Hello. I’m considering buying a pyramid to sync my synths outside of Ableton.
My goal is to create Polyphonic midi sequences including preset program changes in Ableton and then transfer them to an external sequencer. It looks like pyramid is perfect for this. I almost jumped on a Blackbox until I found out it doesn’t send program changes.
Is what I want to do possible?
Thank you so much!
Sounds like what you want to do can be done. Mostly.
It’s similar to my workflow, except that I don’t determine the PgmChg until late in my workflow (as in, after the data is on the Pyramid because I’m constantly redoing my patches! LOL).
Keep in mind that if you’ve reviewed the Import info in the Pyramid Manual that Ableton can NOT save as a Type 1 MIDI (.mid/SMF) file, which would facilitate easy Import to the Pyramid in Patterns. Ableton only saves Type 0 MIDI files (“clips”), but there are some gruntwork ways of achieving Patterns with Copy/Paste.
Caveat: I’m not well versed in Ableton. I just tried to put a PgmChg in a MIDI Clip before Exporting, but it wasn’t successful - so, there’s that. You have to know how to get the PgmChg into the Ableton Clip. If you can do that, you’re golden. For me, I just use the little boxes Clip View -> Pgm and that doesn’t save as a MIDI Event on Export.
Otherwise, just a matter of entering that data on the Track Options at [2nd]+[Track]
A couple extra steps if you have PgmChgs mid sequence, tho, but easily inputted on the Pyramid.
But the Pyramid Track files are Standard MIDI Files, which is bril - so a little setup and it’s a matter of drag and drop and go
For give my ignorance here but what is this about type 1 and type 0?
Does that mean I have to run it through some sort of translation program or something?
There are 3 types of Standard MIDI Files, but only two are regularly used in my understanding. (I don’t know any application that makes, stores, reads, or uses Type 2)
Type 1 separates out different Tracks, Type 0 sticks all the data on one Track.
Pyramid has an option to use multiple Patterns in a single Track.
If you only want to use one Pattern per Track, then Type 0 is fine. One MIDI Clip in Ableton will be the data for one Track in Pyramid.
If you want to be able to Import into Pyramid a Standard MIDI File that separates out several Patterns on one Track, then you’ll need a Type 1 MIDI File.
However, there’s more in that can of worms which, if you’re unfamiliar with these concepts, will be even more confusing. Apologies. Patterns might be a bit more advanced. I know it took me awhile to wrap my head around it, but I’m an idiot. YMMV
An example of Type 0 vs Type 1 MIDI files is perhaps in Ableton when you drag a .mid file and it shows several clips spread across several Tracks in Session View. That is a Type 1 MIDI file. If it just shows up as a single clip, it’s Type 0. I think that illustrates the difference. The rest is up to you to decide if you want to take the Blue Pill or the Red Pill.
Apologies in advance for the oversimplification, but I think that explains it…? Maybe? Sorry.
For more info, MIDI.org is an excellent resource, although IMO tough to navigate to find the info I am specifically looking for. They have some excellent reference material on SMFs here: https://www.midi.org/articles-old/about-midi-part-4-midi-files
yeah, so as to not raise expectations too high…
the Pyramid does not really ‘import midi files’… rather it uses midi to store its event data (notes ,cc etc), and so could can use midi file created elsewhere instead (like from Abletone)
what does this mean in practice?
(I’ll ignore clips/patterns as they don’t really work with Ableton due to discussion above)
so if you want to take an Ableton project into the Pyramid what you would have to do is:
a) create a project on pyramid
b) create the tracks, empty and of the correct length(*) and time signature (as these will not get ‘imported’)
c) eject the sdcard, insert into pc/mac
d) copy midi files from ableton into the corresponding pyramid project, renaming appropriate to match track
e) insert sdcard back into pyramid, and load project.
then at this point you will want to verify you have what you expect.
(*) actually you can do this after (e), but its probably easier to do upfront
there are a few caveats to all of this…
I) you are limited to 10000 midi events in a pyramid project - thats quite alot, but do not expect to be doing black midi
ii) there are differences in ableton/pyramid
none of the above is ‘hard’ or takes much time, but at the same time its a ‘process’ to convert a track, not just drag n’ drop.
(but I suspect that would be the case with most hardware sequencers)