Funny how the discussion here over the past few days has gravitated towards hardware sequencers, coincidentally just as I've been starting to obsess over them again and read/watch some reviews (or, tax return money has started to burn a hole in my pocket 😛).
I've found myself in posession of several synths that don't have sequencers built in, and I'm now looking for interesting ways to sequence them. Of course, I could just sequence everything from the Octatrack, but that's a very specific and deliberate sequencing style that I seem to be less interested in recently. It's the same reason why I very nearly bought a Syntakt but decided against it because the sequencer, despite having all of the Elektron tricks, is still a bit rigid.
I've looked at the Torso T-1, which looks pretty ideal, but is a bit on the expensive side, and is maybe a bit of a one trick pony; I know there would be something that'd annoy me about it. Other similar format sequencers like the Korg SQ-64 look cool with some interesting features, but ultimately seem like they'd be a bit fiddly.
I ended up buying a decent price used Monome Grid, with plans to use it with Max/MSP and/or Norns to make some sequencers myself. I'll probably keep riffing on the Nanoloop clone that I started for Norns (perhaps with some generative features), and port across the browser based sequencers I've been developing over the past few years. I saw that there is also a Processing library for Grid, so that makes it even more interesting in terms of porting my existing sequencers across.
Some drawbacks to this idea: Max/MSP seems a little unstable in terms of timing on my M1 Mac Mini, perhaps there are some settings I need to tweak. And my Norns shield is a little clunky, I need to replace an encoder and possibly build a new enclosure for it as the 3D printed buttons scratch against the (also 3D printed) enclosure when I press them.
I also pulled out my old BCR2000 with Zaquencer and made a new laser cut overlay for it, to replace the crude printed-and-taped version I had on it before. I remember having fun with that sequencing my Nord Lead, so I'm keen to have a play with it again.