Wait until the current pattern ends before changing pattern

OK so I think this is a common use case, but I haven’t figured out how to do it.

In the same track, I have patterns of different lengths.
If I’m playing a long pattern, when I press another pattern button, the next pattern is played without waiting for the previous one to finish.

I’d like pattern change to occur only when the pattern that is being played in the same track ends.

A partial solution is setting the SYNC parameter to the length of the long pattern, but this has a number of problems:

  1. Maybe the pattern is longer than 8 bars (SYNC can be 8 bars max).
  2. If I set a long SYNC, shorter patterns will wait also 8 bars before changing even if they’re shorter, so they’ll repeat a number of times before changing to the next pattern.

Is there any setting I’m missing?

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Indeed, that’s how it works.
In practice, I tend to use sync more as a ‘lead time to change’
so, although the pattern may be 16 bars, if I have sync set to 2 bars, that means I do the pattern change 2 bars ahead of time.

But I’d agree it be nice, if you could press a pattern and it would change only when current pattern has finished.

Send a feature request via the contact form

edit: song mode… ‘in the meantime’
as an afterthought, have you played with song mode? that may provide a way to get the sync you are after… although, you might think of as a linear sequence… its not really, as you can launch (and re-launch) sections of the song. so you use it a bit beyond a completely linear sequence.
… Id have to play with it, to see if it helps your scenario at all.

edit: added later


I should say this ‘request’ does have some confusions/complications that means, you’d not always want to use it.

obviously this behaviour, means individual tracks could change at different times (since thier pattern length could be different). in the use-case (I think) you have in mind when switch patterns for individual patterns… this is very logical/obvious.

however, imagine a scene change… so pressing the row button, every track will now switch pattens at a different time, some after 1 bar, some 2, some 16.
… that could get confusing pretty quickly, and also they are kind of ‘out of sync’ now.
this is the advantage, of a sync’d switch… you are bringing everything back into line.

the same is true of sections… things are quickly going to get out of whack.

so its definitely not a panacea, and something that you’ll only want to use in SOME use-cases.

there is a also a second complication…
song mode… each section is played for a fixed length. I cannot see that changing…
(again you’ll have to talk to Squarp about ideas you may have in that area)
though, I think thats probably ok… since at that point its more about arrangement.


Thanks for thinking about the implications, I had not contemplated scenes and song mode.

I’ll play more with the HAPAX in order to fully understand your observations and see if there is a way of handling all the cases in a logical way.

Some preliminar comments, before diving deeper:

  • The proposed functionality could be a new value for the SYNC option: “WAIT”. So if you set SYNC = WAIT, instead of counting a number of bars, it would wait for the pattern to finish.

  • the problem with the unsynced pattern change when changing scenes, which is real, I think it occurs now if you set different SYNC values for each pattern. I don’t know what the implemented behaviour is (will check) but the sequencer can’t respect all the SYNC values at once because they can be incompatible.
    I’d propose that if any pattern being played has a SYNC=WAIT value, the sequencer waits until the longer pattern with this option finishes, and then changes the scene. The behaviour for the rest of the patterns could be the current one. I suppose the only thing would be if the pattern must reset or not, but that is handled by the Trig option.

Anyway I’ll investigate and add my findings.


the sync value is not per pattern… its global - no?

this is pretty common on sequencers, its kind of like a ‘reset’ … look at Elektron sequencers, whilst you can set a length per pattern - they also have a master length,
so although, you can have 15, 7, 3, 23 … which in theory would take a very long time to all sync, the master length (say its set to 128) will reset them all after 128 beats.

similarly ableton by default has a sync across clips. though you can turn it off.

whilst there is a good use-case for not having patterns sync, it does appear that many actually want patterns to reset - I guess because in many scenarios waiting for them to naturally sync would just take too long … you dont always want to way 32 bars for the pattern to change :wink:

anyway, I get the functionality you want and why, but there are implications … as I said, in performance mode, I can see it kind of working… but song mode, I doubt it can - but perhaps that is ‘ok’.

anyway, send it to Squarp, as their input is the most important :wink: