Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Doepfer MAQ16/3 Already Maxed Out

The announcement of the re-issued MAQ16/3 Dark Edition has been warmly welcomed by most people.
It has also triggered the obvious MAQ-update questions again.
Although i am very happy with my MAQ16/3 MIDI Analog Sequencer, i agree that there are still many points for improvements in my, and other people's opinion.
The main issue that i have with the MAQ is basically the limited number of only 30 presets/memories.
It could also help if it had different scale settings, shuffle control and a bigger display for example.

Sadly the new MAQ Dark Edition will not bring any changes in that...

My Doepfer MAQ16/3 with
firmware version V3.61
Back in 2005, Doepfer explained how they already maxed out the capacity of the original MAQ hardware design.

" We discussed several times a "MAQ16/3 Mark II".
The main reason why we did not develop a new sequencer so far (2005) is because we wanted to offer the possibility to upgrade older devices (as for the CV/Gate output
addition from version 3.0).
Most of the suggested improvements would require a hardware change that does not allow to update older devices (e.g. LC display or a second display for more information, additional LEDs to display the step that's value is displayed currently, rotary encoders instead of potentiometers for exact adjustment, and some more)

Maybe there will come a "MAQ16/3 Mark II" at some time but it will not be possible to upgrade the existing MAQ devices because of hardware/mechanical limitations. 
We believe that the existing hardware of the MAQ16/3 is already "exhausted" and it will be a problem to add more features with the existing controls and displays. 
For example the glowing LEDs to show the currently selected row or the usage of the points of the display are already such makeshifts."

What you will get with the new Dark Edition MAQ, is still an awesome and affordable sequencer, that hasn't been available in black for a very long time and that will probably look better in your setup as the recent silver(y) edition... (that will also stay available for now)
Doepfer is being very smart IMO with using their already infamous range of 'Dark'-branded products for this latest edition, and that also makes it nice for the collectors.

Find all features of the recent MAQ16/3 at http://www.doepfer.de/maq.htm