MIDI Sequencing: OT vs DT vs Pyramid/Cirklon/Etc

Hello. I’m a recent convert to the Elektron workflow having purchased the A4 and AR mk2 machines. I’m a long time musician/composer and bought the Elektron devices to break out of the DAW-first approach to music production. I still use Ableton for initial melodic/chord ideation but then switch to Elektron /HW devices to execute the vision.

In addition to the A4 and AR, I also own a Virus TI2 and am about to purchase either the OB-6 or Prophet 6. The final piece of the workflow is a MIDI sequencer. I absolute love the Elektron workflow and so I’ve been considering the OT even though I know it’s not the most capable MIDI sequencer available. I don’t do a ton of sampling so the AR has me covered there, but for some reason I’m still leaning towards the OT due to the workflow.

I’m on the waiting list for the Cirklon but I’m not holding my breath. The other option is the Pyramid. I don’t love the ergonomics and it seems a bit cheap but it does seem capable.

I’ve scoured the forums here and I’ve found some great older threads on this topic but just wanted to solicit opinions/feedback on the current state of the aforementioned machines. Should I just say screw it and get the OT? Or will the Pyramid hold me over until the Cirklon is available?

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Cirklon seems the best, linear / step sequencer with tons of options.

I have OT, would miss a lot its 3 lfos / arp per track if I had a DT instead. DT has better Program Change implementation, overlapping notes*, but no song mode.
They both have midi trig conditions.
I have an MPC500 if needed.

I don’t know Pyramid much, seems to have a particular approach, really interesting, but not my cup of tea I think.

*On OT the 4 (max) notes have same length, defined with the trig, they are stopped if you place a trig before the end of the notes.

Ot has something magical with realtime sampling / mangling / crossfader.


I think the cirklon seems cool but there doesn’t seem to be a lot you can’t get done between an MPC type sequencer and an OT/DT. from what I’ve read the only thing I can really find that doesn’t seem to be many places outside the circling is “intertrack modulation” which is something to do with the tracks interacting with each other? I don’t know, it’s not something I’m at a loss without. You might feel a bit limited using just an elektron as a midi sequencer but you can get a lot done. I just like to have proper linear polyphonic sequencing and smooth CC automation. Depends on your genre really. Can’t speak for the pyramid cause I’ve not looked into it. It does CV though if that’s any use to you. Consider an MPC I say

Hard to say. We would need more details on what your expectations are from a MIDI sequencer - like are you a pattern sequencer kind of person or you want a linear style? What is your polyphony requirement? How many tracks to you need? How many devices will you be sequencing, etc.

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I use both OT and Pyramid for midi sequencing.

I like both and I keep both.

Solid, LFOs, powerful Arp. It’s definitely a capable midi sequencer.
And it’s super convenient to have the possibility to play sample, resample, mangle from the same machine.

In terms of midi sequencing, is much more powerful and versatile to me.
More features.More tracks, more steps! The “midi FX” are quite nice.
Polyrhythm sequencing. Euclidian mode.
I really like to use automations on the Pyramid.
I find it very ergonomic. I prefer the Pyramid screen and buttons too.

My opinion is that if you’re after a midi sequencer only (you really don’t plan to use the sampling/resampling features of the OT), the Pyramid is MUCH more interesting.

The most fun I’ve had with midi sequencing is using the OP-Z. Thing looks like a toy, but it’s sequencer is one of a kind! I highly recommend it.

I have a DN and MPC Live as well.

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I would say that for midi sequencing the pyramid is top at the moment. Just make sure you have a midi bay so you can get optimum use out of it. The cirklon is potentially even better however the chances of owning one are quite slim due to the wait list. SO I would advise the pyramid. Octatrack can midi sequence but its really more of a bonus rather than its best facet.


I think also the Pyramid is a top Sequencer without waiting time of 2 years. If you dont like the Pyramid maybe a Manikin Schrittmacher would be better for you :wink:
I heard the Workflow is not so easy on a Cirklon. The other 2 Sequencer are very comfortable in workflow.

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Pyramid is solid, nice handling and some unique stuff.

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I have some sequencers here in the studio (including OT and Pyramid) and would say for working and editing midi out-of-the-box the Pyramid is an excellent machine.

Many benefits have already been mentioned. There is one feature since OS 3.x, which is great and I would like to add:

We can create Definition-Files for particular gear. Those files are pure text files and we can give the CCs of a machine names, which then appear on the screen, like Filter-Cutoff, LFO-Speed etc.

After learning some of the hotkey combinations, the work flow is very fluid.

If you have the time, check out their manual to see it’s potential, even in a live situation.

Exchanging midi data files with a DAW works pretty well too.


The workflow on the Cirklon is pretty easy, once you figure it out. I’ve had mine now for a year and a half. The manual for the cirklon is excellent but learning from others is difficult because there are so few Cirklons in the wild. It can do so much and you could spend the rest of your life trying to learn and experience all it can do. it has a ridiculous amount of midi/usb ports and the clock is rock solid. the instrument definitions are great, and you can have a bunch of different definitions for the same instrument depending how you want to use it. Cirklon Aux events are dope, and you can get very creative with them.

As per the Pyramid, I had the Pyramid and sold it when I got my Cirklon and that was before the PyraOS 3.0 release. I found the song mode to be grossly lacking and disappointing. I enjoyed the midi effects though and writing and editing polyphonically was a breeze. It’s very easy to get started and there are a wealth of videos on in on the internet. it’s also quite small and lightweight and not too expensive.

As per the octatrack I’m not going to go in crazy depth here, but I found that the octatrack has probably the best song mode out of all the sequencers mentions above. You can start in the middle of a pattern, you can trigger the same pattern but with different mutes, etc. so you don’t end up copying basically the same pattern over and over but with just different tracks muted.

My current work flow is using the Octatrack as the Master Clock and sending prg changes to the Cirklon. I create a bunch of scenes on the Cirklon that map to the banks and patterns on the Octatrack. Cirklon controls everything on a “pattern level” including the octatrack. I then feed the sequenced things back into the octatrack as a mixer.


Thanks for all the awesome, thoughtful responses. The Elektron community continues to impress!

It sounds like the best approach for me based on the general consensus here is to get both the OT and Pyramid. A couple of you guys mentioned some killer sequencing features on the OT that I wasn’t aware of and that’s confirmed to me that it will be a great addition to my workflow given my love of Elektron sequencing. And at the same time, the flexibility of the Pyramid will augment what I can’t do on the OT (overlapping notes, higher polyphony, etc.).

Super helpful stuff!

Yes, I like the OT song mode best too. The Pyramid way of using sequences as mute states is sometimes a bit clunky, as such I often prefer to use the Pyramid as a pattern rather than song sequencer, mostly.

The Deluge also has a very good arranger, might be worth a look.

If you dont mind DIY go for a Midibox SEQV4+.

I had a Pyramid and a Kilpatrick Carbon, they both are a bit pale in comparison.

Midibox does everything those two do and even more. Developers are friendly and helpful!

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do you sold your pyramid jingo? i have one for a month for my eurorack the hermod…love it genius sequencer :slight_smile:

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I’ve heard great things about this device and considered it for a moment, but I don’t have the bandwidth to assemble it. It’s a good one to keep in mind if the Pyramid doesn’t work out though…


Yap, sold it, never looked back, instead I use this one now:

absolutely lovely device :slight_smile:


Indeed, was lucky to find help to assemble it… :slight_smile:

Pionner squid

I will say this, triggering pattern changes from [somebox] -> to [some elektron box] is a huge pain in the ass, you have to pre send the prg change. Cirklon has a nice feature where your can define that in the instrument definition. Every other sequencer I’ve used fails miserably in this regard.

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