At the center of most live electronic instrument setups is a sequencer. But unlike instruments, there’s a pretty limited range of options when it comes to versatile sequencers that allow quick and intuitive performance and creation. That’s exactly the area that Pioneer DJ seems to want to fill with their new release, the TORAIZ SQUID.
- Product: TORAIZ SQUID
- Manufacturer: Pioneer DJ
- Price: $599
- Release Date: End of April, 2019
SQUID = SeQUencer Inspirational Device
You know how easy it is to teach someone how to start mixing tracks on a CDJ setup? Pioneer DJ seems to want to take that same intuitive process and apply it to live instrument workflows. The SQUID is designed to be “the heartbeat of your studio and live setup” – and it combines sequencing and composition in a number of really clever ways.
SQUID’s Feature Set
Here’s a full walkthrough video that shows the main features – and you can read the features that Pioneer DJ sent over in their press release below:
Step Edit section for intuitively creating sequence patterns
- 16 multicolored LED pads for enabling various features:
- Instantly switch between features using the SQUID’s 16 multicolored LED rubber pads, which are linked to independent modes.
- Use Trigger mode to step-record sequence patterns, and transpose your patterns on the fly with Transpose mode.
- Scale mode enables you to play scales with the 16 pads as if you were playing a keyboard and you can add nuanced expression to your performances by varying the strength of your keystrokes, thanks to the high-precision velocity detection.
- Using Scale mode, you can also record dynamic performances in real time.
- Interpolation: instantly make a phrase
- Use Interpolation to arrange phrases. Set each parameter (Pitch, Gate, and Velocity) for the beginning, middle, and the end of the steps, and the SQUID automatically interpolates (supplements) parameters for the steps in between them. Without needing to set the parameters of each step individually, you can quickly set the pitch and dynamics of the sound and create a phrase while the idea is fresh in your mind.
- Harmonizer: intuitively create evolving phrases
- If you want inspiration for chords, Harmonizer enables you to play them easily by hitting the Harmonizer buttons with the Pitch value set on each step parameter as the root note.
- Up to six chords can be assigned to the Harmonizer buttons. You can record chord compositions into steps and record real-time performances with the Harmonizer buttons, so you can intuitively create evolving phrases.
Phrase arrangement section for rearranging sequence patterns in real time
- Speed Modulation: create unique grooves by fluctuating playback speed of sequence patterns. Periodically increase and decrease the playback speed of a sequence to create unique grooves. You can switch between six waveform shapes, such as triangle and sawtooth, and adjust the rate and amount.
- Running Direction: easily create multiple new phrases from one sequence pattern by changing its playback direction on the 16 pads.
- Try the Zigzag or Clockwise directions, which take advantage of the SQUID’s 4 x 4 pads – a unique feature never seen on a general sequencer before.
- By combining Reverse, Switch Back, and Flip with the six different Running Directions, you can try out 48 different playback directions and create a variety of different phrases.
- Groove Bend: change trigger timing in real time
- In addition to Swing, which automatically delays trigger timing to create grooves, the SQUID features Groove Bend – the first-ever function on a sequencer to change trigger timing in real time via a slider. This enables you to create grooves as if you’re playing a musical instrument by simply moving the spring-loaded slider.
Time Warp: save “happy accidents”
Never lose the phrases you make incidentally when you’re trying things out. Use Time Warp to audition the previous phrase you created and save it as a new sequence pattern if you like it.
Multiple inputs/outputs: sync with various instruments
In addition to a USB B terminal and MIDI terminals for your DAW and hardware synthesizers, you can sync and play with modular synthesizers using the two sets of CV/GATE outputs and CLOCK input/output terminals. DIN SYNC input/output terminals enable syncing with vintage synthesizers and drum machines.
Various signals including notes and clocks are mutually converted inside the SQUID automatically, so you can easily expand your creative scope just by adding the SQUID to your current setup.
Import/export sequence patterns via PC/Mac
Using the SQUID’s dedicated SQUID Manager software you can quickly import and export sequence patterns between the SQUID and your PC/Mac. Easily import a sequence pattern created on your DAW to the SQUID, intuitively arrange it using the sequencer’s features, and return it to your DAW. Use SQUID Manager to back up the projects you create on the SQUID by saving them to your PC/Mac.
Our First Thoughts…. Coming Soon!
We’ve got a test unit in the hands of DJTT contributor Markkus Rovito, and will be publishing his first look at the unit in the next few days – so stay tuned for a more in-depth look.