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You can never have too many ... sequencers?! Attenuators?!
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author You can never have too many ... sequencers?! Attenuators?!
BenA718
The new perfomative patch/piece/epic that I am writing with my band (we are going into the studio on 16 December and I plan on documenting the entire day) runs about 35 minutes in total length. I am currently using five sequencers throughout the piece: Arturia KeyStep, Korg SQ-1 (8 steps x2), Pittsburgh Modular Sequencer, and 2hp TM — and I realize now that, for my style of writing, I simply cannot have enough sequencers, or faders for that matter, to bring them in and out of the piece in a smooth fashion. I am currently using multiple Doepfer A-183-3 attenuators as well because they serve multiple functions as mults, attenuators between eurorack levels and outboard effects pedals, and a handy fader knob all in one!

And I still have five lanes of sequencing in reserve (BeatStep, BeatStep Pro, and another KeyStep)!

And this doesn’t include my drum machines, which I guess is also a type of sequencer as well.

So a question for you all: how many sequencers (or note generators) do you typically use in a patch? Which are your favorites? Mine is, hands down, the SQ-1.
starthief
Last night I had a patch going where Teletype was running 3 algorithmic CV sequences + 3 triggers and a gate, Stages was doing modulation sequencing, and Marbles was clocking them both as well as providing stepped random CVs. I didn't use the SQ1, Mimetic Digitalis or Hemisphere. Or MIDI, which I still use fairly frequently.

I'm actually kind of doubting whether I need the Mimetic Digitalis, but don't want to rush to a decision about it.

I really love algorithmic sequencing with Teletype though, and I feel like Marbles makes a great partner for it.


...and yeah, good, playable attenuators are incredibly important. The first thing I felt like I needed when I started modular with a Tides, Peaks, and Rings was attenuators, long before I felt like I needed VCAs.
cptnal
If you're into Quantussy patches you can never have enough sample & holds (ten in use in my current patch).
Parnelli
Wow, thanks for this thread because this is where I'm headed!

I'm currently pretty simplistic when it comes to sequencing, but I have the capability to do much more. I have two Mother 32s, an SQ1, Z8000, Trigger Riot, a Timbre Wolf, and a Charcot Circles. I use the two Mothers for bass lines or percussion most of the time and the Z8000 for cv mostly for the Plonk.

The Charcot Circles I got early on and I found it very frustrating to use, so I set it aside for the past couple of years. The SQ1 I got first and don't use it much at all. The Timber Wolf I just pulled out of the closet and I'm using it now. The Trigger Riot I used all of the time until I got a Plog and started using it along with Clock Multiplier, Time Runner, and Game System to make my event triggers. I really like the flexibility of logic over the set format of the Trigger Riot, though it is far more capable then the ways I have used it in the past.

Now before someone comes in here to spank me for having so much stuff I do not use that was a part of my retirement plan, and in 10 months I will have much more time to learn these things that I have on the shelf right now. I have a plan... so I'll be following this thread!

Thanks!
Dave Peck
I have noticed that when I'm making a patch using something like a Nord Modular (where you can have huge numbers of a particular virtual module) I would often use very few envelopes but sometimes more than a dozen LFOs. Also lots and lots of crossfaders and small mixer modules in some patches. And yeah, of course a lot of VCAs.
lauprellim
Admittedly I'm somewhat new to modular, but I adopted the MiniBrute route into this rabbit hole, and haven't regretted it so far.

I'm pairing a MiniBrute 2 and a 2S, and also use the Pittsburgh Modular sequencer. I'm finding that the 2S sequencer is absurdly flexible and complex, so much in there to explore...The sequencer on the 2 is less deep, but still useful, whereas the Pittsburgh modular sequencer (the small one) is very simple, and might yield a more static but useful layer.
locust_locust
For me it is clock dividers/multipliers.
zengomi
Programmable sequencers: Metropolis; Rene ver. 1; Pressure Points/Brains; ER-101 x2 & ER-102 X1 (awaiting #2); Control Forge; Voltage Block; Varigate 8+; Circadian Rhythms

Not enough.

Attenuators/offsets: these

Not enough.
lisa
zengomi wrote:
Programmable sequencers: Metropolis; Rene ver. 1; Pressure Points/Brains; ER-101 x2 & ER-102 X1 (awaiting #2); Control Forge; Voltage Block; Varigate 8+; Circadian Rhythms

Not enough.

Jeez, really? You must be making some really complex music. woah

I have two dedicated sequencers in my rack (René 1 and Arpitecht), Ornament and Crime that I often use as sequencers and a few that can be used as sequencers (2xMixwitch). I never run out of sequencers.
zengomi
lisa wrote:
zengomi wrote:
Programmable sequencers: Metropolis; Rene ver. 1; Pressure Points/Brains; ER-101 x2 & ER-102 X1 (awaiting #2); Control Forge; Voltage Block; Varigate 8+; Circadian Rhythms

Not enough.

Jeez, really? You must be making some really complex music. woah

I have two dedicated sequencers in my rack (René 1 and Arpitecht), Ornament and Crime that I often use as sequencers and a few that can be used as sequencers (2xMixwitch). I never I run out of sequencers.


Really. Complexity is my delight, my goal. Takes a lot of energy. So not every piece utilizes even a majority of available modules. Gradually, though, complex pieces come. Sonatas vs. symphonies.

My focus and discipline is modular synthesis. Freedom through unbridled limitation. hihi

I’ve sold off everything non-modular except choice outboard gear. I use no softsynths, no MIDI, no standalone synths or external sequencers.

Eventually, I think I’ll get a rather large Buchla.

Underlying all of that is the music I make so that I have something fresh to listen to.

Enough gear? There will never be enough.
Rex Coil 7
lisa wrote:
zengomi wrote:
Programmable sequencers: Metropolis; Rene ver. 1; Pressure Points/Brains; ER-101 x2 & ER-102 X1 (awaiting #2); Control Forge; Voltage Block; Varigate 8+; Circadian Rhythms

Not enough.

Jeez, really? You must be making some really complex music. woah

I have two dedicated sequencers in my rack (René 1 and Arpitecht), Ornament and Crime that I often use as sequencers and a few that can be used as sequencers (2xMixwitch). I never run out of sequencers.
"I sense The Snark is strong in this one"

Is your point to say that just because you only require three (or so) sequencers that anyone that claims to have more is either being dishonest (just to impress the membership) or is lost in consumerism?

Hmm ... let's read on ...

zengomi wrote:
...Really. ... not every piece utilizes even a majority of available modules.....
Ah! ... now the wisdom of the idea is revealed. We now see there is vision in Member *zengomi's prospect of having numerous sequencers. Said another way ... it works for that person.

I can completely relate with this notion. Just because one has a large toolbox, every drawer filled with tools, doesn't mean every wrench and hammer in every drawer is used on every single repair or project. My shop has three 6 foot tall roll away tool chests, a lifetime accumulation of various tools fill the drawers. Yet, I have but two hands. There are probably a half dozen 1/2" wrenches within the collection. Why so many wrenches that all fit the same size fastener? Is not one sufficient? No, one is not sufficient. Each one of the half dozen 1/2" wrenches are shaped differently, are of different lengths, and configured differently. Not only that, but if one of them is only needed once (and no other would have enabled me to complete the given task), that and that alone justifies it's existence within the collection.

Merriam Webster's Unabridged Dictionary contains roughly a half million entries ... 500,000 English words ... yet we only speak one at a time.

Tools. There are never enough.

Sequencers are just tools.

zengomi wrote:
Enough gear? There will never be enough.
Word.


pun very intentional


cookie?!?
Chevron87
What are the more intuitive sequencers that are handy for having more than one of in a setup.
BenA718
Chevron87 wrote:
What are the more intuitive sequencers that are handy for having more than one of in a setup.

Korg SQ-1.
Parnelli
I pulled out the SQ1 this weekend, I hadn't used it in a while. The biggest reason I don't use it much is that it requires a USB port for power, and unless I have my computer or Juno by it then there's no power for it. I suppose I'll pick up one of those little one U USB power supply tiles and that will solve that problem.

Anyway compared to the other sequencers I have the SQ is really easy to adjust notes on and set it up for a quick sequence that you can easily change on the fly.

Rex Coil I've been a tool user all my life, and fer sure you cannot have too many tools! I used to explain it to my ex this way when I wanted a new tool:

Honey, I have a drawer full of hammers; each one is for a different purpose. I would not use a 4 pound drill hammer to pound in a finish nail any more than I would use a tack hammer to pound in a foot long tent stake. By the way honey I'm going to need a new sawzall to put that new front door in that you picked out... see how that works?

That being said some of those hammers don't get used much any more, like the brass hammer, but they're always there when I need them.
authorless
I mean, VCAs are attenuators that you can voltage control.
MindMachine
Well for fading a great number of sequencers in modular I would suggest checking out the Synthwerks SP-4DP or using a Doepfer A-135-1 for vc of channels.
http://www.synthwerks.com/


In my Euro rig I have: EMW SEQ101, Sputnik 5 Stage, and Verbos Seq Select (as sequencer and switch) and a Doepfer A-151 Seq Switch. I also have an ASol GT-8 gate sequencer (and SEQ-8 in a bin). I am adding a Tiptop Z8000 soon.

Outboard I have: Roland CSQ-600, Korg SQ-1, Cyclodon seq.

MU: Q960 w/ compliments.

Serge: TKB (works great w/ Verbos Seq Selector).
joesdeals
Attenuators made quite a difference adding them to my setup.
lisa
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
My shop has three 6 foot tall roll away tool chests, a lifetime accumulation of various tools fill the drawers. Yet, I have but two hands. There are probably a half dozen 1/2" wrenches within the collection. Why so many wrenches that all fit the same size fastener? Is not one sufficient? No, one is not sufficient. Each one of the half dozen 1/2" wrenches are shaped differently, are of different lengths, and configured differently. Not only that, but if one of them is only needed once (and no other would have enabled me to complete the given task), that and that alone justifies it's existence within the collection.

Interesting. Are you like that with everything? Collecting one of every shape of all types of stuff because it might be needed once in your lifetime, or is the rationale you are presenting only applied to your hobbies and things you like?
Pelsea
lisa wrote:
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
My shop has three 6 foot tall roll away tool chests, a lifetime accumulation of various tools fill the drawers. Yet, I have but two hands. There are probably a half dozen 1/2" wrenches within the collection. Why so many wrenches that all fit the same size fastener? Is not one sufficient? No, one is not sufficient. Each one of the half dozen 1/2" wrenches are shaped differently, are of different lengths, and configured differently. Not only that, but if one of them is only needed once (and no other would have enabled me to complete the given task), that and that alone justifies it's existence within the collection.

Interesting. Are you like that with everything? Collecting one of every shape of all types of stuff because it might be needed once in your lifetime, or is the rationale you are presenting only applied to your hobbies and things you like?


Considering the number of wrenches out there, six shows remarkable restraint.
Open box
Closed box
Socket
Deep socket
Shorty
Thin
Plumber’s
All work in different situations. And when you need a plumber’s wrench, you need it now!

As far as sequencers go, I am heavily into algorithms, so I elected to skip the rows of knobs for now and use a laptop to drive my system (when I'm not playing some contraption.) I have 16 (DIY) control lines and 4 triggers, so I guess you could say that is the equivalent of 4 sequencers. Or 16 sample and holds, or a quantussey. This is all in MAX/MSP, but I will eventually build modules for my favorite patches.

I have three attenuators for a four voice system (not counting what the voice modules provide), but will soon be adding more on 1U tiles. I will also add switch modules and crossfaders so I can swap voices and control streams.
Rex Coil 7
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
lisa wrote:
zengomi wrote:
Programmable sequencers: Metropolis; Rene ver. 1; Pressure Points/Brains; ER-101 x2 & ER-102 X1 (awaiting #2); Control Forge; Voltage Block; Varigate 8+; Circadian Rhythms

Not enough.

Jeez, really? You must be making some really complex music. woah

I have two dedicated sequencers in my rack (René 1 and Arpitecht), Ornament and Crime that I often use as sequencers and a few that can be used as sequencers (2xMixwitch). I never run out of sequencers.
"I sense The Snark is strong in this one"
GEEZIS I can be a complete shit sometimes. I sincerely apologize. I mean that.

Clearly I need to get a handle on my lack of controlling a poor attitude sometimes. Genuinely sorry.

sad banana
fac
I also have plenty of sequencers, but I rarely use more than 3 or 4 at the same time. This is probably because I often use my modulars as closed systems, rarely interacting with other synths. And that is probably due to the fact that I work alone, so there's only so much I can control during a jam.

That said, within my modular systems I often resort to algorithmic/generative techniques, either using my Ardcore modules, or using a combination of envelopes, LFOs, noise, S&H and quantizers to generate note sequences. In other words, I often "build" my own sequencers from other modules.

In my MU system I can usually drive around four to six voices using the following: FutureRetro Mobius, Dotcom Q119 + sequential switch + quantizers, Moon 563 Trigger Sequencer and two Ardcores (one is generally used for Euclidean sequences). Sometimes I add a drum machine that I can sync to, either the Machinedrum or the Volca Beats. If using the Mobius, I can sync to whatever MIDI thing I have around.

In my (smaller) eurorack system I only have one sequencer: a Xaoc Moskwa, which is fairly basic. But I mostly generate notes using my euro Ardcore, Noisering and Wogglebug through a Doepfer A156 quantizer. Due to its size, it's usually limited to 2 or 3 voices, but I've made some projects where I sync it to other synths, such as the EA-1 and ER-1 electribes, or the Machinedrum.

Only a few times I have used both modulars together, sync'ing all of the sequencers for longer jams (20-25 minutes).

Which one is my favorite? I think it's still the FutureRetro Mobius. It was my first sequencer with CV/Gate outputs and it's too big for what it does, but 10 years ago there weren't as many options. It's great for acid sequences and it works great as a sync hub between MIDI and analog gear.

I also have a Kilpatrick Carbon but I haven't used it much, especially with the modulars. I hope to get back to it within the next few months.
fac
BenA718 wrote:
...and I realize now that, for my style of writing, I simply cannot have enough sequencers, or faders for that matter, to bring them in and out of the piece in a smooth fashion.


This is probably something I should try. Do you sync all the sequencers together, or don't care much about timing?

How about changing scales? I've found it hard to make music with harmonic changes, particularly when there are multiple sequencers involved.
BenA718
fac wrote:
BenA718 wrote:
...and I realize now that, for my style of writing, I simply cannot have enough sequencers, or faders for that matter, to bring them in and out of the piece in a smooth fashion.


This is probably something I should try. Do you sync all the sequencers together, or don't care much about timing?

Most times they are synced via a master clock (Pam’s).

Quote:
How about changing scales? I've found it hard to make music with harmonic changes, particularly when there are multiple sequencers involved.

I also use quantizers (Quantimator or Doepfer Dual Quantizer) so changing harmonic content is actually pretty painless!

But now that you mention it, I have yet to set up voices in separate keys and switch between them. That sounds like a fun idea!
Shledge
Mixers and LFOs for me. I have VCA mixers like Veils, but I generally like to seperate them from plain mixers.
suboptimal
The Koma Komplex is my workhorse. I like having my sequences right in front of me. I augment it with sequencer components within my modular (the 4ms clock suite, logics, switches, Pressure Points, a Z8000) and if I need more I can program sequences for MIDI-to-CV conversion on my Digitakt. In truth I have yet to use the Digitakt in this way after having it for quite a long time...

There have been days when I've contemplated dumping a few items to fund a second Komplex, but space is too big of a problem for me at the moment.
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