Optotronics make some nutty and noisy electronic music kits. And they are not pretty, nor are Optotronics apologetic about it. They are uniquely unruly, lo-fi and utterly fantastic. Their latest project is The Sequencing Machine, which is a rather grand name for a disaster of wires, free-wheeling pots and an octagonal PCB.are
The Sequencing Machine
I should say that it’s hand made and it’s 40 quid. So, before we start judging the sound or build quality we should bear in mind that for the price it’s flipping amazing. And as a kit, it looks like a lot of fun to build.
From what I can work out it’s a self-generating sequencer with 3 knobs, 4 switches and 12 rows of 4 pins that appear to act as patch points for both cables and fingers. One knob appears to control the rate of the sequence and another has an affect on the pitch. Connecting patch points with your fingers seems to affect the modulation and rhythms within the sound being generated. Who knows what’s going on with the rest of it. The video below is going to be somewhat helpful.
The Sequencing Machine is deliciously naked and, judging by the weird strangled noises, is obviously traumatised by the experience. There’s a lot of random LFO going on and polyrhythmic noodles. After a few hours locked in a room with this thing you’ll be taking a trip to the asylum.
Forget your CRAFTsynth or your MiniAtmegatron, those are for weak minded fools who enjoy melody. Get yourself The Sequencer Machine and embrace the chaos.
The Sequencing Machine is available from the Optotronics shop on Etsy.com and ships worldwide from the UK. £40 for the kit, £60 for a fully assembled version plus shipping.