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Squarp Instruments Pyramid

Hardware Sequencer
Published July 2017
By Paul Nagle

Squarp Instruments Pyramid

Squarp’s Pyramid is a versatile 64-track sequencer with a penchant for polyrhythms.

Fresh from its Paris workshop, the Squarp Instruments Pyramid is a slimline, minimalistic hardware sequencer loaded with features. Of course, even the term ‘sequencer’ is open to misinterpretation these days, since it can conjure ideas ranging from the short voltage loops of a Moog 960 right up to a computer-based Digital Audio Workstation. Of these two extremes, the Pyramid is closer in concept to a DAW, prioritising live and step recording over a Moog-style row of knobs.

The specs are impressive. Up to 64 polyphonic tracks are supported and a Euclidean sequencer engine sits alongside the more conventional kind, which happily takes care of polyrhythms and polymeters. An array of MIDI effects are included too, plus pads and keys for direct performance capture. Despite all this, the Pyramid is neat and self-contained, you just need to give it some synths to control.

The Interface

Online photos and even videos did not prepare me for just how light and petite (206 x 268 x 44 mm) the Pyramid was going to be. It’s a black aluminium box weighing just 1.6kg, so I’d recommend attaching the rubber feet right away to keep it from sliding around — or possibly off — your desk. At first glance it appears that most of the action takes place at the left-hand side, where there’s a small black and white LCD and encoders, but on closer inspection you realise that the blank-looking area opposite is actually a lightly printed touchpad. (In more recent models this has been switched to a clearly indented space that’s impossible to overlook.)

White rubber buttons are used as transport controls, for pattern, track and sequence selection and for various secondary functions including note and chord input. Instead of the more common ‘shift’ or ‘function’ key, there’s a ‘2ND’ key, which is named pretty logically if you think about it. Squarp provide an overview template to be placed over the panel to get you started. It’s a handy introduction to some of the functionality but no...

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Published July 2017