modular analog synthesizer for electronic music
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 Q119  Sequential Controller
 
The Q119 Sequential Controller (Sequencer) creates a series of signals at a rate determined by an internal oscillator or external source. Normally used to create loops of sounds, effects, arpeggios, or complex envelopes.

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Compare the Q119 and Q960 Sequencers

Operation

Stages and Banks
The sequential controller can be configured as one bank of 24 stages, or 3 individual banks of 8 stages each. Each bank has its own voltage output which is set manually, and a gate output. The output voltage range is selectable: 0/+5 volts or -5/+5 volts. An LED indicates which stage is active.

Master Output
A master output is also provided that adds features including Glissando also known as Portamento or slew limiting, manual voltage adding, and external voltage adding, and an LED indicating the Gate output status. When in 3x8 mode (3 banks of 8 stages) the master output adds together voltages from the three output banks.

Gate Outputs
Each Bank has its own gate output (normally only used when in 3x8 mode), and there is a master gate output (normally only used when in 1x24 mode). The width of these gate signals are determined by a single front panel control. The width can be controlled from approximately 10% to 90% of the stage's on time. Individual gate outputs for each stage are not provided.

Triggering, Starting and Stopping
The sequential controller can be triggered (started and stopped) manually or by external triggers from oscillators, envelope generators, keyboard gates, etc. Several options exist including a level sensitive 'Go' input that causes the sequencer to start on the rising edge of a signal and stop on the falling edge. The 'Start' and 'Stop' signals can be used to control the sequencer with individual signals for each, or in conjunction with the 'Go' signal. This configuration gives you great control over how the sequencer behaves. For example: if you would like the sequencer to only be on when a key is pressed from the keyboard, connect the keyboard's gate output into the 'Go' input. If you would like the sequencer to start, simply press the 'Start' button. To create 3 complex envelopes in response to a key press, select 3x8 mode, and connect the keyboard's gate output into the 'Start' input, and set the 'Cycle' switch to 'Once'.

Continue or Reset Mode
The default power-up mode is 'Reset'. Whenever the sequencer is triggered with the 'Go' or 'Start' signals, the sequence will reset to stage 1 and start. There is a special, somewhat hidden mode called 'Continue' mode that can be toggled by holding the 'Set End' button and pressing the 'Manual Step' button once. This causes the sequence to continue from where it had previously stopped whenever the 'Go' or 'Start' signals trigger a sequence.

Cycles and Sequences
Front panel switches control cycles and sequences. The sequencer can generate a single cycle upon triggering, or a continuous series of cycles. The cycles can be up only (1,2,3...) or up/down (1,2,3...3,2,1).

Random Sequences
A special, somewhat hidden feature is Random stage mode. In this mode, the sequence will be random. The 'Cycle' and 'Sequence' switches are not applicable in this mode. Other controls act the same. Random mode is toggled by holding the 'Manual Step' button and pressing the 'Set End' button once.

Oscillator
An internal oscillator can provide control over the rate at which the sequencer moves through the stages. The operator also has the ability to manually step through the stages which is helpful when setting the stage controls. A switch is provided to select an external oscillator source which can be driven by the Q106 Oscillator, keyboard gate pulses, etc. It is possible to have each stage active for a variable amount of time by using an external Q106 Oscillator which is controlled by one of the bank outputs.

Length Selection
The number of stages in a sequence is set by a front panel push button labeled 'Set End'. Pressing this button causes the LED for the last stage in the sequence to flash. Pressing again allows the user to cycle through the stages. The last stage is set when the button is not pressed for 1 second.

Multiple Sequencers
Sequencers can be connected together to add functionality. This is accomplished by connecting the 'Done' output signal from one sequencer to the 'Start' input on another. Multiple sequencers can be set to different speeds for unusual effects or driven by the same external oscillator. Outputs of all sequencers can be mixed together or used separately.

Controls and Connectors

Mode Switch
Selects between 1 large bank of 24 stages, or 3 banks of 8 stages.

Outputs Switch
Selects the output voltage range -5/+5 volts to 0/+5 volts. Choose -5/+5 volts when controlling amplifiers and filters which must sweep over large voltage ranges. Choose 0/+5 volts to have finer control over oscillators. Outputs can be routed through a Q125 Signal Processor and amplified or inverted if needed.

Cycle Switch
Causes the sequencer to cycle once or continuously.

Sequence Switch
Choose between an up only sequence: 1,2,3 , or up/down 1,2,3,2,1.

Oscillator Source Switch
Selects the internal oscillator or external oscillator. Use an external oscillator to cycle at frequencies not obtainable with the internal oscillator, to synchronize several sequential controllers, or to control each stage's on time.

External Oscillator Connector
Apply an external oscillator here. Use a pulse waveform when possible. 0/+5 volt or -5/+5 volts ok. The width of the pulse waveform will control the width of the gate outputs. The incoming oscillator pulses should be synchronized with the starting of the sequencer to prevent the first stage time from being short.

Oscillator Rate Control
Controls the speed of the internal oscillator.

Oscillator Range Switch
Sets the oscillator range from approximately 2hz-20hz in the low position, to 20hz to 200hz in the high position.

Manual Step Button
Allows manual stepping of the sequencer. Helpful when setting the voltages. Also, when the sequencer is running, pressing the manual step button will stop the sequence from running, releasing it will continue.

Gate Width Control
Adjusts the gate width from approximately 10% to 90%. This affects all gate outputs.

Go Button / Connector
This is a level-sensitive signal used to control the on/off status of the sequencer. Pressing and holding this button or applying a signal will cause the sequence to begin (assuming other controls are set correctly), and releasing it will stop the sequence. For example, to have the sequencer run only when a key is pressed on the keyboard, apply the gate signal to the 'Go' connector. The threshold of this signal is approximately 1.5 volts. When in 'Continue Mode' (must be selected), pressing 'Go', will cause the sequence to continue where it left off. When in 'Reset Mode' (the default mode), pressing 'Go', will cause the sequence to reset to stage 1.

Start Button / Connector
This is a rising edge-sensitive signal used to start the sequencer. Pressing this button (holding it is not necessary) or applying a signal will cause the sequence to begin (assuming other controls are set correctly). For example, to have the sequencer begin when a key is pressed on the keyboard, apply the gate signal to the start connector. The threshold of this signal is approximately 1.5 volts. When in 'Continue Mode' (must be selected), pressing 'Start', will cause the sequence to continue where it left off. When in 'Reset Mode' (the default mode), pressing 'Start', will cause the sequence to reset to stage 1.

Stop Button / Connector
This is a rising edge-sensitive signal used to stop the sequencer. Pressing this button (holding it is not necessary) or applying a signal will cause the sequence to stop. The threshold of this signal is approximately 1.5 volts.

Set End Button
Allows setting of the end (last) stage in a sequence. Pressing the button switches to end stage selection mode. The current end stage LED will flash. Continue to press the button to select the end stage. When you have reached the desired end stage simply don't press the button for 1 second. Upon power up, the last stage is set to either 8 or 24 depending on the position of the 'Mode' switch.

Stage Controls / LEDs
Each stage has an LED to indicate when it is active (on) and a control which sets the output voltage when that stage is active.

Bank Output / Gate
There are 3 banks of 8 stages each. These are important when in 3x8 mode. The output connector provides the voltage of the selected stage in that bank. If no stage is selected in that bank, the output is 0 volts. A gate output is provided when a stage is on. Gate signals are 0 volts when off, 5 volts when on.

Master Output Section
The master output section is important when in 1x24 mode.

Master Output Connector
The selected stage voltage is routed to the output connector. When in 3x8 mode all 3 stage's voltages are added together (mixed) and presented at the master output connector. The 'Add' connector voltage and the 'Add' control are also added to the master output connector's voltage.

Glide Control
Sets the glide (also known as slew limit) or gradual change between voltage levels. Set to full counter-clockwise for no glide.

Add Control
Allows the operator to manually add to the master output voltage.

Add Connector
Allows an external signal to be added to the master output voltage.

Master Gate Connector / LED
Provides a gate signal which is controlled by the width control. Gate signals are 0 volts when off, 5 volts when on. An LED indicates its status.

Done Output Connector
A signal provided when the end of a sequence is reached. Can be used to start other sequencers and to control switches which select voltages to be routed to oscillators when stringing sequencers together.

Specifications
Panel Size:  Octal width 17"w x 8.75"h.
Gate Signals:  0-5 volts active high.
Output Voltage Levels: 10V PP.
Control Input Levels:  0-5V.
Internal Oscillator:  2 to 200hz.
External Oscillator Speed:  1Khz maximum.
Gate Width Adjustment:  10% to 90% of stage On time.
Slew/Glide Time: 10ms to 1sec.
Power:  +15V@20ma, -15V@20ma, +5@50ma.

Price
$560.00 US.

Firmware
Firmware for the Q119 Sequential Controller is contained in a single 40-pin microcontroller. The chip can be removed by the user and upgraded as needed. Check the version number on your chip and request a new one. See these details on changing the chip.

    Version History:
    V1.0-1.2 Engineering prototype versions, 1999
    V1.3 Initial production version, May 22, 2000
    V1.4 Feature update , Aug 1, 2000
      Improved manual step functionality.
    V1.5 Current production version, March 5, 2001
      Power up default to last stage of 8 or 24 depending on Mode switch.
      Speed up End Stage selection timout.
      Doesn't restart when changing Cycle, Sequence, or Mode Switch.
      Hidden feature: Random stage mode selected by holding Manual Step and pressing Set End. This is a toggled feature, perform again to turn off random mode.
      Hidden feature: Reset/Continue mode for START/GO toggled by holding Set End and pressing Manual Step. The power up default is Reset mode where the Start or Go signal will cause the sequence to reset to stage 1. In Continue Mode, the Start and Go signal will cause the sequence to continue where it left off.
      Cool huh?

    Important Note:



End of Product Information