i actually think this would be a pretty cool idea… in my head how it would work would be similar to a doepfer darktime or any old cv sequencer right? so just for shits and giggles in my mind this is how it would go:
currently there are 2 pages in performance mode, the perfomnance macros and the mixer… if there was a 3rd mode then that could use the ten
rotary encoders to change pitch or whatever(have a button combo to turn the encoders to parts 11-16 of the sequence if you like) and you could have quantize settings… different scales and such so it wouldnt be impossible to get a melody out of it.
before i go any further, there is software by a company -Five12, called numerology that has this kind of implementation and i have gotten some amazing results (and lost a good few nights just goofing around with it because its so fun)
im not setting up an arguement of ‘well this is elektron, if you want numerology, go get numerology!’ i understand the elektron way is amazing and has blown my humble and tiny mind…this, to me however would be another cool and very addictive way to sequence within the elektron world.
i know absolutely nothing about coding or programming so i dont know if it would be even possible to implement…but i think its a cool idea nonetheless!
I think the big advantage here would be having a display of the values on the screen, so you could get an instant overview of your melody, for example (or any other parameter values). I doubt I’d use the knobs-to-notes sequencing, because I expect the trigs and keyboard method would be faster (and I have a Dark Time for all that malarkey), but a visual overview of the pattern data would be a nice addition to the OS, I think.
It all depends how you want to sequence, really. If you’re after exact notes for melodic sequences, the A4 is the way to go. Where the Dark Time excels is in live sequence manipulation -muting steps, skipping steps, setting up temporary loops, reversing the sequence, switching to random steps for a bar and so on. It does a lot of stuff at the flick of a switch that would require far more work on the A4. You’ve also got the option of splitting the sequencer in two and having a separate sequence for filter changes, with both 8-step patterns directly accessible. Easy access to gate time and swing, too.
Downsides: as I say, setting specific notes isn’t much fun, and the interface is a little cramped (especially the switches beneath each knob). There’s a lot crammed into a small space. Also you don’t have the depth that the A4’s LFOs and envelopes offer.
I haven’t tried the Korg SQ-1, but I think it looks like a solid contender to the DT - a slightly different feature set and a trade-off of price against build quality. Certainly less of a financial gamble… I also have a Beatstep, but the DT is much more flexible than that.
I don’t really think of any of those as being in competition with the A4’s sequencer - they’re very different tools. If you want to run Berlin school sequences, something like the DT is a valuable addition. If you want to noodle about wringing all you can out of a 16-note sequence - which is great fun, for sure - the DT has a lot to offer. But if you’re after programming leads or basslines and generally phitting your Phatty into a track, you might find the A4 a better solution. Of course another benefit of a separate sequencer is that you’ll be able to control the Phatty’s sequence alongside the A4’s, but you might find an SQ-1 is all you need for that.
Thanks so much for the detailed reply Nick, these are all really useful insights.
You’re absolutely right about it depending on how you’d like to sequence. I think in my case I am not quite sure yet but would like to experiment with the offering of the Dark Time. I especially like the fact that you are able to have separate sequencers for the the filter and notes in ‘combi’ mode. I think I will be able to get some really creative melodies using this technique combined with the lovely grooves you can get out of the gate and swing nobs. Generally what I enjoy is recording audio in real time and then using these audio recordings to build up tracks.
Regarding your exact notes point, are you not able to lock the scale and set the voltages so you get quantised notes? I saw this was mentioned in a video that it would be a future feature of the DT but still new to CV so not quite sure how I would implement this yet.
On the A4 I agree that it is great to get those exact notes and have that control over the slim phatty. I have been using the A4’s arp to control it and have had some awesome results. One thing I haven’t got my head round yet is how to use the LFO’s and ENVs with the moog. Might you have any tips on this? I probably just need to play around a little more and dig a bit deeper in the forms to figure it out but I haven’t quite got it yet.
I did order a DT in the end and will see how it goes with the slim phatty. Even if I just end up recording lots of sequences that I can call on for future use and inspiration when I need some evolving poly rhythms I think I will be more than satisfied. Plus using it along side the A4 will be great and I hope to work out this scale / note quantise thing so will be logical and easy to use in key alongside my tracks,
Yeah, there are options on the DT for scale restrictionand custom scales, and they’re easy enough to implement, but you’re still hunting around the dial for the right spot to a degree. Or at least I am, you might get on a lot better…
See page 11 of the revised manual for info on this (and check if you need to update the firmware when you get your DT).
I haven’t used the A4’s CV LFOs much myself, just a basic test when I was fooling around with CV after buying my VX-351. Basically taking the CV LFO from the A4 and plugging it into various Voyager inputs. Nothing fancy, but you can then start to p-lock the LFO parameters, which is very powerful in combination with a sequenced melody using both CV tracks on the A4. So one track to sequence the Moog’s voice and another providing, say, tempo-locked filter changes via the LFO. And of course it frees up the Moog’s own LFO for other duties.
I like using the A4 with the Moog because I can use regular insert cables - I don’t have any adapters than let me use the A4 with smaller cables as on the Dark Energy (yet).
But when you have your DT you can really go to town - sync the DT to the A4 via MIDI and you’ve got a huge range of CV options. You should also be able to control the rate of the DT using the CV out of the A4, which is interesting - haven’t tried that myself yet. Too many things to try.
Enjoy your DT!