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sequencer for "purposively" composing melodies
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author sequencer for "purposively" composing melodies
Aaronautical001
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?
Trooper
NerdSeq
Inflexus
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.
BrokenBo
for really specific composition there is only one sequencer:

ER-101 with 102 expander. unlimited possibilites.
brandonlogic
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.

Quote:
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.
j259
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.
cackland
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.
6667
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???? very frustrating very frustrating very frustrating Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana
Tripadvizer
Er 101 102
6667
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?
subdo
I mostly use external sequencers, BSP, MPC live + Yarns.
cackland
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.
j259
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.
porphyrion
There are alternative panels - both grey and black- available for the NerdSeq. No need for drama.
Hovercraft
+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.
Pailo
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.
lisa
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. seriously, i just don't get it
Hi5
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
Shledge
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.
plainjanefrancis
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.
bc3
http://squarp.net/hermod
Navs
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.
pricklyrobot
^+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.
Footkerchief
Yarns is a powerhouse.
Fastus
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:

https://www.amazon.com/Comprehensive-Book-Modes-Scales-Keyboard/dp/149 4802732/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1518456909&sr=8-16&keywords=modes+and+ scales
snadge
I have an Eloquencer which I really like but it is very limiting, I have a 101/2 combo landing next week, I think this may be the ideal pairing for me as one of the advantages of the 101/2 combo is that it will record other sequencers output so you have a base for it's extensive manipulation, it can also take midi files which may be an advantage to your workflow.

Here is a live set by Caterina Barbieri who really showcases how musical the 101 can be.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1046&v=nxECAD3NwQE
nso_music
Grid + Ansible
uebl
j259 wrote:

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.


But unfortunately SE Engine is sold out and they currently don't plan any new batches, so meeeh..
Aaronautical001
Been at work today, with no chance to respond. I just want to acknowledge and thank you all for responses. A lot of great suggestions and plenty of food for thought! Guinness ftw!
j259
uebl wrote:
j259 wrote:

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.


But unfortunately SE Engine is sold out and they currently don't plan any new batches, so meeeh..


They come up for sale on the facebook group page or on reverb pretty often though.
savethisrocketship
I get that we're in Euro-land here, but the Squarp Pyramid and FH-1 combo has been such a game changer for me. This is not a cheap option & I get that most people here want an In The Box solution, but it's so flexible and does so much, especially when connected to a decent midi controller. It's maybe more valuable to me since I have a lot of non-euro gear to interface with also, but it's easily the best hardware sequencer I have used for 'deliberate composition'. In euro alone I've had an Eloquencer, Sequencer 1, Stepper Acid, Arpitecht, Seek, and various CV plus Quantizer options. There's nothing wrong with any of these but I'm glad I took a chance on this setup.

Anyways, just my two cents because it seems to get under represented in sequencer advice threads. Good luck! thumbs up
lisa
Ornament & Crime fits the bill perfectly, I think. If you can take working in a menu within a menu. wink
vonstirlitz
brandonlogic wrote:
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.


Are you me? This is the setup I settled wirh too. Nerdseq for beats, sample triggering, and overall structure, FLXS1 for melodies (its really versatile with cv manipulation of arps).

And both do reserve duty for sequenced cv modulation.

Perfect combo so far, notwithstanding both are works in progress.
Koryo
I got this tip from another user. Top of the top is a Synthstrom Audible - Deluge with one or two Polyend - Poly. This is so powerful it puts most DAWs to shame.
Sleipnir
Navs wrote:
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.

+2 for sure.
Once you get beyond 16 steps, it gets complicated & expensive (chaining seqs, mixing, adders, logic modules...). DAW makes it infinite.

I looked at a 101/301 setup but it made my brain hurt. Also, if you want “funky” rhythms, then it takes a lot of head scratching to work out the logic. Or maybe I’m dense. Playing it into a DAW is a no-brainer.

If you really don’t want to use a computer, then +1 for the Pyramid.
6667
Koryo wrote:
I got this tip from another user. Top of the top is a Synthstrom Audible - Deluge with one or two Polyend - Poly. This is so powerful it puts most DAWs to shame.


Err... pretty sure no hardware in existence can put a multitrack DAW with a midi editor to shame lol. Especially since DAW based midi editors are only getting better and better (eg. Ableton 10 midi clip editor, you can literally edit multiple midi clips simultaneously, extract midi from audio, extract grooves, hotkeys, an unlimited amount of custom user made max midi devices, some that even do exactly what eurorack sequencers can do like rene/zularic repetitor, etc. etc.)

Rockin' Banana!
artieTwelve
I've found this book to be invaluable:

https://www.amazon.com/Comprehensive-Book-Modes-Scales-Keyboard/dp/149 4802732/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1518456909&sr=8-16&keywords=modes+and+ scales[/quote]

That's EXACTLY what I have been looking. Thanks!
jimjam567
Be aware that the Varigate8+ and Voltage Block (latest version 1.2) have verified (tested on multiple systems) sync issues. When VB is synced to VG8+ the VB will often lag about 1 beat behind the VG8+. This happens about every 2/3 times when the sequencer is started. However, when they work, they work great.
Timmy
lisa wrote:
Ornament & Crime fits the bill perfectly, I think. If you can take working in a menu within a menu. wink


Well, when a module only costs ~US$120*, you need to accept a few compromises. That said, O&C doesn't compromise on pitch CV accuracy or flexibility or configurability. The Sequins app on O&C, which is the one best suited for "purposive" sequencing, gives you two independent channels of pitch CV sequencing with voltage-controlled envelope outputs as well for each channel, and 4 x 16 step sequences which are chain able into 64 steps for each channel. And lots of other apps and options for more "generative" sequencing etc. See http://ornament-and-cri.me/user-manual-v1_3/#anchor-sequins

* about US$120 if you DIY, about US$200-220 if you buy pre-built from one of many third-party constructors. Pretty good value either way.
Cyber-N Powers
jimjam567 wrote:
Be aware that the Varigate8+ and Voltage Block (latest version 1.2) have verified (tested on multiple systems) sync issues. When VB is synced to VG8+ the VB will often lag about 1 beat behind the VG8+. This happens about every 2/3 times when the sequencer is started. However, when they work, they work great.

I've got this sync problem, but I didn't know there were different Voltage Block versions? Are they upgradeable or are you stuck with what you buy?
minphase
MPC1000 plus Yarns.
Yamaha QY700 plus Yarns.

basically,

X plus Yarns, where X = fav. hw or sw sequencer


I love my Rene, SQ1, etc. but if it comes to doing something that isn't step oriented or limited to a fricking 4 bar loop (and I'm looking at you too, Octatrack), then I reach for my revolver, I mean, MPC1000. Sometimes you just need a little linear in your life.
deke
Shledge wrote:
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.


Ah, such memories. Amiga 500 was my first computer. I even beta tested a DAW program for it and had so much fun. Alas, it was too far ahead of its time and pigeon holed after being marketed as "the ultimate game machine."

On topic, I am a newbie and have a FLXS1. This thread helped me understand that I need to learn more about how to use it.
Ypsi Kid
I'll echo the statements around the er101/102 combo. I was a bit intimidated by these modules as well, but I have to say that Brian's approach to UI is very intuitive and you can get going really quickly. The ability to create your own user defined tables (basically creating a table with the values you want) is very powerful. Not to mention the math functions, parts and groups/group modifiers! But not for everyone for sure, works fantastic for me.

The Eloquencer is nice sequencer as well, although I use mine mostly for drums and percussion, but has a lot of nice features for pitch/melody creation.

Have not tried the NerdSeq but have read a lot of good things about it. Sequencing is definitely a personal thing, so I don't think there is on sequencer to rule them all as we all have different approaches, experience and expectations.

Have to say, I love me some sequencers though smile
coolshirtdotjpg
I am definitely in the ER-101 camp. Once you use it, it's hard to imagine going back. To be fair, I was going about sequencing the wrong way in euro--trying to chain different sequences together with sequential switches and clock dividers, etc. It's really nice to have something rock-solid that I can loop, and make macro-level changes over time. Still have to get the cash together for the 102, but for now the 101 has a huge impact on how I work.
-S.L-
BrokenBo wrote:
for really specific composition there is only one sequencer:

ER-101 with 102 expander. unlimited possibilites.


the guy said he is a beginer at music, not to mention that you need to be a highly skilled engineer to run that module hihi

I had the ER101 and 102, I'm not a beginner at music, neither at sequencer, and as much as I love the concept, I sold it because it was the biggest headache to make something with it. Oh I did a lot fo good thing with it, it just took me a whole afternoon of programing.... Not the most fun or immediate module out there unfortunately seriously, i just don't get it
williamcarthief
I began "sequencing" in the 90s with Finale scoring software and general midi sound modules. I then used a Yamaha RM1x for many years. I've tried using multiple avenues for sequencing eurorack, including the RM1x with midi to cv devices, a beatstep pro, monome teletype, elektron analog keys, and finally an imac with logic pro using midi to cv. The last one is the answer for me. I enjoy semi-elaborate chord progressions with what would be considered complicated song structure from a pop standpoint. It's just so much easier to do using a big screen with score or piano-roll functionality and you can easily be as simple or as complex as you want. One can get a refurb imac, DAW software, and midi to cv for less than many of the options discussed here. Of course you add an audio interface of your choice and then you've got your means of making recordings as well.

As an aside, I've concluded that eurorack really isn't the ideal sound generator for me. I need polyphony, and I tried to get there with euro but I found it preferable to just stick with hardware synths. I still have euro, but I'm mostly using it to process the hardware synths now. What really got me into euro was the possibilities with random and chaotic modulation, something hardware synths can't do nearly as well.
evileye0702
Don't overlook adding a couple of modules to a sequencer to meet your needs. This is really what "modular" is all about. Switches, precision adders and logic modules allow for great variations when combined with sequencers.
man_hands
Timmy wrote:
The Sequins app on O&C, which is the one best suited for "purposive" sequencing, gives you two independent channels of pitch CV sequencing with voltage-controlled envelope outputs as well for each channel, and 4 x 16 step sequences which are chain able into 64 steps for each channel.


Whoa, I thought Sequins was outputting gates on each channel. I guess I need to RTFM. d'oh!
captjrab
I use Rene v1 and 2xPP/Brains driven by Tempi. For me i try and keep the feature set to a minimum and focus on the basic elements of these modules like reset, run and logic. You can really score up some interesting music without being overwelmed with too many possibilities and after a while you may even be clever enough to pull off some more complex functions in conjunction with other modules in your case. Also, consider your soundsources in this equation because sequencing is not all about stepping voltges, it’s where these voltages end up.
Varigate and Rene in your case? Thats already plenty of sequencer, so save your money and get patching. Keep it simple, learn the basics. No magic module is going to do it for you.
PM33AUD
Navs wrote:
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.

This ^

Editing specific stuff in hardware is usually far slower and tedious than a clicky mouse and well-known KB shortcuts with virtually any DAW today. Or, if you can, play it in - even faster. This is for ideas you know ahead of time and then it's just a matter of how fast you can do data entry. If you *don't* know exactly what you want or want the hardware's constrained editing paradigm to change what ends up resulting from what you enter in, then hardware (that is built in a way that understands and exploits this) becomes more suitable. IMO of course grin
ratchet
Rene 2? With selectable states, programmable and selectable quantiser, three tracks and many CV/MOD functions it can achieve most or all of what you want.

It is a very powerful update to the original Rene. There is a bit of a learning curve (I am still on it) but I believe anything that provides the functionality you are seeking will be the same in that respect. Having said that Rene 2 can also be immediate if you don't want to dive too deep.
morrison23usa
+1 for Rene v2. Just got one and can vouch for ratchet's comments.

A really cool thing is that you can send CV in to move the sequence through the scale you've got programmed in. Like move it up a third, or whatever to basically outline a chord change without retuning. HUGE upgrade from v1!
vrfats
The hermod has caught my interest. Can it also double as a polyphonic midi to CV converter? I like the vibe of a midi in / CV recorder etc. I

Anybody own one and have anything to say about the workflow, shortcomings and interface? Could I record different sequences from ext CV and switch between them with gates?
Ceres
Anyone tried both an ER-101 and a Nerdseq? Both of these interest me but I would like to know which people think is more intuitive, easy to work with. Both look powerful but potentially intimidating to figure out.
brandonlogic
Ceres wrote:
Anyone tried both an ER-101 and a Nerdseq? Both of these interest me but I would like to know which people think is more intuitive, easy to work with. Both look powerful but potentially intimidating to figure out.


I can’t speak for the 101 but the nerd may look intimidating but it’s really not, once you have a basic understanding of how trackers work. There are more complex/deeper features to lean but it’s pretry easy to get stated writing sequences. The display makes it so easy to see what’s going on, and navigate.

You can think of it like Ableton’s clip launch view, where you have a grid of patterns and you can launch a row of patterns or just a pattern on a particular track. And you can chain patterns together. It’s very flexible. Sequences are not tied to specific tracks. Any patten can be placed on any track in any order.

Check the nerdseq thread, there’s been some great tutorial videos there lately by user SonicVoltage (start with the first in his series).

Working on it does feel a little like working on an excel spread sheet, but if you can get past that, it really is an outstanding sequencer, and very active firmware development.
-S.L-
Ceres wrote:
Anyone tried both an ER-101 and a Nerdseq? Both of these interest me but I would like to know which people think is more intuitive, easy to work with. Both look powerful but potentially intimidating to figure out.


I had the ER101/102, I have the NerdSeq.

The NerdSeq beats the ER101 on every single possible levels, that I can think of.

it has a BIG screen
it has more outputs
i'm not using it but it has a sampler player as a bonus.
it's cheaper than a 101/102 combo, just watche SonicVoltage videos about both, you'll quickly have a brain explosion after watching the complexity of the 102 expander for simple things....
it has a more intuitive UI even thou you never worked on a tracker before (like me)
the work flow is overall way easier and more intuitive, even thou there is also a learning curve too, i'll admit that.

it's a product that has been released a few years later than the ER101, so it sort of covers the flaws of the 101...

if there was an ER101 V.2, with a bigger screen and a less headache procedure to work with (i.e impossible to remember buttons combo to archive simple things etc...), I'd say it's 50/50.

but right now....

in anyway, the VERY BEST sequencer for "purposively" composing melodies is...... a DAW.

in my opinion, sequencers in eurorack should remain fun and immediate, rather than dealing with small screen and combo buttons nightmarre.

as said by someone ealier, you can have very cool and easy way to make music with simple sequencer like a a154/155 plus some seq switches, CV switches and so on. FUN it will be, rewarding it will be. SlayerBadger!
Max CircleFade
Hey everyone! Just came across this post, I'm designing an eurorack sequencer with a 7inches touchscreen

It's kind of different to the other sequencers, don't know where it's going to go from there haha!
It looks like this:

MoogCloud
We are so fortunate to have a lot of options these days. My sequencer for deliberately composing a melody is the OD ER-101. The precision and ease with which each note, each step can be handled is quite remarkable. applause

Now that is not my choice for playing live. Old school sequencers like the GRP R24 are easy to manipulate in a live setting as is the Metropolis.

I am very curious about the Nerdseq though. Guinness ftw!
deke
The tracker interface is interesting. I found a number of free Mac apps that, I think, will let me determine whether or not this kind of interface is right for me. PC and Linux available too (see links below). Might not be exact match, but what other sequencer has a user interface you can kind of check out like this? Kind of cool.

https://woolyss.com/chipmusic-chiptrackers.php?s=mac
http://cdm.link/2018/04/90s-alive-free-modern-clone-fasttracker-ii/
electricanada
Aaronautical001 wrote:
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?


Why do you want to do this in modular? It's not really the best platform for a highly-controlled approach to composition.
atte
electricanada wrote:

Why do you want to do this in modular? It's not really the best platform for a highly-controlled approach to composition.


I have to disagree.

Obviously if you want 100% control a DAW is the best option, but if you want complete control over some part of the music and want the instrument to act like a second musician, with it's own free will, the modular is just perfect.

The fun (and hard) part is figuring out which aspects of the music you want control over and which to delegate to the patch.
Paranormal Patroler
atte wrote:
electricanada wrote:

Why do you want to do this in modular? It's not really the best platform for a highly-controlled approach to composition.


I have to disagree.

Obviously if you want 100% control a DAW is the best option, but if you want complete control over some part of the music and want the instrument to act like a second musician, with it's own free will, the modular is just perfect.

The fun (and hard) part is figuring out which aspects of the music you want control over and which to delegate to the patch.


Quoted for truth.

Another solution is the Modcan Touch Sequencer. It used to be a very solid suggestion but it's been years since it's been manufactured I think. Still easy to find and worth looking into.

Big screen lots of functionality, you can have up to four sequences and lots of playability.
SinkWhole
Outside of the rack an Elektron A4 mk1 or Analog Keys are pretty solid purchases. 4 configurable outs (cv/gate/clock etc), ton of sequencer memory, spacious Ui, trig conditions, arpeggiator, send euro through the fx/filter/drive etc + you get a 4 voice/channel analog synth/sequencer that’s easy sync’d to your rack. I’ve seen used A4 mk1’s going for as low as around £500 these days...
electricanada
atte wrote:
electricanada wrote:

Why do you want to do this in modular? It's not really the best platform for a highly-controlled approach to composition.


I have to disagree.

Obviously if you want 100% control a DAW is the best option, but if you want complete control over some part of the music and want the instrument to act like a second musician, with it's own free will, the modular is just perfect.

The fun (and hard) part is figuring out which aspects of the music you want control over and which to delegate to the patch.


Fair enough, but OP seems to want to be able to compose in a sequencer. Why do this in modular? Much easier and less expensive to do it in a computer.

For me, modular sequencers are best for combining with CV to get happy accidents. If I had a strong idea for a melody, I would never try to do it in modular.
Aaronautical001
Been out of the country for a bit, so haven't been able to post. Just wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts on this, it's been educational for me. I guess as some context to the request; modular synth is my first instrument, never used a DAW, and would prefer not to use a computer as I associate it too much with work rather than fun...

So, I have learned:
I need to accept limitations of hardware sequencers
There are a number of options out there that I hadn't considered
Perhaps I should revise my opinions on using a computer/DAW

I'm certainly enjoying the sequencers I have (I particularly like VB as a cv input to Rene ), but perhaps composition is not the way to go with modular....
-S.L-
electricanada wrote:
atte wrote:
electricanada wrote:

Why do you want to do this in modular? It's not really the best platform for a highly-controlled approach to composition.


I have to disagree.

Obviously if you want 100% control a DAW is the best option, but if you want complete control over some part of the music and want the instrument to act like a second musician, with it's own free will, the modular is just perfect.

The fun (and hard) part is figuring out which aspects of the music you want control over and which to delegate to the patch.


Fair enough, but OP seems to want to be able to compose in a sequencer. Why do this in modular? Much easier and less expensive to do it in a computer.

For me, modular sequencers are best for combining with CV to get happy accidents. If I had a strong idea for a melody, I would never try to do it in modular.


I'll second that, my view exactly.
MoogCloud
Just for grins I forced myself to use the two sequencer tracks from the Ornament & Crime Sequins app. It was more playable than I imagined. It will likely retain its place as a slot in my rack. Of course, only my ER-101 is my only hope for a precision played pre programmed precise melodic sequence.

I’m glad you started this thread as a lot of good ideas have been shared by many folks.


Edited: to change reference from ER-301 to ER-101
induktor
I'm a bit of a sequencer junky. At the moment I have:

Cirklon with CVIO and DMUX
Nerdseq
Varigate 8+ and Voltage Block
Varigate 4
Mimetic Digitalis
Ableton Live with Push 2 driving ES-3/ES-5

For deliberate composition on the hardware side the Cirklon and Nerdseq are the winners for me. The Varigates are great for rhythmic work but rather fiddly for melodic stuff although the scale quantize feature helps a bit. The Mimetic Digitalis is capable of limited CV only melodic stuff but note entry via one knob is a bit much so I use it as a modulation sequencer for the most part. Then of course there's Live with Push 2 which is very powerful. Bang for buck I'd say Nerdseq is the one on the pure hardware side. It's appearance belies how easy it is to use considering the amount of features on tap. I'm digging the gamepad support.
brandonlogic
vonstirlitz wrote:
brandonlogic wrote:
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.


Are you me? This is the setup I settled wirh too. Nerdseq for beats, sample triggering, and overall structure, FLXS1 for melodies (its really versatile with cv manipulation of arps).

And both do reserve duty for sequenced cv modulation.

Perfect combo so far, notwithstanding both are works in progress.


HAHA yes! If i have a melody stuck in my head that I want to write a modular sequence for, FLXS1 is always my go to. its so fast and easy to write with and get ideas down. 64 steps is essential too. so many sequencers are based on 16 steps, that just doesn't cut it for me.

Really excited about one of the coming features- randomized modulation channels. FLXS1 modulation channels are a lot of fun but require a bit of programing. be able to randomize values on every step, that will be huge! I will use those modulation channels a lot more i'm sure.
honeyb
porphyrion wrote:
There are alternative panels - both grey and black- available for the NerdSeq. No need for drama.


What do you mean "no need for drama"-- haven't you read the forum rules?
windchill
The Five12 Vector Sequencer is what I've been waiting for. I think it sits in just the right place for this sort of thing.
jmax313
6667 wrote:
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???? very frustrating very frustrating very frustrating Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana Dead Banana


Damn. lol
tibbon
I've been working on figuring this out myself. I had a Rene 1, Varigate 8+ / Voltage Block and ER-101/102.

The Rene is great for jamming on. Very immediate feeling. At the same time, I find it a little difficult to logic about sometimes, perhaps due to the strange text and modes I can never remember what they do. "G . mod" vs "G x mod" isn't something my brain holds well. Keeping it for fun quick menu-free jams.

The Varigate 8 is really fun, but it's interface is a bit wonky sometimes. I've had to reset my modular power more than once for getting it into some blinking / mute mode that I couldn't clear with any combination of keypresses. But the thing that really gets me about it is how hard it is to program an intentional bassline even PLUS the fact that I can't see the state of a drum sequence - only the probabilities of one track at a time. In the process of selling it for that reason. I really want to be a little more visual at times, and also have a better logic of what things are coming up.

The Voltage Block is great. I love modulating my BI modules with it. Keeping.

ER-101/102 are freaking genius units. Yet again, the inability to see the state of multiple tracks at once kills me for a 4-track sequencer. If I'm trying to make something harmonic it's just too much for me. While the interface is genius in many ways (the physical layout is second to none), I was always perplexed at remembering weird little taps, double taps, things to remember with a single-character display, etc. The ER-102 I think got no use from me aside from going through a tutorial. I just wasn't able to wrap my mind around it. I've sold it, and I'm sure the next person will absolutely love the pair. They are great, just not great for me.

I picked up a NerdSeq and Eloquencer this week. I'm excited that the Nerdseq will let me visualize what's happening with 6 tracks at once, plus has reasonably named things so I don't have to constantly stare at a manual and wiki pages.

The Eloquencer I'm hoping will be a somewhat more robust drum sequencer for me, and also a little more obvious about some of it's modes. As far as I can tell from videos and using one for a few minutes at a store it's far more obvious; like a Machinedrum or something, but yet better.

I also have an ES-3 that I can hook up with Live or Protools. It's such a good idea, but for some reason just doesn't grab me like it should for sequencing. I'm *always* fighting keeping clocks from my DAW synced up with the sequencers in Eurorack (it is 24ppq or 96ppq?) and Silent Way is just too confusing for me many days, and often goes well... silent on me, until I restart Protools or whatever. Just doesn't make my workflow go, although by all intuition it should.
jschussler
Polyend Seq plus the Poly breakout for CV. Gets you most of what you're looking for, in particular long sequences that are easily visualized. It's physically large, but that's a benefit if you want to be able to see what's going on.
meinviggles
Five12 Vector demo looking appropriate...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpi8Km9j1M0&t=746s
nectarios
Modcan Touch Sequencer goes for cheap these days. Fills most of the criteria too.
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