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Versatile and favorite sequencers: What's yours?

Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:22 am
by RobotHeroes
This has crossed my mind here and there the past couple of weeks and I thought I would make a post.

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What is your favorite sequencer? Does it inspire you? What about it makes it favorable? It can be in any hardware device(hands, brain and a metronome don't count).

Furthermore are there any that can do piano rolls? I don't mean mickey mousing but an actual piano roll function. Err mickey mousing is okay I guess. What about parameter locks, recording or automating changes in parameters? Multiple tracks?

Maybe I am dreaming that such a sequencer exists? I do own both Elektron's and have a like hate thing going on. They are cool at first but then end up feeling blah. Not a buyers guide since I am not buying anything. Just wondering what's out there and what everyone is using. Maybe everyone is using software though...

Re: Versatile and favorite sequencers: What's yours?

Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:18 am
by stikygum
I'm going with a non VSE answer. I love Logic and that's my favorite. Can't get any more flexible with that. Used to have a RM1X and RS7000 and like them, but I'm more into full song compositions than loops and didn't like pattern chaining everything all the time, it was a freakin pain. Logic is very fluid. Though the RS7K midi effects are 2nd to none and super fun to play with. Can even record knob tweak into the yamaha units. You can jump in and out of recording to enter notes and edit.

My hardware favorite sequencer that I love using is the Quasimidi Polymorph. Still have and use this guy. Sequencing parameters is teh sh#t on it. Love the sound. A bit limited (with 16 steps - but that can be worked around to add more steps), but perfect for syncing and recording to Logic to give instant spice to tracks.

Re: Versatile and favorite sequencers: What's yours?

Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:53 pm
by syncretism
Some design decisions and operational niggles notwithstanding, the Manikin Schrittmacher is pretty great. I'll have to get some time in with the Octopus before making any assertions or comparisons.

Re: Versatile and favorite sequencers: What's yours?

Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:08 pm
by 23
My favorite would be the one owned by the EMU P2500/CS.
I'll confess that for detailed things, I break away from it and head to Cubase. But outside of when things are going into deeper studio production, I use them a ton.

A single track can deal with multiple channels at once. (and there is a total of 16 tracks)
Pattern lengths can be expanded and collapsed in real time.
Odd loop points within patterns can be adjusted/set on the fly.
What channel a track pertains to can be readjusted on the fly.
Grid (TR) / Real time recording and performance modes can be bounced between on the fly.

there's a number of other things I like about it....I'm to lazy to go through them all; so there's a few.

Re: Versatile and favorite sequencers: What's yours?

Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:57 pm
by Sir Ruff
23 wrote:My favorite would be the one owned by the EMU P2500/CS.
I'll confess that for detailed things, I break away from it and head to Cubase.
glad to hear there are still other cubase'rs out there... I'm still using VST 32 and feel like I'm in the stone age with automation and audio editing, but other than that, it's what I've always used. I just really need to be able to see everything on one screen, and while I love the automation (p-lock) ability on the MnM, I haven't even bothered trying to incorporate it into my cubase DAW setup... there are probably other sequencers that are a little closer to that (and I imagine logic or Live are), so I really should probably be looking into those...

Robot: most computer sequencers have piano rolls... Or at least a grid that acts like a piano roll... unless you mean something else?

Re: Versatile and favorite sequencers: What's yours?

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:43 am
by Juno6
My main midi sequencer is Voyetra´s Sequencer Plus Gold, for DOS. :lol:

+Perfect midi timing
+ultra fast user interface
+ultra stable
+no mouse needed
+complex editing functions
+independent track loop and time signature
+it has a librarian and midi data analizer included
+non destructive quantize and transpose
+first sequencer with piano roll ever
+it was used by Kraftwerk on Electric Cafe and The Mix
+Also used by Information Society and Royksopp.
+runs on any old pc


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Re: Versatile and favorite sequencers: What's yours?

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:30 am
by RobotHeroes
That Emu sounds pretty cool. 16 in 16...damn. Cool to see some people using hardware although I guess software is where it's at. It's hard to avoid the comp I suppose with all it's song writing and recording power. I think I was getting more done with a computer to write stuff compared to now. :mrgreen:
Sir Ruff wrote:Robot: most computer sequencers have piano rolls... Or at least a grid that acts like a piano roll... unless you mean something else?
On hardware not software. I am probably just imagining that there is a step sequencer where each step can be 4 smaller steps and you can get something technical going on.

Well the MD and MnM got that new tempo multiplier function at the end of December. Your supposed to be able to do triplets among other things I believe. I've been not liking my Elektron's so I've totally neglected them and haven't tried the function out. Maybe it will revive my like for them before I send them to the gallows.

Re: Versatile and favorite sequencers: What's yours?

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:33 am
by RobotHeroes
Juno6 wrote:Image
Talk about keeping it real. =D>

I remember enjoying fast tracker II but I am not going back to it. :happy4:

Re: Versatile and favorite sequencers: What's yours?

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:35 am
by Sir Ruff
Juno6 wrote:My main midi sequencer is Voyetra´s Sequencer Plus Gold, for DOS. :lol:

+Perfect midi timing
+ultra fast user interface
+ultra stable
+no mouse needed
+complex editing functions
+independent track loop and time signature
+it has a librarian and midi data analizer included
+non destructive quantize and transpose
+first sequencer with piano roll ever
+it was used by Kraftwerk on Electric Cafe and The Mix
+Also used by Information Society and Royksopp.
+runs on any old pc
that's actually very cool. I was using something called FM king on the same toshiba, I sort of got suckered into paying more for the lot than I wanted-maybe one day I'll sell it-but it was similar. pretty fast interface, and capable of some gnarly sounds just using the yamaha opm3 chip on the computer.
But it was only a easy to use but visually unstimulating tracker sequencer (although capable of some very elektron-like step parameter sequencing), and not capable of transmitting midi... So I assume with THIS sequencer, you need to have an external midi device of some sort? or do you use a serial to midi cable?
And if one wanted to load such software today, how does one do it via an XP machine? via some DOS-conversion program?

Re: Versatile and favorite sequencers: What's yours?

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:57 am
by rockmanrock
Trackman on the Atari ST - an idiot proof drum machine-like pattern based sequencer based on the Linn 9000.

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Piano-roll editing if needed:

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I love how the mouse works with it, right click picks up and puts down notes and notes played on your MIDI keyboard set the velocity and other stuff. No controller editing though.

You can use one of the joystick ports for a footswitch controller for start/stop/record etc. Also uses the RS232 port for an extra MIDI output and a trigger output for analogue stuff like my SH101.

It's very simple, no mucking about with window resizing like you get with modern computer sequencers.

Re: Versatile and favorite sequencers: What's yours?

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:49 am
by RobotHeroes
I've seen the Atari ST come up so much in recent months. It must be pretty epic to use. The best thing I hear is midi timing. It's like a legend. I almost bought one but I have to quit getting drawn into old computers. I could spend hours reading forum posts and gathering info on stuff and then after all that too tired to do any music. :happy8:

Re: Versatile and favorite sequencers: What's yours?

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:09 am
by Sir Ruff
RobotHeroes wrote:I almost bought one but I have to quit getting drawn into old computers. I could spend hours reading forum posts and gathering info on stuff and then after all that too tired to do any music. :happy8:
I agree... there's such an info-base for some of this stuff now, it's easy to get sucked in... and the only thing worse than having one esoteric hooby/obsession (i.e. synths): having two (especially if the second one is old computers!)

I sometime let myself get drawn into old obscure game systems occasionally (like the virtual boy I bought a while ago). then I remember I basically gave up computer games for music, so...

Re: Versatile and favorite sequencers: What's yours?

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:08 am
by Juno6
Sir Ruff wrote: that's actually very cool. I was using something called FM king on the same toshiba, I sort of got suckered into paying more for the lot than I wanted-maybe one day I'll sell it-but it was similar. pretty fast interface, and capable of some gnarly sounds just using the yamaha opm3 chip on the computer.
But it was only a easy to use but visually unstimulating tracker sequencer (although capable of some very elektron-like step parameter sequencing), and not capable of transmitting midi... So I assume with THIS sequencer, you need to have an external midi device of some sort? or do you use a serial to midi cable?
And if one wanted to load such software today, how does one do it via an XP machine? via some DOS-conversion program?
Well, this is NOT a tracker, this is a proper, professional MIDI sequencer. It needs an external midi interface if you run it on a laptop, or you can use a midi interface in card-form if you´re using a desktop pc. I use opcode interfaces, 2port/SE for the laptop, and MQX32 for one of my desktop pcs. Any soundblaster/roland MPU101 compatible interface will work. I wouldn´t recommend using it on XP, it´s much preferred to be used on native dos.
Anyone can download it for free HERE:

Of course I use it alongside (and sync´ed to) a modern pc with a DAW.

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Re: Versatile and favorite sequencers: What's yours?

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:20 am
by piRoN
I still used Voyetra SPG until recently when my Toshiba 200CDS's screen died. It's actually a really fast program to work with, the only thing it really lacks is decent CC handling (and other midi messages of the sort). And the midi timing is absolutely rock solid.

And though you don't need a mouse, it does work with one and it makes things a lot quicker.

Re: Versatile and favorite sequencers: What's yours?

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:44 am
by D-Collector
Juno6 wrote:My main midi sequencer is Voyetra´s Sequencer Plus Gold, for DOS. :lol:

+Perfect midi timing
+ultra fast user interface
+ultra stable
+no mouse needed
+complex editing functions
+independent track loop and time signature
+it has a librarian and midi data analizer included
+non destructive quantize and transpose
+first sequencer with piano roll ever
+it was used by Kraftwerk on Electric Cafe and The Mix
+Also used by Information Society and Royksopp.
+runs on any old pc
I'll add my vote to that!
Here is my 1998 laptop (on the left) running SPG two nights ago:

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Best sequencer ever!