Toro Electronics has today launched the Kickstarter campaign for its upcoming T-1 euclidean rhythm MIDI sequencer powered by parameter-driven algorithms.
T-1 is a pure MIDI sequencer, no CV a shame, but it looks nice and compact and has many creative features. Unlike other sequencers, it is a hardware sequencer that uses parameter-driven algorithms to generate patterns and melodies. So basically it’s less about programming specific steps and more about manipulating patterns created by the machine. This approach is very different compared to the best-selling Beatstep Pro or Keystep Pro sequencer.
The interface is split into four different sections (shape, groove, tonal, and setup) with which you can generate and alter sequences. Simply by tweaking knobs, you can create Euclidean rhythms and melodies.
4 Inspiring Sections
- The Shape section lets you sculpt the rhythmic cycle, add repeating notes, create arpeggiating patterns and melodic movements.
- The Groove section lets you set the base velocity and sustain and change the musical feel by changing the timing and accent of the notes.
- The Tonal section lets you change and add notes, scroll though harmonies and lock notes into musical scales.
- The Setup section lets you control basic setup parameters and add random modulation across all the parameters on the device.
The sequencer features a customizable note repeater that lets you add repeats in your sequences. Here, you can adjust the rate and amount of repeats which can be arranged and voiced in different ways to create arpeggiator styles and much more.
T-1 has 16 banks, with 16 patterns in each bank–a total of 256 patterns are always readily available. Patterns can be triggered manually or chained in a sequence to build longer progression. It offers a total of 16 tracks with up to 24 note polyphony on each track. Each track can be assigned to one of 16 MIDI channels, connecting to hardware or software devices via USB or the MIDI ports.
Pretty impressive is the built-in randomization function that can be applied to every parameter on each track, making it possible to add slight variations to total random chaos. On top, the randomness can be locked into the loops and scaled what is pretty handy. The looped random sequence can also be set to slowly evolve, generating variations on the composition over time.
In my opinion, the highlight here is the Ableton Link integration which is rarely found in hardware devices. T-1 has a built-in WiFi module that lets you use Link and so it is synchronized with your other beats, phase, and tempo of Ableton Live, Link enable devices, and apps. With this technology built-in, all connected devices can start and stop their part while others keep playing, and anyone can adjust the tempo and the rest will follow.
At first glance, it looks like a very beautiful and sophisticated sequencer that inspires musicians even in moments where the clear idea is lacking. Since the sequencer is not completely based on automation/randomization, it is also very interesting as a performance tool. The steps you have entered can be made more complex and sophisticated by the algorithms. Human interaction meets music-making algorithms, that’s nice.
It can enrich an existing hardware setup and integrate it nicely with the software world thanks to Ableton Link.
Torso Electronics T-1 is available now for pre-order for about 470€ on Kickstarter. Shipping starts in December 2020.
More information here: TE