Looking back a few years ago, it was difficult to find more than two or three dedicated sequencers that could be built into your rack. And they were basically all 8-step sequencers. Nowadays there are a lot more options available and lots of creative ideas have been implemented to make it more interesting to look into this topic. Here we are looking at concepts that take from 3hp up to 50hp of your rackspace, this huge difference in size should gives you an idea of how different sequencer concepts can be. Here we are focssing on sequencers that feature CV and trigger/gate outputs at the same time. These sequencers are typically used for note sequencing.
Erica Synths – Pico SEQ
The Pico SEQ is the smallest module in this series. It offers easy programming of CVs and gates, a max sequence length of 16 steps, variable gate length, quantization, various playback modes, even slide and 16 pattern memory! Despite its size it is powerful, but might not be the easiest to program on the fly. It packs unbelievebly much functionality into 3hp and might be exactly what you need in a small, maybe portable setup.
XAOC Devices – Tirana 2
The Tirana 2 is also a compact step sequencer, but with a different approach. It features four steps that can be repeted or muted. The module provides a transposition input and sequence direction control. It is a very versatile and hands-on module that should not be underestimated as a note sequencer, modulation source, or for transposing other sequencers.
classc 8-Step with refreshing twists
Fonitronik ADC Sequencer
At first sight the mh11 ADC Pattern Sequencer is a traditional eight-step sequencer for CV, trigger and gate signals. But it is capable of creating very complex variations of your initial sequence. ADC section: Each step has a three-position switch which determines if the step is played or muted. In third position a value from the ADC (analog-digital converter) determines if the step is on or off. The ADC input is converted into binary 8-Bit patterns. Each Bit is equivalent to a step of the sequencer and can be either on or off. The according step set to “ADC” will then read out either a “1” or “0”, and thus will be either played or muted. And all this with CV control, very nice!
Doepfer A-155 Analog/Trigger Sequencer
The Doepfer is an analog sequencer for CVs and trigger/gates. Basically it gives you two CV rows, each with selectable voltage range, glide and sample & hold options, three trigger rows and a one gate row. It is even possible to insert external signals per step instead, overriding the CV generated by the 2nd row’s potentiometer. A lot of options and everything with it’s own control right at your fingertips. And if the functionality is not enough for your needs, there is an expander module that gives you lots of CV inputs, new functions and the possibility to connect a second A-155!
303 style sequencing with 16 and more steps
Transistor Sound Labs – Stepper Acid
A sequencer concept with its roots in the legendary Roland TB 303. The Stepper Acid provides you with a very hands-on interface and intuitive controls that are perfect for performing live music. Lots of space to get your hands to all control elements. You can save and load sequences edit them while they play and really enjoy interacting with the module. Its feauture set brings you 1 to 16 steps, glide, accent and the “Detached” mode decouples the curent playing pattern from the panel controls which makes possible to grab a new pattern, to edit, modify or transpose it before playing.
Copper Traces – Seek
Seek is also based on the concepts of classic bassline sequencers like the TB-303, but offers a much more advanced feature set. It features up to 64 steps and quick pattern variations can be done using Seek’s random algorithms. The interface is also designed to be played live, with its keyboard and recording capabilities. Seek is a very full featured sequencer in a compact package.
And of course there are way more options than these! Find them here. Or check out part 2 of this series on sequencers for eurorack.
This is by no means a complete overview of available modules nor a full review of the discussed modules. The what about… text are here to give you new ideas and maybe another perspective on things. All these modules offer more features than we have talked about in this post. For further information please click the provided links or – even better – visit the shop and ask the SchneidersLaden experts in the showroom.