Welcome to my Korg SQ1 review. Korg seems to be covering all bases these days by releasing a series of compact, affordable electronic music gadgets, such as the Monotron and Volca Keys for example. The SQ1 is very much that kind of thing, with it being a small box of knobs and buttons that live electronic musicians will have a lot of fun with. It can be used to sequence either analog synths using the CV/Gate or digitals synths via MIDI.
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- Pros & Cons
- Demonstration Video
- Who is it Designed For?
- What Do Other People Say?
PROS & CONS
- Compact, sturdy metal construction
- Can control analog or digital synth via CV or MIDI.
- Works great with the Korg MS-20 semi-modular synth.
- You can manipulate sequences live.
- No need to use a computer to sequence your synths.
- As it’s a step sequencer, it’s not really suited to composing more complex melodic arrangements.
Take a look at this great introduction video which explains how it works:
And here it is linked up to the Doepfer DarkEnergy synthesizer:
Who is the Korg SQ1 Designed For?
I would say that the SQ1 is best suited for experimental electronic musicians who want a convenient and affordable way to bring sequencing into their live set. Its compact size, hands-on interface, and ability to connect to any synthesizer, means that you can easily manipulate sequences in a live setting.
Not only can it connect to standard MIDI and USB MIDI to control digital equipment, there are two CV/Gate out channels, littleBits out (so that you can connect to the synthesizer kit made by littleBits), as well as the SYNC IN/OUT for connecting to Korg’s own range of miniature synths such as the Monotribe and Volca Keys.
Although you don’t have the infinite possibilities offered by computer software sequencing, as a hardware step sequencer the SQ1 does offer some surprising versatility. There are two sequencer channels, A and B, each containing 8 steps. You can either run them one after the other as a full 16-step sequencer or run them together. Not only that, you can also set it to alternate between them or sequence the steps totally randomly, which is great for the more experimental musician.
Compact and Sturdy
You could be forgiven for thinking that the SQ1 was made many years ago, due to its sturdy metal construction. Many electronic products these days are mainly built from plastic and, therefore, don’t last. The SQ1 has been designed with the traveling electronic musician in mind.
So there you go, this is a great little analog sequencer that works great with the Korg MS-20. You can easily use this to manipulate sequences live without the need for a computer. Due to its sturdy metal construction and compact size, it is an ideal piece of kit to take with you to live concerts.
I hope you found my Korg SQ1 review helpful, but if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments section below and I will reply as soon as I can.
All the best,