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stillson hammer mk2: ambient/slow sequencer's dream
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author stillson hammer mk2: ambient/slow sequencer's dream
taylor12k
ever since i've been using modular synths i've struggled with using them to create slow sequences with long tones... slow envelopes, etc.

the problem has usually been two things:

1. being monophonic, one can rarely get sequences slow enough to do drawn out tones, let along LONG gates

2. it's always been difficult, at best, to not have your pitch CVs continuing on through your sustains/releases when you just want one pitch for the duration of the long note or tone.

yes, there are ways around these things and on some sequencers it's easier than others. Metropolis, for example, i would work at the slowest BPM (i think it's 20 or 30) and carefully try to set all of the pitches following any note i wanted to hear to the exact same note, so there wouldn't be any fluctuation during the duration. it worked, sometimes, but it was frustration.

well, fast forward to 2 days ago when i looked into and bought a Stillson Hammer MK2. my search is over for an ambient sequencer.... as it does, all on-board, and easily:

1. slow tempos.. yes, of course... but, the gate controls aren't just gate on and off like most sequencers, gate length is also tied into the gate sliders.. variable gate length at that... and, simply put adjoining notes all the way to the top and the gates tie and chain... i.e. you can get really long gates.

2. build in clock dividing. 30bpm too fast? no problem, clock divide it on board down 32 times. now we're in glacial territory. combine that with chained gate lengths and you can really tailor your note sustains.

3. but the real deal-sealer for me was something i've never seen on another eurorack sequencer (correct me if i'm wrong.. i certainly don't know them all).. with the click of a button your CV values are muted unless there is a gate present.. so, no more fiddling with trying to silence your CV changes in between gates.. it's built in..


glacial tempos, incredibly long gates and discreet CVs that only update when you want them to... and, well, despite Industrial Music Electronics/Harvestman's penchant for all things crazy, this is a slow music maker's dream.

now, not only is all of this amazing (to me anyway), but there are 4 sequencers on this thing with all of the above completely independent per sequence.. not to mention the usual suspects of direction, quantizing to various scales and the all-important ability to have different pattern lengths for each sequence for polyrhythms and phasing sequences.

i know there have been some threads and questions over the years about creating slow sequences, so i thought i'd point this one out...

and, i've only had it for 36 hours, so i apologize if any of my info is wrong or i'm missing something....

enjoy, ambient-heads!
ignatius
taylor12k wrote:


3. but the real deal-sealer for me was something i've never seen on another eurorack sequencer (correct me if i'm wrong.. i certainly don't know them all).. with the click of a button your CV values are muted unless there is a gate present.. so, no more fiddling with trying to silence your CV changes in between gates.. it's built in..


worth highlighting that section!

a lot of people struggle with getting this done in a modular system. or it seems to come up in the forums often enough.
boom blip
What button do you click to silence cv changes between gates? I must of missed that in the manual!
Futuresound
ignatius wrote:
taylor12k wrote:


3. but the real deal-sealer for me was something i've never seen on another eurorack sequencer (correct me if i'm wrong.. i certainly don't know them all).. with the click of a button your CV values are muted unless there is a gate present.. so, no more fiddling with trying to silence your CV changes in between gates.. it's built in..


worth highlighting that section!

a lot of people struggle with getting this done in a modular system. or it seems to come up in the forums often enough.


I'm one of them. I didn't realize this about the SHmkII, very very good to know.

Add in variable gate length and... I might be looking at my new sequencer.
taylor12k
when you're on the sequence you want to edit, hold shift and press the CV key, it will light red and stay lit, indicating you're in the "CV-only-when-gates" mode... or whatever it should be called.

"ambient mode" i call it smile

boom blip wrote:
What button do you click to silence cv changes between gates? I must of missed that in the manual!
taylor12k
yeah, variable gates really easy.. on the gate page, slider all the way down is off... and as you increase the slider the gate gets longer... until all the way at the top, which means a tie to the next gate..


Futuresound wrote:

I'm one of them. I didn't realize this about the SHmkII, very very good to know.

Add in variable gate length and... I might be looking at my new sequencer.
boom blip
taylor12k wrote:
when you're on the sequence you want to edit, hold shift and press the CV key, it will light red and stay lit, indicating you're in the "CV-only-when-gates" mode... or whatever it should be called.

"ambient mode" i call it smile

boom blip wrote:
What button do you click to silence cv changes between gates? I must of missed that in the manual!


is this only on the new firmware? can't seem to get that to work

edit: yep seems so, gonna get a pickit3 now to update this shit grin
taylor12k
ahh, new firmware only! i didn't know.. since i bought mine 2 days ago i guess it came with the latest... good to know

found this from the update changeling:

CV/Gate tie mode:
Hold down SHIFT and press the CV PAGE button. The Shift button should light up. Now, the CV input will not update unless that step/track’s GATE page has an active gate on that step. This mode can be programmed per track and is saved as part of the preset.





boom blip wrote:
What button do you click to silence cv changes between gates? I must of missed that in the manual!
[/quote]

is this only on the new firmware? can't seem to get that to work

edit: yep seems so, gonna get a pickit3 now to update this shit grin[/quote]
sackley
I do love this sequencer as well. Quick to work with and so many options. I really shy away from "menu diving", and to me it really feels like an intuitive "performance sequencer".

I was afraid it would be strongly geared towards techno, but with all the clock divisions, track lengths and functionality, it can be anything you want. I like sending gates and cv to my tyme serfari for semi-sequenced sample manipulation, for example.

And there's still so much to explore! we're not worthy The Harvestman
boom blip
Put the cv outs into the cv a/b in's and endless interlocking patterns for days
sackley
Yes! I did patch that up once and it was really impressive. I haven't played with the record input yet, which is on my to-do list.

I actually have been thinking of this module more like a "brain" than a sequencer, with how it can respond to input data while controlling the patch.
oinkbanana
my display shows 666 on bootup, is the new firmware?
bemerritt
oinkbanana wrote:
my display shows 666 on bootup, is the new firmware?


Yes
pjay
oinkbanana wrote:
my display shows 666 on bootup, is the new firmware?



looks like u have the latest, 1.666

http://www.theharvestman.org/firmware.php
Kirk Degiorgio
yep CV-Gate Tie mode was the best update feature of the new firmware IMO.
Mercutio
i agree..the switchink on demand between both are great...

Don't forget to use the cv inpit.... or just the OFFSET to increment some action inside a pattern (on any parameter, on any tracks)...
TrondC
so, I need to buy a $50 thingie to upgrade my sequencer? Love my Shmk2 but damn
Mercutio
founded a pickit for 20 euros i think...
sendepause
Have one and love it. Good to hear about the CV-Gate tie mode, didn't know about that. I do know my Prizma sequencers have it and that's one of the reason i love those...

Just curious, is there a feature wish list for future firmware updates floating around somewhere?
nickbaba
Thanks for posting this Taylor - I was just puzzling over this exact thing myself lately and nearly posted about it in the forum last weekend, was just trying to work out a couple of ideas first before posting.
I also have been trying to sequence slow/long tones with a Metropolis. And, as luck would have it, last week I ordered a SHMk2. which should be here in a day or two. Perfect timing for this news!
taylor12k
running into a little problem today.. in the CV/Gate tie mode i'm only getting a note when i move the cv slider around.. if i let it sit for 2 passes of the sequence it only places the first time..

if i move the CV slider to a new position each pass of the sequence it plays...

hope this isn't a bug... but me doing something stupid...

it's worth noting, though, that it's working fine on track 1, just not track 2 !
baleen
ignatius wrote:
taylor12k wrote:


3. but the real deal-sealer for me was something i've never seen on another eurorack sequencer (correct me if i'm wrong.. i certainly don't know them all).. with the click of a button your CV values are muted unless there is a gate present.. so, no more fiddling with trying to silence your CV changes in between gates.. it's built in..


worth highlighting that section!

a lot of people struggle with getting this done in a modular system. or it seems to come up in the forums often enough.


well when I get huge for a sequencer I'll know where to reach - until then, I definitely struggle with a held tone being hit by a new pitch CV in the middle of it's envelope. I've considered using S/H for this, provided the envelope is generated by a module with an end-of-cycle trigger (EOC trigs the S/H for updated pitch CV). does this make sense?
bemerritt
mult the the trigger that is sent to the envelope and send that to a S&H that is controlling the cv? Thus, CV updated each time envelope is triggered.
baleen
bemerritt wrote:
mult the the trigger that is sent to the envelope and send that to a S&H that is controlling the cv? Thus, CV updated each time envelope is triggered.


ok yeah this is more applicable
Jericho
taylor12k wrote:
running into a little problem today.. in the CV/Gate tie mode i'm only getting a note when i move the cv slider around.. if i let it sit for 2 passes of the sequence it only places the first time..

if i move the CV slider to a new position each pass of the sequence it plays...

hope this isn't a bug... but me doing something stupid...

it's worth noting, though, that it's working fine on track 1, just not track 2 !

Did you make sure that your modulation knob is turned down all the way? The knob left to the track select buttons. Once I had a cv modulation running on one step and I didn't notice that it was enabled just by moving the knob a bit clockwise. You get nice variations by doing so.
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