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This week, our Pulse Tips series returns to the Korg SQ-1 as we explore using a short sequence as an unipolar LFO. This technique was recommended by Kevin Williams from Dallas, Texas, a fellow modular/hardware artist who has a fantastic collection of pristine live recorded tracks on his Soundcloud page. In fact, any sequencer can be used in this manner, but the SQ-1 has a couple of features that make it particularly handy to perform this function.

We came across Kevin’s post on Facebook in a Synthtopia post about our previous Pulse Tip video, using the SQ-1 as a USB MIDI to CV Converter.

Kevin commented…

The other thing the SQ-1 is useful for is configuring it like an LFO. You can limit it to two steps and enable slide for a triangle or disable slide for a pulse. You can enable all steps and gets nuts with it too. It’s great for the MS-20 types who only have free running LFO’s.

The two steps will act as the first and last 180 degrees of the phase of the LFO. With the slide effect, I found a more logarithmic shape to the rise and a more exponential curve in the fall of the two step LFO, so the shape comes out somewhere between a square and triangle shape. This function still expands the range of options with this technique.

Naturally, this technique is especially useful if the SQ-1 is not currently engaged as a sequencer or MIDI to CV device. Since the two rows of 8 steps can be separated, to generate unique patterns, it is possible to have one row playing a note sequence while the other generates a timed LFO.

Thanks Kevin!

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Korg SQ-1 LFOs

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