## Environment for making experimental step sequencer?

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**1**of**2**•**1**, 2- KVRAF
- 5189 posts since 20 Jul, 2010

I'd like to experiment with driving a step sequencer with modulo arithmetic.

Ex: play every nth step of a sequence, with modulo wrapping so the sequence isn't reset at the last step. Eg - playing every 15th step of a 16 step sequence would essentially play the sequence backwards.

Then how about using geometric series or other progressions to index the steps? 1, 2, 4, 8. Perhaps even using decimal points, and values inbetween integers use a blend of the two steps, depending on the value (eg. 1.5 would be a blend of steps 1 and 2 - presumably the pitch average).

Then, what if instead of modulo wrapping of the step counter, it could be reflected back at either end of the sequence (steps 1 and 16 in a typical sequence)?

Would something like Mux or Bidule be adequate for playing with ideas like this?

Ex: play every nth step of a sequence, with modulo wrapping so the sequence isn't reset at the last step. Eg - playing every 15th step of a 16 step sequence would essentially play the sequence backwards.

Then how about using geometric series or other progressions to index the steps? 1, 2, 4, 8. Perhaps even using decimal points, and values inbetween integers use a blend of the two steps, depending on the value (eg. 1.5 would be a blend of steps 1 and 2 - presumably the pitch average).

Then, what if instead of modulo wrapping of the step counter, it could be reflected back at either end of the sequence (steps 1 and 16 in a typical sequence)?

Would something like Mux or Bidule be adequate for playing with ideas like this?

http://sendy.bandcamp.com/releases < My new album at Bandcamp! Now pay what you like!

- KVRAF
- 9590 posts since 12 Mar, 2012, from South Bavaria - near the alps... :-)

What about using REAKTOR?

- KVRAF
- 5189 posts since 20 Jul, 2010

I suck at using REAKTOR!

Seriously, I can get my head around fully modular synths, but Reaktor just fills me with dread whenever I open the edit panel.

Seriously, I can get my head around fully modular synths, but Reaktor just fills me with dread whenever I open the edit panel.

http://sendy.bandcamp.com/releases < My new album at Bandcamp! Now pay what you like!

- KVRAF
- 9590 posts since 12 Mar, 2012, from South Bavaria - near the alps... :-)

Because I've seen that there are several mathematical functions included in REAKTOR which might be helpful to build this kind of sequencer...Sendy wrote:I suck at using REAKTOR!

Seriously, I can get my head around fully modular synths, but Reaktor just fills me with dread whenever I open the edit panel.

- KVRAF
- 19158 posts since 27 Jul, 2005, from the wilds of wanny

Max or Max for Live?

- KVRAF
- 2382 posts since 2 Oct, 2008

I'd be interested in creating a sequencer too, what'd be my options for apps to choose from. Easiest? Most Features?

Last edited by Touch The Universe on Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

- KVRAF
- 5189 posts since 20 Jul, 2010

Thanks for the recommendations. Something simpler than Max or Reaktor would be ideal, that still has maths functions.

I'll look into Mux and Bidule to see what their maths/logic support is like.

For the meantime I might just have a go at doing this by hand. I'm ghetto like that sometimes.

I'll look into Mux and Bidule to see what their maths/logic support is like.

For the meantime I might just have a go at doing this by hand. I'm ghetto like that sometimes.

http://sendy.bandcamp.com/releases < My new album at Bandcamp! Now pay what you like!

- KVRAF
- 5557 posts since 16 Dec, 2002, from over there

Have a look at the modular sequencers by Algorithimic Arts

If you google you can find their older sequencer Softstep legitimately free

http://www.algoart.com/

If you google you can find their older sequencer Softstep legitimately free

http://www.algoart.com/

- KVRAF
- 3904 posts since 18 Jul, 2008, from New York

Rax'n'Trax is a DAW that can do some of this easily. If I recall correctly, the Skipper tool can change the current position of a sequence by arbitrary amounts.

http://www.raxntrax.com/rnt2/

http://www.raxntrax.com/rnt2/

Last edited by Frantz on Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

- addled muppet weed
- 34097 posts since 25 Jan, 2003, from through the looking glass

my bedroom

thats where i have all my soldering equipment and am building a step seq but only 8 steps sorry.

thats where i have all my soldering equipment and am building a step seq but only 8 steps sorry.

look for the true freak label.

do not!feed the vampyr.

click link to hear the sounds of vurt coming into your ears

do not!feed the vampyr.

click link to hear the sounds of vurt coming into your ears

- KVRAF
- 5557 posts since 16 Dec, 2002, from over there

Frantz wrote:Rax'n'Trax is a DAW that can do some of this easily. If I recall correctly, the Skipper tool can change the current position of a sequence by arbitrary amounts.

yes, this is an awesome sequencer, you can do some crazy stuff

- KVRist
- 99 posts since 6 May, 2005, from Asker, Norway

You could do worse than check out Usine: http://www.sensomusic.com/usine/

- KVRAF
- 3061 posts since 8 Jun, 2009, from UK

Bidule's step sequencer supports a playlist mode that will probably let you do the modulo arithmetic thing. However, I'm not sure for the modes that need step morphing how that would work – but I haven't gone into that kind of depth with it. David from Plogue is reasonably active here though, so might have some thoughts. You might find Reaktor just as convenient in the end because both use the same overall programming method.

However, for experimenting with maths on parameter tables, I'm wondering whether the dataflow programming systems like Bidule, Reaktor or Max are going to be the easiest to work with, at least at first. Procedural scripting like Lua or Kontakt scripting might offer a bit more flexibility for working with different maths functions, particularly where you're blending steps. You effectively just want "on clock, lookup, add/subtract/filter, output step result" whereas something like Bidule may force you to wire up lots of semi-redundant modules to get the same effect.

I think there was a MIDI-processor Lua scripting VST floating around at some point. There's another procedural-programming one based on C I think that came out in the past few months.

However, for experimenting with maths on parameter tables, I'm wondering whether the dataflow programming systems like Bidule, Reaktor or Max are going to be the easiest to work with, at least at first. Procedural scripting like Lua or Kontakt scripting might offer a bit more flexibility for working with different maths functions, particularly where you're blending steps. You effectively just want "on clock, lookup, add/subtract/filter, output step result" whereas something like Bidule may force you to wire up lots of semi-redundant modules to get the same effect.

I think there was a MIDI-processor Lua scripting VST floating around at some point. There's another procedural-programming one based on C I think that came out in the past few months.

- KVRAF
- 5608 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Sendy wrote:I suck at using REAKTOR!

Seriously, I can get my head around fully modular synths, but Reaktor just fills me with dread whenever I open the edit panel.

Can I be so bold as to encourage you to spend a weekend working through the NI tutorials? I think that when I first started with Reaktor I probably had a similar feeling towards it. The feeling didn't go away by just playing with it. I found that I had to work through some tutorials to really grok the details.

There might be better options for this particular use case, but, I don't think that there's a better option in general. I like Max as well, but, I still find that the more practical focus of the Reaktor library facilitates achieving my goals faster with Reaktor vs Max.

Here, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and show you how easy this is to do with the right bits in Reaktor.

This is from the monoliner sequencer "sync and position" macro with some slight modifications. I've added two controls. The first control feeds the mod/div module on the right of the screen. This was originally fed with the constant "16" which you can see right above the control. The part that you're talking about is accomplished by multiplying the original "order" value by some constant. That is, it steps by one and you want to have it step, e.g. by 15. Then when you compute multiples of 15 modulo 16, the sequencer steps backwards, as you'd expect. This was accomplished by adding the control labeled "mult" and the multiplication module. Playing with these two controls gives you a variety of different sequences.

You could put other arithmetic manipulation here to modify the step value that goes into the sequencer. You could make it step as a function of anything else you can extract, you could modify the number of steps with, e.g., an lfo so that the sequencing slowly changed over time at the rate set by the lfo.

This is the advantage of Reaktor. Once you figure out where to stuff in the bits you need, there is a vast library of completely customizable tools to stuff in there and you don't have to spend a lot of time finding or creating those tools.

It took me just a couple of minutes to modify the sequencer instrument further and add this draw LFO from the building blocks macros that allows me to add the LFO output to the multiplier synced to the midi clock. This then takes any sequence and gives you somewhat unpredictable, but entirely deterministic, permutations that are shift on musically meaningful intervals.