1 Toraiz Squid
A 16-track sequencer which can manipulate sequences on the fly, with connectivity for midi, CV/gate and din/sync devices. With lots of features, it blows the cheaper Beatstep Pro out of the water but there’s no Song Mode, only Pattern Sets; hopefully this will be fixed in an update.
2 Akai Professional Force
The MPC is one of hip hop and house’s most revered sampler/sequencers. Akai’s follow-up is a self-contained studio environment running its own OS on a powerful multi-core processor, no laptop required. For a cheaper alternative, try the MPC Live.
3 Elektron Octatrack MKII
This eight-track sampler and sequencer, FX unit and mixer is one of the most creative routes to DAW-less production out there. While its sequencer is limited next to other kit on this list, its skill with samples and midi devices has made it an industry staple.
4 Cirklon Sequentix 2
For artists like Villalobos or Aphex Twin, the Sequentix has long been considered a best-in-class sequencer. If you have a lot of gear to sequence, the Sequentix has multiple outputs, impeccable timing and is easy to use. There’s a basic midi-friendly one or a dearer CV/gate option.
5 Polyend Seq
For those who want to see what’s happening in a song, the Seq is a great (if pricey) choice. With eight tracks of 32 steps laid out on a grid, it excels at long sequences – great for live jams or those struggling to break out of a 16-step loop. There’s 8-track polyphony, 256 pattern storage, but no CV/gate IO.
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