Future sequencer replacement - MMT8 to Command Station??

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Future sequencer replacement - MMT8 to Command Station??

Postby gmeredith » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:20 am

My aging MMT8s are still going great guns but sometimes I wonder if I should move on from 1987 :roll:

I need a sequencer that will do everything pretty much that the MMT8 does, except that it can store a lot more. Doing a brief read-up on the manual for the XL7 seems to show that it is the front runner candidate at the moment in price and features. I need to be able to just use it as a sequencer and not use its internal sounds if I don't want to. I want it to run my external sampler as the main sound module that runs all sounds, including drums. I tend to do real-time sequencing rather than step time.

I need to sequence all the drum rhythm notes as well as all instrument tracks using the XL7, so a single song will chew up a lot of memory. At the moment, I can fit about 10 songs into my MMT8 (about 11000 MIDI events/notes in total) before it fills up. I would like a lot more than that - maybe 30 or 40 full songs.

Will the XL7 do this??
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, SK60, RAP10, DP1 drums, DH100, CDP200, DM100
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10, DTXv2
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol, ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & card reader, BCR2000, V-Machine
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Re: Future sequencer replacement - MMT8 to Command Station??

Postby clubbedtodeath » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:44 am

Ha, I had an MMT-8 - great fun! But, yeah. 1987.

Can't help you with the XL7 unfortunately. Suggestions that came to my mind:

- Akai? MPC 1000 or similar + JJ OS is very capable. More features than the MMT-8, and a sampler too. I have one of these, and you can turn parts off and on in real time.
- Arturia Beatstep Pro. Not used it - I just have the original Beatstep. I believe the Pro is multi-part though, and will do drum patterns. I'm sure other VSE'ers can give their opinions on it..

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Re: Future sequencer replacement - MMT8 to Command Station??

Postby nuketifromorbit » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:51 am

An mpc is probably your best bet. I had an xl7 years ago, but I found the mpc2000xl I briefly owned more immediate and straight forward. This isn't to say the command stations aren't great sequencers, I just recall there being a lot more menu diving. I really like the Social Entropy Engine, but while it does feature real time recording, its more geared toward xox style sequencing. I don't think the beatstep pro would meet your needs since its pretty limited. It only features two monophonic step sequencers and a single 16 part drum sequencer. The squarp pyramid is another option, but I have no hands on experience with it. I do recall the creators citing the mmt-8 as being influential in its development.
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Re: Future sequencer replacement - MMT8 to Command Station??

Postby gmeredith » Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:10 am

MPC sounds interesting - I'll have a good read-up about it. In general, its the sequencer I'm after, rather than a sound module or sampler. I have 2 V-machines as my modules and will never use anything else for live playing, and since they can be anything you want them to be soundwise I don't want to pay the big bucks for an MPC sampler. Also, In all my sequencing I tend to not use xox style sequencing, more like multitrack recording - my patterns are often complex and long in length, like 64 beats or more, with lots of variations. I only thought of the XL7 because they go for quite cheap (especially if they don't have the extra sound roms) and because you can have hundreds of songs and patterns. Beatstep - yes I would find that limiting - I need to have at least 8 tracks for separate recording of individual instruments. Why oh why doesn't someone make a modern MMT8?? It is so easy to work it. It just needs more memory and tracks, and less crashing :D
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, SK60, RAP10, DP1 drums, DH100, CDP200, DM100
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10, DTXv2
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol, ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & card reader, BCR2000, V-Machine
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Re: Future sequencer replacement - MMT8 to Command Station??

Postby gmeredith » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:31 am

Did anyone ever figure out how to make an actual song with the Kawai Q80/EX?? I had one many years ago and it would have been the perfect MMT8 replacement except that I couldn't figure out how to make a song out of it by assembling patterns together , like the MMT8. It was exhausting interpreting the manual and I couldn't do it. I sold it. I'm wondering if it could actually still be worth a look. in the era of youtube how-to videos??
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, SK60, RAP10, DP1 drums, DH100, CDP200, DM100
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10, DTXv2
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol, ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & card reader, BCR2000, V-Machine
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Re: Future sequencer replacement - MMT8 to Command Station??

Postby ninja6485 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:45 pm

I'm not sure about the qx-80, but it's easy to make a song with the QX3. And they're cheap! You're not really escaping 1987 though... The RS7000 seems to have a great sequencer too, but I'm not sure if it's more pattern oriented. The QX3 is very much the opposite of a groove box. It's for whole songs, precise editing, and works really well if you like to play your sequences into the machine. You've got 16 tracks, and a massive amount of notes per song, as well as chain mode which allows you to link songs together. I sometimes use the songs as patterns, and the chain mode as an arranger. You do need floppy disks however, and it's not exactly a small machine. The keys feel really cool though: like early computer keyboards.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...
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Re: Future sequencer replacement - MMT8 to Command Station??

Postby nuketifromorbit » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:22 am

gmeredith wrote:Did anyone ever figure out how to make an actual song with the Kawai Q80/EX?? I had one many years ago and it would have been the perfect MMT8 replacement except that I couldn't figure out how to make a song out of it by assembling patterns together , like the MMT8. It was exhausting interpreting the manual and I couldn't do it. I sold it. I'm wondering if it could actually still be worth a look. in the era of youtube how-to videos??


Yeah the qx-80 flat out doesn't work that way. There is no song mode like on the mmt-8.
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Re: Future sequencer replacement - MMT8 to Command Station??

Postby gmeredith » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:16 pm

Yep the MMT8 has 2 great things going for it - fast song assembly, and it retains its memory when powered down. No loading songs after powering up.
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, SK60, RAP10, DP1 drums, DH100, CDP200, DM100
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10, DTXv2
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol, ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & card reader, BCR2000, V-Machine
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Re: Future sequencer replacement - MMT8 to Command Station??

Postby Fatbenelton » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:06 pm

If MMT8's work for you just stock up on spares! I just bought two black ones (last ones) and whilst the price has gone up it's still reasonable (ish)...I have heard people rave about Squarp Pyramids being analogous but I've no first hand experience.
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Re: Future sequencer replacement - MMT8 to Command Station??

Postby gmeredith » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:50 pm

A little known secret is that the very last grey ones had the updated keypad that the black ones have, as well as a lot of bugfixes in the circuit....they came out with firmware 1.10. There aren't that many of them around but if you drop in the v1.11 chip they are better than the black ones because you can run them on DC 12V (read batteries!) instead of the AC12V power supply. The black ones won't run off DC, only AC
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, SK60, RAP10, DP1 drums, DH100, CDP200, DM100
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10, DTXv2
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol, ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & card reader, BCR2000, V-Machine
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