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What is a sequencer?

Posted: Mon May 30, 2011 2:54 pm
by skullcrusher
Hello all, I'm new to playing synth and was wondering what is a sequencer and what does it do, please.

Re: What is a sequencer?

Posted: Mon May 30, 2011 3:21 pm
by vcs3

Re: What is a sequencer?

Posted: Mon May 30, 2011 7:36 pm
by nogginj
it sends note data only.

the power is that this note data can be used on a wide range of instruments.

if you are talking a 'midi sequencer', then it can play any other instrument with a midi input that reacts to note data.

you can use one sequencer, set at one master tempo, to drive even a multitude of midi instruments, drum machines, other sequencers, etc, and control it all from the main sequencer and make sure they are all in time with each other.

Re: What is a sequencer?

Posted: Mon May 30, 2011 7:52 pm
by Hair
though a sequencer's basic and primary function is controlling and sending note data, it is often integrated with ways to produce sounds in the same box or whatever, see MPCs, Electribes, most software DAWs (Ableton Live, Logic, Cubase, FL Studio etc) - examples of sequencers that produce no sounds of their own include the Alesis MMT8 and any number of rack step sequencers (usually loops of only 8-64 steps/notes... Future Retro Orb/Mobius, Doepfer MAQ16/3, Moog 960 etc)

beyond that, search for YouTube videos of sequencers and you'll figure it out

Re: What is a sequencer?

Posted: Mon May 30, 2011 10:45 pm
by balma
skullcrusher wrote:Hello all, I'm new to playing synth and was wondering what is a sequencer and what does it do, please.
What the h**l is a synth? :shock:

Re: What is a sequencer?

Posted: Mon May 30, 2011 10:58 pm
by JJQ
You can you an analog sequncer for a lot more then notes.

All kinds of control and even as a oscillator :)

Re: What is a sequencer?

Posted: Mon May 30, 2011 11:13 pm
by balma
JJQ wrote:You can you an analog sequncer for a lot more then notes.

All kinds of control and even as a oscillator :)
pleace bi mor especific :mrgreen:

Re: What is a sequencer?

Posted: Mon May 30, 2011 11:43 pm
by JJQ
balma wrote:
JJQ wrote:You can you an analog sequncer for a lot more then notes.

All kinds of control and even as a oscillator :)
pleace bi mor especific :mrgreen:
I use mine to control envepole attack for filters (or just filters :) ), sound on/off on VCAs, LFO speed, FM amount, delay length etc. And you can use it like this :D :



Or


Re: What is a sequencer?

Posted: Tue May 31, 2011 12:08 pm
by skullcrusher
Thank you all for help

Re: What is a sequencer?

Posted: Tue May 31, 2011 12:22 pm
by JJQ
Ooh. Just noticed my weired typing :)

Re: What is a sequencer?

Posted: Tue May 31, 2011 2:44 pm
by colmon
how is babby formed?

how girl get pragnent?

Re: What is a sequencer?

Posted: Tue May 31, 2011 2:57 pm
by Z
I always use the analogy that a MIDI sequencer is to music composition as a word processor is to writing.

You input note data (pitch, duration, velocity, etc.) and manipulate it within the software (be it a computer or hardware sequencer), cut & paste similar to entering text into a word processor (changing font type & size, etc.). Once you have your composition to your liking, you have the sequencer play your instruments and record them to tape (or preferred digital format) just like you would print your word processor document.

There is much more that can be recorded into a sequencer, I just wanted to give you the basic jist of things. Just to reiterate, a sequencer records DATA, not audio.

Notice I described a "MIDI Sequencer". Analog sequencers output control voltages which can be used to contol oscillators' pitch, filters' cut-off frequency or anything that can accept a control voltage.

Re: What is a sequencer?

Posted: Tue May 31, 2011 5:02 pm
by balma
skullcrusher wrote:Thank you all for help
Sequencers can have many applications on the music composition. Most common of them and for somebody who is starting with synths like you , is to allow you to compose music, storing the notes you play and then, hitting play and you hear what you just play.

Is like recording an audio tape, but with the huge difference; that you can go back and modify and edit almost anything that you recorded.

What they record, is an EVENT on the synth's memory, like in the way you record sentences when programming computers.
This event, orders to the synth: hey man! play the note C2, during XX measures; at the velocity of 96; at the bar xx xx xx,...

Then, you can record a bass, a syth line, drums; and play all together.

In other words, sequencers are making regular musicians going jobless :mrgreen:

Re: What is a sequencer?

Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:24 am
by Zamise
Not all sequencers should be called sequencers IMHO. They should be calling some of them more along the line of something like a programmable arpeggiator or a programmable-stepped LFO. Those are found more on performance synths, or just one part of a song, which will have very limited note or event storage capacity, usually like only 16 steps per voice, key or sequence. A decent or true sequencer, what I'd consider able to make whole songs with, will have a lot more note and event storage capability across multiple tracks or channels for making more full and whole sounding songs. A full blown sequencer will have at least 16 tracks/channels for simultaneous sequencing and or playback. You should be able to sequence all parts of a song with a sequencer. Parts may contain a programmable sequenced/arpeggiated part tho seperate from the main sequencer, so you'd then be sequencing a sequencer. If you are looking to do whole songs, and not just sequencing one part of a song, make sure it is a full blown sequencer or at least can sequence multiple tracks/channels. The differences between a real sequencer, programmable arp, or even "Analog style sequencer" is and can be confusing, especially for noobs. It is good to know the differences between them ahead of time, it'll save you some headaches, and not feel like you got ripped off so much when you get a synth that says it has a sequencer instead of a sequencer that includes synth parts.