Make Noise have announced the imminent arrival of a new and improved René. It’s the world’s only 3D Cartesian Music Sequencer and is named after René Descartes. They are not into adding numbers to names so despite some radical upgrades this will now be known as “René”. The original one will simply fade into obscurity.
Of course for us Brits of a certain age the word “René” reminds us of 80’s French Resistance sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo – or maybe that’s just me. For Make Noise René is all about sequencing in wonderfully bizarre ways. The original had 1 channel and 2 dimensions of Cartesian sequencing and limited memory. This new and improved René has 3 channels, 3 dimensions, memory for up to 64 states and has become, they say, “an n-dimensional matrix or tesseract of synthesizer sequencing.” That sounds awesome!
So it’s a Eurorack sequencer with 3 CV outputs for controlling pitch or other parameters and 3 gate outputs for triggering events. There are 16 knobs and 16 touch buttons with which to program you pitch and pattern information. You already had an X and Y axis in the previous version but now you can play with the Z axis as well. This means you can be running a Cartesian pattern in 2 dimensions while snaking in the third.
A Cartesian coordinate system is a coordinate system that specifies each point uniquely in a plane by a pair of numerical coordinates, which are the signed distances to the point from two fixed perpendicular directed lines, measured in the same unit of length. Source: Wikipedia.
So there you go. As with many Make Noise modules they tend to be slightly incomprehensible and are better discovered through experimentation and observing it in use. For instance, I can tell you that “Maximum amount of artist-controlled musical variation, derived from minimum amount of analog data input” but I wouldn’t know what that means either.
In essence, René is a bonkers sequencer that swallows up 34hp of your rack and will keep you entertained for a lifetime. It costs $525 and they are about to open preorders and hope to release very soon.