is certainly true. Don't take me wrong, I really enjoy it but I had some issues with it: a) I couldn't save a sequence easily b) you had to go and save each 8 steps of a 64 step sequence separately c) once you've left it aside for a bit you have to sit down with the cryptic manual and learn it all again. And that's coming from a guy who writes manuals and likes reading them even for devices he doesn't own.

Definitely worth the purchase but it could use some rework in regards to usability.
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Post by BugBrand » Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:36 pm

Bumping this to see how thoughts have matured after a year or two... Has it been sidelined or become integral? Has firmware upgrade improved the difficulties mentioned or is the feeling of quickly forgetting how to drive it overpowering if not used regularly?

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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:38 pm

Tom, if you're not in a hurry I'll probably be able to send you mine at some point in the future so you can give it a spin. I don't have it around right now. Also, I think there is one in BST right now (although I assume that's why you're interested? ).

It's a very powerful sequencer, that's for sure. I think Faderfox made an update at some point ? I need to check.
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Post by BugBrand » Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:50 pm

Yeah, the BST is why I'm curious.. Thanks for the offer.
I'm not sure if I should be tempted - mainly given that I seem to do very little playing at the moment.
Was recommended another Faderfox a year or two ago as a great controller to get me back to using the Nord G2 (UC4, I think), so equally wondering if this could cover such bases along with potential for sequencing.
Due to my distinct lack of practice I've tended to discard any complex machines - direct is easier!

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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:02 pm

I'll be frank, I'm a complete MIDI nut (you should've seen the MIDI setup I had planned back in 2015) and yet I decided there's nothing more interesting when it comes to sequencing than modular. That's why I've went CV-to-MIDI all the way.

Saying that, I think the SC4 is a very decent option if you enjoy the RYK / Metropolis sequencing features. I haven't used the new firmware so I can't attest to it, but I can say two things:

a) The SC4 is very enjoyable to play with once you know how it works, you can randomize stuff, it's lovely as it can sequence velocities and CC's in a different manner to your NoteOn info. It is monophonic though.

b) It can be frustrating when saving sequences. I remember why I posted my last post back in 2015. I spent a good amount of time making a pattern from Messiaen for a live gig and I lost it because the manual was too cryptic as to how the sequence was saved. And I'm not your average guitarist when it comes to manuals, I actually RTFM all the time.

So yeah, I think it's worth it. I've sold a lot of stuff since I turned to the modular for sequencing but I'm keeping both of my Tenori-Ons and this one. I think it's very musical and it worked extremely nice with monophonic synths like my VL70m (very nice if tied to different aspects of a such a complex synth, you can sequence everything separately)

I'll stop the blabbermouthing here. If you have any specific needs when it comes to MIDI sequencers let me know, I love these things.
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Post by revtor » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:21 pm

It only takes a minute or two to re-member how to use it and then it's off to the raves. I wouldn't call it an integral part of the set up but it's small and easy to pull out if I need to create an interesting line

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Post by adUb » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:06 pm

Thanks for the information gents, it has been extremely helpful. I do have one burning question though and maybe I have missed this by accident but how many midi devices can you sequence at one time with this bad boy? I have a NL2 rack and Virus TI. Just making sure that I can run both of these at the same time on different midi tracks. Thank you.

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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:08 am

It's mono. You can only have one track of midi notes running.
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Post by pushthatbutton » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:41 am

to answer the "poly/mono or two devices at the same time" question more precise:
its poly in the sense that you can play more then one note at the same time on the same midichannel.
(never tried out more then one extranote - it may is possible...)
it is not possible to send different midisequences at the same time to different midichannels.

it is a wonderfull little sequencer which can do a lot in its small package.
a downside can be that it is not very intuitive.

i like it a lot! - but always need a bit to see what was where again after a while not using it.

coupled it with the kenton midi usb Host because i dont like this minijack/midicables.
works like a charm.

but i wouldnt recommend it as the one and only sequencer.

having the sc4, sq1, octatrack and some small devices i dont use to often is more the enough for me. :twisted: hmmm.. maybe not... need more sequencers. :twisted: :razz: :help:


just my 5cents. take it as a opinion not the only truth.

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Post by adUb » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:13 am

Hey thanks for the information gents. Might have to go with something else that can handle multiple midi channels.

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Post by steffie268 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:56 am

Hello,

I've been intensively looking for one of these but no luck so far...
Does anybody know how rare these are?
And does anybody know why they were discontinued? I sent Matthias a mail but didn't get an answer, I wonder if he's still active?
And if anyone wants to sell theirs, please let me know ;)

thx and grtz

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Post by steffie268 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:05 am

I assume they were discontinued because of licensing issues - the SC4 is basically a MIDI Metropolis which might not have been to the liking of either Intellijel or RYK...
That being said, does anybody know which type of encoder goes into these?
My unit has a dodgy one so if I could order some replacements I can have it fixed...
thx and grtz

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Post by Panason » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:07 pm

steffie268 wrote:I assume they were discontinued because of licensing issues - the SC4 is basically a MIDI Metropolis which might not have been to the liking of either Intellijel or RYK...
Wut? :confused:

It is a shame it was discontinued.. I emailed the guy a few months ago and he said he's working on a successor for next year :despair:

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