Hardware every time…

Recently been fixing an ARP sequencer which arrived in a non-working state. After some time with an oscilloscope and a couple of replacement parts normality was restored.

So while testing I pondered the artistic use of  such a beast, surely with a maximum of 16 notes it must be very limiting. However I came up with a way of using it that seemed to give endless variations but with the chance to determine how things go so it is not a totally random sequence.

Here goes with the explanation, hope you follow it…

First set up a number of notes that have a reasonable musical relationship but make sure that you program in more than one occurence of the notes you want to hear most often. Say 3 of one, 2 of another, 2 of another and one of a note you only want occasionally.

You then run the sequencer in random order mode and you will get a constantly changing stream of notes whose probability of occuring is determined by the number of duplicates you have put in, more duplicates ensures that the note is heard more often. The final sneaky bit is to use the skip function and that allows adjustment of the probability of the occurence of a note being played on the fly.

To complete this I used the other 8 trigger bus switches to determine if a gate was sent allowing notes to be made into rests.

If the 8 seed notes are also put in a meaningful order you can flip back to sequential mode giving a repeating motif that you can latch on to within the more semi-random stuff.

Try doing that on a computer!

This has inspired me to start work on a more modern version of a hardware sequencer, watch this space…

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