Eventide Misha overview: A prankish sequencer that claims to hell with tradition
Standalone sequencers are one thing of a luxurious within the original track-making landscape. Nowadays, even the cheapest synths and samplers enjoy at least rudimentary sequencing capabilities. And while many MIDI controllers enjoy on-board sequencers, they’re assuredly intended to aid up are residing efficiency in its set of change it. For optimistic, there are a pair of exceptions to this rule (Arturia’s BeatStep Pro remains extremely smartly-liked even eight years after it changed into once supplied), however or no longer it is well-known to birth out taking a gape into the complicated and usually intimidating world of Eurorack and modular synths to ceaselessly stumble upon units whose sole motive is taking half in aid strings of notes for you.
Eventide, most effective known for its high-halt results gadgets love the and TimeFactor, is no longer an evident candidate to delve into the sector of Eurorack. But that’s exactly what it decided to execute with , its first sequencer. Now, no one would enjoy blamed the firm for taking half in it safe with its first foray into the set. As an various, it decided to chuck the same outdated conventions out the window and compose one thing unfamiliar that is equal factors fun and confounding, especially even as you occur to’re deeply entrenched in veteran track idea and keyboard-basically basically based composition.
I’m no longer an adept pianist. Nor execute I in fact enjoy an especially deep recordsdata of Western track idea. And even aloof I in the starting up struggled to wrap my head round Misha. That’s since the buttons on its face don’t play suppose notes. As an various they play intervals linked to the closing trace played within a scale.
The finest system to articulate this is thru an instance. Let’s reveal we’ve predicament the Misha to play a C Main scale. Below the screen, which reveals you the major and scale, are nine coloured buttons labeled -4 thru +4. In the occasion you press 0, you get a C appropriate off the bat, because that is the root trace and it is zero intervals a long way from the starting up of the dimensions. In the occasion you press the +1, in preference to getting a C#, you’ll get a D, the next trace within the dimensions.
Up to now, so appropriate, appropriate? But even as you occur to press the +1 all over again, you obtained’t get a second D, and in its set you’ll get an E, one interval greater within the dimensions. To get a second D trace, you’d enjoy to press 0. And even as you occur to desired to return to C, you’d enjoy to press -1. It’s no longer complicated necessarily, however it breaks a widespread expectation that any musician would understandably enjoy – that even as you occur to execute the same thing, you are going to enjoy to aloof get the same trace. If I play the fifth be anxious on the low E of a guitar, I ask to get an A every time. If the notes persevered to climb by 5 steps, with out inviting my hands, I’d enjoy a powerful more challenging time taking half in one thing else.
But this is the core idea of the Misha. It’s no longer built round absolute pitch and in its set forces you to develop basically basically based purely on the relationships between notes in a scale. If that concept sends you operating for the hills, then this possibly isn’t the sequencer for you. If, on the opposite hand, you’re love me and intrigued by Misha’s unfamiliar plan, loiter round and let’s dig a small bit deeper.
Sooner than we drag too a long way down the rabbit gap of scales, modes and sequencing, let’s rob a step aid and seek on the hardware. Whereas my unit got right here with a devoted pod for housing the Misha, it’s ostensibly designed to are residing in a Eurorack setup. At 28hp huge, it’s a somewhat colossal module, however it’s rather shallow at factual 19mm deep, which plan it would aloof match in even the most transportable skiffs. That width is roughly well-known, though. The 17 buttons, two knobs, microUSB port, microSD slot and and 16 ¼” jacks for MIDI, audio and shield an eye on voltage would feel impossibly minute on one thing else smaller.
The format feels factual gigantic enough to be viable as a efficiency instrument, with out fully dominating a smaller Eurorack setup. The nine interval buttons are effectively-spaced, the screen is colossal enough to advise the overall well-known recordsdata and the knobs are sturdy. My easiest plot hardware-colorful is that the shift buttons enjoy a hollow spring to them that feels a chunk low-tag and they also compose an audible popping sound.
The 12 CV (shield an eye on voltage) jacks are ruin up across three tracks, with three pairs of gate and CV outputs in addition to two inputs each and every. This affords you an proper quantity of options for controlling multiple synth voices or modulating the Misha’s sequencer. There’s moreover MIDI in and out jacks, in addition to stereo out and a clock in. The microUSB port can moreover be linked to a laptop keyboard for use with custom keymappings. You’re no longer gonna be attempting to acquire connectivity options right here.
The screen within the ineffective center affords you the overall recordsdata you will want about navigating Misha’s interface, though it would possibly possibly possibly rob a chunk to resolve out the plan in which it all works. I highly indicate reading the handbook. It’s no longer prolonged and would possibly presumably presumably well put you a total bunch time and frustration. When you come to grips with how the Misha works, it’s almost deceptively easy. Really, I steadily felt love I needed to be missing one thing. That, for obvious, this module, with all its buttons and knobs and 1-skedaddle screen, changed into once hiding aspects from me.
Surely rob time to customize these four user buttons, though. Whereas the default functions of up and down one octave (button one and two), and up and down one chromatic step (three and 4) are precious enough, they are able to provide rather a pair of efficiency vitality when mapped to meet your suppose desires. In my procedure I love swapping in “transfer pitch” for the chromatic steps, and atmosphere it to a fifth. That provides a chunk extra spice than a easy octave, however most ceaselessly aloof works effectively musically with with out reference to else is going down.
One closing thing worth noting is that Misha has a built-in oscillator that you simply are going to be in a job to flip on within the settings. But, previous providing a easy sound offer for auditioning melodies and most ceaselessly getting a feel for the sequencer, it’s almost ineffective. Really, it’s no longer even mentioned within the handbook.
Misha ships with starting from widespread (Melodic Minor), to exotic (Enigmatic), to microtonal insanity (Forty eight trace equal-tempered). And, if by some skill that’s no longer enough for you, there are 100 user slots for loading your occupy scala recordsdata. Between the many scales, modes and keys, the musical options baked into Misha are reputedly endless.
Maybe the most quick system to birth out exploring them is to rob a scale and then birth pressing the interval buttons. Right here is basically a rather vivid system of taking half in an instrument, too. I don’t enjoy a mountainous rig to stay this in, however I paired it with , in addition to the and Elektron Digitone all to finest kind.
Right here is no longer the create of job you drag to will enjoy to you will ought to translate a melody you hear in your head to the actual world. Maybe somebody would possibly presumably presumably well put collectively themselves to judge in intervals to make use of Misha that system, however it would rob rather a pair of labor. As an various this would presumably presumably get satisfied accidents. You factual enjoy to pay especially end attention to what you play to compose obvious you would possibly presumably presumably be in a job to recreate one thing else that catches your ear.
Now, optimistic, there are ways to lock a controller to a particular scale, the same to the Misha – most ceaselessly making it very no longer going to play out of tune. But there’s one thing about taking half in intervals in preference to notes that feels each and every intuitive and surprising, in a system a keyboard never would possibly presumably presumably well. Crafting melodies becomes a rewarding exploration where I’m most ceaselessly forced to cede shield an eye on, in its set of a frustrating strive to make use of my restricted idea recordsdata to flip suggestions into actuality.
One of the vital few issues I in fact enjoy to rob beforehand is what number of octaves I desire to play round in. Environment the trace differ to two octaves, as an example, plan, when I climb previous that cap, the intervals will swing aid round to two octaves below my root trace. It’s possibly most effective to strive to shield a long way from going the overall system round, though. Jumping down two octaves can sound a tad harsh.
The octave limits moreover be aware when utilizing Misha as a sequencer, so you would possibly presumably presumably be in a job to play a melody line unfold out over four octaves worth of a scale old to starting up over. The sequencer, though, is where issues get a small bit dicey. It’s built across the basis of a “,” a system extinct in serial composition where all twelve notes within the chromatic scale are played, with out repetition, to get a motif. The innovation right here is that this idea of a tone row can even simply moreover be utilized to any scale, no longer factual a twelve-trace, Western chromatic one.
This system of composition positively falls on the experimental halt of the spectrum and with obvious scales it would possibly possibly possibly come off a small bit awkward. This moreover plan that the preference of steps in a series relies on which scale you’re utilizing. A single octave sequence in a minor pentatonic scale will easiest enjoy 5 steps, while two octaves of the quarter tone scale will enjoy Forty eight steps. Whereas I relish the radical plan, fragment of me in fact wants that the tone row changed into once a mode you would possibly presumably presumably well presumably flip on and off. I’d love to seek Eventide add a extra veteran sequencer thru a firmware change where notes can even simply moreover be repeated.
There would possibly be moreover a chord mode that permits you to send three-notes out over MIDI or divided between the three CV outs. In the occasion that you simply would be in a position to need gotten a Eurorack setup with multiple synth voices, it is a colossal system to get some complexity and variation, especially even as you occur to will enjoy gotten assorted utilities that can extra modulate what the Misha places out. For example, you would possibly presumably presumably be in a job to send the root trace thru a easy arpeggiator for the bass while utilizing the many notes to play leads or pads. Sadly, there is no longer one of these thing as a onboard system to sequence chord voicings. It’s possible you’ll presumably presumably well presumably also manually change it while performing, however it’s roughly a distress. Alternatively, you would possibly presumably presumably well presumably use one other sequencer to send MIDI CCs to Misha and alter chord voicings, which appears to be like love overkill.
With out design back one of the best system to make use of the Misha is as a efficiency instrument paired with an external MIDI controller. Right here, the white keys give you an even broader differ of interval jumps (nine in either negate) in addition to easy entry to the root trace, while the dark keys can repeat a trace, play a random scale trace or transfer chromatically up and down one step at a time. And, obviously, you would possibly presumably presumably be in a job to aloof hit the four user programmable buttons on the front of the module and even scheme assorted notes on the keyboard to put extra variables at your fingertips.
At $599, is no longer low-tag. And that jumps to $699 even as you occur to would love a Eurorack pod and vitality adapter. Nevertheless it’s moreover in fact unfamiliar. If the charm of interval basically basically based efficiency or tone row sequencing is what you’re after, effectively, this is one of the best game in metropolis (at least that I’m responsive to). I’m obvious that there are ways of getting a identical kind utilizing system, however in phrases of hardware, this is it.
I execute wish that Eventide made a pair of extra concessions to veteran composition, though. I desire with a unbiased to repeat notes or program passages which would possibly presumably presumably presumably be an arbitrary length, in its set of be restricted to the preference of notes in a scale. Maybe these will seemingly be added in a future firmware change, at which point it would possibly presumably presumably well be more challenging to come up with reasons no longer to acquire one. For now, Misha is a pricey, niche instrument that’s moreover undeniably prankish and ingenious.