Unquantized Pitch Sequencing Spindle

A perfect pitch-based partner to the trigger-based Unquantized Sequencing Spindle, this unit sequences with hand-carved precision yet off-grid timing. It leverages the organic and complex virtues of unquantized sequencing without requiring the performance, providing dials for designing rhythms with careful editing by feel.

The pitch too can be allowed to deviate from traditional equal temper frequencies for off-kilter notes, precise deviances, controlled dissonances, and microtonal melodies. There’s a quantize button that can always snap your notes into place if you get scared, but you’ll likely discover more adventure with pitch than tools typically allow.

To use, connect the note out to an oscillator and the gate out to an envelope generator. Then, set the length control (top right) to specify a loop time. You’ll hear a note repeat at the default start time, but press the “length+1” button to wipe all the notes out of the sequnce (positioning them 1 sample later than the sequence length). Form a rhythm of notes by bringing time dials down within the loop length and set the neighboring pitch dials to create melodies, while adjusting the gate time dial (and retrig switch) for suitable envelope pacing. At this point, the pitches are not quantized, allowing for interesting possibilities approached purely by ear, but on the other hand, you can press the quantize pitch button (bottom right) to snap the pitch dials into equal temper tuning. You can always go back and detune some if you like.

There’s also a pitch CV input that allows you to actively transpose sequences using the input as a new base note (middle C = no transposition). In this way, it can modify the output of other sequencers (including itself), act like an arpeggiator, and chain and branch for referential harmonies.

The pattern slider (left) allows you to store and retrieve different patterns, the copy button lets you duplicate patterns to the next slot, the accompanying trigger inputs let you change patterns via CV, and a “trans(ition)” slider with accompanying loop length buttons allow you to record and retrieve various loop lengths while gliding into place for complex ratcheting and glitching.

Use this sequencer to surprise yourself with unusual melodies, to more easily define music that resists traditional sequencing, or to see what a new approach does to shake your creativity. Unquantized rhythms and unquantized notes turn out to be way more interesting and useful than apparent, so take it for a spin and see what you get.