Possible future Pyramid user with a few questions


#1

Hello everyone
I’m thinking about getting a Pyramid into my set up ; but as much as the next guy I don’t like unpleasant surprises and wanted to get some feedback on some functionalities prior to buying. Also I’m French so I apologize in advance for all the misspellings et mistakes.

I’m basically a guitar player surrounded with synth and try to operate everything by myself. My live rig includes Electron Analog Rhythm and Analog Keys (using their internal sequencers), a small modular set up and a couple of other synth that I play live (when I’m not busy with the guitar). As most of the time I’m doing guitar parts, I have a midi floor controller that I use to take care of pattern changes, mutes… that kind of thing.

So my first question is really simple. I saw in its MIDI implementation chart the Pyramids’ tracks and sequences can be launched remotely via MIDI CCs. How does it work in real life? is it an instant change or does it wait for the next bar? Or as tracks can have some wacky length does it wait until the pattern/track ends? Is it a global setting or a per-pattern/track/sequence thing? (sorry I haven’t wrapped my head around the terminology yet)

My second question is about sequencing Program Changes. Some songs I have right now have some pretty long pattern chains, which for now I take care using a pre-recorded song mode (and a tricky button tap dance). As rewriting all the pattern would be a pain in the @$$ (I’m using some Electron features like conditional trigs…) I’d like to sequence the pattern changes. Would it be possible using a Pyramid? I’ve read than it can sequence PCs but are there some limitations? Ideally I’d like to have a pattern running and when I press a button on my floor controller the complex chain begins.

Finally I’ve read in the MIDI implementation chart the the Pyramid receives transport. I assume that like most machines it’s receiving MIDI RTM and not MMC but has anyone tested this? It’s some key feature for me as while playing something just on the guitar I sometime use a floor controller to tap tempo and launch the synths.

Thanks fo your answers


#2

Hello,

You can mute and un-mute tracks by sending MIDI CC64 + the track number you want to mute/un-mute. You can define the delay, so to speak, before the track un-mutes following receipt of the command. It can be instant, on the next beat, on the start of the next bar or second or fourth bar. I guess it will depend on how quick you need to be with your feet, how spontaneous you need to be and how versatile your foot controller is. (ie - whether it can send multiple CCs with a single pedal press)

Track delay launch settings are global rather than per track and Pyramid tracks are constantly looping in parallel (even if they are not actually playing/audible). So if you have tracks of different length they won’t necessarily all start at the same time when they are un-muted.

However, if that’s what you need, you can set a specific track’s runmode to relatch and trigger a batch of tracks with a Sequence change. This forces any track with run mode = relatch to start at the beginning when you switch Sequences. Sequences are groups of tracks/track mute states and can be changed with MIDI CC69 + Sequence number.

If all your Pyramid tracks are loops or of equal length (or even divisions) you should be OK. I guess longer, evolving melodic sequences will need a bit of pre-planning.

Pyramid can send Pgm changes to your Rytm to trigger pattern changes. And they are easy to programme on the Pyramid. Put a Pgm change into a specific track and Pyramid will action it when the track unmutes.

However, Rytm can’t respond to these instantly, you need to define a ‘change length’ in the Rytm which has to be >2 steps. You might want to have a play around with this first and check that you can trigger a pattern change on the Rytm with your feet in a way that works for you. You will always have to pre-empt a pattern switch if you want to control the Rytm patterns externally - as opposed to bashing the pattern pads manually.

Fortunately though, the Rytm can forward on any received Pgm changes which can be relayed onto the Pyramid to switch sequences (a sequence is a batch of tracks) and these can be switched instantly on the Pyramid. So you might want to let the Rytm drive and make sure that the Rytm pattern/Pgm change corresponds with the Sequence number you want to launch on the Pyramid.

If you do it this way round you will need a MIDI translator of some sort (like a BOME box) to convert the outgoing Pgm change from the Rytm into mute/unmute CC64 commands or CC69 to change sequences.

Of course if your foot controller can send multiple commands with one pedal press you may not need this. But definitely a bonus in having Pyramid slaved to Rytm - rather than the other way round if you want to switch patterns/tracks/sequences seamlessly and always in line. Don’t know about the Analog Keys - sorry.

I’ve not experimented with MTC/RTM/MMC slaving on the Pyramid - but if tapping the foot controller generates MIDI clock (or feeds a clock somewhere else in you MIDI chain) and Start/Stop then Pyramid can be slaved to both of those.

jim


#3

It sounds like for your setup you would mostly just want to change sequences and tracks. This can be accomplished using a foot pedal, and specifying the pedal behavior here:
https://squarp.net/modesettings#ancre04
If you aren’t improvising too much it should be more than enough sequencing power for you.

If there are versatile midi pedals out there you could probably get some more complex options but I would guess it would be more of a headache than it’s worth

In real life the midi or footpedal can trigger an instant change, wait til the next bar, wait til the next beat, every four bars, etc. it is controlled in the Seq mode.

As far as the program changes, the pyramid can send them and it’s a pretty straightforward process, the question is how your other device receives program/pattern changes.


#4

Thanks for both your answers, they really shed some light. I actually use two foot controllers, a KMI Softstep II and a Source Audio Solman. Both can send multiple MIDI CCs or PCs with a single press. I think a Pyramid could do the job for me. I’ll let you know how it fits in my set up.


#5

Bonne chance.
Le jim.