A way of making 'non factor' riffs fit onto blocks

I quite often use riffs or drum patterns which are not factors of the main pattern length. Eg. Riff length is 7 steps long and loops every 7 steps. 7 is not a factor of 64, but I want a pattern length of 64 for the drums and main structure of the song and so I generally have a nightmare time of correcting where to loop on each small riff pattern throughout the song at different places in each pattern which quite often ends up with awful sounding mistakes. Subsequently correcting these loops by copying and pasting the loop then throws all the loops on later patterns out of whack which can end up a massive can of worms.

This is all a throwback to they days when I used to use to MIDI sync to Octamed or Renoise 4:4 patterns with Rebirth or other external sequencers set to using sequences which where 3,6,7,14 steps long which would continuously loop irrespective of the master pattern format making a nice rolling freeform song form due to the combination of timing.

It would be nice if there was an automatic way to add such ‘non-factor’ length loops in automatically throughout a section of a song ignoring pattern boundaries or alternatively have a kind of asynchronous track which can loop to an arbitrary number of steps in the same way as running a synced 303, analogue synth or drum machine set to some other number of steps.

Keeping it in a structure of 64 lines is the tricky part.Otherwise you could just create a massive pattern of 448 lines.

The keyword is “lowest common multiple”: See http://www.calculatorsoup.com/calculators/math/lcm.php

But - if you’re able to fit the drums into a looping phrase, this would perhaps be a better choice

Unfortunately we don’t have autoseek for phrases (retrigger when playing song from various positions), but you can trigger phrases with offset (Sxx).

So, if you had a few patterns of 64 lines you would retrigger the phrase with S01 on the second, S02 on the third, and so on…

I have tried the LCM method using very large patterns but these are sometimes a pain in the neck. With loops of 3 and 6 steps it is easier to just to make a loop across the required number of patterns and just copy and paste them as one big sequence on the pattern sequencer when the song when the song is nearly finished to prevent errors being introduced from changes in sequencing. However, it would be much easier if there was a function to paste a selection end to end in a track across multiple patterns from a selected starting point, say the current SP pointer.

As danoise mentioned, phrases may prove to be helpful in this type of situation.

In particular, combining normal phrase playback with the trick of using a glide command at the start of each pattern, effectively making the phrase (of any length) loop seamlessly across pattern boundaries.

The added bonus is that you only have to change the phrase once, and then it’s reflected in your entire song.

Check out the demo song I posted in another recent thread about polyrhythms: