This may be silly to almost everyone here, but I’m writing it up in case there’s another lunk-head like me around wondering the same thing:
I’ve got Pyramid MkI Serial Number 008, so you know I’ve been using this wonderful sequencer since they were first introduced, and I believe I know it well, use it extensively, and love it very much.
There’s this business of a “5 step pattern” which I struggled with at first, and became obsessed with, and then eventually just gave up on it and got my “5 step” and sometimes my “7 step” satisfaction out of sub sequencers in sync with the Pyramid (don’t worry, I’ll explain this in a minute.)
Occasionally I would return to the question on the Pyramid, and once in a while I would search the forum for others struggling with this issue, and I often found threads like this:
To be transparent, by the time anyone is done explaining polymetrics or polyrhymics to me I almost don’t care any more. It makes my brain shut off, and I just kind of go into a coma. The way I learn is very much touch it, do it, listen to it, and see… think about it… then go try it again. I’m very tactile, and so as delighted as I am with words and ideas, I never really seem to retain them unless I use them in practice. This gets even better for me when I help someone else. Most of my life I’ve felt pretty stupid. Like not stupid enough to enjoy the freedom of idiocy, but nowhere near smart enough to be “bright.”
So last night I began looking at how in the world to get a “5 step” pattern from a track on the Pyramid again, this time it’s a job that only the Pyramid should do, and sub sequencing isn’t helpful. So I returned here, re read the above forum for the 50th time and made notes. I also cross referenced the manual again, and came up with these notes:
PYRAMID TRACK LENGTHS
POLYMETRIC: 1 + 1/4 BAR = 5 Step
POLYRHYTHMIC 5:4 time sinature = 1 1/5 (or 5 Step)
So everyone is talking about zoom, and time signature and attempting to get 5 steps (or whatever) into the span of a bar in the Pyramid. Since my frontal lobes go into a popsicle freeze when we start talking like this, I didn’t think it through… because no. That’s not what I want to do.
This morning I applied 5:4 time to a track, and synced it up with a typical 4/4 drum machine. It was fun, but the results are all of the steps happen over the course of the drum machine’s 16 steps (1 bar.) This is not at all what I’ve been trying to do.
I have been trying to make a 20 step LOOP out of a track. So I want the LENGTH of the track to be 20 steps - 1 and 1/4 Bars. See the confusion when we start saying “steps” and “bars” and “loops” and “tracks” and put it into 7:8 and the next thing you know we’re selling that sucker on Reverb and angry about the whole thing… hahahaha (I will never EVER sell my Pyramid. Don’t even look at it. Move on…)
Ok, so I was bummed about this again this morning once I realized that adjusting the zoom and the time signature wouldn’t accomplish what seemed to me to be such a simple thing. I mean, one should be able to set the length of a track to whatever they like, right? And with the encoder, holding TRACK and LENGTH you can easily adjust from 1/4 to 1/2 to 3/4 to 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on… but until this morning I didn’t realize that there’s a trick here.
To accomplish a “5 step loop” here’s what you do:
- Select the track you want to adjust (Hold TRACK, Press The Track)
- Hold TRACK
- Press LENGTH
- Press the Encoder
- Rotate the Encoder
My stars… it works. I shouted. I drooled a little. I looked around for someone to kiss… (I was alone) and then I tried it again to be sure I wasn’t unconscious in a bathroom somewhere.
It’s true. I completely overlooked this, and had no idea that this was how you accomplish a “5 step” track loop.
To be fair, saying a “5 step” anything is wrong. It’s actually a 20 step loop.
There are 4 Beats per bar in 4/4 time, and so what I suppose I meant was a 5 Beat track loop… (each beat has 4 steps and 4 x 5 = 20, but this hasn’t got anything to do with time signature in terms of accomplishing it.)
While many devices have a simple length setting, and the Pyramid is no exception, I completely accepted that 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and then whole lengths was just how it worked… but it isn’t true. Depressing the encoder saves the day, and allows for 1/4 bar incremental adjustments to the track length.
If you weren’t like me, and you already knew this, thanks for reading. What fun right?
If you didn’t know this, like me, and needed to know it, I hope this helps you out.