Stages: extended sequencer firmware

Finished a little video with a pair of Stages and the extended sequencer firmware.

Stage 1 is a square LFO used as the master clock.
Stage 2 is a stepped-random s+h stage, clocked by the first.
Stage 3 is the sequencer control in HOLD mode.
Stages 4-12 are the pitch sliders for the sequence, set to a 2-octave pentatonic scale with the root note dropped from the first octave (a tuner was used, since this is the unquantized mode). Step probability is handled by a track on a NerdSEQ, also receiving the master clock from Stage 1.

The sequencer is triggering Plaits in “inharmonic string” mode and is running through a Strymon Magneto, also clocked by the Stage 1 LFO.

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Does the extended sequencer firmware include the colorblind option?

Yes.

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I’ve been playing around with the CV addressable mode of the new sequencer functionality and I’ve noticed something a little strange. Right now I have a 3 step sequence with a hold step in front of the 3 steps for control. I was playing with the slider manually to change the step and I noticed that the position where it would change seemed inconsistent. So I plugged in some voltage and what I noticed was that as I increased voltage starting at 0v, it would move from the 1st step to the 2nd step as the voltage crossed 3v.

However(!), once I started moving the voltage back down, it would not return to the first step in the sequence until the voltage went down below 1v.

In the case of getting from the 2nd to the 3rd step, with voltage going up, I get to the third step as I cross 6v, but only get back to the 2nd step when the voltage goes below 5v.

These values seem to correspond to the inconsistent positions I’d initially noticed when using the slider.

Edit: btw I am running qiemem’s firmware so I can’t verify that this happens on the official firmware…

This is not a bug but a deliberate choice.

If you have a fixed frontier between the transition points (say 3V), and you bring the slider right at this point, the noise will make it “flicker” before and after the transition. I’ve seen many, many, many products and devices with this issue.

Here, there’s hysteresis. It may take 3.1V to enter in one zone, but then 2.9V to leave it, so it’s impossible for noise to make the module go back and forth between two states.

If you have 4 steps, the course of the slider is divided into 4 zones. Their centers are fixed, but the frontiers between them will change a bit as you enter and leave them.

Hmm… I’m not sure I totally understand what kind of modulation source this approach is designed for, but at least with manually operating the slider (which is fun), it feels kinda fiddly. Anyways, I guess I could always roll up my sleeves and modify the firmware.

Speaking of which, would it be a difficult change for me to make so that I could access the full range of the sequence going from 0-5v?

It’s not designed for any modulation source in particular. If you use another sequencer to address the steps, aim for the center of the cells instead of the boundaries.

The CV and the slider position are summed very early in the signal chain, so it would be difficult to make an exception just for this mode.

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Cool… that makes sense. Although in the case of my 3 step sequence, if I were feeding it CV from a S&H, it seems like my first step would be reached a disproportionately small amount of the time compared to the other two steps, since it only becomes active with CV between 0-1v, right?

No, this is not how it works!

I’ll take the example of a 4 step sequence, since it makes the explanation easier.

A naive quantizer would be:

  • Step 1 for 0 to 2V.
  • Step 2 for 2 to 4V.
  • Step 3 for 4 to 6V.
  • Step 4 for 6 to 8V.

Note that if the CV is 3.99V with some noise, we’ll “flicker” between steps 2 and 3.

With hysteresis it is.

  • Step 1 for 0 to 2.2V if you are already in step 1, but 0 to 1.8V if you come from another step.
  • Step 2 for 1.8V to 4.2V if you are already in step 2, but 2.2V to 3.8V if you come from another step.
  • Step 3 for 3.8V to 6.2V if you are already in step 3, but 4.2V to 5.8V if you come from another step.
  • Step 4 for 5.8V to 8V if you are already in step 4, but 6.2V to 8V if you come from another step.

Hysteresis doesn’t favor any particular step, it just slightly makes it more unlikely to jump to a different step than the one we are currently in.

Note that if you want to sequence the step index with another sequencer, and if you “aim” for the centers (1V for step 1, 3V step 2, 5V for step 3, 7V for step 4), there won’t be any problem.

Okay I know what’s happening, I’ll post a firmware update for Stages!

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I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d love it if the clock input wasn’t inhibited when the reset input was high. With the current implementation, when I connect clock out and reset out from any source (such as the Erica Black Sequencer, or using two gate outputs from Marbles), every time I reset the sequence it stays at the first stage for two clock steps. This means if I want to sync a Stages sequencer to another, or to my DAW, it always ends up a step behind.

A quick fix is to send your reset signal to a short D envelope, to turn it into a short pulse.

Hello
to update the firmware in chained modules, how do you do it?

do you need to unchain them? or is it possible to update having them chained.

thanks in advance

You don’t have to unchain them. But each module will have to be individually updated.

Great!!

Thanks for the quick reply

Updated!!!

:slight_smile:

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Stages feature request: slower LFO

Was this update loaded on any units before shipping since October 2020? I just got Stages last week.

No, it has never been officially released!

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Thanks, Émilie! :blush: