SQ-80 Sequence - sustain failure

Posted by: scalingwallofsou

SQ-80 Sequence - sustain failure - 01/30/13 02:10 PM

I've noticed that when recording melody tracks into sequences, oftentimes the notes don't sustain like they do in normal play mode. Instead they cut off, like there is a gate. This only happens sometimes; sometimes the note sustains like it should and sometimes it doesn't - and it isn't dictated by what note is being played. It happens both while recording and during playback. This certainly affects the sound I'm looking for in the sequence, and it'd be great to find a solution.
Posted by: WDMcM

Re: SQ-80 Sequence - sustain failure - 03/11/13 06:55 AM

It sounds to me like you are maxing our the polyphony. The SQ-80 is an 8 voice synthesizer (it can produce a total of 8 notes at any given time). The fact that this is happening during sequence record/playback is a dead givaway that you have exceded the polyphony. Try deleting some notes from other tracks.

Posted by: Nigel

Re: SQ-80 Sequence - sustain failure - 03/13/13 01:35 AM

Yep, the 8 note maximum is sure to be the problem. Like Dave said trying to limit the number of notes at any given time to 8 is all you can do. That is the limit of technology back then.

As soon as the nineth note plays, the first note that is sustaining is cut off.
Posted by: scalingwallofsou

Re: SQ-80 Sequence - sustain failure - 04/02/13 11:35 AM

Thank you; this makes sense and is very helpful. It seems that the 8 note maximum applies in all cases when the sequencer is running, correct? For instance, last night I was recording a single snare track into my DAW, and had the seven other tracks in the sequence turned down in volume, and one of the snare notes kept cutting off, even if I re-recorded it.

[edit to include:] on a related topic, I've often experienced a strange phenomenon of a very loud note at the end of sequences. It's out of context, involves one of the programs I'm using in the sequence, and is a note I didn't play. It does not occur everytime, but seems to happen only when I'm manually chaining sequences together on have arranged them in the song. It seems to play at the full 63 volume level. Once it happens for the first time, that sequence is cursed to play this note everytime I attempt to record the sequence with others or as a song, but does not occur when just playing the single sequence as a loop. Does this sound familiar?

As potentially frustrating as it can be in cases like this, it's a delightful challenge working around limitations such as these just to be able to use this amazing technology.
Posted by: WDMcM

Re: SQ-80 Sequence - sustain failure - 04/08/13 08:44 AM

You are correct; just turning down the volume of a track will not remove it from playback and will still draw from the polyphony pool. You must mute the track to gain polyphony.

As for the ghost note: This is probably happening because you have lowered the volume of the offending track to something below full volume. At the very end of a sequence and at the very start of the next sequence of the song, all volumes revert to full volume until an entered volume is again registered. Try inserting a volume command with the desired value at the very end of the sequence by using the step editor function and also enter the same at the beginning of the sequence just to make sure you cover both bases. I hope this helps.

Best Regards,