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WYSIWYG sequencers
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author WYSIWYG sequencers
tallrobphilp
Hi all.

I got my first eurorack gear a few days ago (to compliment my DFAM) and although I'm very happy to get started I'm already mildly frustrated with the first sequencer module that I bought - the Varigate 4+. I think the issue is that, although it's very powerful and flexible, because it has different pages and banks/presets etc it's not very immediate. I can't see what's going on because when I switch tracks or functions I'm only ever looking at one subset of what is happening.

This is not a criticism of the device but instead I think I'm looking for something very knob-per-function where I can immediately see, at a glance, what the state is. This is what I love about the DFAM - it's immediate and has no menus, options, presets or anything else. This is why I've gone down this modular/hardware road (away from software) so I think I want something more immediate for CV sequencing and also perhaps something dedicated for melodic sequencing.

The module that jumps out at me is the Tiptop z8000 - it's got a lot of complexity in some ways but also everything is just laid out in front of you with a single knob for each step. I feel like it could be as simple or as complex as I want (depending on what clocks I feed it) and I could always quantise the CV if I wanted melodies.

Any other suggestions for very simple/immediate sequencers? I also looked at Octone and I like the simplicity - 8 steps of CV/Note and gates. I like this sort of simplicity - it's all there in front of me and there's very little to understand. I Small sequence length is fine if it's easy to use and very immediate to jam and experiment with.

Think "techno jam friendly".
x2mirko
Verbos Multistage, Doepfer A-155, RandomSource Seq8XL are the first that come to mind. I think the Multistage is the nicest of the bunch because a) faders make it much more visually obvious what each stage is set to and b) it is voltage adressable.
starthief
tallrobphilp wrote:
I think the issue is that, although it's very powerful and flexible, because it has different pages and banks/presets etc it's not very immediate. I can't see what's going on because when I switch tracks or functions I'm only ever looking at one subset of what is happening.


I have the same issue with sequencers; I like to see what's programmed and don't want sliders/knobs to lie to me smile

I can vouch for:

Sputnik 5-Step Voltage Source: 4 rows of 5 knobs may seem a little weird at first but it's a great layout IMHO, and especially flexible with the Selector or another sequential switch. The steps can be addressed via button press, gates, CV or of course the internal "pulser" (clock).

Korg SQ-1: hard to go cheaper than this, but it's a really good sequencer for the price.

Mutable Instruments Stages: it's really more of a modulation toolbox than sequencing, but it does do WYSIWYG sequences quite well too if you don't need a reset.

Monome Teletype: okay, by itself it's the least hands-on sequencer there is... but with a Monome Grid or a 16n Faderbank everything changes.

A mixer -- especially a matrix mixer: feed gates to the inputs of a mixer, set knobs to adjust intervals, get CVs out. Combine gates to stack intervals. It's a fun, nonlinear way to sequence that still gives hands-on control.
Modulus
if you got the cheddar, Koma Komplex is quite wysiwyg with tons of patch points and additional functions like cv recording and quantizer
dbeats
+1 for Koma Komplex

In Eurorack: Metropolis, Pressure Points, also Doepfer A-157 for drums/gates.
tau_seti
Doepfer A154/A155 for that Tangerine Dream feeling
Intelljel Metropolis for an analog 1980s/1990s that never existed, a couple of menus but WYSIWYG. Watch the brilliant Mylar Melodies video, (one of?) the best (and most entertaining!) demos in Eurorack history
tallrobphilp
Thanks for all the suggestions.

No love for the TipTop Z8000 then?! Seems like a lot of sequencing for the money. Have people here had problems with it?
starthief
Z8000 seems cool, but the Sputnik had the flexible addressing that I wanted.
mdoudoroff
The Z8000 is a particular beast. I think it’s more a way to derive a ton of modulation voltage patterns from minimal inputs than a good fit for typical sequencer roles.

Of course, those patterns can be used for pitch purposes, so it can be a highly productive creative tool. A friend of mine loves his.

As for straightforward, feature-rich WYSIWYG, +1 for Koma Komplex. My only complaints about it are (1) no lid, and (2) no direct step select. The latter you can work around by setting the sequence length to 1 and using the (awesome) SSP feature. Otherwise, Komplex is a shit-ton of 100% eurorack compatible sequencing resources that consumes cheap table space instead of gobbling expensive HP.
ayruos
The Transient modules 8S is the simplest WYSIWYG sequencer that I've used and it packs in some added extras that I really liked when I had it.

The Rene Mk 1 (Classic?) is also very good in terms of being WYSIWYG but also packs in lots of features and is also super immediate. Even though I upgraded to the Rene 2, I sometimes miss the immediacy or the knob per step approach of the Rene 1.
mdoudoroff
Good point, ayruos. Rene 1 is a superb tool and you can get them used for a mere $300, maybe less.

Also, don’t overlook the new Analogue Solutions Generator, which looks like tons of fun:

http://www.analoguesolutions.com/generator/
MarcelP
Z8000 is great for lots of CV outs - as mdoudoroff says - but you need lots of varied clocks to drive the different stages in interesting ways. Works for tunes too but gets complicated to predict the outcome when you start twiddling on the fly as sequence outputs are related....and after 15 mins it will fall in a heap due to over-tweaking and you cant get back to where you were - which can be fun.

Rene1 is nicely playable for melodic stuff - a fist full of notes set on the knobs can be made so sing using the touchpads. Variations of note order based on a chord or mode.

For knob twiddling fun (sliders more specifically) the Verbos is great - set up a sequence and then "play the sliders"...it does need offset/attenuation on the outputs to get a useful range for notes, and a quantiser or two - if that's your thing. It has some useful CV capability which makes it cool for generative stuff too.

Horses for courses....
mmpingo
mdoudoroff wrote:
Rene 1 is a superb tool and you can get them used for a mere $300, maybe less.

It can be even a brand new one if you google well.
dooj88
rene is probably most flexible and straight forward. i have a stillson hammer as well, but like OP says, using one set of knobs/sliders for multiple pages isn't always fun. rene is easy and playable.
subliminal drew
The Befaco Muxlicer might be worth a look for you. Very straightforward interface, cy and gate outs, addressable steps, plus tap tempo with division/multiplication and an interesting gates per step function (and that's just using it as a sequencer).
mdoudoroff
Good catch, subliminal drew. The muxslicer is super-cool, and blurs all the lines in a wonderfully modular way.
gonkulator
I get you on the WYSIWYG sequencers. I use and like the Z8000, VMS, Metropolis. Looking forward to the new Pittsburgh sequencer; though it and the Stillson II have pages, you still have 32 or 16 WYSIWYG steps (respectively) at a time. The Z8000 and especially the VMS need attenuation for driving notes. As Starthief said, mixers are good too. What I really like is pairing something like the Z8000 with a WYSIWYG quantizer.
bedhed3000
Since you are seemingly looking to replicate at least some of the functionality from the Varigate 4+, which is a trigger/gate sequencer with optional CV outs, you might want to take a look at the Crazy8 Beats from Twisted Electrons. It is a stand-alone 8 track drum sequencer with 8 corresponding CV outs that can be used for modulation/accents etc (not good for melodies unfortunately). It has probability settings per track, different sequence directions, random, etc. Plus you can mount it in your Eurorack without any modifications (and it's small- about the size of a Korg Volca).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdUo0k2ltSI

I've posted about this sequencer a few times on this forum, so I'm feeling like a bit of a fanboy doing it once again. But it doesn't get much love anywhere, and it seems like a good fit for you. While there are different button combos to get a few specific things done, most everything is laid out on the panel.
Keltie
Ladik S series modular sequencer is hard to beat. I have a 180, 181, 3x 183s and a 184. You can build up a unit at a time, choose between knobs or faders ( or both) and the main S180 unit is actually very flexible. The CV expander modules can be transposed easily via cv in. Paired with sample and hold and some triggers, you can get an awful lot out of just one of them. You will need a quantiser.

In truth I underuse two of my 183s... got a great trade deal on them, so stuck them in on a “ why not” basis, but I’m adding another 180 soon, which will open divided clocking, offset and phase type stuff....

A 180/183 combo will set you back about £ 135, is a great start, and is scalable in future. Recommend.
bedhed3000
Another great drum sequencer is the Greyscale Algorhythm. It pairs nicely with any simple CV sequencer. I've parked mine next to a Transient 8S, which I believe was mentioned above. Xaoc Tirana is another good one.
Illwiggle
Ive found the Muxlicer to be a lotta fun. Sequencing is only one of the many things it can do
nicholasyu
I agree -- switching pages means I never have any idea what's going on. I feel like sequencers like those (I have a Stillson Hammer that I don't like much these days) are kind of the worst of both worlds. Sequencing in the computer is so much more flexible, and one-knob-per-function sequencers are so much more immediate and playable.

I really like my Analogue Solutions Oberkorn!
http://www.analoguesolutions.com/oberkorn-step-sequencer/
beatcleaver
nicholasyu wrote:
I agree -- switching pages means I never have any idea what's going on. I feel like sequencers like those (I have a Stillson Hammer that I don't like much these days) are kind of the worst of both worlds. Sequencing in the computer is so much more flexible, and one-knob-per-function sequencers are so much more immediate and playable.

I really like my Analogue Solutions Oberkorn!
http://www.analoguesolutions.com/oberkorn-step-sequencer/


that's what came to my mind, the okerkorn. I've never had the opportunity to use one. Any notworthly pros or cons?

Anyone else use one?
uniquepersonno2
I got my NerdSeq because of this issue. I can see exactly what a particular track is doing and it makes composing super easy since it's based around actual notes and not knob values.
joem
A real nice small sequencer is the Pittsburgh Micro Sequence. It's got sliders, a built in quantizer, and various settings, but it's still very hands on and immediate, and it's probably the most features in such a small sequencer. I use that a lot, and I also use a Korg SQ-1, which is also great from the size/price.
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