.. looking for hardware-sequencer ,.. but which ones best ?

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BröselHai
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.. looking for hardware-sequencer ,.. but which ones best ?

Post by BröselHai » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:27 pm

Hallo friends,

I´m looking for a hardware-sequencer (old or new) capable of storing/playing back all my Sysex/MIDI from my Roland SPD-S (which I use for sample-triggering) and my Roland SH-201(for layers) , due to theire lack of internal memory, and to make things easier (auto-play).
Further more I would like the background-sounds (at the SPD-S or the SH-201) to be triggered by the sequencer via MIDI, while me and my mate are playing them. What I would like to do is RECORD the MIDI-sequences during rehersal on the sequencer and EDIT them later on the same sequencer.

The area we´re working in is spoken-word/POETRY (overdubed, resampled & effected) in combination with live-synthi sounds (with arpeggios/layres triggerd from extern) and live vocals.

Currently I´m thinking of a Roland MC-80(EX) or a Yamaha QY700, but am not sure if a Yamaha MPC xxx, ..or others would not be fitting too.
NO COMPUTER/LAPTOP should be involved, if possible AT ALL (even though the sequencer-MIDI-data schould be "readeable" - without required converting - by a PC/Laptop).
Unit should be capable of producing at least SMF-files and should not require to be booted from floppy-disk (so that kills the MV-30,MC-50MkII, MC-500 options).
Storage should be done on an internal HD (nice, but not necessary),CF or Floppy (3,5" 1.44MB).
At least two MIDI-OUTS should be available. Additional MIDI-THRU would be nice.
Sampling being possible on the sequencer would be very nice too (because the effects available at the SPD-S are rather limited and changing them is just possible after having to go through dozens of menu-layers to change ONE of its variables)

Can anybody let me know/give an advice .. if this selection is a good choice (and which of it would be the best), or is there something new/old/less expensive on the market that I can use for that purpose ?

thanx a lot in advance,
BröselHai (Austria)
"If I have an apple, and you have an apple, and we exchange apples,- then you and I still have ONE apple. But if I have an idea, and you have an idea, and we exchange ideas,- then we BOTH have TWO ideas." G.B.Shaw

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Yoozer
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Re: .. looking for hardware-sequencer ,.. but which ones best ?

Post by Yoozer » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:49 pm

BröselHai wrote: Storage should be done on an internal HD (nice, but not necessary),CF or Floppy (3,5" 1.44MB).
At least two MIDI-OUTS should be available. Additional MIDI-THRU would be nice.
Sampling being possible on the sequencer would be very nice too (because the effects available at the SPD-S are rather limited and changing them is just possible after having to go through dozens of menu-layers to change ONE of its variables)
Akai MPC1000. The newer black ones have the superior pads. Alternatively, an older (but not less capable MPC2000XL with a SCSI-based card interface (otherwise you'll be dragging a SCSI harddisk or zipdrive with you). The 2000XL is in that way better - bigger pads and less hitting shift/window keys to get to certain functions.

With a 2 gb CF card you won't even need the harddisk, so you can keep everything portable. The effects on the MPC are possibly more limited and also require menu diving; you get vanilla phaser/flanger/chorus/reverb, but at least you'll have separate outputs so you can hook up something neat like a Kaoss Pad.

Samples on a floppy will get old really fast; flash memory cards are vastly superior.
(even though the sequencer-MIDI-data schould be "readeable" - without required converting - by a PC/Laptop).
You can save as MIDI files without trouble, but most sequencers and workstations use some kind of obscure homebrew format by default anyway. The nice bit about the MPC1000 is that it saves its programs but uses standard .wav files for the actual sounds - so no big unreadable monolithical files. Just remove the .prg file and you're left with the sounds.
"Part of an instrument is what it can do, and part of it is what you do to it" - Suzanne Ciani, 197x.

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BröselHai
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Re: .. looking for hardware-sequencer ,.. but which ones best ?

Post by BröselHai » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:37 am

@Yoozer

Thank you for your help! I´ve been reading the MPC 1000 v2 'black's manual all weekend long, and I agree that this machine would be a good choice. I´ve been so much into 'MC-80'-hunting, because I believed that an older hardware-sequenzer would be less expensive but still capable of doing what I want it to do (which it would be). One of the problems regarding the MC-80 is, first of all, finding a decent one. And second, it´s 'microscope'-mode, which is the only way to enter/edit MIDI-data on the MC-80 (at least what I found). Even worse, these events can only be shown one after the other on a one-line display and have to be edited/entered via MIDI-sysex-commands(?!). I intended to try a work-around by connecting a MIDI-controller, to be at least able to do some editing via keyboard. But this would block one of the two existing MIDI-INs of the MC-80. Further problem I see would be, that, if I run into problems/questions with it, there´s almost no-one around anymore who can give decent help without having to say "I knew how to do it, because I did this regularely in the mid 90´s, .. but forgott how to do it!".
By the way, the human-interface (especially of the MPC 500) seams to be done by the same person/company that did the interface for the SPD-S, because everything there looked more than familiar, if not the same.
Regarding the on-board effects of the MPC 1000v2 and the onboard-sound (MC-80EX), the MPC will of course be no match to the MC-80, but on the other hand, I´m first of all looking for a sequenzer; What advantage do I have of onboard-effects & -sounds, if I´m only able of getting to them by having to edit (un-documented, manual-free) MIDI-SysEx-commands. It´s like having to program your laptop via DOS-window in assembler without manual.
And regarding sequenzing, the MPC with it´s multi-event-capable display, is the better choice for me - it seams. Further more NO 3,5" 1.44MB disk, but CFs.

The only question left is, will the MPC be able to receive & store my Roland SPD-S´s MIDI-bulk-dump and be able to send it back, when asked to do ?

Thanx for helping,
BröselHai
"If I have an apple, and you have an apple, and we exchange apples,- then you and I still have ONE apple. But if I have an idea, and you have an idea, and we exchange ideas,- then we BOTH have TWO ideas." G.B.Shaw

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BröselHai
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Re: .. looking for hardware-sequencer ,.. but which ones best ?

Post by BröselHai » Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:20 pm

Hallo,

regarding the MPC1000v2black I found that they are expensive (850Euro); but found that SP-505/606 seem to be almost the same then the MPC1000.
Does anybody know if a Roland SP-505 / SP-606 would be a perfect match (sampling, sequenzing, wave-chop, effects) for half the (used) price too, .. or are there some features the 505/606 are missing which are "must"/killer and are available on the MPCs but missing on the Rolands?
Thanx
"If I have an apple, and you have an apple, and we exchange apples,- then you and I still have ONE apple. But if I have an idea, and you have an idea, and we exchange ideas,- then we BOTH have TWO ideas." G.B.Shaw

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Re: .. looking for hardware-sequencer ,.. but which ones best ?

Post by Clavier » Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:32 pm

This dual sequencer complement is the best I've come across. Great for all types of music:

Image
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Re: .. looking for hardware-sequencer ,.. but which ones best ?

Post by sacredcow » Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:33 pm

Clavier wrote:This dual sequencer complement is the best I've come across. Great for all types of music:

Image
Only two channels? Each one only pentaphonic? Sorry Clavier, but IMO that sequencer sucks a*s.
Consider a command station for complicated drum sequences or work with many many channels, but be warned that it's hard to program glides.
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BröselHai
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Re: .. looking for hardware-sequencer ,.. but which ones best ?

Post by BröselHai » Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:08 pm

Image
.. I´m thinking of something more 'digital'.
"If I have an apple, and you have an apple, and we exchange apples,- then you and I still have ONE apple. But if I have an idea, and you have an idea, and we exchange ideas,- then we BOTH have TWO ideas." G.B.Shaw

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Re: .. looking for hardware-sequencer ,.. but which ones best ?

Post by Yoozer » Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:38 pm

BröselHai wrote:or are there some features the 505/606 are missing which are "must"/killer and are available on the MPCs but missing on the Rolands?
Thanx
The MPC has 2 MIDI outputs, the SP only one; avoiding MIDI daisy chaining is a good thing. I've seen several older MPCs (blue) for around 500-600 euros - the only downside is that eventually you're going to have to fix the pads.
"Part of an instrument is what it can do, and part of it is what you do to it" - Suzanne Ciani, 197x.

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