Mega Mobile Pros and Cons list

I wanted to make this thread to document my decision making process and pros and cons for the setup I am building. In it I will highlight some of the products I am planning on getting, the products that I’m planning to avoid, and notes about each. Hopefully it will be useful to others as well in the creation of their perfect Pyramid/Hermod music creation entity.
[mega because I will be adding to the list besides the ones just off the top of my head.]

Pyramid, Eventually planning on a Hermod but right now it’s not the most vital thing I need.

Central Nervous System:
Bomebox running MIDI Translator Pro
Others to consider [These may work for others better than my decision will work for me.
Blokas MIDIhub, Axolotl [does more than just MIDI routing but it’s a list item].
Future requirement: Some device from the Mio line.

Mostly undecided.
What I have now:
Alesis DM6. The sounds are samples with little variance… It stops playing the drums on channel 11 if left on for hours… it will play GM piano sounds until its turned off and then on again.
Requirements; No Sequencer or sequencer that logically adds functions that are useful for drum programming, maybe decent ratcheting. PCM plus analog layering a plus.

Double Drummer:
Pros: Analog and Sample layering
Cons: Single stereo pair out. (which makes getting the mix correct difficult) [thanks for this catch @domo]

Korg Volca Kick:
Currently the only Volca I want.
Pros: possibly the best 808 kick drum box available, Bonus MS-20 filter for it.
Cons: It’s a Volca, what do I do about the snare, metal, and toms? Is it CC controllable enough to be both performable and suitably programmable by the Pyramid? Remains to be seen.

Kick Lancet:
Pros: Decent Kick, Nice output.
Cons: Still just a kick. No sick MS-20 filter included.
Pros: Very full drum section, nice outputs.
Cons: Modular/Not very portable at all.

Pros: Layerable drum sounds, All the sounds of the foundation #0# boxes, extensive fill features including the scatter effect. FM synth oriented towards tom creation.
Cons: It has a sequencer… will it work in tandem or in opposition with the Pyramid? Would I program pattern directions on the Pyramid? Entire lines? both? I guess I would need one in front of me to find out those specifics… Still a strong contender for the rest of the drum section… everything a part from kick and snare.

Bassline/Mono section:
This is actually the easiest section for me to make decisions on right now. In the future I plan to extend the possibilities of my Bassline section by including a Novation Bass Station 2. But I think for now the Monologue will be more than enough to provide a thick growly bass section with the NTS-1 adding the important upper bass range.
Korg Monologue:
Pros: Portable, User definable scales, E-E keybed, Sequencer that could work in tandem with the pyramid, Nice drive section.
Cons: I can’t think of any for what I’m going for.
Korg NTS-1:
Pros: Small, Nice user extendable effects and oscillator section.
Cons: TRS MIDI connection (I can use the korg sync for timing but absolutely need a 5-pin to TRS adapter for CC etc…

Poly/Para Section:
I don’t know… this isn’t my favorite subtopic. I’m open to suggestions from other people for other people… but my initial impression is that Polyphony is something hampered by mobility.

Waldorf Streichfett:
Pros: Desktop form factor, decent range.
Cons: I’ve heard personal opinions that it sounds thin.


Polyend Perc:

I’m eventually getting 3 for my drum section… I… just am… I really wish I could find an OG perc pro when I have the money but I will if I have to just buy 3 of them over time for kick, snare, and hat.
Pros: A Pyramid doing complex drum lines with an acoustic drum kit just seems like modern magic to me… Everything possible with CC control of electronic drums is just so unnecessary when there’s an actual drum kit being played by an electronic brain.
Cons: The closed/open hi-hat thing is a head scratcher… but a very minor one. Expensive… About $1500 for three mallet/controller combos. Not the most mobile of things to set up and move about… but I have ideas about that.

Modular section:
Initially I had envisioned my Bass section to be run off the CV outputs. My thinking has changed in this regard… not a whole lot… but a bit…
Moog Subharmonicon: This purchase will be way off in the future but it will underpin most of the other things I will have in my modular set up.
Erica section: All the Erica Black VCOs… the important ones anyway.
Pentamixer: Make the modules scream with ungodly feedback.
Squarp section: A Hermod and a Rample along with everything above should be a ridiculous amount of options to start with…

Ok… Back to researching to find possibilities… Will update this thread with more mobile devices and their pros and cons as I see them when time permits… Feel free to add your thoughts about mobile set ups and your essentials for a broad spectrum sound.

My 2cents on this Double Drummes is great but have a single stereo output).
Personally, I end up using 1010 Music Blackbox for drums (3 stereo output or 6 mono).

Speaking of it, did you though about the mixing part?

That’s a really good question and I hadn’t thought about it for that specific device but it does sort of take it out of the running…

I actually watched a video about the MC-101 which brings up a similar point… About having to mix different parts differently… I think Haq of Haq Attaq mentioned that this would be easier to do with MC-101 despite it only having a stereo pair out as well… The MC-101 having 4 parts but that each instrument on it’s drum part could have a roll off EQ on each end as well as a shelf and… a lot of other EQ/Filter options.

It certainly is a point I like about TR-8S… though the sequencer kind of throws me off. Not as completely mobile as I’d like… but the hunt continues…

I’m very on the fence about something like the 1010 blackbox… Obvs I want it because of GAS… but I want the sample section to be… enough… but just enough… I think I’d feel like I was cheating if there was a full color screen with touch in any part of my setup… They look like a lot of fun for completely mobile composition though… they run off of USB power right?

Right, when out of the studio, I run mine out of a Samsung Power Bank

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Rample sequenced by Pyramid for drum options?
Brilliant sound, quite flexible, doesnt have as many features as other drum oriented options but is (or can be) rather compact and the sound is brlliant. Plus making your own drum sounds or using samples from your fave sources (even stock Ableton drum racks)

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You know… that’s actually the long form dream… Still working out if the thing I want rample to do will do the thing I want it to do… with minimal work arounds… don’t know anybody that could test the thing though…

The rample seems perfect for one very specific aspect of my setup. I have DJtechtools MF Twister. One of the killer features it has is a 4 part drum sequencer… The top knob turns in to a sample selection, second row is part sequence selection, third row is part volume/mute, and the bottom row is multimode filter.

So the routing would be Pyramid -> Bomebox -> Rample… I’m thinking there might some MIDI translations I need to do but a lot of the feature sets actually pair up really well.

The Rample responds brilliantly to MIDI, although I think Ive been able to overload it. Im still working on how i want to org my workflow, tho. (Right now im redoing part of my Bome script because my last workflow run thru was…difficult. lol)

Im assuming your test scenario involves an MFTwister specifically, so i cant test for you. If not, let me know if i can help.

Edit to add: regarding MIDI translations, i currently have Note Velocity determine Level and Envelope values and have the Rample respond chromatically (Note # -> Pitch). It seemed like a great idea a month or so ago, but now i think it’s just easier to sequence CCs etc frim the Pyramid. Just a personal observation if youre looking at options. Your mileage may vary. :smile:

Well the specific requirements for CCs is shown in this image

So if I could get the Bomebox to translate a C2 into whatever Rample needs and then do the same for the other 11 sample “slots” I think it should work brilliantly… It would even better to hear that this is what Rample is already looking for… or a mode could be implemented in the firmware that makes it work with no further configuration than getting the midi out of the twister to the midi in of the rample… That in itself is a definite hardware requirement for the Bomebox.

EDIT: it would actually be 12 slots for each part because I forgot that the twister has to map to an ableton live drumrack and the way they do it is a column of notes for each… So… as many times as there are notes in the above picture.

Addendum: Another reason I have to hold off on the rample is I don’t have a skiff… is that the right term? box with rails and power supply etc… Still doing a lot of research on that but I think I want to go with an intellijel setup… if it’s available…

i do pyramid -> iconnectivity mio xm (*) -> rample
works really well… its saves me cv outputs on my hermod… and also means I get velocity as a ‘free’ modulation. (id have to use 2 hermod tracks if I wanted to do it via CV!)

apart from that, wow its a big list…

midihub I really like, only drawback is lack of usb midi host, but its a great way to add more DIN to pyramid, I used if for 6+ months for just this.

axoloti, yup excellent swiss army knife … Ive used for midi hacking, and also as useful FX unit.
(both at same time, since midi hacking uses virtually no cpu) - its extremely low latency (16 samples@48k) and no boot time :slight_smile:

for portable, I also like the Organelle-M, its another all rounder… I love that the M has a speaker, and can run off batteries… and the organelle im a big fan of, and supporter of :slight_smile:

the downside of flexible stuff, is you can easily get spoilt for choice - and end up with choice paralyse - sometimes its really nice to have stuff , that just does one thing when you turn it on … with no faffing/setting up.
for me at least, getting the balance of flexibility/creative vs immediacy/fun can be challenging, as i have a nasty habit of leaning to the complex/flexible - but that may be a personal issue :slight_smile:

(*) also had a blokas midihub in this chain too :slight_smile:

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I checked the rample manual but I couldn’t find a specific answer to a question I had. Does it respond to note names? I.E. C2 or is it looking for a momentary CC? Maybe the coffee hasn’t kicked in quite enough but the midi implementation might as well have been written in latin for all I understood of it.

Yes, it is most decidedly a big list… A lot will be paired down in my personal set up but I wanted to make a thread that could help others down the road so @domo’s note about the double drummer only having a stereo pair out I intend to put in the thread opener so people have a place they can get answers about questions they didn’t know they had.

You’re absolutely right about the flexibility/immidiacy/fun thing… I spent the majority of my production history (read all of it) using a DAW and plugins and I’m just so tired of it… I want something that will allow me to walk away from my computer and allow me to blow peoples minds in the first three minutes of playing… and I share your habit… a part of me thinks I do it just to give myself a big overly complex issue to solve just so I’m procrastinating… but… it has it’s up sides too… It makes us amazing with diagnostics and getting weird set ups to do a magical thing.

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heh heh
With BMT you can map anything to anything, even with conditions, scaling, inverse values, etc. You can change Notes to CC and vice versa. MIDI Data in triggers logic functions then spits out MIDI Data.

I actually had a script for awhile that would ‘listen’ for a Note 0 on MIDI Events coming out the Pyramid, and if it received a Note 0 (it would swallow that, of course) use a random number to change which Pyramid Tracks were playing. This way I could bury codes in Tracks that would allow a passage to play, but then set up opportunities for different Note or CC data to be selected. (I used it with 4 Tracks of different complexities. The “chance” was to change complexity up or down by 1, or stay the same - sort of Brownian, I guess)

Anyhoo - I’m an idiot I think you might get blown away by how a MIDI Event Processor opens up so many possibilities it becomes mind numbing. I currently use a rather complex set of scripts that sort of makes a new Pyramid Run Mode I’ve coined as “Freelatch”, where it starts with other Tracks (as determined in a Preset setup mode and called from the Pyramid on its own control channel), but only voices if certain conditions are met. (I did this before they implemented the [Play] button restart feature, but I still find my mode better for the way my brain works - or rather, the way my brain doesn’t work)

So yeah: Any data in -> [If you can think of the logic to make it happen & then code it] -> Almost any MIDI Out

As for the skiff, I ended up going with a lunchbox. Also I wanted to use Pulp Logic 1U output modules so didn’t go with Intellijel. It’s fairly inexpensive and quite portable. The one I have is 44hp with a full size row and a 1U row. I can fit 3xRamples and a Nearness style minimal panner in the main bit, and then some 1U modules in the bottom to mix some stereo signals (if I use the Rample stereo mode for some songs) in addition to breaking out the kick drum to mix separately (a thing I do with my drums because I’m super strange).

It’s just the two names I looked up for the lunchboxes are in the States and the shipping times are chilling - I’ve been waiting for a couple modules from PulpLogic (California) for a month now. I think they’re finally in Canada! Woo!

I have a thread on here about Stupid Eurorack Questions. Technobear & Jim Brackpool were awesome helping me figure some stuff out.
Oh, as for “translate C2 into whatever the Rample needs”, umm…yeah. Super easy. You’re tech minded. Once you have BMT and get into the syntax, you’ll be running in no time and probably coding loopbacks to/from the Pyramid, etc.

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Layer Selection is done via CC. The Rample natively responds to 4 Notes, one for each SP.

However you can translate Note# into CC values - I have 2 Octaves for each of 3 SP’s and about 1.5 Octaves for the 4th SP translated across a keyboard.

This works for me for now.

However you can also easily select Layer via CC from the Pyramid, or use a CC to change the Layer mode to Random, Cyclic, etc. So you can go: Random Random Random then THIS SAMPLE then Random Random Random Cycle Cycle, etc

And yet, even though the Slicer is geared towards slicing a loop into beats, I’ve been using it as Sample Chains, so…each SP has 2 vectors to modulate sample selection.

Crippling choices!

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Oh, ok… it’s looking for 4 specific notes… which could easily be changed through MTP by changing what note is being received from the twister… sounds doable.

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Rample only needs a single Note Event to trigger a sample, which is defined in the Settings.

You can use CC’s to modify everything else.

You can also change the Notes the Rample is listening for.

The Twister can also select Layer, or Slice, or Freeze, Pitch, etc, etc, etc.

Or you can use loops and select which part of the loop you’re using (Start & Length) via CC/Twister

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Definitely sounding more and more doable… this is great info.

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I was looking to edit the initial post because I’ve come to some conclusions about something but I seem to be unable to find the edit button for the OP…

In any case… After doing MUCH research I’ve decided that the only natural and logical choice for the perfect drum synth for the Pyramid is the Vermona DRM1 Mk3, or any DRM1 I can get my hands on… Vermona has apparently been making the DRM1 for a decade and it’s base feature set is exactly and only what any person needing a percussion voice for their Pyramid would need… I.E. Not a single trace of a sequencer and extensive sculpting capabilities for every voice, up to and including an aux loop on every output which is automatically subtracted from the summed stereo output when using stompboxes and a Y splitter…

It’s nice to know that there is in fact an option out there that is perfect for one’s purposes… and one of my purposes is showcasing the brilliantly implemented effects of the Pyramid itself… Everyday that I work with my Pyramid I am continually impressed with it’s ability to execute a wide variety of beat knowledge…

The swing, chance, and delay effects just constantly make me grin.
I’ve also definitively decided on the Korg Monologue for my bass monosynth… I think the DRM1, the Monologue, and the Korg NTS-1 is more than enough equipment to carve out a timeless yet fresh sound.

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