Already, it's clear that standalone hardware step sequencers are going to be one of the trends of 2015. Korg has the SQ-1, Arturia is bringing us the BeatStep Pro, and now Squarp Instruments has introduced the Pyramid.
With a seemingly clean and elegant design, this looks to be right on trend. There are live and step modes (you can make use of 35 backlit silicon pads and five clickable encoders), and the option to arrange sequences into a complete song. You can work with up to 16 tracks, and assign up to four MIDI effects per track (current options include quantization, swing, delay, randomizer, glitch, humanizer, harmonizer and arpeggiator).
There's plenty of connectivity, too: two standard MIDI Outputs, USB MIDI, CV and gate I/O and Env out are just some of the options. As such, Pyramid should work with all your digital and analogue gear, including your computer and/or iOS device.
On a more creative level, it's worth noting that Pyramid is polyrhythmic (you can set different time signatures for each track) and offers one algorithmic euclidean sequencer engine per track. An LCD screen provides visual feedback, and the device can be used as a MIDI controller, too.
Pyramid is available for pre-order now from the Squarp Instruments website and will start shipping in June 2015. It costs €699.
Squarp Instruments Pyramid specs
- Live mode: improvise and record notes and automations with the transposable keys, the touchpad or with an external controller. Use the smartpads to play chord progressions, scales and repeated notes.
- Step mode: create and arrange rhythms and melodies with the full-real-time step-by-step sequencer. A step can be a note, a chord or a CC MIDI message. You can also use the euclidean graphic sequencer.
- Track mode: set, manage and control up to 16 tracks. Mute/unmute tracks on the fly, change in real-time the resolution, the length, the time signature, the midi channel.
- Seq mode: launch your sequences (a group of 16 tracks) on the fly or link them to each other to create a complete song.
- Effect manager: combine up to 4 real-time MIDI effects per track.
- Assign manager: link an effect parameter or a CC message to the touchpad, the accelerometer or any of the five encoders at your disposal.
- MIDI in (to control Pyramid with a MIDI controller)
- MIDI out (x2)
- DYN sync out
- CV+GATE in (x2) [0 to 5V]
- CV+GATE out [0 to 5V]
- ENV out (assignable CV envelope, for example to sequence filters) [0 to 5V]
- PEDAL in (x2)
- Plug and play MIDI USB out
- SD card slot to save an unlimited number of projects and upgrade the OS.
- 35 backlit silicon pads
- Menu clickable encoder to control everything
- 5 assignable clickable encoders
- Assignable multi-finger touchpad
- Assignable accelerometer
- White backlit LCD graphical screen
- Mini USB bus powered (power supply included)
- Kensington security lock
- 206x268x44mm aluminium housing