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Live mode

 The Live mode

Live Mode is the quickest way to create tracks from scratch.

In your studio, use Live mode to experiment and record your music using the built-in keypad, knobs, touchpad and smartpads (that can be configured as chords harmonizer, advanced beat repeat or a scaled piano).

On stage, play with Pyramid and make your performance lively and creative. Real-time effects allow you to easily generate complex music, always in sync.


Note: the track player zone is described in the Step Mode section.
Pads in Live Mode are divided into two parts: a one-octave keyboard
and 8 smartpads

Note: recorded & processed notes are displayed on the 13 black & white keypads with low luminosity.
Play with the keypad
Use the keypad
to play your live performance. Press  <  or  >  to change the octave.

You can also use external MIDI controllers (keyboards, drumpads, fader surfaces) connected to the Pyramid’s MIDI input to control the current track (control notes with velocity + aftertouch + pitch, or control CC messages).

With OMNI-mode disabled, a controller transmitting MIDI on channel 01 will control track 01A, a controller transmitting MIDI on channel 12 will control track 12A,...

 Tip  Midi effects on the current track will be applied to your live performance, even when using an external controller.

Record your performance
Press rec
(or rec
if the track is paused or stopped) to record your live performance on the current track using the keypads, smartpads, or an external MIDI controller.
Record FX and MIDI automation using the assignable encoders
, the touchpad
, and the analog inputs. (See the Assign section to learn how to assign a control.)

Hard record
Press  2ND +
to activate "hard recording". Previously recorded notes are overwritten in this mode of recording.
When the player is stopped, ”arm” the track for recording by pressing rec
. When you press
, Pyramid sends a MIDI metronome countdown before recording starts - and remains until the end of the track loop.

Define the countdown duration in SETTINGS > MISC > REC COUNTDOWN

Live looper
Pyramid provides you a new way to capture your performance in the style of looper pedals! In this mode, the length of a track grows to fit your initial performance. Press rec
to start recording a loop. Press rec
a second time to stop recording. Track length is now fixed. Perform freely without worrying about pre-determining track length.

To activate Live looper, enter SETTINGS > MISC > LIVE LOOPER and select the looper time quantization (beat = the track length is set to the nearest beat, 1bar = the track length is set to the nearest bar, ...)

Change smartpads type
Hold LIVE and rotate the data knob
to change the function of the 8 smartpads
  • CHORD (default)

Chord smartpads

The Chord Smartpads represent the 7 degrees of the harmonized scale. These harmonized scales are the basis on which almost every song you know is built.

In Pyramid, we use two parameters to build chords: ”tonality” is the first note of your harmonized scale and ”complexity” represents the number of notes in each chord and chord inversion.

If we choose a CMin tonality and 4 notes of complexity, we can obtain the following chords by pressing one (or more) of the smartpads:

Pyramid’s original harmonizer algorithm allows you to quickly select a relative tone by rotating
. Unleash your creativity by building complex harmonies.
Holding  2ND  + rotating
will jump to the next major/minor tonality. Add complexity by pressing and rotating

Press  <  or  >  to shift the chord down or up by octaves.

 Tip  Increasing complexity will add «alterations» and eventually bring you to complex jazzy chords.

 Tip  Set a low complexity value to perform simple chords and then add additional tones with the keypads.

Press DISP to display the generated chords for the 8 smartpads and the currently recorded notes:

Scale smartpads

A scale is an ordered set of musical notes based on a root note. Predefined scales help you easily compose melodic patterns.

Pyramid includes a varied set of scales: Minor scale, Harmonic minor, Minor blues, Major blues, Romanian minor, Tunis scale, Dominant 7th, Spanish scale, Gipsy scale, Arabian scale, Egyptian scale, Hawaiian scale, Japanese scale, Minor third, Fourth scale, Fifth scale, Octave scale, Ionian scale, Dorian scale, Phrygian mode, Lydian mode, Mixolydian mode, Aeolian mode, Locrian mode.

to select a scale in the list:
Hold  2ND  and rotate
to select the root note of the scale.

For instance with the Romanian Minor scale and the root note C, you can perform the following notes using the smartpads:

Press  <  or  >  to shift the scale's octave.
Repeat smartpads
Hold a smartpad
to choose the repeat speed (for example 1/8 = 8 notes per bars) and use the keypad
to play a note repeatedly.

to select the gate of repeated notes(from 0% to 100%):

Press DISP to display the repeat speed of each of the 8 smartpads:

Custom smartpads

This livemode allows you to create and save up to 32 custom chords or scales.

To create a custom chord or scale, play notes with the internal keyboard or an external keyboard: the played notes will be displayed on the screen:

A chord has been played: C3 is the first played note, followed by 3 other notes.
To add the played note or chord into a smartpad, hold  2ND  and press a smartpad
: the smartpad will lit. Then press this smartpad to play with the custom note or chord added.
You can save up to 32 custom chords per project (8 smartpads * 4 banks). To change the bank (A/B/C/D), rotate the menu encoder
To transpose a custom smartpad, hold a smartpad and press  <  or  > . Then you are free to add it in a new smartpad.
To remove a custom smartpad, press the menu encoder
to delete the buffer ("..." will be displayed), then hold  2ND  and press the smartpad to erase:

Press DISP to display an alternative view of the smartpads:

7 smartpads (bank A) have been customized.
Hold & Relatch
Hold  2ND  and press
to activate the HOLD function. Hold allows you to sustain notes played with the keypad, smartpads, or an external MIDI device. Held notes are highlighted on the keypad.

 Tip  Hold is very useful when designing drones/synth pads or experimenting with an effect like the arpeggiator.
When HOLD is enabled,
is displayed on the screen.
Hold  2ND  and press
a second time to activate the RELATCH function, allowing you to hold the last keys or chords played until you play something else.
When RELATCH is enabled, the logo
is displayed on the screen.

Hold  2ND  and press
a third time to go back to regular Live Mode.

Press  2ND  +  copy  to copy the selected track (copy all notes + FX + FX automation + CC automation).

Press  2ND  +  paste  to paste the copied track to the selected track.

All notes, CC automation, FX, FX automation are copied, however track parameters like track length are not.

Press  2ND  +  delete  to delete only notes + CC automation + FX automation of the current track.