Track length problem in 12/8 time signature


New track. Time signature 4/4. Length 2 bars.
Enter some notes.
Switch to 12/8 time signature to do some triplet work.
Track length is still 2 bars of course.
Press play - second bar is not played and is not visible in piano role.
Change track length to 4 bars.
Now 2nd bar is played and is shown in piano role and can be edited. .
Switch back to 4/4 time signature.
Track length is still at 4 bars but there are 2 blank, silent bars at the end.
Changing track length back to 2 bars fixes things.

Known bug?


If I understood you correctly, then no, this is not a bug. This is how time signatures work.
The “upper” number changes the number of notes in one bar, great for adding triplets!
When you change the “lower” number, it changes the note lenght and there for changes the notes already inputted and the whole structure.
“By default the time signature’s lower number is set on 4, which means “quarter note”. It can also be set on 2 “half note”, 8 “eighth note” or 16 “sixteenth note””
Instead of changing the /4 to /8, just change the track zoom level. I believe that is what you are trying to achieve.

Hope this helps :wink:


I’ve run into this too, and whether you consider it a bug or a feature it’s very non-intuitive.


You may find it not intuitive if you are expecting a step sequencer.

1 bar of 4/4. Means 4 quarter notes.
When you now go to 4/8. It means 4 eight notes. Those eight notes put together are the first 2 quarter notes of the previous setup. I find that amazingly simple and intuitive.


I wouldn’t know what to expect of a step sequencer, I’ve never used one…

I suppose the real problem is around the triplet workflow and expecting 12/8 and 4/4 tracks to run for equal time because of that - “do what I mean damnit” :slight_smile:
I’ll be the first the admit to not having fully wrapped my head around the zoom level yet.


This has been gone thru in the Triplet topic.

A 4/4 1bar in 1x zoom is 4 “steps” in STEP mode. 4x zoom would mean it would be 16 steps :wink:

I strongly dont recommend people to mess with the “lower” number to add triplets. This is not what you want. Just change the “upper” number and zoom to a level that gives you the resolution you want.

Hope this helps :wink:


Yeah I’ve read the triplet topic, that’s exactly what I was referring to with “triplet workflow”. Zoom (like many other things in Pyramid) are perfectly obvious when in 4/4, but using 3/4 signature for adding triplets just doesn’t even begin to compute in my head, intuition tells me (and others it seems) to use 12/8. Which doesn’t work that well in the end, which is why we have this topic :slight_smile:


I then hope my explanation of what happens when going from 4/4 to 4/8 explains what is going on.



like I said in the Triplet workflow topic, in terms of music theory, having to change the time signature to add just a triplet in a simple meter is a nonsense (music score is still in 4/4 but can have triplets in it)
this is why I prefer the “offset method” as a workaround
but the method described by @joosep works too

that being said, I think that what is pointed here by @TomV (in the OP) is the fact that the pattern length is modified
and this is a slightly different issue…

so I would agree with @joosep, if you want absolutely use the “change the TimeSignature method” in order to add triplets in simple meters, be careful with that :

and for those who want to learn a bit more on music theory in this area, you can find a good resumate here :


Thanks all.

As The Loudest mentions, my point is indeed that the track length is modified incorrectly such that the second of my 2 bars disappears if I change the time signature from 4/4 to 12/8.

Triplets are a distraction here. I don’t expect half my track to disappear just because I change the time signature.

It does also seem that Pyramid treats 12/8 in a different way to normal musical notation. A 12/8 time signature means a bar with 4 quarter notes each of which can be a triplet. I think Pyramid interprets 12/8 to involve 8th notes which is rather unfortunate.

If you write a piece in 4/4 with a quarter note on every beat then change the time signature to 12/8 a pianist would play both versions identically.

If Pyramid correctly interpreted compound time signatures, it would make entering triplets for a single beat much, much easier.


4/4 time signature 1 bar = 4 quarter notes.
Change to 4/8 = 4 eighth notes.
Those 4 eighth notes addes togeter is HALF the length of the original 4/4 track. So yes. To get the SAME track length you would now have to double the length.

4/4 1 bar = 4 quarter notes = 8 eighth notes = 16 sixteenth notes.
4/8 1 bar = 2 quarter notes = 4 eighth notes = 8 sixteenth notes.

Hope this helps :wink:


I didn’t change to 4/8. I changed to 12/8 which means bars containing 4 quarter notes, each of which can be a triplet.

12/8 does not mean 12 eighth notes. Not if it is a time signature anyway. A 12/8 bar is exactly the same length as a 4/4 bar.


Back to triplets for a second though, if you’ll permit me -

It would seem reasonable for Pyramid to recognize compound time signatures like 12/8. Then it could know that zooming in should reveal 3 notes making up each quarter note rather than 4. This would help enormously with triplet entry and be much better than re-inventing the wheel with some new “triplet mode” that doesn’t map well onto standard musical notation.


Lets get over the “lower number” elephant first :wink:
(The manual)

Heres a clipping from the manual to portray it.

Now there are two modes on the Pyramid:

  • Polyrhythms

    In this mode, the “upper” number changes the “beat”, length stays the same.
    So your 12/8 would result in a 12 eighth notes in a bar, and that bar would be 2 times shorter than /4 bar.

  • Polymeters

    In this mode, the “upper” number will change the length of the bar, “beat” stays the same.
    So your 12/8 would result in 1,5x the length of the normal 4/4 bar.

Hope this helps :wink:


yes! That’s why I said in the other topic that the problem is the GRID
if we could switch between a 16-steps grid and a 12-steps grid we could have all the layers to program simple AND compound meters easily (and without changing the Time Signature)

keep in mind that the two methods discussed here (joosep’s one and mine) are workarounds
not a real correct implementation of “triplets in a simple meter”

in all DAWS the grid can adapt to simple and compound subdivisions, and you never have to change your TS for that

but PyraOSv3.0 has not spoken yet… :wink:


@TomV that’s what I meant when I said above that you should check your polymeters/polyrhythms settings…
depending on your settings it can ends up with very different results with this method…


Id agree changing the denominator is ‘odd’ , but I think is pretty logical when you consider how things work with polyrhythms and other tracks and their TS - it gets complex quite quickly, I think generally squarp have done well.

back to triplets and generally ‘scoring’ on the pyramid that would make things easier.

a) bars staring on ‘page start’ ,without this it gets confusing fast

b) fractional note lengths
really the only reason to switch time sigs for triplets is to get the note length right, as we can already do position with offset… if they allowed us to enter 1/3, 2/3 etc , we could do it without switching TS - also would be cleared, when coming back to look at stored note lengths.
(pyramid stores them fractionally anyway, which is why the TS trick works, so its a ui issue only)

b) triplet grid
this would help entering a lot, perhaps this could be on zoom, i.e. use the bottom row for triplet zoom values.

in fairness I dont do a lot of editing on the pyramid , mainly due to (a) , I tend to just (live) record into it… and then Id probably edit in a DAW if doing anything other than ‘tidying up’…
but I can see easily switching to a triplet grid, could add an interesting dimension.

lets see if OS 3 brings anything new to the table :slight_smile:


Thanks all for the informative replies, and especially to @joosep joosep for emphasizing that 12/8 in Pyramid world is totally different from an 12/8 time signature in the rest of the musical world.

Unlike @thetechnobear I bought a Pyramid specifically hoping I could exclusively edit without using a computer. It does most things pretty well but triplets are very fiddly. Quite a deficiency considering how all pervasive triplets are in many kinds of music.

Like @TheLoudest I await PyraOSv3.0 hopefully.


In musical notation, 12/8 means 12 eighth notes or 4 dotted quarter notes. It doesn’t mean 4 quarter notes, each of which can be an eighth note triplet. They are grouped in threes though, as you imply


What this guy want is a 4/4 bar to be the same length as a 12/8 bar.
Set your pyramid to be in polyrhythm, not in polymeters, and then play both your tracks.
It is as simple as this.