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Performance Micro Sequencer
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Performance Micro Sequencer
Slothrop
Is there a small, cheap midi box that's usable for live performance? Is this a category of thing with a name that I should be searching for?

Context - I'm working on making noisy ambient or ambient noise with a bunch of contact mics, delays, loopers etc in a live / improvised sort of way. I've got an old Waldorf Blofeld module kicking around and would like to mix it in to add some pads, drones and strings using something like the sequencing interface from a Pocket Operator or a Volca.

What's the cheapest and lightest thing that will let me do that? My requirements are roughly as follows.

Must have:
MIDI out
some sort playable keys
record and loop patterns
small form factor (at the moment I can probably cycle with my gear in a backpack and I'd like to keep it that way...)

Nice to have:
knobs for CC
recordable knob movements
nice editing, overdubbing and pattern mashing facilities
extra-small form factor (like Volca or PO size)
cheap (obviously)

Don't care about:
onboard sounds
proper keys - I'm happy with touch-pads to bash in some notes, don't need aftertouch, weighting or any of that jazz
massive pattern memory, import/export, computer integration

Thanks!
Muzone
Maybe an Arturia Beatstep - original, not pro flavour
Slothrop
Hmmm, thanks. The Keystep looks pretty good, too...
dubonaire
Slothrop wrote:
Hmmm, thanks. The Keystep looks pretty good, too...


Yes I was thinking the Keystep as it fits your must haves. it doesn't tick many of your nice to haves. I use it and like it. Another that could fit your needs although I haven't used it is the Novation Launchkey Mini.

This article gives a simple comparison of the two.

https://cdm.link/2019/09/novation-launchkey-mini-mk3-is-yet-another-ti ny-keyboard-so-how-does-it-stack-up/
Muzone
yeah, the Keystep is certainly good for jamming - nice video showing it's playability......

Stides
What about a Circuit?

A volca controller would be really cool. You can mod them for midi out fyi. Fairly easy mod too. Volca bass or keys for $100 used and do a mod for less than $10. They sound decent too.
Slothrop
dubonaire wrote:
Slothrop wrote:
Hmmm, thanks. The Keystep looks pretty good, too...


Yes I was thinking the Keystep as it fits your must haves. it doesn't tick many of your nice to haves. /

Yeah - in retrospect some of the nice-to-haves might have been optimistic given that for the moment I'm basically after something minimal and cheap.

The launchkey also looks nice.

I'll have a bit more of a think but I'm currently leaning towards the Keystep. I'll let people know how I got on in a couple of weeks...
Slothrop
Right, I've sprung for a Keystep so if anyone suddenly remembers that amazing thing that does twice as much stuff for half the price then please don't tell me!
Paranormal Patroler
This may be far fetched but maybe the Yamaha QY things like QY-100 would work for you?!? hmmm.....
fac
Take a look at the Novation Circuit. It's relatively small (bigger than a Volca, though) and very light. Works on batteries (I used rechargeables) and they last a long time. The sequencer is incredibly fun to use. You can sequence patterns of up to 16 steps, and then chain up to 8 patterns for longer sequences. Each pattern consists of two polyphonic tracks (which are routed to different MIDI channels) with up to 6 notes of polyphony each, and a drum track. It has eight knobs that are mapped to CCs, and IIRC the sequencer can record knob movements and send them through MIDI.

One possible disadvantage is that MIDI I/O requires 1/8" to DIN adapters. These are included with the Circuit but you need to take care of them.

BTW.- I used to use my Circuit almost exclusively for live performance since it was very intuitive. The synth engine didn't sound half bad, either. You might find out you don't even need to bring your Blofeld along. I really don't know why I sold it, and I will very likely get another one in the future. Actually, I do know why I sold it - I bought an Elektron Monomachine and thought it would replace the Circuit... sold the Circuit, but haven't used the MnM in any live setting or any recording. Go figure.
Slothrop
Yeah, I had a look at the Circuit but figured that the Keystep fits what I'm after a bit better (and costs less).

I'd also thought about the QY-70 and QY-100 - they look good, but I was feeling impatient and couldn't be faffed dealing with the second hand market when I can just get a new Keystep for delivery straight away.
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