A sequencer is a piece of hardware/software that allows the user to record a musical performance without an audio input source. The sequences are not recorded as audio, but rather as a series of instructions on events that will be played. The sequencer will then convey those instructions to a device with an audio output. Nowadays MIDI is the standard for this procedure.

...Let us not forget video sequencers, light sequencers (neon, incandescent, and EL wire). Not all MIDI, some are CV or DMX-512.

A lot of folks use their computer as their MIDI sequencer. This saves them a lot of money versus a stand-alone sequencer, and it allows them to upgrade as newer technology is developed.

Many keyboards have built-in sequencers, albeit limited versions. Sequencers based on software and a sound card or dedicated MIDI card are low-cost, high-quality solutions to assembling an inexpensive music studio.

When buying sequencers, look for the following items:

  • Integration
    Try to get sequencers that work well with other systems and software. Sequencers that let you assign patches using names rather than MIDI channels and program IDs can help reduce errors and confusion. I personally use Cakewalk, but there are a large assortment available. Read before buying: Thomas Dolby, for example, once said, "You can tell an amateur by looking at their hard drive and finding Cubase."

  • Upgradeability
    If it's not upgradeable, you're stuck with it. You will end up tossing it in a closet when you need something that is more up-to-date. Save your money, get something that can be made useful over and over again.

  • Notation Capable
    Being able to view notation, or even better being able to print a copy, lets you view and archive lead sheets.

  • Computer Shortcuts
    You will find it is faster to hit alt-S than it is to use your mouse. When working with a tune, don't get distracted trying to surf your mouse pointer to a particular spot... just use a keyboard shortcut. Learn them, for they are your friends.

  • Used Versions
    Save some cash, buy a used version if you can. This will allow you to get better hardware with the savings. Look at places like eBay or other auction sources.
  • The second full-length studio album from Swedish EBM band Covenant, released in 1996. A first edition of the CD was only printed in 250 copies, because a mastering fault was found in Tabula Rasa. The second edition was identical to the first, except for the error of course.

    In 1997 Sequencer was re-released, under the name Sequencer Beta, with a slightly different track listing as one track was added to the album.

     

    Track listing:

    1. Feedback
    2. Stalker
    3. Figurehead
    4. Phoenix
    5. Slowmotion
    6. Tabula Rasa
    7. Storm
    8. Flux

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