Part 1 was dedicated to an overall view of the features of the R24. The following (part 2) takes a closer look at the R24 hardware, along with some thoughts concerning the musical flexibility of the sequencer. Let’s start with the hardware. The R24 sports a whole arsenal of analog and digital in/outputs – which you would expect, of course, of a good hardware sequencer.
Zortrax presents an entirely 3D printed button grid controller. It works with all kind of potentiometers and pads. Potentiometers and pads can be assigned to any function of the software. The controller works as a beat machine, sequencer or Ableton track trigger control device.
Chameleon-like in its many control options, BeatStep is designed to work with DAWs, loop triggering software, VST-instruments or effects, MIDI hardware, or even CV/Gate-equipped analogue instruments (like Arturia’s MiniBrute or MicroBrute synthesizer). Try triggering audio clips within powerful, flexible software environments such as Ableton Live or playing drum parts …
If a “Mini” model is followed by an even smaller “Micro” model, expectations might be very low. You could easily overlook the new Arturia synthesizer, but … boy, that would be a mistake! This instrument does not only sound fantastic, it also has a very clever concept. More than that, it is – thanks to the new performance opportunities – even more attractive than the original MiniBrute.
Korg has recently made some fanciful moves and enhanced the market with a new addition of classic analog (MIDI) synths, but at Roland things have remained remarkably quiet. What about a new SH-2 with MIDI, USB, (digital) sequencer and arpeggiator?
Admittedly, the SH-2 (produced between 1979 and 1982) still shines brightly with its 2 VCOs, sub-oscillator and the great Roland lowpass filter. Its hardware is among the best, its sound ranges from silky to steely, always powerful and with a presence all its own.
Attached some photos of Roland’s remarkable vintage SH-2, illustrated here together with the CSQ-600 sequencer. Is there any hope that such instruments will be built again one day?