Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

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diophantine
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Re: Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

Post by diophantine » Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:44 pm

Nelson Baboon wrote:
Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:36 pm
all sequencers have fatal flaws. The more powerful they are, the more they force you into their way of working and their limitations, and so you can't accomplish other things you want, or work the way you want, etc.
Absolutely. I have or have worked with a number of sequencers, most analog, but some digital/MIDI, and this is totally true.

The Schrittmacker is totally cool... have had friends rave about it. I don't usually build up the hugely complex stuff like you can do with that, but it is always temping when I see it.
revtor wrote:
Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:45 pm
As you get into more complicated sequencers with more possibilities you are definitely more involved in the user interface and user experience that the coder or programmer behind it has needed or chosen to implement.
...
Whatever you choose, at some point you have to dig in and really give it some effort. RTFnM. Then after a while you will realize if it’s a drag, or if it works for the situation and “music making” mindset that you possess.
Definitely. I'm always good about reading (and re-re-re-reading) manuals, but (as we all know) sometimes the manuals kinda suck or are incomplete.

I am frequently frustrated by very menu-heavy/shift-key-oriented designs... but on occasion I do get along with them well, so I'm always afraid to discount any.

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Re: Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

Post by soundinett » Sat May 01, 2021 2:38 pm

This one is made with a FS1r (synthsounds) and a MU90 (piano, drums) controlled by Genoqs Nemo using step sequences.

Step sequences are short preprogrammed arpeggios or rythmical structures that can be activated per step. Depending on the run direction of the sequence (or track) this method gives you quasi-generative and very experimental results.
The output can be made more surprising if you use intertrack control: values of one track affects the values of another.

I am also using the Sequentix P3, predesessor of the Cirkon which is a great piece of sequencer especially if it comes to intertrack modulation.
And as far as I know the only sequencer (besides the Cirklon) that fully supports intertrack modulation.
Anyhow, in case of experimental stuff I was faster with the Nemo. But this is because I use it much more often than the P3. Or do I use it more often because i get faster results? A circle.
As always - the more you use your machines, the deeper you dig into, the more satisfying the results. Which is the plain truth for sequencers.


Last edited by soundinett on Wed May 05, 2021 3:15 am, edited 8 times in total.

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Nelson Baboon
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Re: Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

Post by Nelson Baboon » Sat May 01, 2021 2:53 pm

good god, i loathed the nemo. the octopus is a very nice instrument (and extremely large), so I figured I'd get the nemo, which supposedly shared the same features and ui, but i did not find that to be the case at all. I found the ui to be extremely compromised - it's been years, but as i recall, the meta view of sequences just wasn't there, so you had to drill down to see what was going on, and it was like a menu based sequencer to me.

I'll also mention that I am very much into sequencers that are 'generative' in various ways, beyond the fact that they simply generate sequences.

in my research of the seq, i found it to be utterly lacking in these generative features when compared to the better sequencers. It seemed emphatically NOT one for experimental type excursions. Whereas that forthcoming Oxi sequencer looks to take that same basic look, but really extend the functionality into interesting areas.

That's one of the problems with these threads, and why I tend to drop out of them. People who have not had a wide variety of experience simply post 'my favorite stuff' without really answering the question that was intended.

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Re: Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

Post by soundinett » Tue May 04, 2021 3:02 am

I know that you are not a big friend of the Nemo, Nelson. For my music it fits well. And featurewise it is hard to compete even after 20 years.

Besides the Nemo if it comes to step sequencing - straightforward or experimental -I use an Octopus or a P3.

Evolving pattern sequencing is real fun. Especially with two Flame Echometers manipulating each other.
In this pattern seq category falls the Torso T1 which I have ordered.

Great love for the Arq96 as an experimental sequencing tool. Here the incredible arpeggiaror does the evolving work.
Last edited by soundinett on Tue May 04, 2021 6:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Tue May 04, 2021 3:35 am

How often do you find yourselves
recording one sequencer's pattern into another sequencer
so that you can use the different features of each
to contribute to your sonic arrangement?

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Re: Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

Post by soundinett » Tue May 04, 2021 6:30 am

Cat-A-Tonic wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 3:35 am
How often do you find yourselves
recording one sequencer's pattern into another sequencer
so that you can use the different features of each
to contribute to your sonic arrangement?
Sometimes I record irregular Flame Echometer beats into the RM1x. Such complex patterns are hard to produce with the Yamaha box.
These patterns will be further manipulated with the RM1x Midi-effect tools.

Oh sorry! Echometer is not polyphonic :-(

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Re: Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

Post by revtor » Wed May 05, 2021 11:39 am

Not to beat a dead horse, but for evolving sequences of patterns, with strong ability to handle chords or multiple “rows” of notes per track, the MidiBox 4 is very very good.
Almost any parameter of any track can respond to cc, which you can program easily and send to any other track. Pretty much endless.

Soundinett, Care to share any details of the programming of your Nemo/ fs1r/piano track?

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Nelson Baboon
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Re: Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

Post by Nelson Baboon » Wed May 05, 2021 11:42 am

there are multiple sequencers that have intertrack modulation.

not sure what 'complete' means here.
soundinett wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 2:38 pm
This one is made with a FS1r (synthsounds) and a MU90 (piano, drums) controlled by Genoqs Nemo using step sequences.

Step sequences are short preprogrammed arpeggios or rythmical structures that can be activated per step. Depending on the run direction of the sequence (or track) this method gives you quasi-generative and very experimental results.
The output can be made more surprising if you use intertrack control: values of one track affects the values of another.

I am also using the Sequentix P3, predesessor of the Cirkon which is a great piece of sequencer especially if it comes to intertrack modulation.
And as far as I know the only sequencer (besides the Cirklon) that fully supports intertrack modulation.
Anyhow, in case of experimental stuff I was faster with the Nemo. But this is because I use it much more often than the P3. Or do I use it more often because i get faster results? A circle.
As always - the more you use your machines, the deeper you dig into, the more satisfying the results. Which is the plain truth for sequencers.



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Nelson Baboon
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Re: Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

Post by Nelson Baboon » Wed May 05, 2021 11:45 am

soundinett wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 3:02 am
I know that you are not a big friend of the Nemo, Nelson. For my music it fits well. And featurewise it is hard to compete even after 20 years.

Besides the Nemo if it comes to step sequencing - straightforward or experimental -I use an Octopus or a P3.

Evolving pattern sequencing is real fun. Especially with two Flame Echometers manipulating each other.
In this pattern seq category falls the Torso T1 which I have ordered.

Great love for the Arq96 as an experimental sequencing tool. Here the incredible arpeggiaror does the evolving work.
the nemo has great functionality. I hated the ui. by definition, if you get on with a ui, then great for you! I had used the octopus previously, and having the same functionality, but with a very limited ui (in comparison) was not what i was looking for.

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Re: Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

Post by soundinett » Wed May 05, 2021 12:11 pm

Love to learn about other sequencers that do intertrack modulation. I think Koma Komplex could do. Intertrack modulation of Nemo and Octopus is restricted. Upper track can modulate the lower. But not backwards. A drag.

"Soundinett, Care to share any details of the programming of your Nemo/ fs1r/piano track?


Well that music was made five years ago. Recereating would be more easy if I had the Nemo at hand. But it resides in the Munich studio. I live at the moment in my country home. Will try to remeber.
Three tracks. Piano and drums from the MU90. FS1r.
Piano consist of a eight bar line of notes on track one that where activated in Brownian mode.
Drumtrack was hooked to the piano track.
The third track (FS1r patch with long release) is a step sequence. Running direction was back and forth as far as I remember.
Dont nail me down.
Last edited by soundinett on Thu May 06, 2021 1:00 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

Post by soundinett » Wed May 05, 2021 1:14 pm

Nelson Baboon wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 11:45 am
the nemo has great functionality. I hated the ui. by definition, if you get on with a ui, then great for you!
I dont know why, but I´m attracted to obscure UI. Still have a good relationship with the Undead Timefrog which obviously only the guy who had programmed it fully understood. Obsolete Flame Echometer and Six in a row are my favorite seqs.
Same with the Zoom ARQ which is probably one of the worlds most hated gear :-)

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Re: Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

Post by Nelson Baboon » Wed May 05, 2021 2:19 pm

hah - the timefrog. I got one because it looked so cool, and the proclaimed functionality was cool, but i just couldn't figure it out - and as i recall the docs were beyond useless. Are those still made? it's curious that he never tried to help people actually use the damn thing.

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Re: Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

Post by soundinett » Wed May 05, 2021 3:34 pm

Three years ago I did some beta testing for a new OS. I bought a second Timefrog with the new system. Sent my suggestions but heard nothing anymore. Obviously Olivier Brouquet stopped working on the Timefrog, never finished the new OS. The Undead site is under construction now. In my mind: Undead is dead.
Last edited by soundinett on Thu May 06, 2021 1:13 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

Post by revtor » Thu May 06, 2021 6:09 am

Soundinett, thanks for the explanation. It’s great how a relatively simple three tracks can give an endless stream of ever changing music. Makes you realize how good we have it these days with the flexibility of many hardware sequencer options.
The ability to explore niche ideas and experiment in “non musical“ directions is so much fun. And then of course straight techno when you decide to turn the amp up!!!

The time frog looked pretty amazing but I managed to stay away due to those Documentation reports. The ui looked very fun though!!
Just one in the history books of sequencers that didn’t quite make it. Two I was quite enameled with were
Tidal StepOne, (15 years ago!!??
and
Fyrd SQR
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Re: Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

Post by fatbenelton » Sat May 08, 2021 7:54 am

The Fyrd SQR looked great and I put a preorder in early on - thankfully got my money back but others weren’t so lucky. Shame...

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Re: Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

Post by Nelson Baboon » Sat May 08, 2021 9:31 am

soundinett wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 12:11 pm
Love to learn about other sequencers that do intertrack modulation. I think Koma Komplex could do. Intertrack modulation of Nemo and Octopus is restricted. Upper track can modulate the lower. But not backwards. A drag.
by its very nature, intertrack modulation is 'restricted'. I think that you are referring to the fact that it was frustrating to work within the top to bottom modulation flow of the octopus/nemo (which i am now remembering).

Most sequencers that i have purchased has had some form of intertrack modulation. Most of the desktop or rack analog sequencers i've used have it. The koma has it, the fenix has it, and others that I've used have it. As far as midi and hybrid sequencers - of the ones i have right now....the schrittmacher has a very powerful implementation (though i suppose that it isn't technically intertrack modulation, but I'm not going to quibble, and it's very powerful), the pyramid has it (though not with extreme flexibility), The tetramaps has it....the noodlebox has an interesting interpretation. (edit - just sold my Engine, and it had it) I guess that there are sequencers that are manufactured to be cheap, and of general usage in writing 'songs', and don't cater to this kind of algorithmic development, but I'd say that having some kind of intertrack modulation coupled with different track lengths, is pretty important. But I don't write songs.

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Re: Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

Post by revtor » Sun May 09, 2021 9:32 am

As I play with intertrack modulation and try setting up experiments using those features, I can’t help but think about how the data is processed for every note, to produce the result, sending data in order, at the correct time. With tracks able to influence other tracks, thinking about feedback and the logical “restrictions”. As a novice programmer, how that all gets coded blows my mind. It’s no wonder that every machine has a different implementation, limits, etc. The wizards who program these things deserve a lot of respect.

There is a limit as mentioned above, I think the most flexible way to go beyond the limit would be to incorporate two sequencers that influence each other, or at least one as the master and one has the slave. This way you could have two sets of features and modulation could be expanded greatly.

——Which might help the original poster, find one that deals with polyphony / chords in a way that seems to make sense to you, and then find another to help in programming the changes structure, or areas that the first needs help.
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Re: Polyphonic MIDI sequencers/controllers for generative/drone/experimental

Post by muleskinner » Sun May 09, 2021 2:31 pm

As a sequencer, Synthstrom Deluge will handle polyphony like a charm, does iteration dependence and randomization plus polyrhythms, and has Euclidean and MPE support coming in the next update.
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