What if you could record & multi-track directly on your music
keyboard while you are playing it, without
touching a computer keyboard or mouse
Sequetron is a program with a twist; designed as a live
for hands-on use, all played & controlled from
where your hands are - the music
keyboard. It runs from switch-on with no interaction, and converts the
simplest MIDI keyboard or device into a multi-track recording, playback
& looping instrument.
It has sequencer-like
functions but is radically different to other programs as it is
completely controlled using series of music notes
called command sequences. There
no difference between commands and music - they are all sequences, hence
the name... it can even control itself.
This fresh approach
involved first designing a command language based on musical
notes, and only then writing a program to interpret it. The computer now takes a
back seat, so it really is a different concept...
A front-end instrument for ideas &
inspiration... and fun!
The screen, mouse & qwerty keyboard are used for configuration
& maintenance (the screen provides status info and customary
flashing lights during normal operation)... but none of them
LE version running 4 sequences/tracks
Full version running 7 (of 16)
The input can be any simple MIDI keyboard or device, and the output can be
any MIDI device(s) such as synthesizers, drum machines, light displays
Sequences can be recorded in real-time or step-time, played back,
looped and altered (channel, velocity, pitch, mute etc.), either
individually or in any combination, but unlike hardware sequencers,
there is no concept of 'steps', nor do the sequences have to be
monophonic; any notes & chords can be used. They can also be saved
to standard MIDI files for further processing by other programs.
User-defined drum patterns with
(user-defined bass patterns/riffs also possible)
This hands-on ability to record, play & alter different length
sequences starting at different times on-the-fly gives Sequetron an
unusual syncopated feel, encouraging you to experiment with overlaying
and controlling patterns; even the most basic 1, 2 or 3-note sequences
can create something totally unexpected...
...and if you don't like hands-on, you can automate multiple commands
with macros triggered by CC messages, e.g. from foot pedals, rotary
Sequetron can also generate and record hotkeys
giving full control over Windows or any application which uses keyboard
shortcuts, e.g. for stepping through a slide/video show in time with your
A fully working Sample Aid
tool for sampling/auditioning MIDI instruments is included with
both full & LE versions.
The 'customary flashing lights'
Configuration files for these are available in the downloads
Or use the sequescope as inspiration...
The built-in template window updates in real-time, and provides a basic
virtual keyboard for test-driving without the need for a MIDI input
A similar system is available to remote programs or devices supporting
the keyboard label link (KLink) sysex protocol, e.g. the RTastra MIDI
controller shown below. The KLink spec & program are available from
A promising backing track mp3
One sequence has been pitch-locked to contrast with the others when they
are shifted; slight dischord at 00:40, but this is all part of the fun.
Strings at 00:50 were some rough(!) & ready improvs.
Cyclic pitch commands in action
This is all running 'hands-free'; a couple of sequences are automatically
switching between 2 pitch offsets.
Cyclic play & mute, cyclic pitch
& time-shift mp3
Three snippets from the same session using the cyclic play & mute,
cyclic pitch and time-shift commands on some existing sequences; the
strings at the end were live.
Building sequences step-by-step from
(also shown in the Mk
and described in the tutorial)
- Start metronome & record sequence 1 (4 notes), then press Play
to stop & play immediately. My slight mis-timing during the record
cycle is automatically fixed by the quantiser.
- Pitch key pressed to shift all tracks currently playing.
- Sequence 2 (same 4 notes as 1) has been recorded in sync &
stopped along with metronome; Seq2 & Play keys pressed to start
seq 2 on the off-beat of seq 1.
- Pitch key pressed to shift all tracks currently playing down 3
semitones & back again.
- Seq2 & Pitch keys pressed to shift sequence 2 up by 3
semitones, then back again. Did you predict what this will sound like
before playing it?
- Pitch all down & re-introduce metronome as a bass, then repeat.
- Tempo keys pressed to speed up, then a few pitch changes.
- A few more tweaks; something developing?
- mp3 later mp3
- Manual play (I use the term loosely) on the same keyboard...a melody
- A similar sequence using a different synth patch.
Minimum system requirements
Windows XP and later.
Tested ok on:-
- PC with XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 7 64-bit
- Mac via Boot Camp with Win XP
- Linux via Wine (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS screenshot)
MIDI hardware or software equivalent:-
- Input device, e.g. keyboard, drum machine, midi controller, midi
guitar (guitar practicality untested as yet!). Can also be test-driven
with the built-in virtual keyboard.
- Output device, e.g. synth, sound module, light display (for
- Self-contained MIDI keyboard/sound devices can be used if they have
an option to disable 'local' MIDI control, i.e. the sound generator
section can be controlled by MIDI-in as opposed to the local keyboard.
(see below for full version)
(required for both LE & full versions)
The documentation is an installable package, but these free-standing
docs can be viewed on any platform if reqd.
for recent program
from users (change-log
configs, screenshots, MIDI files, icons, docs etc.
Contact me if you want to share anything
version is free
if you pass it on please keep the package intact. It handles fewer seqs
& has less command variations than the full version, but is fully
usable with no time limits or nag screens. Ideal for synths with limited
polyphony, such as the microKORG.
this PayPal link
payment is received, a full Sequetron registered in your name will be
emailed to you. Let me know what name you would like to use for the
registration. This is normally with 24 hours - sometimes within the hour
if I catch the payment notification email. Any problems, contact me via
email address shown at bottom of page.
Why upgrade to
the Full version?
Free upgrades, plus...
More features, e.g...
- 16 sequences/tracks
- 9 parts per sequence
- 99 scene files for save/load MIDI
- 1-99999 bpm tempo range
- Logarithmic tempo changes
- Multiples Sequetrons can run simultaneously
- No. of bars for metronome sequence can be changed
- Multi-channel operation on all ports & channels
- Channel filtering for MIDI inputs
- Customisable colours
- Customisable program-change/patch names
- Separate config files for key maps & colours, e.g. for
- Docking & width buttons for template/virtual keyboard
- Width button for keymapper
- More animation options for virtual keyboard
- Window positions restored at start-up
- Sequescope can be moved/resized
- Room for more drum & bass styles
- Save & load drum & bass patterns
- Multiple notes/flams & qwerty editing in metronome style
- Sweep tables
More run-time commands/options, e.g...
- Live-play function in all modes for no interruptions to live
- Hold functions in all modes for repeated data entry
(use Hold & Live together for split-keyboard operation)
- Full set of force-to-scale & force-to-notes functions
- Record & step-record variants for auto-incrementing
target seq no.
- Record-bar variants for recording pre-defined nos. of bars
- Record-raw variants for recording from raw input ports, e.g.
capturing external rhythms
- Record/stop command for single-trigger record/loop/stop
- Shortcut functions for switching between commands
- Force-to-scale & force-to-notes commands
- Seln functions for pitch-shifting individual notes within
- Record & step-record functions to toggle recorded
- Edit sequence lengths with time-shift command
- Octave +/- , transpose & pitch-lock/unlock functions
within pitch mode
- More variants such as 4, 8, 16, 32, n, nn, r, rr for play,
mute, playmute, pitch, stop/play commands in record mode etc.
- More variants such as 8, 16 for nq quantise command
- Cyclic modifier for allowing commands to have unequal
play/mute cycles, e.g. 3 play, 1 mute
- Sweep modifier for allowing commands to sweep through ranges
dynamically, e.g. ports, parts, channels, progs, tdiv etc.
- Adjustable metronome beat length
- Runtime control for metronome fill, no. of bars, type
- More options for step-time recording
- More options for tempo clock division
- Full set of hotkey shortcuts, including hold functions
- Macros/CC control for automating multiple functions
- Wrap-round options for inc/dec attribs such as Channel, Prog,
- Option to auto-select next free seq for recording if no seqs
- Tempo division & multiply for individual seqs
- Function shortcuts for inc/dec fcns in pitch, ftn, fts modes
- Harmonic series functions for chord roots
- Run/double-click the program installation file and follow the
- Repeat for the documentation installation file, using the same
destination locations as the main program.
(administrator privileges are required)
Windows may prompt for permission to install using various messages...
- If you see: Windows protected your PC - Windows SmartScreen
prevented an unrecognised application from starting...
Click 'More Info' to reveal a button marked 'Run anyway' and click
- If you see: User Account Control - Do you want to allow the
following program from an unknown publisher to make changes to this
Once installed, Sequetron can be started via Start, Programs etc.
When started, click Settings, Ports to select your MIDI input & output
devices and click Run. You no longer need to touch the PC; your music
keyboard will act as a self-controlled sequencer-like instrument.
You can save this configuration so it will auto-run in future, allowing
completely hands-free operation from power-on; more details in the
There is a troubleshooting guide if you get stuck.
Please contact me if you have any problems.
- Use the standard uninstall/remove process in Windows Control Panel.
Administrator privileges are required, so you may need to acknowledge
User Account Control prompts as shown above and/or logon as an
admin user first.
Data files will not be removed, e.g. configs, scenes, midi, logs.
MIDI drivers & internal synths
If you are using an internal driver to convert MIDI to sound, the standard
Windows driver (Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth) is not
recommended due to its poor response time/latency. One free
alternative is mudlord's BASSMIDI
driver configured with Rich Nagel's WeedsGM3
BASSMIDI v1.06 is reputed to have the fastest response
time, but has only been verified with Sequetron on Windows XP.
v2.02 is not recommended as it crashes Sequetron on WinXP.
The latest version as at May 2012 is v3.0 which has been verified with
Sequetron on WinXP. It seems to have a similar response time to v1.06, so
may be a better choice if you can't get v1.06 working (always unload old
drivers and reboot before installing new ones).
If there are any problems downloading these versions from mudlord's site,
my local copies are here: v1.06
If you install BASSMIDI you
must also install a sound font, such as WeedsGM3
otherwise the driver will not make any sounds! Once you've installed
BASSMIDI, download & run WeedsGM3 to unpack it into a folder of your
choice (don't use a system folder to avoid permission problems), then find
the BassMidi configuration option in the Start, Programs menu and
add/apply the sound font.
© Phil Tipping, 2018