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Euclidian and other sequencers
Old 1st December 2016
Euclidian and other sequencers

Hi Suzanne it's great that you're here!

I have a question about sequencers. I've looked at the concept behind Don Buchla's final module, the 252e Polyphonic Rhythm Generator, which can be set to euclidian or user-defined sequences. As I understand there are many patterns from all cultures across the world that are structured like this (euclidian even distribution of notes or hits).
Have you looked into this idea of sequencing, maybe because of the 252e and if so, what are your thoughts about it?

Second question is related but more general; In what way do you think that the function and user interface of sequencers determine what kind of music is being composed? Does it steer you in any way towards some patterns, and is that (possible) restriction a good or bad thing?

And finally, can you please describe the perfect sequencer for yourself?

Thank you!
Old 3rd December 2016
Suzanne Ciani
Sevwave's Avatar


Well, those are some very interesting questions.

I haven't played with the 252e yet, other than when I saw it at Buchla's house...and I hope to try it out soon!

I think of sequencer rows as raw material, to be manipulated at will. I like to have pitch content in my music and so I devise rows that work well with each other. With the 250e or with my clone of the MARF 248, I can access the pitches in non-linear ways, more like a 3-dimensional sequencer.

Now I'm using a 251e sequencer because it is more compact, but I find it non-performable. It's difficult to change the triggers on the fly, for instance. I can transpose the sequences and access them in different directions via the MARF, but for now, anyway, getting the two modules synched up defeats certain options. For instance, if I drive the MARF with the 251e, I get no pulse outputs from the MARF. I love that the MARF pulses are so readily changeable in performance and miss this...If I drive the 251e with the MARF, I can't quite get all the sequences to align.

There are some great midi sequencers out there, but I don't use midi with the Buchla and like to have integrated hands on control for my needs are thus. The Beat Step Pro has really nice features and there are lots of little sequencers that I've not played that look fun....

I think we need hiererarchical controls of the sequence. I don't think it's important that the sequence have tons of steps...because I think of the pitches not as melodies, but as raw material, or a place to start. So 16 is fine. Accessing and modifying those pitches is what's important. Octave transposition of individual steps can bring out sub melodies and if this is done in a random way, becomes a jazz improvisation in a really musical way. One should be able to send out quickly programmable pulses. One should have 2 to 4 rows of sequencer pitches. One should be able to address a particular stage of the sequencer with a quickly programmable pulse. One should be able to "strobe" the sequence with a pulse and CV. One should be able to set first and last stages quickly. One should be able to give timing commands...advance, enable, stop. My concerns center mostly around performance. The MARF is a great way to control putting them into the external CV inputs...and, except for the pulse issues, gives a super amount of control.
Old 4th December 2016
Thank you very much. You've given me somthing to think about.

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