A step sequencer is a module designed to create sequences of control voltages, triggers, or gate signals that are output in a predetermined order. Each position within the sequence is called a “step,” and the user can set specific values or conditions for each step, such as pitch, modulation, or rhythm information.
Step sequencers can vary in size and complexity, with some having a fixed number of steps (e.g., 8 or 16 steps) and others being expandable or chainable to create longer sequences. Users can adjust the sequence length, playback direction, and step values to create melodies, basslines, or modulation patterns.
The step sequencer advances through its steps according to an input clock signal, which can come from an internal clock source or an external clock source, such as another module or a MIDI device.
Step sequencers play a crucial role in composing and performing music, as they provide a way to generate complex patterns and evolving textures by simply adjusting the step values and sequence parameters.