If we’re living in a golden age of resurgent synthesizers, we’re also in the midst of a renaissance in step sequencers.
Faced with the challenge of making machines make musical sense, the lowly step sequencer – a kind of relic from the days of more primitive hardware – is getting renewed. The latest example is Mark Eats Sequencer, a labor of love for the monome platform.
And just as we’ve seen with Tomash Ghzegovskyy and Traktor or Julien Fayard and his MTRX-8, this is not so much about reinventing the sequencer so much as getting as much mileage as possible from an economical set of controls. It’s refinement, not revolution.
But what Mark Eats Sequencer isn’t is a Max patch or a cobbled-together rapid prototype. Its creator, Mark Wheeler, says he wanted a robust, native, feature-complete app. And he’s packed a lot of functionality into the app, as well as keeping to the tradition of the monome’s emphasis on live improvisation, not only tinkering.
“There’s also a unique focus on jamming and performing with loops as soon as you’ve made them, to hopefully encourage a bit more experimenting in the studio,” he tells CDM. “Personally I find that the most fun!”
Up to 16 patterns per channel
Adjust note length and velocity
Play forward, reverse, random or slice
MLR-style looping and scrubbing
MIDI clock sync
Cut, copy and paste patterns
Save and load song files
Supports all monomes
Now in beta on Mac.
Download the software or learn more:
One other aspect I wanted to mention was that although the app is free (like most software from the awesome monome community), I’m encouraging people to donate to charity if they like the app or would like to see a particular feature added. It’s early days but I’m hoping it works out well!
That is really charity – think OxFam – not the developer as charity. It’s a nice gesture.