Microbe Meta Sequencer Experiences?


I’ve been looking for a rackable replacement for my SQ-1, and someone is selling a Microbe Meta Sequencer locally for pretty cheap. According to the manufacturer’s website, it’s a tiny, very full-featured [quantizing, transposing, drift, slip, arp, etc.], and clean-looking sequencer, which is exactly what I’m looking for. The only thing that looks weird to me is the “value” pitch system where a semitone is apparently equal to ~68.25. There are only a handful of videos on the module on youtube, and though there’s a long discussion of the module on MW, in typical MW fashion there’s little discussion on its musical uses.

Do any of you have experience with this one? Is it worth trying out? Thanks in advance :raised_hands:

it’s cool and they pop up semi cheap on occasion used due to the company closing down. i had one for a minute and traded it due to the menu diving. it’s not terrible, but i’m not familiar enough with scales and whatnot so something that’s quicker to just adjust and hear instantly worked better for me. you have to dial in each step with that rotary encoder which can be a bit tedious. sort of a sacrifice worth making for the form factor if that is important.

it’s a really cool sequencer overall and the bubble display looks radical.

the company stopped making them and had a going out of business sale last year i believe.
so they were up for like $50 randomly on ebay during that. if you keep an eye out they pop up fairly cheap. not sure what the local price is for the local offer but last one that sold on ebay was $90 shipped.

1 Like

Got one on eBay when he was closing up shop. Love the display, but it’s a bit cumbersome to dial in exact notes due to the factors mentioned in the above reply. I use it as a random modulation source sometimes and I’v had some happy melodic accidents using the random feature and a quantizer.

I designed the panel for it years ago (Microbe also made the Equation Composer, which I did the panel for) so feel free to ask me anything.
The sequencer for sure is not for everybody and excels at some things more than others. I think its most interesting use is for making melodic sequences that change a lot over time but are locked to a scale and are not random strictly speaking. What you do is basically define a base sequence roughly, have it shift around and then apply one or two transposition patterns (it’s got a bunch of built-in sequences which you can use to transpose the main sequence) and then quantize the resulting pitches. It’s quite fun, but also a bit laborious if you want to dial in a specific sequence of notes.
Towards the end of this discussion here:
there’s a bunch of people who are working on an improved and extended firmware, you can download the betas, I’ve got one of the latest ones and it’s quite interesting.
I remember I bugged Bret from Microbe quite a bit about displaying note names instead of unrelated numbers, but apparently that was not such an easy thing to do. I know that somebody from that MW thread is trying to do that now though.
I don’t think it might really replace an SQ-1, it’s really quite a different thing, but maybe you’d like it. They are usually cheap enough to be worth a try imho.