Category:F4 Sequencer View

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Hit F4 on you'r keyboard, it is the key of the Sequencer View. This Buzz Wiki page is about the Sequencer View.

Buzz Sequencer

The Sequencer allows you to arrange the patterns written in the Pattern View into a completed product.



By default, the Sequencer is empty. To create a track in the Sequencer view, you may either:

  • Right-click anywhere in the Sequencer Background and click "Add Track" in the context menu.
  • Press Ctrl+Enter

Both of the steps will bring up a window listing all of the machines you've loaded in your current project.

Keep in mind that Buzz automatically allocates a track for any machine that has a pattern created for it. For example, in a new Buzz ensemble you can either create a new Pattern for the Master Machine to get the Master track show up in your Sequencer View, or follow the steps outlined above - both will lead to the Master showing up in the View.

Intro to Operations

Almost all of the operations within your sequencer tracks will be carried out with the use of the cursor and keyboard. The cursor is moved via the directional arrow keys of your keyboard. For the sake of clarity, we will always refer to the track in which the cursor resides as "active track." To reorder tracks, simply press and hold Ctrl key on your keyboard and use the arrow keys (right and left) to move the active track over. As each track corresponds to a buzz machine, the Sequencer provides graphic shortcuts to either mute or solo the active machine (machine corresponding to the track the cursor is currently in) which may be accessed by mouse or by pressing Ctrl+L (solo) or Ctrl+M (mute).

Holding Shift while moving the cursor leads to providing an active selection (which may be Cut, Copied, and Pasted). Selections have no effect on the playback, do not correspond to loop points (use Ctrl+B and Ctrl+E for such). However, before we move to data management within the track, let us cover the main principle of operation within the Sequencer - its connection to Patterns.


Perhaps you've noticed a rather odd choice of Pattern nomenclature that Buzz defaults to - 00, 01, etc. Perhaps you've even chosen to rename your patterns to something more descriptive. Buzz does this to remind you of the keyboard shortcuts which are used to get Patterns onto the Sequencer View.

Pressing keyboard keys 0-9, a-z, and A-Z (or Shift-A through Shift-Z) in the Sequencer View will place a pattern corresponding to that particular key into the current cursor location in the sequencer. The right-hand side of the sequencer view contains a list of all shortcuts allocated per track - which is directly derived from the number of patterns you've assigned to a machine. Regardless of your naming scheme, the shortcuts are always allocated starting with the key 0. For example, if you create a machine, and create one pattern in it - whether named 00, ZeBrA, or 9999999 - the keyboard shortcut for its placement in the Sequencer View will be keyboard 0.

The menu on the right is your guide - preceeding each pattern name in the list is the key which will place that pattern at the cursor in the sequencer. When more than one pattern exists, the patterns are always organized in alphabetical order. The numeric values always precede letters, which means that pattern named 0abc will preceed 1abc, but follow 00abc. If only those three patterns exist, the sequencer will organize them as 0 for 00abc, 1 for 0abc, and 2 for 1abc. Ultimately, the default naming scheme of patterns in Buzz leads to a most representative naming convention, as 00 will be triggered by 0, 01 by 1, and so on.

Selecting Regions

A playable area inside the sequencer is defined by independently setting the beginning and end points (Ctrl+B and Ctrl+E respectively). The shortcuts move the borders to the current cursor position (in other words, you must move your cursor to define regions). The loop-points set by Ctrl+B and Ctrl+E define the only area of the track accessible to be played back. The playback position line may not exist outside of the beginning and end points. (For example, "play X until Y then loop Y to Z indefinitely" is not a possible sequencer setup - unless you change the location of the beginning loop point after the playback line went past Y.) Attempts to place a Beginning below an End point will move both of the lines, creating the beginning at the current location, and an end-point below it in accordance to the selected step size. Conversely, attempts to move the End Point of a region above that of the beginning will default the Beginning line to the top of the sequence (tick 0).

Effects Vs. Generators

There is no distinction between effect and generator patterns in Buzz - whether or not you're placing patterns that contain parameter automation or note-values - both are triggered the same way. For a practical example of this functionality, we'll use a useful implementation of separating machine automation from machine note values. In the screenshot below, patterns marked with an asterick only utilize cutoff automation of a 303 machine, whereas those that do not involve an asterick provide strictly note-programming (using Climox 303 "Aggressor" Machine). As you can see, a redundant loop of note-data may be varied in timbre and texture by utilizing two tracks for the machine, with one track containing our note loop (00) and the other running through various patterns of automation. A distortion machine (Joachims Mars 2 Filter) is programmed in a similar fashion, and shown in the example as a method for additional liveliness.

Sequencer In-Depth

Time and Resolution

Prior to the introduction of PatternXP, the sequencer featured tick-per-tick representation of pattern code. The sequencer resolution (see screenshot) can be set to facilitate the number of ticks per-cursor step. In order to make sense of the sequencer resolution, we will begin with an assumption that Pattern XP functionality for custom "rows-per-beat" in patterns does not exist, and will tie that in to our understanding of resolution.

By default, Buzz utilizes a TPB value of 4, and a 4/4 meter - utilizing four beats per bar, represented by 16 ticks (four ticks per each beat). The default value of pattern-length is sensibly 16 ticks, as is the default pattern-step. By moving cursor up or down once, we "skip" over 16 ticks. We may think of it as allocating an empty pattern 16 ticks long. This corresponds to the tick-values on the left-hand side of the Sequencer (0, 16, 32, 48, 64, etc). Changing the resolution alters these values, therefore allowing you to skip greater or smaller intervals of the time domain (with the minimum value set to 1 tick).

Pattern XP allows local settings of rows-per-beat allocated per pattern, therefore allowing greater resolution within the pattern view which does not cross over into the sequencer. As such, the pattern is always displayed according to the global settings of ticks per beat combined with either built in editor's pattern length (in ticks) or Pattern XP's setting of pattern length in beats. In other words, regardless of Pattern XP setting of rows-per-beat, the sequencer always displays pattern length as Number of Beats (set within Pattern XP) multipled by Ticks Per Beat value (set globally in the overhead toolbar.

There's a simpler way to think about it. If your TPB is set to 4, any pattern that is 4 beats long will appear as a 16-tick pattern in the sequencer. If you TPB is set to 8, a 4-beat pattern will appear as if it is 32 ticks long. Any confusion regarding this functionality may be cleared with ease by experimenting with Pattern XP settings and by placing such patterns in the sequencer. Alternatively, you may wish to work with the built-in editor first, if only to familiarize yourself with the treatment of time in Buzz.

Mute, Break, and Thru

The Sequencer features unique commands which may be placed on each machine's timeline. Each machine may be muted with a <mute> (spacebar) command and each pattern may be "cut" to cease playback prior to its completion via a <break> (comma key). These commands differ from the MUTE and SOLO buttons on top of each track, and are unaccessible from anywhere else outside of the sequencer. The <break> command is also used to turn off the <mute> setting in a track without having to recall a different pattern. For instance, if your signal path is split with two effects, and you would like to mute and unmute one of them - <mute> and <break> will do the job. Effects also utilize a <thru> command, triggered by Shift+- (underscore). The <thru> command simply bypasses all of the processing within the effect. Be warned, however, that there are some machines which do not support this feature correctly.


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