It’s funny to note that most of Reaktor users use Reaktor to generate pure audio only, and all of them are full of enthusiasm to find absolutely unique and fattest sound ever. There is no anything bad about it, except one thing – people create thousand of sounds a day and there are very few ones I would kill for. People do the same with the same tools mostly to show some balls, erm, the same balls. People build synths with 10 x 10 modulation matrix to produce x2 madness of the last version with 9 x 9 matrix. There is nothing wrong with it, but these sounds ain’t gonna touch my soul until they brilliantly sequenced. There is no separate sound that changed my life relief, and there is a bunch of sequences that shaped out my biography. There are tons of samples around I would kill for. Quite big magic part of the samples is the elements sequencing. I began my music making practice with huge hardware limitations. I was very limited with sounds and I made things that just put in me shock these days. Now I got gigabytes of samples and I’m confused. It’s obvious the most of them ain’t gonna be useful, but they gonna steal my time. The magic of my talent is in the sequencing, and my brain don’t give a damn for the gigabytes, if there’s a sound to play with – the limits gonna be my path to the pure art of sequencing. Let me introduce a new term on the blog – Sequence synthesis. That’s the subject of the rest of the post.
It’s not a secret that there is a lot of IDM geeks who put too much sense into the “random” term, if we divide the number of the geeks by 10 then we get the number of absolute white noise fans 🙂 Well, basically I like random based things, but it’s not a reason to let them rule the world. As you might have already noticed I put a lot of sense into the “sequencing” term. In this post I’ll avoid random sequencing and begin to research good’n’ol arpeggiator.
The main idea of my recent arpeggiator is generate squeezed LFO and quantize it down to halftones. Probably, I’m not the first who came out with the idea, but I had not bothered to search anyone’s else balls on this subject. Once I started I’ve ruined a dozen of hours to get first prototype work. It was much harder to build than I expected. First version of the arpeggiator was working because of luck, the MIDI output was full of wrong data, but it did contain some interesting notes which was easy to tweak. The version described below is fully reworked, but there are still glitches. I have to admit I couldn’t reach 100% predictable output, at least within a couple of days. But anyway, the goal of the arpeggiator is your inspiration on the subject. And this unpredictable temper is a quite plus for an apreggiator which name is ArPianist 🙂
- freq – BPM scale factor
- size – number of notes to sequence, 2 or 3 works good for classic arpeggiations, non-integral value causes complex sequences, generally quite intersting knob to tweak
- waveform – classic choice: sin, tri, pls
- range – note range to sequence, but don’t put much of sense to the value, it’s a general scaling of the LFO, quantized result could be lower
- start phs – start phase of the LFO, synced by Gate. note: it’s not "starting note" for the arpeggiator, with shifting the start phase you could get different quantization results
- symmety – symmetry parameter for the LFO module, amount of wave bending
- parabol – good’n’ol parabolic shaper, another squeezer for the LFO
- 16 buttons – classic bar, feel free to have syncoped arpeggiation
- lenght – bar lenght, useful to create short syncopes faster
- hold – sustain hold time, % of beat
- skip # – force the arpeggiator use white keys only
the future versions of Arpianist perhaps would get smarter than mr. White’s note matrix, but I believe it’s a good start
And the whole arpeggiator:
I managed to fix general event timing bugs, so, this version is quite usable at least with virtual MIDI cable I’ve used. Generally, Arpianist is useful to search and record into an external sequencer complex note sequences. It’s quite pointless to use Arpianist to create classic arpeggiations, Arpianist is my personal creative research tool that I would like share. I really found Arpianist useful, I hope you’ll find a place for it too.
Few simple arpeggiation samples [synth used]:
And I’m happy to announce a new download selection – Tweak Sessions:
001_TWKSES_Arpianist.mp3 – fast and badly recorded Arpianist tweak session, just to illustrate realtime sounding of the arpeggiator.