Awesome method for controlling Octatrack from Pyramid


#1

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:

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!


#2

Have to add one caveat: re-triggering OT tracks breaks some of the trig conditions (1st, 1:2, 1:3…).

There is actually a way around that: If you play the OT tracks from Pyramid live mode with hold
enabled (2ND+Play) all trig conditions work. Muting/Unmuting the Pyramid track will make the OT tracks
start and stop because Pyramid remembers which notes you held per track (they even get saved
to the project somehow). But changing patterns on the Pyramid track seems to clear the notes
in live mode. Will investigate further…


#3

nice finds!

have you tried the simpler trick that combines a program change message with note #35 (which triggers “seq stop & restart” in the octatrack midi spec) for instant pattern changes when controlling the octa from another sequencer? see https://www.elektronauts.com/t/digitone-octatrack-partnership/54702/2?u=autopoiesis


#4

I haven’t tried the restart CC, I guess it works too but it’s less exciting. The restart CC method is easier to set up though.


#5

I missed that on Elektronauts.
Already have my system set up for FA/FC thru BomeBox, but that is greqt and im annoyed i missed it.

Thank you for posting that.


#6

yes it is less exciting in terms of flexibility and IDM madness :slight_smile: your approach is very clever


#7

Thanks.
I use the Box for so much more than the fa/fc thang, so tossing that quick translation is easy enough

Sezare over on Elektronauts is light years beyond me, although they have helped me with some great ideas once i started using the OT as a tuned instrument controlled by Pyramid (translating note velocity to OT filter cutoff, volume, slice, etc).


#8

Great thread. About 4 methods to try . Thanks