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Pioneer DJ Toraiz SQUID
Pioneer DJ Toraiz SQUID

After the release of the Pioneer DJ DDJ-800 last week, Pioneer DJ now launches SQUID, a brand new sequencer in the TORAIZ range of production gear. The SQUID can control up to 16 instruments and is intended to be at the heart of your production setup.

The SQUID (SeQUencer Inspirational Device in full, you can tell when the marketing dept had a lot of fun trying to come up with a name) has 16 velocity sensitive performance pads that you can use to trigger sounds and create patterns using the different modes the pads can be set in. One of the modes is the Harmonizer mode, that helps you to create chords, or the Scale mode, that allows you to play scales with the 16 pads and since these pads are velocity sensitive, you can bring all the nuance you want to your performance.

The SQUID is the third product in the TORAIZ range, next to the Toraiz SP-16 and the Toraiz AS-1. Together with the DJS-1000, it’s the continuous effort from Pioneer DJ to branch out from DJ gear into the production realm.

Key Features

STEP EDIT SECTION FOR INTUITIVELY CREATING SEQUENCE PATTERNS

Have fun creating phrases by tapping the 16 multicolored LED rubber pads. Set step parameters and play in real time as if the pads were keys on a keyboard, combining various sequence functions such as Interpolation and Harmonizer to help build your sounds.

  • 16 multicolored LED pads for enabling various features
    Instantly switch between features using the SQUID’s 16 multicolored LED rubber pads, which are linked to independent modes. Use Trigger mode to step-record sequence patterns, and transpose your patterns on the fly with Transpose mode. Scale mode enables you to play scales with the 16 pads as if you were playing a keyboard and you can add nuanced expression to your performances by varying the strength of your keystrokes, thanks to the high-precision velocity detection. Using Scale mode, you can also record dynamic performances in real time.
  • Interpolation: instantly make a phrase
    Use Interpolation to arrange phrases. Set each parameter (Pitch, Gate, and Velocity) for the beginning, middle, and the end of the steps, and the SQUID automatically interpolates (supplements) parameters for the steps in between them. Without needing to set the parameters of each step individually, you can quickly set the pitch and dynamics of the sound and create a phrase while the idea is fresh in your mind.
  • Harmonizer: intuitively create evolving phrases 
    If you want inspiration for chords, Harmonizer enables you to play them easily by hitting the Harmonizer buttons with the Pitch value set on each step parameter as the root note. Up to six chords can be assigned to the Harmonizer buttons. You can record chord compositions into steps and record real-time performances with the Harmonizer buttons, so you can intuitively create evolving phrases.

PHRASE ARRANGEMENT SECTION FOR REARRANGING SEQUENCE PATTERNS IN REAL TIME

Use Running Direction, Speed Modulation, and Groove Bend to further rearrange phrases you’ve created in the Step Edit section. Each feature has an optimized user interface so you can intuitively try out ideas as they spring to mind.

  • Speed Modulation: create unique grooves by fluctuating playback speed of sequence patterns 
    Periodically increase and decrease the playback speed of a sequence to create unique grooves. You can switch between six waveform shapes, such as triangle and sawtooth, and adjust the rate and amount.
  • Running Direction: easily create new phrases 
    You can easily create multiple new phrases from one sequence pattern by changing its playback direction on the 16 pads. Try the Zigzag or Clockwise directions, which take advantage of the SQUID’s 4 x 4 pads – a unique feature never seen on a general sequencer before. By combining Reverse, Switch Back, and Flip with the six different Running Directions, you can try out 48 different playback directions and create a variety of different phrases.
  • Groove Bend: change trigger timing in real time
    In addition to Swing, which automatically delays trigger timing to create grooves, the SQUID features Groove Bend – the first-ever function on a sequencer to change trigger timing in real time via a slider. This enables you to create grooves as if you’re playing a musical instrument by simply moving the spring-loaded slider.

TIME WARP: SAVE YOUR “HAPPY ACCIDENTS”

Never lose the phrases you make incidentally when you’re trying things out. Use Time Warp to audition the previous phrase you created and save it as a new sequence pattern if you like it. There’s no need to stress over the workflow of practicing and recording take after take. Instead, feel free to just play around until you hear something you love, then capture it for use in a track or performance.

MULTIPLE INPUTS/OUTPUTS: SYNC WITH VARIOUS INSTRUMENTS

In addition to a USB B terminal and MIDI terminals for your DAW and hardware synthesizers, you can sync and play with modular synthesizers using the two sets of CV/GATE outputs and CLOCK input/output terminals. DIN SYNC input/output terminals enable syncing with vintage synthesizers and drum machines. Various signals including notes and clocks are mutually converted inside the SQUID automatically, so you can easily expand your creative scope just by adding the SQUID to your current setup.

IMPORT/EXPORT SEQUENCE PATTERNS VIA PC/MAC

Using the SQUID’s dedicated SQUID Manager, you can quickly import and export sequence patterns between the SQUID and your PC/Mac. Easily import a sequence pattern created on your DAW to the SQUID, intuitively arrange it using the sequencer’s features, and return it to your DAW. Use SQUID Manager to back up the projects you create on the SQUID by saving them to your PC/Mac.

  • 1 First slider-operated trigger timing feature in the music production category (according to research conducted by Pioneer DJ Corporation, as of April 18, 2019).

Pricing and Availability

Now, for USD 599.

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