How bad is the ASR-X's sequencer?

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How bad is the ASR-X's sequencer?

Postby micahjonhughes » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:50 pm

I'm looking for a hardware sequencer and sampler. I've had good experinces with Ensoniq stuff in the past and the ASR-X (pro) is priced well. However, everyone talkes about problems with the sequencer. I need whatever I get to sequence some external modules, mostly for drums. If the ASR can't handle external sequencing, it won't be very useful. If you can't reccomend the ASR, what should I look at?
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Re: How bad is the ASR-X's sequencer?

Postby D-Collector » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:20 pm

I was very interested in an ASR-X for a long time, and did a lot of research on this very subject. From what I understand the problem is that the sequencer will occasionally hickup if you are trying to manipulate / edit sounds and such while the sequencer is running, making live performance on the X a little painful. But normal use should not be a problem.

The latest OS, which you can still buy btw, is the most stable in any circumstance I've read.

But... I do not own one so I cannot verify anything.
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Re: How bad is the ASR-X's sequencer?

Postby Hugo76 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:33 pm

I would recommend you look at the Yamaha RS7000. Can't really comment on the ASR-X
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Re: How bad is the ASR-X's sequencer?

Postby balma » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:52 pm

Other alternatives to sequence external gear
Yamaha RS700: $600-700
Akai MPC500 $400-500
Yamaha RM1X: $200-250
Emu Command station XL7/MP7/PK7, Proteus 2500: $300-400
Roland MC505 $250-3350
"If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies you won´t find another"
Carl Sagan

https://soundcloud.com/balma
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Re: How bad is the ASR-X's sequencer?

Postby Sir Nose » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:51 am

Elektron Octatrack
Funkadelic wrote:nothing is good unless you play with it
all that is good is nasty
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Re: How bad is the ASR-X's sequencer?

Postby micahjonhughes » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:15 am

I think I'm pretty aware of the sampler/sequencers out there. I'd rather know about the ASR-X's sequencer problems.
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Re: How bad is the ASR-X's sequencer?

Postby Hugo76 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:13 pm

My experiences with the ASR-X are fairly limited, but I can't say it seemed like a very intuitive and efficient machine. That's why I recommended the RS7000 instead, as a very capable sequencer with sampling included
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Re: How bad is the ASR-X's sequencer?

Postby mp3 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:44 pm

The X was the machine I cut my teeth on. The problems with the sequencer are as follows:

1. It hiccups when tweaking while the sequence is playing, as mentioned. It also can't handle a lot of CC data; the same hiccups happen. However, this is not a 'sometimes' problem. The X uses its main CPU for all functionality, and its just plain too slow to handle the load.
2. When used in looping mode, it sends out a MIDI Program Change on every track assigned to MIDI out at beat 1:1 every time. That's problematic, obviously, since MIDI is a serial protocol, and the PC message takes priority over any notes being played simultaneously. That's the first downbeat of the loop... It may also cause your external module to hiccup (if its listening for PC's) because it will pause to process the PC. There's no way around it.
3. Generally speaking, using the sequencer makes the machine more crash-prone. Its gonna crash every now and then anyway, but it happens more frequently when sequencing on it. I believe the primary culprit in crashes is the SCSI, because, before I had SCSI in mine, it almost never crashed. But still, the sequencer makes it worse.
4. It lacks any form of note editing. You either have to 'scoop notes out (hold the erase button and the desired pad while the sequence is playing), or erase the whole track and do it again. Its not necessarily a 'problem' per se, and that's how I prefer to work anyway, but just know that you have to 'play' (or step sequence) a given part until you get it right.

I ended up using my workstation keyboard (at the time a Roland JV1000) to sequence my X. As a sampler its a fantastic machine. As a sequencer, not so much... There is one redeeming factor, however. The swing manipulation is really really good; you can get very in depth with quantization, more so than any other (non-DAW) sequencer I've used since. If you use it to sample and generate loops from those samples, then resample the loops (rinse and repeat, etc), its workable. The last thing I would want to do is use it as my main sequencer though.
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Re: How bad is the ASR-X's sequencer?

Postby Milhouse » Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:36 pm

I have an ASR-X pro. I pretty much use it as a drum machine. It does hiccup when tweaking or editing any of the parameters while the sequence is playing. There have been times where it seemed to lag when sequence was playing and I was not touching the machine. Lately it has been running great with no problems. I use it as the master while running other equipment and midi to another synth. Its a great machine but I would not overload it.
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