How many Parts Per Quarter does sequencer run at?

Quick question… How many Parts Per Quarter does sequencer run at?

FWIW, other Elektron devices run at 96 ppqn. At least this is what’s exposed in the microtiming menu.

A quick question, but one that requires a lengthy answer to ensure that you understand how to compare the M:S’s sequencing resolution to that of other instruments.

You’re probably familiar with the use of “ppqn” (Pulse (or Part) Per Quarter Note) in the context of DAWs or high-resolution hardware MIDI “linear” sequencers to specify the timing resolution for individual events.

The M:S (like other Elektron gear) is not like that. It is a step sequencer for which the easiest way to think of time resolution is that 16 sequencer steps corresponds to one bar (four quarter notes) of 4/4. If quantization is fully applied, then the M:S’s basic timing grid gives an equivalent resolution for note-on events of 4 ppqn.

Unquantized live recording or trig nudging allows events to be shifted off the quantized grid, but every event on that step on that track is also shifted by the same amount.

The M:S also has a retrig feature that allows trills at 5 x the basic grid resolution.

Finally, the M:S allows each track to have an independent scale multiplier that can (among other values) double the speed of the pattern’s playback to give double the basic time resolution, at the cost of halving the length of the track pattern.

You need to bear these features in mind when comparing time resolution with other sequencers in situations like recording high-resolution sequences or broken chords.


Thanks for the in-depth reply. So, does unquantized mode still have a grid, but just a higher resolution ppqn than the standard step mode, to nudges notes for when doing trills and the like?

So, a resolution of 96 ppqn?

Unquantized operation is like bending one step of the 4 ppqn grid forwards or backwards. I don’t have an M:S so I don’t know the resolution of the trig nudge (page 23 of the manual does not say).

Retrigs are for trills (aka ratchets) and have rates of up to 5 x the basic time resolution. See page 24 of the manual.

ping @eangman


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No worries. Thanks for yo help.

I wonder if it still triggers trig trick notes over midi then?

The resolution of the trig nudge on the M:S is the same as for earlier Elektron machines. Between on grid and max forward there are 23 settings (and the same for between on grid and max back) So that gives you 27 different positions to place a trig on between two other (on grid) trigs.