When Thor was announced, I was quite surprised to see the amount of built-in "extras" like the Delay, the Chorus and the Sequencer sections, because it showed me that Reason was going exactly in the opposite direction that I would like and expect it to: Modularity through discrete smaller integrable virtual devices.
But I understood the reasons why Thor was built like a self-contained-modular-synth. I was also glad because of the well thought out input/output choices (at the back) and of course, the powerful modulation matrix.
I still believe Thor could live without the above mentioned sections, but to some users, it could look like a less powerful synth, that would only get to its full sound generation potential inside a Combinator.
Anyway, after all this, my simple suggestion relates to a still missing sequencer device: a MIDI programmable Step Sequencer. One that we could enter the sequenced notes through the MIDI keyboard, step by step (hence the "Step" in Step Sequencing).
I would imagine such a device with the size of the microMix 6:2, and with a very simple User Interface:
(at the front)
- 1 Run button
- 1 Step Selector button -/+ pair (like a step cursor, to select the step)
- 1 Step Record mode button (to start Step recording from the select step onward, with auto Next-Step each time a Note is entered through the MIDI keyboard)
- 1 Speed/Tempo knob selector
- 32 "back-lit" buttons to quickly turn on/off the Gate Output (at the back) of each Step (it would be great if somehow, the intensity of the button light would vary according with the Velocity set at the back)
- 32 "LCD-like" displays above each button showing the Step note (doubling as a tiny Note edit field for direct typing the step note).
- 1 (33th) button to trigger a 33th step, starting the next slave sequencer
- 1 Mode button, when On, would stop that sequence waiting for a new CV Trigger (at the back) and it would also disable the auto-Run state of the Run button when inside a Combinator or when the Transport Play is used.
(at the back)
- 1 CV Trigger input (to start the sequence)
- 1 CV Step select input (so steps can be CV selectable)
- 32 CV Note outputs
- 32 Velocity knobs
- 32 CV Gate outputs
- 1 CV Trigger output (corresponding to the 33th step/button at the front) to trigger the next sequencer
With such tiny step sequencer we would achieve 2 goals:
1) Finally get a step sequence device that would free us from doing step "drawing" on the main sequencer.
2) Daisy-chain as many devices as needed to make longer sequences, of variable sizes (one can trigger the next sequence at any of the 32+1 available steps) running in parallel or in serial sequence.
This would let us make a multi-track sequence matrix to easily trigger ReDrum channels/samples or any other CV accepting device.
(maybe I'll come up with a mock up pic, time permitting)