inexpensive but decent enough sequencer

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filtered
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inexpensive but decent enough sequencer

Post by filtered » Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:43 am

Hey Moogmates- I've been experimenting with midi (for the first time ever, I've held out long enough, haha), using my TR626 as the clock source, running out to my Minibrute- I'm just using various arpeggiated runs on the Minibrute, locked into my 626 beats, and play the main stuff live on the midi-free Voyager- I'd like to add a sequencer to the mix, to program more articulated basslines via the Minibrute- This is possible, right? (sorry, I'm laughingly green at this)- The goal here is to use this setup in conjunction with a guy on an MG1, and a guy on another Minibrute, both playing their parts live- So no laptops on stage, just the above stated hardware- My missing piece (other than a better drum machine, haha) is the sequencer... any recommendations? I'd rather pay for better quality verses more features, but still don't want to spend a ton of moola...
My brother who plays with Prefuse 73 has recommended the Korg ESX1, but I don't need 70% of the bells and whistles on that piece- Just a sequencer sans effects, etc.,etc....
thanks for any advice and/or suggestions!
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stiiiiiiive
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Re: inexpensive but decent enough sequencer

Post by stiiiiiiive » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:56 pm

Elektron hardware is wonderful. The MonoMachine could do the job.
However, it is a deep instrument and its power is unleashed when played live. It would be a shame to use it just as a playback sequencer. Plus the price may be over the usage... depends on how much you want to spend in it.

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Re: inexpensive but decent enough sequencer

Post by electronicpoison » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:03 pm

i have an DARKTIME from Doepfer nice sequencer

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tommyecho
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Re: inexpensive but decent enough sequencer

Post by tommyecho » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:28 pm

Those dotcom sequencers seem pretty cool. . .
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Re: inexpensive but decent enough sequencer

Post by EMwhite » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:39 pm

I don't know enough about the Minibrute to know if the Midi implementation is full (ie. CCs are connected to all aspects of the hardware/analog sources) or if it simply plays notes and supports pitch bend and modulation actuation.

But from a cost perspective, you are better off with a Midi sequencer with some basic CV capabilities.

Electribe's have much more than you likely want inside but there is alot there that you'll use later. The Step64 sequencer has been noted in threads here as a really good low-cost and basic sequencer that will do CV plus Midi and CC.

The afformentioned dotcom q119 is nice and all but if costs is an issue, you are not getting much for the $600 bucks you'll spend (in fact you'll need to spend another $100 to get power sorted and someplace to mount it).

MFB also makes something called Urzwerg Pro which is a bit quirky but has some compelling features (have a look for it). I was considering one but went the modular route instead. $2500 later, I'm still only able to do some basic maneuvers but I really like the utility that the modules offer.

Darktime looks great also but it starts to get up in price, won't do all CC's (again, may not be important to you) and is limited in therms of # of steps. It's one of the best 'performance' sequencers, however, as you can skip, reset, play from/to, etc.

If you can manage it, you should buy something used. Sequencers do not take beatings like other instruments or components and you'll save a good 15-20% buying 2nd hand. If you don't like what you get, you can always pedel it for the same price.
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Re: inexpensive but decent enough sequencer

Post by Sir Nose » Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:02 pm

Can you give a dollar amount on your budget? "a ton of moola" can be a wide range

Most groovebox sequencers will work. Can you deal with digging past the other baggillion things it can do and just use it for what you want?

The emu command station is a better midi sequencer than the Korg boxes. Similar price range.

Also, try to determine what type of sequencing style you want to give a go at.
Analog style: set note, gate length, step length for each step (neat features like skip step, reverse/ping-pong, changing length on the fly)
Realtime: unquantized and/or quantized
Grid: often used for percussion, but also great for bass and sound effect hits
Midi Step: similar to analog style but often not as visual with knobs and such replaced with an LCD


The most fun I think you could have with the Minibrute (pretty sure its midi implementation is only note, length, and maybe velocity) is the
x0xb0x !!!!!!!!!!

Get a well built one. Do some research! You get both midi and CV sequencer. The ability to interface midi and CV DIN clocks. A kick ass synthesizer!!!! Make sure to upgrade to the Sokken OS. Running each synth through the other's filters will lead to wide sonic possibilities.

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Re: inexpensive but decent enough sequencer

Post by Just Me » Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:28 pm

Doepfer MAQ 16/3
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Re: inexpensive but decent enough sequencer

Post by filtered » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:11 pm

thanks for the feedback!
As for the price, I'd love to keep it under 400$, so of course I'm looking at used models-
The Korg ES-1 looks fun, and I could build a drum kit or use bass tones from Voyager samples! The Minibrute is good for bass, but in my opinion, the Voyager squashes it in that realm, as I expected it to....!
And I can graduate up to the Doepfer, x0xb0x, etc., since the Korg is so relatively inexpensive... unless someone here knows them to be subpar?
thanks again
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Re: inexpensive but decent enough sequencer

Post by analoghaze » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:25 pm

Try to get an iPad 2 used and run sequencing software.
It is amazing.
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Re: inexpensive but decent enough sequencer

Post by synthguy1 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:37 am

filtered wrote: So no laptops on stage!


How totally refreshing.
Nothing worse than paying good money to watch some douche play a frickin' computer. :evil:
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Re: inexpensive but decent enough sequencer

Post by CZ Rider » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:02 pm

synthguy1 wrote:
filtered wrote: So no laptops on stage!


How totally refreshing.
Nothing worse than paying good money to watch some douche play a frickin' computer. :evil:

Interesting? A laptop would have been my first suggestion for a low cost MIDI sequencer, that can be configured to do many different tasks. While a new Ipod might not be a low cost solution, there are plenty of inexpensive netbooks to be had for next to nothing. And there are endless freeware and abandonware MIDI programs to suit any MIDI sequencing need.
I went with an Asus EEE 900 Netbook running WINXP. Has a solid-state drive and at 900Mhz processor speed, fast enough to run any MIDI based program. (No VST's, virtual synthesizer, or DAW programs wanted or needed.) It can run any number of cool old WIN 95 MIDI programs. And at about $130 US used, I was able to setup an identical back-up system, for live shows, just in case one might fail. For MIDI in/out a small USB Emu 2X2.
The softwares are endless, and range from emulations of analog sequencers, (SEQ303 is one I used live many times) to full screen drum grids to trigger events. And while may be not as rock solid as an old Atari ST, there is an ST emulator called STeem that will run almost all of the old ST computer programs from the 90's. Algorithmic Applications were all the rage back then, and are all but forgotten on todays euqipment. Here is a link to all those Atari ST programs:
Tim's Atari MIDI World Software page
So with a netbook system like this, with a little experimenting, you could configure a MIDI system to your needs. Right now I have it configured to run an old drum grid sequencer called DrumQuest. The MIDI out goes to a PAIA MIDI2CV8 that has 8 gate outs. The various gates are patched into 3 different 960 analog sequencers to advance the stages and 962 sequential switches. While other gates fire the envelopes on the 3 modular synthesizers. Kind of like a super complex LFO/clock to drive my analog sequencers. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

My netbook setup;
Image

And my EEE has a special module I added, an external Soundblaster Audigy 2SZ that has an Emu 10k1 Soundfont engine chip. Uses almost no processor power and just a tiny bit of the onboard EEE 2GIG RAM memory to playback a 135Meg custom Soundfont. So all those Mellotrons and pads I play come from the Soundblaster. (One of my favorite synthesizers.) Just retired my old 233Mhz PC jamed full of Soundblasters. Guess I have been playing a computer at live shows for the past 10 years. Too bad the image of a netbook on-stage has been tarnished by some. They really are great tools!
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Re: inexpensive but decent enough sequencer

Post by alexv » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:43 pm

electronicpoison wrote:i have an DARKTIME from Doepfer nice sequencer


I second that, don't mess around with MIDI if you want to play analog synths that already have CV inputs.

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Re: inexpensive but decent enough sequencer

Post by alexv » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:44 pm

synthguy1 wrote:
filtered wrote: So no laptops on stage!


How totally refreshing.
Nothing worse than paying good money to watch some douche play a frickin' computer. :evil:


I'd rather see Autechre play a set with nothing but laptops than see Local Band X up on stage trying to figure out why their MIDI hardware isn't all in sync.

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