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Weird Gear: Yamaha AN1X As a Step Sequencer
By Fitz - 5/15/2007

I've been wanting to experiment with step sequencer riffs on a few of our tunes but been stymied in finding a good hardware controller. Software versions are cool but I hate all the mousing and squinting at the screen. New hardware step sequencers are great but EXPENSIVE! A good one starts at around $2000. Vintage analogue sequencers can be refitted to speak midi but they are still a bit pricey and you have to deal with the idiosyncrasies of at 25+ year-old piece of gear.

yamaha an1x

Then I remembered that my Yamaha AN1X has a built-in step sequencer. I hooked it up to my Jupiter 8 (which fortunately has been midi retrofitted) and was pleased with how well it worked. The AN1X has 16-step sequencer with 8 control knobs. Each step can be assigned:

Yamaha An1x

You can store up to 128 sequences and there are a number of other utilities for editing and adjusting step and sequence length. The setup works great and about my only complaint is there is no random mode in the sequence playback.

Having a hardware sequencer makes all the difference. You can really "play" the instrument in a way just not possible with software versions. Here's a short video of me using the AN1X to trigger my Jupiter 8 I've posted on YouTube.

By Fitz - 5/15/2007 |