I've been coming across videos lately where people have these step sequencers and they even use it for melody/harmony. Such as volca bass. Why would people that can play a keyboard use such sequencers?

I kind of understand why people would use drum sequencers. But sequencers for melody/harmony? it got me wondering...

p.s when you plug in a keyboard midi controller into logic and record something, is that also considered sequencing? Because I don't mean that.

2 Answers 2


Why would people that can play a keyboard use such sequencers?

  • To be able to edit what they played without having to re-record it all again
  • to be able to reassign the notes that they played to different instruments. If you just record the audio, it's very difficult to change the sound after the fact
  • To be able to create musical parts that couldn't be physically played by the available instrumentalists
  • To allow the musician to record a part, and then edit/shape it in real time by tweaking the sequence, or changing parameters
  • 1
    And: why not? It can be just another fun way of creating music.
    – Draakhond
    Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 9:21
  • @Draakhond definitely. A different process often gives you different results! Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 11:43
  • The question isn't "why would you use a sequencer?" it's "why would you use a hardware sequencer rather than just play it in like any rational human being?"
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 11:50
  • @Tetsujin you are right about what the question is, but i didn't know musicians are rational human beings.
    – Draakhond
    Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 13:38

This may not be considered an answer - because the answer is going to be "some do, some don't"…

imnsho, anyone using one of those things to sequence entire tracks either has some deep-seated masochistic streak or just wants to be able to look 'cool' on youtube.

I once spent an entire night programming a bass line on an early 80s version of that thing [whilst everybody else in the studio went out to a restaurant & a gig] & wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

The track in question - it had to be programmed linearly, it couldn't be a series of repeats because of one tiny detail - the root is always over the kick drum, even when the kick goes to 16ths.

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