Best Audio Sequencers in 2020



Emerson 24A34-5 Electric Heat Sequencer, 3 Switches Review:


The blower on my Coleman furnace had intermittently stopped blowing during a call to heat. I could see the elements getting (very) orange hot through a crack in the case, but no blower. Internet research seemed to indicate that this was due to a failing sequencer. I purchased this to replace my stock model 3115-357. After I wired it in, but before turning back on the breakers, I noticed that all the "M" connections were flipped flopped from my original. M1 had traded placed with M2 and vice versa. Not wanting to mess anything up, I called Emerson for assistance and the tech suggested that I rewire it and follow the labeled connections. So I rewired it to respect the "M" connections - so old M1 went to new M1 even though it was on the opposite side of the sequencer. I turned on the breaker and immediately the fan kicked on even though the thermostat was still off. Ut oh. I guess the Emerson tech was incorrect. I rewired it again to the follow the locations of the original sequencer and after turning on the breakers, everything worked as before.



Teenage Engineering CA-X Generic Case Review:


Fits my PO-32 Tonic perfectly. Not sure if it will fit a PO-33. Gives my PO-32 a little more protection and guards against accidental splashes. Even has a small hole cut in the top right corner for the mic. Like the feel of the case and helps to keep it from sliding around on the table when I'm manipulating the buttons and knobs in real time. The only downside(s) are that it is a bit pricey (paying $40 to protect a $90 device), and because the case is soft rubber, it will tend to pick up lint, dust, and pet hair, so don't use it while you're mixing pancake batter.



Otamatone "Deluxe" [English Edition] Electronic Musical Instrument Synthesizer from Japan by Cube / Maywa Denki, White Review:


Upgraded from the normal sized otamatone, well worth the money. Much louder, bigger, and easier to play. The sound is richer than the normal one, also. The mouth movement is a little janky and makes a bit of noise, though. Overall, I would definitely recommend the otamatone deluxe over the regular sized one. Even though it's a little pricier, it's totally worth it for what you get.
Update: Today the otamatone just wouldn't turn on. I tried everything, but it just didn't work. However, I will be getting a replacement soon. Hope this doesn't happen too anyone else. No hard feelings though, the return service was great and I'm still in love with the product! Just keep in mind it is still quite fragile and janky.



Teenage Engineering PO-16 Pocket Operator Factory Lead and Chord Synthesizer Review:


The PO-16 Factory is my 3rd Pocket Operator, and I'm going to try to make it my last, though the combination of small size/low price does make it tempting to become a "collector". The Factory is marketed as a lead synthesizer, but I also own the PO-20 Arcade and find that device to be a more complete product. Both of them have a very finite number of sounds they can produce, and actually, both of them end up sounding a "chiptune". Still, for a $60 device, I'm comfortable with the fact that this is more of a niche product offering a few interesting sounds, rather than a primary musical instrument for writing leads.

The main reason for my one-star review deduction on the Factory is that maddening decision by Teenage Engineering to limit both the Factory and Sub to a whole note (basically, C Major) scale. Yes, you can use one of the effects as a "pitch bend" to raise certain notes a half step and "trick" it into doing sharps and flats that way. But that's way more complicated than it needed to be. I read somewhere that the idea behind locking these into C major was to make them more beginner friendly for people who pick them up and want to program random notes using multiple Pocket Operators. That explanation made a lot of sense to me, and it's representative of the strange bridge all of the Pocket Operators walk between "serious musical tool" and "musical toy".

Still, there's enough good features with the PO-16 to consider at least giving it a look. The sequencer and pattern chaining are actually more advanced than what you find on the Korg Volcas. The Factory is a fun, tweakable experience, and it even has a (very primitive) drum machine built in as the 16th instrument. I think the best thing that you can say about all of the Pocket Operators is that they encourage you to explore different musical ideas by completely blowing up the traditional way that you would input notes and interact with a musical device. The Factory offers a limited collection of sounds, which are of surprising quality for a glorified computer chip with a couple of AAA batteries strapped to it. It's a fun little device that could have been done a little better, but I actually prefer the PO-20 Arcade.



Akai Professional LPD8 | Portable 8-Pad USB MIDI Pad Controller for Laptops (Mac & PC) Review:


This is my third attempt in finding a midi controller solution for my needs. If you read my previous review on the Nektar GX61 you will have an idea. If not, the story is much like Goldy Lox and the Three Bears.
Porridge is to hot, too cold, bed is too whatever, just not the right fit.
The Akai LPD8 coupled with the NEKTAR GX 61 is perfect for me.
Really Happy about this.
Let me say that this Akai unit feels solid. Small is good here. The knobs feel nice, pads feel good. Fits perfectly with the Nektar controller I just purchase.
I am choosing to play with this without the editor. I did download the editor after playing with the unit within Cubase. It worked well as it learned the controls I want to manipulate. After downloading the Akai Librarian softare and made changes in my device menu, the Akai unit and Nektar were not responding. I didn't want to waste hours figuring out why, so I deleted the Libririan software.
Works good for now as I want to delve more in CC's ,program changes, assignments and banks.
The quality for the price point is quite satisfactory. I am content with how both units operate and I still have room on my desk while now back to a 61 key baby.
I'm ticked pink.
Thank you Akai, Nektar and Amazon.
Amazon, you are what we studied in business, a major category KILLER.
I'm okay with that as long as you carry my food items one day and air my cooking show!
Thanks!



F_topbu Women Casual Pants Striped High Waist Harem Pants Bandage Elastic Casual Wide Leg Pants with Belt Review:


I live in the high desert area of Southern California and the fabric of these pants are great for the summer. Kinda like wearing a skirt without the oops! (skirt flying up in the wind) I am in love! Great cut, Great fit, Great fabric! And they make me look nice enough for office attire and are still flexible enough to do things you can't do in a skirt (like move boxes)