Pentatonic Scales on Pyramid?

I just realized today that the Pyramid does not have a major or minor (or other) Pentatonic scale in Live mode or Scale FX, even though it has a lot of other interesting scales available. Is there a reason for this? It seems like a big omission of some very useful scales, especially for generative melodies and things.



There is blues scales they are pentatonic with a flat 5th aren’t they?? Could just omit using that note…

That’s a problem if you’re going for generative melodies. The various kinds of probability can’t account for things like that without proper scales.


Yeah, it seems like it wouldn’t be very hard to add a few scales to the Pyramid (there are 5 basic pentatonic modes, though even just the Major and Minor ones would be extremely useful), but I’m not sure if Squarp is still willing to do those sort of updates given their new attitude toward the Pyramid :frowning:

I still dream of being able to add user-made scales on the Pyramid, that’d be really fun, but I’m probably dreaming too much…


It’s an old discussion. Long time ago, I send a message to Squarp team asking for user scales and /or for other scales and they responded that it was not difficult to program and that it was on their roads map. But since, no changes.
I don’t blame them, i’m just a beat surprised. But maybe it will be donne, hope :slight_smile:


My wish would be to be able to set up 2 rows of smart pads, so you’d have 2 octaves of a scale to work with at a time instead of 1

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…or the ability to trigger the Smartpads via PyraMIDI. The wishlist is endless – I really hope we will see a new PyraOS soon.

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User defined scales would be huge. Mind you, they all exist already but being able to define your own set would be truly great


I love the pentatonic sale and it’s strange not to see it here when so many other scales are covered.

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Agreed! It’s almost a staple of generative melodies, it’d be so fun to have random Pentatonic notes played via midi fx!

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It works great for me as I only have knowledge of rhythm and can’t play keys. With the pentatonic it’s hard to go wrong :rofl:

Hitting only black notes works too. I know a music conservatory educated musician who composes like that, but he was very much a DJ when he was supposed to be doing his musical training.

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Having it available on the Scale FX and Live mode would be much more flexible than just hitting black keys - like the example I gave, generating random pentatonic notes - it isn’t currently possible to do that because the scale is not available.


Pick any 5 notes(penta) you now have a penta tonic scale.Those 5 notes can reflect the entire harmony of your piece eg …Cmin penta tonic CDEbFGA can be the only notes used over a Cblues progression .CFF#GBb can also be used.or DEFAB…it’s where ya place the notes within the structure to get your point across that matters…the obvious is user scales as most modern synths and sequencers have that option…Ok use your best Jeremy Clarkson voice…It’s because it’s French and they don’t like that…

I’ve not tried this… but for generative/random pentatonic notes could you not use a combination of Harmonizer, Arp, Random and Chance FX?

The harmonizer will build up a five note chord with your intervals defined, the arp can randomize the order in which they are played and give you octaves up and down. Random can randomise your note lenghts and then chance can define whether the note sounds or not. You could switch out the random and put a delay effect in there too to double up some notes - I’d move that around in the FX chain until you get something you like.

Then i’d put a few of the FX parameter on the assigns to keep the variation moving.

Guess you could do something similar on another track, set that as the master transpose and link this one to it.

You might get better results with a mono-synth or forcing monopoly.

Apologies if this sounds insane. Or is just not do-able. I’m not in a position to try this out before posting.

Or ditch the Harmonizer FX, programme a 5 note pentatonic ‘chord’ and let the randomized arp etc. do the work. DUH!

I tried this and got some pleasing results.

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You don’t have to be hostile. While this theoretically works, it is a needless workaround or band-aid for a deeper problem, the lack of a scale in the OS, which would be very easy to fix. I was only using random Pentatonic notes as an example - There are other uses for the Scale FX that cannot be solved by a harmonizer (for example, tuning existing non-pentatonic notes of a track to the Pentatonic scale is currently impossible), and it also doesn’t make up for the fact that it is not possible to utilize the Pentatonic scales in Live mode.

While your method works for that one purpose, it is inflexible and does not correct the core issue. I appreciate your attempts to help but I’d appreciate it if you were a bit more polite.


Hey hey sorry. I read my post again and I see that when you read “Duh” that might read like me having a go and saying “Duh that’s obvious, Stelpa!” It’s not like that. I have zero interest in berating or pulling up on my fellow pyramid people.

The “Duh” is me addressing myself and what I wrote in my previous post about using the Harmonizer FX to create the “chord” from a single note when one could just programme the pentatonic “chord”, ditch the Harmonizer and save oneself an FX slot.

Stupidly, I didn’t think of that when I did the first post. So I’m just kicking/correcting myself.

I would never write anything hostile here. I love this place. I love my pyramid. I want nothing but positive, productive interactions here.

And you are totally right, pyramid has many many scales already…not much to ask for a little five noter somewhere in the mix is it? Every other bit of gear I have that does scaling has major and minor pentatonics good to go. It is an omission as you rightly point out.

Maybe there is a combination of two or three existing Scale FX that would limit the note output to a pentatonic scale? Maybe a theory expert can contribute here? Still as you say, a band aid though.

Try the workaround if you get chance. I tweaked and tweaked til I got something I liked with the FX combo and was generatively pentatonically vibing for daaaaaaaays*

Only love.

*it was more like 20 mins but it felt like daaaaaaays.


Sorry for the delay in my response, @JimBrackpool - it’s no big deal, I apologize for misreading you, we’re all good :slight_smile:

And yeah, not to mention the fact that there are other interesting Pentatonic scales other than major or minor - user scales really would be the cure-all. But I will definitely play around with the random-pentatonic trick you mentioned, it’s pretty clever and could create some fun stuff!

Thanks for the response, hope you’re well :slight_smile:


No probs. xXXXXXXXXX

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