Sonic Potions LXR + Pyramid

Hi Pyramid People,

Is anyone out there using this drum machine alongside Pyramid? I’m very close to a purchase…

Thinking I will do some step sequencing in the Pyramid and some on the LXR and use CC to switc patterns on the LXR.

Would like to hear from other musicians using this drum machine. Or any recommendations for other desktop drum machines that play nicely with Pyramid.


recently thought at the same. The LXR coolest is the late add of a c60 knobs controller that let you enjoy a bit more of live performing. I would recommend you also to take a look at the NORD DRUM: it hase same tracks and within a 60 knobs controller you would have a nice add too. the two together would also give you lots of fun, where the LXR lacks you may find the replacement of your needs.
though, I miss something of a Drum Machine giving up to 16 tracks within those specs that those differnt drum sources have.

and this kind of things ( inspired by the oldies):

I’ve built a LXR and I’m waiting for the Bastl 60knobs. To be honest, I haven’t used the LXR for a while because it was just not fun to dial in the sounds. I’m sure it will improve with the 60knobs. Until now I much prefer my Tanzmaus, but the LXR with the BrendanClarke firmware works nicely and for my use, much better than stock. I wish there was more people coding for it. It is all open source, which is super nice. But last time I checked, development was pretty much halted. I will write more after I get back from holiday and built the 60knobs.

i also have an LXR… I love this machine for it’s unique sound . I’m using the standard Firmware
I haven’t controlled it from the pyramid yet

Hey everyone thanks for your notes.

I thought about the Nord (2?) but I’d like individual outputs for voices as I’ve got all sorts of cruddy old gear lying around that wants to have stuff plugged in and out of it. Also, even though it sounds dope, it just doesn’t seem like the sort of device I could get hands on with, which is kind of how I ended up with the pyramid in the first place (and lots of other touchy feely gear) rather than my daw/laptop .

Although I appreciate the advice on the MIDI implementation. I have a novation launch xl thingo which I map to various devices via Cantible that would work for that so I might take a second look. It doesn’t have 60 knobs. But it does have 24 knobs and 8 faders… And a really really easy editor. And 8 user presets. Nice controller.

Tanzmaus, Tanzbar, TB lite, I looked at too. Seem good for gritty techno but don’t appear to have the range I’m after or the number of editable parameters that the SP LXR has. Also I hear that that step sequencers are tricky to programme or at least programme and get the best out of the (is that the case?) And I kind of like the idea of doing some step sequencing in the Pyramid and some in the drum machine itself… Because it’s a bit of a waste otherwise right? But I might look again.

@maximee, what do you like about the tanzmaus and how nicely does it play with the pyramid? Would be intrigued to know how it compares with the LXR once your 60knobs build is complete. Must admit, having that available as an easy add on is tempting too.

@verstaerker you should check the latest firmware for the LXR, obviously I’m not using it but a quick look at the forum reveals a long long long list of upgrade isht from the stock job . Just a TIP. xx x

@fabulous that looks like a sweet bit of kit. Too big for my hidey-hole though.

Think I will go with the LXR + 60 knobs.

Thanks all.

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How does it behave over MIDI? I had an LXR paired with a Midibox for a while and it frustrated me no end. Since the note and channel setting is saved with the kit, it makes it quite tedious to make new kits. Driving it over midi also produced weird intonations over a bar. I’d get high or low hits in a random pattern. This was both with official and Brendan’s firmware. As is the way of things, I’ve since sold it but toy with building another one. the pyramid can negate the note issue by allocating a channel per instrument.

Loved the sound though, great box.

so @JimBrackpool did you end up controlling the lxr with the pyramid?

i am one more person in the same boat: Pyramid + LXR + (thinking of buying) 60 Knobs

can i assign a different midi channel to each of the six LXR voices? how?

if i play the lxr via MIDI, can i also play its internal sequencer at the same time? i find this quite fun cos the bpms then can be different

Nope. After much deliberation (which I can bore you with if you want) and what I can only describe as a ‘moment of madness’ (involved an early payday, PayPal credit and alcohol)…i went for the Elektron Analog Rytm MK 2 in the end. Collecting it tomorrow. Will let you know how that pans out… If you want.

Plan is to sequence all my drum tracks on the Elektron (rather than the pyramid) as the step sequencing toolset / parameter locks / retrigs etc. look incredible. It does “song” mode too (sequence or pattern chaining/arranging) and since this is still broken on the pyramid (when will the next OS come?) I might even use the elektron for drums and end to end song sequencing by using it to trigger melodic/polyphonic tracks on my other synths/modules via the pyramid using sequence change notes/messages.

The LXR manual is online. According to that the Midi channel is global and each of the six voices are triggered with a different midi note on message sent on that channel. I think you have to switch this on patch by patch though, rather than globally. Meaning you couldn’t flick from preset patch to patch (or kit to kit) and hear your beat voiced differently without jumping into a menu to set it up for each drum part. Only a problem I guess if you use the presets to try out your programmed beats with different sounds for inspiration.

It’s open source so there may have been further updates or bespoke OS devs that do what you want (and are not reflected in the manual ) so you might want to dig around on the LXR forum) . Last time I checked there were a lot.

You can trigger the individual voices from the pyramid and if you want to sequence patterns in the lxr you can sync it to the pyramid and the pyramid can be used to switch patterns over pgm change messages.

Don’t know what you mean about having different devices playing patterns across different BPMs. That’s not something I’ve ever experimented with. I guess as long as you can get one to receive MIDI notes or CC and not have to sync tempo/clocks you should be OK.

Yes, you can set both the channel and the note individually for each voice. These are saved with the kit however, so if you want to use the preset kits (some are quite good) then you need to do that each. Its quite flexible though. You can set the channel for each voice and leave the note to “any”. Or set the channel all to “10” and set the individual note.

@mongrol but HOW exactly? HOW do i choose a voice and a channel using the pyramid? and how do i tell the lxr?

i think my problem lies more in the lxr than the pyramid…

See my answer in the other thread.
You need Brendan Clarke’s firmware v0.37 for individual channel per voice. In the end I didn’t find it too useful for me to justify using up so many midi channels. Either way, BC v0.37 has many little advantages over standard firmware. Give it a try!

@maximee i did see your other answer.

could you please link me to the sonic potions forum thread in question? the one about brendan’s 0.37?

i’m also running the 0.37 bc firmware myself, but still dont know how to assign individual voices to channels

also - is 7 midi channels to control 7 different voices a lot? i thought each voice should have one channel - or?

I would have to look it up myself – sorry, please google it, I’m on the move.

7 channels is not too much, but that really comes down how many other gear you have/channels you need. What kept confusing me on the LXR is the fact that you can play each voice chromatically using midi note values. But then you also have a separate tune/pitch parameter on the voice, too. So it’s double, which gets confusing and usually means, that say a C1 never actually plays the correct pitch of C1, because the Pitch value within the voice is off scale.
In the end I just mapped my Pyramid to one single LXR midi channel and then addressed each voice via a specific midi note (and ONLY that note). I set pitch via the pitch value within the voice.

Full chromatic usage of all midi notes for a single voice would make sense if I used the LXR more as a melodic synth voice, which certainly can be done. I rather use other gear for that, so LXR is on drum duties, exclusively.

aha! ok! how do you “addressed each voice via a specific midi note (and ONLY that note)”
what are the steps to be taken on the pyramid to acheive this?

this is where i have stumbled i am afraid

On the Pyramid side, it doesn’t matter if your synth listens to only one note or any note on that channel. Pyramid just doesn’t know what your MIDI gear is capable of.

What I do for my drum boxes is to have separate TRACKS for each voice on the Pyramid. Then I name them accordingly (e.g. LXR BD, LXR SD, LXR HH and so on). Then, in STEP mode, I press-turn the encoder until I reach the correct note and hear the sound of that voice of the TRACK I’m on. No steps entered yet!
I do that to all voices/instruments and save that as my default/init layout.

Whenever I then want to make a beat, I go SAVE/LOAD–>NEW…
All I have to do is place my steps on the premade TRACKS.
Of course, you can still add a hi-hat on the bass drum, if you are not careful and accidentally turn the encoder while in STEP mode.

There has been the idea of “drum tracks” where you don’t enter notes, but more or less drum hits. It would be a TRACK actually locked to a fixed note – very useful for drum computers! It was proposed to the squarp devs a while ago and some of us still hope that this feature will be embedded soon! We’ll see about that…

@maximee thanks for that clear and concise workflow.

if i can assign each voice to a different midi channel, then isnt this the same as “drum tracks”? i dont care about the pitch of each voice - i will control it with the lxr or 60 knobs or whatever - i just want each voice on a different channel so that i can do euclidean rhythms from the pyramid and not the lxr

the visual representation of euclidean rhythms is v. important to me

You can assign individual channels per voice ON THE LXR with the BC 0.37 firmware, as stated. Then have corresponding TRACKS on the Pyramid. Each TRACK is always putting out to a specific channel connected to MIDI OUT A, B, or USB (or a combination). You just have to match the channels and voilà. But it’s not the same as the so far unheard feature request of “drum tracks”.

Drum Tracks would be locked to a note. You then don’t enter notes, but rather hits. I think I’m repeating myself here :slight_smile:
In the end, what you get would be equal. But working with clearly labelled Drum Tracks would be nicer and easier.
Before we talk much further, try it. It should all work. But eventually you will be accidentally triggering the LXR not on your default C4 note and maybe wonder why the pitch is off. Not a problem per se, but a minor hiccup that could be cured by the concept of drum tracks. That’s what I was aiming at.

HOW?!! i dont see this anywhere on the forums, or in the manual! HOW HOW HOW

i should mention i am running BC v0.37

It’s in one of the parameter pages of the voice. However, without the BC firmware you can easily do it by setting the LXR to channel 10 (which I think is default) and then sending the following notes from the Pyramid.

Voice - MIDI note no.
1 -36 (C2)
2 -37
3 -38
4 -39
5 -40
6 -41
7 -42

So you can use a single Pyramid track or split them into separate ones.Ensure MIDI filtering is set to accept notes in the LXR Settings pages.

(P.S. I think the LXR has a bug where note 36 c2 is actually C4 so if you don’t have success try all the notes until you find the working octave.

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