Fyrd mtrx-8

Dear Mutables,

what do you think about FYRD MTRX-8?

All the best,

waldemaR

It’s a great sequencer, working great with mutable gears And new functions will coming soon =>
"Jam Machine
The Jam Machine interface gives you everything you need to start a track: a step-sequencer to construct a bass-line or a melody, a specialized sequencer dedicated to drums, and a set of knobs to tweak your synth or anything in your DAW. Add to this a smart preset system and you make the Jam Machine a perfect tool to improvise, create a new track or test new musical ideas.

SEQ X4 (coming soon)
As its name suggests, the SEQ X4 interface provides full control over 4 independent 32-step sequencers. You can tweak the pitch, velocity, duration, octave for each step. You can also shift (delay) each note, adjust the speed, the warping method (forward, backward and ping-pong) or choose the MIDI channel for each sequencer. For control freaks only!

Custom (coming soon)
This interface does nothing actually: it just sends raw data each time a button is pressed or the encoder is turned. Conversely, it can display text or symbols on the LCD screen or light-up LED on reception of certain MIDI messages. You can then make your own interface using simple MIDI programming and environment like Max/MSP/Jitter, PureData or the like. This firmware will be coming with a Max patch that creates an interface to use your MTRX-8 as an Arc (from Monome)."

Never played with one, I don’t know…

I have one and it’s a nice box to jam with.
I’ve bought it just a month or two ago, and haven’t been using it a lot, but enough ho have an opinion on it. I’m currently a bit unsure if I want to keep it or not. I’ll have to play around with it a bit more.

There is a lot of things to be likes about the MTRX and a couple I think could be improved.
The design is great, usually plexy cases tend to look a bit cheap, but I think Fyrd did a great job at creating a plexy enclosure that looks good and also very stable, considering the size of the thing.
The plexy works very well because you have the led rings shining through it. It’s something that worked pretty well on the LXR too I think!
The wooden sides look a bit dull, because it’s some cheap plywood… I think it could have better to make those with plexy too. Well one could probably replace them anyway.
AlsoI think the device is really a bit bulky for what it does. I mean, it’s just a bunch of buttons, a jog wheel and a screen, could have been a lot more compact or offer more controls on the panel.

Let’s get to the actual functionality.
I’ve only used the “Jam Machine” interface so I can only talk about that. One great thing is, that you’ll have a choice about which software to run on it! Everything I say might not be true anymore in a couple of weeks when new firmwares come out.

Sequencer
It’s an 8 step seq, but since you can chain two sequences, you can turn it into a 16 step sequencer too, you dial in the values pressing the button for the corresponding step and turning the encoder. It sounds weird, but it’s pretty practical imho. Encoders still suck, but that’s another topic :slight_smile:
One thing I didn’t really like is the fact that you need to do a lot of menu jumping. The sequencer part has one parameter per page, so pitch, octave, length and so on are all on their own page and you need to jump around a lot.
Also the warp modes are limited to up, down, and ping-pong, which is a bit poor imho. Random could have been nice. some more elaborate warping modes also…

Drum seq
The drum seq is a bit like the one on the Anushri or the Grids module, just slightly different. Just like the aforementioned MI kit, it has three parts and can spit out midi on its own channel. It can be fun, but I’m too much of a control freak for these kind of things. I need to write my own patterns. So I can’t really comment on it.

Midicontroller
The third page let’s you use the button+encoder to send out MIDI CCs, you get a bunch of preconfigured schemes, including Volcas, Meeblip and our beloved Shruthi (which is great).
I find the controller totally useless though, since Fyrd didn’t include any text labels associated with the knobs. This means you either have the layout printed out or you have to learn it by hard… not really intuitive.

presets
You can save presets of your sequences, drum patterns and control schemes, these are pretty easy to save and recall. Actually the way this works is great for live use, but you need to remember what you put where since there are no text labels attached to the preset slots.

Things that could also have been improved:
To start/stop the seq you have to click yourself down to the last page.
Since you get 3 different functions with the Jam interface, it would have been nice to have more than one MIDI output connector.

So recap for those that might be interested:

PROs
Looks very good
different firmwares for different uses
both USB and DIN midi
An encoder that doesn’t totally suck (though encoders suck anyway)
The basic “Jam Machine” interface is fun to play around with
Preset system is great for live use

CONs
Bit bulky
Too much page jumping
only one MIDI out
Controller mode is pretty useless
8 steps are a bit limiting even if you have the possibility to chain two together

Dear All,

thank you very much for the detail Information, especially rumpelfilter.

All the best,

waldemaR