Avant-garde musical hardware researcher and developer Squarp Instruments has announced that it is already accepting pre-orders on its inaugural Pyramid Polyrhythmic Sequencer breakthrough — an advanced hardware standalone sequencer running proprietary PyraOs realtime processing firmware and boasting (multiple) MIDI, USB, CV/Gate, and (Sync48- and Sync24-configurable) DIN Sync connectivity, together with a host of features belying its compact and bijou form factor.
Most notably, and currently rare in the industry, Pyramid Polyrhythmic Sequencer is fully polyrhythmic, meaning different and unusual time signatures can be set for each of its 64 tracks to create shifted-beat sequences — set a track to 4/4 and add other tracks to simultaneously run with it in 5/4, 6/8, 15/8, or whatever — to bring new musical flavours to productions.
“Our aim was to create a hardware sequencer in sync with the new styles of electronic music being written nowadays,’ notes company co-founder and R&D engineer Tom Hurlin. “There’s a huge gap in the market for this, which is kind of weird, because most popular music from the early-Eighties to the late-Nineties was produced using sequencing hardware. Hip-hop, for example, originated on the MPC series, which actually revolutionised all kinds of music — Madonna to Bryan Ferry to Whitney Houston. How come these machines were suddenly replaced by the computer?’
So, by cleverly combining computer, sequencing software, controller, and interface, the robust result is an amazingly accomplished sequencing solution that is as practical in use as it is easy on the eye while its road-ready aluminium casing only measures 268 x 206 x 44mm.
The sequencer makes for a standalone device par excellence, enabling users to agilely access a wide-ranging workflow based around 64 tracks. Each track can be up to 64 bars in length and acts as a loop that contains polyphonic or monophonic notes, automations and effects, plays repeatedly and controls one of the electronic musical instruments connected to the MIDI 1, MIDI 2 +sync (DIN Sync), CV, and USB outputs. Of course, those instruments could be hardware (such as drum machines, synthesizers, and modular synth systems), virtual instruments (running on a connected computer or even an iOS device, such as Apple’s all-pervasive iPhone smartphone or iPad tablet), or combinations thereof. The full flexibility of CV, G (Gate), and ENV — useful for sequencing any voltage-controlled parameter, such as an envelope generator or filter — connectivity will absolutely appeal to modular synth system aficionados, all the more so since the ever-present Eurorack small-format modular system is increasingly being popularised.