Blatboy

SEQ Workflow w/other gear

6 posts in this topic

I’m curious how u use your SEQ...  I’ve been diving in more... there are so many options... so many different ways to potentially create.

I understand everyone probably uses the device a little differently...

A couple questions off the top of my head...  Do you have the SEQ control everything or do you allow the gear it’s triggering to do some processing on it’s own?

For instance:  Drum machines... do you have the SEQ control all the notes, or do you have it trigger patterns that you’ve already programmed into your drum machine... let the machine play it’s own “feel”

Arpeggiators (kind of the same question) do you use the arpeggiator on the SEQ or do you just have it play long notes while the synth’s arpeggiator does the arpeggiation? 

With the power of the SEQ, I’d assume most folks were (understandably) having it control everything... but I’m curious if there are situations where that might not be the case.

Do you lean into song mode for full compositions or do you just do it all on the fly?  

Thanks for any insights into how you work.  

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Good poll! Here's my somewhat limited workflow, as much more is possible with the SEQ:

a) i use the SEQ primarily as an aggregator for all MIDI hardware gear (in conjunction with MIDI THRUs on the output side). Like this, it's possible to drive something like 30 synths via the built-in 8 MIDI OUTs with really low latency (just a single THRU module used on every OUT port) and perfect MIDIbox microcontroller timing :).

b) All of this connectivity in one place allows for the SEQ to be a router between most gear, am often using it with the "Live/Forward mode" and track selection just for jamming - this gives instant access to ~16 selected synths just by switching the active track in the SEQ - no recording required up to this point :). The MIDI router additionally helps to statically connect everything else, i.e. to permanently forward an external MIDI drum pad to a sampler. And it forwards the LoopA output to the respective synths :).

c) many drum machines have an internal sequencer that are optimized for drums - i.e. my Machinedrum syncs great to the SEQ, there would be no need to spend a SEQ track or use the SEQs internal sequencing for it (only if you'd like to use advanced features like euclidean drum sequence generation :)). Having the option to physically disconnect the Machinedrum is good, so you could just use that on it's own, e.g. to generate new drum pattern ideas on the couch :).

d) arps: mostly recorded manually in step progression recording mode - i.e. have the seq automatically increase the track position by 4 steps after each recorded note, then you can easily enter the arpeggio (or variation) by hand.

e) have not yet used the song mode - for me, it's mostly muting and unmuting tracks, transpositions and sometimes pattern replacements on the fly - that is more than enough for my limited music :).

Best regards and have fun!
Peter

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Posted (edited)

Hi Hawkeye!

I’ve been doing something similar using the SEQ as the aggregator using it with the live/forward features. I think I need to add a dedicated midi controller keyboard that has no internal sounds to keep it a little easier to manage.  However, my SQ80 with its polyphonic after touch is pretty great as a master keyboard.  It just gets a little confusing sometimes as it also makes it’s own sounds haha.  I have a lot less synths on my chain right now... tying to keep it simple.  That said, I’m attempting to incorporate some non synth/midi gear as well... (a Wurli and a trombone)   If I’m doing a one man show, I probably need to use song mode more for any extended periods where my hands won’t be able to make it to the SEQ.  

I’ve been using Lemur on my iPad as a BLM, which is good fun.

Ahhh I like your approach to the drum machine.  I have a TR-08 which doesn’t have as advanced of a sequencer as your Elektron... (and my other drum machines are vintage cheapies that have even less) but my couch may be comparable...and that sounds like a good way to work on some of this hahah.  Are you switching (your couch created) patterns on the fly directly on the Machinedrum while jamming with the SEQ?

I’m still wrapping my brain around it all being that I’m coming from a more “traditional” musical approach... but I feel I have much to learn and gain from all this.

Anyway... just thinking aloud.  Thanks!

Edited by Blatboy

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Blatboy said:

 I think I need to add a dedicated midi controller keyboard that has no internal sounds to keep it a little easier to manage.  However, my SQ80 with it’s polyphonic after touch is pretty great as a master keyboard.  It just gets a little confusing sometimes as it also makes it’s own sounds haha.

You can set your SQ80 in LOCAL OFF, Keyboard will act to MIDI OUT but not to SQ80 Sound engine. And use it as a Master Keyboard. Of course internal sounds can still be played from MIDI In and internal sequencer
MASTER PAGE > Set KBD=MIDI(instead of BOTH).

Best regards
Bruno

 

Edited by Antichambre
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Posted (edited)

Nice thread idea Blatboy!

My workflow with the SEQ is basically the following:

—I have only rack samplers, synths and effects boxes all gathered in two cases next to each other, and I’m controlling and composing everything with the SEQ, which is also racked-up in one of the case.

—Apart from rare exceptions, I’m only using my machines mono-timbrally on one midi channel per machine, so that I can easily adjust things on the fly without getting lost.

—All my gear is hooked-up to the SEQ on specific ports so that I can take advantage of the great DUPLICATE fx of the SEQ.

—One small midi keyboard is connected to IN1 of the SEQ, and I just switch tracks on the SEQ if I want to record something live or step-record.

—Some synths midi out are connected to IN2 and 3 of the SEQ if I need to record knobs automation (which I rarely do, and few synths send knob movements through midi out anyway).

—I’m using sessions as songs (I actually have a template session which I duplicate when creating a new song).

—I don’t use external sequencing capabilities on my synths/samplers except built-in arpeggiators sometimes.

—When using the synth live, I’d use either SONG mode and manually switch between the 16 buttons-available song positions (which is nice if you want to make your solo last longer than what was planned), or PHRASE mode and manually switching patterns, muting tracks, etc. 

—To skip from a song to an other, I just stop the sequencer and change sessions, which is I guess ok considering I’m not making techno and tempos can drastically vary from a song to another.

 

And that’s basically it for me. The great thing with the SEQ is the ability to do almost anything on the fly without stopping the sequencer, which is great for improvisation. The fx are great to improvise variations when using the SEQ live, especially the duplicate and echo functions, which seem to work at almost any time, maybe in combination with force to scale. The ALL function also works great for live action on CC stuff like panning, filtering, etc, which are not necessarily available as knobs on external gear (on old akai rack samplers for example). The BPM ramp function is also super nice for intros too, if you want to start with a slow tempo that gradually builds-up to something faster.

 

There’s really tons of ideas on how to use the SEQ live creatively! One last thing that I like to do live is making solos by having a 16 steps track with all the notes pre-programmed but gated-off, and manually gate them on/off, while another track with a lower track division setting is transposing the notes of the solo track, so it’s not always the same. Then for extra spiciness I can also change the solo track division setting, transposing, or make it play in reverse, etc.

Edited by gotkovsky
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7 hours ago, Antichambre said:

You can set your SQ80 in LOCAL OFF, Keyboard will act to MIDI OUT but not to SQ80 Sound engine. And use it as a Master Keyboard. Of course internal sounds can still be played from MIDI In and internal sequencer
MASTER PAGE > Set KBD=MIDI(instead of BOTH).

Thanks Bruno!  I should have known this.   That's the best of both worlds in this situation, as I do like how the SQ80 sounds (and the UI makes programming a breeze - not something synths of this type and era are known for haha.)  I'll set that up immediately. 

 

3 hours ago, gotkovsky said:

—Apart from rare exceptions, I’m only using my machines mono-timbrally on one midi channel per machine, so that I can easily adjust things on the fly without getting lost.

Yes, this is how I'm working too.  As of now, I don't have any multi-timbral devices attached... partially for that very reason.

3 hours ago, gotkovsky said:

—All my gear is hooked-up to the SEQ on specific ports so that I can take advantage of the great DUPLICATE fx of the SEQ.

Ooooh.  I haven't explored this yet.

3 hours ago, gotkovsky said:

—I’m using sessions as songs (I actually have a template session which I duplicate when creating a new song).

 

 That's a great idea.

So much food for thought here gotkovsky. Thanks so much!

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