Need sequencer suggestions!

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Tuckman
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Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by Tuckman » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:39 am

I'm new into Eurorack, and kinda feel overwhelmed with how many Eurorack sequencers there are. My goals are to have something that can give me some nice melody while also giving me control over drums. One that has stood out is the Eloquencer, 8 tracks sounds great! I've seen the nerdseq pop up as well, but looks intimidating to use. There's also the hermod. I'm leaning towards the Eloquencer, but it's a big investment and want to get the most out of my money. Any suggestions? Comments on these sequencers. Anything would help! Thanks!

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Agawell
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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by Agawell » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:52 am

exactly what you are trying to sequence (how many voices etc) now and in the near future might help!!!
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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by Tuckman » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:36 am

Agawell wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:52 am
exactly what you are trying to sequence (how many voices etc) now and in the near future might help!!!
Right now, only one voice. I would like to eventually have 3 voices in the future.

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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by Graffie » Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:31 am

To get an overview. Fellow muffwigler Mdoudoroff has an excellent website with a nice list of all the more advanced eurorack sequencers out there. Every time a new sequencer gets announced the list gets updated.

https://doudoroff.com/sequencers/

Agree with Agawell. Thinking about how many voices you want to sequence is a good starting point for narrowing down the options. But of course, there are also aspects like hp, workflow (the way you program sequences and song structures), ergonomics, modulation options, how immediate the interface is etc. And the importance of these aspects are highly subjective. To make matters worse. Sometimes when you think you find something important you may later discover that it wasn't that important after all.


Some random notes about sequencer I had a look at when choosing my current sequencer:
Goal: have a sequencer that would pair nicely with the Sinfonion. So I need at least 4 sequencer tracks. Max 42 hp. Smaller is better. Glides should be easy. Bonus for ways to add some randomness to the sequence, generate sequences or ways to alter existing sequences. Preferably no xox style of input.

Eloquencer. Looks to be a nice allrounder and I almost bought one. Eventually didn't do it since I wanted to steer away from a xox style of input.

Erica Black Sequencer. To be released. Has individual knobs per step so it should be a very immediate way of programming sequences. Would still need to look at the screen a lot to see whats going on. Build in envlopes are a nice to have. Also has midi in and midi out.

Five12 Vector. Very interesting sequencer with a lot of ways to alter or generate sequences. But you need an expander to really unlock all its potential and it takes up a lot of hp. This could also be a plus since this benefits ergonomics. Also has midi in and midi out.

Nerdseq. Tracker style sequencer. Having worked with trackers in the past I could be a good fit. But because my rack is usually standing vertically I feared that programming the thing would eventually annoy me.

Hermod. Seems to do a lot. Especially for its size. Con is a really small screen for inputting data.

ZetaOhm FLXS1. Like the Eloquencer. Also looks to be a nice allrounder. But Xox style of input made me stop researching it more.

Livestock Electronics Shepard. To be released. 6 tracks with 20 outputs. Outputs can be configured to be pitch, gate or trigger. Xox style of input made me stop researching it more.

USTA. The sequencer I actually bought. Looked like it would tick all the boxes I was looking for. Also the concept of stages appealed to me. Using it at first made me realize that the workflow was much more cryptic then I expected it to be. And it took way longer than I thought it would take to get used to basic operation stuff. But eventually, it clicked and its fairly immediate. Also upcoming firmware update seems to add a lot a stuff that was kind of missing in the first place. So far i'm happy.

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mdoudoroff
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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by mdoudoroff » Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:49 am

Going to throw out a big caveat: my comparison (linked several times above)—and most of what folks are suggesting—are of the most complex modules in Eurorack. Do not overlook that these sorts of “black box” sequencers are not the only option. Fancy sequencers are their own little worlds, and physical constraints mean they all overpromise and under-deliver. I’m not saying any of them are bad, but each does something well, and a whole bunch of other things not as well. Each has a very particular way of doing things that you have to learn and embrace—or become extremely frustrated by. Meanwhile, many people thrive without using any of these fancy sequencers. Many employ much simpler utility sequencers and a panoply of relatively simple utility modules to patch their own sequences. Still others relay on DAWs and standalone sequencing devices. Don’t assume you must pick one of these.

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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by electricanada » Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:54 am

mdoudoroff wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:49 am
Meanwhile, many people thrive without using any of these fancy sequencers. Many employ much simpler utility sequencers and a panoply of relatively simple utility modules to patch their own sequences.
I strongly recommend this approach for newbies. You’ll learn a lot about what your modules are capable of, and produce sequences you never would have conceived by using your imagination. And that’s what modular sequencing excels at.

On the other hand, if you just want your modular to spit out pre-composed melodies, it’s cheaper and easier to send it midi.
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Whelm
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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by Whelm » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:12 am

electricanada wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:54 am
mdoudoroff wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:49 am
Meanwhile, many people thrive without using any of these fancy sequencers. Many employ much simpler utility sequencers and a panoply of relatively simple utility modules to patch their own sequences.
I strongly recommend this approach for newbies. You’ll learn a lot about what your modules are capable of, and produce sequences you never would have conceived by using your imagination. And that’s what modular sequencing excels at.

On the other hand, if you just want your modular to spit out pre-composed melodies, it’s cheaper and easier to send it midi.
I, personally, much prefer this way. A couple simple sequencers, S&H, quantizers, clocks, and logic. I find this way of patching to be stimulating and fun, whereas I absolutely hate fucking around with sequencers. You certainly can't do some of things you can with a sophisticated sequencer this way, but I'd rather compose on a DAW and send via MIDI if I wanted to do that sort of thing. I like the generative potential of patching.

An exception would be the Klee sequencer. I would love to have one of those someday.

That's just me though. I find programming even simple step sequencers to be joykilling.

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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by Tuckman » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:25 am

Graffie wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:31 am
Preferably no xox style of input.
Just out of curiosity, why weren't you looking at an xox style?
Just preference?

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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by Fastus » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:38 am

I'm in agreement with the above. I also got a USTA and it's extremely powerful, but I wouldn't recommend it for a newbie. You could probably get a used Rene 1 for an absolute steal and you'd have loads of fun with it without getting frustrated - in fact, I like it's accessibility and ease of use prob better than the more powerful Rene 2.
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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by SingIt » Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:28 pm

I have a Palette so a huge sequencer would be overkill for me. I am using my Octatrack to send step and pitch, but usually I just send the trigger with that. I’m going to work with the Mimetic digitalis to sequence CV and then I also got Scales to either further quantize the MD, or quantize an LFO or even to trigger it with Pamelas and make a melody out of that and then modulate that melody with the MD going into my oscillators parameters.

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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by Graffie » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:28 pm

Tuckman wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:25 am
Graffie wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:31 am
Preferably no xox style of input.
Just out of curiosity, why weren't you looking at an xox style?
Just preference?
I already own a Analog 4 and have been using that for a long time now. So wanted to try out something different and more immediate.

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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by Foghorn » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:44 pm

There are allot of good suggestions about sequencers in this thread, including not using sequencers.
I mostly do generative stuff but I still use some sequencers.
I really like simple 4 or 8 step sequencers, however not usually for melodies.
Use them for modulation of filters, oscillators (like some of Rubicons inputs) and anything else that needs some motion.
Use them to modulate clocks that are clocking other sequencers.
So many uses for sequencers when they are used for modulation.
Also, Rene I would probably be fun for you
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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by Graffie » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:25 pm

While I think that you indeed shouldn't overlook a combination of simple sequencers and utility-esque modules. My personal experience is that this quickly made me feel very limited and you also run into other issues like S&H modules that aren't precise enough for holding pitch cv or that you don't have enough free hp to get the combination of prefered simpler modules etc. Then again it really depends on the musical goals your after..

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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by brianobush » Sat May 02, 2020 9:26 pm

I have used complicated sequencers that are hands-on (e.g., Metropolis, Varigate) and lusted after even more complicated ones. Finding a sequencer that is for you is probably the hardest task. Lately, I think I have found my home with a combination of simpler utility sequencers. It is a combination of sequential switches, doepfer clock dividers, bin seq manual trigger sequencers, mimetic digitalis, and marbles. I looked at features from my favorite sequencers and basically built those features. It isn't pretty, nor is it easy to manage patch cable wise, however, it works well and is somewhat malleable.

Maybe start with a simpler system instead of diving into the complex sequencer market? A CV sequencer with a trigger sequencer can get you started for cheap, e.g, Ladik, and then you can find what aspects you need. This is the route that I wish I had gone.

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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by monads » Sun May 03, 2020 6:07 pm

I'm gonna kinda recommend a Nerdseq w/Trigger Expander combo here. Control for drums and melodies on the 'track' setup. Eloquencer is also good but I think you have more versatility in the former.

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mulder
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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by mulder » Sun May 03, 2020 6:17 pm

ER 101 is something to consider. I didn't really consider it at first, but I think I will buy one. has 4 channels and can set the step lengths for more interesting patterns than traditional sequencers locked to standard steps

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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by Buyakasoundman » Sun May 03, 2020 7:21 pm

Another thing with advanced sequencers; the more you have, the more shit you have to keep in memory. I’ve got three of the most advanced sequencers out right now; Nerdseq, Sinfonion, and Metron, had em’ for almost a year and I still have to rewatch the tutorials and reread the manuals on a regular basis. They require the commitment of learning a new instrument, not just plug and play.
Where as Marbles, dear sweet Marbles, I can have an evolving melody in seconds without even turning on my big dumb brain.

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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by guigui » Tue May 05, 2020 5:01 am

Buyakasoundman wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 7:21 pm
Another thing with advanced sequencers; the more you have, the more shit you have to keep in memory. I’ve got three of the most advanced sequencers out right now; Nerdseq, Sinfonion, and Metron, had em’ for almost a year and I still have to rewatch the tutorials and reread the manuals on a regular basis. They require the commitment of learning a new instrument, not just plug and play.
Where as Marbles, dear sweet Marbles, I can have an evolving melody in seconds without even turning on my big dumb brain.
I have the same modules you've mentioned and I'd like to know if you think you could live without Metron, sequencing drums with NerdSEQ. I'm almost going that way and connecting my eurorack with Ableton through Expert Sleepers FH-2 or ES-3.

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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by Buyakasoundman » Tue May 05, 2020 12:37 pm

I tried FH-2. I haven’t given up on it, but I may have given up on myself learning it. I’m great with HW, but shite with computers. One day I’ll knuckle down and get over my apprehension with the FH-2 set up application.
I don’t think I’d prefer the Trigger expander over Metron simply due to the microtiming / 48ppqn clock, and the Fill FX page are too fun to give up. I do love the Euclidean implementation on the trigger expander, and perhaps with the upcoming Nerdseq I2C expander and a faderbank, some playability could be introduced there as well. I’m actually myself wondering if I can utilize the microtiming of the Metron to approach the off grid feel of the upcoming Flux trigger sequencer. That thing has me jonesing for polyrhythms and Taiko drums for sure.
With the upcoming user scale implementation for the Nerdseq and it’s polyphonic voice sequencing, I’m actually wondering how long Sinfonion will keep it’s headliner status.
My Nerdseq setup with CV expander and Sinfonion is as follows in case you’re wondering; 4 Modular tracks of Nerd into 1,2,3, and arp of Sinfonion, Nerd tracks 5 & 6 are CV expander tracks with track 5 dedicated to Sinfonion parameters, and track 6 dedicated to non voice modules. This way, all my voices are discrete so modulation sequences don’t get separated from their corresponding voice sequence.

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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by strawberry » Tue May 05, 2020 12:58 pm

Vector, thank me later.

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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by luchog » Tue May 05, 2020 1:13 pm

electricanada wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:54 am
mdoudoroff wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:49 am
Meanwhile, many people thrive without using any of these fancy sequencers. Many employ much simpler utility sequencers and a panoply of relatively simple utility modules to patch their own sequences.
I strongly recommend this approach for newbies. You’ll learn a lot about what your modules are capable of, and produce sequences you never would have conceived by using your imagination. And that’s what modular sequencing excels at.

On the other hand, if you just want your modular to spit out pre-composed melodies, it’s cheaper and easier to send it midi.
That's how I roll as well. Simple step sequencers, clock dividers and logic, etc. The most complicated sequencer I own right now is the ARC version of the Serge TKB; very powerful for an analog step sequencer, and easy to use. No complicated setup processes or (worse yet) menu diving.

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Re: Need sequencer suggestions!

Post by Dennis » Tue May 05, 2020 1:15 pm

im using nerdseq (with cv and trigger expander for drums and many more) in pair with sinfonion from ACL (because i don't have theoretical music knowledge and am really lazy to learn hehe)

i also use planar 2, lapsus os, addac 306 and intellijels metropolis and voltage block to squeeze everything out of each other and the sinfonion
i love it.... (nerdseq can CV record so using planar 2 into nerdseq record into sinfonion becomes more and more fun)

had a modular approach going on for around 1,5 years with
tiptop z8000, trigger riot, ADDAC quad quantizer, varigate 8+ voltage block, pressure points + brains, Pittsburg micro sequencer and a few other logic and switch modules. was fun but not for my workflow as i like to have my sequences ready and saved and i didn't want to hook up my octatrack or digitakt for Midi / CV sequencing :-/ (again - lazy)

so i swapped it out for the ones mentioned first. hope that helps

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