Torso T1

I was surprised that there is no thread on this topic yet, because the Torso T1 seems like something a lot of lines members would be interested in. So here we go. Might be useful to solve problems and discuss workflows…

I received my T1 yesterday and only spent a few hours with it, but I’m impressed already: build quality, user interface, functionality. I really like it so far. (Love the ROTATE function and the phase shift for the random modulation. ROTATE was one of my favorite features of the Orthogonal Devices ER-101/102.)

One tip for other T1 newbees: Torso’s manual (and video) say, to apply random to a primary function you have to “press and hold the RANDOM knob” (that’s true) and “turn the knob” of the function you want to apply randomization to, for instance REPEATS. That’s wrong! You need to PRESS/HOLD/TURN the knob, just turning is not enough. It took me quite long to figure that out.

EDIT: A T1 user on Elektronauts just told me that holding RANDOM and just turning the knob of the function you want to randomize also works – and they’re right. The difference though is that you don’t get any visual feedback and no phase shift options this way (only with press/hold/turn, like mentioned above.)

When you want to phase shift the random modulation you end up in this quite artistic gesture, pressing/holding RANDOM with the right hand, while pressing/holding the primary function knob of your choice with the left hand and pushing the blue phase shift buttons with your left thumb.
The solution is to lock the RANDOM knob (double press) so that you can use your right hand for the phase shift buttons.

Looking forward to hear other tips and workflow ideas…

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Thanks for starting this thread. I am in my depth year. One of my objectives is to ‘master’ the Torso as primary sequencer for improv and real-time composing. I’ve had it for a couple of months and it totally meets my expectations. I use it primarily with my portable eurorack case. A few things and ideas about my current workflow:

In this photo the T1 is clocked by Pam’s, and my Pam’s is clocked by my mate’s Pam’s so we could jam together. When stand-alone, I use the config described below.

I use it with a Hexinverter Mutant Brain to have an additional 4 CV+Gate channels plus 8 trigger/gate channels via Midi out 1. Midi out 2 goes via a trs cable to the Knobula Poly Cinematic module. The T1 is the master clock and sends clock and reset to Pam’s new workout. Pam’s clocks IME Stillson Hammer Mk2 and Disting Mk3’s clock delay. All without latency issues, so I am very happy with this. The T1 is powered via a 1U usb output module (top left in the case), so I need a wall outlet and I am good to go.

I printed the T1 manual, as I like to study it deep. It is very well written and helps me dive in deep.

This simple setup is not only fun to work with at my kitchen table, it also helps me to understand the various functions of the T1 better. The midi implementation is pretty deep and having visual feedback is a great help. The app shown here is the Animoog. But it works even better with the new and polyphonic Animoog Z. The app follows bpm, velocity and many other midi messages.

Small final bits:

  • Torso sell a case for it. I got it and again it is an amazing piece of work. It protects the T1 when it sits in my flight case.
  • I have great experience with their support via email. Lars is extremely professional and friendly.
  • One thing I struggle(d) with is the save function: you can only save a bank to its current location. If you want to “move” a bank to another location you have to copy it. It really think/hope this can be improved.

EDIT: In reply to the question of @bereenondo

The T-1 config software allows you to configure quite a few things. Most importantly the 6 gate/cv outputs. There are some 'pre-config" options available at the press of a button:

  • 2 voices: 2x Gate + Pitch CV + Velocity CV
  • 3 voices: 3x Gate + Pitch CV
  • drum gates: 6x Gate
  • User: option to save your custom setting

As mentioned above, I use the Hexinverter Mutant Brain to ramp up the amount of CV and gate/trigger outputs from the T1. But the config software already gives some serious flexibility to the onboard stuff.

Looking forward to learning from other T1 users here.

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Interesting, when reading your post and checking out T-1 I thought that this could make a good replacement for ER-101, but how do you feel about only two gate outs? Is it too little in your experience?

I’d like to kindly invite @Rectangular_Eye to join the discussion and share T1 experiences.

I can’t comment on the gate outs, because I transitioned to Buchla and I assume the gate outs won’t work there without active converter hardware (that’s fine though, I’ll use MIDI), but perhaps a few other thoughts.

I owned ER-101/102, had a love/hate relationship with and finally sold it, but I still think it’s a great sequencer – just not for me. My impression is, that T1 is way more playable. The ER is mainly a composition tool in the sense that you compose rhythms/melodic lines and then apply some random operations to mess things up. The T1 has the opposite approach: You start with algorithmic operations and then you can add/delete specific steps. It is really deep, but feels less brainy to me than the ER. I love that it doesn’t have a display. Oh, and it’s polyphonic (per track).

I also enjoy the small form factor. Just connect your computer or an iPad via the USB C cable and you’re ready to go. Ableton Link on board is also a big plus. Feels like the OP-1 of sequencers.

As said, I’m at the very beginning of my T1 journey, but after the first hours I’m really looking forward to it.

I have been considering one of these guys, but I’m looking for good demos, a lot of the music I hear made with the T1 feels a bit… under-expressive? Airless? Robotic?

Hard to explain what I mean, but I hope you understand. I’m sure this community will have lots of great examples that can show how :fire: this thing can be!

I know what you mean. I had a T1 for ~4 months, and my goal during that time was to establish more improvisational methods that would push beyond the grid, so to speak. I got there, sometimes, but often found myself slipping into the same patterns.

I eventually focused my efforts on learning TidalCycles instead. To be honest, I ended up making — in my opinion — much more interesting patterns with a real sense of motion/evolution in under an hour with about 8 lines of super basic tidal code. I also dig that I can do midi/pattern sequencing and sample manipulation in a single environment.

All this to say — I really enjoyed my time with the T1, and it’ll probably be the perfect tool for many, but it didn’t quite match up with the workflow — or the music — I had in my head.

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Hey all - thanks for pinging me, @Voltmeister! I got my T1 last June. I was previously using a keystep pro, but almost stopped using it completely when the T1 arrived. It’s my first real sequencer with no traditional keyboard layout or playable sequence recording, so there was a small workflow adjustment there, but ultimately it’s been an incredible tool thus far. It’s super sturdy, the navigation is incredibly intuitive and it’s pretty easy to get something usable quickly. I also love how easy it is to switch MIDI channels on the fly - it’s a really lovely feature when using with the bitbox.

At first I was using all 3 gate/CV outs to control my modular with MIDI running to my bitbox and 0-Coast. I recently got a Poly 2, so it’s able to power the T1 through my rack while having a bunch more gates/CV/clocks.

There are a few things I wish will be added in future firmware updates:

  • More scales.
  • The ability to place a ratchet on a specific step. You can create ratchets using repeats and random modulation, but it’s not very controllable.

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What’s tuning stability on the cv outs like for you all? My unit drifts quite a bit between octaves. I emailed Torso, and it sounds like they’re aware of the issue and working on some kind of calibration tool.

Overall, I quite enjoy the t-1 and am excited for this thread!

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I honestly have not noticed that being an issue with mine?

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I noticed this too. The issue is not present when I use midi.

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Anyone experiencing issues with their MIDI ports? Both my outs – Thru in particular – are quite sensitive to plug movement. I’m using the supplied adaptor and a custom TRS-Din5 cable.

I have two questions and one problem/potential bug:

  • Question 1: Is it really not possible to start from a different Cycle than 1?
  • Question 2: Is it possible to rotate an entire pattern, so that it sounds the same, but just starts from a different step? The ROTATE function seems to rotate steps, but nothing else, so it changes the pattern.
  • Problem: Ableton Link sync works perfectly with 4/4 time signature in Live, but when I set Live’s time signature to 3/4, T1 pattern start point is different on every Stop/Start. This looks like a bug?
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Not as far as I know. To keep things interesting you can apply random to parameters of the 1st cycle and you can apply random to the order of cycles. Possibly use the external cv input to spice things up.

I think you are right.

Sorry no experience with this. But please mail Torso so they can check and fix if needed.

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Torso’s support just replied to me and confirmed all three points. They consider starting from a different Cycle than 1 and rotating an entire pattern useful, so those features might be implemented in a future update.

They also confirmed that T1’s Ableton Link sync currently does not work correctly for other time signatures than 4/4. They are aware of this issue and it’s on their roadmap for a future update.

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Thanks for the update! Looking forward to firmware fixes.

Thanks for the update. Nice to hear Torso has their eye on these things.

New firmware with lots of interesting improvements.

I finally got it to sync via analog sync though it seems like there is some minor issues depending on the tempo. I had to tweak the ppq and play with a number of different settings on the E-RM Multiclock but got it working mostly. Still doesn’t auto-run so you’ll need a start trigger and the gate mode doesn’t seem to work consistently. Still hoping for more in the future.

Look forward to trying the Buchla 1.2v cv mode though I have other midi-cv solutions for that now but it is a welcome addition if it works.

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Question for all the T1 users here: do you use the T1 for writing structured compositions with different parts/tracks and if so what strategies do you use in regards to cycles, banks, and patterns?

I struggle a bit with the workflow when trying to use the T1 in this way, particularly with copying and pasting tracks – I wish there was a way to copy a single track into a different pattern.

Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe that currently you can only copy a track and paste it within the same pattern.

Could this be the solution you are looking for? Current manual and firmware (v1.2.0) page 31.

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