[sdiy] Fully assignable sequencer

John Mahoney jmahoney at gate.net
Wed Jul 11 21:53:02 CEST 2007


>  1 x 16 rotary knobs for "step length" (1/32, 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 
> 1, etc) like the Roland System 700 has

I want that feature, too.

A sequencer idea that I'd like to implement also involves something 
rotary switches. Actually, I bought a bunch of old Clarostat 4-bit 
encoders for this purpose, similar to this:
http://www.alliedelec.com/Search/ProductDetail.asp?SKU=753-0115&SEARCH=&ID=&DESC=510E1A48F416PC&R=753%2D0115&sid=46941D80CFCE17F

An older idea that I had (and maybe I'll go back to this) was, for 
each step, to have a 12-way rotary switch for the note (like, A thru 
G#) plus a 3-way toggle switch for the octave.

Then I thought, "Screw the chromatic scale!" Instead of selecting 
from 1 of 12 chromatic pitches, why not select from a bank of pitches 
that are in key for your song? There would be a bank of independently 
tunable pitches, most likely 8 or 12 notes, perhaps 16 (works well 
with 4-bit encoders). The rotary selectors for each step would select 
from among the pitches in the pitch bank. Octave switches would be 
nice, and +/- half step switches might be neat.

With such a setup, you could change notes (the rotary switches) on 
the fly without the risk of selecting any out-of-key notes. (Yes, a 
quantizer that knows what key you are playing in could also achieve this.)

I think this would be a fun way to operate a sequencer because it 
would encourage you to actually *play* the sequencer, juggling notes 
around on the fly.

Multiple output rows would select from the same pitch bank.

One other advantage of a "note bank" versus a quantizer is that the 
notes in the bank can be tuned to any scale. Pentatonic, microtonal, 
whatever. Cost is probably another advantage.

I've been meaning to post this for a long time! :-)
--
john


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