HY-Plugins has released HY-RPE ($38) and HY-RPE Free ($0) advanced grid sequencer VST plugins for PC and Mac.
The full-featured paid version of HY-RPE comes with eight grid sequencer tracks and eight block chainer units. Unlike a traditional step sequencer, the sequencer tracks in HY-RPE consist of four blocks which can be split into any number of steps between one and eight. So, a sequence can contain four sections (blocks) consisting of three, seven, two, and four steps, respectively. These blocks are then sequenced in the corresponding block chainer unit, allowing the user to rearrange, repeat, or skip any part of the sequencer track.See also: HY-SeqCollection Sequencer Plugin By HY-Plugins!
Taking things one step further (ha!), HY-RPE features a multi-slider controller unit for adjusting the velocity, probability, and timing of each step. It is also possible to change the direction of individual blocks (forward, backward, random), mute or solo each sequencer track, and save snapshots per track. We won’t go through all of the controls here, as some of the more advanced stuff is nicely explained in the user manual. One important thing to note is that HY-RPE is mostly suitable for use as a percussion/drum sequencer because each sequencer track corresponds to a single note.
Although the workflow described above might sound a bit confusing on paper, it’s very intuitive in practice. It all makes sense after a few mouse clicks and reading the user manual is not required at all. In other words, the tremendous flexibility of HY-RPE doesn’t have a negative impact on its usability. And it is undeniably one of the most powerful drum sequencers I’ve ever used.
Coming from HY-Plugins, it’s no surprise that HY-RPE also features a freely resizable user interface (click and drag the bottom-right corner of the GUI to adjust the size), undo/redo functionality, a built-in preset manager, and other goodies that we’re used to seeing in Tadashi Suginomori’s excellent VST plugin creations. The CPU hit is very low, which is to be expected from a sequencer plugin.
The free version features three grid sequencer tracks and three block chainer units. Everything else is exactly the same as in the full version of HY-RPE. If you’re looking for an advanced percussion sequencer with randomization features, HY-RPE Free is totally worth the download.
HY-RPE is available for download/purchase via HY-Plugins (6 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST plugin format for Windows & macOS).