Any tips for using Program Change?

Program Changes can take up to a sixteenth note to take effect on devices, so I was wondering how people generally handle it. Or do most simply accept the wrong or dropped notes at the beginning of a track/pattern. On multitimbral devices where you can load up a performance on project load and never send another PC it’s not an issue but some devices have limited or no multitimbrality so PC’s might be used. Is there a standard way on Pyramid to send PC’s early?

I use Program Change for live shows, so that a track will usually have its own sound.

I’ve been setting up so that the Program Change ‘CC’ is set to the level throughout the track. That way if I turn on the track slightly early, the Program Change normally has taken hold by the time that the first note of that track is playing.

I did a bit more of an indepth look here: Program change behavior - #11 by Loz

Hope that helps.


Apologies for the point of contention, but…

on your devices perhaps, not on everyones. :slight_smile:

The Pyramid can send out the msg, but some synths take time to change.

If you want to move the PgmChg msg earlier, and I assume you’re entering a PgmChg Event in Step Mode, just hold the step that has the PgmChg and use the arrow keys to move it fwd or back depending on how early your synth requires the msg.

Since I know you’re using Elektron devices, is this PgmChg msg to change Patterns on an Elektron device? Because that becomes a whole different thing

Edit to Add: was leaving my msg when @Loz was posting theirs. Good stuff there it looks like.

Thank you that’s tremendously helpful information.

Corrected my initial post. Meant to write sixteenth not quarter.

Not sure how I’d handle pattern switches. Midi mapping seems best on machinedrum, so one can trigger patterns instantly using notes, but model cycles doesn’t support it. One can queue up a pattern that could switch in after as many bars as you set up in the previous pattern however. That might be the way to go.

For clarification, the Program Change ‘CC’ is a proper Program Change message, but it’s just located in the CC menu of the Pyramid (so in theory you could do multiple PC messages in a bar)

1 Like

It’s great that Pyramid chases automation. I assume it works the same for all automation types.

I’m guessing that this technique of switching early needs the track run mode to be set to Free.

Yeah, that is a limitation

Wonder if an option could be added to have tracks in the other run modes send their track PC’s instantly when they are queued up. Might solve a lot.

I’d doubt thats reliable…
since, track unmutes do not have to have to be quantised, even with the sequencer you can ‘override’ (again unquantised’) - and if its not quantised, there is no ‘queuing’ … so you could not send the PC in advance.

also even if quantised, if you unmute manually, if you didnt play it early enough, again the PC would not get sent early

so its one of those situations, that I fear the ‘solution’ is not fool proof enough, and would cause future confusions (and bug repoirts) with other users.

also the ‘cry’ it could be an option whilst valid, also introduces compleixity e.g. where does it fit in an already crowded pyramid UI? (since its likely need per track, not a global option)

Unfortunately, Im not sure there really is a good general purpose solution, as @CreepyPants already pointed out, its really an issue with some instruments, which were likely not designed for this kind of workflow. (otherwise they’d have instant change)

if your using sequences, you could use ‘dummy’ sequences, to just trigger PC at appropriate time - but that potentially causes other issues - also we only have a limited number of sequences.

all that said… its worth contacting Squarp, and see what they say… perhaps they have ideas, they obviously have a better idea what is possible (and not) with the current code base.

Started sequencing some CC’s. Disappointed to find that Pyramid actually does not chase automation, besides PC I guess but I haven’t tried the trick out yet. It kinda makes sense, but requires you to place more events to lessen unwanted “spillage”.

what does ‘chase’ automation mean?

CC values are just changing ‘levels’ through a pattern, which is pretty conventional for sequencers (e.g. how most daws work)

only alternative I know is p-lock (ala Elektron style) which come more from the tracker history, and have gained popularity recently.
in that sense pyramid is more traditional sequencing, that step/tracker sequencing.

Chasing means when you navigate (or in this case switch patterns on a non-linear sequencer) and a CC event is placed earlier in the timeline, the sequencer sends a CC message right away so that the automation curve that you see on the screen and what you hear match. Ableton does this.

well you cant really navigate here… unless you mean start/stop.

I would think switching patterns, to something that has a different CC value - this should send the CC if this implies value change (no need to send if it has not)
If not, Id say thats a bug and Id report it to squarp via the contact form

In the Pyramid’s case switching without delay is kind of like navigating. With delay, or if launching a pattern/track from the beginning, if you have CC events on the first step of the pattern then no issue.

Assuming it even is a real issue. If it’s the intended behavior then I’ll just embrace it. Might ask Squarp.

as i said, Id see it as a bug if switching patterns does not reflect the new CC level.

that said the pyramid stores these things as events,so perhaps its not something that squarp would want to address unless the new/old value can be determined effeciently.

1 Like

I use program changes all the time. I just program them into the track/pattern settings. If there’s a hiccup, I program my song around it. For example, I’ll enable a track to send the pc for whatever synth while i’m warming up the track with the drums. I find PCs to be pretty fickle things, so in some cases, I’ll pull the synth down on the mixer, let the pc send, and verify the synth is actually right before moving on in the track.


This topic was automatically closed 21 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.