Bimini Road: The Gemini Sequencer (Current Version: 1.0)

    My flight deck. Still many improvements to come, but it's at a really great spot right now. I'd love any and all feedback. Built to be very live-performance friendly. See my thought process on the design below - I'd highly suggest reading through it - I know it's long - but you'll come away with an understanding that might not be evident from just twiddling the knobs. I left things unlabeled because it looks cleaner and with a few minutes of usage it'll become clear what everything is.

    Also NOTE: if you want the base pitch set to 440Hz, you have to go into the design and look for all the 432's and change them. I prefer the sound of 432Hz, but realize that that doesn't play well with certain other instruments. If y'all find it really difficult to search for and replace the numbers, I'll upload a 440Hz version, but I would seriously encourage you to explore the guts anyway (if only because I spent hours making it look all pretty and well-laid out).

    From left to right (and mirrored right to left):
    1-@afta8's key snapper
    2-My Gatekeeper Clock Sequencer (1-8 steps are on left, 9-16 are on the right, step length knob above)
    3-Next knob over is clock speed
    4-The output hole is the 0-24 quantized step from Sequencer B
    5-Next knob is step length for Sequencer A
    6-Momentary reset switch
    7-Sync switch - syncs Seq B to Seq A's gate (blue = sync; pink = Gate B active)
    8-Dual LED lanes - visualizes the relative stepping of both sequencers
    9-The knob field - the heart of the sequencer - quantized Hz out (thanks @JDRaoul)
    10-The switch field - turns individual steps on and off (LED turns off too!)

    1- If you want to make music that's not always ear-bendingly experimental, the key snapper is great. What I wanted was to be able to quickly twist some knobs and get a melody going without having to tune each step. As it just so happened, the inimitable @afta8 had just the trick already. An added bonus is that if you use #4 from above - the output from the opposite sequencer - and set the sequence so that the knob is being "turned" mid-step, you get a funky whipping sound as it snaps from one note to the other. It's a neat artifact that can add some cool musicality (see "Randonneur" posted earlier for an illustration of what this sounds like - it works especially well with delay).

    For key input numbers, refer to @afta8's original post:

    2- The Gatekeeper (posted earlier as its own patch) is meant to do all sorts of funky stuff to the clock. You can swing (though it is a pretty hard swing - not as fine-grained as some other swing solutions that have been posted here), but I think what's even better is you can do just totally unexpected clock dances with it. The thing is pretty new to me (just conceived it last night), so I'm no pro at using it, but I have noticed that setting to odd steps gets the best results. The minimum step is 2 because you need an on/off cycle for the gate to work, so the LED featured on the step 1 switch serves as a visual indicator of the clock's rhythm.

    3- Clock speed - well, this is just tempo, right? No explanation necessary.

    4- Seq output - This is the really exciting part about The Gemini, and what can break up the often repetitive sound of a "straight" sequencer. For example, start by doing this: set Seq A's tempo to 8, and Seq B's tempo to 1. Set the gate sequencers so that they match one another. Draw a patch cable down from Seq A's output to step 1 and step 9. Hit the reset button to sync. Feed the Hz and Gate out from Seq A to a synth. Now, Seq B's odd steps will alter Seq A's step 1, while its even steps will alter Seq A's step 9. If the step length for both seq's are set to 16, you've just virtually expanded the length of your sequence to 128 steps. More steps are possible by increasing the difference in tempo. Keeping them proportional makes sure they sync up - but don't be afraid to let them run at different speeds! In fact, if you do, you'll get a never-repeating yet controlled generative sequence - ESPECIALLY if you set Seq B's clock to some crazy different pattern than Seq A's clock.

    Refer to this post for some examples of what you can do with the Seq output - Low Frequency Escalator is great example. There is really only 1 synth voice playing (albeit with 3 oscillators)

    5- Step length - 1-16, boring, moving on.

    6- Momentary reset switch - This is great for syncing up Seq A and B - but don't be boring and just use it to initialize the sequence - it's meant to be pushed at ANY time - adds to the performance - you play it how you like.

    7- Sync switch - this makes Seq B a slave to Seq A's gate. Fun idea: set Seq B's gate to something completely different, then toggle the sync switch. This box wants to be touched all over!

    8- Dual LED lanes - You will immediately understand why this was a good idea when you start using it. It just adds a little more information, showing more clearly where each sequence is relative to the other, while, of course, adding more blinky blinkies.

    9- The knob field - Arranged so as to be tightly fitted and easily twiddled on an iPhone screen. This is of course where you set the notes. 2 octave range. Want more than that? I don't care, add it yourself ;)

    10- The switch field - controls each step - I decided it was better to separate the knobs and the switches because it makes for better playability on the iPhone. Plus, do you really need the switches to be exactly below the knob to know which one you're turning off? Of course you don't. Turn off the step and it turns that step into a "rest." ALSO PLEASE NOTE: THE LED TURNS OFF TOO!!!! That took a long, long time to do, wiring up all that shit!
  • Wow. Just spent a few minutes playing with it:

    - I really like the Gate Keeper. Clever and easy to program. When I finally wrap my head around it I think it'll be quite powerful
    - I've never seen a UI this complex in Audulus. I may have to get the desktop version so I can try my hand, but then I'd be tempted to play with it more than I already am. During work..

    Will keep playing. Definitely taxes my iPad 4's UI resources, but the CPU load is around 16% or so.
  • @jjthrash - thanks for testing it out! It is kind of a resource hog, but if you pair it with Trismegiste (just posted), you can run both on the iPhone 5 and get fat, huge-sounding shit like the demo tunes I posted earlier running at about 30%-ish CPU. I made sure you could at least use 2 Trismegistes with the The Gemini on an iPhone.

    And just remember - I'm using an iPhone 5C! (and only at 12%?! how's that possible?) God, I'd love to play with this baby on an iPad. If we perfect the translation of digital gate and Hz signals to analog gear, there would be almost no reason to use hardware sequencers anymore. The sky is literally the limit with Audulus. This is just the beginning for The Gemini, too...
  • Cool! This looks like a nice little pocket sequencer.. Nice GUI design and kudos to you for putting it together on an iPhone.. Not quite got my head around the gatekeeper but I will play with it some more.. Nice use of my Scale Mapper too!

    If you want to save CPU you might want to consider using the poly nodes to get multiple data streams.. I did that to create a 4 channel drum sequencer using only one seq16 node:

    Anyway welcome to the hooked on Audulus club! :)
  • @afta8 - I've seen that sequencer and I also want to work its save/load function into my stuff but I feel like I have to study it more and wrap my head around it! I'm always so blown away by your designs.

    Are you saying you can get a sequencer node, with poly nodes, to act as if it were multiple sequencers? My question would be if they can run at different tempos (and not just proportional *2 or /2 tempos...)?
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