Alright, so we’re interested in how to manage the sound settings on synths that don’t store patches (presets, or in other words, ‘save’ anything). In your case, your synth has CC’s you can use.
I have some thoughts, and I think I can answer some questions. I’d emplor you to jump into the manual if you haven’t. It’s your friend.
Also, idk if people like or hate this about me - but I think there’s a philosophical discussion to be had too. I’ll say it out loud - there are more ways to setup a synth that doesn’t do presets than just a pyramid. You can always turn knobs - like if you take the old juno 6, the manual shipped with pictures of the synth, and you could draw your ‘preset’ in on it.
anyways, tl;dr - the way you want to send CC’s to synths to set them up will work. Some of what you said isn’t true, and I’m not entirely sure why things didn’t work for you. I’ll go through things.
You can’t do anything akin to a ‘latch’ record on the pyramid like you could in a daw. This means that the only way to ‘record’ persay, is in the musical context where you press play and it records.
This is what I do and it does work: I’m saying, I do this in step mode and it works. Maybe something isn’t configured the same way or we understand the buttons differently - but maybe I can help.
My workflow is to identify the CC and value I want, then I go into step mode, identify the CC, and program the value into the first step of the loop. There are a couple things to call out when you do this.
Identifying my CC and value: I write the CC values for all my parameters directly on my synths, so that’s easy (I use mix console tape and write on the tape). To identify the CC I want, once I’ve got my synth patch right - I assign the CC to one of the encoders and I turn the encoder until I find the CC value that gives me the sound I want. If I’m programming multiple parameters, I’ll re-use the assignment encoder when I’m done for the next task.
Once you’ve done that, if you enable the track it should send all the CC’s and setup your sound. I do this all the time.
:: gotchas ::
The thing about CC’s is that anything else sending CC’s can re-program your synth. Just something you gotta watch out for. For example, if you use a midi CC LFO, you’ll want to make sure however that works plays well with the sound design you’ve programmed.
CC sound programming is functionally different than using Program Change messages on the Pyramid and your programming needs to account for this too. What I mean by that is, PC messages are special and the pyramid sends them in situations where it is not sending note data. Whereas your PC will fire first and update your synths when you enable a track on the pyramid, you gotta remember that the CC value you program, all of them, will fire in series (one at a time) and they will be sent alongside the note data. This creates the possibility for a note to play before your synth is setup correctly.
Pro-tip: Using a separate track that’s setup for ‘one shot’ or whatever its called to configure the synth can be helpful here.
Pro-tip: This means for your CC synths, you might have to start your song in order to setup the synth, and then after a bar or two, send your song notes.
Hope this helps.