The Step mode
Step Mode is another way to create rhythms and melodies. Unlike Live Mode–where you perform in real-time using the keypad and the smartpads–Step Mode allows you to “program” sequencer information directly into the current track. Step Mode is a great way to get the best from your synthesizers and drum machines.
Pyramid includes 16-step pads , but you are free to extend the length of the track up to 384 bars (384 measures) and zoom up to 1600%: the number of steps is almost infinite! The ability to add multiple notes on a single step, modify the velocity, note width, and offset for each step makes Pyramid one of the most advanced sequencers on the market.
Step Mode also allows you to edit a previously recorded live performance, using the piano roll view.
Change the Stepmode
Stepmode defines how steps are filled. Hold STEP and turn the data knob to select Stepmode from the following modes:
● NOTE (default)
● CC MESSAGES
All stepmodes (except EUCLID) can be used together to create a track. For example, you can add chords with the CHORD stepmode, then edit these chords with the NOTE stepmode, create step-lock automation with CC MESSAGES and EFFECTS stepmodes, go back to NOTE stepmode to add extra notes...
EUCLID stepmode can't be used with NOTE or CHORD stepmodes because the euclidean algorithm takes exclusive control of the track player.
This mode allows you to program notes by filling steps.
Press a step pad to fill it with the current note.
Press the pad again to remove the note. You can add multiple notes on a single step. The pad corresponding to the step filled with the current note will be softly backlit.
TIP Hold 2ND and rotate to scroll the current note list faster.
TIP Preview the current note by pressing . Pressing < or > while pressing allows you to jump octaves and navigate notes more quickly. You can also press a key while holding to directly enter a desired note (or press multiple keys to enter a chord).
At any time, you can zoom to increase the step resolution and navigate the pages with < and > .
Switch to MONO/POLY EDITING by pressing
POLY EDITING is enabled by default. Poly mode is useful when editing tracks controlling polyphonic instruments. This mode allows you to add multiple notes to a single step. In POLY EDITING mode, pads will be softly backlit only if they are filled with the current note, displayed on the screen. When copying steps, copy will only copy the current notes. The same behavior is true for paste , transpose, move horizontally, and for velocity, width, offset quick edits.
To switch to MONO EDITING, press (rec led will lit). It’s useful to edit tracks controlling monophonic instruments, like a classic step sequencer. Whatever the current note is, steps softly backlit if they are filled. You can’t add multiple notes on a single step: all notes of the track are stacked. If you copy some steps, the copy will be effective for all the notes in selection. Same behavior for paste , transpose, move horizontally, and for velocity, width, offset quick edits.
TIP Switch to MONO EDITING to have a global view of which of the 16 steps are filled with notes. If you press a filled step, it will remove all notes in this step, whatever the current note is.
TIP A long press on a step (if MONO EDITING enable) auto-select the nearest note of the step. For example if a step contains a C2 and a C3 note, and if the current note of the piano roll is C4, a long press will select the note C3. Very handy to quickly view or edit a note in a step.
When you add a note on a step, the step is filled with its 3 current parameters: velocity, note width and offset. Default velocity is 100, default note width is 1 step and default offset is 0%.
This means that by default notes will fill a step from its start to its end. Note duration depends on zoom and time signature. If zoom = 100% and note width = 1, an added note will be a quarter note (because the 16 steps represent 16 quarter notes). If zoom = 200% and note width = 1, the added note will be an eighth note (because the 16 steps now represent 16 eighth notes). You can play with the zoom shortcut to edit your track with a high degree of resolution!
● SET NOTE VELOCITY
To change the default note velocity, hold velocity and rotate (from 0 to 127):
TIP Double tap a step pad to add a low velocity note in order to create accents quickly.
● SET NOTE WIDTH
By default notes are played the entire width of a step. To change the default note width, hold width and rotate (from 1/32 of a step to 16 steps):
TIP Using a note width longer than 1 step is an easy way to create slides on monophonic instruments.
● SET NOTE OFFSET
Each note starts at the beginning of a step. To change the default offset, hold offset and rotate (from 0% to 99% of a step):
When you hold a step (or when you hold two steps to select a row of steps), the screen displays the note parameters of the selection:
Note velocities ranges from 60 to 120, note width ranges from 1 step to 4 steps, note offsets ranges from 0% to 45%.
Now you can edit in a flash selected note parameters:
● Rotate encoder 1 to transpose notes
● Rotate encoder 2 to transpose notes, by octaves
● Rotate encoder 3 to increase/decrease velocity
● Rotate encoder 4 to increase/decrease note width
● Rotate encoder 5 to increase/decrease note offset
● Press < or > to move horizontally the selection
TIP In POLY EDITING mode, you will edit only the current note of the selection. In MONO EDITING mode, you will edit all notes of the selection.
TIP Hold to select the entire track, instead of pressing the first and the last step. For example, hold and rotate 1 to transpose all notes.
Use your external keyboard to set the current note, or even a chord, in a flash!
The current step can be filled with a note received on the MIDI input, (for example C3♯). You can also perform a chord with your external keyboard (for example C2+2) instead of a note. So you can fill your step sequence with custom chords:
TIP You can also press a keypad while holding to directly select the note. Select multiple notes to quickly create a custom chord. Pressing < or > while holding allows you to jump octaves.
Press DISP to view the piano roll sequencer:
An example of a track, programmed with notes of different lengths. You are viewing the page 1 of 4 pages. The current note is C4, the current velocity is 127, the current note length is 4 steps and the current offset is 0%. If you press a step to add a note, the note will be added with these parameters.
It's a great way to see the notes you are editing, for example:
● In POLY EDITING, hold and rotate to transpose the current notes of the track (e.g. all C4 notes).
● In POLY EDITING, hold a step and rotate to transpose the current note of the step.
● In MONO EDITING, hold and rotate to transpose all notes of the track.
● In MONO EDITING, hold a step and rotate to transpose all notes of the step.
TIP Press STEP to go to the nearest note. Press STEP again to go to the next nearest note.
This mode is similar to the Note Stepmode except the steps are filled with chords.
TIP Hold 2ND and rotate to change the chord tonality.
Press a step-by-step pad to fill it with a chord. A step filled with a chord is semi-highlighted.
TIP Preview to the selected chord by pressing .
You can add one chord per step. If you add a chord to a step that has already been filled, the previous chord will be replaced with the new one.
There are 7 chord degrees across the 10 octaves:
I  II  III  IV  V  VI  VII
These are the same chords you will find on the Live Mode’s chord smartpads (chord degree I is smartpad 1, chord degree III is smartpad 3, etc.)
The chord tonality (by default CMAJ) and the chord complexity (by default 3) can be set in the Live Mode using the chord smartpads.
Note: Read the Live Mode section for further details about chord generation.
Press DISP to view the piano roll sequencer:
An example of a track, programmed with chords of different lengths. You are viewing the page 1 of 1 page. The selected chord root note is E4, the current velocity is 127, the current note length is 2 steps and the current offset is 0%.
The Euclidean sequencer provides one of the most intuitive ways to create uncommon and rich rhythmic patterns
Originally derived from nuclear physics, and then applied to music theory, an Euclidean algorithm evenly generates distributed notes (fills) among a defined number of available slots (steps).
This leads to a great number of well-known rhythm patterns, as well as many odd-sounding ones. Almost all traditional rhythms from across the world can be generated with this tool, which is why we decided to implement on the Pyramid.
The EUCLID stepmode takes exclusive control of the track player. You can’t use it together with NOTE and CHORD stepmodes. When you change stepmodes, EUCLID is activated at the STEP pad release, and NOTE + CHORD stepmodes are disabled. As soon as you switch to NOTE, CHORD, CC MESSAGES or EFFECTS stepmodes, EUCLID is disable again.
Hold euclid step and rotate to select the number of notes in your pattern. Hold euclid fills and rotate to select the number of steps in your pattern.
Press 2ND + < or 2ND + > to rotate the pattern. Turn to change the triggered note (for example C3♯) and use note width to change the gate.
By default, there are 16 euclid steps (1 bar) and 4 euclid fills.
Turn to change the triggered note (for example C3♯) and use note width to change the gate.
Press DISP to view the Euclidean circle:
TIP Steps that are filled with notes are displayed on the pads. You can press a pad to add or remove steps and thus create your own pattern.
You can create multiple euclidean tracks to generate complex rhythmic patterns. Each pattern will be 1 bar or shorter in length, but if each bar is a different length, they will shift against each other creating a constantly changing loop.
TIP Decrease the time signature lower number to multiply the euclidean pattern length. By default the time signature of a euclidean track is 4/16 (1 bar long) but you can set a 4/8 time signature (2 bars long), a 4/4 time signature (4 bars long)...
CC messages Stepmode
This stepmode allows you to create CC automation.
Using select a CC message (0 to 119), PITCH BEND, PRESSURE or PROGRAM CHANGE message you want to automate. Hold 2ND and rotate to scroll the CC list faster:
PITCH BEND message is selected, the current value is 63
Now you can fill steps with the selected CC message. Hold velocity and rotate (or hold velocity and slide the touchpad from left to right) to select a CC value, from 0 to 127:
PITCH BEND automation is selected, the current value is 127 (if you press a step, a pitch=127 message will be added)
Continue to hold velocity while activating step pads to create steps with different CC values.
At any moment, press DISP to display the automation:
A 16-step automation of the PITCH BEND message. The dotted line represent the current CC value.
TIP Press ASSIGN to activate ENCODER STEP EDIT. This allows you to select the current CC value directly with the touchpad X axis or with the encoder 3 .
This stepmode can also be used to display and edit automation recorded in live mode, for example CC10 value performed with the touchpad:
A live recorded automation of the CC10 (PAN) message.
As in other stepmodes, you can zoom to increase the step resolution and navigate the automation pages with < and > :
A live recorded automation of the CC10 (PAN), zoomed.
You can create an infinite number of automation on the same track, rotate to select another CC message and program another automation!
TIP Press the menu encoder to "preview" the current (dotted line) CC value.
TIP Press STEP to go to the nearest CC automation. Press STEP again to go to the next nearest CC automation.
Hold while sliding the touchpad to draw a CC automation. Very useful for experimenting with complex automation in a flash!
Each new automation drawn will delete the last automation.
Hold a step and rotate the encoder 3 to increase or decrease the step’s automation. Very useful for quickly creating step-lock automation.
You can also increase or decrease a row of steps , by pressing the first and last step, and rotating the encoder 3 .
TIP Hold and rotate 3 to equally increase or decrease all the values of an existing CC automation.
This stepmode allows you to create FX parameters automation. First, you need to add at least one effect with the FX manager on the current track, for example an arpeggiator.
In EFFECTS stepmode, select the effect parameter you want to automate by rotating :
ARPEGGIATOR effect: RATE parameter is selected, the current parameter value is 1/4
Now you can fill steps with FX parameters. To choose the parameter value, hold velocity and rotate (or hold velocity and slide the touchpad from left to right):
ARPEGGIATOR effect : RATE parameter is selected, the current parameter value is 1/32 (if you press a step, a rate=1/32 message will be added)
Fill some steps with different parameters values. Press DISP to display the automation:
A 16-step automation of the ARPEGGIATOR effect : RATE parameter
TIP Press ASSIGN to activate ENCODER STEP EDIT. Then you can select the current FX value directly with the touchpad X axis or with the encoder 3 .
As in other stepmodes, you can zoom to increase the step resolution and navigate the automation pages with < and > to create a complex automation:
A 64-step automation of the QUANTIZER effect : GRID parameter
This stepmode can also be used to display and edit automation recorded in live mode, for example a swing automation performed with an encoder:
You can create an infinite number of automation on the same track. Rotate to select another effect parameter and program another automation!
Hold while moving your finger across the touchpad to draw FX automation. Very useful for experimenting with complex automation!
Newly drawn automation replaces all prior automation on that track.
Hold a step and rotate 3 to increase or decrease that step’s automation value. Very useful for quickly creating step-lock automation.
You can also edit FX parameters on a sequential range of steps . Select a range of steps by holding the first and last step and rotate 3 .
TIP Hold and rotate 3 to increase or decrease the whole existing FX automation.
Track player: pages, zoom and length
The track player zone displays data on of the current track:
Track length (number of bars)
Page position (viewed bars on the 16 pads)
Player position (sequencer track progression)
A default track is 4-bars long. Therefore, the track player zone displays 4 white measures: they are the 4 measures you can see on the 16 pads (currently viewed page) in Step Mode. These 16 pads represent 16 steps = 16 quarter notes.
If you want to program a longer or shorter track, hold TRACK + length and rotate to change the bar number of the track to 16 bars for example:
Press < or > to navigate through the pages:
TIP Hold < or > to quickly navigate.
To change the pad resolution, hold TRACK + zoom and rotate . For example, 2 bars are displayed in 200% zoom on a row of 16 pads, also called a page. In 400% zoom, only 1 bar is displayed.
TIP Microscope mode: 1600% zoom provides you with the highest degree of precision to edit your track step by step.
Note: all examples given reference a standard 4/4 time signature. Pages always represent a 4/4 measure. This convention is used because all 16 physical pads can be divided into four 4/4 measures. For all other time signatures, represents all pages, and represents the currently active group of 16 pads.
In all stepmodes (NOTE, CHORD, EUCLID, EFFECTS, CC MESSAGES) press 2ND + < or 2ND + > to shift the track notes or the track automation one step left or right.
Zooming in changes the track resolution (step length) and allows you to rotate your track with increasing precision.
TIP Press 2ND and hold < or > to quickly rotate your track.
Press 2ND + copy + any step to copy all the notes or automation contained in a step.
You can copy multiple steps by pressing 2ND + copy + the first and the last steps of your selection.
Then you can paste notes and automation in the current track or in another track. Press 2ND + paste + the step .
Note: copy/paste is not available in EUCLID stepmode.
Press 2ND + delete + any step to delete all the notes contained in the step.
Note: delete is not available in EUCLID stepmode.
Encoder step edit
At startup, the 5 encoders can be used to assign a CC or FX parameter, in every mode. But they can do more. In STEP mode, you can decide to assign directly the 5 encoders and the touchpad to step shortcuts.
Simply press ASSIGN to enable the "encoder step edit" feature:
It's a great way to edit your notes and automation, you no longer have to rotate while pressing a green shortcut.
In stepmode NOTE, encoders & touchpad will control:
2 note octave
3 note velocity
4 note width
5 note offset
touchpad X note velocity
In stepmode CHORD, encoders & touchpad will control:
1 chord degree
2 chord tonality
3 chord velocity
4 chord width
5 chord offset
touchpad X chord velocity
In stepmode EUCLID, encoders & touchpad will control:
1 euclid steps
2 euclid fills
3 euclid velocity
4 euclid gate length
touchpad X euclid velocity
In stepmode CC, encoders & touchpad will control:
3 CC value
touchpad X CC value
In stepmode EFFECTS, encoders & touchpad will control:
3 FX value
touchpad X FX value
TIP In LIVE mode, you can also use the touchpad to set the velocity of the keyboard and the smartpads.
Press ASSIGN again to disable these shortcuts.
In stepmode NOTE and stepmode CC MESSAGES, press 2ND + STEP to activate the filter, in order to scroll only through programmed notes or CC messages. A popup is displayed for a few time:
For example, in NOTE stepmode, rotating will jump to the next programmed note (e.g. D4), useful if use a wide range of notes. In CC MESSAGES stepmode, rotating will jump to the next CC automation (e.g. Program Change).
When the filter is activated, a circle pictogram is displayed next to the stepmode name:
Press 2ND + STEP to exit the filter mode.
The viewed page (viewed bars on the 16 pads) can auto-follow the player position if you press 2ND + DISP. Useful if you are working on multiple pages.