Live Mode: How does it handle "raw material"?


#1

On the fence with the Pyramid, so maybe y’all can help.

I like to jam to arps and a simple drum groove on my keyboard. I’m not seasoned keyboard player, per-se, but I like to come up with little riffs with rhythmic variations, stuff that wouldn’t fit into a grid very well, certainly not with typical step resolution.

But like anything, maybe the riff needs to be cleaned up a bit: a bit of quantization, trimming to fit.

Does anyone do this? I see people recording notes in via a MIDI controller, but all the YT videos I’ve seen are just taking the notes and aligning to the steps, etc. or it’s a canned “live jam” where it’s well-rehearsed and I have no idea what they started with.


#2

Yes, I do. Many times, I do both: I first play a phrase in live mode, then do some editing in step mode. Being able to play polyphonically but then edit individual notes is a major advantage of Pyramid. Pyramid and to some degree also Hermod are the most “musical” sequencers available on the market today, IMO.


#3

Cool. And presumably you do that with Quantize = Off in the global settings? Can you then copy/paste that phrase as a pattern?


#4

Yes, of course. You can copy/paste your full recording or just a selection of notes.


#5

I’d love to see that in action: riff in, gently massaged, then edited, copy/pasted. There are not a lot of compositional videos out there, just a lot of pre-fabbed “performances” where they just hit play. I’d like to see someone’s journey through a new composition on a Pyramid.


#6

I think you find various videos on YouTube in which people are jamming with Pyramid. But most people prefer to make music instead of videos… :slight_smile: …the process of recording something and then editing is not very exciting visually, IMO.


#7

Fair enough.


#8

It’s pretty straightforward. What you record in live mode is available in step mode with all the features of that mode. The screen is small, but finding the offending notes isn’t hard in my experience. One thing that might be surprising is that notes played slightly before the beat will be recorded on the previous step, no matter how close they are to the step one would expect.


#9

Live mode in itself does not align notes. The MIDI effect “quantizer” does. Just switch off the quantizer, and live records notes the way you play them without any shifts/alignments.


#10

Yes, and this is the purpose of live mode. What I was getting at was that a note is still assigned to a step, with an offset. When the offset would be slightly negative, i.e. it was played before the step, it will be assigned to the previous step with a large positive offset. This is surprising the first time, when you don’t find the note where you expected it.


#11

On my Pyramid, whenever I record “live” using an external keyboard and have quantizer off (which is my default setting), the machine will play back even the most crooked riffs in exactly the same way I played them. We must have different sequencers; I can only speak for Squarp’s Pyramid.
There are no “steps” in live mode. Which “steps” are you referring to?


#12

I think you’re misunderstanding. Apan is not saying the notes don’t play back exactly the way you recorded them. But when you go to step mode after having recorded live, all recorded notes, live or otherwise, are displayed in steps with offsets, varying depending on your zoom level. The surprise they’re referring to is when, for example, you play a note that may sound like it’s exactly at the beginning of a pattern, but in fact is a millisecond before, so it will actually show up on the last step of the pattern instead of the first.


#13

Ah, I see. Thank you for clarifying.
I never noticed this. It’s a bit of a philosophical question whether a beat not exactly on the grid is reported as a beat with a positive offset from the previous beat or a negative offset from the next beat. It makes a bot of sense that the offsets are depend on the zoom level, because the “closest beat” can be different when changing the zoom level. There are other things which depend on zoom level, which I think make less sense. In a way, this is some kind of “snap to grid” idea. IMO, there should be an option to switch “snap” on or off, or then to define the reference which is used (zoom level or a 1/43 grid, for example).


#14

yeah, I can see why many would like the a step that a tiny bit before the step to be shown as a negative offset, rather than a large positive offset. (this has been on common request on the forum for quite a while)

but unfortunately I suspect that would not work well with zoom…

what would happen is, initially a note would show up on step 1 as a negative offset, but as you zoom in, at some point it would switch to be being a positive offset on a previous step. because at some zoomed in level, it will now be closer to that last step than the first step.
(and due to the UI, it’d then appear to ‘disappear’, as you have to step to the last set of notes to see it)

whereas they way they have it now, as you zoom in, it will always be on the last step (until you get to a point, where its offset is greater than a step)

so id guess, squarp probably tried it and found whilst not perfect, the current behaviour is fairly consistent in the UI.


#15

The offset is not a big issue to me. I would rather they put effort on “restart on unmute” play mode, which would enable things which can’t be done now.