Seqtrak is described by Yamaha as a "standalone music production studio" and comprises a step sequencer, drum machine, sampler and several software synths. The portable device is equipped with a microphone, speaker and rechargeable battery, along with a companion app that allows the user to dive into detailed sound editing.
Seqtrak's interface is divided into three sections; on the left we have drums, in the middle is the synth and sampler, and the coloured section on the right handles sound design and effects. The drum section is made up of seven tracks (kick, snare, clap, two hi-hats and two percussion sounds) that can be loaded up with sounds from Seqtrak's sample library, which contains 2000 sounds in total, or with the user's own samples through the Seqtrak app.
The device offers three polyphonic digital synth engines; two of these make use of Yamaha's AWM2 (Advanced Wave Memory) technology, which is a sample-based subtractive synth engine found in a number of other Yamaha products. The other, named DX, is a four-operator FM synth engine based on the sounds of the classic Yamaha DX7 synthesizer.
Each of the synths can switch between mono, poly and chord modes and melodies can be played in via Seqtrak's seven keys, which can be assigned to customizable scales. The device's step sequencer can also be used as a chromatic keyboard. The sequencer itself holds six patterns per track of up to 128 steps that can be dialled in through the 16 steps on Seqtrak's interface.
Seqtrak's sampler can record audio via the built-in microphone or the stereo mini-jack input, resample internally, or play back samples loaded in via the Wi-Fi and USB-C connections. Sounds can be processed through an array of effects that includes 12 types of reverb, 9 types of delay, modulation, distortion and compression, a 5-band master EQ and low-pass and high-pass filters on each track.
Though it's described as a standalone music-making device, Seqtrak notably lacks a screen, and detailed sound editing will be easier to access through the Seqtrak companion app, which runs on macOS, Windows, iOS and Android. The app also offers a visualizer which turns your tracks into graphics that respond to the music; we can't help but note a similarity to Teenage Engineering's OP-Z here, which bears more than a passing resemblance to Seqtrak in its sleek and minimalist design.
Seqtrak is available in two colour schemes, grey and black and a striking white and orange. In addition to the audio in and USB-C port, it's equipped with a headphone out, MIDI in/out and Bluetooth MIDI for linking up with other gear and mobile devices.
At $599, Seqtrak should make a worthy challenger to similarly priced devices such as Elektron's Digitakt and Digitone that offer an abundance of music-making potential in a portable package, and an affordable rival to more expensive grooveboxes like the Teenage Engineering OP-1 field.