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Isobutane: Polyend Play as a Centerpiece of a Dawless Jam

"I wanted to run all my gear with the Polyend Play and this is how it went. Check this out!"

“I’ve seen a lot of people using Play’s internal sound engine for music producing. I’ve heard of people sequencing their modular system with it too. But I was wondering, how does this little box of wonders handle sequencing of external drum machines, polyphonic synths, and all that other gear I have in my rig? I wanted to know if the polyphony is enough and if the clock is tight enough so you can actually work on a simple arrangement on the fly. And simply if it’s worth it as a brain for a mid-size dawless studio.

“Let me explain what’s going on. The Play is the master clock device here, which means everything is synced to its internal MIDI clock. To test the clock tightness, I ran 4 sequencers at once – Play is sequencing the Odyssey (bass), Medusa (lead), DX7 (chords), Alpha Juno 1 (pads), MS-1 (arpeggio), TR-505 (conga and cowbells) and Prophet Rev2 (main pad) and the beats are sequenced both from Tempest and Syntakt. There is another pad running on Tracker’s external sequencer and that’s basically it. Don’t mind the computer, it’s there only to record the mixdown from the 1010 blue box because my camera input is so noisy.

I was very pleasantly surprised to see the tempo running smoothly even when combining percussions from 3 different machines. There were 0 issues with polyphony too, so yeah…to me it seems like the Play is more than capable of running a home studio even without the help of a computer.”


Bratislava-based music composer, engineer, and performer.

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