The Jam Sandwich is a 4 x 4 grid-based sequencer with LED-centred clickable encoders. It’s designed for the visually impaired but could be the sequencer filling we all need.
I spoke to Brett Humphrey, the creator of the Jam Sandwich, who explained how it came about. Brett had been live performing with Elektron gear, but due to drastic changes in his eyesight, he was no longer able to read the displays. He moved onto Eurorack where the one-knob-per-function workflow and layout were far more comfortable. Except when it came to sequencers which were often menu driven or difficult to navigate by touch alone. So, he decided to develop a Eurorack sequencer that would solve his problems and here we have the Jam Sandwich.
The Jam Sandwich is a 4 x 4 grid of encoders with LEDs in the centre. They are clickable and so the basic idea is that you click to select and turn to adjust. A completely key aspect to this is the integrated audio description. Via a separate output on the module every knob click and turn is fed back to you as spoken word and so you can navigate completely without ever having to see the module.
The interface is also very visual. Each encoder has a colourful LED that can be set to work around any form of colour blindness, and along the top is the Jam-o-Meter which gives a bright indication of the value of the encoder turn. Each knob has a mode it can enable other than being a step in the sequence. The first row modes are for the patterns, so step on/off, value and length. The second row handles modifications like repeat, ratchet and probability. The third row deals with track parameters, so length and mute. The fourth row deals with global settings, saving and loading and so on.
Jam Sandwich has 16 CV outputs that can be used for CV, Gate, note, velocity or modulation over what I believe are 8 tracks overall. It has a very methodical approach which I imagine is vital to the visually impaired, but it also makes it very quick to use once you know what each knob does. I think it’s a great concept, coming from a different perspective. I can’t imagine what it must be like coming to Eurorack without being able to see properly, but I think it’s awesome that people do. Anything like this that can improve the experience has got to be a great thing.
Electro Jam is almost ready with the Jam Sandwich, and it would be good to get some deeper information on the specs and see more demos of it in action.
- Electro Jam website.