I am stuck trying to produce this very simple loop, why?

Oh, now I can upload my patches, neat.

smb_castle.vcv (3.1 KB)

Basically, the first thing I want to do to understand sequencing is to copy a simple sequence and make a loop with it, for that I have chosen the Super Mario Bros Castle music from the Nintendo System Entertainment. A very basic song that"s spread over 3 bars and takes 4 voices. As it seems and even with all the advice I’ve received in my previous call for help, I can’t figure that out at all.

My patches already has mutes and 4 channels set up to reproduce the entire song in the end, but I’d like to focus on the bass part as shown in this capture and the piano roll capture; what am I doing wrong?


I need to receive a thorough explanation on how to set up my clocks, tempos and resets so I can play the loop as it is on the midi roll.

I already have had the intuition that my sequencer switch must receive a clock sequence with each step having the total length of each pitch sequence, but with my attempt I did not get that right. It completely weirds me out that I have to modulate my clock/tempo to write mere rhythm divisions. It feels unnatural and unsettling. Venting aside I kind of understand that to play my loop with everything synchronized, I will have to have a reset signal that’s spread on the whole board. So that"s what I tried.

So, sequencer for pitch, sequencer for length, sequencer for switch pattern, and what am I missing here? I feel stupid for not being able to figure this out on my own. But now, it is too hard to brainstorm this, especially after a long day thinking hard at my job already. If a kind soul can dissecate what I’ve done wrong It will be very appreciated.


1 Like

It’s a pretty horrible sequencer to do that with. Use Seq++ instead and you can easily define longer notes.

As a compromise with Seq-3 you could just have it play two notes the same in succession in place of a long note.


You are over-complicating the patch. Its a 3 bar sequence with quarter notes, so 12 quarter notes in total. The Seq3 can play up to 8 notes, but it has 3 rows of CV so you can split the 12 quarter notes into 3 rows of 4 steps. Then use a sequential switch to switch between the 3 rows, you can use the first trigger of the sequence to switch between them:

This is just one way, there are many other ways. This is the beauty of modular.

I hope this helps.

BTW, don’t beat yourself up too much, it took me a while to realize that you have to forget everything you know about sequencing in a piano roll, and start from scratch. Its really a different ball game, but once you realize the potential, the limits are endless. Watch tons of Omri Cohen Videos, and keep practicing, but most important, have fun.


I know Seq++ exists and have plans to take advantage of it in the future, what I spin my head around is trying to understand what works and what doesn’t, of course it makes me nervous because so far nothing works as I intend, meaning I can"t possibly intend nor plan anything, and should just work at random or chaos.

yeah, I know being so quick to beat myself up does not show a good impression of my aptitude to handle the smallest drawback. It is unfortunate that I lack patience, I can guarantee you that just repeating and hearing my failed attempts in a loop, without any progress in figuring things out made me mentally tired. So, that’s my duty to live with that character.

That said you got my sequence wrong, it is one half note then two quarter notes, then one half note and two quarter notes, and then 4 quarter notes. That’s why I was originally trying to sequence it using a sequencer switch.

I actually was almost there but couldn’t because I don’t understand how to clock my sequencer switch. My “duration” seq has 3 steps that each organize the 6 pitch steps of my second sequencer, that plays the first 6 notes; the 3rd pitch sequencer below didn"t need a duration sequence because it is just 4th notes. It is set to 4 steps. If I find the right clock signal to input my sequencer switch, I should be fine.

Which brings me back to my general question, how to clock a sequence with various note durations, various sequencer switches, and being sure to clock and reset everything in a correct manner. There are plenty of ways doing it but also plenty of ways doing it all wrong.

I’ve never done it, but from what I’ve heard chaining several sequencers together is pretty “advanced”, and you run into all kind of issues with “what does reset really do” and such. I get wanting to know what everything does, but why start at the very hardest thing? I think there are a lot of sequencers out there with many more than 8 steps. And I don’t mean you should use a deterministic old fashioned seq like Seq++. Just try something with more steps. I think the impromptus do, I’d be surprised if count modula didn’t have something, …


Yeah, I know tnere are a lot of fantastic sequencers out there, but feel like I need to understand the logic behind them before takig them for granted.

I think I have acquired almost the whole chain because I was able to clock different note lengths as I wanted, now the real missing point I have is the understanding how to clock a sequencer switch. And also how to chain multiple switches.

I have hopes of being unstoppable once I can understand how to quickly patch together the melodies I have in mind.

The sequence is not wrong. A half note equals 2 quarter notes, which is why the first 2 “quarter notes” are the same, creating a half note. I only did this to show you the note sequence, gates would be a different setup.

Anyway, just trying to help. Have fun.

1 Like

Oh, I should have looked more thoroughly… Yeah, so my lack of patience at it again am I right. So, same voltage in 2 steps and my note is longer. I thought it would rather go with 2 impulses. Thank you very much, now I get it.

Thanks for putting up with me.

Hi there! Fellow fl studio user here, fell into vcv bout 2yr ago n hardly touched fl since lol - modular is very very different mindset n the biggest struggle u will face is trying to recreate in vcv wht u know can be done in a DAW within seconds, not trying to divert u from ur path by any means jus a heads up i guess - this is a deep rabbit hole u falling into lol

1 Like

There are many ways to do this in VCV (both the notes and triggers/gates). Piano Roll sequencers like Seq++ or Entrian will do it. Impromptu sequencers like Phrase Seq using its tied notes feature for the longer notes will do it and many others too I’m sure.

Another option is to use ShapeMaster Pro to draw in the quantised CV sequence over 3 bars and use the node triggers functionality to get the triggers/gates you need to go with it:

Here I set the length to 3 bars, Grid-X to 12 (12 quarter notes across 3 bars), range to 0-1V (the sequence uses just one octave) and snapped my points to the grid to quantise them. The node tooltips helps by showing you the note.

I added a Bogaudio stack at the end to drop the sequence down one octave.

One advantage to sequencing with ShapeMaster is it allows you to easily add in glides and trills etc to your sequence. Jakub Ciupinski made an excellent video about it:


yeah, I guess I’ll let it go with time.

in any case, my goal with trying to reproduce a midi was to understand how to clock correctly my events. I’m pretty sure I will upgrade from SEQ3 to better sequencers anytime soon.

thanks, a video teaching shapemaster will be very useful to me since this thing is packed with features.

One thing to bear in mind with modular is the ‘difference’ between clock signals, which tend to be (though not always) constant/consistent and trigger/gate patterns which are often not.

So when dealing with the two long 1/2 notes in your sequence, rather than modulate the clock, it’s probably easiest to use a gate sequencer. The possibility of separation between note sequencers and trigger/gate sequencers is another core modular concept.

As Auret mentioned, you can make the 12 step CV/Note sequence with Seq-3 but as it is only an 8 step GATE sequencer, it can’t do the gates you need.

A good and straightforward gate sequencer is the Gate Seq 64 from Impromptu. It can be one 64 step sequencer or two 32 step sequencers or four 16 step sequencers.

To make the 12 steps you need, you could use 16 step sequencer from the gate Seq and change its length to 12 steps. Feed it a 1/4 note clock signal (which is the default x1 output from Clocked). Then turn all 12 gates on except for the 2nd and 6th - so that no new gate is sent for the 2nd 1/4 of the two 1/2 length notes.


ok, thanks, I’ll look into it. I see a cable out from the GATE output, where does it goes in the SEQ-3, in the tempo input?

No, it would not go to the Seq-3 at all (that’s what I meant by the separation of note sequencing and gate sequencing) it would go to the gate in of your envelope, which in turn opens the VCA.

Of course with a different sequencer that can do at least 12 steps of both notes and gates, and with the ability to turn gates on/off for each step, you could use just the one sequencer for both. Such as:

(This is presuming of course that want some envelope shaping of the notes which is not something you have in your original screen grab.)


I find the clocking of the switch with the step 1 trigger very elegant, too bad that I only can do it when the 3 sequences I’m switching from already belong to the same module.

You could use another channel of the Gate Seq 64 with just the first step active to trigger the switch.

Why would you need another module to input and output gates? You would already have your gates with the Gate Seq 64. An ADSR outputs an envelope not a gate - you trigger it using a gate and it essentially ‘shapes’ that gate to give you a shape made up of attack, decay, sustain and release. If you don’t want any shaping you could just send the gate out of Gate Seq to the CV in of the VCA - but your sound will be quite ‘clicky’ if you do that.

1 Like

ah, you were quick to respond, I ended up deleting my question after realizing it was nonsensical ahah…

yes, I understand, I don’t want my sound to be clicky so I’ll throw the ADSR to my mix.

Or yet another (small) sequencer.

1 Like