Step Sequencing

I never developed much interest in note sequencing.  In 5U the sequencers are generally large and expensive, too.  Recently a friend (Chris Stack) brought over a Dave Smith Pro 2 to patch into my modular, just for fun.  We used a sequencer in the Pro 2 to sequence the filter cutoff of a MOTM 440 VCF, one of Chris’s favorite techniques.  The experience got me thinking about uses for sequences, other than standard repeating notes.  So I set about studying Eurorack sequencer gear.  I went looking for a very modular solution, one that separated the various functions into specialized modules.  I came up with this set.


4ms Quad Clock Distributor

4ms Quad Pingable LFO

Trigger Sequencing

Iron Ether Pithoprakta Probabilistic Rhythm Generator

Malekko Varigate 4 Gate sequencer

CV Sequencer

Tiptop Audio Z8000 CV Sequencer


The 4ms QCD and QPL are a system in their own right for clock generation with synchronized LFOs.  The QCD has a tap temp button, or takes an external clock, and has four channels of clocks that have voltage-controllable division and multiplication.  The Quad LFO has many nice features, including a variable wave shape, muting, and it connects to the QCD for all the trigger inputs.

The QCD alone can produce four clock signals in a simple manner.  But I wanted to have trigger sequences with varying probability.  The Pithoprakta and Varigate both provide probability, but they have very different philosophies.  Pithoprakta provides eight pulse outputs, with CV control over probability.  It also has a very cool feature of ‘looping’, which means that the last 64 actual outputs are always being recorded and the recorded values can be switched in at any time, with manual and CV control over the recorded sequence length.  Varigate operates completely differently.  It provides a slider for each step with the ability to manually alter the parameters of each step (of 4 separate sequences).  Varigate has no CV inputs, and is aimed at live performance.  A cool feature of Varigate is repeating of triggers within a step.

The Z8000 takes in triggers and produces 10 simultaneous sequences, each with its own clock, direction, and reset input.  The 10 sequences share values from a 16-knob matrix.  So, since I have 8 outputs from Pithoprakta and 4 from Varigate, I can drive all 10 sequences and have them all in sync.

New Oscillators!

I added two new oscillators from Noise Engineering.

Loquelic Iteritas

Sync Iter

Where to put it all?

The Z8000 is a deep module.  The only deep case I have is the Synthrotek.  So I relocated the bottom row of modules to another case (previous post).  This also left room to add the two new VCOs.


Some simple demo recordings

I set up two sequences, one for the L.I. and one for the S.I. oscillator, each also having a VCA driven by an envelope generator.  Simple patch, just for demo.

A sequence with Pithoprakta, showing off the looping mode, being switched manually.


A sequence with Varigate, showing off the repeating triggers.


Another sequence with Varigate, with the Sync Iter in noise mode, also being modulated by a synchronized LFO.






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