Pen and paper for naming and managing patterns?

Just completed my first week with my new Analog Rytm MkII (and my first Elektron piece of gear altogether). While I’m still terribly annoyed about the uninformative Overbridge desaster communication (completely vague unacceptable for new customers relying on the 4 weeks old official statement, as it is now), I also have completely fallen in love with this drum machine with it’s mixture of analog and sample based drumming!

The MS-DOS like button/knob UI is certainly not too reminiscent of nowadays iOS touch display ease and elegance, but after getting your way around the somewhat complicated inner structure, this very basic UI at least mirrors the high internal usability factor of the drum machine in it’s own way.

So far, so fine, but pattern management seems even below the standard of the “usability tuned MS-DOS level” of the rest of the UI. Recording and copy/paste/clear are working fine, but for patterns I have not found ANY kind of visible overview so far, not even like the crippled-character-length (MS-DOS) directories for kits etc.

Am I overlooking something, or do we really have to use pen and paper, to be able to name and manage patterns spread over projects, to keep ANY GOOD OVERVIEW at all???

And that is a very good thing.

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for whom???
For people not used to elegant and fast UIs with lots of information at one glance???

For sure a bigger screen would be awesome. I was just saying that real buttons and knobs are 100% better than touch controls.

As for pattern management: Since the AR does not allow pattern names there is only so much that Overbridge may accomplish at some point in the future, but I wouldn’t rely on that. You have to work within the limitations of the hardware. Name your kits and save them ( each pattern is associated with a kit) and use the banks to organise patterns. Each project has 128 patterns which should be enough for a few songs. Using the other features like conditional triggers, scenes and performance modes you can get a lot out of just one pattern.
You can copy and paste some things between projects, not sure if patterns is one of those.

Pen & Paper is a good way to organise your sets, I always have a sheet with me when I play live. If this really was your question I´d like to go into detail how I manage my sets on 5-10 machines with handwritten notes. It´s magic!

I wonder why you chose to buy an Elektron machine when you expect an ios style or computer-based workflow. I am glad that they use a standard dot-matrix display that can be easily replaced in 10, 20 or 30 years. The short lifecycle and programmed death of touchscreen devices is nothing that I would like to see in my studio.


Ipads etc = nexus6
Elektron = nexus8+


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I’ve owned a MK I for a couple years now and totally agree that finding patterns can be a nightmare. My workaround has been when i’m satisfied with the pattern(s), i’ll hash out a song structure in song mode and save it with the tempo and kit name. You can always go back and edit things after, it serves as my handy bookmark to pickup in the same mindset as I left off.

Song mode was a bit confusing and tedious starting out, this video really helped in the beginning.

P.S. I wouldn’t get too hung up about the OB delays, MK I owners went through the same guessing game 4 years ago. It was infuriating and made users question Elektrons tactics, but they took their time and delivered a stellar product.

I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I literally memorize the pattern #'s…
Like I know what pattern A4, H12, or C2 is on my Rytm… Haha
I kind of have to because I do improv jams and mix and match, I don’t have a predefined structure and need to know what’s available to be possibly put into a fresh jam at any moment…
Some I don’t remember specifically but I remember the next few in line work with the one I do remember, and stuff like that…

As was mentioned above there’s always a kit associated with a pattern or several, so the kit name can be used to identify a pattern or progression of patterns…

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There’re ways to organize things, like one song per bank for example, where you may only end up needing to remember the bank the song is and then everything just progresses from there…

Yeah, I pretty much memorize everything.
I don’t think its on purpose, it’s just that I spend so much time in each project I know it.


Id be interested man!

More than a year later: me too! hope its white magic.

pen and paper is still viable in 2019

alternatively, use “morse code” - leave some pattns blank so that the lit pattn lights form a morse code of sorts. I find this helps me memorize patterns and banks especially. But having RGB leds as pattn kights, and being able to define a color value for each pattn, that’d be dope!

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I start out giving each section of my song blocks of 4 patterns (section a 1-4, section B 5-9 etc)

As mentioned above putting a “song” together is a good reminder if nothing else.