Tracks, patterns, banks, sequences.. Help!

It seems I’m still having problems getting my head around the fundamentals of Pyramid.
For example:
Track <-> Pattern <-> Sequence VS. Track <-> Bank <-> Sequence?
What is the best and easiest way to make variations to tracks?
Why are patterns only usable in sequence performance mode?
I’ve stumbled upon problems that are probably the result from the lack of my understanding the Pyramid work flow for instance:
In track mode I’ve got track 16 muted with pattern 1 and linked to sequence 1.
I’d like to make an alternate pattern (pattern 2) of track 16 linked to sequence 2.
Not happening. The mute state of track 16 in pattern 1 also affects track 16 in sequence 2 even as it has a different pattern. What am I doing wrong here?
Is there a (quick) way to copy/paste several/all tracks from one bank to another?
Thanks for the help! :blush:

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Yeah, it’s a bit different, but made more confusing by using common terminology for what i consider slightly different applications. YMMV

Id suggest first shedding yourself of previous concepts of Pattern and Track for a short bit.

Perhaps think of Tracks as the road, which defines where the MIDI data is going to go, along with any MIDI FX. Patterns might be what car you decide to drive, or what youre playing on the radio when you drive down the road. Sequences define road closures. Banks are the reports from the local government about which roads are closed. LOL

Within Tracks, you can have multiple Patterns, but you can only select Patterns via Sequences. Patterns are not required, tho. Even without patterns you have 64 Tracks so…thats often enough for a single song or two to get familiar with the device and define your personal workflow. (Maybe think of a Track with Patterns turned off as a Track with a single Pattern0 which the Track alwayd plays when it is Unmuted)

Sequences are more like “scenes” in my head. Press a pad for a Sequence and it selects Mute/Unmute states and selects which Pattern plays.

I get confused easily because im not terribly bright, so in my setup all Pattern 1s belong together, 2s, 3s, etc. I press Sequence 1 and it selects all Pattern1s.

Or, another suggestion might be to avoid Patterns at first and mess around with Tracks and Sequences. Patterns is like a 3rd dimension to me, but again: immanidiot. :wink:

Banks are more like “there are 64 Tracks but only 16 buttons, so youre only looking at 1/4 of your Tracks at a time”. Think of it like an 8×8 button grid, but “Bank A” is the first 2 rows only, “Bank B” the second two, etc.

Start slow. Read and reread the manual. Search here for the “unofficial manual” because that may help. Practice small concepts first and build from there.

You can figure this out.
It will make sense sooner than you think. :wink:
Probably by this afternoon or tomorrow if you have time to play around with no more direction than testing stuff out.

The fun part starts when you get the Patterns part and then figure out each Pattern can have its own Run Mode.

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I’m waiting for a software download (unrelated) to finish to I’ll give another perspective.
(sometimes useful to have different views)

(some of the following, is a little ‘incomplete’ to keep it simple)

Banks
a group of 16 Tracks, i.e. we have 64 tracks available divided into 4 banks. these are only for UI, there is no functionality for banks - so there is no copy/paste for this.

Tracks
a Tracks holds:

  • where the midi data is routed, e.g. USB ch 1, or DIN A (or combos of)
  • what MIDI fx are assigned
  • its ‘launch’ mode, e.g free, relatch, trig - which determines how/if its run by a seq.

a track has one or more patterns
(if patterns are not enabled, you can view this as a track having one pattern)

important note:
you can use the same midi channel destination on many tracks.
so for example, rather than patterns, you could use multiple tracks for the same destination, and mute/unmute them on sequences.
(this was the original intention, as Squarp only added patterns later in development)

Patterns
a pattern hold the notes, and automation data.

Sequences

a sequence determines

  • which tracks are muted
  • what pattern a track is using.

important note:
whilst you could have S3 say all tracks are using Pattern 3. this is not fixed nor enforced.
S3, could have T1 = P2 , T2=P3, T3=P3

as to your questions:

not quite sure what your issue is, as mute states are stored on a seq, so seq1 will not affect seq2, *however if you have ‘save mute’ states on when using SEQ mode its easy to get a bit confused about what state you’ve left the track in (at least for me :wink: )

variations of tracks, often I start out using multiple tracks - but usually move to patterns.

patterns usage in seq mode only ? not sure what you mean, you can switch patterns at any time - even if not using SEQ

you can only copy 1 track at a time, there is no bank copy function.
(iirc, if you copy a track and it has multiple patterns, it copies all patterns)

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i’ve only played around with my Pyramid for a couple hours so far, doing some basic sequencing out to an Alpha Juno. i think i know the answer to this already after reading around but . . . if creating multiple patterns per a single track, is there no current way for Pyramid to at least autoplay the patterns in the order created? and, thus, if multiple given tracks (with the sub-patterns on each track programmed to autoplay in a given order) are sequenced together in Sequence mode, collectively it all functions as a “song”?

otherwise, it would seem the addition of up to 32 patterns per one of each 64 potential tracks is just a backdoor way of adding more sequenceable “tracks” (but just calling them Patterns for sake of selection) in Sequence mode.

yes, in theory, it allows a given instrument assigned to a given track more variation in what Sequence mode can tell it to do – 32 possible variations v. one fixed Track – but with 64 total tracks available, were people really running out of Tracks when sequencing? i feel like the real value of Patterns is the ability to make a given Track run completely from the first bar to the last bar and THEN arranging multiple (patterned) Tracks together as a full Sequence.

but i’ve only begun to scratch the surface on Pyramid’s workflow so entirely possible i’m missing something in the details as to how Step>Pattern>Track>Sequence modes all work together

If I understand what you are asking, there is not.

Perhaps there is a bit of understandable confusion, as Pyramid uses similar language in differing application. Additionally, Patterns were added after the initial product release, so intent v functionality v terminology might add to the drama.

Tracks IMO aren’t what I consider a Track - on the Pyramid I’d suggest that Tracks are more like a data pipe denoting MIDI Port, Channel, FX, etc.

Patterns are often variations of material being sent to the same Port/Channel (they can have different Time Signatures, Bank/PgmChg, Run Modes, etc), and completely not necessary to use to get massive functionality out of the Pyramid. (I have yet to implement Patterns in any solid application, as 64 Tracks have been quite enough) You can think of a Track that does NOT have Patterns implemented as maintaining a single Pattern.

Sequences are more like “Scenes” IMO - they are a snapshot of which Tracks are Muted/Unmuted and which Pattern is selected.

Sequences can be linked together to form a one cohesive automated selection of Scenes.
You can send as many Tracks as you’d like to the same destination, they can have different Note or CC or Automation Events, and can be switched manually or by selecting a different SEQ/(“Scene”).

It’s my understanding that there are many viable, effective, extremely flexible, and often confusing ways to use Tracks, Patterns, and Scenes - this is one of the beauties of the Pyramid IMO.

Honestly, I look back at my explanation and I think I’ve typed similar info many, many times, but now it just seems alien: I think I have been assimilated. Also, you might need this explained a few other ways (so search the Forum as the Q has been asked many times), but once it sinks in and you apply/adjust your workflow, it won’t be a big deal anymore. You got this.

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I don’t think this is possible but great idea!

The alternative is to make a long pattern out single patterns.

I wish the Pyramid had a pattern combine feature so we could link multiple patterns (even from different tracks) & then convert them into a single pattern.

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after playing around a bit more, especially with Sequence mode, this probably isn’t the obstacle i originally thought it was. because Sequences can chain Tracks at the pattern level, i doubt I’m going to exhaust the full 32 patterns per Track in putting together a song-length Sequence

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Just an out loud thought here trying to get my head around how I am going to arrange full tracks.

1-If I gave for example a 4 bar bass line running on a track and I wanted to maybe put a live filter sweep on it that lasted the whole track, how would you record that? Would you create a separate track set to that midi channel and record it there? I’m thinking if I record it in the baseline track it’s gonna loop when that does.

2-if I wanted to drop the last bar from a drum loop for a break or make the drums kick in a beat or two late, how do you go about doing that? Do you have to create a new pattern copy and delete those beats in the new pattern or can you adjust the ‘container’ end points?

I’d create a separate track. I’d change the time signature for that track so I dont need to make it terribly long.

I’d use an extra pattern for this

There’s always several ways to accomplish something

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So many ways to do things :slight_smile: for the drum break question -

i like the idea of in a live improv situation playing a pattern full of pockets of empty space and coming in where you want with the drum pattern since the patterns are all running. you could have some wierd like negative space fills… like a pattern of 2 bars thats just quiet space… or a bar and a half or what ever…

I was playing with this last night - i had several patterns on same track and when i switched between them i realized there can be a fun element of suprise of where you decide to listen in on them…. i started to think about them each as rooms with different stories happening in them at different moments in their respective stories and i could choose which room to walk into at any point… but yh thats just my metaphor land…

then again you could just unmute and mute the track…

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I think what Im going to do is create 8 bar patterns with the last bar blank then I can create a selection of blank tracks with the last bar containing different fills etc. That way I can just mute and unmute those.

i wouldn’t think about numbers of bars when creating the pattern(s). you can have Pattern 1 be a normal 4-bar measure, Pattern 2 be a 1-bar fill. then in Sequence mode, chain them as Seq. 01 > Seq. 02 and set the needed bar length in the respective Sequences, e.g., 7 bars for Seq. 01 and 1 bar for Seq. 02.

Patterns are your secret Sequencing weapon (imo)

I can audition them in track mode this way. If you write them as one bar patters you have to listen to fills as 1 bar loops while writing them. You only hear them in place once you enter sequence mode if you created them as 1 bar loops. Not a way I’d want to work. This is for drums so it’s a much easier way to keep the workflow musical.
Surely if you create a 7 bar sequence and then add a 1 bar sequence as a fill it will cut off any 8 bar melodic parts at that point and reset them to bar 1 so the 1st bar of melody would play over the fill? Not what I’d be looking for.
Unless the relatch mode etc that I’ve not looked at deals with that. Either way, I don’t want to write fills as 1 bar loops and have to listen to them like that at any point.
I’ve only had it a couple of weeks so it’s good to hear all perspectives as I can’t say I’ve got it all figured out yet.

but if you keep all the other Tracks (the non-drum parts) identical across two different Patterns and just change the drum Track to be regular (P1) v. fill (P2), adjusting the Sequence length will not affect the melody (because the Sequences are comprised of whatever Patterns per Track you tell them to be). the only thing that will change then, depending how you order the Sequences, is the drum Track’s Patterns (P1 v. P2).

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I just posted a loooong-winded feature suggestion discussion that goes into the idea of playing/chaining Patterns on a single Track/Sequence: The case for a 'Pattern RUN' option

Since this thread is still active, I thought I’d ask you to check it out, give feedback, show support. I’ll be submitting the feature request to Squarp with a link to the post :smiley: