Anyone else think the newly announced SQ-64 looks interesting? I looks pretty comprehensive to me. I have lusting after the Rene Mk2 but good luck finding one. It looks like they are targeting the modular crowd with their intro demo video using a small rack. With four lanes, stochastic and probability options, and lots of CV connectivity, I'm thinking it might be a good outboard sequencer and save rack space for other stuff.


I'm not waiting for this, partly because I still think Korg needs numerous repeated headpunches over their ARP 2600 (and a few other things besides) screwup saga...but ALSO because I know that Uli's planning to drop the BCR32, which is a smaller version of the BCR2000 that ALREADY includes the ZAQuencer firmware straight from the factory. And before anyone gets riled up, Uli actually got the rights from the ZAQuencer firmware's developer AND paid for that (or worked out some sort of arrangement per unit sold).

For those unfamiliar, the ZAQuencer is a 3rd-party firmware that runs on the BCR2000 knob controller to output up to three channels of eight steps via MIDI. It's also got a bunch of sneaky functions that are very useful and intuitive...and it's ALSO the reason why you don't see many BCR2000s on the used market for very long. The BCR32 even goes further, with CV/gate I/Os for each "channel" and a few ZAQ-centric additions. Think "poor man's MAQ16/3" here. So yeah, the Korg has more steps and what not, but it also seems a bit "closed-ended" in how it works, where the ZAQuencer is more adaptable and actually pretty agile in live use.


It indeed looked like an interesting sequencer at first, and looking at some videos, the user interface/workflow doesn't quite look appealing to me.

I'd rather wait for something like the OXI ONE which looks to have a better user interface to me and might look like an interesting mix between a monome-esque device, BSP, and SQ-64 :

https://oxiinstruments.com/

Another interesting one, with quite a different approach though, would be the T-1 from torso electronics :

https://www.torsoelectronics.com/


It indeed looked like an interesting sequencer at first, and looking at some videos, the user interface/workflow doesn't quite look appealing to me.
-- XODES

You noticed that too, hm? For one thing, the video I saw of it made it seem like it behaves something like one of those products from Roland's stagnation periods (mid-90s-ish). Plus, if Korg was on the ball here, they SHOULD HAVE made a reissue of the ARP 1604 sequencer to pair with the KARP 2600 and/or Odyssey (and a bunch of other things besides...similar to the 2600, the 1604 is ANOTHER highly-coveted ARP device). I guess they were busy budgeting for goofy-colored paint for the MS-20, or maybe they DID create one and then lost it in the same closet where they keep the KR-55 Pro's missing sync connections.


You noticed that too, hm? For one thing, the video I saw of it made it seem like it behaves something like one of those products from Roland's stagnation periods (mid-90s-ish). Plus, if Korg was on the ball here, they SHOULD HAVE made a reissue of the ARP 1604 sequencer to pair with the KARP 2600 and/or Odyssey (and a bunch of other things besides...similar to the 2600, the 1604 is ANOTHER highly-coveted ARP device). I guess they were busy budgeting for goofy-colored paint for the MS-20, or maybe they DID create one and then lost it in the same closet where they keep the KR-55 Pro's missing sync connections.

-- Lugia

About the user interface, first I would have gone with something slightly wider to use a somewhat bigger screen, as it looks like the workflow makes it essential to almost always look at it when editing. If the target users would have been "laptop only producers" that wanted to carry a small controller in their backpack I'd have understood the smaller footprint.
Another interesting solution could have used a smaller additional screen per row maybe, or any other eye-catching solution that would give instant feedback about what's going on with the grid, which in some modes kind of looks cryptic.
Not quite sure the grey background with white text on the screen will make things easily readable in any environment.
It still looks very capable, and it's interesting to see new hardware sequencers with generous amounts of I/Os, yet it would have been great that unlike the BSP they put output jacks for all of the drum triggers...
The LEDs above the output jacks is a clever idea and would be a nice addition to some other sequencers.

About the release of an analog sequencer instead, I'd say things usually can take time within Japanese companies, this is a cultural thing, and with the release of the miniKORG 700FS announced earlier this year, even though in limited edition for now, I'd say Korg might keep on going with these reissues vibe that started a couple of years ago. Let's hope so.


Save that the reissues are all but useless to average, everyday electronic musicians. For example, Korg's UK rep was finally forced to admit (several months after the official NAMM announcement) that the ARP 2600 FS was NEVER intended to go to anyone but certain "influencer" and "celebrity" types. I would surmise that the same is probably true of the miniKorg 700FS as well. In which case, these "reissues" don't help ANYONE. And it really isn't helpful when you issue the "everyone else" units and they happen to be "crippleware", as is the case with the 2600 mini, which is missing all of the 3620 keyboard module additions...which, oddly enough, Behringer was able to accommodate.

Yeah, I know...corporate Japanese culture and all that. But if you're making moves that are based in culture that conveniently ignore the needs and wants of your user base, it might just be time to wake up and smell the genma-cha. Korg, in my opinion, has turned into Hamamatsu's version of a dumpster fire at this point with both the divisive "limited edition" bullshit as well as numerous design and implementation miscues that have piled up over the last several years. And now, with the OPsix (Yamaha 6-op FM retread, albeit with a programming interface that humans can make sense of) and the Wavestate (retooled Wavestation A/D-ish) and their demented multicolor MS-20FS line ($1400 for a different color MS-20 mini with 1/4" jacks, while you can still get the electronically-identical mini for $500 and change), something CLEARLY seems to be very, very wrong with Korg. If they keep on this sort of tangent, I think it's safe to say that in about 5-7 years, they're done.


Interesting perspectives. Thanks. That it'll run three note lanes and a drum track, and at a $299 price point, I might give it a shot. I think it'll do what I want in my home studio. I won't be doing gigs with it.

Xodes you wrote "interesting to see new hardware sequencers with generous amounts of I/Os, yet it would have been great that unlike the BSP they put output jacks for all of the drum triggers..." It sure looks like it has 8 drum track gate outs like the BSP. Did I miss something?

I'd still love to have a Rene Mk2, but Make Noise isn't Korg, and the cottage-industry nature of Eurorack makes it a bit frustrating that sometimes you can't get the stuff you want. And in the case of Intellijel and 1U modules, need. Lugia, you ding Korg pretty hard for snafus and special editions and availability, and that's fair - they should have their act together given who they are and how long they've been at it. I sold my Prologue for a DSI Rev 2 - it's much more fun and feature rich. And I dumped the SQ-1 because I did not get along with its UI. Still love my Kronos 88 though.


It sure looks like it has 8 drum track gate outs like the BSP. Did I miss something?
-- TumeniKnobs

Both actually have 16 drum tracks, and only output 8, which means a MIDI converter is needed to get access to all their drum sequencing capabilities.


Lugia, you ding Korg pretty hard for snafus and special editions and availability, and that's fair - they should have their act together given who they are and how long they've been at it.
-- TumeniKnobs

Yes, and watching them gradually stumble like they have over the past few years is (and continues to be) upsetting. I have a LOT of Korg gear in my studio...but of that, the most recent has been a second MS-20 mini and a Monologue. I quit buying anything of theirs in the wake of the 2600 fiasco, which to me seemed to be the culmination of a LOT of screwy behavior on their part....or it DID, until they put out the multicolored MS-20 FSs for $1400 when you can still get the electronically-identical MS-20 mini for a fraction of that.

I've used Korg gear since I started, back in the late 1970s. And all through that period, they were ON IT...until they started trying to come out with "workstation" keyboards with dicey programmability around the end of the 1980s. Then after I and everyone else had gotten sick and effin' tired of the "M1 House Piano" on every Brit house track (check The Prodigy's "Weather Experience" if you've forgotten what that hyperused preset sounds like), suddenly they started coming out with REAL SYNTHS! Yay! And while things like the MS2000 were sort of...eh...this period also gave us the MOSS architecture that kicks ass wholesale. We got things like the KARMA and the Prophecy. Then the Volcas and the Odyssey reissue, along with the MS-20 mini. It's a pretty high peak to fall from, and they seem to be doing that as we speak.