Here are two approaches to a micro rhythm machine: Programmable Sequencer (specify the rhythm, then play it) and a Real-time Sequencer (push the keys at the right time to record a rhythm).
Left/Right: Move cursor
Up/Down: Specify which instrument will play
Update 2017-04-25: Better feedback during editing.
A really simple beat machine with real-time performance recording and playback on a two-bar loop. The metronome can't be switched off and the tempo can't be set. And the playback can't be paused/restarted. Also, only one drum can sound at a time. Still fun!!
The latency between image and audio is kinda hindering its feasibility, especially when run in a browser. Sequencers as music makers in PICO-8 are perhaps better approach, e.g. 4-beat by 4mat. Anyway, step editing would be cool though and I'll add it later (and some fancier graphics along with that).
It's an interesting premise, but I can't figure it out. I thought maybe I would have to repeat motions to existing music. Apparently you have to write your own music and it's difficult to get the timing perfect.
If this is the case, may I suggest that you do not scroll the X but let it be controlled easily from LEFT and RIGHT as an editor. Select UP and DOWN to pick your Bass, Snare, or Hi-Hat. Press (A) to play, and (X) for utilities.
This is how many beat machines actually work but yeah, their latency isn't as big. What you suggested I tried this evening: A step sequencer, programmed note-by-note. I haven't updated the cartridge. I'd like it to look nice :-) Thanks for feedback!!
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