There have been few surprise hits in the world of patchable instruments like Make Noise’s 0-Coast. But they just might have another hit – a tabletop, patchable, clockable controller-sequencer. And it’s adorable – and US$399.
This is an all voltage-minded sequencer. So you can control everything with a combination of patching and knob turning – direction, pitch, strength, time, and more. It’s also intended for use with expressive instruments, as there’s not only gate outputs per note/step, but also dynamic envelopes and loudness.
(Click for larger versions.)
That’s already enough to set the 0-CTRL apart from the rigid world of hardware sequencers. And that world tends too often in one of two extremes – either hands-on control that locks you into 16 steps and assumes you just want rigid triggers and no expression, or overly complicated and unmusical step editing that typically involves menu diving. (Ewww.)
But the other clever conceit of the 0-CTRL is to assume you might want to take over from the sequencer and play. So Sequencer Interrupt lets you play by hand, even simultaneously as the sequence is running.
Plus, nothing I can say in words really matches how cute, cheery, and clear the 0-CTRL looks. Now, normally things that make sound wildly out-sell things that don’t, which does tend to favor the 0-Coast over the 0-CTRL. But this thing is so clever and clear, I can imagine it might win over converts even outside the usual Make Noise and 0-Coast fandom.
And, of course, maybe the kids now are reading for microtonality! (I mean, it’s great!)
“There is a whole world of mood and emotion and musical setting that can be achieved with microtonal melodic playing,” says Tony Rolando of Make Noise in a prepared statement. “There is no exact prescription, you’re just tuning until it sounds the way you want it to sound.”
Oh, and don’t miss the Time row! “The Time row allows you to introduce the “slop” of how people naturally play,” he says. “Sometimes that slop is the magic, and is what gets the groove going.”
This is what independent design gives you – genuinely new stuff that springs from someone’s imagination, not only from something you’ve already seen before.
So, use it with a modular, or use it with the increasing amount of very affordable gear that now uses analog patching, too.
- Fully analog and patch programmable, no menus or modes, what you patch is what you get!
- Sequence and Control the Pitch, Strength, and Time of your synthesizer voice, per step
- Voltage control over Stop and Direction
- Dynamic Reset, select Reset Step while sequencing
- Pressure and Touch Gate outputs for human generated events and expression
- Dynamic Envelope and Gate outputs allow for voice loudness/ strength per note
- Gate output per step for patch programming sequence behavior and triggering unique events per step
- Synchronize the 0-CTRL via the Clock In, or clock other machines with the Clock and/ or Gate Outs
- Sequence your synthesizer and play it by hand simultaneously with Sequence Interrupt
- Pairs well with the 0-Coast, Tape & Microsound Music Machine, or anything having CV Inputs