Incrementing/decrementing pattern number using sysex

Hello all! Has anyone had success using sysex messages to increment/decrement pattern numbers on any Elektron gear? I’m looking to do it on the Machinedrum and/or Monomachine.

I need this for a show where I’m controlling the Machinedrum via a programmable MIDI footswitch whilst playing guitar. At present I can easily assign a switch to send a PC message to load a specific pattern, but I’d also like to be able to use a single switch to scroll through the patterns with each push. The controller itself can’t send a PC increment message, but I can use it to send sysex.

I’m totally new to sysex messages, but have been able to load a specific pattern- eg. f0, 00, 20, 3c, 02, 00, 57, 7f, f7 will load pattern H16. Is there a way to edit this sysex message to increment/decrement instead of specifying a certain pattern?

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Welcome @Megageoff!

The MD and MM are the only Elektron instruments whose SysEx spec is publicly available. Some developers have figured out the SysEx implementation on the Analog Four/Keys and the Analog Rytm.

As I’m sure you’ve seen, the basic SysEx documentation for the MD and MM are given in Appendix C of the respective manuals. There is no message to increment or decrement the next-playing pattern number.

The way to do it would be for your controller device to add or subtract one from the current pattern number and send the new number to the instrument. You didn’t say which footswitch you are using, but I guess it doesn’t have that kind of capability.

The Map editor (MD) or Multi Map Editor (MM) feature is also useful for this kind of application, and uses MIDI Note messages instead of SysEx, but your controller still needs to be smart enough to increment or decrement the note number itself.


Hi Peter! is possible to know what controller(s) are capable to do this task?
or if with the Keith Mcmillen Quneo you can make it? :thumbsup:


I built a reaktor patch a while ago that would do this, but it’s no fun to drag a laptop out to a show. Reaktor player is free I believe so let me know if you want it

As far as I can see, the QuNeo cannot calculate and create a message to switch to the next or previous pattern. It basically requires a computer-like device to do so.

In an ideal world, Elektron would define a specific MIDI message that could be sent to the OT to achieve this, but we have not yet persuaded them to do so.


Hi Peter, thanks for your reply. I’m using a Source Audio Soleman as the pedal. It has different modes but the most configurable one (that can send notes/pc/cc/sysex and macros which can combine multiple messages) doesn’t have a function to increment or decrement pc, nor notes. I suppose I was wondering if there was a generic sysex message to address this ‘under the hood’ as eg. I’ve been able to send generic start/stop messages to the MD via sysex, even though they aren’t mentioned in the sysex spec in the manual. I have had a search for such a message on but can’t find one, so it may be that I won’t be able to do this unless the pedal manufacturer implements this feature in a future firmware update, as you suggest.

That’s good to know, thanks! At present I’m hell-bent on a mission to have our live show laptop free, but you never know…

Hi! The Source Audio Soleman can do this in one of its modes, as can many generic MIDI controllers designed for patch changes in midi-equipped guitar rigs (eg. look at Roland fc300, Behringer pcb). My problem here is specific to the show, where I need to be able to have start/stop and pc messages accessible from a single bank.

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OK,now I understand a little more what you want to do. As far as I can see, you don’t need MIDI SysEx messages at all. All the Elektron instruments allow you to select the next pattern by sending a MIDI Program Change message with a value that matches the pattern that you want to switch to (value 0 = pattern A01, value 1 = pattern A02 etc).

I looked at the User’s Guide for the Soleman and saw that its Scene Mode steps through its own programs in sequential order and that you can use the Soleman’s “Previous” and “Next” footswitches to change scenes incrementally/decrementally. If you use the default Soleman behaviour to send MIDI Program messages, the Elektron gear can be configured to change pattern in exactly the way that I believe you want. All this is based just on reading page 8 of the Soleman menu. There is no need to use SysEx messages.

If you want to get fancier, you could use the Soleman’s List Mode to customize the order in which the Elektron instruments’ patterns are stepped through, or use MIDI notes from the Soleman to trigger patterns according to the MD’s Map or the MM’s Multi Map configuration, or both. But maybe that’s best ignored until you have achieved your initial goal, which should be rather easy.

In fact, the Soleman looks like a rather nifty piece of MIDI gear, and I will be investigating it further thanks to you.

Just for completeness, “Start” and “Stop” are generic MIDI messages and therefore there would be no need for them in a SysEx implementation. SysEx (System Exclusive) messages can be optionally specified by the manufacturer of an instrument on top of the generic MIDI vocabulary, and so would not be given in the basic MIDI specification anyway.

Hi Peter, thanks again - I’m aware of these features, but unfortunately I need to use Panel mode because I have to send start/stop messages to control the MD mid-performance (eg. for rests, although I suppose I could also use a blank pattern…), so at present i’d need to send those from panel mode and then switch to scene mode mid-song by reaching down and pressing a button on the unit (or I might be able to use an external footswitch to do this?) which isn’t ideal. I’ve managed a slight work around by using sysex start/stop consolidated to single switch which sends a sysex start macro and a stop macro via on/off latching modes (otherwise you need to use realtime messages which have to be assigned to separate switches at the moment), leaving another 3 free for patterns (which I can also latch, giving access to 6 possible patterns). I also just realised that I can scrolll through panels by pressing both left or both right switches simultaneously…

The good news is also that Source Audio are going to implement an incremental message for panel mode in future firmware updates - they just responded to my email. It’s a great piece of gear and Source are obviously keen to respond to user feature requests, so good on them!

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You could set a blank pattern to be your “Favourite Scene” and seemingly toggle in and out of it at will using the dedicated switch.

Still, if Source Audio can enhance the Soleman firmware to meet your needs then this seems like very nice product and company to work with.

Good idea, thanks for your input and advice, much appreciated!

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i just check the controller. so good!!! thanks. i´m over this machine.