Numerology 2.3 & the Launchpad : Demo 1 from Five12 on Vimeo.

Remember the sequencer? There seem to be thousands of ways of firing up an FM synth or sampled keyboard, but when it comes to the process of actually assembling musical patterns – you know, the stuff music is made of – your choices are surprisingly limited.

Numerology is a box full of musical goodness, a set of modules for sequencing. An independently-developed tool with a passionate following, the software is the brainchild of developer Jim Coker, who has been dutifully adding carefully-crafted functionality with each release.

Version 2.3 adds beautiful, tight integration with the Novation Launchpad. It’s a fantastic match, with direct, one-to-one button manipulation of note, drum, chord, and matrix sequencing. In fact, it really gives Numerology the feel of being a hardware sequencer.

There’s great stuff in the pipeline, too: think OSC support, for control via monome, iPhone, and the like, plus the ability to run Numerology modules as Audio Unit plug-ins. And if you don’t have a Launchpad, recent builds have added other note tweaks, fixes, and other support.

But even before waiting for stuff to come, there’s already plenty to love about Numerology. At US$119, it’s a steal.

It could be a reason to pick up a cheap Mac, or to dedicate an older Mac to sequencing purposes in the studio. System requirements are light (hey, this is sequencing we’re talking about): OS X 10.4.11, 1GHz CPU, 1GB RAM, 1024×768 screen resolution. I’m reconfiguring my workspace and making my MacBook into a little sequencing station.

I could ramble on all day, but best is checking out all the videos Jim has been working on for a sense of how this can work musically:

  • The Cody

    Ah, numerology. The only reason I want a Mac.

  • White CAt

    yes, I don't see any other reason either

  • Anything like this for pc that DOESNT require some add-on like max?

  • pete.m

    Numerology and Impromptu are 2 of the main reasons I bought my first mac about a year ago. The fact that I can use my launchpad with Numerology is awesome!

  • mat

    Yeah, Numerology is great! (as far as i can judge, cause I am on PC and only watched the videos)
    And I wonder too, that there are only a few tools like that. For me sequencing is such a essential part in making music. And it is a big difference if you enter the sequence with a mouse in your grid edit of your daw or if you do it by some hardware buttons – it is more intuitive and leads to more spontanious ideas…
    Well, that was the reason for me to get into max – not because I always wanted to, but because I wanted a special sequencer. Now I build sequencers for the Lemur (see earlier post this month) and it really change my musical output (beneath the fact of having more fun)
    @ peter: Sequencers in Max will run with the free max runtime, so no (further) costs for users.

  • "the ability to run Numerology modules as Audio Unit plug-ins"

    Holy crap. THAT is the killer app for this thing.

    I love Numerology (at least the demos I've played with). But every time I play with it, I find myself wishing I could drop it into Logic (even though I could export midi with the full version and do it that way … or rewire or soundflower + iac or whatever).

    Also with AU integration it could mean I could drop an instance in mainstage too. That would be shibby!

  • Joe

    > It could be a reason to pick up a cheap Mac

    It could be a reason to release cross platform

  • in fact Numerology is really CPU free !

  • Yeah, I'd still love to see a Windows – or better yet, Linux – version. But in the meantime, it's Numerology.

    Of course, there is the possibility of building similar ideas in something like Pd. It's very different than being able to pick up Numerology and use it, and I love Jim's work, but can also be satisfying.

  • So potentially possible, but not actually possible yet :D. Are there any timing issues running a sequencer in max runtime and connecting it to your daw through (i'm assuming here) some midi loopback?

    And of course does anyone actually do this?

  • Numerology is amazing! I went a couple years using no sequencers and just making free noise/drone stuff, because I didn't like any of the sequencer apps available out there. I found numerology, got into sequencing again, and it's given me a lot of inspiration.

    I like the modular sequencing idea very much… you can do stuff like what you can do in numerology on Clavia's g2 modular, but not many other places I've seen. I've been building modular sequencing macros in reaktor so I can have it on that platform too. I think there are a lot of one-off sequencing apps or VST's, but nothing besides numerology has everything you need in one place, unless you want to make your own in max/msp, reaktor, pd, etc.

  • glo

    I attempted to do something similar with Numerology and a PadKontrol reprogrammed via Farmpad. I came close, but the implementation on the launchpad is so much neater (plus, way more pads).
    This is awesome. Thanks goodness I did not sell my launchpad!

  • vanceg

    Yeah, there is NOTHING I've ever found in the sequencing domain that even comes close to how cool Numerology is. It's the under-known wonder-sequencer.

    These new advances make it look even more attractive! Hopefully a new 'generation' of folks will pick up on Numerology now.

    STRONGLY recommended!

  • mat

    =>Are there any timing issues running a sequencer in max runtime?
    No, it doesn´t matter if you use the runtime or the full version (tested!). Timing problems don´t happen – it is very stable (depending on the patch or your midiclock some msec are normal)
    =>And of course does anyone actually do this?
    yup, me. (and some other people I think/hope) I wonder that there are not more sequ-apps in max. Because I do my stuff with a controlsurface on the Lemur. With the Ipad coming soon, and a bigger request on this stuff, I think about doing a "normal" control-surface too. (the engine stays the same – in Max – see videos of my sequencers if you click on my name here)

  • Thanks a bunch, I wasn't aware of this little wonder….I wonder why not ? 🙂

  • With the addition of LaunchPad integration, I feel as though this is one of the cheaper, user-friendly gateway drugs into the world of sequenced and grid-based music making. At the very least the LaunchPad + Numerolgy setup reminds of a really fun music exhibit you might see at children's science and technology museum. I think many though will take this a lot further. Here's to Numerolgy getting an expanded audience!

  • L13

    the program looks amazing on paper
    i am going to get it
    i am totally underwhelmed with this demo