Exact steps per pattern


but why absolutely wanting to stay on the zoom x4?
This is what I don’t understand

in my opinion you take the problem upside down.

I guess that you say “zoom x4” maybe because you want to have 16th notes on each step…?
which is indeed the case with a lower number of 4 and a zoom x4 but it is no longer the case with the other lower numbers

in fact you should not worry about the zoom when you choose the length of your pattern and the number of steps

because the zoom does not change the length effectively (I mean, your pattern will always have the same duration whatever the zoom is)

it is the lower number that changes your resolution.

so if you want 15x (16th)notes per bar you just have to choose a TS of 15/16, and you stay on the zoom 1

this will be much less confusing if you have per example a pattern in 4/4 on another track with a zoom x4 (therefeore 16th note on each step)
because when you switch from one track to another you will have always the same note duration on each step (with polymeter option of course)


i want to stay on the x4 because that is the default for each track when i start a new project and i feel like i am mostly programing in 1/8 and 1/16 notes. I am using the Pyramid for live and staring from blank templets. i am still new to Pyramid but not new to hardware sequencers. ill try setting the time signature to x/16 and see if that helps out. i have always had a hard time with time signature and making music but know how many steps i want.


if you used to work on step sequencers with 16th notes on the steps
I recommend you to use
zoomX1 with TS /16
zoomX2 with TS /8
and zoomX4 with TS /4

so when you switch from one track to another you’re not lost
(knowing the zoom is kept in memory independently per track)

but you can also stay on TS /16 !
if you are more comfortable with 16th notes on steps (it is precisely what you will get with TS /16 and zoomX1)

you can even have the same 16 steps of a 4/4 zoomX4 signature, it is simply the TS 16/16 with zoom x1

actually, I think it is almost what you want by specifying directly the number of steps
you want a full bar with 16 steps? just choose 16(/16)
you want 15 steps? just choose 15(/16)
you want 12 steps? just choose 12(/16) etc etc.

because (tell me if I’m wrong but) when you say “steps” you think “16th notes”

stay on zoom x1 all the time (you can choose it by default in the settings)
and you will always have 16th note on each step


I agree here that a lot of confusion is mixing the term “step” and “16th notes” to be interchangeable. I think it totally makes sense to request that a Patern length be easily set to be modified in Bars+16th notes, without having to fiddle with the zoom level, which is really just a way to display the data on the pads.

so 0 bar + 15/16th should be a simple pattern size to enter. Maybe we could have the main encoder have a coarse/fine level when setting the pattern length? coarse is changing the pattern length in full bar increments. fine ( encoder pushed? ) changes the pattern length in 16th increments?

I feel that creating polymeters while wanting to stay in 4/4 is a common enough request that should be easy to support without having to explain music and rythmic theory every single time.



Any description of how to get 15 steps should not require several paragraphs to arrive at.

It should simply require changing the number of steps to 15. Done.

I wish there was a settings option to switch from “time signature mode” for the people who like to think about meter this way (i personally find it an antiquated way of thinking of musical time (hence the confusion of note divisions and step divisions)) to a “steps mode” that simply has a base duration of a step and then zoom does exactly what you think it does by multiplying/dividing by equal divisions thereof. Shouldn’t be this complicated, especially on a sequencer that sets itself apart by being capable of going into odd and poly territory.


I agree that for most users it would be simpler (apparently) to not have to deal with Time Signatures
I even suggest myself to Squarp to keep only the most common TS and for all the others let choose directly the number of steps (knowing that all the Time Signatures are reproducible this way)

that being said

I think you can already have quite easily what you want
(btw Squarp answered me somewhere in this forum that they already tried to implement this option, but they can’t, “considering the Pyramid architecture…”)

that’s the problem!
a step can have different durations
the Pyramid go much further than other sequencers (mostly step sequencers)
the Time Signature system is actually more precise because you choose the number of steps AND the resolution
I remember of my Electribe 2 which allows to directly choose the number of steps, OK, but there was also an option, burried in the settings, to choose the resolution
Time Signatures can do both at the same time, without menu diving.

most of you seem to consider that the default resolution of a step should be 16th notes,
what I was trying to say above is that you just have to choose zoom x1 and TS /16 (you can save these settings in order to avoid to do it each time)
then you can directly specify the number of steps…


maybe the mistake here is to have set the TS to 4/4 with a zoom x4 by default.
users find back their “16 steps per bar” this way, but as soon they want another length it’s confusing

if the Pyramid was set by default on 16/16 zoom x1
it would have been much easier to understand I guess…

but it is only a matter of setting :slight_smile:

(also, for those who are used to deal with TimeSignatures, a 4/4 is much more obvious…so…)


There needs to be a last step button that you can hold and choose the last step for any pattern, like the one implemented on the esx-1 twenty years ago. No need for very complicated formulas, no worry about zoom or time signatures.

Sometimes, too often imo, the Pyramid is capable but convoluted. The current system works, arguably, but it isn’t implemented in a musically useful, organic, or even enjoyable way. This box is the only piece of equipment I own that I curse at regularly. Even after all this time I don’t feel like the Pyramid is one of my musical instruments, it’s more of a box that can do some MIDI things.

I can’t believe I miss my old Yamaha sequencer, but I do. Regrets.


Why? This implementation would differ from the Pyramid workflow.
All actions are done with key combos and by turning encoders
midi channel, number of bars, notes width etc etc… why would it be different for Time Signature?

the presence of a zoom function is needed precisely because the Pyramid allows things that the esx-1 CAN’T do.
Pyramid is not a step sequencer.


What also throws me for a loop with all this is that the Euclid Stepmode has a dedicated knob that is the number of steps and works just like I would want it to but its limited to 16 steps. Basically the same concept for getting exact step. I haven’t had a chance to try the TS/16 yet. that may solve my problems.


Last step selection using an encoder would be fine.
You are misreading my post- of course I am not suggesting they get rid of the zoom capability, I am advocating for a last step feature that is not difficult to use. Who wouldn’t want that?


yes I understood
this is why I proposed this solution for those who are more used to “the step sequencer approach”

just by using zoom x1 and TS /16 by default

so you can easily choose your “last step”
if you choose 15 your last step will be pad#15
if you choose 5 your last step will be pad#5

I don’t see how this can be much more difficult than with other sequencers


Ok, this might be fuel or water for that particular fire, but we already have a workflow to set the length of things in the pyramid that takes into account zoom levels, and seems to measure things in “steps”.

That’s the note length. At any zoom level, I can select notes, and increase and decrease their length in step increments, for 1 to the length of the pattern in steps, and reduce it from 1 to 1/x of the step ( I can’t remember the lower limit from memory ).

Internally I’m assuming ( since pyramid uses the midi file format natively ) that the note lengh is stored as either a relative integer PPQN value from the note on, or as an absolute PPQN from the start of the pattern. That part doesn’t matter. what matters is that the note length in “step” or in “musical note length” is constructed on the fly, and the same goes for the pattern length.

IMHO it would be reasonable for the encoder that adjusts the Pattern length would allow you to make coarse adjustments in bars, and fine adjustments in steps ( at the current zoom value ) which would allow you to make fine adjustments from 1 bar at a time at the zoom level of 1, and up to a 1/64th of a note at the finest resolution.

We just need a modifier to go from Coarse to Fine pattern length, and bonus point if I can non-destructively change the pattern length in during a performance ( I can already do this, but only in bar increments )


oh you mean the TRACK+LENGTH shortcut? (not the “TRACK+Time Signature” one)
why not, indeed…
actually, there is already a “fine adjustment” for this function (by pressing + turning the encoder) but it is based on the Time Signature Upper Number…


yes, but this fine adjustment is not fine enough. it adjusts by quarter notes and not by 16ths.

suppose I want to have two patterns a 64th note off so they phase (ala reich). I shouldn’t have to get out a slide rule and do some advanced calculations. I don’t want to have to think "hmmm what time signatures do the two patterns need to be in so I can get one pattern with 122 64th notes and one with 121 64th notes…?

I understand time signatures, but I prefer not to use them. I think they’re not a great system for a sequencer. Just as the piano roll is better without dotted notes and ties! why bring antiquated, convoluted notational ideas with us into the future?


no, like I said, it is based on the upper number in the TS
so if you choose a 15/16 Time Signature, the fine adjustement allows you to add up to 15 steps (with 16th notes resolution) to the length of your pattern


yeah, I get your point. And if you’re messing with fairly short patterns, then that’s simple enough. But the problem is that it only goes up to 24/16.

So if I want to say have a pattern of 31 steps, then again, I’ve got to fuss around with fractions and zooms which is just more complicated than it could be. Can you tell me off the top of your head how to get a 31 step pattern? Because my mind doesn’t just intuit to set it to 1 12/19th bar in 19/16 time and at zoom x1. or you could set it to 1 13/18th bar in 18/16th time.

So yeah, it can be done. The point is that it would be more direct if you could just hold a combination of buttons to set an end point in whatever zoom setting you are in and it would adjust the time signature and length settings accordingly.

Off the top of my head one potential solution could be as follows:

in Track Mode, hold Length and Signature pads down. the display temporarily shows the location cursor as in step mode (navigable with the arrow keys as in step mode) and then once you arrive at the desired bar where you wish to set the last step, simply tap that pad.

it’s fairly ergonomic and imho would be the best of both worlds.


yeah, that’s a limitation.
Sure. But it still offers a lot of possibilities we don’t see a lot on hardware sequencers…

31 steps?
I think 15x2 + 1 :slight_smile:
so 2 bars with 15/16 TS and fine adjustment in order to add 1 step

that being said,
I agree that @o_0 s proposal could be the easiest solution
allow the possibility for the fine adjustement to add the number of steps depending on the current zoom level (instead of the upper number of the TS, as currently)


another solution (which, btw, could also satisfy those who want simply press on a pad to specify the last step)
would be to have loop points (start-end) on the patterns
which was a long-standing promise from Squarp …
If you select step 1 as your left locator and step 31 as your right locator
you don’t have to worry about the TimeSignature anymore …


yeah, again… easy in theory. That’s how it should work, but try it. It just doesn’t work like that. The fine control jumps from 28 to 30 steps and to get 31 you have to change more settings… no good.