Best of 2015: 2015 has been an amazing year for hardware step sequencers. After a decades long drought, the last year has seen a flood of hardware sequencer introductions.
Sequencers introduced in the last year include entry-level and high-end models; MIDI sequencers; analog CV/Gate sequencers; and sequencers that offer randomization, algorithmic sequencing, Euclidean Rhythms and more.
Here’s a round-up of some of the most interesting new hardware sequencers of 2015. Check them out and then vote for the three devices that you think are the best new sequencers of the year![polldaddy poll=9214813]
What do you think about the hardware sequencers introduced in 2015? Is there one that you’re especially excited about? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!
Note: This poll will be open through the end of day, Dec 31, 2015.
33 thoughts on “What’s The Best New Hardware Sequencer Of 2015?”
you missed both the electribe 2 and the electribe 2S. they came with lots of groove templates and a great chord engine.
ah, i´m sorry. electribes were released in 2014. my fault.
No problem – it’s actually pretty tricky for us to come up with a fair list, too.
no. i re-checked it. the electribe 2 sampler came during 2015. at least this model should have been on the list.
Cirklon still the best hardware sequencer, for 2015 again
by far distance the orthogan devices er01-102 combo. I am amazed how this is not included in the list..
It was introduced in 2013, not 2015:
I am pretty certain the er102 was not
2014. We check this shizzle out!
isn’t korg SQ-1 not Q-1?
Thanks for the feedback – fixed!
Engine by a mile!
The Pyramid crushes Engine so easily…
The Squarp Pyramid just seems to do so much more than most sequencers, competing with only the Cirklon in features while being half the price and still easy to use.
What planet are you from?
I jest – the sentence you wrote seems like something from early Robert Sheckley, or P. K. Dick. “Square Pyramid”, etc. 🙂
Ha, right on. Though I would have said A.E. Van Vogt.
Arturia BeatStep Pro is pound for pound the best if you use CV
Suggestion for list: best open-source of 20xx. It’d be nice to break down hackable kit in the same way.
I got the Faderfox SC4, which I like a lot. Shame the manual isn’t better though.
What about Audio Damage’s Sequencer 1?
I wonder what the poll would look like if it was ‘what people had bought’?
I bet the beatstep and the korg beat out the rest by a long way!
Obviously, price certainly plays a factor in what people buy. The market is not the same for a Beat Step Pro versus a Koma Komplex
It’s so unbelievable that at least 15 hardware step sequencers were released this year. Really didn’t see it coming.
It’s actually not a great situation with this much choice for an extreme niche since purchasing dollars are so spread out that worthy ones just won’t get the love and will disappear.
Anyway, I vote for all of them, just for the effort.
I’m surprised the Novation Circuit doesn’t get a mention.
Since it’s a ‘Best New Hardware Sequencer’ poll, we limited the list to devices that are hardware sequencers, not grooveboxes, samplers, etc.
1. squarp pyramid (ordered and counting the days, will replace all my mpc’s, 1000 and 4000 since i use them for sequencing duties only)
Really, the announcement was promising already and i thought, they’ll never make this. but they do and i think this is what will become the new sort of standard of what a sequencer should be able to do and how. i’d rather have all the functionality instead of millions of patch points and thousands of options per step. i want to sequence the sound and this gives me just what i need: standalone, powerful, integrated. pyramid tops it of, the sequencer i was dreaming about. somebody listened.
2. arturia beatstep, waaay out there. (bought) coolest startup blinkenflash ever. the benchmark for a standard sequencing setup, without too much fancy sequencing but capable to run half the band. future slave to pyramid. but with those two, i should have all bases covered.
3a. or a Koma Elektronik Komplex Sequencer (i would like that as well)
3b. or a Kilpatrick Audio Carbon (and that. i hope it gets built and not killed by everyone getting pyramids)
What about circadian ?
The problem that I have with the Cirklon (which I had on loan for a few weeks) and the Pyramid (I’ve just read the manual) is that their features far outshine their physical interface and I would rather just use Ableton. The Engine, the SQ-1, the Koma, and the Beat Step are good examples of sequencers that maximize their features/hardware interface balance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lg29Tmpifz0
sorry, regarding the pyramid i disagree:
as i am using it (#0141) i can attest to the very fine balance of interface controls, their layout and the almost unlimited functions they control. you don’t really want to have loads and loads of buttons if you can just work everything with ten fingers. provided the structure is smart enough.
the pyramid just feels natural to work with, a modern day mpc (roger linn’s) on steroids and without the sampling. just the interface much updated and optimised for the third millenium ;). the workflow is well thought out with it’s layers of live/step/track/seq mode. like with the classic mpc, you have to wrap your head around the concept. and the manual does not really translate how well it all works together, things just flow and to discover that you have to work with it. for example, if you are in live mode and hold the track mode button, the pads switch to show you the current track, which you can choose and once you let go you are back in live mode, now editing the new track. it’s just really smart in every aspect, not too much nor too little. anything you may want to access or control, including cv and midi sync and very advanced modulation and composition, you can. i am constantly surprised, how simple it is to work with and how the complexity it can access is layered so smartly. it makes me understand the things i do while i learn them.
i wouldn’t want more controls or less functions, i want a screen telling me details but i don’t want to stare into it all the time, i want smart pads that tell me more than just on and off but not too much, f.ex. slightly gray when the track is on but muted, that info repeated in the screen for orientation. and i want a touch plate and encoders to just tweak away.
whereas the beatstep pro is a formidable sequencer, the pyramid is a real composition interface. standalone is the word, having enough processing power and sharing it all very easily through midi files. the pyramid is not a closed ecosystem but a hub in just about any setup. if you like computers and grid based work or less advanced sequencing, you might want something else that does those things really well. if you just want control in a powerful way, i predict the pyramid is the new benchmark.
no, they don’t pay me but i’m gonna print me some t-shirts 😉
Wish I read all this a few months ago instead buying into Maschne which does the basics badly. No mute function to stop pattern from always looping
The Beatstep Pro only looks good in their over produced videos. Out of the box it needed all sorts of updates then the updates needed more revisions to download. It crashes randomly, the instruction manual is no help, customer service is only via email and forum. I’ve fallen for their marketing department twice. First with the Spark, then with the Beatstep Pro! I really wanted to believe in Arturia, I really wanted them to win. On paper their stuff sounds amazing but its been an absolute nightmare!!!!!!!! In 20 years of recording music and using hundreds of various different pieces of hardware and software, I’ve never had so much difficulty and ultimate disapointment as I’ve had with the Arturia Beatstep Pro. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER ARTURIA PRODUCT AGAIN!!! Pyramid is light years ahead of the BSP!