Maybe I just don't "get" the Endless sequencer

Based on many popular YouTubers over the years, the Endless sequencer is loved and a favorite “goto”.

But I don’t get it. To me, Endless is like walking a tightrope. One mistake or bad move, and you’re toast. Yes, you can hit the back key to undo the last step while you’re still creating a pattern, but that’s it. I know in general, the OP1 has no “undo,” but I can fix and recover from a lot of mishaps with most OP1 capabilities.

So far, Pattern has been my go-to sequencer. I can compose or edit as I please and then edit it. Of course, it’s only 16 steps, not endless.

Is there something I’m missing about “Endless”? Maybe I understand all should about Endless, and it’s just not my workflow.


1 Like

It’s just an old sequencer like on the TB303.
With practice you get used to it. It can also lead to happy accidents…

But I agree it’s painful, try Elektron for the sequencing bliss :slight_smile:

1 Like

imo the OP-1 is about recording stuff to the tape, particularly live. it’s not about sequencing.

the sequencers are just tools that make that easier, more interesting, more fun, more complex.

You have some idea you want to put to tape, and maybe it’s too difficult (or virtually impossible) to play live, or maybe you just want perfect rhythm, so you tap it into Endless, record to tape, then move to the next element.
Or you have a riff you want to repeat, but transpose around to different root notes in a progression. Sequence it in Endless, and record to tape, playing it all around the keyboard.

(i should say also that I regularly make 128-step patterns in endless… you just have to know what you want beforehand, and be OK with maybe messing it up the first try)


Thanks, that helps to understand what Endless is good for, and what’s it is not meant to be.

FWIW, after almost a year of putting the OP1 on the back shelf, I’m coming back to focusing on it. I got more song sketches done with it. Much of the workflow is in muscle memory, and the constraints are needed for me to stick to the main work.

1 Like

there’s much more to the endless sequencer than you see in most videos.
many people seem to just enter notes into endless sequencer as they want them played back, leaving the white knob on one dot.

but the endless sequencer really gets creative when you play around with the white knob and add more dots to get different patterns.

for example, try this. for say a bass line. pick a scale. say F minor pentatonic. now enter F, F, F, G#, G#, A#, C. set the sequencer playing, and turn hold on, set direction of play to forward or random and start turning the white knob to change the patterns and shift white. for more variation make one f note two spaces long using the shift arrow key.

this method also works really well for chord progressions. and for percussion like cowbells, hats etc.


huh even after like 8 years i have nearly never used the white knob on endless (certainly not any time i can remember). i should make a point to try to experiment with it sometime this year.

I used the random-walk (shift-red squiggle) for maybe the first time today (wanted a random pattern of a few select drum sampler hits).

Some more tips/subtleties:

Don’t sleep on the fact that it’s 4-note polyphonic. The only other sequencer that gives you the same polyphonic control is Sketch (which actually can do full 6-note polyphony…)
With the right combos of keypresses/holds, and shift+left/right, you can make individual notes start/stop at arbitrary steps (e.g. you can sequence a chord arpeggiating up, sustaining each note on the way). It’s a little goofy and I never remember the exact combo; I just fiddle with it till it does what i want.

Often I’ll factor up the note division to give a little control of note length. E.g. on a pattern of sixteenth notes, setting it to 32T (32nd note triplet) division gives you 3 ticks per note, so you have 3 options for the duration of each 16th-note step in your pattern.
Or eighth-notes sequenced on 16 division, skipping every other step, lets you control the note length with the swing (green) setting.