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Polyend Seq

Step Sequencer
By Rory Dow

Polyend Seq

Polyend's Seq offers straightforward step sequencing and buttons galore in one very attractive package.

The Seq is a hardware MIDI step sequencer which aims to bring a Zen-like approach to the art of pattern creation. The elegant design is reflected in its operational simplicity. No menu diving, no touchscreens, no preferences. Will the Seq take you to a higher plain of sequencing Nirvana? Let's find out...

These Go To 32

The first thing anyone will notice about the Seq is the striking design. A hand–crafted wooden case, topped with matte–black metal panel, populated by no fewer than 272 illuminated rubber buttons. The majority are step selection buttons for the eight tracks, with each track having 32 steps. Additionally there are eight track select buttons, eight function buttons, six value knobs and a nice bright TFT screen. Round the back, along with the 5V DC power input and power switch, you'll find a USB MIDI port and four standard MIDI DIN ports: one input, a thru and two outs.

Basic operation is concise enough that you don't need a manual to get going. You can select a track or step button and adjust values such as note, velocity or length using the knobs. The TFT screen will give you information pertaining to the item you have selected. If there is more than one editable item on screen, a press of the clickable encoder will cycle through the parameters. The function keys on the very left allow operations such as pattern selection, copy/paste, quantise, randomise as well as transport controls.

Around the back of the Seq we find a quarter-inch footswitch socket, two MIDI outs, a MIDI thru, a  MIDI input port and a USB socket.Around the back of the Seq we find a quarter-inch footswitch socket, two MIDI outs, a MIDI thru, a MIDI input port and a USB socket.

What's In A Pattern?

A pattern is exactly what you see on the front panel: eight tracks with 32 steps per track. If you want more steps, you'll have to link two or more patterns together (more on this in a moment). Whilst pattern chaining is possible there is no song mode, so live performance is a key part of the concept.

Each pattern can store its own tempo and swing value. There is an option to lock all pattern tempos to a single global value or follow MIDI Clock sync from either USB or the standard MIDI input port.

Up to 256 patterns can be stored. They are saved automatically as you edit them, and recalling a pattern is as easy as holding the Pattern...

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Published July 2019