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Korg goes for the sequencing crown with the modular-friendly SQ-64

Terrence O'Brien
·Managing Editor
·2-min read

Korg’s SQ-1 is a bit under appreciated. It’s a simple and affordable two track eight step sequencer. It can play nice with Korg’s analog and semi modular fair like the MS-20 Mini as well as eurorack modular synths and basically anything else that will accept CV (control voltage input). It’s even pretty affordable — usually hovering between $100 and $110, depending on the outlet. But, the SQ-1 is now five years old, it’s time for an upgrade.

The Korg SQ-64 Poly Sequencer is basically attempting to be the king of all the CV sequencers. It has four 64-step tracks. Three with individual pitch, mod and gate outputs, plus a track dedicated to drums with eight individual CV outs. Not to mention, the SQ-64 adds MIDI to the mix. Sequencing over MIDI adds eight addition drum triggers, for a total of 16, and gives you eight voices of polyphony for your melody tracks.

The SQ-64 also expands on the playback variation you got the SQ-1 and injects some controlled chaos. You can set up a sort of semi-random playback where you give the sequencer four different possibilities to choose from for the next step. But you can also randomize the entire sequence, just the first step, reverse the sequence, morph your control voltages and there’s even a trusty arpeggiator built in.

You can even play the pads on the front like any other pad-based controller and record live performances.

The pads themselves have LED backlights that indicate the level of control, plus there’s an OLED for more detailed feedback. And you can save up to 64 projects, so you can quickly recall things for live performance.

While we don’t have exact measurements right now. the SQ-64 appears to be impressively compact — Korg says it’s just under one inch thick. And its housing is all aluminum, so it should be relatively light, but also plenty road worthy.

The SQ-64 is expected to ship sometime in early 2021 for $300.