I had a bit of time to play auround with that thing. Mainly to see if the overall user interface was intuitive enough. Unsurprisingly it is not, even for me who built it. This is the answer to “why is there any compact digital sequencer” because it is no fun to use with a button number constrain.
I really wanted to go to this point where I could test the idea before going further (hence the lack of features of it), and see if it was viable. At the moment I’m quite dubtful about it.
I managed to get rid of the external clock and use a CTC timer with a 1msec time period (makes the counter easy). In its final stage the speed goes from 5sec to 10hz (but that’s quite annoying to have such large range with an unique single turn pot) form a calculated table (see speed_table.h)
Two methods of modifying the pitch have been tried. First through a table containing the nearest value (8bit resolution, not great) to the 1V/octave standard with an increment octave button (see “note_and_string.h”). Second, retrieving the pitch from an ADC reading, more fun, more “analog feel”, remove the need for additional buttons but can give some weird out-of-tone things. But what’s really lacking it the intuitiveness of it, browsering the array of 16notes for setting their ptich and octave isn’t very pleasing compared to having the steps and their pots right at the fingertips.
So, I guess you can’t have both: compactness and intuitiveness. This might be the reason why there’s no such devices on the market, or the ones which were didn’t last long.
If there is any interest the C files are here : https://github.com/ThebigDickhead/AVR_PROG/tree/master/digit_seq (please take them as it)
So, I don’t know at the moment what to do with that, it was worth the try anyway. I’ve to think more about it because I really like the compactness and the powerfulness of the digital aspect. Although I feel that it won’t do the trick until pots are added. For sure it is more work than soderling binary counter, multiplexer, transistors and pots but it may offer much more somehow. Maybe I should do something less close to the traditional sequencer and do something more abstract or random, with pattern and pre-defined steps…
Besides, I should mention that nowday you get an arturia beatsteap for something like 70 euros on the second hand market, why bother ? and it takes no HP space too.
It is though I must say. Although I like to have neurones on fire sometimes you can’t beat the obvious…