Intellijel Metropolix £519
Future Music|October 2021
What a difference an ‘x’ makes. Rob Redman explores this sequel to the jammers’ favourite Metropolis sequencer
Rob Redman

THE PROS & CONS

+

Complex results form an intuitive interface

Solidly built with clear labelling

Excellent screen and info design

-

Fairly expensive

Inevitable link between tracks due to workflow

Intellijel’s Metropolix is billed as an interactive sequencer for live performance, jamming and improvisation and it has to be said from the off, it succeeds in all of these areas. If you’re familiar with the original Metropolis a lot will be familiar, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is a minor update. Metropolix has an abundance of new features that lift it far above what came before.

Metropolix is a 34hp module which sounds like a lot of valuable room to occupy but it absolutely pays its way. Every control feels responsive, with excellent levels of friction to help dial in exactly what you want. I/O remains similar, with pitch, gate and clock outputs, alongside an A and B for two additional controls and there is a clock in and reset, next to three CV ins for assignable control. More on this later.

The new screen is the most obvious change physically and it is a joy to behold. It is bright and clear and the interface has clearly been thoughtfully designed. Often there are two levels of attributes that can be adjusted and a click of a button lets you swap between them. When setting scales and notes, there is a keyboard representation which really helps nail melodic choices on the fly. Similarly, when adjusting the per stage elements of things like the ratchets or slides, the display shows an at-a-glance status for the levels of each stage. Everything about the visual feedback is thoughtful and easy to read, even the tiny lock or browse icons to show the status of what you are navigating.

Tracked changes

Just like the previous version, the eight stages are split into three main controls; pitch, pulse and gate type, making for a very live jam-friendly workflow. The pitch sliders can be forced to an octave range and you aren’t constrained to eight stages either. In fact you can actually split the stages into two blocks of four, using half for each track.

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