August 19, 2014

Notes In A Row...

by Chris Randall

The next big hardware product from Audio Damage, Sequencer 1, is about to go in to production (one could argue it has actually already entered that state, as the front panels were ordered and the 1st Article is being made). I've posted about Sequencer 1 previously here, and there is a lengthy thread (at the time of this writing 19 pages of discussion) on the Muff Wiggler forum here. There's no product page in the AD store yet, but that will be coming in the not-too-distant future, as soon as we have panels to do a proper product glamour shot.

Anyhow, the video above is the first of what will no doubt be many missives issuing from my office, now that the software is nearing completion. I wouldn't say we're at RC1 yet, but we're getting close; mostly just little esoteric things left. It is highly usable, and other than one major feature (the ability to update the OS from the SD card), it is actually shippable at this point. In the video, I'm demonstrating four key features: the ability to control Hz/V gear (to wit: the Yamaha CS-5), the live looping feature (functionally identical to the MIDI input feature in Replicant), the live ratcheting feature, and external sync (via Silent Way Sync and an Expert Sleepers ES-4, from Live.)

We wanted to do two things with this sequencer:

1. Take the normal concept of x0x note sequencing in the modular context and make it highly live-playable/tweekable.

2. Make a sequencer that could do the traditional Tangerine Dream/JMJ kinds of things one would expect, yet also be pertinent to modern-day electronic music styles.

That second one was inevitable, as Adam likes more traditional e-music, while I vastly prefer, as is apparent from what I make, modern house, minimal, and IDM. Making a sequencer that would please both of us was a difficult prospect, but we've managed it.

Here's a an ambient piece I did last week. Most of it is live tape manipulation, but the bassline is a four-measure pattern from Sequencer 1, and the percussion sounds are also triggered from the sequencer.

Anyhow, that's where we're at. Sequencer 1 will be US$599.00, and will be available starting in early October, direct from AD or via our many retail partners. This is the most ambitious product we've ever undertaken, and we're very proud of the result.


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Aug.21.2014 @ 1:07 PM
Probably as is you are right, although I'm not a Live user (some day perhaps).

I'm just a sequencer plug in junkie the way some people are with drum machines, analogue emulations, and reverbs (nudge nudge Sean). I just like AD's approach to most things. You tend to find the holes in what's already out there and add a new twist, while making it intuitive, pleasing to the eye, and, for lack of a better term, fun.

Axon was a great example, a nice non-linear sequencer/synth/drum machine that totally stands apart from anything else I've seen (the only thing missing, and I have no idea if it would even be possible, is swing). I'm just curious to see what you guys could do in the realm of step sequencers that would give something like Twisted Tools' Colorflex a run for its money for randomization and performance features (it certainly already has the unintutive and ugly factor working against it).

Aug.21.2014 @ 4:13 PM
jesus...that is a beautiful machine and the two of you need to be damn proud of yourselves!

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