sequencer for "purposively" composing melodies

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Aaronautical001
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sequencer for "purposively" composing melodies

Post by Aaronautical001 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:32 am

Hi all,
I realise there are many sequencer threads, but I'm looking for some recommendations for a sequencer that will facilitate my approach to melody composition.

I'd also be interested to hear how others compose melodies, as my approach feels somewhat laborious.

I have both Rene and the VB VG8 combo, both of which I love. However Rene is limited in terms of key changes, and I find VG8 a bit on the fiddly side. Unfortunately, I've not really found VB to be useful for purposely programming notes.

I'm very much a beginner in music, and have no formal training; the approach to composition I currently take is to use a piano app on the iPad and compose a melody from that, right it down and program it into a sequencer. So whilst the VB is great for "nudging", I've really struggled to be able to easily program specific notes (this is what I mean when I mention purposively composing).

An ideal sequencer for me would include:
An easy way to select specific notes
Key changes
Multiple QCV outs
Range of scales
Ideally longer than 16 steps or a way or easily programming longer more complex sequences
Reset would be nice

Is there anything that would fit the bill? For those that use it, how do people use a keyboard for composition? Does anyone record cvs from a key board?


Thoughts and recommendations?

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Trooper
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Post by Trooper » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:49 am

NerdSeq

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Inflexus
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Post by Inflexus » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:06 am

I think the FLXS1, Eloquencer, Nerdseq, Hermod and ER-101 could be interesting. You can even connect a keyboard with the Hermod, works a bit like a DAW.

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BrokenBo
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Post by BrokenBo » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:13 am

for really specific composition there is only one sequencer:

ER-101 with 102 expander. unlimited possibilites.

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brandonlogic
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Post by brandonlogic » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:22 am

BrokenBo wrote:for really specific composition there is only one sequencer:
:lol: Its a great one, but it’s not the ‘only one’ there are others... Nerdseq is basically equaly as complex and flexible except it has a better display to actually visualize the complexity and navigate around in a much more intuitive and quick way IMO.

I love the nerdseq for its incredible flexibility. And for its ability to compose and arrange entire songs with ease.

I also love the flxs1. It’s actually my go to sequencer for melodies for a number of reasons. While the nerdseq is incredibly flexible with possibilities, the flxs1 provides great features more focused specifically on mellody creation and is very inspiring and FAST to work with. Most importantly it’s an arpeggio powerhouse. With powerful arpeggio settings per-step (arp length, octave span, arp speed, chord, arp direction/style, etc) you can create incredibly interesting and complex sequences very quickly.

I love both these sequencers, I have tried many and owned and sold a few. These two are the ones I landed on and am keeping.

Couldn’t be more happy with this combo. I use flxs1 mostly for mellody sequencing and the nerdseq mostly for sequencing samples on the er301 and percussion sequencing. Both have midi in and out and sync (nerd requires expander) which is nice.

Both these sequencers also have a dedicated modulation output on every channel which is amazing, a huge bonus.
An ideal sequencer for me would include:
An easy way to select specific notes
Key changes
Multiple QCV outs
Range of scales
Ideally longer than 16 steps or a way or easily programming longer more complex sequences
Reset would be nice
I would recommend flxs1. It hits all your points here.

Very easy to select steps and notes.
Key changes can be easily written.
Multiple outs/channels.
Lots of different quantization scales or custom scales per channel and per pattern.
Default 64 steps
Reset per track (has four gate and four cv inputs that can be used in a number of useful ways)

Recording from a midi keyboard- I don’t think it’s a feature yet on the flxs1 but it is a confirmed feature to be added in the firmware.
Nerdseq can do it in a basic way but more recording features are being worked on for it as well.

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j259
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Post by j259 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:25 am

ER-101/2 is very capable but hard to master.

Entropy Engine with cv expansion is a good balance, but it's a desktop module. Fits all your requirements, and there are ways to more fully integrate it with eurorack. Plus can also control your midi devices.

CV record from up to an 88 note keyboard and immediate hands on control is the big thing this will do better than anything in eurorack.

I like Rene for experimental, but for me, the eurorack sequencers are too annoying to deal with for multi-track 64 step compositions.

Hermod has too many bugs and is not yet feature complete.

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cackland
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Post by cackland » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:30 am

j259 wrote:ER-101/2 is very capable but hard to master.
+1 for ER-101/102... however disagree that it's hard to master. IMO its extremely intuitive, easy to grasp and like everything, 'master' with time.

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Post by 6667 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:37 am

Watching a few nerdseq demos and it looks pretty incredible as its basically having an entire mini tracker in a module but it absolutely needs an alternate panel... why the pacman chiptune panel font/logo aesthetic???? :bang: :bang: :bang: :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana:

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Post by Tripadvizer » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:39 am

Er 101 102

6667
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Post by 6667 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:52 am

I mean I just don't get it. Why would someone create arguably the most fully featured eurorack sequencer, price it (appropriately) at $700, and then make the panel look like a nintendo gameboy??????? Why?

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subdo
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Post by subdo » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:55 am

I mostly use external sequencers, BSP, MPC live + Yarns.

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cackland
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Post by cackland » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:55 am

6667 wrote:I mean I just don't get it. Why would someone create arguably the most fully featured eurorack sequencer, price it (appropriately) at $700, and then make the panel look like a nintendo gameboy??????? Why?
Not a fan either to be honest.

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j259
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Post by j259 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:55 am

cackland wrote:
j259 wrote:ER-101/2 is very capable but hard to master.
+1 for ER-101/102... however disagree that it's hard to master. IMO its extremely intuitive, easy to grasp and like everything, 'master' with time.
I will just say the lack of tactile step interface (and mini keyboard for tweaking on the fly without external keyboard and tuning oscillators) is a bit less immediate than I'd prefer, as is the part handling for song composition, which I find laborious. The engine is ridiculously easy in this regard, easier than the Pyramid.

But with the 102, the record and vector functions clearly beat anything else in eurorack in terms of capability. So that's the dilemma.

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porphyrion
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Post by porphyrion » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:06 am

There are alternative panels - both grey and black- available for the NerdSeq. No need for drama.

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Hovercraft
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Post by Hovercraft » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:17 am

+1 on the FLXS1. It looks like it fits all your requirements. It has some key features that make it fantastic for melodic sequencing--easy to change keys, mask notes, diatonic transposition, arps. It also has some quick and simple ways to chain sequences. As brandonlogic mentioned, it's fast to use--you can randomize steps or channels--picking an octave range, and deciding whether you want to randomize pitch, gate length or both. The copy and pasting functions make it quick generating and altering long sequences. Great cv control over most parameters, and a flexible modulation matrix. Plus it generates a ton of sequenced non-pitch cv.

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Post by Pailo » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:27 am

Eloquencer turns into a keyboard that you can quantize and
live record with the keyboard into the sequencer.

Ive used a lot of sequencers and the Varigate8+ VB combo
was my heavyweight fav, but after the Eloquencer came out
I can see note value and transpose octaves and shift things into
other keys on the fly. so its taken over note duties while
Varigate8+ holds trigger patterns down

also the SD card for memory makes it easy to backup and
organize some of the best sequences.

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Post by lisa » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:39 am

6667 wrote:I mean I just don't get it. Why would someone create arguably the most fully featured eurorack sequencer, price it (appropriately) at $700, and then make the panel look like a nintendo gameboy??????? Why?
Fits well with the name and the tracker style sequencer, imo.

In any case, being into eurorack, it's hard to keep to one's aesthetic standards. Few frankensynths look very nice, tbh. :despair:
New track! Drum synthesis heavy, melodic piece where Instruō harmonàig is doing the chords. 🐡


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Hi5
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Post by Hi5 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:53 am

It's only a single seq voice but I'll throw out the Copper Traces Seek.

64-steps
Custom scales
On panel keyboard
Very flexible Reset options
Pitch, Gate and accent outs
Random modes are controllable in a very musical way
tetno: https://soundcloud.com/richard-holhburn
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Shledge
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Post by Shledge » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:02 am

6667 wrote:I mean I just don't get it. Why would someone create arguably the most fully featured eurorack sequencer, price it (appropriately) at $700, and then make the panel look like a nintendo gameboy??????? Why?
...because it's inspired by other trackers, which are often used to make chiptunes? Frankly I can think of much worse looking modules. The black version is definitely the nicest looking.

I wouldn't mind an Amiga-inspired front panel.
Last edited by Shledge on Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by plainjanefrancis » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:05 am

My favorite for sequencing at the moment is Squarp's Hermod Module.
You have 8 tracks of powerful sequencing. Whether via Midi or choosing notes from the screen. It does quite a lot.

My second choice would be Yarns.

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Post by bc3 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:05 am


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Navs
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Re: sequencer for "purposively" composing melodie

Post by Navs » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:27 am

Aaronautical001 wrote: ...
An ideal sequencer for me would include:
An easy way to select specific notes
Key changes
Multiple QCV outs
Range of scales
Ideally longer than 16 steps or a way or easily programming longer more complex sequences
Reset would be nice

Is there anything that would fit the bill? For those that use it, how do people use a keyboard for composition? Does anyone record cvs from a key board?
Yes, if I specifically want to record notes, I just use a keyboard, a DAW (in my case Logic) and a MIDI to CV converter. That's essentially what you have described above.

I find step sequencers to be fun and inspiring for certain things, but for 'composing' - especially outside of the 16 step, or whatever, grid/loop - a compromise and cumbersome. I use my ears and MIDI processors to help.

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pricklyrobot
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Post by pricklyrobot » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:37 am

^+1

For “regular” melodic note sequencing, I’d say a MIDI-to-CV module (or box) plus the hardware (or software) MIDI sequencer of your choice (I use an old E-mu Command Station myself) is going to give you a lot more bang and flexibility for your buck.
Also helps with integrating your non-modular gear.

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Post by Footkerchief » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:52 pm

Yarns is a powerhouse.

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Fastus
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Post by Fastus » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:27 pm

Try populating your Rene with different modes and scales, and then run thru different snake patterns, sometimes silencing some notes, or only using Rene x-gates to trigger your VCA. I've found this book to be invaluable:

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NEW EP: https://fastus.bandcamp.com/album/terra-incognito
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