Going DAWless and/or needing a hardware sequencer? This summer you can choose between two new and very interesting products. We already covered the Pyramid Sequencer from Squarp Instruments and now it’s the time to introduce CARBON, a pattern-based sequencer from Kilpatrick.
Like the Pyramid, CARBON was announced last year. It went through a successful crowdfunding campaign and it’s now (almost) ready to ship.
Why CARBON matters Unlike more typical linear sequencers, CARBON aims to be a new source of inspiration. Consider it a mix of sequencer, performance tool, motif generator, polyrhythmic generator, arpeggio generator and live tool that can sequence over MIDI, USB and CV/Gate.
CARBON has six tracks which can each hold 64 steps. Steps can be generated randomly, edited interactively, or recorded from a MIDI keyboard one step at a time, or in real-time while the sequencer is running.
Polyphony (YES!) and CC recording are supported so each step can contain chords or other performance data.
We’re talking about two very different products (also in terms of price), but if you have an Arturia BeatStep Pro and you wish it was polyphonic, maybe it’s time to start saving for CARBON.
Real-time fun Andrew Kilpatrick is among those who believe that sequencers can be more than cold, rational, predictable tools. CARBON is all about real-time playing with your sequences and creating variations with a simple twist of a knob. Also, CARBON has a powerful internal arpeggiator which supports all the standard arp types plus loads more (I’m a sucker for arpeggiators and I’m looking forward to checking out this feature!).
MIDI/CV Powerhouse Despite its compact size, CARBON offers extensive routing/connectivity options. Two built-in MIDI outputs enable separate routing of clock and channel signals from each track. The analog section supports four CV/gate outputs plus reset and clock signals. Both monophonic and duo/polyphonic output types are supported. You can even send to multiple MIDI and analog instruments at the same time!
It’s worth mentioning that CARBON also doubles as USB MIDI Host. Its built-in USB host interface will power your class-compliant MIDI device and allow you to use it to control CARBON or send MIDI or CV/gate signals to any device.
Last but not least, if you still need to use your computer at some point, CARBON works also as MIDI and CV interface for Mac and PC. All your instruments connected to the MIDI and analog CV ports can be used directly from your DAW software. The analog clock and reset outputs can also be used to drive analog clock-based gear from your DAW.
Main features at a glance
Pattern-based sequencer, performance control system and USB interface
Beautiful color LCD screen shows everything in real-time
Six rotary encoders and nineteen buttons offer fast intuitive control
Six tracks with two assignable outputs per track
Up to 64 steps per track
Polyphonic tracks store chords and CC data
Playback start and end points are uniquely configurable for each track
Pattern function offers quick remixes each track
Multiple track select allows adjusting multiple tracks at the same time
Flexible MIDI and CV routing allow huge control possibilities
Bias tracks allow transposing of other tracks for old-school sequencer tricks
Six scenes offer fast parameter changes during live performance
LIVE mode allows live performance from a keyboard
Keyboard split and LIVE multi-select modes allow fast and flexible live MIDI routing
Powerful synced arpeggiator adds another dimension to live performance
Rock-solid MIDI / analog clock source can be the heartbeat of your studio
Price CARBON is available for pre-order on the Kilpatrick’s website (and from selected retailers worldwide) for $699. Estimated shipping date: July 2016. Read more about CARBON on the official web page.
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About The Author
Founder & main editor here at ANR, 'non-musician' and music-tinkerer. His first keyboard was a cheesy Yamaha PSS-270. He still loves it.