Sequencing Adventures: BLM Grids MK2, Sandy Freckle, Xfade 1U & Leaves Expander

The Eurorack modular synth world is a playground for sonic experimentation, and combining the BLM Grids MK2, Sandy Freckle, Xfade 1U, and Leaves Expander modules promises an exhilarating journey into sequencing adventures.

Starting with the BLM Grids MK2, this 12hp module packs a punch with its versatile percussion sequencing capabilities. Acting as a percussion sequencer and Euclidean sequencer in one, the Grids MK2 simplifies on-the-fly sequencing by providing a plethora of patterns ready to interface with your external modules. The inclusion of an internal clock source further streamlines your rhythmic explorations, making it a seamless addition to your setup.

Next up is the Sandy Freckle from Nonlinear Circuits, offering a unique pulse/burst generator experience. Inspired by the circuit wizardry of entrepreneur Dick Smith, this module generates unpredictable sounds by intertwining three transistor-based multivibrators at varying frequencies. The result is a symphony of random pulses and bursts, reminiscent of a never-repeating sonic journey. With the ability to feed gates or envelopes into the module, Sandy Freckle opens the door to a world of waveshaping and distortion possibilities, adding a touch of unpredictability to your sequences.

Intellijel's Xfade 1U introduces a touch of DJ-style flair to your Eurorack setup with its stereo crossfader and CV controller. Offering smooth blending of two stereo input signals, the Xfade 1U lets you seamlessly mix audio signals with precision thanks to its precision Innofaderâ„¢ crossfader submodule. Beyond its mixing prowess, this module doubles up as a modulation source, outputting control voltages from its CV jacks for further sonic manipulation. The inclusion of three crossfade shapes and switchable unipolar/bipolar CV outputs adds a layer of versatility to your performance toolkit, making transitions and blends an art form in themselves.

Rounding off this creative ensemble is the Leaves Expander from Mystic Circuits, designed to enhance voltage sequencing possibilities in conjunction with Tree and other Turing Machine hosts. With a focus on non-linear sequencing, Leaves expands your sequencing horizons with multiple inputs and outputs, allowing for complex sequencing possibilities. The vibrant LED rainbow on the sliders adds a visual flair to your sequencing setup, while the expander's compatibility with various Turing Machine expanders ensures seamless integration into your modular environment. Whether you're diving into note sequencing or experimenting with sequenced modulation sources, Leaves paves the way for a dynamic and evolving sequence of musical possibilities.

In conclusion, the synergistic combination of the BLM Grids MK2, Sandy Freckle, Xfade 1U, and Leaves Expander offers a dynamic and innovative approach to Eurorack music production. Embrace the creative possibilities that these modules bring to the table, and embark on a sequencing adventure that transcends traditional boundaries.

Example Usage


To create an intriguing electronic music sequence using the BLM Grids MK2, Sandy Freckle, Xfade 1U, and Leaves Expander modules, follow these steps:

  1. Start by patching the output triggers from the BLM Grids MK2 percussion sequencer into the Sandy Freckle pulse/burst generator. Adjust the frequencies on the Sandy Freckle module to create unpredictable and evolving sounds.
  2. Take the output of the Sandy Freckle module and route it through the Xfade 1U stereo crossfader. Use the crossfader to blend different audio signals together and experiment with the DJ cut, Constant Power, and Linear crossfade shapes for creative transitions.
  3. Utilize the CV outputs from the Xfade 1U as modulation sources to control parameters on other modules. Play around with different shapes and polarities to add movement and dynamics to your music.
  4. For evolving voltage sequences, connect the Leaves Expander to the Tree module. Use the sliders on Leaves to create non-linear voltage patterns and transpose them using the dedicated inputs for each output.
  5. Experiment with daisy-chaining multiple Leaves Expanders to explore complex sequencing possibilities. Take advantage of the open-source Turing Machine expansion protocol to create a flexible and rich modular sequencing environment.

By combining these modules in your Eurorack setup, you can embark on a sequencing adventure filled with unique sounds, dynamic transitions, and evolving patterns. Let your creativity flow and dive into the world of modular synthesis with these versatile modules at your disposal.

Intermediate-Level Usage Example:

In this sequencing adventure, let's explore a creative way to combine the BLM Grids MK2, Sandy Freckle, Xfade 1U, and Leaves Expander modules to craft a dynamic and evolving composition.

Begin by setting up a percussive sequence using the BLM Grids MK2. Utilize the Euclidean sequencing capabilities to generate intricate rhythms that will serve as the backbone of your composition. Patch the trigger outputs to various drum modules in your setup to add depth and complexity to your beats.

Next, introduce the Sandy Freckle module into the mix to add unpredictable and evolving burst of sounds. Experiment with adjusting the frequencies of each section and feeding it gates or envelopes to create random yet intriguing sonic textures that complement the rhythmic foundation provided by the BLM Grids MK2.

Now, bring in the Xfade 1U module as a modulation source to control parameters of other modules in your setup. Use the crossfader to blend different audio signals together, creating smooth transitions and evolving soundscapes. Utilize the CV outputs to modulate parameters of oscillators, filters, or effects, adding movement and variation to your composition.

To further expand your sequencing possibilities, integrate the Leaves Expander module with the Tree or any Turing Machine host in your setup. Utilize the voltage sequencing capabilities of Leaves to create non-linear and melodic sequences that interact with the percussive elements generated by the BLM Grids MK2. Experiment with daisy-chaining multiple expanders to create intricate and evolving musical motifs that evolve over time.

By combining these modules in a creative and thoughtful manner, you can craft a compelling musical journey filled with intricate rhythms, evolving textures, and melodic sequences that will captivate your listeners and push the boundaries of your sonic exploration.

Further Thoughts

Example: In this sequencing adventure, we will explore the creative possibilities of combining the BLM Grids MK2 percussion sequencer with the Sandy Freckle pulse/burst generator, enhanced by the Xfade 1U stereo crossfader and CV controller, and the Leaves Expander for complex voltage sequencing.

Start by patching the trigger outputs from the BLM Grids MK2 into the Sandy Freckle, allowing for dynamic and unpredictable percussive sounds influenced by the multivibrator frequencies. Adjust the Sandy Freckle's frequency pots to further modulate the sounds and experiment with feeding it audio rate signals for waveshaping effects.

Next, use the Xfade 1U to blend and crossfade between the output of the Sandy Freckle and another audio source. Utilize the XFADE Shape options and CV controls to create evolving textures and smooth transitions in your sequences.

To add depth to your sequences, incorporate the Leaves Expander for advanced voltage sequencing capabilities. Utilize the dedicated transpose inputs and sliders with LED indicators to create non-linear sequences that can be easily expanded and controlled across multiple modules.

By integrating these modules creatively, you can embark on a sonic journey filled with diverse rhythmic patterns, dynamic textures, and evolving sequences that push the boundaries of eurorack synthesis.