Sequencer

I’m designing a MIDI step sequencer for live electronic music performance.

The first successful test of the sequencer prototype

The workflow is very heavily inspired by Novation Circuit with a dash of Elektron Model:Cycles—patterns are set and triggered on a Launchpad Mini Mk3, parts are selected and can be played on a MIDI Fighter 3D, and melodies are played on a Korg Microkey 25, but that’s just because those are the things I happen to have—it’s designed to work with any combination of devices, so long as they have some kind of visual feedback.

With the devices I’ve chosen, I’m planning for 8 polyphonic parts with 4 32-step patterns each. Here’s a rough breakdown of the interfaces for each device:

Launchpad layout and notes
Launchpad layout and notes
Midi Fighter 3D layout and notes
Midi Fighter 3D layout and notes

A big goal of this is one-function-per-control. The first version put everything on the MIDI Fighter 3D behind tons of modes and pages, for a workflow similar to how Pocket Operators work, and it was an interesting design challenge but not fun to use.

I’m writing this sequencer in Ruby, and it’s using macOS’s native MIDI bus to communicate with Ableton Live in my demo, but it could send MIDI to just about anything that accepts it. Once I’ve used it a little and it’s feeling stable, I plan to release the code for free on GitHub.

Follow my microblog for more information on this as it develops!