Make Noise has introduced a new version of their René Eurorack step sequencer.… Read More Make Noise René Sequencer Updated
Forget about gear fetish: the delightful surprise behind the modular movement is that a whole bunch of people are interested in exploring weird new musical ideas. And one of the sequencer modules at the heart of it is getting a big refresh.
The René module wouldn’t strike anyone as something that’d turn into a big hit. This is an esoteric little device: a grid of touchplates and a bunch of knobs, which you then spaghetti-wire into other modules to make, uh, odd patterns.
But making weird patterns you can then shift around – well, that’s a lot of fun. And René liberated modular rigs from one of their major weaknesses: too often, people were stuck with rigid step sequencers that produced overly repetitive loops that would drive you insane. Basically, the “Cartesian” bit is, instead of having a line (those marching steps), you get a grid (x + Y).
So, here comes the René refresh. This is three-dimensional chess to the original model’s checkers.
The new model is three channels instead of one, three dimensional sequencing instead of two, and boasts expanded memory so you can save up to 64 states – no more long modular performances that sound great for the first three minutes and then … sort of exactly like that for the next hour, too.
This “three-axis” business is maybe a little exaggerated, but basically what you get is z-axis touch sensitivity, so added expression. Combine that with three channels of output, though, and you can in fact route a lot more control from this one module than before. And no doubt the additional memory will be useful in performance.
Here’s the full feature set:
- 3 CV outputs for controlling pitch or timbre
- 3 Gate outputs for generating musical events
- Snake and Cartesian patterns available simultaneously
- STORE all Programming in one of 64 STATEs.
- New Z-Axis allows for modulating through any combination of 64 STOREd STATEs
- All programming done real-time, programming of René is a key performance element
- Visualization of pattern activity always displayed on left half with 16 illuminated Knobs
- Visual indication of Programming always displayed on right half with 16 illuminated touch buttons
- Communicates w/ TEMPI via Select Bus to Select, Store, Revert, Multi-Paste and MESH STATEs
- Maximum amount of artist controlled musical variation, derived from minimum amount of analog data input
- All new touch sensing technology tested successfully on the most commonly used euro rack power solutions
Of course, since the René first came out, it’s gotten a lot more competition. So it could be fun to see how this stacks up against other modular (and desktop, or software, even) sequencers.
René is available to preorder for US$525.
Since that’s my monthly rent, it’s worth saying Eurorack is still pricey relative to some lower-cost desktop hardware, to say nothing of computers. Clever software patching is great if you’re broke, or if you’ve a little scratch, something like Five12 Numerology.
But that said, this no doubt will go high on people’s shopping lists in the modular world – and it’s an impressive piece of work. Look forward to seeing more.
Oh yeah – there’s a GIF, too.
The post A favorite sequencer gets more dimension: new Make Noise René appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.
The latest Novation live stream focuses on Circuit 1.7. … Read More Novation’s September ‘Beats and Bytes’ Session Asks, What Is Your Sequencer Doing?
At Knobcon 2018, Circuit Happy introduced The Missing Link – a way to bring Ableton Link to your analog gear.… Read More The Missing Link Brings Ableton Link To Analog Gear
We got a preview of the next firmware update, 2.1, from Synthstrom’s Ian Jorgensen. New features include a waveform editor view, multi-sample import, streamlined kit building and more. … Read More Synthstrom Audio Deluge 2.1 Sneak Preview From Knobcon 2018
This video is a quick review of the Zoom ARQ-96 – a unique drum machine, sequencer, synthesizer, looper, and MIDI controller.… Read More Zoom ARQ-96 Review
Here’s a look at sequencing with a Roland MSQ-700, a vintage 8-track MIDI sequencer. … Read More Vintage Sequencing With A Roland MSQ-700 Sequencer
Developer Vladimir Pantelic shared this demo of the Euclidean Circles v2 – an updated version of his 6-channel 16-step Euclidean rhythm generator.… Read More Euclidean Circles v2 Adds User Sequences & More
While the video focuses on the Digitakt, many of the features he covers are shared by other Elektron instruments. … Read More How To Use Trig Conditions With The Elektron Digitakt
The monome made history by transforming the virtual world of the computer into a low-fidelity grid of lights and buttons. But it’s no less magical today – especially in the hands of stretta.
Matthew Davidson has been an innovative developer of patches for the monome since its early days. And that’s a principle innovation of the hardware: by reducing the “screen” to a minimal on/off grid, and lighting buttons independently from your input, the monome becomes a distillation of the ideas in a particular computer patch. Just like a fretboard or the black and white keys of a grand piano, a music box roll or the notes on a staff, it’s an abstraction of the music itself. And its simplicity is part of its power – a simplicity that a mouse and a high-definition color display lack.
Matthew is using some features the first-generation monome didn’t have – the varibright lights, and a recommended 128-format grid. But otherwise, this riffs on the original idea.
And remember last week when we covered Berkelee College of Music introducing study of electronic instruments? Well, Davidson has developed a whole series of these kind of clever inventions as a set of studies in grid performance.
That is, the choice of Bach is fitting. This is classical grid from a virtuoso, a Well-Tempered Monome if you like.
Check out the full gridlab collection:
Updated: so what about other grids?
Via social media, Matthew Davidson elaborates on why this setup requires the monome – which still says a lot about the uniqueness of the monome design:
First up is 64 buttons versus 512. It’ll work on a 128 kinda, barely, but it is awkward. An implementation of a fold mode might make that useable.
Second is the protocol. The monome protocol provides the ability to update a quadrant with a simple, compact message. This is what is used to achieve the fluidity. If you want to update the entire grid of a Launchpad, you have to send 64 individual messages, one for each LED.
Lastly is the issue of MIDI devices and M4L. The monome uses serialosc to communicate. Because of this, a monome M4L device can send and receive MIDI data at the same time as sending a receiving button/led data.
[Reproduced with permission.]
Of course, if you have other DIY ideas here, we’d love to hear them!
The post Watch an Ableton Live sequence made physical on the monome grid appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.