Pittsburgh Modular has introduced the Lifeforms Percussion Sequencer, a $349 four-channel programmable drum controller.
It’s designed to be the core of a Eurorack drum machine. The Sequencer includes a percussion-tuned analog envelope and VCA for each channel. You can patch anything from a basic sine wave to processed noise sources through the Lifeforms Percussion Sequencer to create a unique drum machine.
- 32 Step, 4 Channel Sequencer
- 32 Sequence Non-Volatile Memory
- 6 Adjustable Pattern Effects (Shift, Glitch, Density, Morph, Swing, Add/Drop)
- 4 Percussion Tuned Analog Envelopes
- 4 High Quality Analog VCAs
- Seamlessly Switch Between Play and Record Modes
- Live Performance and Step Recording Modes
- Internal Tap Tempo or External Clock Source
- Variable Sequence Length
- Channel Mute
At the heart of the module is a 4 channel, 32 step beat sequencer designed for live performance. Create and store up to 32 sequences, using live performance or step mode recording, with pattern lengths varying from 1 to 32 steps. Patterns can be copy and pasted to easily create multiple versions of a beat.
The sequencer can be driven by an internal tap tempo or external clock source. A dedicated clock in/out jack syncs the sequencer with other modules.
Four Integrated Analog Envelopes and VCAs
The Lifeforms Percussion Sequencer uses an analog envelope and VCA built into each channel to shape any audio source into a percussive instrument. The envelopes are designed with a sharp attack and variable decay/release. The envelopes can also be used externally. A short envelope creates a trigger, while longer envelopes can be used as a modulation source.
6 Adjustable Pattern Effects
The Lifeforms Percussion Sequencer includes 6 unique pattern effects to expand the musical possibilities of traditional grid style beat programming.
Effects include everything from swing and beat shifters to glitch and generative algorithms, designed to manipulate the sequencer pattern. Each channel can run a unique instance of one pattern effect at a time. A master pattern effect channel is also available that affects all 4 channels of the sequencer.
The combination of the channel effect and the master effect allows for up to two effects at a time on each channel. Each effect has one parameter that can be adjusted to dial in the perfect response.
- Shift Effect – Delays the trigger output of a channel by small divisions of the tempo. Use this effect to create half-step or stutter-step drum triggers. Effect knob controls the amount of channel shift. The range of shift is 1/8th to 7/8ths of a beat.
- Glitch Effect – Probability based glitch effect that creates chaotic gates based on a cascading chance algorithm. The resulting patterns are always in sync with some division of the clock, allowing for stuttering but not disjointed patterns. The probability is set using the effect knob. The range of the glitch effect is minimal to absolute chaos.
- Density Effect – Sets the number and timing of triggers created for each active step. The result can be anything from a doubling of the trigger to a rolling effect. The effect knob controls the trigger density.
- Morph Effect – Create evolving patterns. The morph effect is a probability based algorithm that modifies an existing pattern by adding or removing active steps. The effect knob sets the probability that the pattern will morph.
- Swing Effect – A classic drum machine effect meant to mimic the feel of a real drummer by shifting the timing of every other step. The effect knob controls the amount of swing.
- Add/Drop Effect – Temporarily add or drop steps from a pattern. The results are similar to the morph effect but changes to the pattern are not compounded as the pattern plays allowing the resulting pattern to stay anchored to the original sequence. The effect knob sets the probability that a step will be modified.
The Lifeforms Percussion Sequencer is priced at US $349. See the Pittsburgh Modular site for more info.