I’ve had a Pyramid for 3 months now and it’s working great for studio control & writing!
I’m wondering how people perform live sets with the Pyramid? (Mainly handling transitions between songs and any issues experienced with song loading, tempo changes between songs, program changes, etc)
I’ll be touring next year with a couple of synths, a mixer and an Akai Z4 for sample playback:
I trigger/play all music live with a female singer doing her thing out front and the Squarp ties everything together, but the lack of song management is problematic.
The ‘one pattern per song’ idea mentioned in other posts isn’t an option for me and is likely to create more problems than it solves (not to mention having to program entirely new sequences for live performance with no easy copy/paste between songs).
One workaround could be to play ‘hold’ music from a sampler during changeovers, but it’s not ideal.
It’s disappointing that Squarp seem to have stopped development on the Pyramid, as it’s an excellent product but the OS seems incomplete in some areas. ‘Program change to load a project’ for instance would solve this issue entirely.
Any feedback would be incredibly useful, as would suggestions for alternative MIDI sequencers for live playback. (Hapax & laptops aren’t suitable options)
that said . . . one advantage of Pyramid over Hapax’s (current) 16 tracks per project is the 64 total tracks on Pyramid. so in essence it’s like having four Hapax projects available per single Pyramid project (assuming you can keep a given project under 16 tracks). with Sequence mode, those 64 Tracks (and 32 Patterns per Track) could be chained into a mini-set of sorts. at least then you’re maybe only having to figure out a load transition every 3 or 4 songs
but also Pyramid can keep sending clock/sync even while you’re loading so any other gear (for me i have an RD-9, Digitone, and MPC One) that can do internal sequencing could theoretically have some transition patterns or sequences triggered via Pyramid during the next project load and run interrupted. i never had to get that far in figuring out though before Hapax was released
Buy a used Pyramid & divide your set between 2 memory cards (thats just for the current set) & put the number of the order you want each song to play before the name of each project. Then just load cards between songs.
Not the best way but it should work.
Plus since there’s no real difference between the models you could get the cheapest mk1 & not miss anything if you currently have a mk3.
I’ve used the pyramid quite a bit for livesets. I cramp a whole liveset in 64 tracks. For most ‘songs’ 4 tracks with several patterns are enough. So on one bank I have 4 sets of 4 tracks, that’s like 4 ‘songs’ then. Sometimes a ‘song’ has more than 4 instruments, in that case I reserve 8 tracks. It’s either 4 or 8 to keep it vissibly clear where my ‘songs’ are. For example Bank A would look like this:
A4 Eurorack Elements
And so on, and so on.
Most of the times 64 tracks is enough for a whole liveset. I make changeovers by muting some tracks from one song and introducing tracks from the next. Different tracks controlling the same instrument have different program changes.
As @MONOMINDED suggested, I use also several tracks, but I use them for one instrument (like 2 track for the same instrument) then I organize pattern and sequences so pattern 1 of every tracks is the same song
I have a (roughly) 2 hours liveset on one single project, I use one or two sequence for 1 song, and use several track on the same instruments to have pattern change/variation.
I control 3 synth and 2 drum machines, but drum machines mainly sequence themselves (but I use program change to change the pattern of the drum machine)
I also use 2 encoders to control the filter of a rack synth
So far I never encountered any issues during a live ! But I would never change from one project to another, that is to stressful. However if I had to do that, I would either :
-keep a running drum machine
-stop the song by blending in delay or reverb if you have on on your mixer send/return
I could cram about 20-30 minutes of music on a project before I run out of sequences. That’s primarily what I do. It usually is a handful of songs. Then, I only have to manage one or two transitions per hour. For those transitions, I get creative - use a held note, sample, make some noise, etc while a new project loads.
Thanks all! It’s great to see people’s different methods of working and suggestions - please keep them coming!
@Wise-Beats - That’s an interesting option - using 2 Pyramids side by side. I’m sure it throws up some issues with MIDI management and routing, but partially solves the loading issue. (You’ll still be menu diving a little to load songs though!)
@Louis_srsmnt - In my set up the Pyramid is the only sequencer, though I am using a delay pedal with my mixer & the Z4 sampler could be played directly from the keys for transition sounds without routing through the Pyramid… I’ll do some experimenting and let you know where I end up!