Modular Synthesizer Step Sequencer Pattern Bussing

Morbius demonstrates pattern bussing with Moog-style modular step sequencers.

See his explanation below for details.

via morbius001:

This is NOT a music-video. It’s a patching demonstration ONLY.

After more requests for additional info, I’ve made ‘another’ “Pattern Bussing” demo. (Sorry- no hi-def or someone to operate the cam for close-ups). I suggest that you simply watch the sequencer lamps and listen to the pattern changes, to get an idea of what this technique can do for you, either LIVE ‘on-the-fly’, or in the studio.

This patch allows you to change the sequenced patterns heard to many different-sounding patterns, and even changing the time-signatures (and back again) WITHOUT loosing either the ‘pulse-sync’ between the two Q960’s, or the ‘time-signature sync’, musically speaking… like- changing from a 4/4, to a 6/4, to a 3/4, to a 2/4, and back to any one, including the original 4/4. You can make it sound like you have a large number of ‘DIFFERENT’ patterns (and you could use these different patterns in different songs, or sections of songs)… and all, “ad-Lib”, improvised, on-the-fly, or any way you want.

None of the patching needs to be done DURING the performance… so everything can be preset and tuned, and you can use a written chart for specific changes you may want at specific places in the music.
Yeah… digital sequencers have some advantages, without any doubt. But- none will let you control, and actually ‘play the instrument’, like this. If you wanted to change the usual patterns played, in an improvisational way, live on stage… a digital will be extremely limiting, only allowing what has been preloaded. With this analog technique, you decide and alter any part, in any way, at any time, backwards, half back & half forward… your creativity is the only limitation.
After many months of experimenting, I found that using only FOUR return buses back to the Master sequencer are needed, even though, from one through eight are possible.

This is not a Moog Modular, but rather a Analog Modular system, and I’m using the Q960 Sequencers (2) (clones of Moog’s 960). There are several ways and modules which work well for switching the buses. The Q963 is ideal, and to do this, you’ll need two Q963’s, ‘daisy-chained’ in series, BOTH connected to the ‘SLAVE’ Q960.

Other modules that either WILL work, or will LIKELY work (and this would be for using FOUR buses, as I do here): a ‘patchable’ A/B trigger Bus; two Q149 Signal Selectors; two Q113 Mixers (or four Q112 Mixers); two Q962 Sequential Switches (although there are advantages, there CAN be some unexpected results when used manually); four Multiples (using the switch between the upper and middle jack groups; or- just build your own on a ‘blank-panel’.

3 thoughts on “Modular Synthesizer Step Sequencer Pattern Bussing

  1. Another example of someone confusing the realisation of an idea with the idea itself, namely analog step sequencer with a step sequencer in general. Anyone can do that with a digital system. There's nothing inherently superior about analog (to be exact a step sequencer is more of a hybrid between digital and analog circuitry) for sequencing.

    1. Well, to be picky I’d disagree that anyone could do this, regardless of what type of system they have, Morbius has excellent technical knowledge of systems like this and also well developed musical sensibilities. 🙂

      I’d also argue that analog step sequencers, and modular synths in general, are superior to menu driven digital hardware and software sequencers for live performance improvisation and creative sonic exploration.

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