Pentatonic Scales on Pyramid?

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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I found a crude but playable workaround for user defined scales (with limitations)


Wow, that’s super clever! I never would’ve thought of that :smiley: Great ingenuity ^.^

you can kind of create user scales by combining scalers

so to create a pentatonic (major) scale is simple
major , followed by a blues minor transposed down 3 semis ( has to filter notes)
e.g. C Penta Minor = C Major (or just play C Major) , then Blues Minor in A.

other scales can be created similarly, sometimes rounding can also work, you just have to find the relevant ‘mask’ scale (the Blue Mn in the above example)


Some of that music theory serious sheeet right there . Nice one

Egyptian mode is Pentatonic


So I was hopeful for this too and surprised not to find it. These days, globalization means many possibilities in what is a “scale” (or if you are Frank Zappa you create your own). But, instead of attempting to catalogue all possible scales, or deciding which are “popular” or “crucial”, the easiest way is to allow custom user scales. Even the “poor man’s Pyramid” Beatstep Pro allowed this from the very beginning. You simply provide the ability to include/omit from the “standard” 12 tone “Western” scale.

But yes, “choosing” scales is fraught with peril, especially for worldwide product/diverse audience.

Simple case in point, I wish to use (create, don’t expect manufacturers to cater to me) 5-point (pentatonic) Hirajoshi scales – common for centuries in East Asian music.

But, it is a beautiful powerful product. No hate here, just surprised.


is this true?

in your example C Penta Minor = C Major then Blues Minor in A surely the C Major quantizing will filter out the D-sharp and A-sharp.

it’s a great idea in theory, would love to know what the definitive combination of scales to achieve a pentatonic minor scale is. i’ve mailed squarp a few times about adding it but to no avail. it does seem a real shame and a strange omission.