Sequencing a hybrid (iOS/hardware) setup (Norns?)

I’m trying to link together a bunch of things to have as a permanently setup jamming rig but I’m struggling to find the right sequencer to make it all work together.

BASIC KIT LIST:

  • KARP Odyssey
  • Arturia Minibrute
  • Moog Werkstatt (with QuNexus for MIDI-to-CV over USB)
  • ancient iPad in dock running Samplr
  • ancient iPad in dock currently running as a drum machine using DM2 but ideally would like to sequence it externally

REQUIREMENTS:

  • 4 channels of sequencing minimum
  • options for drums, monosynth, polysynth
  • sync with other devices (it occurs to me that I have no idea how to actually do this :thinking:)
  • as hands on as possible (I’m not entirely anti-screen but would prefer as little screen use as possible)

DESIRABLE:

  • probability
  • scale modes
  • arpeggiator
  • round robin would be incredible but I don’t know of anything HW that can do that

STUFF I TRIED:

  • Beatstep Pro (not poly)
  • Keystep Pro (solved the poly but couldn’t get along with sequencing on a keyboard)
  • MPC One (just couldn’t get along with how much it relied on the screen)
  • Launchpad Pro (had this when I was mostly Ableton focused and sold it because I got a Push 2 - which I then also sold - but wouldn’t be averse to getting another)

[Edit: I’m just thinking: I actually have Norns with 2 x Launchpad Mini set up with MIDIgrid. Anyone using Norns as their sequencer for hardware?]

Until I read the stuff you’ve tried, it screamed KeyStep Pro to me.
When did you last use it? The last fw update they gave it was really good.

I’ve never gone as deep into mine as I’d like to, but every time I pull it out it impresses me (…said the actress to the vicar…).

1 Like

Squarp pyramid is a good option for this

1 Like

Sounds like a job for the Oxi One.

2 Likes

Op-Z is pretty incredible with iOS as it has Bluetooth… you can link up without the need for any extra cables…

Not sure what other devices had Bluetooth (oxione?) but I would recommend a device which has that.

If you buy a OP-Z with OP-Lab module then you wouldn’t need the Qu-nexus either.

1 Like

It was admittedtly a fair while ago, but I think it was more the form factor that I had a problem with. It’s undoubtedly very powerful but I couldn’t get that sense of an at-a-glance overview of where things were in the sequences from the black and white keys. Maybe that was something I would have gotten used to over time, though.

1 Like

I was looking at a couple of Squarp options, as it goes, and the Pyramid looks really impressive.

Likewise the Oxi One, funnily enough (which reminds me both of the Deluge and Norns/Grid). The other broadly similar one I had a look at was the Polyend Seq though don’t know a great deal about any of them.

The OP-Z is an intriguing option. Is it easy enough to see what’s going on in the sequences without the screen?

If i was looking for a hardware sequencing solution I’d suggest the following pieces as options:
Deluge (best imho)
MPC One
OctaTrack
Maschine+
OP-Z (if you can get a unit without hardware double trig button issues)

If you want to leverage the iPad as the Brains i would use Drambo. You could use it Standalone or as part of an AUM setup with other auv3s like LoopyPro in the pipeline.

1 Like

Yes and no.

It’s very hard to try and reverse engineer a pattern with lots of step components and if it uses the performance track, master track etc.

But it’s very easy to see what key you’re in etc. since the master track approximates a key for you.

1 Like

Imma second the Pyramid for you. Knowing most of your workflow (playbeat/koala), step sequencers have always been your thing and something that has some randomization/probability/generating abilities while being hands on might be a plus for you. (That being if you are into/use generators at all)

(and it’s a fukkin’ dope workflow)

1 Like

Damn, if looks like my YouTube recommendations are going to be heavily skewed towards Squarp with a side of Oxi Instruments and TE…

Yeah, 100%. I blame old drum machines for the step sequencer addiction. It just makes sense to me to think of sequencing in that way.

That’s really useful to know, thanks. I’ll watch some videos but it might be a deal-breaker.

Daft as it might sound, I’ve never thought of using it standalone. Since I’d only be using it to sequence external things there would probably be no point or benefit in launching it within AUM I guess. It’s an almost alien concept though - I switch on the iPad; I load AUM

On the flipside I’ve never not used Dramno standalone as I can use it to host AUV3 instruments and FX). It completely replaced AUM as host in my setup.

IMO Drambo’s sequencer is truly exceptional - like the Octatrack on steroids. It would meet all your requirements and then some. But you’ll want a controller - a Beatstep Pro controlling Drambo could be the ticket.

Another option is to ignore Drambo and sequence your apps directly from the Beatstep, but for poly work use SoundPrism or Scaler to transform mono sequences into chords .

2 Likes

It’s not a big issue anymore since the Deoxit solution was found.

I performed that on the unit last year and it worked for a while. But it’s creeped back into existence.

May be time for another treatment. :thinking:

Launching it with AUM allows you to utilize its excellent sequencer, FlexiSampler and effects.

Daft not to use it this way :wink:

1 Like

Sometimes I have a feeling that I should buy AUM for my iPad…

2 Likes

It’s amazing for routing everything together.

1 Like

I know, I just don’t use the iPad live (only recording, post-fx, mixing), so I still have no idea how would I use it.

It’s perfect for adding Effects Chains and mastering your signal path.

2 Likes

I would say Oxi One. It has different modes for different external hardware:

  • MULTITRACK
  • CHORD
  • POLY
  • MONO
  • STOCHASTIC
  • MATRICEAL

Probably too many key shortcuts to learn though.

Another option is Squarp Hapax. You get more screen real estate and can control way more synths than Oxi One which is limited to 4.

Then you have Synthstrom Deluge. Even costlier but you get a synth and sampler besides the sequencing and with the latest oled upgrade it’s easier to navigate.

1 Like