PhiLiZound Software
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Page updated: 5-Jan-2017

Sequetron

Downloads   Operation   History   MIDI drivers   Video demos   Audio demos

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What if you could record & multi-track directly on your music keyboard while you are playing it, without ever touching a computer keyboard or mouse?

Sequetron is a program with a twist; designed as a live instrument for hands-on use, all played & controlled from where your hands are - the music keyboard. It runs from switch-on with no interaction, and converts the simplest MIDI keyboard or device into a multi-track recording, playback & looping instrument.

It has sequencer-like functions but is radically different to other programs as it is completely controlled using series of music notes called command sequences.  There is no difference between commands and music - they are all sequences, hence the name... it can even control itself.

This fresh approach involved first designing a command language based on musical notes, and only then writing a program to interpret it. The computer now takes a back seat, so it really is a different concept...
A front-end instrument for ideas & inspiration... and fun!

The screen, mouse & qwerty keyboard are used for configuration & maintenance (the screen provides status info and customary flashing lights during normal operation)...  but none of them are essential.

LE version running 4 sequences/tracks

Sequetron LE v13.21 running 4 seqs


Full version running 7 (of 16) sequences/tracks

Sequetron 13.21 running 7 seqs

The input can be any simple MIDI keyboard or device, and the output can be any MIDI device(s) such as synthesizers, drum machines, light displays etc.

Sequences can be recorded in real-time or step-time, played back, looped and altered (channel, velocity, pitch, mute etc.), either individually or in any combination, but unlike hardware sequencers, there is no concept of 'steps', nor do the sequences have to be monophonic; any notes & chords can be used. They can also be saved to standard MIDI files for further processing by other programs.

User-defined drum patterns with on-the-fly editing
(user-defined bass patterns/riffs also possible)

Drum style patterns

This hands-on ability to record, play & alter different length sequences starting at different times on-the-fly gives Sequetron an unusual syncopated feel, encouraging you to experiment with overlaying and controlling patterns; even the most basic 1, 2 or 3-note sequences can create something totally unexpected...

...and if you don't like hands-on, you can automate multiple commands with macros triggered by CC messages, e.g. from foot pedals, rotary controls etc.

Macro/CC mapper

Sequetron can also generate and record hotkeys, giving full control over Windows or any application which uses keyboard shortcuts, e.g. for stepping through a slide/video show in time with your music.

A fully working Sample Aid tool for sampling/auditioning MIDI instruments is included with both full & LE versions.

Downloads   Operation   History   Top

The 'customary flashing lights'

Configuration files for these are available in the downloads section.

Colors-Blueish

Colors-Dark

Or use the sequescope as inspiration...

Sequescope resized with overlaid image

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Dynamic templates

The built-in template window updates in real-time, and provides a basic virtual keyboard for test-driving without the need for a MIDI input device.

Sequetron + Template screenshot

A similar system is available to remote programs or devices supporting the keyboard label link (KLink) sysex protocol, e.g. the RTastra MIDI controller shown below. The KLink spec & program are available from RTastra

RTastra screenshot

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Video Demos

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Audio Demos

Click the Play button flash-player buttons if visible, otherwise click the mp3 links.

A promising backing track   mp3
One sequence has been pitch-locked to contrast with the others when they are shifted; slight dischord at 00:40, but this is all part of the fun. Strings at 00:50 were some rough(!) & ready improvs.

Cyclic pitch commands in action   mp3
This is all running 'hands-free'; a couple of sequences are automatically switching between 2 pitch offsets.
 
Cyclic play & mute, cyclic pitch & time-shift  mp3
Three snippets from the same session using the cyclic play & mute, cyclic pitch and time-shift commands on some existing sequences; the strings at the end were live.

Building sequences step-by-step from scratch:
(also shown in the Mk I overview video and described in the tutorial)
  1. mp3 - Start metronome & record sequence 1 (4 notes), then press Play to stop & play immediately. My slight mis-timing during the record cycle is automatically fixed by the quantiser.
  2. mp3 - Pitch key pressed to shift all tracks currently playing.
  3. mp3 - Sequence 2 (same 4 notes as 1) has been recorded in sync & stopped along with metronome; Seq2 & Play keys pressed to start seq 2 on the off-beat of seq 1.
  4. mp3 - Pitch key pressed to shift all tracks currently playing down 3 semitones & back again.
  5. mp3 - Seq2 & Pitch keys pressed to shift sequence 2 up by 3 semitones, then back again. Did you predict what this will sound like before playing it?
  6. mp3 - Pitch all down & re-introduce metronome as a bass, then repeat.
  7. mp3 - Tempo keys pressed to speed up, then a few pitch changes.
  8. mp3 - A few more tweaks; something developing?
  9. mp3   later  mp3 - Manual play (I use the term loosely) on the same keyboard...a melody somewhere?
  10.   mp3 - A similar sequence using a different synth patch.
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Minimum system requirements

Windows XP and later.

Tested ok on:-

MIDI hardware or software equivalent:-


Downloads

5-Jan-2017
Sequetron LE V14.07 (see below for full version)
Documentation V14.07 (required for both LE & full versions)
The documentation is an installable package, but these free-standing docs can be viewed on any platform if reqd.

Mods history for recent program changes.
(older history)

Examples from users (change-log): configs, screenshots, MIDI files, icons, docs etc.
User demos (video & audio)
Contact me if you want to share anything.

The LE version is free; if you pass it on please keep the package intact. It handles fewer seqs & has less command variations than the full version, but is fully usable with no time limits or nag screens. Ideal for synths with limited polyphony, such as the microKORG.

The Full version is GBP 20 (currency converter), payment via PayPal to:  patipping at gmail dot com (replace 'at' and 'dot' to make a valid email address); once payment is received, a full Sequetron registered in your name will be emailed to you. This is normally with 24 hours - sometimes within the hour if I catch the payment notification email. Any problems, contact me via email address shown at bottom of page.
...or get a full version free by entering this competition

Why upgrade to the Full version?

Free upgrades, plus...
More features, e.g...
More run-time commands/options, e.g...  
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Installing

Windows may prompt for permission to install using various messages...
Once installed, Sequetron can be started via Start, Programs etc.
When started, click Settings, Ports to select your MIDI input & output devices and click Run. You no longer need to touch the PC; your music keyboard will act as a self-controlled sequencer-like instrument.

You can save this configuration so it will auto-run in future, allowing completely hands-free operation from power-on; more details in the configuration guide.

There is a troubleshooting guide if you get stuck.
Please contact me if you have any problems.

Uninstalling

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MIDI drivers & internal synths

If you are using an internal driver to convert MIDI to sound, the standard Windows driver (Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth) is not recommended due to its poor response time/latency.  One free alternative is mudlord's BASSMIDI driver configured with Rich Nagel's WeedsGM3 sound font.

N.B.1
BASSMIDI v1.06 is reputed to have the fastest response time, but has only been verified with Sequetron on Windows XP.
v2.02 is not recommended as it crashes Sequetron on WinXP.
The latest version as at May 2012 is v3.0 which has been verified with Sequetron on WinXP. It seems to have a similar response time to v1.06, so may be a better choice if you can't get v1.06 working (always unload old drivers and reboot before installing new ones).

If there are any problems downloading these versions from mudlord's site, my local copies are here:  v1.06   v3.0

N.B.2 If you install BASSMIDI you must also install a sound font, such as WeedsGM3, otherwise the driver will not make any sounds!  Once you've installed BASSMIDI, download & run WeedsGM3 to unpack it into a folder of your choice (don't use a system folder to avoid permission problems), then find the BassMidi configuration option in the Start, Programs menu and add/apply the sound font.

Phil Tipping, 2017