Polyend SEQ Review – One Sequencer To Rule Them All?

The latest loopop video takes a look at the Polyend SEQ – a finely-crafted 32 step, 8-track polyphonic step sequencer. Video Summary:

The most obvious feature of Polyend’s SEQ sequencer is the 8-track, 32-step grid, along with a great looking aluminum and oak exterior. However, the abundance of control and charm come at a steep price. Is it worth it?

In this video I give a thorough in depth look at SEQ, and it’s companion MIDI to CV eurorack module POLY, testing the sequencing of hardware, modular and software instruments.

On the software side, sequencing is quite simple. SEQ can send MIDI data via USB and supports sequencing on 16 separate MIDI channels, nicely controlling Spitfire Audio’s Albion One orchestra.

On the hardware side, I test SEQ’s ability to simultaneously sequence standalone synths and eurorack modules using its companion POLY module. Using all three outputs – USB and two MIDI ports – SEQ is able to orchestrate the Novation Circuit, Elektron Digitone, Moog Mother-32 and DFAM, and Plaits from Mutable Instruments, with many channels to spare.

Polyend’s POLY eurorack MIDI to CV module works nicely as well, both complementing SEQ and as a standalone module. In the video I show how it can be used to play the three oscillators on Mother-32 and DFAM polyphonically.

SEQ emphasizes simplicity over features. Advanced sequencers such as those in Elektron machines have a longer checklist of features, but there’s something about the broad view of multiple patterns at once, sprinkled with a few nifty tricks for quick and easy sequencing, that creates a very compelling environment for live performance.

Price and Availability

SEQ is available for US $1299 and POLY for $399. See the Polyend site for details.

9 thoughts on “Polyend SEQ Review – One Sequencer To Rule Them All?

  1. > One Sequencer To Rule Them All?
    nope, because you cannot (so far) use chords of your own choice per step.

    1. Official info from Polyend. Chord function is located under Note knob + step button. Gives you access to a list of 29 predefined chords which are available per step. The predefined chords per step were implemented because when you’re recording chords into Seq from an external MIDI controller, they are consuming as many tracks as the chord consists of notes. If the predefined chords that we’ve implemented to be available per step are too limited for you please remember that you can set another track playing on the same instrument and add single notes in the steps corresponding to the first track’s chords and make your own. If adding notes to chords still seems a limited option, try to add whole another chord. Yes very limited indeed…

    2. Yeah seams more like a monophonic sequencer. It does not lead it self to sequencing poly or drum tracks with one note per step. I could see this being fun with a modular set up with sharing the clock. To bad they don’t have at least a clock out.

  2. It looks like very good device, but the price is its killer. They keep adding features and it is nice, but with this price it will never be a mass product. It would have some potential if priced below $500, but it is probably too late…

  3. I want one. I think the reason is that I’m a visual person and having that grid in front of me like that works for me. I looked at videos of the cirklon and squarp but those look too menu driven for my way of working. I agree its expensive though…

  4. Ok, I dunno why my last comment was deleted. Let’s talk about why a $1200 sequencer only does 8 tracks. That makes zero sense. It has 2 MIDI OUTS. This is not intelligent design. It’s so limited it’s ridiculous. So what’s the other MIDI OUT DIN for? Convenience? I guess…So it basically has a built in THRU. That’s what I get for $1200? I use the Deluge. It has unlimited tracks of unlimited length. Oh and it’s a synth. And a sampler. And it costs less. So someone enlighten me on how this device is worth even a third of what they’re charging. I guess I’m paying for that wood trim. That Medusa thing they’re going to make is probably limited to 8 tracks as well. What they ought to do is develop a firmware update that allows you to scroll the tracks up and down. At least make it 32-tracks if you’re going to have 2 MIDI OUTs. If each MIDI DIN was a discrete MIDI network and allowed addressing of 32 separate MIDI channels then you’d have something of value.

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