Switch Workflow from Ableton to Elektron


So I come from Ableton and am used to sequence and make my tracks in there. Now I just got an A4 and am planning to buy the AR as well, looking forward to work away from a computer and maybe perform live in the future.

My first question, if anyone would be so kind as to help me, is: how do I change from one pattern in a track, to another?

Say I am on Trk 1 and I have a good sound going. Then I want to have this same sound, but with some variety, and switch between these two patterns.

( In Ableton, I would - in Session View - simply copy the clip and paste a new one under it, add the variation I want, and then switch between these two. )

Thing is, I would like to switch between these two patterns independently of what the other 3 tracks are doing. Is this possible? Or when you switch patterns, does this switch always automatically apply to all four tracks?

I’m just trying to figure out if I need to completely rethink the way I make music now that I’m trying to learn the Elektron Way, or if I can kind of use the same methods as in Ableton.

Thank you so much for any help!

Copy the pattern you have and paste it into a new pattern. You’ll have an identical pattern, where you can simply remove the trigs from the tracks you don’t want, or clear the track of the track you want the trigs removed from. I can’t remember the exact button combination for clearing a track, but it’s in the manual. Check it out, probably under “Programming patterns” or something similar. This will achieve what you’re after. Although it’s a bit of a different workflow, you will become pretty fluent at it fast enough. :slight_smile:

Function + Rec/Copy button for copying pattern, Function + Stop/Paste button for pasting.

Thank you for your reply, Daisuk!

Thing is with the approach you’re suggesting, is this:

Say I have now copy and pasted so I have two patterns, one with Trk 1 variation 1, and Trk 1 variation 2.

Now, say I have my hi-hat on Trk 2. I want to have variation in this as well, for example, one closed hi-hat, and one open-hi hat. And I want to switch between these two hi-hat patterns, sometimes when Trk 1 variation 1 is playing, and sometimes when Trk 1 variation 2 is playing.

This then means I need to have 4 patterns total:

Pattern 1: Trk 1 V 1 and Trk 2 V 1.
Pattern 2: Trk 1 V 1 and Trk 2 V 2.
Pattern 3: Trk 1 V 2 and Trk 2 V 1.
Pattern 4: Trk 1 V 2 and Trk 2 V 2.

Okay, now… say I also have some toms on Trk 3 with three different variations. If I want them to be able to be played on all the other variations, I will now need like 20 different patterns… You see where I am going with this?

This seems redundant to me. That’s why I asked if there was any way to switch patterns independently of what the other tracks are doing. But it seems like there is no such way? This makes me wonder if I need to completely rethink the way I make music with the Elektron machines. Not that this is a problem, but I just want to make sure first. :slight_smile:

Thank you for reading through all this. I really appreciate it!

Yep you need to rethink the way you work :slight_smile: Make the variations by live tweaking your patterns / params. Elektrons are more suited for live performances, not to playback tracks without intervention imho.
With the A4 performance mode and the AR scenes, you can pre-program a lot of variation, invoked by the press of a button or the twist of a knob.

No, sorry, I’m pretty sure there is no way to do this. It’s some of the flexibility I miss in the Elektrons from using Push, but you can’t have it all, I guess. But be sure to check out p-locks and sample locks if you haven’t done that yet, makes the content of the patterns far more flexible. :slight_smile:

Okay, thank you for your answers! It’s very good to know what the Elektron machines can’t do so I can adjust my workflow accordingly. Now it’s simply to reorganize in my brain. :slight_smile:

Well, the A4 is quite packed as it is, and probably would have involved a more dramatically separate branch of the A4 OS.

I get along okay with it as-is, but I certainly wouldn’t be complaining if my AK had an Octatrack sized screen…

I work a lot with Ableton and I find it to one of the main wins to be able to fire track clips rather than only pattern scenes. Parallell I work with MM MD OT and I prefer this setting in live performance situations.
Like you, I struggle to reorganize my brain around the Elektron workflow. I find it best not to try doing it the same way, but to play a lot with the machines to get to know them well and build my sets around them.

Having the exact same problem right now, I am composing with Live mainly so it is hard to acommodate AK sequencer.

I am thinking of developing some ideas with the elektron first and then record them as audio clips, then add content with live clips.

The other option which I dont like is just sequencing the Ak with Live, seems like a waste but depending on what I am doing it might be faster.

But certainly being able to change patters by track, and not for all the 4 tracks, would be great.

Depending what you want exactly there’s differen ways to achieve.
at first I reccomend you to really understand the sound-kit-pattern and chain structure.

If you want to change 1 track while switching patterns keeping the 3 others identical - But keeping thesame sound for that track - you’d just have to make copys and change that 1 track for eatch copy.

If you allso want to change the sound of 1 track you’d have to make a different Kit for eatch pattern wherein 3 sounds stay thesame. and link those to eacht pattern… with the disadvantage that when you tweek sounds live all parameters will jump to their initianal status when switching patterns > as the Kit reloads at the beginning of the pattern when a different Kit is used.
There’s a work-around for this problem = Keeping thesame Kit for each pattern and importing the new sound from the sound-pool or change the sound by parameter-locking. so the parameter-jumps or avoided as no Kit’s are switched.

You have to see a patern as 1 entety that can’t be devided at track-level and wich is allways linked to a Kit. So changes in 1 track change the pattern all-together in contrast with ableton where each track can be a seperate entety that has no conséquences for other tracks when being edited.

This may sound complex and strange but ones I internalized the system I discovered how genius it is. For starters ( if used with insight ) no more worrys about sounds changing somewhere else in a composition when tweaking the locally.

So YES >>>> RETHINK :joy:

Maybe the best thing to do is to forget the workflow of ableton alltogether to avoid confusion and restart from 0 for now, ones you’ve got the insight you’ll be able to translate ideas from 1 sytem to the other easely. ( many times problems arise as differen manifacturers use the same terms for things - " pattern " for ex. means different things for different brands etc… :rage:

=== let’s say you are freaking track 1 < and want to switch to a pattern with a different Kit ( so with 1 to 3 new sounds on the other tracks .)
In this case the parameters on the track you’re tweaking will jump when switching patterns because a new Kit is loaded. So by program-locking new sounds on the other tracks ( importing from sound-pool ) the Kit can stay thesame. Now you can sweep over multiple patterns that seem to use different Kits.

Hello everyone!
It seems you all have forget about fill-ins which is somewhat an alternative pattern W/out actually changing the pattern.

When you push the “page” button down, it triggers fill-ins which can “delete” some trigs and/or add others.
You can also acheive those type of open/closed hihat effect with LFO! By setting noise/env release.

[WARNING this is my personnal advice:

BTW, I don’t think trying to use a Hardware like a computer is a good idea since I’m going away from my Computer because of my needs of restriction without which I would still tweaking things i don’t need. ]