Program Change Issues

I’ve recently sold some gear and I’m down to one single mono synth.

So I thought I would see how creative I could be using program change messages and multiple tracks.

It seems that program change messages for tracks are only sent when the tracks pattern resets.

That means when I mute one track, and unmute another, the unmuted pattern will start to play but the program change message only gets spit out when the pattern comes back around to the start. I’ve only tested this with manual track mute/unmute changes so far. With default settings patterns will start at the current playback position (even if mid pattern) and not the start of the pattern. I know there’s a setting to change the delay time between unmuting and playing. For me I think it’s set to 1 bar.

It really would be more realistic to have the program change message sent when the track is unmuted.

In addition, with my synthesizer at least, because the program change message gets sent out EVERY TIME the pattern resets, I can’t live edit params on the synth and have them stick for more than the rest of the currently playing track pattern. The pattern restarts, the program change message gets sent out again, and the preset is loaded.

There’s very little info about program change technicalities in the manual.

Is there a setting I’m missing? Can I achieve program changes only when the track gets unmuted and not every time the pattern starts?

Without having tried, one idea comes to mind. You could dedicate a separate one-shot track that you sequence along with the track changes on the melody whenever you want a program change.

Sucks having to dedicate tracks just for that.
I think it would be nice to be able to be able to choose per-track program change behavior. And if not per-track, at least as global option in SETTINGS.

Do you have your Program Changes programmed at only the start of the track? If so, it’s not surprising that it waits until the start of the pattern since Program Changes are treated like any other CC - If you really want it to do the change regardless of where you are in the track, you could try is placing a program change message on each step, or at least more frequently spaced out than once in the track. I know it seems annoying, but this way of doing things is actually pretty nice if you’re doing more complex program changes - I use one of my monosynths to play Kick-Snare-Hat patterns via rapid Program Change automation since it changes instantly without sound interruption, and if each track had a dedicated program it would make this type of automation impossible.

As to live-changes, sadly program change messages will reset most synths to their preset settings. That’s more of a synth problem given the current implementation of Program Changes. You could try dabbling in CC-automation to overcome some of this, or perhaps you could make your tracks a lot longer via copy and pasting, and only include the Program Change at the start, but that doesn’t solve the first problem.

The one-shot idea that @maximee suggested is also quite clever, though it does waste a track/tracks - it’s up to you if it’s worth that, but I think it’s a decent compromise since you have 64 of them + patterns.

I suppose Pyramid could include an option for per-track program changes that played when the track was started, but I would really hope they allowed us the option of using the original behavior as well, since I quite like the no-nonsense way it is set up currently.


Currently I’m using the program change feature thats attached to each track - in the same menu in which you enable patterns for a track. I find CC automation kind of clumsy on the Pyramid and prefer to use synth’s LFOs and other modulation features primarily. So far I’m just using the Pyramid to sequence MIDI notes.

I wasn’t aware I could sequence Program Changes mid pattern until just recently. I saw this video and it seems like too many steps to do this regularly. At least for my tastes. And with no way to really copy all three sets of values it just doesn’t seem ideal.

I’ll keep playing around.

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I actually wasn’t aware tracks had a program change mode - I guess that means that Squarp is already halfway to implementing what I suggested in the last paragraph then, they just need to make it work like you suggested.

Sequencing CC’s isn’t that bad really, especially since 2nd+Encoder turn helps you rapidly scroll through values, and the results can be really really cool, neater than anything the LFO can do. You should try giving it a shot for Program Changes, since it could help you get what you’re looking for (or something closer to it). That video makes it look a lot harder than it is.

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did you ever figure out parameter reset issue?

I’ve been going through the same thing with my Dave Smith Mopho. My work around is setting the Synth to relative mode, which means the parameters are as the knobs are set. This is annoying if I’m changing programs though, because my presets are out of whack.