Workflow confusion

i might just be approaching this completely wrong and confusing myself. but i’m a little stumped on the proper workflow for moving from section to section of songs with the Pyramid.

i imagined having a base starter file, always have the 16 tracks in first view going to their designated synth/drum machine MIDI channel. ie -

Pad 1 Elektron Cycles
Pad 2 Korg XD
Pad 3 1010 Black Box

then set each pad to the correct MIDI channel for the device, always know that when i started a project 1 is Cycles, 2 is XD, 3 is BB and so on.

but that ends up giving no room for variations on a 16 Track view. right now i have 1-14 set to their default destinations, so…

start a new song, write a drum part for Cycles on Pad 1, a melody for XD on pad 2, a sample changing start points on pad 3… do i go to the next bank for alternate beats or melodies? that seems like it would get messy.

is it just a bad idea to work from a Everything Has It’s Place file? do most people start and just add parts to each pad as they go? how do you keep track of what is where?

any advice appreciated.


What works for one person might not work for the next, you’ll need to experiment and find out what works for you.

The general wisdom with things like this is to arrange logically, not by technical or physical characteristics. Just as an example, this is what I’ve been gravitating towards:

Tracks 1-4: leads
Tracks 5-8: backing instruments
Tracks 9-12: bass, drums
Tracks 13-16: anything left over (sound fx etc)

That is, regardless of which physical instrument plays what, or which MIDI output/channel they are on. Recently I’ve been experimenting with individual drums on separate tracks all on bank B, but this seems like an overkill and thus cumbersome for my relatively simple “backing track” purposes.

For variations I use patterns (You know about those, right? If not, go read the manual. Now.), if you prefer the track based approach then you’ll want to expand across track banks from the start, eg bank A for rhythms and bank B for leads, or such. Populate tracks sparsely - leaves room for growth, and its much easier to remember that leads are on the upper left area than say, tracks A1, A9 and B13. It all depends on complexity of what you do, your preferred workflows and stuff. If something isn’t working, try something else. Experiment, develop habits. Naming tracks can help too, although I rarely bother myself.

Other way to work is to use a mix of Pattern and Seqs. If you keep on Track per instrument, you can have variation at the Pattern level.
While this is ok for composing, it is not so much for improviding.

For improvisation, I’ll use a similar workflow @pmatilai described, I also had a BeatStep controller to have access to additional Tracks (typically Bank B). That allow you to spread the instruments on more tracks or to track dedicated to Effect (e.g. Cc automation).

Oh, I certainly implied use of sequences in my post, I don’t know how else you’d do anything at all on the Pyramid. And speaking of implications, I also implied compose workflow, which is all I ever do. What works for live improvisation I have no idea :slight_smile:

thank you both! yeah, i plan to use the Pyramid for composing, centralizing all patterns and sequences for each synth into one box. i am still conceptually confused about Patterns. in the manual it mentions them, then it says the “4 Pyramid Modes” and lists Live, Step, Track, Sequence. i misunderstood and thought they were just swapping the term Pattern and Track.

the part that talks about patterns says -

"TRACK A track is a loop that plays repeatedly, and controls instruments connected to MIDI A, MIDI B, USB
MIDI, or CV outputs. Tracks contain settings such as MIDI Channel, Zoom level, Length, and Time Signature.
As these settings are stored per track, you have the flexibility to do many interesting things. Since different
tracks can have different lengths and time signatures, Most importantly, tracks contain PATTERNS. Pyramid
provides 64 tracks.

PATTERN Patterns contain polyphonic or monophonic notes, automation and effects, Program Change
messages, and Constant Controller (CC) messages."

i’ve been selecting a Track, then going to Step or Live and recording into the Track i guess? Patterns are a sub-layer of Tracks?

i’m sure after a bit of play it will become more clear.

thanks for the help!

ahhhhhh. durp. hurpa DURP.

this confused me at first, hearing from y’all and going back reading it i feel a little biscuit arsed -

nice! we’re on lockdown here in the Bay Area, so soon as i get up, DIVING.

seeeeems like it would have been neat to have a Pattern button, but looks exactly like what i was trying to do.

also, super interesting to hear how others do setup and what they prioritize, i’m trying a similar thing as you @pmatilai, grouping by instrument type, but i go drum tracks first, then basses, then leads/pads.


thanks again!