a better mutlitrack step sequencer [SOLVED]

After trying out much on VCV it seems noone has made module that has 64 or greater step output with 16 tracks and root note and scale modes

Its always either or. or a feature missing etc. The current offerings may have scale locking but only supports one track or it has multiple tracks but no scale locking. Or the sequencer is limited to 8 steps (16 at most).

You might be thinking why note use a quantizer? Yeah that works for one track but if I want 16 tracks, then I have to load 16 different quantizers and if I want global scale locking I have to then link those up with a multi knob etc. now my whole rack is filled up with modules that could have been avoided just to do a simple task.

My wish list would also be randomization, multi direction, each track being a different length etc. Think polyend SEQ or Vector. Not a knockoff of what they are doing but think of the features etc.

did you try Entrian Sequencers, especially Entrian Timeline?

Regarding the comment about quantizers, you could use a polyphonic one. That way you don’t need loads of instances.

Thanks but thats not going to do it. Its more of a piano roll like experience with no root note or scale modes. Im thinking of something that looks like Volt Seq by Trowasoft with 16 tracks but scale settings and randomization. Maybe if the GridSeq by JW or Bene by dbiz and the Volt Seq were merged.

where is the polyphonic quantizer with 16 inputs and 16 outputs? can you please point me to that?

Lots of them are polyphonic, mother and XOR quantizer being the two I generally use. Use a poly merge before and poly split afterwards.

ok I didnt think in that direction as I thought it would be easier to keep it in the sequencer. I will look into that and see how it goes.

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Thanks its close but not perfect yet. Im using the Volt Seq and its limited to 16 steps and the length setting controls all tracks. Also no step mutes.

Who knows maybe one day…

You can chain many sequencers to make longer sequences, either by using their End of Loop (etc)/start/run outputs/inputs or by using a sequential switch, or by using expanders (the new Bogaudio sequencer is 4x4 steps but has an expander so you can make it as long as you want).

For the gate issue there are a few solutions, either use a gate sequencer with more freedom, or lengthen the gates as needed. I think Bogaudio’s dgate is polyphonic.

By the way, I’m not saying there isn’t a need for what you want but there are perhaps more ‘modular’ ways to solve your problem.

Have you tried impromptu Foundry

It’s 4 track rather than 16 but other than that should do all you want?

Although it is key rather than knob based.

Any reason you wish to keep it all in the box? If you’re interested in heavily sequenced songs, it’s a good idea to consider adding a traditional sequencer to VCV. You can make them talk via a loopback MIDI driver for example. I do that a lot myself.

Complex sequencers won’t fit in a single module, modules with too many modes and features are hard to use, and modules that open up a bigger sub-window like it’s a VST don’t feel like first-class citizens in the rack. All my fav modular sequencers are intentionally limited to simple phrases.

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Bidoo Diktat, JW Quantizer, VCV Fundamental quantizer, ML Quantum. lots of them, Split and Merge are your friends if you would go full of 16 in\outs. You can always stack sequencers with sequential switches if you don’t find 16 step enough. But what about Bidoo Zou MAI actually? 8 tracks, already quantized, elektron style (note per step), full of other needed features

Again, this will probably not be exactly what you want, but I see no mention of our Seq++ and 4X4. They are piano roll, but they do know about a lot of scales and root notes. They have unlimited track lengths.

Thank you for all your suggestions everyone. It looks like Zou Mai plus mother using the merge and splits is the most concise with the most features.

Thanks again that we even have this stuff to play around with at all

Agree. This is the sort of thing I’d, as a Linux guy, would be looking at QTractor or Ardour for.

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Well, is some ways that’s true. Admittedly our Seq++ is a little constrained only showing two bars at once in the piano roll. But I guess I’d turn that around. Given that there are several to many sequencers in VCV that are “DAW-Like” why would you want to worry about hooking up external stuff and midi loop drivers etc?

Your choice is a perfectly reasonable one (to me), but it seems a little excessive to suggest there is no plausible reason to want a “sequencer” in a module. At least for others if not for you. yes?

I’m definitely not suggesting that, especially since I made such a module myself, and have another in the works, and make heavy use of all sorts of step sequencers and arpeggiators in my songs. But I have much better experiences treating VCV sequencers as simple building blocks than as fully featured songwriting tools.

There seems to be a built-in assumption people will use VCV for ambient, techno, and also sometimes as an electrical engineer’s toy that incidentally produces waveforms as a side-effect. Genres that are all about the slowly morphing hypnotic patterns and complex timbres, the ten minutes long meditative jams that benefit greatly from keeping it all in a self-contained environment with cool-sounding emergent behaviors.

When someone approaches it with a different mindset, it can lead to miscommunication and insisting to challenge yourself to work within a single compositional paradigm out of misunderstanding the other person’s goals and approach. Personally, a lot of my interest in music composition was initially spurred by 90’s~00’s Japanese game soundtracks, which are all about very short catchy tunes with complex harmony and melodies. I would never be able to justify the cost of a hardware modular to use it in the “wrong” genre. But I can easily justify the whole 0€ it cost me to get started exploring VCV (and the €100 or so I spent on commercial modules).

Yesterday, I was writing a song in 4/4 that has a single one-bar 2/4 bridge, and changes key after that bridge. I had to re-listen to that part in context many times until I felt the drum fill was right. How do I program that in VCV? How do I lock the transport to a 3 bars loop in a modular? How do I keep multiple sequencers in sync when a bar is shorter? How do I program the key change in such a way that all the parts are in harmony? How do I keep things easy to edit if I change my mind later? How do I work on song parts out of order, starting with the hook?

None of those questions are impossible to answer! But the real question I’m asking is not really “how do I”, but “why would I”. Here’s another rhetorical question: my lead synth has multiple toggleable layers, one of which entails complex transposition rules, multiple envelopes and LFOs for everything, a bit of distortion, and a timbre that can be changed using mostly basic MIDI controls (velocity, mod wheel, aftertouch). How do I program that without VCV?

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Good points. Thanks.

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the Voxglitch Digital Sequencer can do allmost anything you want (use the right click menue),
but it has only 6 sequences. So you need two or three of them.

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Ya that one is really nice.