Pioneer DJ this morning have dropped the TORAIZ SQUID!
And no they didn’t name it that because they’re huge fans of deep-sea cephalophods, it actually means… – SeQUential Inspirational Device ?
It’s a multitrack sequencer – no synth engine built in – it’s meant to control up to 16 hardware synths and can connect to a DAW via USB too. All the below features are fully recordable into the machine and therefore can easily be recorded into your DAW via USB. For all your modern MIDI compatible hardware, it has your standard MIDI connections. It has CV gate, clock in/out, & DIN sync so the modular & vintage analogue hardware can be triggered too.
Squid Manager is the software that comes with it – when you create something you like on the Squid you can save it to your computer and import it to your DAW and vice versa, if you want to load up an old project to your Squid again.
Now there’s A LOT this thing can do – this Squid goes DEEP – but the main features are…
GLOBAL Section: Has all the transport controls.
- The knob is for Global settings. Hold TAP and turn the knob to change BPM. Save any setting by pushing down the knob.
- Time Warp: Lets you skip back to previous phrases you created, and save it as a new sequence pattern if you like it. Or as Pioneer calls them, your ‘Happy Accidents’
STEP EDIT section:
- 16 multicolour velocity-sensitive pads – use them in scale mode or as drum pads
- Scale mode records whatever you play in along with velocity information.
- Transpose mode changes the pitch or scale of your pattern
- Harmonizer mode turns the note on the pad into a chord. Up to 6 diff types of chord available, via the red buttons at the bottom. 9 chord progression presets are available. This is the shift function of scale mode.
- Left & right arrows can be used to change settings on the Global section screen or when you press shift it changes the length of a pattern.
- Copy & Paste can copy triggers, chords, parameters and patterns to any other pad.
PHRASE ARRANGE section:
- Groove Control – Groove Bend is a pretty original tool which we haven’t seen before – there’s a spring loaded slider which actually nudges your sequence and changes timing. And a Swing knob (not global swing).
- Running Direction – tools to change your sequence to play forwards or backwards, or use more complex ones like ZigZag, Clockwise, and on top of those directions you can use Reverse, Flip and Switch Back (forward then backward) to create even more versatile ideas.
- Speed Modulation to change the speed of your triggers – by ¼ step, ½ step, you know the drill, but also more complex speed modulations such as sawtooth & triangle waveforms, and you can fine-tune the frequency and amount. Gate Hold holds a note until you release the button.
- Melodic Control – 23 scales. All assignable to any pattern. And lets you toggle Arpeggiator on and off with access to settings for the arpeggiator too.
- Rhythmic Control – holds and loops the current section for the length of which ever length you choose, until you release the button. The TRIG PROB button is Trigger Probability. It skips random steps for you. You can shift & press to change settings for how many steps you want it to skip.
But why would I buy the Toraiz Squid…?
So currently we have the the SQ-1 which of course is very basic compared to this, or the Beatstep Pro which is more advanced, but the Squid is another level of advanced altogether – so we do see a gap in the market for something like this.
We reckon it’s good for music producers who want a new source of inspiration – maybe for people in a creative lull. Hardware synths can be quite creatively restricting to use sometimes – many are laid out very well for helping you make particular sounds, but not very well for sequencing and musical inspiration – and that’s where the SQUID comes in.