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  The Accord Sequarallel
Eurorack Module
by SDS Digital
 

The Sequarallel CV to Chords Sequencer module may be perfect for you!
 

Introducing the SDS Digital Accord Series Sequarallel!

One thing that we hear a lot from modular enthusiasts is how daunting it is to use a computer while performing. I myself have done this and it doesn't always work out as expected. It's especially difficult to load & run sequences from a dark screen outdoors, or amongst a mess of haphazard wires strewn about the stage, you get the picture.

In our constant endeavor to oust the computer from the world of modular we have come up with another module that replaces sequencer software. OK, a DAW MIDI player is still preferable to play the MIDI that Sequarallel can record, but modular clocked MIDI, tracker sequences, and Layered MIDI can be recorded directly from a keyboard or controller if that's more your application.
There is enough on-board memory to record many hours of MIDI sequences, loops, layers, and tracks.

What Does This Module do?
The Sequarallel is, from the panel point of view, a 4 CV channel + MIDI Sequencer that will play your VCO's and envelope generators or filters like a pro!
Traditional Sequencers are fine for stepped beats running on a clock but creating the sequence is both time consuming and very tweaky. In many applications they have their place, but for a truly complex and intricate sequence, it seems we always turn to the computer, then patch it's output to a converter for gates, triggers and CV's for modular.

The computer, musically, is outstanding in it's own world but can rob you of creativity due to it's workflow and distraction of vast lists of possibilities.

This module bypasses all of the hardware/software and does the sequences on it's own! In standby it can still keep up with the best of MIDI2CV modules, but with stand-alone sequencing it really shines! Sequences can be modified via Note Transforms like Mirror, proximity scaling, inversion, probability, glide, glissando, pitch bend, and Transpose. Most of these can be controlled with a CV input to one of the 3 bi-directional jacks, or with the MIDI Remote function from any MIDI controller or keyboard.

There's Selectable Global Automation recording, for MIDI or internal FX, multiple sequencer tracks with adjustable on-board FX, and an intuitive Play List to create a song from all of the loops, TRAX, and MIDI Layers, that is very editable and modifiable.
As quoted "The Sequarallel is basically a DAW in 8HP!"

Looping?
Up to 17 Song Loop/Jump markers can be set within a recorded MIDI Song. TRAX Tracker' Sequencers (up to 5 at once from a selection of 40 per Song Project) Loop Sizes can vary dynamically from 1 to 64 steps, repeat x times and can be controlled per Play List block using PLFX, or remotely. Live MIDI Recorded Layers can be any size or set as a multiple of other tracks so everything is easy to sync. The Playlist groups (of blocks) will loop depending on the sequential block's positions. If there is no active block to fall into in the Play List, each track will loop to the top of that group until armed elsewhere.  This means there is a pointer for each track and they can be all different sizes. Conditional blocks can control the group looping by pausing for X bars, or waiting for other tracks to trigger continuation.

Layering?
There can be up to 4 tracks of Layered MIDI sequences up to 8 layers deep (32 Layers, play heads)
Each track has it's own loop-step-sequencer with programmable bars-per-step up to 8 steps.  Up to 4 of these sequencers can be created per track. Each bars-step offers muting of individual layers so the build can be "pulled apart" as a break down method, or alternated / stacked to build a passage or alternate version. In addition to this, each step has an FX bundle for transpose, solo, opt-in for SongFX control and note re-triggering with SongFX sub-sequencers.

Layer recording can be left on with an intelligent insertion without any degradation or memory use from un-used loops making it a powerful inspiration tool... or can be set to do a 1-shot from the first MIDI message or even a clock start. Remote piano keys or controllers can be assigned to control Layer solo, mute, record and removal.

Sequencing?
Besides the real-time MIDI Recording and Layering features, the Sequarallel has 5 unique 4 Lane Wide TRAX tracker-style sequencers. From 1 to 64 steps at any clock ratio, notes can be added one at a time, or played in via MIDI to be quantized into the sequence live.
Each TRAX tracker has it's own FX pool of 8 FX configuration bundles that can be applied by the note, lane, or group of steps. Some of these FX are Echo or Ratcheting with pitch-step option, micro-arping, gate bridging, randomization, probability, glide, MIDI CC values, ducking, instrument change, tuning...

Remote Control?
For the TRAX Trackers, while in Record, special keyboard keys can erase sections of sequence, stack lanes, and overlay notes without changing FX, lengths, or velocities, making it perfect for an ever-morphing clock-accurate sequence for Live embellishment.
There is also a legacy mode used along with record that allows MIDI CC knobs to control each individual step's pitch, length, delay, & NoteFX selection.

For the entire module, nearly every parameter can be controlled with CC's & Note On/Off on the selected Remote Channel. This is done by the "MIDI Learn" method so you can set only the ones you want to use in a project, or fall through to a global set with common controls. All fully configurable. Note on/off's can set a state or value you taught it, and if held for 3/4 second the released will return to original value at learning time.

There is also a track remote that can overlay keyboard (notes) remote assignment from an offset to toggle/reset solo/mute/gated de-mute/gated FX/record and transport style main play/stop

MIDI MPE Compatible?
Yes, the Sequarallel will accept MPE format (and detect zone configuration messages) for up to 4 note zones on the panel. Zones larger than 4 notes will still be sent on through MIDI out. All 4 rows can be configured to proper channels by selecting MPE0 or MPE1.
Pitch Bend is applied to the CV outputs of course, but the 4 adjacent CC/VEL jacks can be configured to respond to one of the remaining 4 expression elements to control your VCO modulation, filters, etc. Pitch Bend range is max +/- 12 semi's, but will likely be +/-48 by release time.
All MPE expressions are of course recorded when Layering MIDI, but care must be taken that identical non-static expressions are not on more than one Layer or they will compete.

Is This Module Complicated to Learn?
Not at all!
-It can be deep, but easy to learn the basics, designed with ease of use a priority.

-If you like Sequencing, the TRAX trackers are easy to add notes & FX to for an immediate start, or if you're impatient like me, 4 lane sequences can be recorded directly from any keyboard.

-If you like perfectly auto-tuned VCO's every time, the Sequarallel remembers, by name, up to 8 VCO's per jack row.

-If you have DAW sequences you'd like to "modularize" it's just a matter of arranging them and recording them in.

-If controlling a modular sequencer live via MIDI controllers or swapping pre-made patterns to DJ standards is a must, Remote has it.

-If you like to free-style play and build up a track as inspiration hits, Layering has got you covered.

-If you want to take your favorite downloaded Song and use parts of it for your loops, twisting it beyond recognition SongFX is your thing.

-If you like to experiment with and tweak/morph running loops, then jump to other phrases seamlessly, the Sequarallel is set up for this workflow. I have personally created whole song projects without hitting the stop button!

-If you want to compose a whole song from all these elements, the Play List will make it happen.

Scrolling through the on-screen Quick-Box buttons makes changing parameters as easy as possible, and can held down to enter lists, editors or lesser changed settings "behind" the Quick-Box. Some Quick-Boxes open up when clicked to select one of several quick-change parameters similar a browser selector box. Quick-Box Buttons can be rearranged or removed from the Song Project.
 


Shown:
Release 2022

Gate & CV Outputs 4 Rows of Gate + CV (@1V/Oct or Hz/V) can be assigned to any MIDI channel(s) to work together or apart. Thus, these will output to ENV-VCA-VCO's from MIDI song & Layers/TRAX trackers/or MIDI input based on a set priority level. The CC/VEL jacks can be set to reflect Velocity values. The 12 jack grid can optionally output drum triggers instead. There are 4 CV Mode palettes, and 8 drum palettes, per project.
4 ENVELOPES Each Song Project can hold 4 envelopes that can be combined with Velocities to directly control a VCA or filter. 3 types, ADDSR, CV record Draw, Parametric Draw, can be created according to requirements and used with sequencer/MIDI in/Song notes, or events to trigger, or just free-run as an LFO with a sync-up option. Waveforms can be Bipolar or positive only. 4 step attenuation, gate-lock, reset options.
MIDI OUT The MIDI Recorded (all 16 channels) is exactly duplicated during playback with all of the nuances like Program Changes, CC changes, Notes on all channels, and Percussion. MIDI and LINK (backplane) support MPE and can be separated to MIDI channels. Channels can be filtered to MIDI & LINK out.
MIDI IN / Merge MIDI received at MIDI in jack or LINK (backplane) is merged with MIDI out with channel filtering. This also is used for Song, Layer, TRAX Tracker recording and remote control
6 x CC /Mod Outputs These jacks can output note-triggered envelopes, or send MIDI CC values from MIDI/LINK inputs, Song, Layers, or trackers. The Jacks on tracks 1-4 can be Velocity, After touch, Pitch Bend, CC 5 & 6 can be configured as CV inputs to control many panel controlled parameters, or insert MIDI CC or Pitch Bends to selected MIDI Channels playing or live via MIDI input. All CV I/O are bi-polar -5V to +5V
Song Loops and Jumps A recorded "Song" can be broken up into smaller loops if it is long (i.e. a song) by special notes inserted in the original sequence recorded, or afterward on the display. Using the Playlist, groups of loops, each with internal loop size, can be sequenced in any order, or armed to play or stop, even remotely.
Live Transposing The entire MIDI sequence, MIDI output and CV's, can be instantly transposed. This change happens only on bars so a simple sequence can be "played" by transposing. A great added feature to the Sequarallel is panel actions can be automated so a transposing sequence can be used throughout the sequence loops.
Live MIDI2CV The MIDI & LINK inputs can be used to simply convert MIDI to CV. This is great for auditioning a sequence before recording it, inputting from a DAW, or just playing certain VCO's while sequences run. Set up the Order button to stack, cycle, range, or output probability the same way as with sequencing. Instantly switch sources to all jacks with CV MODE Presets to go all accapella on your VCO's!
Drum Triggers When switched to Drums Mode, set MIDI Channel (10) is ported to the 12 jacks as percussion triggers from any source (MIDI, TRAX). The MIDI notes for each drum used is shown on the display as a grid that highlights blocks when the trigger is played. There are 8 configurable drum palettes.
Transpose Global Transpose Quick-Box on-screen button is quick access and can also be automated.
62 Songs Projects! Up to 62 Songs (AKA Projects) can be stored at once. Each includes a recorded MIDI song, added Layers, TRAX tracker sequences, Envelopes, automation, and Play List Arranger.
TRAX Tracker Separate from MIDI Layering and the MIDI Song, 5 TRAX Trackers have their own tracks in the main Play List. Each track can have up to 8 different Trax Sequences (64 steps) in any order, with any clock division/multiplication, plus TRAX importable from other Songs.
Each Trax Sequence is 4 lanes wide and boasts Note-level FX bundles (like echo, ratchet micro-arp with transpose offsets,  pitch shift, length, delay, randomize a parameter, CC trigs etc)
Link-able Two Sequarallel's can be MIDI linked together for even more power. When linked, the second Sequarallel can act as a MIDI channel extension and sequence with the master, doubling TRAX, Layer, and percussion count.
Up to 24 drum triggers can also be realized if that's your thing. The Sequarallel will also link to our Accord Melisma for increased functionality of both modules (i.e. MIDI merging, Root control, G/V/CV break out)
Automation Recorder The Automation Recorder is an extra MIDI recorder to add MIDI Control Changes, Pitch Bends, or other controls to a channels thus modifying the way it plays. If the Remote Control MIDI Channel is recorded, then AutoRec will  control any Learned Remote parameter as if was being changed from a MIDI controller. Up to 8 automation recordings can be added, each with numerous controls, and placed into the Play List in any combination up to 999 bars long.
 
Layer Recording Record Layers while a sequence is playing, or alone, from a keyboard or any MIDI controller. Layers Record can be left recording to free the player from managing the module while in a creative spin! This is great for building up a section of a sequence or song, then returning to the main sequence original by peeling or muting.  Layers can also be saved permanently with the Song Project
Layers also has four 8 step sequencers per Layer Button. Each sequencer has 8 "letters", A to H, which can be included in steps of the larger sequence. Each step has some FX controls like transpose, level offset, Solo, and SongFX/Sub-sequencer/retrigger options
Each of the 4 Layer Buttons have master FX like Transpose, Mirror, Scale, Level (velocity), Low/Hi Limit, Quant, Solo, Mute, and will follow Master Song swing, scale & transpose overrides.
Display: On the left side of the display, 4 large notes are displayed as they are played (live) or sequenced out to CV.
During Drums mode there are 12 boxes (with note#'s) that highlight when a percussion trigger occurs
On the right side are the "Quick Boxes" that can be scrolled up/down to. Quick Boxes are essentially buttons.
 
MIDI in Trigger (RS) MIDI Input, when not being used for MIDI, can accept trigger input pulse to start / reset / stop sequences and trigger conditional steps in the Play List i.e. re-starting a paused sequence.
Select Bus This module can act as a Eurorack Select Bus master or slave. All 62 Song Projects can be recalled when a slave. Otherwise, Select Bus can be used like remote control to set any parameter to a preset value. This includes selecting Scales, modes, functions, offsetting transpose, or even certain Notes (in TRAX)
 
CV Fine Tune /Auto-tune Each 1V/Octave CV has it's own fine tuning +/- 100 cents, and there's a master Fine Tune Quick-Box to add a bit of sharpness to all VCO's quickly. Each jack also has a MIDI "zero note" (default is 36) for VCO's not tuned.
For even finer tuning, Auto-Tune perfectly tunes those stubborn non-linear gain VCO's.
For Hz/V connoisseurs, there's 120 point bi-polar auto-tune using the MIDI in jack. You could even tune a 555 oscillator!
MIDI Remote MIDI Remote can be used to control internal functions and Play List control via groups of global assignment parameters. These reside on a set MIDI channel and allow instant control of FX, FX Masking, Loops, Solo/Mute and even automation triggers, giving you DJ-like control without actually touching the panel. (NEW!) MIDI Learn mode can be used to configure any settable parameter.
In Addition, any TRAX Tracker with it's Record on can be adjusted by the step, like a traditional sequencer, but with step delay, gate length, velocity, scale quant with root CC, note overlay, kill, and FX bundle assignments, all from 10 MIDI controls (8 steps).
Perhaps the best of all, there's a MIDI Learn function for any (most) of the discrete settings. Simply 1 CC to 1 parameter.
 
CV Remote Up to 3 CV inputs can also be used to remote control virtually any parameter in the Sequarallel thanks to the CV Input's Learn function. Other CV inputs can be used to input notes or gates at the same time offering a great way to record in a Layer from your favorite sequencer. CV Inputs can also be used to change a MIDI CC/AT/Pitchbend on a specific MIDI channel, or even start/stop play.
 
VCO Auto-Tune Each CV Output Jack can be auto-tuned for up to 8 of your favorite VCO's. VCO's can be 1V/Octave, V/Hz, or even just a 555 timer really. Auto-tune will lock onto it and tune it to perfection. VCO names (16 chars) can be assigned for reference. No more out of tune VCO's !
Dynamic MIDI2CV "CV Modes" can be instantly selected (setup beforehand by you) to assign different MIDI channels to jacks and control how chords stack and play out with the "Order" Quick-Box. As a bonus side-effect, multiple tracks can be brought out to the Gate+CV jacks from different MIDI channels as they play with configuring each time. CV Mode Layouts can be copied from other Song Projects.
 
FX FX FX!! These are not MIDI FX, but can also control MIDI FX! The Sequarallel's FX modify notes & their timings, or control parameters for just about any setting.
Multiple FX settings reside in a "bundle". Song Loops have 17 FX bundles to use, TRAX trackers have 8 NoteFX bundles each and each track has 7 PLFX  bundles to Control things from the Play List steps, while Layers has direct FX controls by the Step or can ride on opted-in Song Loop FX.
I haven't counted but there are probably close to 400 FX bundles total each tailored to it's sequencer type.
i.e. TRAX tracker's per-note-FX have Micro-Arp sequences for Ratcheting and Echoing notes, direct MIDI CC outputs, glide, PC, Fine tune (PW), probability, parameter randomizer ++ and a mask sequencer to stop FX on certain steps. So much more!

Whether you want to sequence simple triggers or a complex rhythm, or a whole song, the Sequarallel gets the job done!

 

History...

My own testimonial to HW sequencing and the origins of the Sequarallel:

For a time over the past few years I have performed with a laptop sequencing backing instruments and controlling MIDI hardware. Things didn't always go as planned. Sometimes minor issues would go un-noticed, while other total crash scenarios were a total show-stopper. That feeling of hopelessness resonated in my soul since then and I have made it a #1 goal to eradicate the computer from the stage entirely!

I have designed and built a few MIDI-controlled stage lighting fixtures to run during loaded backing for songs I performed, plus elaborate software control requiring only a 3 digit number be entered and everything loads up. At that time a good part of the the audio processing and MIDI instruments were software based but mixed with hardware like Korgs & Yamaha synths/drums. All of this controlled via MIDI from the PC.

So to pull the PC out of the loop, and get total control over my TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 vocal FX unit, I designed a pedal board called "Pedal 7" (shown right>>)
 This combines manual and automatic control over 4 MIDI I/O, modular interfacing, sample player, running tap-tempo, and a great sequencer to meld it all together.
That sequencer is what I based the Sequarallel on.


The Pedal-7, origin of the Sequarallel!

^TOP^

On-Going Development:
Version 1.7 is now released. This addresses several issues that have been discovered over the past weeks (June '22), plus adds the new Layer Channels Mask feature using SongFX#'s.  Several new tutorial videos have also been released at https://www.youtube.com/user/freshnelly/videos plus the new "Tips & Tricks" series ( # 4 coming soon!)

If you are sitting on the fence about purchasing a Sequarallel, then now is a really good time, we have them in stock now (June '22), but re-stocking may be a challenge due to the chip shortages, as it has been for all of the module manufacturers. Lucky we bought lots of parts! If it's mid to late July and you have submitted an order request (fresh@freshnelly.com) please be patient as we do holiday around that time of year, and with CoVid restrictions ending we certainly will be!

High Points:
If you're trying decide on whether the Sequarallel is for your rack, here's some high points on it's capabilities, which, perhaps, will further explain what it can do. Of course eventually once the development process... read more...

 

 

Demonstration and Development Videos

Videos can be found HERE

Or jump to our Sequarallel youtube playlist...

 

^TOP^


 

Samples:

Here are some samples of the Sequarallel in Action
( Including descriptions )

 

 


Support:

Sequar-QuickStart_V1.6.pdf - Quick-Start Guide  (V.1.6 June 2022)

User Manual V 1.6 - Updated manual (V.1.6 June 13 2022)

Sequar-QuickStart_V1.4.pdf - Quick-Start Guide  (V.1.4 April 2022)

Sequar-QuickStart.pdf  Preliminary Quick-Start Guide (March 2022)

User Manual V 1.4 - Updated manual (V.1.4 April 24 2022)

User Manual V 1.3 - Past manual (April 7 2022)

User Manual V 1.0 - Past manual (March 3rd 2022)

Track Remote Keyboard Template (pdf) *Print on Legal Size Paper

===LINKS===

SYSEX Files - Song Projects instructive or useful + mp3's. Use MIDI-OX to load them up, then save if you like!

Methods and Examples - How to compose a Song on the Sequarallel, different methods (we have thought of)

Firmware Updates - Post release firmware updates via USB - last FWUD V.1.7 June 29, 2022


^Back to Top^

 


Here's a timeline of the development of the module after the prototype

Recent improvements:
May 2020:  Added TRAX Swing Map sub-sequencer to mask swing, with size 3 to 16 steps, for humanizing.
June 2020: Added Auto-Tune / pre-tuned VCO selection. Plan to integrate this into sysex loads of converted Scala scales (for CV)
June 2020: Added TRAX "Solo Ducking" NoteFX that Solos notes briefly, or adds them to the Solo Group briefly. Summer break!
Sept 2020: Changed the way a song is stored and added true-time Ring buffer to make "hanging notes" impossible.
Oct 2020:   Added Song Loop FX sub-sequencer to greatly improve unique modification of Loops.
Nov 2020:  Gave Layers individual Layer access with up to 32 simultaneous play heads and Layer sub-sequencer for including them
Nov 2020:  Added mini-meters to TRAX QB's in main screen so can see who's doing what!
Dec 2020:  Doubled on-board volatile memory for bigger songs. Easy HW modification.  Took break for holiday season, other projects
Jan 2021:   Added TRAX Tracker Remote MIDI CC Step Sequencer Control feature (made video)
Jan 2021:   Doubled the 4 Envelope Sizes and added a new waveform creation method "Parameter" to use a form & math to make waves
Jan 2021:   Added Project auto-save-backup to recover a project in rare case of a power cut during a save
Jan 2021:   Changed CV MODE's fixed "All 4,3+1,2+2,1+1+1+1" modes to 4 completely configurable configs to assign Gate/CV/CC jacks
Feb 2021:  Added TRAX Step-Sequencer classic CC Step control matrix
Feb 2021:  Finalized Glide, added glide direction, smooth CC2CV, Started Global Remote MIDI Learn method
Feb 2021:  Improved MIDI & LINK routing method. CV / CC Jacks have their own sources + MIDI/LINK Input Merge
Feb 2021:  Added Glide Rate/Start to CV Mode jacks configurations, TRAX trackers can override.
Mar 2021:  Added TRAX advance clocking to remove latency in chain
Mar 2021:  Removed Layer Record Time Quantizing (too confusing!) and augmented Layer Play quantizing.
Mar 2021:   Added SongFX (Song Loops) control of Layers so they can work together without changing lots of settings. Layer SeqStepFX OK!
Apr 2021:   Found IDE memory limitation, fixed! Full memory capability now.
Apr 2021:   Added local & global "MIDI remote learn"  for *any* parameter via MIDI CC & Note on/off / hold return
May 2021: Re-defined TRAX clock source to follow Song Loop's Swing. Still has own TRAX swing & swing mask sequencer.
May 2021: Revised Play List to double-click / choose action on grid cell. Much easier to use this way! Adding Cell Arm to MIDI remote.
May 2021: Expanding SysEx to dump individual Projects. Preliminary times not to bad!
May 2021: Considering release without full 96PPQN support (Scope has been a problem, will resolve eventually)
Aug 2021: Added simple dim-out screen saver, settable time-out, resumes full bright on any panel encoder or button movement.
Sept 2021: Improved Jump-To function of Conditional Play List blocks.
Sept 2021: Improving some Layer Functions, UI,  fixed several bugs.
Oct 2021:  Added SysEx Song Project dump and SysEx Memory dump for back-up or archiving purposes
Oct 2021:  Added Scala micro-tuning import (via MTS in a SysEx), Updated VCO Auto-Calibration to switch to & name Scala tunings
Nov 2021: Updated CV input -> MIDI CC/PW/AT/Gate & Notes functions
Nov 2021: Added universal CV input remote control functions (CC5, CC6, CKo inputs)
Nov 2021: Updated PLFX (PlayList FX) for universal parameter automation with every block.
Nov 2021: Setting up new Automation method
Dec 2021: Made Select Bus Master Remote controllable and Play List FX controllable to switch modules from Play List Arranger
Dec 2021: Added Record menu for MIDI Layers. Some simple settings like 1-Shot, mute while record, start quant
Dec 2021: Added 5th CV jacks Order Mode: 4 full featured Arpeggiators
Jan 2022: Added Track Remote keyboard offset overlay to remotes
Jan 2022: Refined CV input-->MIDI Notes up to 3 (without need for Gate input)
Feb 2022: Added Quick-Box Editor, worked as planned
Feb2022: Memory re-organization, augmentation of PreLoader2 (Factory installation)
Feb 2022: Daily Bug Hunts, they keep comin' I keep killin'
Feb 2022: Waiting for parts that were not correct (language barrier?)
Mar 2022: Done!! Contacting reservation list.
Mar 2022: Finished reservations list, now available!
April 2022: Updates / Fixes V1.1, V1.2, V1.3, V1.4
May 2022: Update / Fixes V1.5
June 2022: Update/Fixes  V1.6. Final update until winter (summer break!)
June 2022: Update/Fixes V1.7 Coming soon! (summer break hasn't panned out  thus far, so...)
 

You can find the Sequarallel on Modular Grid at https://www.modulargrid.net/e/sds-digital-sequarallel and at Muff's, now "Mod-wiggler" forum (search "Sequarallel") or click here

You can contact me at fresh@freshnelly.com with any questions or order requests

Thanks for checking out the Accord Sequarallel !

 

--Last Update June 29th 2022--


SDS DIGITAL 2019