Fyrd Instruments’ MTRX is a beautiful-looking, boutique hardware sequencer. But its one drawback had been the 8-step sequencer. Now, this should give you steps: think four simultaneous sequences, 32 steps, and the ability to output on the MIDI port and USB port simultaneously.

Commenters frequently complain that technology for its own sake gets in the way of music. Well, that may be so, but here, the sequence sounds excellent. Our own MeeBlip (in the older SE version) joins some other great hardware and software: the Shruthi open source hardware, Native Instruments’ Monark, and Madrona Labs’ Aalto – three of my favorite synths. (By the way, hearing it again, the SE-generation MeeBlip sounds good, but I can confidently say I think anode sounds better; it’s now shipping and we’ll have it at Musikmesse this week.)

You get robust sequencing on all four sequencers:

– pitch, velocity, octave, duration
– shift (small delay of each step)
– bend (pitch wheel sequencing – Slide/Glide effect)
– active step selection, loop length
– speed (1/32th, 1/16th, 1/8th, 1/4th)
– warp (forward/backward/ping-pong/random)

And there’s a new MTRX-S, replacing the previous MTRX-8. That’s “S” as in “small” – the MTRX-S is more compact than the original, but otherwise identical. Pre-orders are now 249 €.



Curious about the MTRX sequencer? I wrote a review for DE:BUG here in Germany, which you can read in either English or German:



Spoiler alert:

The only real issue with the MTRX-8 is that you may find the button-and-jog wheel scheme limiting, and wish that you had more controls – and less paging through menus. But if your primary application for a step sequencer is fine-tuned control of dance patterns and bass lines, the MTRX-8 is a bargain.

Now, I think those tradeoffs are even less of an issue once you have access to these four sequencers and 32 steps. Most hardware sequencers available today are pricey affairs. That makes this a really wise choice; I can see why the last run sold out.

  • Taylor

    Looks great! Does the step duration delay the next step? That would be really great for non-uniform timing (and not having to mute multiple steps).

    • http://www.fyrd-instruments.com Fyrd Instruments

      Actually it doesn’t. But delaying a step is made really easy with the SHIFT page where you can delay each step individually.

      Fun fact: I’m currently working on the next interface for the MTRX (the custom interface) and I’m programming some Max/M4L patches of the Roland system 100M 185 RYK sequencer with something similar to use with the MTRX. The main concept is the “stage”, a kind of step that has its own duration and gate mode. Intellijel has released a similar sequencer called the Metropolis.

      Also, to clarify things a little: the Jam Machine interface (as seen in the previous CDM post and in the de:bug/CDM review) is still available. You can switch from one interface to the other by loading a new firmware in the MTRX. So it’s like having multiple gear in one box 😉

  • Percivale

    Less impressive demo than the first. It has a interface which you either click with or do not. Nice to see improvements made =)

  • demetriusb

    I love my MTRX-8. From a “sketch” perspective, it’s fun. I’ve been able to create some very innovative sequences that I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.