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Rm1x vs. RS7K vs. EMU XL7 for general sequencing
Old 23rd February 2012
  #1
Rm1x vs. RS7K vs. EMU XL7 for general sequencing

Since the Cirklon is impossible to acquire right now I have to sort out what I'm going to do for hardware based sequencing. The main three recommendations I see are the Yamaha RS7K, the RM1x, and the various EMU units.

For me, the quality or existence of sampling is irrelevant. Having some ROMpler type sounds might be nice, but it's not really a high priority.

What matters most is tight MIDI timing and the ability to creatively and easily create entire songs (not just monophonic basslines and drum tracks).

I know the RM1X and EMU suffer from having a single MIDI OUT -- would a MIDI splitter solve that particular issue if I didn't want to create a big THRU chain?
Old 24th February 2012
  #2
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Muser's Avatar
yes.. just get an old serial Motu MTP AV. use it stand alone. problem solved
Old 24th February 2012
  #3
szf
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I can vouch for the RS7k, great sequencer, you should also look at the mpc line if solid midi timing is important.. mpc2k, 3k, 60, 4k ... all very solid .. 4k being the most feature packed, arranging tracks is alot of fun on it, also records mutes unlike the others mentioned
Old 24th February 2012
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaconTastesGood View Post
Since the Cirklon is impossible to acquire right now I have to sort out what I'm going to do for hardware based sequencing. The main three recommendations I see are the Yamaha RS7K, the RM1x, and the various EMU units.

For me, the quality or existence of sampling is irrelevant. Having some ROMpler type sounds might be nice, but it's not really a high priority.

What matters most is tight MIDI timing and the ability to creatively and easily create entire songs (not just monophonic basslines and drum tracks).

I know the RM1X and EMU suffer from having a single MIDI OUT -- would a MIDI splitter solve that particular issue if I didn't want to create a big THRU chain?
A Cirklon is not impossible to acquire. If you don't have the money then its not affordable. If you need something right now then you don't have the patients to wait. In order to buy one you simply need to email Sequentix and get on to the waiting list for the 3rd run. About 200 people or there about have already done so. I am one of them. I am very happy with it, as I have stated here several times. The midi is tight and the interface is great. The developer is very open to feedback and user suggestions and provides great support.

I have in the past owned a Rm1x. It was a pretty decent little machine. Iirc I paid about $250 canadian for it and sold it at the same price. Does it do chords? Sorry I don't recall. Altho I suspect it may. You might download the manual and take a look.

You might consider buying an Rm1x short term until you are able to buy a Cirklon.

Actually Bacon Taste GREAT! Its like the dessert of meats!heh
Old 24th February 2012 | Show parent
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubtek71 View Post
A Cirklon is not impossible to acquire.
Actually, AT THIS MOMENT, yes it is. Hopefully that was implied, but maybe not =) I can afford it, and I'm on the waiting list as well (and plan on getting one), but right now there's literally no way for me to get a Cirklon until after the next batch, which IIRC isn't slated until May (so 4 months at least?)

In the meantime, I plan on getting something else so I can still sequence outboard.

cirklon is my #1 choice and I do plan on getting one when they're available again, no worries there mate =)

Quote:
You might consider buying an Rm1x short term until you are able to buy a Cirklon.
That's actually what I plan on doing and thus the purpose of this thread =)
Old 24th February 2012
  #6
I was just made aware of the MPC2500 + JJOS2XL option. This looks like it would provide almost everything I want, especially the multiple MIDI OUTs, and the price isn't that much more than a loaded new RS7000.

Does the MPC2500 + JJOS have any significant downsides compared to the others I listed?
Old 24th February 2012
  #7
szf
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build/sound quality
Old 24th February 2012
  #8
Sound quality isn't a factor, I just need to drive external gear. I could do the RM1X as a short term fix until I can get my hands on a Cirklon, but the MPC2K5 + JJOS _seems_ like it should offer a potential long term solution for about half the cost of the Cirklon, but I haven't been able to find a lot of comparisons between it and other sequencers (I'm mostly finding reviews of JJOS on MPC1K and comparing to Akai's OS)
Old 24th February 2012
  #9
szf
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I'd also like to mention that the sequencer buttons on the RM1X/RS7000 usually are unresponsive on any 2nd hand units you buy.. happened to mine after a year of light use.. Except for that build is good on the Yammies.
The newer mpcs have a bad rep for build quality. google it. Other than that, they're nifty, no one can know if they are right for you though.. That's down to taste
Old 24th February 2012
  #10
Gear Head
 

Rm1x vs. RS7K vs. EMU XL7 for general sequencing

I have both the rm1x and rs7000. Essentially the same sequencing scheme on both with some mild differences. RS is sampling. There is a known issue with button sensitivity degrading over time, so beware and be sure. I specifically got an RS that had already been repaired and had LED upgrades, just to be sure. Yellowed keys may indicate exposure to UV and potentially heat, so that is sometimes a clue.

I am very happy with the sequencing (of course you can chord, this is a real Yamaha sequencer after all).

Talking about the RM here, you record tracks, a set of 16 tracks makes up a section (a multi-track pattern). A group of 16 sections are stored together in a 'style'. Patterns can be triggered in many ways: time-latched, unlatched, chained into a song, whatever you wish. Does BOTH drum-machine style step sequencing, and real-time polyphonic sequencing. You can mix & match as desired. ALSO has an arpeggiator. I really like the real-time performance controls for muting, mixing, triggering patterns and CC. Great large back-lit display, too. Just a real gem. The thing is chunky thick, all-around metal encased and built like a tank.

The RS is an even larger and heavier unit (though with a tough plastic top casing, not metal like the RM) and is setup pretty much the same but with sampling, 2 extra velocity-sensing pads for data/performance entry, and smart card reader. In sequencing, the section/track setup differs - white keys (16) track while black keys (10) section. (On the RM, both are on the white keys (16) and you switch as needed). The trade-off is that on the RS, both are immediately selectable, but you get fewer sections (10 vs. 16) in your style. Either is easy to work with in my opinion.

My experience with Yamaha sequencers began with my 90's era beloved overworked QY20, but others here I'm sure are even more knowledgeable. I'm surprised an old electribe isn't under consideration. That usually gets the startup love, I know. But I'm very happy with both of these units.
Old 24th February 2012 | Show parent
  #11
mp3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szf View Post
The newer mpcs have a bad rep for build quality. google it.
The issues are: tact switches that get unresponsive very quickly, the sliders may get wonky after an extended period of non-use (deoxit fixes both those problems), and the old pad design of the 1000.

To me, JJOS is the best hardware MIDI sequencer on your list (and maybe the best ever). Grid/step sequencing and editing out the wazoo, arpeggiator, chord programmer, pad patterns (assign sequences (or portions thereof) to the pads), and lots more. The only things I can think of are that the Rs7k has those nifty realtime MIDI FX and Loop Remix functions, and the MPC's 96ppq may be coarse for some.
Old 24th February 2012
  #12
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As always, I will throw my support behind the RM1x. It is a full-feature hardware sequencer, pretty much came out right at/after the very tip-top peak of major hardware sequencer manufacture. Too bad they threw a cheesy sound engine into it.
Other options might be the QY700 or Roland mc50, although the mc50 doesn't give you near as much instant control.
The buttons require a little extra force sometimes, but that's it. I've had mine for going on 5 years and it still works as well as when I got it.
Old 24th February 2012
  #13
Thanks for the feedback everyone, I went with an (overpriced) RM1X on eBay but it was listed as extremely new condition from someone who apparently buys/repairs/refurbs them and says the switches are all in great condition. Will be interesting to see how it integrates with my Tempest =)
Old 24th February 2012 | Show parent
  #14
szf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mp3 View Post
The issues are: tact switches that get unresponsive very quickly, the sliders may get wonky after an extended period of non-use (deoxit fixes both those problems), and the old pad design of the 1000.
Deoxit is horrible crap, it's only used by clueless techs. You might have wanted to read up on it before using it.

Moog Music Forum • View topic - Mini-Moog Osc Board Scale/Octave Trimpot cleaning?

"The stuff works great at first and everyone thinks all is well.
Then it corrodes metal, attracts dust and causes more problems than it had before.
I'm still looking for one maker of pots or switches that add this stuff to their products at the time of manufacturer.
One would think if it was so good, many would be using it.
But I can't find one.

Moog's early service manuals sometimes advocated it.
Later manuals discouraged against it.
They too learned what the long-term problems are.

Your mileage is up to you, but I don't use and haven't for decades and I'm very glad I don't.
It's snake oil designed to take your money and fix things for a short time.
(fwiw, I've been working on synths for 36 years... I think that's long enough to know.)"
Old 25th February 2012
  #15
mp3
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Oh wow thanks for that I had no idea. Care to recommend an alternative?

For the record, I sprayed my tact switches about 4yrs ago and haven't had one issue with them since.
Old 25th February 2012
  #16
szf
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For pots/sliders I'd recommend take them apart, and clean the dirt out.. But this is talking about vintage gear where new parts are an issue. Some ppl scoop all the old grease out, use oil to clean, then add caig fader lube. Not sure if that stuff is as bad as deoxit though, could always use normal grease.

Some pots have openings when you turn them all the way down, if you spray compressed air in, it often fixes crackling.

For tact switches, maybe deoxit is a good idea shot term, but getting higher quality replacements may be the better option, if you really like your mpc, might be good to get them either way, so you have them down the road.
Old 20th April 2012
  #17
Question about the RS7000 -- I have an RM1X right now and while I like a lot of it but I really want to upgrade to the RS7K due to lack of 2nd MIDI OUT, the 'patch change' bug in OS < 1.13, and (most of all) the broken grid editing issues with playback.

My main concern about the RS7000 and one of the reasons I chose the RM1X is that the RM1X is "instant on" whereas I've heard the RS7K requires loading your song from floppy every time. I'm assuming that if you have a SCSI drive (are these user installable?) or SM card that you can load from those instead? How slow is the load?
Old 20th April 2012
  #18
Gear Nut
 
rarara's Avatar
 

from sm card (no floppy) its a few seconds - doesn't feel like a wait at all. compatible with an mpc 2500 boot time. that is sample-free songs though which are quicker
Old 20th April 2012
  #19
Thanks. Decision made, buying an RS7K and posting my RM1X to eBay =)
Old 20th April 2012 | Show parent
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szf View Post
Deoxit is horrible crap, it's only used by clueless techs. You might have wanted to read up on it before using it.
I followed that link and found nothing to support the assertion that Deoxit causes problems. It's a bit suspect that among the claims against it was that it 'causes corrosion.'
Old 21st April 2012
  #21
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by leMel42 View Post
The RS ..... In sequencing, the section/track setup differs - white keys (16) track while black keys (10) section. (On the RM, both are on the white keys (16) and you switch as needed). The trade-off is that on the RS, both are immediately selectable, but you get fewer sections (10 vs. 16) in your style. Either is easy to work with in my opinion.
for the record, a later OS for the RS7000 gave 16 sections, with K-P accessed using shift + A-F,
also thus making RMX1 files loadable into RS.


Regarding load times, midi only from a smartcard is pretty instant, but a full 64Mb of samples is @3 minutes I'm afraid.
Old 21st April 2012
  #22
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rarara's Avatar
 

3 mins - ouch.

if I get to that point I might look into an internal scsi device. any idea how much faster it would be?
Old 21st April 2012
  #23
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go witht the mpc and jjos, cant beat that. alone even the 4 midi outs are gold
Old 21st April 2012
  #24
Gear Nut
 
rarara's Avatar
 

I gave up JJOS to move to rs7000 and have not regretted it - take anyone's opinion with a pinch of salt
Old 21st April 2012
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rarara View Post
3 mins - ouch.

if I get to that point I might look into an internal scsi device. any idea how much faster it would be?
Never used scsi myself, but I 've read it's not any faster..it's the read speed of the device.

Only really a problem if playing live, as the sequencer cant play when loading samples,
so you'll need another sound source for transitions....or introduce the band , work the crowd, or just let them chant your name!
Old 21st April 2012 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by subhertz View Post
for the record, a later OS for the RS7000 gave 16 sections, with K-P accessed using shift + A-F,
also thus making RMX1 files loadable into RS.

Oooh. Thanks for that - now I've got something to look into.
Old 12th May 2012
  #27
Anyone know off-hand how tight the timing of the MIDI OUTs is supposed to be on the RS7K? I'm throwing 120bpm 1/32 midi directly into some external gear and I'm seeing a pretty good amount of jitter and drift (some events showing up as much as 2ms early and as late as 2-3ms). I've tested against a MicroQ, TX81Z, MKS-50, and Wavestation SR and they all show that variance coming out of the RS7K so I'm curious if this is normal if I'm doing something wrong.
Old 12th May 2012
  #28
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rarara's Avatar
 

strange. no inadvertant swing is there? latest OS? is this with a simple pattern and not much else?
Old 12th May 2012
  #29
here's a very good alternative. It's not difficult to make.
I use an MPC1000 and Emu MP-7, both are good machines. The combination is a lot of fun.

do a search this sequencer subject has been beaten to death!
Old 12th May 2012
  #30
szf
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I wrote about the RS7K jitter in the RS7000 gs section review.. IIRC I measured 160/170 samples of jitter.
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