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When the classic MS-20 analog synthesizer appeared in 1978, it had a trusted partner in the SQ-10 step sequencer. Now, after thirty years, the MS-20 has been reborn as the MS-20 mini, and the SQ-10 has evolved into the more modern SQ-1.
The SQ-1 is a compact step sequencer with 2 x 8 steps. It's wealth of connection jacks allows it to be connected to the MS-20 and a variety of other synthesizers. Vintage analog synths or the latest compact synths can be controlled from this single unit. You can also switch between a variety of synthesizer modes and use the step buttons to create performances overflowing with spontaneity, just as when using a volca unit.
Liberate yourself from the numerically-bound parameter editing that's typical on a DAW; you'll enjoy truly musical inspiration as you train your ears and concentrate on what your fingertips are doing. Don't miss the experience of music that's driven by your instinct.
Rather than the commonly used V/Oct standard, the CV design of the MS-20 always used the Hz/V standard that provides excellent pitch stability limiting the step sequencers that are able to correctly control the MS-20. As a descendant of the SQ-10, the SQ-1 supports the Hz/V standard, enabling it to perfectly control the MS-20 or MS-20 mini. It goes without saying the V/Oct standard is also supported, and the voltage level of the CV output and polarity of the GATE output can be specified as appropriate for the device you've connected. This versatility will enable you to control a wide variety of other synthesizers as well.
As a connector, the SQ-1 provides two CV/GATE OUT channels, the standard MIDI OUT and USB MIDI, littleBits out (to connect to the littleBits synth kit by littleBits Electronics Inc.), plus the SYNC IN/OUT channel that allows you to connect to the volca series and monotribe. Compact and complete with all the functions you need, the SQ-1 is the ideal hardware sequencer.
The SQ-1 provides two channels (A and B) of 8-step sequencer that can operate consecutively, or be used in a variety of other modes. For example, you can run A and B following each other to function as a 16-step sequencer, ignore the order and make the steps play randomly, or use A and B to control different parameters as they run in parallel. From simple sequences to complex changes, you can choose from a variety of modes to suit your needs.
The 2 x 8 step buttons can be used in the usual way to turn notes on/off, but you can also use the MODE button to switch their function, opening up powerful possibilities such as letting you "perform" the sequence itself, as on a volca unit.
"Active Step" lets you skip steps mid-way through a sequence, and "Step Jump" lets you instantly play just the step that you press, producing irregular rhythms or effects that are reminiscent of short loops. "Slide" produces an effect in which steps are connected smoothly; using this to control a synth bass is an easy way for anyone to generate an acid sound.
Packed with carefully selected functionality, the SQ-1 features a compact and very sturdy sheet-metal body. Placed beside the MS-20 series, you'll notice a sense of solidity that gives the impression they were manufactured in the same era. The unit can operate on two AA batteries or on USB bus power.
Sequence step resolution is selectable as quarter notes, eighth notes, or 16th notes.
You can specify the way in which the step knobs control the pitch. The knob values can specify the pitch directly, or they can specify the closest note in a major, minor, or chromatic scale.