Engine is a powerful multitrack step sequencer with 8 polyphonic tracks for recording both melodic and percussion patterns.
Pattern chaining, snapshots and a song mode help move your ideas from simple loops to completed songs.
The six performance knobs can be used to control external devices or the built-in performance effects system, which includes velocity and gate offsets and ratcheting.
Engine includes comprehensive editing features to fine tune your performance, with rotation, cut/copy/paste for both patterns and individual steps.


8 Polyphonic Tracks
Each of the eight tracks can be programmed with individual time settings for scale, length, shuffle and skipped steps. This allows for experimenting with polymeters and polyrhythms.
Synth type patterns can record and play up to four notes of polyphony, while drum type patterns have sixteen notes of polyphony.
512 Patterns
Each track has 4 banks of 16 patterns, for a total of 512 patterns.
A pattern can be up to 64 steps in length, and patterns can be chained together for even longer passages, up to 1024 steps!
128 Snapshots
64 snapshots allow you to store settings across all eight tracks for quick recall.
This includes things like selected patterns and pattern chains, track mutes, transpose and individual drum mutes. Snapshots make it easy to construct songs on the fly.
32 Songs
Entire performances can be performed using the 32 songs. Songs are created as a sequence of snapshots that can be programmed or recorded in realtime.
6 Control Knobs
The 6 knobs can be used to send MIDI control messages or control voltages with the optional CV expansion. This makes Engine the perfect studio centerpiece.


Realtime, Grid and Step Recording
With three types of recording, you can choose the right method for your workflow, and you can switch between them any time.

Grid recording gives you the traditional drum machine type programming interface, which works great for synth lines also.

Realtime recording lets you play notes in via the mini-keyboard or using MIDI controllers, great for capturing a live performance.

Step recording moves automatically from step to step as you enter note events. This is great for generating unexpected grooves.

Using hardware is all about the physical experience, with dedicated buttons and knobs that perform specific functions. With a clearly defined interface, an LCD display isn’t necessary. Get away from the screen and use your ears to create music.
Never stop the sequencer
Every function on Engine can be performed without stopping the sequencer. Step recording, configuration, changing modes, everything can be done while the sequencer is running.

Changes are intelligently quantized when necessary, so patterns always stay in sync.

Engine has no concept of saving and loading, all settings are saved behind the scenes without interrupting the creative flow.

Function Pinning
With function pinning, you can lock in a particular mode, rather than holding down multiple buttons. For example, you could lock in mute mode for live performance. This makes Engine flexible without getting in the way of the creative process.


DIN MIDI - 1 input, 2 outputs
Engine has one DIN MIDI input and two DIN MIDI outputs. All MIDI ports use full-sized MIDI jacks.

Tracks and MIDI clock can be configured to output on either or both MIDI outputs, so you could use one output as a dedicated MIDI clock port for synchronizing external devices.

Engine is a class compliant USB MIDI device that can connect directly to a PC for controlling softsynths.

The isolated USB port ensures that ground loops aren’t a problem when connecting to analog gear.

The full-sized DIN SYNC port can be configured as either a master or slave, making it possible to synchronize Engine to many classic devices.
An optional CV/Gate expansion board turns Engine into a powerful analog sequencer.

With 16 configurable output jacks, each track can have a dedicated CV/Gate pair, or you can choose from several modes to send clocks, controllers, triggers and more.

Precise 16-bit outputs with a true bipolar output swing from -3V to +7V make it possible to get the most out of your analog synthesizers.

Gates output a +10V signal, which is perfect for triggering some older machines.

Engine is a comprehensive hardware sequencer that works equally well in computer based or hardware only setups. Eight polyphonic tracks provide enough sequencing horsepower to construct entire performances.

Dedicated pattern types for both drum and synth control can provide anywhere between 32 synth and 128 drum notes of total polyphony.

Engine was designed with specific attention to timing accuracy from both external and internal clocks. With support for the Elektron TurboMIDI protocol, you can take advantage of even greater accuracy when connecting to certain other hardware devices.


Engine is flexible enough to control a wide array of hardware devices, such as synthesizers, drum machines and analog modulars using the optional CV expansion board.

Two MIDI outputs can be configured to maximize throughput to multiple devices, this can also be used to isolate MIDI clock messages for the tightest timing when synchronizing external devices.

The ability to send or receive DIN24 sync clock allows Engine to maintain perfect sync with older synths and drum machines.


With USB-MIDI, Engine can be connected directly to a DAW for composition and control, while at the same time controlling additional hardware devices. The six control knobs allow Engine to become the physical interface for softsynths or mix parameters.


Engine is designed and assembled in the USA.

We chose to work with local suppliers for PCB assembly, metalwork, screen printing and packaging. This allowed us to be intimately involved in every aspect of part selection, production and design.

We test every Engine in our studio during final assembly and inspection.

User feedback drives our development, with major new additions added even before our official release. Changes in hardware to add additional MIDI outputs, support for polyphonic synth tracks, features such as adjustable gate lengths, soloing and more have been the direct result of user feedback. We are dedicated to improving and refining Engine.




Used for sending MIDI or CV control in realtime. Also used for setting parameters in some modes

Used in combinationwith the mini-keyboard to transpose synth type patterns or change the selected instrument in drum type patterns
Used to mute tracks or individual drum instruments in drum type patterns

Used to start or stop the sequencer


Used to access secondary functions


Used to select tracks, drum instruments or enter pitch in semitones


Used to edit pattern steps and select patterns


Used to set certain step attributes or enter other modes


Used to enter the arpeggiator for synth type patterns or drum roll mode for drum type patterns


Used to enter time mode or set pattern playback direction


Used to select pattern sections, banks and polyphonic pitches


Enter and leave record mode


Varies the tempo of the internal clock


Usually displays tempo, but used to display other information in some modes




Use 2.1mm, 9V DC power supply, center positive, 300mA or more


Push to turn Engine on or off


Use to connect Engine to a USB host, such as a computer. USB can be used for firmware updates or sending MIDI over USB


Connect to external MIDI devices for sequencing or synchronization


Connect to external MIDI devices for sequencing or synchronization


Can be configured as either DIN SYNC master or slave for synchronization.


Connect to external MIDI devices such as MIDI controllers or a MIDI clock master for synchronization


Mounting bay for optional expansion boards, such as the CV/Gate output expansion

In 2011, as we started to design our Quicksilver 303 and 606 CPUs, there were many ideas and features that couldn’t fit within the interface of the TB-303/TR-606. We started to collect these ideas and formulate what our ideal sequencer would be like.

This started with the form factor, specifically the sequencer needed to be a compact tabletop unit, with ergonomic angles reminiscent of classic drum machines.

We chose to go with a folded sheet steel enclosure for durability and machinability. The side profile doesn’t require plastic or wood end cheeks, keeping a sleek form. Using powder coat with silk screening instead of a printed adhesive overlay makes the machine feel sturdy and cool to the touch.

engine_design_sketchEarly design sketch

Raw steel enclosure

For the interface and graphic design, we wanted something that echoed early rave culture with a “sporty” feel, but with a few modern touches. At the same time, the workflow needed to be completely intuitive, with a clean layout and text labeling.

The functional requirements were based on experiences with various machines. The sequencer needed to be playable as instrument, much the same way classic drum machines and synth modules have become “old friends”. This meant that the hardware should be a physical experience that doesn’t require peering at a small LCD display to perform.

With practice, control movements are committed to muscle memory allowing the focus to stay on creating music.

To create finished songs, the machine needed eight tracks with plenty of patterns (512). Our workflow usually had 4 or 5 polyphonic synth lines, for bass, melody, FX and pads, along with 2 or 3 drum machines.

Streamlined synth and drum programming required both a traditional 16-step grid and a mini-keyboard, instead of a combined step/keyboard interface. The buttons are real mechanical switches with a firm click, rather than molded silicone pads.

To tweak parameters while sequencing, we decided it was necessary to add 6 controller knobs across the top of the machine. We chose potentiometers because the physical location of the knob pointer will always correspond to the current value of the parameter. The large tempo knob gives fine control and anchors the design on the right side of the machine.

We paid close attention to making a usable song mode. It is common to see live performances that use a handful of looping patterns, with the performer muting and switching patterns. With eight tracks playing simultaneously it would be difficult to switch so many patterns by hand. To solve this we introduced snapshots, which store settings across all of the tracks into a single slot.

We also saw that the tedious method of step song programming wasn’t used much, so we added a live song record mode. This allows snapshots to be selected and played in realtime and a song is recorded from the performance.

Metal contact switches

Rugged MIDI port

The name “Engine” was chosen to illustrate that the sequencer is really what powers an effective electronic music setup. The ability to control the sound is as important as the sound itself.

We found that sequencing softsynths with Engine was just as satisfying as hardware alone, but we also wanted expand the connectivity to include modular synthesizers when needed. To achieve this we added a full array of input and output possibilities.

MIDI over USB is perfect for a minimal laptop driven setup and two standard MIDI outputs can connect most modern devices. The expansion port was added to allow for even more options. The optional 8-channel CV/Gate output expansion adds 16 analog outputs and opens up many possibilities for additional control.

We have been frustrated by many newer CV/Gate devices only offering a limited 0-5V range. This makes it difficult to play synthesizers that require negative voltage for the lower octaves. The Engine CV board uses a true bipolar power supply to achieve a range of -3V to +7V with 10V gates.

With all of these goals in mind, we decided to make Engine a reality.

Nearly 4 years later, we proudly present the result of our passion.

We hope you will enjoy using Engine as much as we do!