Track reset after X steps/bars

What is the problem?

Currently it is not possible to make a track reset on the Play after a defined amount of time independently of its length.

What do you want to achieve?

Simpler creation of music with polyrhythms or polymeters. The Play allows to create tracks with different lengths and tempos, but in many situations you want to reset to sync back the rhythms.

Good examples of the types of rhythms sought can be found for instance in the music of Meshuggah. See Meshuggahs' 'Clockwork' is all 2's and 3's - YouTube, MESHUGGAH et la MUSIQUE ALGORITHMIQUE ??? - YouTube (in French) and more.

For this, it should be possible to set an automatic reset for any track independently after a defined amount of time, from 1/64 to 16 bars at least, with the ability to set any number from 1 to 64 steps, then count in bars (to avoid scrolling a large number of steps).

This parameter is close to the track length/play mode, it could may be dialed by holding shift + track length or something like that on the selected track(s).

Are there any workarounds?

Currently no workaround.

The only way to force tracks to reset is by changing patterns, and this resets all tracks at the same time and it is hard to count specific reset times that are not full bars.

Any links to related discussions?

Any references to other products?

Elektron (Rytm, Octatrack at least)
Intellijel Metropolix
Torso t-1

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Hi @galak8, welcome to Backstage.

This wish is about the possibility to have different track lengths on the Tracker to create polyrhythms / polymeters, right? There was this other request about this topic, which was declined:

If this is the same wish, then we will merge them.

Thanks a lot for your reply ! The use of the “Track” word in the title is misleading, it is refering to the implementation of a way to reset a track in the Play, not in the Tracker. The Play can already achieve polymeters since the tracks can have different lengths/play speeds. However, the wish here would be the abilty to set a defined reset time for a track.

For example, let’s make a track that has a length of 7 steps, and let’s set its reset time on 32 steps. The track will play 4 times (4x7 = 28) + 4 steps, and then on the 33rd step, it resets at beat one instead of finishing its last three steps.

In other words, the “track reset length” parameter per track sets the number of steps/bars the sequence will play before resetting.

Currently, the only way to reset a track is to change the pattern or change the variation. The ability to set a reset time per track would allow to have more control, more complex sequences and longer variations possibilities (over the 64 steps limit) without having to program pattern change or variations (which would be awesome to be able to do as well).

The track reset length parameter could be accessible while holding shift + turning track length knob.

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Doh, I’m so sorry. I had missed the #play tag. This is what happens when you review drafts before your first green tea activates a few more neurons. :grimacing:

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I find it reasonable, because I love to mess with odd number of steps. Syncing tracks back becomes too difficult. Maybe some resetting/syncing shortcut would be handy too (so many buttons and sensitive knobs).

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I have edited the wish with the intention to make it more clear. I have also removed additional wishes embedded, following the guideline.

For the lazy among us, do you mind providing a link to a specific song, for instance on YouTube? I mean, the point about polyrhythms / polymeters is clear already but they have produced a lot of music over the decades, and a link will help illustrating the point. :slight_smile:

If I understand you correctly, this is not a workaround available today, and therefore a workaround, right?

On the other hand, what about having different patterns and then jump from one pattern to another? The next pattern will start from scratch and therefore the tracks will be reset. Wouldn’t that be a simple workaround?


Thanks a lot !

Here is a great video that explains the ‘forced reset’ that Meshuggah uses a lot with nice visuals (see the “Réalignement forcé” part, unfortunately this one is in French but you get a visual hint while listening to the song, so hopefully it is understandable) : MESHUGGAH et la MUSIQUE ALGORITHMIQUE ??? - YouTube

Otherwise, there are many excellent videos from Yogev Gabay about different Meshuggah’s songs (I recommend them all), I couldn’t find one explicitely focused on the “reset” theme, but this topic is recurrent in all the analyses, one example here : Meshuggahs' 'Clockwork' is all 2's and 3's - YouTube

The workaround with changing pattern is not exactly a workaround. By changing the pattern, you are forced to reset all tracks at the same time, and unless you are very good at counting, it is hard to know when to reset after a number of steps that is not easily translatable to full (or half) bars. So having a reset per track would allow to have tracks reset automatically when you program it, and other that don’t reset. So changing pattern is a very limited workaround and implies to manually change the patterns.
WHen thinking about making things automatic, in the current pattern chain mode, the pattern plays only one time and its length is defined by the longest track (which cannot be longer than 64 steps), so it is very limiting for automatic programmation and impossible to program specific reset times for different tracks.

Since the variations are per track, being able to chain them could be a workaround in the future, but it would always be more limiting than being able to fix a reset time per track, so the best would be, exactly as you can set a track length, being able to set a track reset length.

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Indeed, it could be solved with the ability to chain variations. You can check the related wish and vote, because it could be the workaround at some point:

In that wish I also wanted to suggest the ability to combine multiple variations into a “block”: a looped chain. Having this, player could create:

  • longer sequences
  • resets like described here
  • randomization within a loop/block/chained sequences (choose the name you like more)
  • multiple “blocks” allowing to switch not only between the variations, but between chains made out of them (for example, tracks’ row can have 4 chains of 4 variations each; or 8 chains, 2 each etc)

In order to simplify the wish it was deleted, but you can find the details in the 14th edit of the first post (click “wiki edit”). Anyways, feel free to copypaste this and make a new wish, if you want.

Maybe this is also could be related:


Thank you for your additional feedback. I think this draft is ready now.

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@here doesn’t something as simple as switching a pattern fulfill this wish? :slight_smile: After pattern which I think all tracks restart.

@miropoly I asked the same question above, and @galak8 responded with a good point:

Phew. OK, sorry I missed it. You guys are making some muy complex sequenceeez :brain: ; )

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One small “step” for Play, one giant leap for music? :wink:

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even though it’s up to the team to decide how to fulfill this wish, but reading the topic starter’s problem once again, I think that chained variations is the answer to everything. some specific reset functionality will hardly be used, I guess, while the concept of chaining could make both resets and many other things possible, for complex and simple grooves. every X sequence it could be a completely different variation with different length, samples and automations that just can’t be built with current random or “every N do x” chance settings. without chains, on the other hand, it cannot be automated.

you know me, I’ve posted a lot of stuff :sweat_smile: but the variation functionality is the coolest thing in the device, and I can’t wait for upgrades in this field. such chains would make meta steps out of variations.

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The reset function would allow to have automations without too much headaches (we just set it and forget it), and allow some more possibilities than with just variations chains. I see the reset function really as an addition more than just a shorcut to chained variations. So if we can have both reset and variations chaining, it’s even better !! That’d be a hell of a rhytmic sequencer !! But I reckon if one were to be chosen of the two, chain variations would be a workaround (depending on the implementation, it could be limiting in some cases), but it would require some mental calculus and preparation to get the variations ready and chain them, which isn’t all that bad x) I agree the variation functionality one of Play’s strength !!

@here thanks for the wish! Ready for voting :slight_smile: