Since its quite difficult to get a Hapax Squarp due to low avaiability of the unit and surging shipping costs, I am considering getting a Rolland 707 instead. The Deluge also upted their cost to a 1000$, and I dont understand why. I come from a shitty country with large taxes on electronic devices so I have to be real here. Is a Midi sequencer with no sound engine really worth almost 900€ or are we being pulled by the leg here, I understand Rolland is a big company and can afford to lower prices but cmon Squarp you really are going for our pockets. You can get a descent synth for a 1000€ and the Mc707 has a dedicated sound engine with drums and a Sampler on top of that with a very good sequencer all for a 1000$ so in what way does a midi sequencer cost roughly the same?The octatrack is in the similiar price range and can do a hell of a lot more in therms of utility
The Mc-707 sequencer is nowhere as good as the Hapax. I bought the Hapax to take over the sequencer part of the Mc-707 actually…
You did kind of answer your own question here.
Squarp are a tiny company, and don’t have their own factories or be able to buy parts massively in bulk. They also put a lot of R&D into the Hapax, and if you’re selling a couple of thousand units, rather than tens of thousands that Roland probably have, it takes longer to make that money back. Also the MC-707 is a few years old now, Hapax is less than a year. I hardly think Squarp are rolling around on a bed of €500 notes laughing at us all.
And as @Maarten said, the sequencer of Hapax is ridiculously more complex and powerful than the MC-707 one, which is fine, but not particularly amazing. It’s meat and potatoes. Hapax is a 7 course meal with paired wine.
Unfortunately you have to make a choice, which depends on what you want, but more importantly what you can afford. I’d absolutely love an OB-8X, but it’s £7500, but that is their prerogative, it’s a premium product, much like the Hapax.
I don’t think it’s a big mystery. Just looking at a first approximation of a bill of materials for both gives us:
- single monochrome screen
- 16 velocity pads
- 8 faders
- 58 buttons
- 28 pots
- 4 push encoders
- 1 non-push encoder
- CPU with enough DSP to run ZEN-Core engine and step sequencer
- Two grayscale screens
- 180 (!) buttons.
- 9 push encoders.
- CPUs to run dual MPE-enabled sequencers, arbitrary automation lanes, MIDI FX, etc. times 2 (for dual projects)
Pressure sensitive pads and physical faders are going to be a little more expensive than simple push buttons, of course. But on a pure sourcing and assembly level the Hapax has almost double the number of raw components. And on the big ticket components (CPUs and screens), it has double the 707 there, too.
Something I didn’t list (because it’s always possible Roland will drop a huge release or Squarp will suddenly stop development), but Roland’s ongoing OS development costs would, I guess, be less than the Hapax as well. We’ve gotten 6 substantial updates from Roland since the release of the MC-707 3 years ago. We’ve gotten three from Squarp in the last 5 months. That’s very welcome, but not free.
None of which is to say the Hapax will fit your needs (or that the MC-707 won’t. I adore mine and highly recommend it). But it turns out, even only looking at price for hardware and software, its really easy for a dedicated sequencer to rack up a price tag comparable to a groove box. (See also: Cirklon, another dedicated sequencer that cost twice the Hapax and has a 4-year waiting list).
Moog talked about this yesterday in the press release about their raising prices. It seems to have a lot to do with the global supply chain issue for electronics
They explained that the Deluge increase was due to the massive amount of extra features and in turn, time and money needed to develop the Deluge firmware over many years. v4 of the firmware is light years ahead of v1. They have gone way beyond fixes and ease of use updates and added features that completely transformed the machines initial functionality. To this end I actually agree with Synthstroms price increase.
I disagree with that. For me they are just different. The sequencer in the mc 707 is more performance orientated. The hapax more control orientated.
The sequencing in the MCs is so abstract, at least on the 101. I know the 707 has some shortcuts relatively speaking but it’s a completely different world, really.
I agree that the Rolands feel more performance oriented, but then there’s a weird twist that programming the performance is (to me at least) layer on layer of unintuitive menu diving. The chord programmer, the way you stamp the LFO on over the sequence and the lack of visuals for your settings are all weird. All of the programming is more fluid and enjoyable on the Hapax. I’m using it to trigger and program the 101, then the 101s sparkle effects (or I’m not sure they call them that).
It’s definitely not as versatile as a standalone piece as a groovebox, but that’s the wrong scale to look at it anyway. You can point it at anything super easily, and do complex things with a lot of different equip. It’s more worth it when you have other things you’ve invested in and want to tie them together than it is a device you’d pick as the one piece you saved up to buy. You still need the 707 or the synths or whatever it is, but the question isn’t really is the Hapax worth it vs the 707, it’s is the Hapax worth it with the 707. (Which given how good it is with the 101 is certainly yes). In all honesty I can’t get the 101 to sound the way I want it to with only it’s own tool set, as deep as that may be. I need a more complex melodic sequencer to help me land the plane.
I agree the Deluge price bump seems fair given the ongoing creative energy they’re putting into the machine
One is a Groovebox.
One is a Sequencer.
They are not really comparable at all.
That’s kind of the point. The more expensive box has less to offer in terms of functions, but more in terms of finesse. Does that justify a
middle-to-upper range boutique price? (I vote yes )
To be fair though, they’re both multi-track, multi-voice midi composition instruments with tools for making musical choices. One just also has an entire audio side.
MC-707 is a Groovebox which had a sequencer part.
Hapax is a sequencer.
Reminds me of that old joke:
Q: When is a door not a door?
A: Never. I reject the premise.
dedicated hardware sequencers used to be way more expensive. Or maybe i should say - high end dedicated hardware sequencers have always been expensive.
i’ve played lots of them over the years (i just love them) and so i’ll generate some random comments.
look at the price of the cirklon. Look at the price of the schrittmacher (which has come down over the years). Look at the price of the Koma Komplex. And then there was the Octopus and the Nemo.
I’m not going to comment on whether a dedicated sequencer is worth that much in an absolute sense, but there is certainly precedent for it. I would say that as a sequencer, the hapax definitely fits in well with these others. There is excellent build quality, attention to details in the features, and lots of features. The ui is excellent.
as usual with these things, you can’t depend on others to tell you what to do. Look deeply at what it can do. The manual is pretty good. How experienced are you with sequencers? Maybe you don’t need something this deep. You could pay a bit less and look at the oxi one, which is itself a fine instrument. You could get a pyramid (didn’t look to see if they are still available). there are others - there is a korg thing, there are a few variants of arturia, etc. Look at the features. What appeals to you. some others that i can’t remember. Hell - the elektron sequencers are pretty cool - probably to this day the slickest implementation of parameter locks. The Octatrack v1 isn’t that expensive relatively and provides lots of features (and the sequencer is the same as on the v2). the disclaimer would be the overall ui of the OT, but the midi sequencer is pretty straightforward.
Sometimes people feel that they need ‘the best’ but really don’t. maybe they just need basic features. I’ve always been struck by how many cirklon demos seem to avoid any extensive use of the aux events, for instance. Do they really need the supposed fantastic timing and tons of ins/outs? I suspect that often they don’t.
I apreciate everyone commenting and some of you make a good point however there are some things which are simply not true, the build quality is not that great, you can yank the knobs easily but that is beside the point. My main problem is the availabilty of the unit, the fact I cant send someone in Hungary or Greece to pick it up from the official store is a big problem, I have to pay for backorders, you know how much people make in Serbia? I make around 600€ from teaching and am lucky to even have a job and that is simply not enough to spill out 1200€ for the sequencer(taxes for electronics are huge in my country) but I really like it even though all my gear combined which I had to buy used doesnt ammount to the price, but I desperetly need something to finish all my incomplete tracks and lets not lie about the fact that a computer or ableton is the best sequencer out there, Hapax simply simplifies the whole ordeal, I dont want to sequence on a computer and Il mostly use the hapax for the song mode to launch patterns but I am extremly excited to evolve my tracks on the fly and get some nice drum fills and fade ins using the velocity curve. I know the mc707 is a different unit but I can aquire it easily and coughing up 1200€ in a middle of a inflation if I may add for a dedicated midi sequencer is a tad ridicilous but Il do even though the website store page is not working and you cant even send a message to Squarp, which is very unprofessional
Hi, what’s the issue, could you elaborate?
We’ve had no recent reports of issues on the store, nor issues with regard to contacting us.
The Hapax will definitely not make you finish all you incomplete tracks. No hardware or software can do that for you.
It is, like all modern electronics, a luxury. It can be fun, or make some things easier, or help spark new ideas, or sit on a shelf and look pretty, (or even make some things more difficult! ). But the vast majority of music was made before sequencers. All the tracks that at the roots of electronic music were produced before the DAW.
I think Hapax is really cool. But no one needs it to make music. There’s nothing you can do with it that you couldn’t do without it — sometimes without very much extra effort. A free DAW and a computer from the 2000 can do it. A sampler from the 80s can do it. A tape recorder can do it. Some plastic buckets and a stick can do it. Don’t let obsession over a fancy new box get in the way of your music.
The cost and the ability to maintain more demand than they can satisfy is an unfortunate side effect of the forces that allow luxury focussed, relatively small manufacturers the ability to even produce stuff like the Hapax. It truly is a luxury, and I want them to be able to keep a staff and continue to develop it, so to me it’s not priced outrageously. To an earlier point, it isn’t even high vs it’s peer devices.
I’m certainly less skilled than many of Hapax’s users, but I agree this is not the device to get to finish things.
Tangentially, have you checked into what a used MPC LIVE I (the og model) costs? That is a device that closes tracks out, can control and record all your gear and has a pretty deep midi piano roll. No algos but IMO it is the best bread and butter DAWless thing that can make jams into tracks, by a fairly wide margin.
I have an MPC but use the force which is more closer to the sequencer of the Hapax/Pyramid since each of its 128 tracks can have up to 128 clips.
The website contact page didnt work for a time, its fine now