Anti-Kulture Precision Disrupter

Eurorack Module
By Rory Dow

Generative sequencing is a tricky balancing act. Straddling the fine line between inspiring randomisation and programmability is something many sequencers get wrong. The Precision Disrupter aims to get it right by offering tools to help you develop sequences fast and mutate them during a performance without discarding the accurate editing features every sequencer needs.

The Disrupter is a 16‑step, 303‑style sequencer. It has outputs for gate, 1V/oct CV, accent, clock and reset. The trademark 303 glides we all love are generated internally, so any connected oscillator will slip and slide in all the right places. The 16‑step sequences can be saved to one of 16 preset slots and chained together in any order to create longer loops.

The large 40HP front panel is delightfully easy to understand. Three rows of LED buttons deal with gate, accent and slide triggers. The fourth row is used to store and recall up to 16 presets. A small one‑octave keyboard layout with octave buttons allows you to set the precise pitch for a step or to add and remove notes from the automatic scale quantising.

So far, this is all standard stuff. Where the Disrupter starts its sequence sabotage is with the five randomiser faders and the two ‘Disrupter’ buttons. Each fader adds controlled randomisation to an element of the sequence: gates, accents, slides, notes or octaves. The gate, accent and slice faders will add or remove triggers from the appropriate lane. The pitch and octave sliders will add more or less variation to the note and octave numbers stored in each step.

The word ‘randomiser’ isn’t entirely correct in this context. The faders act on a ‘more or less’ basis. For example, if you have a sequence with five gates, pushing the gates fader upwards from its midpoint will add more gates and pulling it down will remove them. The pattern of gates at any given point on the fader is entirely consistent. Returning the fader to its midpoint, which is indented to help you find it, will return the gate sequence to its original state.

The pitch and octave sliders work differently. Again, from the midpoint, they add more or less variation, or distance, from the root note or octave. The root note and octave are set using the piano and octave buttons. So, if you set the pattern’s root note to D# and its root octave to ‑1, then pull down the two faders, you’ll end up with a sequence that is entirely D# notes in that octave. As you move the faders up, the Distrupter moves notes and octaves away from the root and towards the programmed melody. Then, as you move through the midpoint, it strays even further away, effectively stretching the melody further.

Disrupter Buttons

The two Disrupter buttons work in a different way. They completely randomise the groove or the melody with a single press. Groove will generate a new pattern of gate, accent and slide triggers, and Melody randomises the pitch and octave, although it cleverly doesn’t randomise the root note and will always obey the current scale. These new patterns will serve as a new midpoint for the faders.

So a typical workflow might be the following: set all the faders to the midpoint, set a root note and octave, and press the Distrupter Melody and Groove buttons until you find a pattern you like. From here, you can use the faders to perform subtle, or not‑so‑subtle, variations of the pattern. If you’re working in a particular scale, you can use the piano buttons to include or exclude notes from the pattern or pick a predefined scale. The same goes for octaves.

It takes very little time to get a groovy little sequence going. You can endlessly vary it by playing with the faders, ‘disrupting’ the groove or melody, or manually adding gates or notes.

If you find a pattern you want to keep, a long press on the current pattern button will store it. You can then keep disrupting the pattern and return to the stored version any time. The copy function will allow you to duplicate patterns for further tweaking. Storing variations in different preset slots is a brilliant way to keep known anchor points that can be recalled during a live performance.

You can clock the sequencer internally or externally via CV clock and reset inputs. Two more CV inputs can be configured to control the randomisation sliders or Disrupter buttons, offering ways to build self‑generative sequences by integrating other sequencers.

There are a few setup functions or rarely accessed features accessible via the tiny OLED screen. These include functions like clock source, clock division, playback direction, sequencer shifting, swing, gate length, and CV options.

I love intuitive modules which don’t require a re‑read of the manual if you don’t use them for six months. The Precision Disrupter definitely falls into this category.

One of the Distrupter’s most appealing features is its lack of dual functions or menu‑diving hell. Initially, I was concerned about the size, but the easy‑to‑use design is worth the real estate. I love intuitive modules which don’t require a re‑read of the (concise, well‑written) manual if you don’t use them for six months. The Precision Disrupter definitely falls into this category.

One aspect that might be a problem for some is the lack of storage space. You get 16 storage slots for single patterns and no facility to back them up. If you’re looking for a sequencer to store every pattern you ever write, this isn’t it. Instead, the Disrupter is an experimental, performance‑driven, 303‑style sequencer with innovative randomisation features that you can still control when needed. If improvisation is integral to your modular performance, the Precision Disrupter will keep the bass lines coming all night.



Published May 2023