Master hardware midi sequencer for live use? recommendations?

Hi Gang,

so i have both Syntakt & Digitakt. for this example i have all my patterns programmed, and when performing songs, they play together moving through various patterns during the song.

currently i’m doing this manually, i have to remember which patterns to play and when to change them.

my question is : is there a device i could program a single button that would fire off the correct program changes to each device?
I’m imagining a song mode style sequencer where i would press VERSE 1 button for example, then i could press another button CHORUS 1 and it would send all my program changes to change the my patterns.

this way i still maintain some autonomy over when the changes happen, and its not programmed with a strict number of bars…

any ideas or suggestions what to use?

all the best

Chain mode?


maybe - but id rather not be tied into having fixed song structure, but its certainly an option - but you cant save chains either, i dont believe…thanks though

Ableton Live is the best way I’ve found to trigger multiple pattern/program changes on my Elektron devices.


using a laptop or is there a hardware box? all i really need is a PAD controller that i can program the buttons to send Program Changes - ideally multiple Program Changes - im going to keep googling! :slight_smile:



oooo that looks exciting!

Whats wrong with having one if them as master, sending pattern changes. So you just select the next pattern you want on one box. Done.

Quantize it to your taste. (1 bar, 4 bars, 8 bars, what ever)

No need to buy extra stuff.


Octatrack, and you have a mixer for your boxes + sampler and midi sequencer /arranger.


Upthread, I assumed @Peterjc was already doing this, which I why I suggested Chains for the arrangement. The combination of changing patterns in parallel across devices, and chains, lets you jam a song structure. Not saving is a feature, in that regard.


Thanks guys - not sure I understood your message when I first read it. So you can have one machine in a slave mode that follows the master? I guess that means both patterns that need to be played together are the same number, for example both C01.

Have I understood that correctly?


When Elektrons change pattern, they (can) send a Program Change MIDI message identifying the pattern they’re changing to. You have to turn the feature on, choose a channel for the messages, and set the devices to send or receive. It’s usually in a menu labelled “MIDI Sync”, sometimes nested as “MIDI -> Sync”. Set your patterns up so they “match” (A1 with A1, B3 with B3), and you’re away. All the devices need a bit of warning about which pattern to change to, so the messages are sent early, and on [Stop] (so they’re matched when you next hit [Play]). Because of this, it doesn’t work in “Direct Jump” if your boxes have that. It works with bare patten changes, chains and Arranger/Song Mode (so you only need one Song, not one per device).

Two downsides:

  • you have to turn the Chain off if you want to play one Pattern more than once. I think Elektron designed it to be quite ephemeral precisely so you turn it on and off a lot during a performance. The arrangement then becomes a facet of your performance
  • you have to make sure your matched patterns are all the same lengths, including matching longest track length+scale, CHNG and LEN properties in Advanced Scale mode… or they go out of sync. A1 can be different lengths from B3 tho’
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Launchpad pro mk3 is a customisable midi controller. Use components to add buttons for exactly what you’re asking for.

EDIT: I also have buttons on the top row of mine for the track mutes of DN, because it is a two hander to mute 2 or 3 tracks at once with DN.


Thank you for taking the time, I’m going to try this right now! Thank you :pray:

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Ahhh that sounds very interesting, I’ll have a Google and look at this unit. Thank you :pray:

Because, unfortunately, it is completely unreliable. It’s baffling how Elektron have never addressed this.
It’s got to be as simple as your master device changes and the slave(s) change too.

Plus, you can’t change the patterns independently from one Elektron box (to another).

I would use Ableton with a Launchpad Mini as the tightest, reliable and most compact way of achieving what the OP wants.

Akai Force can do it too, but that seems like it could be overkill.

The MAIN feature/function you need here is to be able to send the PC message ahead of the bar… otherwise the Elektrons usually change a bar late.

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Ahhh that’s interesting and sad to read, I will try it today but sound like it’s going to be problematic. Thanks for your time, I will also look at the midi controllers you mention.

Thanks all :+1::pray:

Technically you need “only” a MIDI-source, which will fire more than one pgm-ch command to dedicated MIDI-channels by one “macro-button” pressed.

AFAIK this is quite unusual. Most MIDI sequencers have a single pgm-ch command combined with the change of a pattern. Many MIDI controllers I know have only one pgm-ch per button.

First device coming to my mind would be Behringer FCB1010. Each foot-switch can send up to 5 pgm-ch commands. There are 10 switches per bank and this should give some flexibility. But it’s a foot-switch device, though.

Second would be a particular MIDI-Processor, like the MRCC, which can take one MIDI command in and send different out after processing. I never tried to generate pgm-ch commands in the way you asked for, but a look in the manual should clarify this.

Third idea would be to check out devices from Faderfox. Maybe one of them might have similar functionality like the FCB1010. My UC4 has only one pgm-ch per button. Since there are many buttons a workaround could be to use pairs for two devices.

Probably a very expensive solution could be a MPC. Each Program can save one pgm-ch. If we combine “empty” tracks, programs, and sequence changes, we can have a mulit-pgm-ch per button in on the “next-sequence” page of the MPC :wink: … technically possible, easy to implement, but quite an investment … :wink:

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wow so many things i’ve never heard of, its incredible what is out there. Actually that Behringer foot switch looks pretty cool! so many options.

regarding the two PC with s ingle button was before I learned about the MIDI pad controllers where i could press two buttons together, so that makes that task a little easier.

I am thinking just a fairly basic MIDI programable pad controller would do the trick, I like the way the Novation has a designer i can just drag Program Change widgets onto the pads, i can just build my layout how ever i like, that seems neat.

thanks SoundRider, awesome information.

If you own an iPad it would be worth to check out whether these apps might be doing this, because they are built to create MIDI-controllers from scratch:

  • Lemur
  • TouchOSC
  • MIDI Designer
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