Step Sequencer Module

The Step Sequencer consists of 64 steps and you can select a set of 4 steps by using the left/right buttons on the keypad. The selection window updates automatically as you use the cursor keys and you have instant access still to 4 steps at the same time, including gate 1and gate 2 tracks.

To draw the steps use one of the 4 encoders. Each encoder corresponds to 1 step in the selected area. To change the selected area, use the left and right buttons on the the keypad.

The 4 encoders’ push function can be used to turn gates on/off for gate track #1 and the 8 soft key group can be used to turn them on/off for both gate track #1 and gate track #2. Each time a gate for track 1 (blue) or 2 (yellow) is on a small block is drawn under the step.

DSC_0731

To go back to the main settings of the step sequencer click the left key.

Step Sequencer Parameters

  • Tem: tempo. By turning the 1st encoder you can change the tempo of the step sequencer.

  • ClckD: clock devision. You can divide the internal clock by a value which of course impacts the tempo of the step sequencer.

  • PLen: pattern length, limit of the sequence length (default is 64 steps).

  • StLen: step length.

  • StLs: step levels. You can change the step levels to quantize the step sequence (i.e. limit it to 4 values above and 4 values below zero). Default is 1024.

  • P: patterns. Each step sequencer can have 64 patterns (from 0 until 63).

Step Sequencer Settings

  • Int Clk: you can use an internal clock or drive the sequencer using an arbitrary signal as a clock. Instead of using the internal clock you can also use another module, such as an LFO, and use its frequency to change the clock.

  • Int Sync: sequencers which run independently can be synced using this option.

  • MIDI Sync: sync the sequencers to the incoming MIDI clock signals.

  • Tap: you can also set the tempo by clicking several times in a row on tap.

  • Reset you can undo the value received from using the “tap” button by clicking Reset.

  • Restart: restart the step sequencer from step 1.

  • copy/paste: Patterns can easily be shared between step sequencers by using the Copy and Paste button. To copy a pattern to another step sequencer, you first click “copy” after which you can go the step sequencer which you’d like it have copied to. Make sure to select the pattern number of where you’d like it to have copied to and click “paste”.

Step Sequencer Inputs / Outputs

A Step sequencer can be modulated in duration, tempo, and clock:

  • Step Seq: Duration
  • Step Seq: Tempo
  • Step Seq: Clock

The step sequencer has one output level and 2 gate outputs

Example 1

Step Seq => Sampler => Output

Load 2 samples into sample slots 0 and 1. Trigger the first 2 gate inputs of the sampler using the 2 gate outputs of the step seq, while the step value output of the step sequencer can be used to change the pitch of the sampler. The resulting signal is sent to the output. The 2 signals sent from the sampler to the output module are automatically summed because they are sent to the same input.

                                Enable Inputs               Enable Outputs
                          
 Step Seq                       /                           Gate1: SAM: Gate1
                                                            Gate2: SAM: Gate2
                                                            Out: SAM: Pitch    
                                                          
 Sampler                        SAM: Pitch                  Out1: Out:In
                                SAM: Gate1                  Out2: Out:In 
                                SAM: Gate2

  Output                        Out:In                      /

Note: Don’t forget to disable “auto” in the sampler, otherwise the pitch signal applied to the pitch input of the sampler will be ignored by the sampler.

Example 2

Drive the step sequencer using a square wave LFO, by feeding the output of the LFO into the clock input of the step sequencer. The gate outputs of the step sequencer can then be used to trigger the gate inputs of a sampler. Gate 1 of the step sequencer is used to trigger the sample loaded into the first slot of the sampler. The step sequencer also has a step output which is used to change the pitch of the sample via the pitch input of the sampler.

LFO -> Step Seq -> Sampler -> Output

		    Enabled Inputs			Enabled Outputs

LFO	  		/		                Square: STE: Clock

Step Seq	STE: Clock				Gate1: SAM: Gate1 
                                    Out: SAM: pitch

Sampler		SAM: Gate1 		        Out1: Out: In
            SAM: pitch

Output		Out: In

IMPORTANT:

  1. You need to disable “IntClk” of the step sequencer. Otherwise you’ll be using the internal clock of the step sequencer .
  2. To change the pitch of the sampler using the step values of the step sequencer, make sure to disable “AUTO” in the sampler. Otherwise it ignores the incoming pitch signal.
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Dialing the bar of a step is extremely slow, means till you reach the full bar you have been dialing for ever, got you make a encoder push-dial coarse ?
Is the shows parameters related to V/Oct which is the typical readout for sequencers, and as asked before quantization read out would mean musical notes in scales like 1.5 V represents the note E in second Octave ( just as an example)

if you turn faster the value should go up faster … is it not doing that?

of course one way to make the values go up faster is by reducing the number of step levels but then the output of the step sequence is quantized and that is probably not what you want… ?

do you mean if the output of the step sequencer follows the 1v/oct standard?

OK, so you want the step sequencer to quantize according to a certain pitch scale? not just quantize according to step levels, for example 16 levels, equally spread out over the full range, but actually quantize to notes in a scale?

Yes would be nice if the Output of the step follows the v/oct convention , means 1V = one Octave, 1/12V subdivided into the 12 Note voltages, = could equal Notes, but may get to complicated with Quantisation in a scale, well you better about it than me
most seq will show notes if it’s not further scaled I think it’s called chromatic 1/12 of a Volt/ Octave

Having the option to use a chromatic scale would be very handy. Even better would be support for scala files for defining scales. But all of this should be optional. Lots of reasons why you might want to sequence voltages that have no reference to any musical scale.

I noticed the acceleration last night, but not until I started to get pretty vigorous with the knob turning. Might be nice to set the acceleration threshold just a tad lower.

I LOVE having this spacious screen for setting up sequences!

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i experienced this too, in all screens where you have to bridge a large gap

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one of the modules that was voted on for implementation a month ago or so is the microtuning quantizer with SCALA support.

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So the question is, does the microtuning stuff become a quantization feature on any module with a pitch/freq input or a seperate module? having it inside a seperate module has the advantage to use it in all kinds of ways, if you put it inside every module with a pitch/freq input you duplicate functionality … if you just have it in the step sequencer right before the output then it’s limited to the step seq.

As much as I initially like the idea of having quantization on any module with a pitch/freq input, I think having it as a separate module does open up a lot more possibilities.

After considering it for a minute, if one is going to use multiple scales within the same patch, it provides clear and easy entry points to swap out tuning for multiple modules at the same time, and makes it easier to quickly build a mental map of what’s going on in a preset as opposed to having to inspect individual modules.

Allows for a future (or external) switch module to cycle between different scales to swap chord changes / arpeggios, etc…

I think it will make for a much cleaner workflow in complicated patches, and thus encourage more exploration and experimentation.

After considering it for two minutes, I can say that I’m sold on keeping it as a separate module. :grin:

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However, I do still think that the step sequencer needs another way to quickly jump large ranges beyond the current acceleration.

I’m kinda beating a drum on this one, but I think the easiest solution would be to cause pushing of the knob while rotating jump in some sort of quanta that allows coverage of the whole range within a half turn. (ie. starting at 0, 1/4 Left would gets one from zero to full value, 1/4 turn right would get one from zero to full negative value.)

The above is similar to how Elektron gear handles similar circumstances, and has the advantage of being a 1 handed solution that quickly turns into muscle memory. (Having additional “pages” added to the interface which change the scaling of ranges would also accomplish this, but seems like something that would be a better as compliment the above method rather than the actual solution)

How does everyone else feel?

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I’m generally in favor of the modular approach, this scenario included.

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Always in favor of one hand over two hands.

Likewise.

Apparently I was underestimating the cognitive burden of breaks/pages in every other sequencer I’ve used. :exploding_head:

It feels GREAT.

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if we make this the default behaviour, press and hold to go in a different step size, for all the parameters, this means that the push function of the encoders can no longer be used for other functions? for example in the step sequencer it has been suggested to use the push function to set the gate on/off per step.

I agree that a seperate module would be best.

and the 8 soft buttons cannot be used for turning a step on/off?

-favors a separate tuning module too-

yes of course they can, but it was suggested that both this option should exist as well as using the encoder push function to turn gate on/off in the steps.

I didn’t realize that was being considered, and it’s a good thing to be able to do quickly.

However, I’m not sure about everyone else, but personally I don’t get much utility out of being able to edit 4 consecutive values with four consecutive knobs, and paging between two groups of four cells is a bit awkward.

This is a new thought, so bear with me… :bear:

What about a slight paradigm shift so that there’s only a SINGLE* active cell whose value is changed with the first knob, which would function as proposed above.

The second knob: allows one to scroll left and right to change the active cell, and pushing the second knob allows one to toggle the gate function.

Third knob: could be used to expand the active cell to encompass to MULTIPE* consecutive cells. Pushing the third knob could either (I’m not sure which is preferable) a) cycle through multiples of cells (2/4/8/16/etc), b) simply jump back to having a SINGLE active cell, or c) scale values as the first knob does.

Fourth Knob (I’m just spitballing on this one): pushing selects active group of cells for moving. Rotating knob shifts selected cells left or right, pushing knob again drops selection. Alternatively, rotating knob could just move the active group (I’d worry about accidents), and pushing the knob while rotating could shift and wraparound values in current selection.

Again, it’s a new idea, and I’m not sure how clear I’m articulating it…
Does the above make sense (both conceptually and practically)?

What does everyone else think?

I haven’t thought about this too hard yet but I agree that giving different knobs different functions seems more useful.

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maybe this (knob behaviour) could be incorporated in a skin loader/change?

This approach basically simulates a mouse, and you lose the ability to have instant access to individual steps using multiple encoders/buttons. So it is a bad idea IMHO. I do understand that the up/down switching between the two encoder assignments might be confusing or inefficient so I propose we just keep it at 4 editable steps using 4 encoders per page and you browse pages using cursor keys left/right. And I remove the up/down switching.

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