Fellow Pyramidians & Octa-Trackers!
If you - like me - use both machines, you will at some point have tried to make them play
together. I use the OT for rythm duties and the Pyramid for sequencing melodies. It’s always
been a bit of a pain to get them to play songs together. These are the usual issues:
- You can’t make the OT switch patterns instantly by sending Program Change. People
have found workarounds involving a MIDI translator box that insert STOP and PLAY CCs
around the switch, but these translator boxes are expensive, hard to program, they need power,
Triggering slices and slots on the OT doesn’t work via MIDI.
The OT really works best when controlled by its own sequencer.
After banging my head against the wall for a while, I found an OK workflow with both machines:
In every pattern on the OT, have a MIDI track send CC69 to Pyramid on the first step
to control the active sequence. This makes switching between parts of songs work for me, and
I can even use the OT arranger.
But there is an even better solution where control goes the other way. You gotta try this, it feels great!
The method requires a bit of setup:
On the OT: enable ‘plays free’ mode on all tracks controlled by Pyramid and also copy the setting
across the patterns you want to play. Set the trig mode of the tracks to HOLD, and ‘trig quant’ to DIRECT.
On the Pyramid: create a track that sends to the auto channel of the OT. Notes C1-G#1 control playback
of the OT tracks 1-8. When the note is held, the track plays. To make them play in time with Pyramid,
add a note for each OT track and make it hold for the whole duration of the pattern (i.e. if your OT pattern
is 16 steps, set the Pyramid track to 1 bar and add notes with length 16).
Most importantly, ‘plays free’ tracks can also play when the OT sequencer isn’t running.
This makes instant pattern changes work! One way to set that up is to create a Pyramid pattern
for each OT pattern. In 2ND+Track menu, set program change to OT pattern number and play mode
to ‘restart’. Switching patterns on the Pyramid track now insta-changes the OT pattern.
Once you have the basic setup going, it’s interesting to try variations where you trig the OT tracks
in different order, with offsets, spread them out over a longer sequence on the Pyramid… A lot of
nice things can be done!