See­ing Pat­terns

Computer Music - - Reviews -

One of the things that sets the SL MkIII apart from the com­pe­ti­tion is its on­board eight-track/Part se­quencer. Poly­phonic se­quences (Pat­terns) of up to 16 steps in length are pro­grammed step by step or recorded live, looper style, with the pads used to se­lect, clear and vis­ually rep­re­sent steps, and notes in­put via the keys. The out­put and MIDI chan­nel of each Part is eas­ily ad­justed, so you could have one Part trig­ger­ing, say, a hard­ware drum ma­chine, an­other play­ing a Euro­rack setup via CV/Gate, and the other six routed to sep­a­rate plugin in­stru­ments in your DAW. A Part can com­prise up to eight chain­able Pat­terns, the key­board can be zoned to play/se­quence mul­ti­ple Parts at a time, and Pat­terns are fully ed­itable from the unit. As well as note data, au­toma­tion of pretty much all of the SL’s con­trols – wheels, ro­taries, slid­ers, etc – is record­able, too. There’s also an arpeg­gia­tor (ac­tive for only one part at a time, alas), the rhythm of which is pro­grammed on the pads.

The SL MkIII’s se­quencer is sur­pris­ingly pow­er­ful and fast to work with. Our only sig­nif­i­cant is­sue with it is that notes ad­here rigidly to the grid at all times, quan­tised on the way in and un-nudge­able af­ter­wards, which rather lim­its its ex­pres­sive­ness in terms of ‘hu­man’ tim­ing.

The eight-track/Part se­quencer is unar­guably one of the high­lights of the SL MkIII

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