Pattern Primer

by Ken Westover

Go to: 01 Directory First 01 page
rev: 98Dec30
What's a Pattern?
How To Create A Pattern
How Patterns are Stored and Accessed
  Opening a Pattern
  Saving Patterns
  Loading Patterns

What's a Pattern?

A pattern is a musical phrase of one or more measures that you can store off to one side. You can then insert this phrase in any measure(s) in any song. It saves you from having to enter the same phrase over and over.

If you know how to read music, you've probably learned about the "repeat" sign, a forward slash with a dot on each side. Using a repeat sign saves ink, paper, and is easier to understand than seeing the same combination of notes over and over. An added benefit is if you change the original measure(s), the ones that are repeated, you don't have to make that same change in all the repeated measures - the repeat sign sends you back to the altered original.

Patterns are the sequencer equivalent of a repeat sign. You start with one or more blank measures, fill them with notes, then assign the group a unique Pattern number from 0 to 99. Then whenever you want to use that Pattern, you plug it into your song by referring to its pattern number.

Perhaps the most common use of Patterns is for drum sequences. You would spend a bit of time layering a snare, kick drum, hi-hat, ride cymbal, and whatever else tends to repeat for several bars. Then you would insert this Pattern into your drum track as needed.

Patterns are also useful for repeating bass lines (guitar and/or piano).

You Get 100 Patterns per Synth

You can have at most 100 Patterns in the 01 at any time. Any of these Patterns can be placed in any track of any song. That is, you don't get a new set of patterns for each song - only one set to a synth.

If you plan to work with Patterns, it's a good idea to get pencil and paper ready. Because you can only identify Patterns with a 2-digit number, and you will soon lose track of what you've got. You will want to document what each Pattern contains (drums, bass line), what it's for (chorus, verse, fade-out), and where it's used (which songs, which tracks). If you have the Percussion Manual, photocopy pages 149 and 150. Otherwise, make yourself a table with column with these headings:

Pattern# Song# Track# Length Prog/Combi# & Name Description (song name, etc.)
Further, you only get one Pattern per measure. You can't somehow get two or more Patterns to overlap in a single measure (and still be separate Patterns, anyway). In fact, a Pattern takes up the whole measure - you can't have any other musical data in the same measure as the Pattern.
go to Top of page.

How Patterns are Stored and Accessed

Here's the concept: Patterns are stored in a 100 boxes, one box for each Pattern, and each box is identified by the Pattern Number. Just like post office boxes. Now you want the contents of a particular box to be played during one or more measures of a song. Can you imagine two different ways to do this?


The obvious way is to copy the contents of the Pattern Number box into the measure where you want the Pattern played. If you've got 10 notes in your Pattern, 10 notes get copied into each measure that uses that Pattern Number. If you've got an 8-bar verse using the same Pattern, 80 notes get copied in. This is the COPY command.


The clever way is to put just the Pattern Number in the measure (not the contents of the Pattern, just its "PO Box" number"). When the sequencer gets to this measure, it jumps over to the (post office) box with that Pattern Number, plays the contents, then jumps back to play the next measure.

Two great advantages to this system. First, it saves memory. Second, if you decide to change the Pattern, you only have to change the one in the box, not every measure where the Pattern is used.

Opening a Pattern

If you "Put" a Pattern into a measure, you can change the measure contents from a Pattern Number to Music Data (like a Copy Pattern command would have done). This process is called "opening the Pattern".

Saving Patterns

Patterns are saved at the same time you save your sequences, using Disk Mode Page 2, "Save All Sequence". You can also use "Save All Data" if you also want to save Combis and Progs.

Loading Patterns

Patterns are retrieved in either of two ways. You can load all Patterns using Disk Mode Page 0, "Load All Sequence". You can load any one Pattern off your disk and store in any Pattern number using Disk Mode Page 1, "Load 1 Pattern".
go to Top of page.

How To Create A Pattern

First, prepare to work on a pattern by selecting a Program:
1. Power up 01.
2. Press SEQ to enter Sequencer Mode
3. Press CURSOR UP 4 times (or CURSOR DOWN twice) to highlight the Prog setting for Track 1.
4. Press VALUE UP 9 times to select Program A09: Total Kit.
5. When you go to work on a Pattern (Sequencer Mode, Page 7), you will hear whatever Track number is displayed on Page 0, line 5, column B. Because we just powered up, Track 01 is showing in the Track # field. If you were creating a Pattern for another Track, you would now change Track # to match the Track whose Program you just set.
6. Press "7" to go to the "Pattern" page.

Next, work on the actual Pattern:
1. Define a Pattern with Pattern Parameter
Before you can start recording into a Pattern, you must define how big it is (how many measures), assign it a time signature, and assign it a unique Pattern Number. This is all done on Page 7, line 4, column A-D.

2. Record the Pattern
There are three ways to get data into a Pattern. Choose one:
Real-time recording (you play the parts on the keyboard live)
Step Recording (you enter every note, one-by-one, just like writing music by hand)
Copy from a Track (steal measures from an existing song)

3. Edit the Pattern
If you need to make changes, you can Edit the Pattern one event at a time.

4. Use the Pattern in a Song.
Use PUT or COPY to insert the Pattern in measures of your Song.

5. Save the Pattern by saving the sequence (Disk Mode Page 2, Save All Sequence or Save All Data).

go to Top of page.

Copyright ©1998 by Ken Westover at Cliff Canyon Publishing Co. All rights reserved.
This material may not be distributed without the written permission of the author.
  E-mail questions or comments to
Go to: 01 Directory First 01 page Top of this page.