March 31, 2012

The Roland CSQ-600 Always

Now, I know what you're probably thinking. Things are getting a little watered down around here. Well now just hang on! While it is true that the slopes are diversifying a bit, we're still the same as we ever were deep down. And to prove it: here is a post all about my love and devotion for the Roland CSQ sequencers (specifically the 600 here).


I love everything about this sequencer. It is all CV and Gate. So simple! It's exactly what a sequencer should be. Four memory banks, which are so easy to switch through or chain together (in real time mind you!) with the flip of a switch. You're able to sequence the CV and Gate at the same time, or sequence either of them independently. And a function that I find invaluable is that by hitting any key on your keyboard controller while a sequence is running, it is instantly transposed to that key! So not only do you have an amazing sequencers here, it's also (in my opinion) a wonderful song writing tool. Do you have trouble coming up with interesting key changes? With this little guy you can hear every possible key change in an instant!

Well, that's all I have to say about that. These things are still going for a decent price (for how amazing they are), but they do seem to be a bit rare. I know that Vangelis used this and Sean McBride is currently making good use of it. I really can't say enough about it. It's everything I've ever hoped for in a sequencer and more. Amen!

8 comments:

  1. Hi, I have got a problem with a Roland CSQ-600 sequencer. I am using a +5 V gate signal from an Urzwerg Pro analogue sequencer to clock it. I have plugged the external gate signal to the step input, however, the CSQ-600 will not lock to the external tempo of the Urzwerg Pro, instead it's running at the speed of the built in metronome. I ve read the manual but it doesn't mention anything specific about skipping the metronome in order to slave the unit to an external clock. Is it supposed to clock automatically to external tempo as soon as a trigger/gate is connected to its step input? By the way, I have also used the same gate signal from the Urzwerg Pro to clock the internal sequencer of a Roland SH-101 and it's working fine. Am I doing something wrong? Thanks in advance.

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  2. Now, if you have the gate output (from the MFB) plugged into the step input of the CSQ, you won't want to push start on the CSQ, it would just play at whatever speed the CSQ is set to. but rather start the MFB sequencer and allow it to force the CSQ to step through it's notes. If your CSQ is working properly and the Gate signal is right this should work.

    Have you gotten anything else to make your CSQ step through a sequence?

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  3. Thanks for your reply! I figured that out. Once I am pressing Play or Stop/Continue Play the metronome gets activated. Since there's nothing mentioned about this in the manual I thought something was wrong. I think that's strange though because the only way to control the playback of sequences is just with the four memory switches. I am wondering what happens if there are notes stored on all 4 memories, how can I then get a silent passage? Really nice blog by the way.

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  4. If there are notes programed in all four sequences, the only way to get a silent passage would be to program it from your other sequencer. If you can't do this, you could always put the gate signal through an attenuator first and then turn it off manually when you want the silent passage to occur.

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  5. Thanks for your help. The CSQ-600 seems to be a great tool. Any tips and tricks?

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  6. hey, thanks for reading! I don't quite know any tips or tricks with it... all I know is that it's very good at what it's meant to do! If I figure out any tricks with it, you will find out here soon after.

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  7. Hi. I have discovered a CSQ600 in my attic which I bought in 1982, after 30 years of non-use. Unfortunately, I have no way of checking if it still active (no synth to activate). Any idea how to work round this, as I need to sell it soon.

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  8. Gosh, I don't think you could really properly check it without a synthesizer that has cv and gate inputs and outputs. One this you can do is flip the Metronome switch to L or H and press the load button. If you hear a click sound then you know it's not completely dead. Sorry I can't be of more help, but I'm not really a technician, just an enthusiast.

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