6HP CV randomizer, generator, and recorder
Mimetic Sequent is a sixty-four step pitch-aware CV recorder, randomizer, and generator with the ability to save and modify three unique patterns. Switch between stored patterns or use the Mimetic Multium expander to output all three patterns simultaneously in addition to four separate randomized trigger patterns.
- Type: CV randomizer/recorder
- Size: 6HP Eurorack
- Depth: .8 inch
- Power: 2x5 Eurorack
- +12 V:
- -12 V:
Mimetic -- from Latin "mimus"
Jovis -- from Latin "sequentia"
To power your Noise Engineering module, turn off your case. Plug one end of your ribbon cable into your power board so that the red stripe on the ribbon cable is aligned to the side that says
-12 V and each pin on the power header is plugged into the connector on the ribbon. Make sure no pins are overhanging the connector! If they are, unplug it and realign.
Line up the red stripe on the ribbon cable so that it matches the white stripe and/or
-12 V indication on the board and plug in the connector.
Screw your module into your case before powering on the module. You risk bumping the module's PCB against something metallic and damaging it if it's not properly secured when powered on.
You should be good to go if you followed these instructions. Now go make some noise!
A final note. Some modules have other headers -- they may have a different number of pins or may say "not power". In general, unless a manual tells you otherwise, do not connect those to power.
Connecting Mimetic Multium#
- Power off your Mimetic Sequent and remove it from its case.
- Locate the 10 pin ribbon cable included with Mimetic Multium.
- On the back of Mimetic Sequent, plug the cable into the expander header with the red stripe matching the white line on the PCB. Make sure you plug it into the expander header, not the power header. The expander header has a
NOT POWERlabel on it.
- Plug the other end of the cable into the corresponding header on Mimetic Multium the same way, red stripe to white line.
- Plug Mimetic Sequent back into your power supply and screw both modules into your rack.
- When the knob is fully counterclockwise, Mimetic Sequent locks the current pattern. As it is turned clockwise, the pattern is increasingly modified. The angle affects both the likelihood that the current step will be randomized and the method used for the randomization. This is the heart of Mimetic Sequent and is documented in more detail in the Less Random section. The jack allows CV control over the knob; the knob acts as an attenuator over CV input.
- No CV input is required: without an input, Mimetic Sequent will generate its own sequences.
- A three-position switch that controls record mode.
- Lower position: Record mode is disabled and Mimetic Sequent acts simply as a CV randomizer, generating randomized voltages or randomizing an input signal each time a trigger is received at the Beat input or the Adv button is pressed.
- Middle position: Same as the lower position but short-record mode is enabled which will record until either 64 Beats have been recorded or a trigger is received at the Measure input.
- Upper position: Same as the middle position but Mimetic Sequent records infinitely until the switch is flipped to another position.
- CV In
- CV input for recording voltages.
- Controls the method by which the Random knob modifies the current pattern:
- 2p: Designed with randomized melodies in mind, CV is randomized across two octaves (Volts) using a pitch and melody-aware algorithm.
- 5p: Similar to 2p mode, but instead randomizes across 5 octaves (Volts).
- 5c: Randomizes CV across 5 volts with motion (instead of pitch) in mind. The amount the Random knob is turned controls the amount the CV can deviate from the original value. More useful for modulation instead of pitch sequencing.
- The way each mode behaves is described in more detail below in the Less Random section.
- In the upper position, the output voltages will be quantized chromatically (to semitones). Useful for creating melodies from unquantized sources like Mimetic Sequent's own CV generation, LFOs, noise, and more. If the input CV is from an already quantized source, leaving 12-tet off will usually yield the best results (no need to quantize something twice).
- Switch and CV input that control which of the three patterns is selected for output at the Out jack.
- Copies the current pattern to the other two patterns. Use this, for instance, to save a copy of your original pattern and randomize another copy.
- A trigger reset input to indicate the start of a measure. When Measure receives a trigger, Mimetic Sequent resets to the beginning of the pattern.
- A clock input to advance the current step.
- Advances to the next step in the pattern. Equivalent to a trigger into Beat.
- Reset button. While depressed, Mimetic Sequent ignores any clock input. On release, Mimetic Sequent resets the current step the beginning of the pattern.
- CV output.
Mimetic Multium interface#
- Each of Mimetic Sequent's 3 patterns has its own dedicated output jack. No limits!
- Outputs four separate triggers. Triggers are randomly generated based on the patterns currently recorded in Mimetic Sequent. Turning the Random knob on Mimetic Sequent randomizes the trigger patterns here; turning Random fully down saves the trigger pattern.
Mimetic Sequent has no internal notion of measure. If you record a short sequence, include a Measure input to reset the buffer to the beginning of your recording. Without a Measure input, Mimetic Sequent will play the entire stored buffer (64 steps) regardless of how many steps were recorded. To randomize the sequence you recorded, turn the Random knob clockwise.
- Random melodies
- Turn Record mode off, set Mode to 2P, and, if desired, turn on the 12-tet quantizer. Connect a clock to the Beat input. Patch the Out to the pitch input of an oscillator like Ataraxic Iteritas. Turn the Random knob clockwise. Mimetic Sequent will begin to randomly generate pitched CV within 2 octaves. When you find a pattern you like, turn the knob fully counterclockwise to cease randomization and save the pattern. For a broader range of random pitches, switch Mimetic Sequent to 5P (5 octave) mode. If you would like the pattern to be shorter send a trigger (for instance, the output of a clock divider) to the Measure input.
- Mimetic Sequent and other parameters
- Turn Record mode off, set Mode to 5C. Connect a clock to the Beat input. Patch the Out to any parameter CV control of the module of your choice (Basimilus Iteritas Alter and Loquelic Iteritas are always good choices). Turn the Random knob clockwise and experiment. When you find a pattern you like, turn the knob fully counterclockwise to save the pattern.
- Multiple outputs
- With the optional Mimetic Multium expander, each of Mimetic Sequent's 3 patterns are output simultaneously. Patch the three Pattern outs to pitch or CV inputs. Patch the four Gate outs to trigger other modules.
- Sample and hold
- Mimetic Sequent can operate as a unipolar sample-and-hold by keeping it in Record mode. Patch the signal you want to sample into the Record input. Send the sampling clock to the Beat input. Flip the Record switch to the top position. The Mimetic Sequent will sample the input CV when it receives a trigger at the Beat jack.
- To record a CV sequence into the Mimetic Sequent, plug the CV out from a clocked CV source (like Clep Diaz or Mimetic Digitalis) into the Record in. Connect the same clock used to advance the CV source to the Beat input. If you want to record only one measure (less than 64 steps) you will also need to patch a reset to the Measure input. Enable record mode and the Mimetic Sequent will record the CVs into its internal memory. To enable short-term record mode, flip the Record switch to the middle position. Mimetic Sequent will stop recording after 64 steps or when it receives a trigger input to Measure. To enable normal record mode, flip the Record switch all the way up. Mimetic Sequent will record until you disable it.
Saving to flash#
Mimetic Sequent's patterns are saved to flash. To reduce wear and tear on flash (as it has a finite number of uses) this only occurs when:
- Randomization is turned off (the Random knob is turned fully counterclockwise)
- Recording is completed, either when short mode completes 64 steps or when the Record switch is manually disabled
Because patterns are saved to flash memory, power cycling will not erase them; take your patterns wherever you want.
Randomization is a tricky subject—particularly when human perception is involved. In designing Mimetic Sequent, I wanted to build in different options for people who might want to incorporate different ideas of "random" for synthesis. The result is a three-mode module that gives the user the ability to define the amount and type of randomization they want. In all modes the randomization knob controls both the probability the current step will be randomized as well as how extreme the randomization will be. Turning clockwise both increases both the chance the step will be randomized and the amount of randomization. Randomization occurs only to the current step in the current pattern on the beat. The mode switch on Mimetic Sequent allows three different ways of randomizing. The simplest mode is 5C. This mode treats the voltages as values. When it chooses to randomize a step, it uses the Random knob to control the maximum movement from the current value so when the knob is mostly counterclockwise it will only make small changes to the current pattern. This mode is not pitch cognizant but is great for modulation. Mode 2P was designed specifically for pitch. Mode 2P only randomizes across 2 octaves of pitches, but when it randomizes, it modifies the voltage in ways that make sense for the values being pitches. For example, in this mode, Mimetic Sequent may offset by a fifth or copy another note from a different part of the pattern. As the knob is turned more clockwise the actions that it chooses between become less consonant and at the maximum becomes entirely random. By careful playing of the random knob musical variations can easily be produced on the fly. Mode 5P is similar to Mode 2P but instead randomizes over 5 octaves for a much broader range of sounds. Although these modes were designed with pitch in mind, their utility is definitely not limited to pitch CV.
Input & output voltages#
Mimetic Sequent's trigger inputs trigger at around
2.5 V. Its CV inputs are around
0 V to 5 V, and its output maxes out around
5.2 V. Its trigger outputs are around
Mimetic Sequent comes pre-calibrated and should be set for life. If the trimpots are bumped and the module drifts, the device can be calibrated. Calibration of Mimetic Sequent requires a Mimetic Multium and an accurate voltage meter.
- Connect a Mimetic Multium to Mimetic Sequent via 10 pin ribbon.
- Connect Mimetic Sequent to euro power.
- Put panel into initial position: Random fully counterclockwise, Record down, 12-tet up, Mode down, Pattern left.
- Depress the RST switch from before power on until the Record LED stops blinking, this enters calibration mode. Calibration mode has three submodes determined by the 12-tet and Record switch:
- Submode 1 (12-tet up) is for calibrating the outputs and sets all outputs to
- submode 2 (12-tet down) is for calibrating the input and sets the Mimetic Sequent output to equal the input voltage.
- submode 3 (Record up) is the primary adjustment mode.
- Submode 1 (12-tet up) is for calibrating the outputs and sets all outputs to
- Set calibration to submode 1 (12-tet up).
- Connect Mimetic Sequent output to the voltmeter.
- Adjust output trimmer until output equals
- If calibrating the connected Mimetic Multium, adjust the Mimetic Multium trimmers until the Mimetic Multium outputs are
- Set calibration submode to 3 (Record up), connect CV Out to CV Record in with a patch cable.
- Adjust input trimmer until both of the top gate outs on Mimetic Multium are blinking at approximately the same frequency.
- Press Duplicate to save current configuration to flash.
Mimetic Sequent was a problem child from the very start. The very first prototype was a 6HP ribbon controller/recorder that happened to have randomization built in. The randomization ended up being more fun than the ribbon controller and was dropped after the first build. We had a continual stream of last-second problems that caused us to punt on manufacturing many times. One module that the second prototype was often compared to was the Turing Machine and it pretty quickly became a goal to make a more musical, more jammable, and smaller turing machine. The crux to achieving this was the Musically Random algorithm documented in the less random section. More so than any other module I have worked on the design was guided by our many testers. There were 20 hardware revisions (not all of which were built) and endless suggestions from our friends in the three years Mimetic Sequent has been in development.
We will repair or replace (at our discretion) any product that we manufactured as long as we are in business and are able to get the parts to do so. We aim to support modules that have been discontinued for as long as possible. This warranty does not apply to normal wear and tear, including art/panel wear, or any products that have been modified, abused, or misused. Our warranty is limited to manufacturing defects.
Warranty repairs/replacements are free. Repairs due to user modification or other damage are charged at an affordable rate. Customers are responsible for the cost of shipping to Noise Engineering for repair.
All returns must be coordinated through Noise Engineering; returns without a Return Authorization will be refused and returned to sender.
Please contact us if you think one of your modules needs a repair.
- Shawn Jimmerson
- DJ Surgeon
- Skyler "Kittyspit" King
- Tyler Thompson
- Alex Anderson
- Mickey Bakas
- William Mathewson
- Matt Butler helped clarify sections of the manual
- All of the many people who contributed to testing this module over the years