Inside The Korg SQ-1 CV Step Sequencer


This video, via Markus Fuller, takes a look inside the Korg SQ-1 step sequencer:


  • Sequence Step Resolution – quarter notes, eighth notes, sixteenth notes
  • CV OUT Pitch – Linear, Minor, Major, Chromatic
  • CV OUT Voltage – 1V, 2V, 5V (Oct) 8V (Hz/V)
  • GATE OUT Polarity: + (positive polarity), – (negative polarity)
  • SYNC IN/OUT Polarity + (rise), – (fall)
  • Connectors
    • littleBits OUT jack (mini monaural phone jack)
    • OUT (MIDI OUT) jack (mini stereo phone jack)
    • CV – A OUT – GATE jack (mini monaural phone jack, CV OUT : Output Level 1V, 2V, 5V, 8[Hz/V], GATE OUT: output level 10V)
    •  CV – BOUT – GATE jack (mini monaural phone jack, CV OUT : Output Level 1V, 2V, 5V, 8[Hz/V], GATE OUT: Output Level 10V)
    • – IN – SYNC – OUT jack (mini monaural phone jack, SYNC IN: Max Input Level 20V,
  • SYNC OUT: Output Level 5V)
  • USB jack (type B, USB MIDI)
  • Power Supply – Two AA batteries (alkaline batteries recommended), or USB power
  • Battery Life – approximately 5 hours (when using alkaline batteries)
  • Dimension (W x D x H) – 93 x 84 x 63 mm/7.60? x 3.31? × 2.48?
  • Weight – 641 g/1.41 lbs.
  • Included Items – Two AA batteries for checking operation, mini plug – DIN cable
  • Options – Patch cable MS-CABLE-18

The Korg SQ-1 step sequencer has a street price of about US $100.

7 thoughts on “Inside The Korg SQ-1 CV Step Sequencer

  1. Does anyone know if it’s possible to use the little knobs on the SQ-1 to control the low pass filter on an analogue synth?

    On all the demonstrations I’ve seen, those knobs are used for controlling the pitch rather than the filter or other synth parameters. I was wondering if it’s possible to use midi on the SQ-1 to control the notes while simultaneously using CV to control the low pass cutoff.

    I don’t own any step sequencers, but I get the impression that separate control of the low pass is possible with the Beatstep pro and Dark Time sequencers. Is tha same true of the SQ-1?

    1. As long as the synth has a patch point for the filter cut-off, you can control it with CV — so yes, it is absolutely possible. The sequencer only has 1 or 2 “tracks” depending on which mode you are in. If you want 16 steps, the midi output will be identical to the CV output. If you can work with 8 steps, then you can vary the signals getting sent to the pitch and filter cut-off.

      1. One of my favourite uses of the SQ-1 is sequencing the highness-filter on my MS-20 mini. When you crank up the resonance you get some awesome punchy oscillations going on…

  2. The reason I’m not concerned about the built-in non-synced free-running LFOs in synths like the MS-20/mini/M is that the SQ-1 is absolutely perfect for this job and a whole lot more. A lot of people see a sequencer and they think pitch but man as a mod source it’s wicked. It’s cheap too.

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