Workflow for live techno set


I’m a new Pyramid owner and I’m planning to use it as part of a gigging setup for live techno.

It’s a very simple and compact rig - Roland TR8S, Virus TI2 desktop and Pyramid. The drum patterns will all be sequenced on the TR8S and the Pyramid will be used to drive the Virus.

I’ll be performing deep techno using most of the tracks of the TR8S and maybe 5-8 parts in a multi on the Virus for each piece. The music needs to flow non-stop the same way that it would with a DJ and my question is:

What’s the best way to have a whole set worth of patterns loaded in the Pyramid at one time and be able to improvise (somewhat) with them.

My initial thought was perhaps to limit myself to 4 parts on the Virus for each ‘song’ and, using all 64 patterns on the Pyramid I could simply use the mutes to play 16 different songs worth of parts, switching the multi on the Virus every 4 songs during a space where only the TR8S is actually playing audio.

Do you think this would work? Can you think of a better way to solve the problem?

Thanks in advance for any help or advice that you’re able to offer.

Kind regards,


in ‘pyramid’ terminology, you have 64 tracks and 32 patterns on each - and tracks are muted , patterns are switched. id recommend (re-)reading this part in the manual, as this distinctions might be important to you.

generally, the main issue I see in having all ‘songs’ loaded in one projects is you might hit the ‘7000 event limit’

but I don’t see an issue with having the songs in different projects… they switch pretty quickly, and you imply that your using the TR8S autonomously… so i think the only thing this would imply is not using the Pyramid as the master clock. (e.g. i.e. use TR8S, and slave the pyramid to it)

(of course, if you suddenly decided, that you wanted to do the sequencing of the TR8S from the pyramid, then things might get a bit more complex)

one other thing that is interesting, is if to use the Virus in multi mode or seq mode… you could use either, the main difference (iirc) is then down to how you might use program changes to switch the virus to the correct presets.
(I think you can make either work)

apart from that, I guess scan the forum, see if anyone is missing any ‘feature’ you deem is necessary.
(Im actually pretty happy with it , as is … and intrigued whats going to change in OS 3 :slight_smile: )

btw, I added a pyramid to go with my Virus and have to say its a great combo, really fun and immediate.


sounds like a smart setup and i’m also on a similar mission (but with blofeld and rytm). i agree w/ @thetechnobear and only have to add that patterns are still pretty awkward for me in actual use. i’m trying to just use the 64 tracks, group them into the corresponding ‘songs’ as needed (track names are wonderful for managing this), then coming up with a way to switch to another project if needed. usually this just means letting the drum machine play for a little. switching projects on the Pyramid does mess up the timing and will need to be re-sync’d sadly.

program changes can be a blessing and a curse. when i’ve played sets w/ the virus ti, i try to lump tracks into the same multi and manually switch multis when it’s time to go to the next grouping of things. one stray un-mute of a track with a program change and you will lose any changes made to your multi and it may throw off your set. considering you get 16 parts for each multi, you’ll probably only change these a few times a set.

Funnily enough my original plan was to use the Blofeld but in the end I found the effects too weak for a unit with only two outputs and decided to put it on eBay and replace with a Virus. DSI Tetra and Korg Electribe going the same way as the Blofeld.

I think I can probably squeeze the whole of a set into a single project on the Pyramid. I’m still not quite sure I understand how patterns work even after re-reading the manual though :o)

In the event of having to stop the Pyramid and load a new project, it would be super helpful if OS3 had some kind of locator support so that I can leave the TR8S running and guarantee that when the Pyramid restarts it will do it on beat one of a bar.

It’s heartening to know that there are other people thinking of using the Pyramid in the same way, so far it seems like it will be great fun to jam with and accessible enough not to introduce too much technical complexity and risk of screw-ups.

Driving some of the gritty Virus sounds with the euclidian mode has been very grin inducing so far :o)

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hahaha that sounds very familiar. the Virus TI is right beneath the Blofeld for me (physically in the studio). those are the exact reasons i sold the Blofeld the first time (for the TI), then got one again years later. i do really like the sound of the oscillators and filters, but the effects are pretty bad. multiple outputs would have been a game-changer. Blofeld multimode also pales in comparison to the Virus implementation.

i really like the simplicity and speed of making music when using the Pyramid. just being able to use the pads to plays scales and chords and quickly make independent tracks one after another really fits with how i like to work on things. i also hope some locator sync is put in place. the midibox sequencer has this, and it is super useful.

It’s surely can’t be that hard to implement, just needs a counter for the MIDI clock…

Would pretty much mean that you could play live indefinitely and would be very awesome.

How amenable to that kind of request are the Squarp team?

Hey There guys,

so I see in many of you here are or were blofeld and virus owners.

What do you think is the best multimode.
I have personally Blofeld and thinking to get two to can crossfade songs/multiprogram instead of buying a looper which would cost me near the same of a Blofeld second hand :smiley: … but also wonder how virus is when regarding the multi program switch


In my very humble opinion, the Blofeld has a very interesting synth engine and the bolt on sample option definitely has some appeal too but in terms of solid all-rounder the Virus is a lot stronger. The Bolfeld has slightly dodgy encoders that tend to skip a little, a much less easy to manage mutli-mode and much weaker effects.

If you can afford both and run a hardware rig then get both but if you can only afford one then get the Virus. That said, even an S/H Virus Snow is more expensive than a Blofeld so if budget is a very limiting factor then the Blofeld offers more bang for buck if you can live with its foibles.


Yes … I know all thi factors mostly.

And besides the fact that I like more the Blofeld I also understand how Virus can be more competitive.

I really wonder why the multimode in to Virus is just better.
SOme says that actually the multimode is better in Blofeld, and that the Virus has a too tiny quantity of multi programs .
Blofeld has 128 multi programs, which are not little.


I find the Virus multimode easier to navigate but it’s probably just down to what you’re more familiar with. If you like the Blofeld and it works for you then that’s great, you’ve saved a ton of money and still have a fantastic synth.

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Yes … I love the peculiar character of the Blofeld.
Of course virus, with all those effects, all those pots, it seams very better and I imagine much more responsive, and I am almost sure much more intuitive and easy to use in multimode… I just don’t understand why some said the opposite, so I questioned.

Whatever… like those two 16 channels synthesizers, nothing better this way :wink: … and I think that for TECHNO and surrounding they are really the best at them moment. Polyphonic, fully multitimbral and good sounding machines.
If nord would release a fully multitimbral and high competitive synth , this would be the most expensive and probably the best one. I find quite strange that Nord never tried a combo of synth&drums having the best of both worlds to can show off. Many of us know the fabulous* kicks of the Nord Lead and drums. This for mw the best companion.