Pattern change one bar late issue

What would you call it then?

Just that it is what it is and you shouldn’t expect to be able to sync/use program changes with an Elektron device with anything other than another Elektron device?

So, Elektron workable PC’s are only exclusive to Elektron devices?

It’s clearly a design decision.

The pattern queuing allows for all of these:

  • manual pattern selection
  • manual chain construction
  • syncing pattern changes across multiple devices
  • variable length patterns (although I think they messed this up a bit with the different LEN and Ch.LEN behaviors)
  • consistency between manual and automatic behaviours

The MIDI spec doesn’t define how to produce pattern change behaviour. IIUC it has passing suggestions for options, but leaves the details up to each manufacturer.

Getting them all to agree one system, after they have multiple instruemoents already in the wild, seems like a big ask. Does anyone know if the new MIDI2.0 even has a definition for pattern seitching?

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Another way of putting it: Elektron workable PC’s are exclusive to devices which can send advance notification of pattern change (which includes elektron devices and possibly some others ?)

Example: Model:Cycles sends PCH 0.6 of a step early before pattern change.

EDIT: Quote from an elektron support ticket: the program change needs to be received a few ms before the pattern change is supposed to happen

Yep, I get all that side of it. I really like the complexity of them standalone, the variable pattern/track lengths in particular, and I generally use mine standalone (or OB’ing to Ableton) these days.

Honestly, I’m long past expecting my (6!) Elektron units to work with anything else on a Midi Program Change basis, so when it pops up in threads like this it’s just a bit of a reminder how that side irritates me slightly… I’d love to be able to work standalone with my MPC and Analog Four/Digitone, knowing that I can change sequence on the MPC and have them follow… the same way I can with the TR8S/MC707, or sequences on my Sub37, etc, etc…. But it is what it is.


I’d say, ideally, you should expect to trigger behavior via MIDI in exactly the same way as you trigger the behavior physically.

In the case of changing a pattern, that means you should select the pattern at least a beat or two before you want the actual change to happen so that it “queues up” and starts flashing, ready to change.

I can understand your frustration if you’re using a sequencer that limits when you can send certain MIDI such that you can only send PCs exactly on the bar or something. But that’s a limitation of that sequencer, not a bug in Elektron’s. The Elektron is accurately exposing the behavior it always has (and likely always will have) via its MIDI interface.

At any rate, this isn’t a “you can’t use Elektron device with anything other than another Elektron” thing. I use my boxes with plenty of non-Elektron sequencers, both software and hardware. The only requirement is that you are able to send messages to it as if you were playing it live — which is the whole point of MIDI in the first place.

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Still, the PC is bugged.
Even between Elektrons machines which were supposed to behave the same way.
It works perfectly fine as long as you don’t use track length and so on.

Here is their answer when I sent a ticket regarding this problem 6 months ago:

There is a known bug that can cause patterns to change too late when the receiving device is in PER TRACK scale mode and the master length is higher than 16. This issue has the highest priority to be fixed, but it is unfortunately complex and time consuming. We hope that a fix can be ready soon. I’m very sorry for the inconvenience.

To be honest, as nice as the customer service is, I believe they also just tell you what you want to hear. Truth is, I asked 6 months ago and nothing happened, and I’m sure the request was already made years back …


That’s the thing: Elektron boxes absolutely will pattern change at the right moment when triggered by a non-elektron. The question you should be asking yourself is, “for this device, what is the ‘right moment’?”

When is the right moment to trigger a pattern change on an Elektron sequencer playing another pattern? A beat or two before the current pattern reaches the end of its loop. Send the PC then (again, exactly when you’d normally press the button yourself if playing live) and you will have no problems whether your sequencer is made by Korg or Squarp or whomever.

Now maybe you don’t like the way Elektron queues up pattern changes like this? Maybe you feel it’s a shame that they don’t all have the Direct Start and Direct Jump modes of the A4, for example? That seems a reasonable thing to want from a 700€ box! But it has nothing to do with MIDI or bugs or manufacturer lock in.

And you’d have better luck asking for that feature you wish it had rather than insisting they fix something they clearly don’t even think is broken :wink:

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Fair point. To say “this isn’t a bug” should not be read as “there are no bugs” :slight_smile:

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Yes yes, I was not going against what you said.
I agree with you that most of it is the intended behavior, and from a logical point of view, it makes sense. But yes, aside from this, some other logical behaviors don’t happen the way they should.


How can the elektron know when a pattern change is coming? If the two sequencers are in sync, the pc message will get to the elektron late. They would have to implement a direct change witch would mean that it starts to trigger the old sound, but immediately change. That would sound glitchy. Or they would need to introduce a fixed latency so it could get the pc message when received from another sequencer.


Totally. I’ve just got the COVID and have nothing to do but sit around replying to everything :sweat_smile:

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This is the cop out answer that frustrates and annoys a lot of people, myself included, who are otherwise really happy with their Elektron devices.

In this day and age, you shouldn’t have to stand on one leg while patting your stomach to make a device change in time with everything else. (You know, jump through hoops and make specific allowances on other machines).

@hazer posted a way around this in 4 steps.
His point is correct. If he can do it, really Elektron should be able to do it within the boxes.
A check box that made this happen, maybe at the temporary expense of other timing:Ch.Len options would be fine by most people who have a problem with this I think.

Now, honestly, if you asked me- do you want this functionality to work seamlessly in sync with other devices, but have to full sacrifice the master and per track/part seq length options, I would probably say no and stick with what I have now.

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(Hope the Covid’s not too bad, btw :+1:).

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Do these “everything else” boxes have chains you can make and unmake on the fly?

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+1 Since I switched to using an MPC One as the main hub a couple of years ago, the Elektrons I own get used a lot less. I doubt I’ll buy another one now. Some machines have multimap as a workaround, so they could easily do the same thing with direct change for those of us who want it.

It feels like a personal insult to me these days. I love the machines, but this PC nonsense in is a real dealbreaker for me. The Rytm mk 1 syncs 1 beat late if I attempt to use the MPC PC box at all.

I just hope the MPC gets conditionals, it’s moving in that direction and that’s the thing I love the most about Elektron Sequencing.

I’d love to think they will sort it out one day, but gave up believing that years ago, they don’t give a toss.


Well to be honest, the only one that matters is the one giving out the master sync as the main brain… in my case that’ll be Ableton or my MPC.
Ableton I can figure it out with some planning, sending a PC change via a non-qtsd clip… apparently some people have figured out how to make the MPC’s send early to the Elektron’s, but I haven’t got the patience for that personally. I’d rather fire patterns manually and have a moan here. :upside_down_face:
That means my Elektrons serve as sound modules or sound sources for their patterns, which I’ll record in and use/work on in Ableton/MPC.

What happens when you use an Elektron to drive all the rest? Do they all change early?

It’s not a cop out. It’s literally describing how the machines work. Like, literally literally. The DN manual says:

When a pattern is playing, and a new pattern is selected, the new pattern position is shown flashing in the upper left corner of the screen. Once the last step of the pattern has played, the new pattern starts, and the pattern position ceases to flash.

If you’re not a fan, that’s totally understandable. But it’s not like I’m making it up. :angel:

The thing I find super interesting is how no one has a problem with this outside of sending PCs via MIDI. Everyone’s first experience hands-on with changing patterns on an Elektron is, like, “yeah, that’s how groove boxes are supposed to work.”

Then I suggest they follow the exact same procedure, but with MIDI, and they’re all, “How dare you! Elektron should be ashamed!”

I humbly suggest the behavior expected by the Elektron hasn’t changed between those two reactions. The thing has changed is the tool used to trigger it.

This strongly suggests to me the problem is not with the Elektron’s expectations (which are constant between the two cases) nor Elektron’s sequencer (which people seem to like well enough when using it) — but rather with the new tool one wants to use as a “brain” but for the sudden realization that is has arbitrary limitations like not being able to send MIDI messages when necessary or whatever.

To my mind, that makes it a limited brain. Don’t go blaming the instrument when the brain can’t hack it.

Re: COVID, yup, pretty mild. Just dealing with the quarantine, now. Thanks for the well-wishes!

I wonder if they’ll also fix the M:C and M:S … the bug on those (two) too.

Do you think the new song mode helps with this issue? Haven’t got the time to update and try.