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Cong Burn's Strokes MIDI sequencing plugin is an instant inspiration generator

strokes
(Image credit: Cong Burn)

Cong Burn (opens in new tab) have announced the release of Strokes v3.3, a new version of their MIDI sequencing plugin. Previously only available as a M4L device, Strokes is now available in VST3/AU format for use in any DAW.

This isn't just any old step sequencer, though - it's an all-in-one sequencing powerhouse that's capable of generating complex and evolving rhythms, melodies and modulation using a variety of different methods, through seven interconnected modules. 

If you're getting creative gridlock in your DAW's stock sequencer or finding yourself stuck for ideas, Strokes is an instant inspiration generator that'll throw out unexpected ideas in just a few clicks. 

Strokes is made up of seven individual modules. Grids offers four channels of sequencing that are capable of switching between euclidean rhythm generation and a conventional step-based layout, while Logic is made up of four channels equipped with algorithmic rhythm generators that create new patterns by running the sequences in Grids through a variety of logic operations. 

The mathematically disinclined - myself included - will be glad to know that this is complex in principle, but simple in operation: essentially, the sequencers will output rhythms and melodies based on a variety of mathematical rules that change in response to values entered on the dials.

Elsewhere in Strokes we have Shares, which uses probability-based faders to reduce the likelihood of notes entered in Grids and Logic being generated, and Weights, a set of four variable envelope followers. 

Patterns can store up to five device-wide snapshots, making it possible to switch between multiple versions of the same arrangement, while Notes enables you to store seven sets of eight note values that define the notes played by Grids and Logic.

The plugin's also packed with modulation possibilities, thanks to Matrix, a parameter sequencer that can automate MIDI CC data across a 16-step grid. When used in conjunction with Grids and Logic, this can achieve the kind of parameter locking associated with Elektron products.

Strokes is the brainchild of developer, electronic musician and label head John Howes, who heads up Cong Burn. The plugin is available now as VST3/AU plugin for Mac and PC, and costs £35.

Visit Cong Burn's website to find out more and download Strokes.

Matt Mullen
Tech Features Editor

I'm the Tech Features Editor for MusicRadar, working on everything from artist interviews to tech tutorials. I've been writing about (and making) electronic music for over a decade, and when I'm not behind my laptop keyboard, you'll find me behind a MIDI keyboard or a synthesizer. 

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