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Sequencer: Love or hate ?


Song80s

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I believe many gig here, so the SEQ is no big deal, perhaps.

 

For us home studio types, the SEQ is a main tool ( ?)

 

anyway, I burn up the SEQ on my Kronos. Once you get the tracks down and mixed correctly, the Songs are very good. I back up completed Songs on a USB. Always a worry that something might go south on the SSD. So far, so good.

 

I can see why W/S owners get unhappy with a new model , where their SONGS will not play nice on the new W/S. I suppose this is why I need to catch up with the '90's and use Logic, etc.

 

 

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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I haven't used an on-board sequencer in, like, 20 years. Even back in the mid-90s I was already using computer-based MIDI sequencing using the sounds on my synths and modules as the source sounds. These days a fully capable DAW will get the job done, you don't even need external hardware for the sounds. I can't imagine myself these days using a tiny LCD window + buttons (or even a small touchscreen) to do sequencing work.
Kurzweil PC3, Yamaha MOX8, Alesis Ion, Kawai K3M
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In 30 years of making music I've used a workstation sequencer maybe a dozen times. Each time it makes me grateful for computer based sequencing. Even in the late 80s I was using a piece of software called Prism running in DOS because you could actually see what you were doing compared to a Korg M1's tiny screen. And with the advancement in computer music production I can't imagine going to a workstation to sequence.

 

So while "hate" might be too strong a word for me to use I am actually glad to see instruments like the Roland Jupiter 80 and Yamaha Montage dropping the sequencer. It just junks up the overall design for me to have it nowadays. (I do recognize other forumites still use them - to each his own)

 

That being said my MOTIF did save my butt on one gig where this moron forgot his laptop and I had to reprogram the drums for an Outkast song at the gig. It was, however, a royal pain to program it.

Live rig: Roland FA-08, Yamaha MOTIF ES 6, laptop for supplemental sounds.
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Fair comments. I understand. You can't simply knock out a 4 part song in a half hour on a hardware SEQ.

 

I am very comfortable with Korg navigation and like the Kronos integration and work flow.

And it sounds excellent. There are several of us Kronos owners who are a throwback to the on board SEQ

 

 

 

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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I like having the sequencer on the PC3s - but never use it directly for making sequences. I make the sequence on the DAW, import it into the Kurzweil, then make any changes (usually limited to what patch is played) on the Kurzweil.

 

I don't use sequences frequently, but the idea that I CAN store them right on the keyboard instead of having to carry anything else is helpful.

 

 

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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I was decently comfortable with Roland and Korg sequencers. Hated Yamaha sequencers. Never used any of them for more than getting an idea down while away from the computer. Have a cousin that composed a lot of songs on Yamaha workstations. I tried to get him to buy a computer but instead he got a Roland MV-8000 system and was perfectly happy with it.

This post edited for speling.

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I've done a lot of song creation/sequencing with my Korg M3. It's helpful that you can export the sequence to a .wav file via USB flash drive.

 

The first keyboard that had a decent sequencer was my Ensoniq ESQ-1. I created quite a few songs with it because it was such a breeze to work with. The manual that came with the ESQ-1 was very well written as well.

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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I've done a lot of song creation/sequencing with my Korg M3. It's helpful that you can export the sequence to a .wav file via USB flash drive.

 

The first keyboard that had a decent sequencer was my Ensoniq ESQ-1. I created quite a few songs with it because it was such a breeze to work with. The manual that came with the ESQ-1 was very well written as well.

 

The M3 had an awesome SEQ. I didn't keep it long enough to take advantage.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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I haven't used an on-board sequencer in, like, 20 years. Even back in the mid-90s I was already using computer-based MIDI sequencing using the sounds on my synths and modules as the source sounds. These days a fully capable DAW will get the job done, you don't even need external hardware for the sounds. I can't imagine myself these days using a tiny LCD window + buttons (or even a small touchscreen) to do sequencing work.

 

This!!! +1

 

Montage 7, Mojo 61, PC-3, XK-3c Pro, Kronos 88, Hammond SK-1, Motif XF- 7, Hammond SK-2, Roland FR-1, FR-18, Hammond B3 - Blond, Hammond BV -Cherry
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Started out sequencing end 80s, used an alesis together with MT32, Juno106, CZ101, Roland TR505, Kawai R something.... after that I got a D20 when it was new, exchanged that to the wavestation when it came and wen't over to Midiseq on a Mac Added an SR16 for drums, wrote quite a lot of songs on that rig.

 

Fast forwarding I've tried to use the SEQ on my K2600s and Motif, very fast for scetching a couple of bars-but making a full song - horrible. Really liked the timing of the Kurzweil SEQ, which was much better than the DAWs at the time regardless of platform. There was always hassles with timing in the big midirigs, hated it. Most horrible synth module I had with respect to timing was the Roland SH32, timing all over the place. I left midisequencing and today I record all hardware synths directly as audio, why even bother with midi. Also try to record long sections, in particular if using piano, rhodes, Hammond etc.

 

Today I do sequence software instruments in logic or Cubase, mostly for song writing coming up with quick scetches, but also to add strings and some VA sounds to final productions.

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At the moment I'm enjoying playing with the Endless sequencer on my TE OP-1. As a step sequencer, it supports the expected basic features: rests, ties, swing amount, note length. However, the real fun is comes with selecting a rhythm pattern. There's a bunch of patterns that impose a rhythm on the sequence - just enter notes/chords on consecutive steps and let the pattern generate the rhythm. Endless supports any step length up to 99 steps so one can quickly generate a practically, well, endless variety of rhythmic variations in all kinds of time signatures.

 

I've used sequencers in "MIDI recorder as tape" mode as well, but the music I create that way is too conventional for my taste. ;) I know there's advantages to MIDI sequence recording (in real-time, not step sequencing) vs. recording direct to audio but I rarely seem to need those advantages . The majority of my real-time recording is just audio.

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I'm with Gov. Silver: Real-time recording most of the time. I don't do any track editing or copy/paste stuff so I just lay my tracks down on multitrack digital recorder. It has MIDI so I can sync drum and arps on the different tracks pretty easily. IF I did get into heavy MIDI editing, it would be on DAW. Editing on those small screens are not fun.

 

Now I do use the "phrase sequencer" like those found on the Microbrute or Volcas. I also have a Beat Step and a Korg SQ-1 for little pattern sequences.

 

Back in the day, this is what I used:

http://thefourthman.com/assets/uploads/images/gear/sqd1.JPG

 

^^ That was used as "midi on tape" like the Gov mentioned. ^^ I still have it!

 

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I'm with Gov. Silver: Real-time recording most of the time. I don't do any track editing or copy/paste stuff so I just lay my tracks down on multitrack digital recorder. It has MIDI so I can sync drum and arps on the different tracks pretty easily. IF I did get into heavy MIDI editing, it would be on DAW. Editing on those small screens are not fun.

 

 

I don't like to use copy/paste. So far. I lay down the tracks live. Yes, if the verse repeats, I lay down the verse(s) separately.

 

But I wear out track/edit to kill off little mistakes. The Kronos LCD is small but very usable. Sharp on details

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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The M01D app - Korg M1 emulator - for Nintendo 3DS has copy paste. But I could never get it to copy more than one measure at a time. This made repeats of verses and choruses a bit of a pain - for example the song I wrote on it had a 4-measure chorus, which means 4 copy-pastes every time I wanted to repeat the chorus.

 

Then I had to rewrite the whole thing when I realized I'd chosen the wrong number of steps per measure and thus ran into the 99 measure limit.

 

This is still the only complete song I've written with just step sequencing - no real-time except for working the XY pad for the trumpet solo. I did have fun doing it though. It was a ripoff of Deelite/Black Box type pop that turned into a tribute to the late Frankie Knuckles.

 

I don't know if the original M1 sequencer had the same copy-paste and number of measure limitations. Aside from copy-paste, the way the use of video game controls for note/data entry and navigating the sequencer screens was implemented, sketching up a tune is surprisingly fast on M01D.

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sequencers are the best for making techno. an absolute necessity

 

Yes step sequencers are fun. There's a random element to them that can cause "happy accidents" that you wouldn't get from keyboard playing. I love them. One day I want one of those 64 step analog step sequencers. They look fun. :)

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Speaking of Volcas, I used the Volca Keys a couple of months ago for a rare (for me) solo live performance. I had a 15-min. slot, so I did a deconstructed "cover" of Prince's "I Wanna Be Your Lover" for about 8 min, with time before and after to setup/tear down. I used 3 sequences on the Volca Keys:

 

#1 Simple ostinato sequence that only existed to help me a viola "pad", that I constructed by playing each note of a chord with my viola and looping the note to thus build up the pad. The sequence gave me something to "tune" my viola notes to. It was easy to add interest to the sequence with automated movement in the filter cutoff, envelope, etc.

 

#2 Bass line from the ending jam of the tune. Flux Mode, which apparently doesn't exist on all the Volcas, is what allowed me to record the bass line in real time, so the right notes swung in the right places, while other notes that needed to be on the beat were reasonably so.

 

#3 Opening riff of the tune. Used Flux Mode for this too. Really easy to record that high note first, then overdub the bass and one harmony note (it's one of the guitar lines). Once I switched from #2 to #3 I got some chuckles from the audience as they realized what song I was covering.

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^^ The Volcas are surprisingly deep and versatile, aren't they? ^^

 

I love the retro look of the keys, my 12 yr old son -- not so much. When I got it home he looked at it and asked "How old is this thing?" Told him it was brand new. "How much did it cost?" Told him $150. "You got ripped off, Dad".

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I've sequenced a bunch on Ensoniq VFX in the past and for many years on my Motif ES. Yeah, it's not always easy work BUT I just loaded Cubase LE (came with my MOXF). So far it's a pain in the A$$ trying to get it set up. I know, I'm stupid, but I'll get it figured out. I suspect I'm going to dig this a lot.

 

Maybe I'll never even look back on the Motif ES sequencer.

Kurzweil Forte, Yamaha Motif ES7, Muse Receptor 2 Pro Max, Neo Ventilator
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For many years, a hardware sequencer was a necessity for me. I spent a lot of time sequencing music between the late 80s up to mid 2000s. Then, I stopped.

 

Figured if I ever need to mock up a song or whatever, I could use Cubase or some other computer-based program. I haven't had the urge to sequence anything.

 

Nowadays, I do more real-time recording. If I have a song idea, I'll either keep playing around until it sticks or record it to tape (hard disk).

 

I have zero interest in sequencing full scale arrrangement. But, if the price is right, I will. ;):cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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