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TR Style Step Sequencing Hardware Controller

Kind of a random question, but does anyone know of a USB device that can act as a step sequencer like the TR style machines? I've fallen in love with Renoise, which has a step sequencer tool that works with the Launchpad and could be made to work with a Monome/Arduinome. Preferably there would be no on-board sequencing, as it would only have to tell renoise note ons and offs.

Basic Idea

Renoise Tool

I mainly want something to sequence out one-shot samples in renoise, giving me the best of a hands-on drum machine and the ease/flexibility of software.

I'm leaning towards an Arduinome (at some point when I know enough to make one), but just hoping for other, more immediate, options.

Found, but that still seems to be in development.

Another was the Skinnerbox, but the final version (which itself appears to be a one-off) doesn't seem oriented towards my use...

There is a Midibox project, but it doesn't seem to be well developed yet and looks like it should have onboard sequencing...

Any other input or help would be much appreciated! (Sorry for the novel, as I have a tendency to do, haha)


Probably the most mainstream product will be Novations Launchpad which is capable of step sequencing abilities. Do a search for videos of that with Renoise and you will see.

EDIT : here you go

If you build it, erm, you will have a drum sequencer!

I agree all the midibox stuff looks well confusing from the outisde, no idea what to buy, or how to connect it all up. There is a MB808 sequencer which was made for the 808 clone (SOOOO desirable) but can work without, either with triggers or MIDI.

But god knows where to start tbh...

Thanks for the replies!

I had seen that video with the launchpad. I think that's as close as I could get with an affordable, prebuilt piece - but I like a challenge! I mainly don't like that the launchpad has an 8x8 grid, I'd really like a 16x8 (sixteen steps, 8 samples/voices). I think I'm going to shoot for an arduinome that could work with the renoise step sequencer tool... Seems to be the only option and I wouldn't have any idea on where to start to design what's in my mind...

Beatseqr is a close second though, wish they had DIY kits and/or instructions and parts lists. I think it's opensource but I wouldn't want to try to source all the bits...

Any other ideas? What the deal with Arturia Spark? I haven't even looked into that one...

So after another evening of research I found:

and on the Renoise Forum Step Sequencer thread...

Quote:The sequencer has been included as part of Duplex since v0.92 and has recieved numerous updates since then....
- Orientation: use as sideways 16-step sequencer on monome128 etc.

so Xyxthumbs

Will hopefully put one together sometime. Still going to search for options though....

sackley Wrote:I'm leaning towards an Arduinome (at some point when I know enough to make one), but just hoping for other, more immediate, options.

There is!

Quote: Tip: You can also map every key of the virtual keyboard (including octave up/down buttons) to a key of a hardware midi-keyboard. So you can combine setting a note value on your midi-keyboard and push a step to set the note value.

...and by quoting that I just lost 45 minutes of my witty remakrs on the joy of MIDI mapping. :facepalm:
( I spent 30 minutes alone on a digression on how to set up my own copy of Cubase to do this).

it's kinda tedious, but I believe you can set up most sequencers to do TR style Step Sequencing with a bit of thought into routing MIDI. Luckily you mentioned that plugin for ReSound. I'm fairly I could do it with my MPD32 and Cubase SX3.

that video above demonstrates switching note snap values, toggle note repeat, selecting rhythm banks, but a MIDI controller w/ aftertouch and pots could be super useful for editing drum & synth patches while also doing the step sequencing stuff.

I'll say what I always say - I'd suggest a softsampler in addition to aftertouch controller. You could use it to load the individual drum sounds, or you could also load waveform loops & white noise and such and use the sampler like a drum machine/synth. additional control offered by the aftertouch controlling filter cutoff is quite useful. You could just use a softsynth too.

Quote:powerful controller matrix: control up to 8 different parameters per track, like Filter-Cutoff, Velocity, Delay, any midi/vsti cc parameter of every single step in real-time. Even the note values (including note length) of the track can be controlled! So it is very easy and a lot of fun to change the notes of a melody while playing the pattern. Playing around with these parameters in the matrix will often give some unexpected and great results, which will boost the variety of your track. Furthermore you can assign every step of the matrix to your favorite midi-controller. With a midi-controller with at least 8 or 16 knobs (like [enter company that used to make decent musical instruments here]) the matrix can be controlled in an excellent way.

the bad news is you'll probably hate every minute of mapping it all (though it still has to be easier than programming the ardruino)

Don't know why I didn't think of doing that... will give that a shot! I like the idea, but I still have to think that an arduinome 128 with LED feedback for note-ons and 8 tracks visible at once would be a much more enjoyable interface... but sincere thanks for pointing out the obvious and overlooked option! I'll sit down this weekend with my axiom25 and see what I can get worked out. Will be a good prelim for the overall workflow of TR sequencing.

Sorry, misread your original post Oops

Paradigm X Wrote:Sorry, misread your original post Oops

No problem! I had seen those two sequencer before and they look pretty nifty for hardware-centered jams!

So I ended up jumping for a behringer BCR2000, as I realized how deep it is (32 presets of 32 knobs, 8 of which have 4 groups per preset... aka a hell of a lot of knobs, plus the 16 buttons per preset) and think it can do what I want and then some. I'm hoping I can use a single preset to cycle through the Renoise step sequencer tracks, and be able to map out the parameter of each hit to a knob (velocity mainly).

I still think I'll try to do an Arduinome at some point, but for now this should be good, as long as I can get it set up proper.

Hmmm, the BCR can be used to sequence? Great controller that one, for a Behringer Wink

There are a couple stand alone programs ( and another that's older and java based), but I'm hoping to integrate it with the step sequencer in renoise somehow. Will have a good part of the day to try it tomorrow...

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