Nularseq is a Max for Live MIDI effect designed to play melodic accompaniment synchronised to a live finger drumming performance.
Nularseq is a polyphonic step sequencer which uses user input rather than a fixed-frequency clock to advance sequence position. It can hold multiple sequences and makes it easy for the user to specify trigger conditions, i.e. which pads or keys and velocity levels on their MIDI controller advance a specific sequence to the next step. Nularseq can store 8 banks of 8 presets, each of which holding its own sequences, trigger conditions and other settings. Switching between presets is MIDI-mappable, so that it can be done quickly mid-performance.
How It's Innovative
The core idea of Nularseq is simple yet extremely powerful, which I hadn't seen implemented anywhere else when I started working on it (since then I saw another Max for Live device implementing the same idea in a different way).
Nularseq allows the user to assign different sequences to various MIDI-capable virtual or physical instruments and perform with them in a way that's not possible with other tools: they can conduct an entire virtual band or orchestra completely live without using a pre-recorded backing track, loops or even a metronome. To my knowledge, free-form improvisation that sounds like a complete band is not possible with any other means.
See MIDI Innovation In Action
Most Inspiring Use Cases
Improvised one-person band performances which sound like a full band playing together. Some examples from my YouTube channel:
The most important features I've yet to implement are Elektron-style trig conditions and scale/chord presets as well as MIDI CC sequencing. I'm also considering implementing a different version of Nularseq, which would use a tracker interface.
The current prototype of Nularseq was developed using Max for Live. The main drawbacks of this are the fact that it can only run within Ableton Live Suite and suboptimal performance (relatively slow preset switching under some conditions). T
o address these issues, I intend to develop Nularseq as a native plugin.