Master Length and Change Length

Just have started to learn Digitakt for a couple of weeks.

Reading manual I learned about Master Length and Change Length on p.35. However, the explanation was just too brief for me to fully understand.

Could anyone tell me the difference between two with some examples?

The CH.LEN parameter controls the point at which a playing pattern will switch to the next cued pattern. So if you were to set CH.LEN to 32 your current pattern will switch to the next cued pattern after 32 sequencer steps, irrespective of what you have set the individual track lengths to. Note this is only useful when you are cuing patterns either manually or by chaining.

The M.LEN parameter will restart the pattern after the set length, again irrespective of the individual track lengths. However, M.LEN will also behave like CH.LEN if you are cuing or chaining patterns.

The difference is subtle in that CH.LEN is only useful when cuing or chaining patterns, whereas M.LEN is useful without chaining patterns but will also act like CH.LEN if patterns are chained and CH.LEN is set to OFF.


Master length is the amount of steps the pattern runs before looping, Change length is how many steps before the next cued up pattern starts.
If you have your master length set to 16 it will return to step 1 in all tracks after 16 steps, regardless of individual track length, meaning tracks with lengths above 16 will be cut short and those below will loop once then play how ever many steps are left to reach 16 then return to step 1 . Setting it to infinite will allow tracks to progress independently meaning they don’t have to share a common master length number and will keep on running independently. When using infinite master length change length is needed to progress to another pattern so that will need to be set at a number that transitions well.
Change length will interrupt master length so if you had your master length set at 64 and your change length at 16 it would change to the next pattern 16 steps after cueing it up(plus how ever many steps are left in the bar), so if you cue up a pattern 4 steps before the end of a bar it will change once the next bar has finished, 20 steps later.


Thank. One more question.

Suppose the track length is 16, and the Change Length is 4, and I change the pattern(by pressing a different pattern button) at the step 3. Woud it play one more step and then switch to the next pattern, or play 13+4 steps and then the next pattern? (BTW, I don’t my digitakt nearby right now)

Not sure you will have to test that one out, I know setting it to 2 changes really quick so I would imagine it would behave in a similar way, I assume there is a basic rule for the point at which the countdown starts. I don’t use low change length numbers much, it gets a bit fiddly getting the timing right.
If you need fast pattern changes copy/paste may be your friend, you can copy patterns that are not playing and pasting them will give you instant pattern change.

If you need fast pattern changes copy/paste may be your friend, you can copy patterns that are not playing and pasting them will give you instant pattern change.

Could you elaborate on this please? Say pattern #1 is playing, and you want to transition to pattern #2 while #1 is playing. You copy pattern #2 and paste it into #1 to overwrite it?

Not quite, if you have CH.LEN at 16 it’ll change on the next multiple of 16 from when the pattern started playing. So if your pattern is also 16 steps long and you initiate a change at step 12, it will change after step 16.

This is a really great tip! It’s a shame the pattern being pasted over gets lost, but then I guess it could always be temp saved / saved to project.

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It will overwrite it but you can still unpaste it or func+no to change it back to the previous state or temp save, as long as you dont save the project in the middle of a session you can reset everything to the last permanent save by reloading the project, not something for everyday use but useful for performance.

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