New Hardware Algorithmic MIDI Sequencer

Future Retro's Zillion is based on the principles of the Triadex Muse      28/05/14
New Hardware Algorithmic MIDI Sequencer

Future Retro says that the Zillion is a single track algorithmic MIDI sequencer based on the principles of the Triadex Muse. They tell us that, while the Muse used counters and a shift register to generate more than a million musical melodies, the Zillion expands on these ideas to add more features and functionality, providing a zillion possibilities for you to discover.

There are 16 operating modes including: Playback, Tempo, Swing, Direction, Loop, Transpose, Scale, Scale Program, Melody, Rhythm, Velocity, Theme, Shift Register, MIDI OUT, MIDI IN, and Sync.  Future Retro says, with many unique features not found in other sequencers, the Zillion provides the ability to store all parameter settings of where you last were. You can also reset parameters to typical Triadex Muse settings as a quick way of starting new adventures. The Zillion comes with a universal power supply and can be used anywhere in the world.

Pricing and Availability:

More information:



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26 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
Ergo Propterhoc    Said...

No CV/Gate? Shame. Looks interesting though.

28-May-14 08:14 AM

Un_Muesed    Said...

Utter rubbish. Just use your computer to generate random numbers, and type them as note numbers into an sequencer from an ancient Roland MC8 to Bitwise.

Do not need this flimflam company to charge you $300 for a number generator with a MIDI port.

Sonicstate is becoming increasingly the promotion forum for every piece of 'musical' junk being released onto the market, whereby their essentially meaningless uses are then pondered and debate endlessly by the Sonicstate video sessions.

Come on Sonicstate - enough of this bottom of the barrel news. You need to work harder to find out about the reall innovations going on out there today that are worthy of promotion.

28-May-14 09:15 AM

Idiot_Stomper    Said...

Un-Muesed Shut up. Seriously. Shut up. You clearly don't get it or understand the performance aspect if you think generating random numbers and inputting them into your computer is the same thing as the Zillion. Also, Future Retro has made great stuff for quite some time. Are you just totally clueless and stupid?

28-May-14 09:38 AM

Un_Muesed    Said...

@Idiot_Stromper -

Go for it - i'm all ears - convince us. Describe its innovative features...

28-May-14 12:19 PM

SSM    Said...

Jared at FR is a genius. Its about useability. You can do alot with a PC. If you want a PC this isn't for you. Please move on.

28-May-14 12:37 PM

Idiot_Stomper    Said...

There's no "us", just you, idiot. There is absolutely no hardware sequencer on the market that does what it does at this price point. I'm not going to walk your dumb ass through it. Watch the video. If you don't understand that generating random numbers in your computer to then transfer them to your sequencer isn't actually creating on the fly random sequences, then I don't know what to tell your dumb ass.

28-May-14 04:49 PM

ZenPunkHippy    Said...

Funny thread. This is not the same as entering values in to a spreadsheet, sorry I mean DAW.

It's clearly for live performance / improvisation.

Looks very cool, agree that no CV is a little annoying but no doubt that keeps costs down.

28-May-14 06:55 PM

Un_Muesed    Said...

@Idiot_Stromper - perhaps you're involved with the product? It was obvious you couldn't explain why anyone should pay $300 for a box that generates notes on one MIDI channel with a few 'live' options.

There are a thousand iPad apps for free or near free that are more sophosticated.

Make a little box, paint some abstract 'sophisticated' shapes on it (with internal electronic probably close to two pieces of coax tied in a knot and lets see what the output is) and rip off every unsuspecting young musician who hasn't been around long enough to realise what junk is being pedalled at outrageous prices presently.

Another rip-off product; which you seem to be a tad too defensive about.

28-May-14 10:39 PM


It's odd to me that anybody could seriously think this is just a random number generator. Maybe those posts were after a late-night drinking binge? I'll be ordering a Zillion. (...well, one, actually.)

28-May-14 10:40 PM

Idiot_Stomper    Said...

Un_Muesed You're seriously an idiot. Watch the damn demo video if you want to understand it. It's not my job to inform idiots. I'm defensive because your dumb ass attacks Future Retro and Sonic State with baseless accusations about a product you don't seem to understand at all. You clearly didn't bother doing any research on the product or watch the demo vid. And if I have to explain to one more idiot the difference between dedicated hardware and an iPad/Computer I might just write a damn book on the subject.

Clueless trolls like you, who don't know the tech or understand how it would be implemented in a hardware set-up always pull iPads out of your ass. It could be a damn video on an Arp 2600 and some idiot will say "My iPad can do so much more." Good for you, then go jack off on your iPad, you lousy cunt.

28-May-14 11:44 PM

Un_Mused    Said...

@Idiot_Stomper: My point is earnest and persists: You can't even describe the core innovative feature of this product in one sentence. The reason - as I pointed out earnestly - there isn't one. I'm persisting with my point because there are a plethora of arbitrary companies out there setting arbitrary and outrageous prices for boxes costing a small fraction of what they should. Its an artificial inflation of the market. Oberheim himself is guilty of it wight now with his two-voice. This company is equally so. If not - cite THE innovative reason for this justifiably costing $300. My point about Sonicstate is equally valid. Fine if the promote these products here - good to give free publicity - but increasingly the Video analyses and Video discussion session on these products are NOT being objective, deep or thorough, but seem increasingly as promotional sessions. Product companies are even sponsoring the Video sessions. So how informative, and discerning, can this site be? I'll say it again - in one or two sentences - explain why someone should pay $300 for this. And you shoudl tone your filthy language by the way - anonymous as we are - I'm making a set of serious points and you need to respond similarly. Do you think you're doing this company any good with language like that? I repeat - defend the product, @ $300 - in two sentences. If you can't, my point is made.

29-May-14 05:06 AM

brianfromusa    Said...'s an algorithmic sequencer. Algorithmic composition has been around a long time. Not for everybody, of course ;)

29-May-14 07:24 AM

RP    Said...

Un_Mused and Idiot_Stomper, if you guys decide to meet up somewhere and settle this with a fight I think it will be the first time in history a physical altercation manifested over a random note generator.

I'm just saying, YouTube infamy fellas

29-May-14 02:34 PM

Un_Muesed    Said...

RP - I'm just winding him up :-) .He takes it so seriously and its so easy to push his buttons. In earnest I think this is far too expensive for what it offers; and I do care about the artificially inflated costs of some technology manufacturers like elektron, Oberheim, Dave Smith and others; who are skewing the market.

29-May-14 03:14 PM

AnalogDADwITH3dayJOBS    Said...

Un-Mused - the fact is, there are some of us who are to busy enjoying these products and what they offer to be concerned with how purchasing a certain product is going to inflate a market. The zillion is worth what people are willing to pay, regardless of other options that will achieve the same or better results. Wanna make a difference with your opinion?- lead by example and stop giving the Zillion so much publicity by egging on a conflict for your selfish enjoyment. And then, just don't buy the product. Consumer spending (or non-spending) is the only truly effective means of effecting (affecting?) change in a market. Now get over youself while some of us enjoy Sonicstate for their hard work and due dilligence of which we benefit FOR FREE!

29-May-14 09:58 PM

Twitchy    Said...


I kinda get your opinion, so i would seriously suggest clojure or a Realtime Java extension, maybe Python… HECK, Max has loads of C/C++ stuff and community to boot!!

There was a wonderful TedTalks that was hosted on this site (incidentally, a WONDERFUL an informative site for Music-Tech news and synthesizer enthusiasts alike, Sonic State is!!! :)

However, if you really can't see the potential, purpose, fun and usefulness of a 'live' - dedicated algorithm based MIDI sequencer & it's possibilities… I really can't follow you

Jared of FutureRetro, is REALLY a really interesting man, who makes not a lot of machines BUT certainly ones with LOADS OF PERSONALITY AND PURPOSE!!!

As well, instruments are instruments, when you play them the inherent characteristics and constraints kinda ARE what imbue the performance from the instrument. In others words, your 'medium' defines how you get/hear what's on your mind; your mind creates through the medium' what you get/hear.

Sorta like sayin', 'what's the point of buying an analogue synthesizer… just build one.

Or what's the point of buying a digital synthesizer… just write a program for one.

etc, etc,…

Typically, we make choices to define 'something' a certain way - those inherent constraints are what we are looking for

But, i mean, whatever… you may have more time to 'customize', and sculpt your life than most…

I write code, mainly interfacing with digital and analogue filters, and PCB. I play Double Bass, and Electric Bass professionally. And am a bad (but improving) synth player!! I really like my VirusTI, Modular Synths, computer & softsynths, plus beat box and samplers

…i've really never considered the Double Bass and Electric Bass the same or interchangeable, just 'cuz they share most of the same range.

...nor, have I felt that all my synthesizers were the same, just a couple with some more knobs here, and less over there...

Yet, I play them all, and achieve different things with each voice..


Damn… no CV/Gate!!!…. BREAK OUT THE KENTON PRO!!


30-May-14 01:12 AM

Un_Muesed    Said...

@AnalogDADwITH3dayJOBS: That's fine and it's a free world. But I think it's important to make my point - I do not knock every product - only ones I believe a a dishonest rip off. The algorithm in this is nothing more than on a thousand iPad apps for $1.99; the rest is a metal box with a small bit of electronics probably equivalent to the electronics in a small toy. To me, $300 is an artificial inflation of cost. You see it time and time again - and it's a new phenomenon - like Teenage Engineering, Elektron and so on - they are all ripping people off with inflated prices. You do't seen Korg or Roland doing that.

30-May-14 06:30 AM

OK then...    Said...

I often see people comparing hardware devices to iPad apps. An iPad app may only be $1.99 but you need an iPad to make use of it, which cost several hundred dollars on top of the app price if you don't already own one.

These arguments don't make sense.

30-May-14 07:00 AM

Juno    Said...

Wow… Un_Muesed… Winding people up for the sake of it is nothing more than moronic.. there is a life out there.. go and grab it. I don't particularly care for this product, it's not my bag at all… but damning a company for developing it is ridiculous… AND THEN comparing it to an iPad app. does nothing more than show your complete ignorance… If you don't like the product , don't buy it.. there are plenty that will.. will make creative use of it, enjoy it in NO WAY feel ripped off LONG after you've forgotten that you even HAVE your dozens of apps on your iPad that you don't really know how to use.

31-May-14 06:33 AM

Juno    Said...

… and as for dragging names like Elektron, Oberheim, Dave Smith and Teenage Engineering into this… this again just show what an opinionated idiotic troll you are… I'm sitting here surrounded by multiple products by ALL of those companies (only 1 OP1 obviously!) as a Professional musician, as are MANY other professional musicians.. all using them 24/7, being creative, making money and at NO POINT do we feel ripped off or that we've paid too much money. You have NO IDEA what quality is…. please go back to your iPad… open up Gadget and tell your friends that you're a musician… THEY will respect you.

31-May-14 06:38 AM

Juno    Said...

AND…. as for comparing these companies to Korg or Roland… I have PLENTY of products by both of them… but neither have created anything, new, exciting and revolutionary for years… and the last time they DID, they charged a premium for them… You need to acknowledge the history of music tech before you start spouting such vitriol

31-May-14 06:43 AM

Un_Muesed    Said...

Juno - I smell a rat - are you Idiot_Stomper?

I think you're Idiot_Stomper in disguise ??? :-)

You trickster - you nearly had me there for a bit !

31-May-14 04:56 PM

Juno    Said...


No disguise here..

just a pro for 29 years who doesn't suffer fools easily..

01-Jun-14 03:08 PM

Speelycaptor    Said...

Gentlemen, can we please all watch our tone a bit. We are not on the pirate bay here. i tend to agree that Un_Muesed opinion doesn't due the product any justice, and i look forward hearing some demos. I like the aspects of generative music and since it has scale features, it seems actually to be useful and not just a "plinky plonky" generator. Good job FR!

03-Jun-14 07:37 AM

Volt    Said...


Forgive my lack of update on the finer affairs among those of you, who are considered trolls and those who are not. I rarely post, so I’m not even certain what was the nick used the last time.

However, I think that Un_Muesed does have some valid points.

Lest I be not guilty charging any resentment at this particular product. In military studies, what is considered as jun-surplus could cover any object that is not used for long period of time. Regardless of its cost or size. As said in aviation, the most expensive plane is the one that never flies

But, as objective (for life) student of history, I resent when the word innovation in used in vain. And this superlative exaggeration has become trademark within IT industry and is seriously reflected on popular culture. When someone dares say innovation, I say, show me the results of its innovation.

And most of the gadgets like these never reflect any real usage, materialized in any memorable composition. Extension, or, if you will, almost prosthetic for lack of real ideas has saturated for almost two decades. Triggerism has taken many victims, claiming great promises but show mostly - nothing worth remembering. Absorbed from collective as one of the hundreds videos you forget before the day is even finished. I hope, someone would prove me wrong and employ Zillion in fantastic piece of music, but I doubt I will ever even heard of the same. No insult to potential customers, or designers alike.

I have a feeling, and this is not Sonic’s fault, far from it, that weeks go by, and I rarely park at some product news that really intrigues me more then a title attraction. Reflection of abundant stimulation of our receptors on daily basis, mistaking prosaic from genuine? Most likely.

What was the last genuine product this year that really made you excited while reading your favorite Sonicstate?

03-Jun-14 11:02 PM

Oli B    Said...

For me sonic-state is never bad. Some products are great, some not so much but i want sonic-state to report and give me the info.

There are people who use random sequencing toys and can make great music with them. Most are on the more experimental side but sometimes some great things happen randomly.

Don't be kids and fight like some. Go and make some tunes or sounds and enjoy everything music production has to offer.

17-Jun-14 03:37 AM

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