the sq-1 plus rides again
Although I can work with the sequencer in the Alesis Fusion, I don't claim it's great. Some guys think it's completely unusable, but I don't feel that's the case. One can work with it if you're patient. I've proven that several times.
Even though I can use the Fusion's sequencer, I miss the way my old Ensoniq SQ-1 Plus (and MR-61) did sequencing and songs. You could do up a song so unbelievably fast on one of those workstations. This is the reason I bought a second SQ-1 Plus.
Side note: The SQ-1 Plus is the only digital synth I've ever been able to program sounds on because it's so stupidly easy to do. Programming on that synth is a joy, but I digress.
I won't use a standalone computer to do sequencing. I've tried a few programs and hated them all. Doing simple things like quantizing was a chore at best no matter what software I used. And every single software title suffers from the too-much-crap-on-your-screen thing. Summed up: They all suck.
I had a thought: Why not drag out the SQ-1 Plus and use it as a MIDI controller and sequencer? How hard could it be?
It wasn't hard at all. I plugged in the MIDI cables, assigned MIDI channels to the sounds and ba-boom, off I went. I've got all the awesome sounds of the Fusion controlled by the Ensoniq, and using the Ensoniq's sequencer.
At this moment I'm a really happy guy. Part of the reason it's taken me so long to produce any new music was directly due to the fact that sequencing on the Fusion was, in a word, frustrating. And I'm not a patient man, either.
Now here's where it gets interesting...
The Ensoniq only saves sequences and songs in one of two ways: SysEx dump or memory card. The memory cards suck and hold next to nothing so you have to use the SysEx dump. I have a mint condition Alesis Datadisk SQ to store stuff from the Ensoniq. Yes, the same one with the 720k floppy drive. I can either save to that or to the computer via MIDI.
Because the Datadisk is easier to use I'm going to use that.
There is some serious irony going on that I have to go backwards using ancient synth tech just to do what I want with a new synth. Ha! 😀