Eurorack sequencers. Love them or hate them? Are you the type of person to sequence inside of your case our outside of your case? Although most of us can agree that a standalone sequencer is sometimes more feature packed and ready for sequential composing, there’s nothing more fun than having a few different sequencers inside of your case ready to use at all times. Yes, a hardware sequencer can offer you more in terms of integration with your other gear, a larger canvas to work on, bigger buttons, a screen etc. They’re great for composing and turning ideas into songs, but it’s hard to find a sequencer that easily plays like an instrument.
Pittsburgh has created just that, an 8 step sequencer that is meant to be played and only takes up 10HP of your real estate. The Micro Sequence is a one channel sequencer, which means it provides one Gate Out and one Pitch Out. On the module you will find 8 channel sliders, each with integrated mutes. To mute a channel, place the slider all the way down. To edit the pitch of each step just move the sliders, it couldn’t get any easier.
We have 8 sequencer direction modes, which is an interesting touch because on most Eurorack sequencers we normally just get the basic Forward, Reverse, Pendulum and Random; but on the Micro Sequence they take direction in another direction (pun intended), my favorite being Transpose because it can be perceived as two sequences playing at once. If you select lower pitch notes for steps 5-8 it can give the auditory illusion of having a bass line alongside your lead.
So we talked about how to input notes, mutes, and sequencer direction; but there’s a few more features that make this module stand out. For starters, it has a start/stop button called Run, which means you don’t have to depend on another clock source to use this module, something unexpected for a module this size. We can use it as Master or Slave, when in Master Mode we can only set Tempo with the Tap Tempo, when slaved we get 8 Trigger Clock Divider options which are easily accessed while our sequence is playing. There’s 8 Scales to choose from: Micro Tuning, Chromatic, Major, Minor, Blues, Phrygian, Lydian, and Dorian. We can also choose the length of our sequence from 1-8 steps. On the far left of the module you will find a Gate Input which can be assigned to Reset, Hold, Reverse, and Ratchet. Next to that is the Clock I/O which you can use to send clock into the module as well as out of the module (one at a time).
The Micro Sequence is a fun little module for smaller systems or for anyone wanting to add a more hands-on sequencer into their case. I felt while changing settings it lagged a bit to go to the next setting, but this can result in happy accidents. Overall I found the Micro Sequence inspiring and fun.
Pros: Small, affordable, easy to use.
Cons: Only one channel, can’t really be considered the brain of your system.