Creating Custom Dream Sequence Patterns in Ableton Live

The presets found in the Factory Bank represent the kind of complex patterns that can be created for Dream Sequence in a DAW application (Ableton Live, Logic, etc) and transmitted via MIDI. The exact procedure for creating such a pattern may vary from program to program, but the basic concept is the same.

Dream Sequence will accept MIDI CC messages 20, 21, and 22 for the three sequencer voices.

  • CC #20 = Middle Octave
  • CC #21 = Octave Up
  • CC #22 = Octave Down

You can draw envelopes (or otherwise automate) the corresponding CC messages in your DAW program to construct your patterns, and Dream Sequence will be able to capture and store these as presets.

Connect a MIDI cable from your MIDI interface’s MIDI OUT port to the pedal’s MIDI IN jack. Make sure that your DAW is sending MIDI clock to the pedal (necessary for using this function), and that the MIDI CC patterns are sending to your MIDI OUT port. Your DAW may require you to enable sending MIDI CC messages out on your chosen port (Ableton Live, for example, requires “Remote” to be turned on for the MIDI output you intend to use, under Preferences/MIDI). Make sure that the track’s “MIDI To” field is set to the correct MIDI output.

Press play to preview your pattern. As soon as Dream Sequence receives a MIDI Start message, it will synchronize to the MIDI clock. If it receives a MIDI CC message corresponding to one of the octave voices (CC# 20, 21, or 22), it will begin playing back any pattern sent from the DAW.

Once you begin creating a pattern, it may be helpful to loop a few bars in your DAW to see and hear the results in real time. Here is an example of Preset #2 from the Factory Bank, created in Ableton Live.

Here are the envelopes for the Middle Octave (MIDI CC #20) :

Middle Octave

Octave Up (MIDI CC #21) :

Octave Up

and Octave Down (MIDI CC #22) :

Octave Down

Once you’re satisfied with the pattern you’ve created, hit stop in your DAW program. Flip the Preset Bank switch to “Saved” and the Preset knob to position “12,” the Pattern Recorder.

While the Indicator Lights are flashing yellow, press play in your DAW, and Dream Sequence will begin recording your pattern via MIDI. Any patterns captured via MIDI IN are automatically recorded for four measures, so if your pattern is shorter than that, simply loop it and let it play.

As Dream Sequence is recording, you should see the pattern you’ve created played back on the Indicator Lights. When it has captured four measures of material, the pedal will automatically stop recording, and the Indicator Lights will blink turquoise. From this point, simply save the pattern like you would a normal preset: turn the Preset knob to the location where you intend to store it, and hold down the outside two footswitches (Tap and Hold) for two seconds.

Your custom pattern will now be stored as a preset in the pedal’s memory and will persist after cycling power. The preset will be saved at the tempo at which it was recorded from the DAW.

If you have a particularly complex pattern, it may be necessary to slow the tempo of your DAW down to allow Dream Sequence to capture all of the information correctly. If this is the case, follow all of the above steps and, after saving the preset, change to the correct tempo in your DAW. Hit play to synchronize Dream Sequence to the correct tempo, and re-save the preset in place.