Planning a Syntakt live set - transition strategies

I will play some techno sets with my syntakt + small modular setup in the near future.

I usually use 4 patterns per song, using the 1st and 4th pattern of each song to do transitions, mostly using big reverbs, delays, filters, decays, highpass on kicks, you name it.
Or is just strip down the track, taking most percussion or synths out completely.

Still, the transitions feel a bit rough sometimes.

What are your syntakt transition techniques?


Silence ? :content:
A synced additional sequencer…

Because of delay with tempo or time change ? Reverb pre delay can cause artifacts too.
If it’s the case, l’d set fx accordingly for the transition pattern(s).

Not really because of the delay, more because the aesthetic of the song changes

If you want to make it sound like a continuous dj set a looper would be a suitable addition.

If you have a fixed Playlist you can use different patterns to introduce certain elemtent of the next song.

For example the drums are from song A, but the bass line is from song B. That’s a less flexible arrangement and requires more preparation but you can play a set with just the syntakt.


Speaking for myself, every time I start building a set I think something like “and this is exactly how I’ll make the transition from here to there” and then it literally never ever works that way. No matter what, through copious practice and really trying to inhabit (for lack of a better word) the material things grow in places and ways that I did not expect. So my advice for clunky transitions is to really get in there and fuck with it. Get weird. Try something that seems counterintuitive or even stupid! There’s only one way to find out and you could easily surprise yourself.

I also second the notion that a looper of some description is a fine thing to have.


If you want to make it sound like a dj mix, forget it. Otherwise i think it doesn’t really matter too much how smooth the transition between the songs is. Listen to Cenk’s sets for example. He does it quite well but you still notice when the next track begins.


That’s pretty much how I do it. I prepare like this: Patterns 1-8 are my “songs”. The patterns below are dedicated for transitions. This makes it easy for me to zig-zag through the patterns and be certain it’s gonna work. I play pattern 1-9-2-10-3-11… and so on.
The transition patterns in the second row (9-16) consist of tracks, instruments/machines and sequences of both neigbouring patterns from the first row. Usually preparation works like this: I copy pattern 1 to p9. Then (on p9) I replace tracks 5-8 with the same tracks from pattern 2. Now I can go from p1->p9 without any audible changes, unmute tracks 5-8 and introduce parts of p2, then switch to p2 completely.
The dedicated transition patterns can result in pretty interesting “songs” themselves and I oftentimes jam on them for a while before advancing the set.

Combine this with your usual techniques like:

mostly using big reverbs, delays, filters, decays, highpass on kicks, you name it.
Or is just strip down the track, taking most percussion or synths out completely.

and you’re pretty much there having smooth, interesting transitions.


Very clever how you setup each pattern to move between them using neighbouring.
A lot of preparation, I can imagine, but you have freedom to play the songs as you like.

That’s nice!

I tried similar on my Rytm, using the Pattern immediately before the “next” song as the transition. The process failed, for me, for two reasons:

  1. one sound I really wanted to play through the transition pattern was modified whilst playing in the previous Pattern. When I changed to the intermediate pattern + kit, the sound cut off (and the patch reset to the copy of the original unmodified sound). As far as I know, Rytm doesn’t have a setting that lets sounds play through on another Pattern+Kit until there’s a Trig on the new Pattern.
  2. Ì had a bunch of incompatible tempo changes through the set

There will be ways around both of these, but at the time I was hurrying to meet a deadline and haven’t refined the set further since the performance.

In my opinion without a Looper you have noch chance to fade between two Tracks of the same Elektron Machine.
But there are a few Options out there. You can use an Octractrack of course, or a RMX-1000, the Boss Looper or the Xone DB:4.

The expense of preparing like this really isn’t the worst, I kind of developed a routine for this by now. Except if I want to change the set/order of patterns (“songs”) played, then it can be a bit of a hassle, still not too bad though and totally worth it. (Really really hope elk-herd gets update to work with ST!)

And btw: Two neat side-effects of the process are that the transition-patterns really have a high chance of/provoke “happy accidents” and that they can effectively prolongue a 60 minute-one-bank-8pattern performance to about 90 minutes for me.


I’m also using the bottom row patterns (9-16) for transitions between the top row patterns. Learned it from a YT video from @MilesKvndra.
In your example, do you basically not use tracks 5-8 in pattern 1 as they will only come in with the transition pattern 9 leading to pattern 2?
On Syntakt, with 12 tracks in total, this sacrifice might be manageable but with my DT I couldn’t leave 4 out of 8 tracks blank in each main (top row) pattern.


I still use tracks 5-8.
Usually I have drums on 1-4 and pads/melodic stuff on 5-9.
Meaning on the transition pattern 9 I mix drums (T1-4) of P1 with melodic/ambient/noise stuff (T5-8) of P2, then mute the drums on P9 and move on to P2 to bringing in the new drums (again on T1-4) of the next “song”. This also provides an opportunity to create a nice “drop”.


I see, sounds good!

How do you sequence the modular? If it’s from the ST, then the modular won’t help you too much. Then indeed either prepping in-between patterns or a looper.

Currently I have a ST + 6U modular as setup, but sequenced partially external from a Hapax. Some prepped tracks lean more on the ST, others are mostly using my modular (sometimes even almost only my Bitbox Micro). In that case I can switch the Syntakt when the modular is taking lead.

I used to use the dedicated transition pattern approach. While being safe, I found it so boring. It’s like having a bag of records but you only can mix them in the same sequence every time.
A looper is essential for blending using a standalone box imo. I find there is more chance for error and you have to know your patterns a bit more, but it’s so much more fun.


A looper would be a good addition to the Analog heat + Fx.


Fully agree. The OT + transition trick works really well for this and opened up my live sets quite a bit.

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I’ll probably get an OT eventually for this reason alone. Right now the rc202 looper is doing the trick.

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I really like these tips!
My stuff is generally scattered in little clusters of patterns.
I think I’ll try these out.