Don’t let the compact size deceive, the Korg SQ-1 is an extremely powerful 2x8 step sequencer with a plethora of connections that allow it to interface with the Korg MS-20 and a host of other synthesizers. This means that the SQ-1 can be used as a compact control device for even the most robust synthesizers.
The unit features several different modes and intuitive front panel controls that advocate a similar spontaneity as Korg’s Volca devices. Rather than focusing on the rigidity of numbers and measurements, why not shoot from the hip with a controller than appeals to the user’s instincts?
Connect and control the MS-20 and many other types of equipment
SQ-1 supports the Hz/V standard, enabling it to perfectly control the MS-20 or MS-20 mini. It goes without saying the V/Oct standard is also supported, and the voltage level of the CV output (*) and polarity of the GATE output can be specified as appropriate for the device you've connected. This versatility will enable you to control a wide variety of other synthesizers as well.
As a connector, the SQ-1 provides two CV/GATE OUT channels, the standard MIDI OUT and USB MIDI, and littleBits out (to connect to the littleBits synth kit by littleBits Electronics Inc.)
SYNC IN/OUT channel that allows you to connect to the volca series and monotribe.
Versatile sequencer modes: The SQ-1 provides two channels (A and B) of 8-step sequencer that can operate consecutively, or be used in a variety of other modes. For example, you can run A and B following each other to function as a 16-step sequencer, ignore the order and make the steps play randomly, or use A and B to control different parameters as they run in parallel. From simple sequences to complex changes, you can choose from a variety of modes to suit your needs.
Step buttons inherited from the volca provide excellent improvisatory possibilities.
The 2 x 8 step buttons can be used in the usual way to turn notes on/off, but you can also use the MODE button to switch their function, opening up powerful possibilities such as letting you “perform” the sequence itself, as on a volca unit.
“Active Step” lets you skip steps mid-way through a sequence, and “Step Jump” lets you instantly play just the step that you press, producing irregular rhythms or effects that are reminiscent of short loops. “Slide” produces an effect in which steps are connected smoothly; using this to control a synth bass is an easy way for anyone to generate an acid sound.
Sturdy and compact body, with battery operation
The unit can operate on two AA batteries or on USB bus power.
Sequence step resolution is selectable as quarter notes, eighth notes, or 16th notes.
You can specify the way in which the step knobs control the pitch. The knob values can specify the pitch directly, or they can specify the closest note in a major, minor, or chromatic scale.