DIY Ten Step Sequencer

ITP students Mark Kleback and Ezer Lichtenstein designed and built a ten step sequencer that can be linked to other sequencers running on the same clock speed.

The sequencer uses a 555 timer that feeds into a CD4017 decade counter. They wired in kill switches on each step to either change the time signature of the sequence or introduce syncopation. Each step has a potentiometer that can vary the frequency of the pulse or the control voltage.

Over the summer at ITP Camp, Mark and Ezer held a soldering workshop where the participants built sequencers of their own. The following day all the sequencers were linked together and they had themselves an electronic jam session.

Check out Mark’s site for more information and full documentation.

8 thoughts on “DIY Ten Step Sequencer

  1. Anyone know what chips they used? I know it uses a 555 and a 4017 but what’s the other 16 pin chip? (556 as an oscillator?) That board looks nice. This should be a kit! I’m working on an 8 step, 4 channel sequencer that will sequence four seperate inputs (like radio static and short wave noise) via toggle switches to make beats. I’m amazed at how versatile these few chips are.

    1. Chuck, there is a link in the article to the creators website which contains a complete schematic. Looks like the chip in question is a 4046N

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In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens' educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program.

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