Strange 'stop on load' issue with Pyramid and Elektron Rytm mk1

Hey all - I’m having a really strange issue with my pyramid and my elektron analog rytm. I did write support, but I haven’t heard anything yet - maybe one of you knows something I don’t or am forgetting?

Basically what’s happening is the ‘load dialog’ is pausing my elektron rytm. Like, say I press play on the sequencer and I have the rytm getting it’s clock and start/stop messages from the pyramid, so the rytm starts playing whenever the pyramid is playing. Stop works too.

Now say I press play, and then I want to load another track - because I set the option to send clock on load. While my pyramid is playing, I press 2nd+save/load. Everything is still fine and I see the dialog, save, save as, new, load. Then I press load - the rytm stops but the pyramid (and other synth sequencers) just keep right on chucking.

Keep in mind - this isn’t loading anything, this is just when you’re presented with the list of your songs you can choose to load. This isn’t ‘sync on load’ isn’t working, this is something else.

I’ve plugged midi monitor in and the pyramid definitely isn’t sending a stop message; pyramid continues sending the clock too - I don’t notice anything on the midi bus that is suspicious. I can’t figure this out.

Okay, I’ve sort of figured this out and i’ll be updating the squarp folks soon (probably just linking them here). I put an empty SD card in and everything started working fine, so I did some digging and found some interesting data points.

Basically what appears to be happening is that there’s a clock jitter introduced when you do certain operations on the pyramid. You can tell because you’re devices will report momentary tempo changes and I find you can get the pyramid to drop a clock packet or two pretty easily when you’re navigating menus.

Anyhow, when you’re entering the load dialog - that is the listing of all your songs, the jitter introduced there appears to be dependent on the contents of the SD card. Now, I’ve been through SD card woes with the pyramid before - the loading hiccup is also dependant on the speed of the SD card. I actually tested with my fast (90MB/s) and a slower card (45MB/s) and could reproduce this. That said, we all know there’s some inherent jitter when loading, so what’s the significance here?

The analog rytm I found won’t start it’s sequencer with just a start message being sent to it, at least in the configuration I use. The rytm needs a clock and a start message, then the sequencer will start playing. It would turn out that the rytm is fairly sensitive to having the clock present, and so if the clock disappears ‘long enough’ it will just stop playing.

Basically, if that ‘load jitter’ from the pyramid loses enough clock packets the rytm (mk1 anyway) will pause.

I found that the jitter is variable on the card contents simply by experimenting. I had something like 70 root level items, maybe 50 of them were songs and I started deleting things in chunks until I could enter the load dialog without pausing the drum machine. When I got in the 30ish songs on the sd card, I could enter the load dialog without pausing. I added one song at a time and sure enough, slowly I started having intermittent issues with my rytm stopping every time I enter the load dialog. Then, if I put enough songs on the card this jitter would cause the rytm to pause literally every single time.

Anyways, the work around, if you have a rytm and see this problem is to remove songs from your sd card. That will keep this jitter low and you’ll be able to play your set without your rytm pausing due to lost clock messages.

I’ll send this to the squarp folks too. Note that clock jitter affects different devices differently, like my system 8’s sequencer just carried on like nothing was wrong. Some devices wait a little bit longer before adjusting the tempo (or quitting), so this jitter may affect other devices in different ways. Anyhow, guess the rytm is just a bit sensitive to clock signals.

I have no idea if the mk2 handles this better. Anyways, I guess I solved my own problem.

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Awesome diagnostic process. Thank you for the information.

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Interesting. I juste spent a couple of days getting my studio timing/sync right which involved a LOT of testing, and found that the Pyramid is the weakest midi clock provider. I didn’t expect that. BTW, that’s not really jitter, it’s plain time-out!

hey all - updated. I just talked to squarp and they said they are going to fix this! Yay squarp!

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