Synthesizers with awesome arpeggiators

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
User avatar
EMReviews
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:57 pm
Real name: Matt
Contact:

Re: Synthesizers with awesome arpeggiators

Post by EMReviews » Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:00 pm

Purveyor wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:48 pm
Novation's KS4 arp is a ton of fun and highly useful.
Hey Gary, sorry for writing here. I just received your PM regarding "Disaffection" or other albums, but can't reply for whatever (technical) reason. Pls get in touch with me via the link in my profile. Speak soon! ;)

K-man
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 8:28 am
Gear: Alesis Micron - Casio CZ1000 - Kawai K4 - Korg DS8
Location: (Madrid) Spain

Re: Synthesizers with awesome arpeggiators

Post by K-man » Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:07 pm

Alesis Micron has an awesome ARP/SEQUENCER.

You can create whatever pattern you want and store more than 250 different patterns and sequences with 1000 notes.

It also imports MIDI Out notes, to use it with any other hardware synth you have.

knolan
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 498
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:42 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Synthesizers with awesome arpeggiators

Post by knolan » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:49 am

Casiotone 1000P - an amazing arpeggiator / sequencer and to my knowledge, utterly unique to this day.

You type in digits between 0 and 9 - up to 256 steps. Then, whatever pattern you hold down on the keyboard, it plays those notes back in the 'digit entered' order.

The powerful aspect to it - it always cycles around all the numbers you type in no matter what notes you hold down - so from a "meter" stand point - it maintains total consistency at all times - hugely important in live performance. If not enough notes are played to sequence the pattern within a given octave, repeated notes from higher octaves are used to complete the digit-entered cycle/sequence.

For example - suppose I type in 1,2,3,4. Then - for whatever notes I hold down, it'll play in '4 time'

If I type in 1,2,3,4,5 then - it's '5 time'.

So considering the 1,2,3,4 again and I hold down just one 'C' - what you get is 4 'C's over 4 octaves. If I hold down C and E - then you get C E C' E'

If you hold down CDE you get CDEC' and so on.

This might not sound particularly impressive, but from both composition and in particular realtime performance stand points it's a dream - because you can change the notes of the pattern literally by holding down the chord so you get realtime arpeggiated chordal movement with your playing; even if you play less notes in any one position it still maintains the 'meter'; or indeed if you play a complex chord it still cycles in the 'metre' determined by the length of the sequence itself. Coupled to the fact that you have a ridiculously easy way of entering any pattern you like up to 256 steps - as simple complex as you like, and it makes for a dream realtime performance sequencer where the only preset aspect to it is the digit order of replaying the notes, but the specific note playback controlled by you in real time, always in time with your piece!

And then there are some incredible quirks to it. Imagine typing in the sequence 6,9,8,7 and then play one C note. The Casio tries to play C's that are 6,9,8 and 7 octaves above the C you hold, in that order - where all sorts of aliasing artefacts kick in on the sound - or - notes dropped when out of range - so all of a sudden you're into a sequence based sound design territory producing all kinds of over tones, delivering amazing bell and chime type sequences. Enormous (unintended) possibilities emerge.

It is the _perfect_ realtime performance sequencer. It's pre MIDI - and I haven't used it in a while but intend reintroducing it into my setup where what I hope to be able to do with Ableton is convert its notes to MIDI - not sure if that can be done real time but if not then once I perform the sequence on my Casio, recorded as an audio track, then convert to MIDI to apply that performed sequence to any MIDI synth or plugin.

I'd love for this little gem to be coded by someone in MAX (or Reaktor) as a MIDI plugin, from a realtime performance stand point it is, as said, quite incredible and to the best of my knowledge, utterly unique. Even arpeggiators that allow you to enter the notes in any order come nowhere close.

Another option to 'code' it would be to make a Karma "Generated Effect" for the Korg Karma / OASYS / Kronos workstations ( I own an OASYS ) but haven't had the time yet to look into that.

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5328
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Wurlitzer Opus 1536, Model F, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, Thermostat, Buck Owens' Moog.
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: Synthesizers with awesome arpeggiators

Post by madtheory » Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:38 pm

That sounds really cool.

User avatar
mis psiquicios y yo
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 260
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:33 pm
Location: Mexico

Re: Synthesizers with awesome arpeggiators

Post by mis psiquicios y yo » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:48 pm

Maybe not awesome, but I like the arps in the Moog Source, it’s more like a step sequencer and its easy to sync with external gear and I also like the arp of the Prophet 600, because you can set the arp and then play live on top of it.
mis psiquicos y yo
In electronic music, sequencers are as important as synths, they all modify your composition and playing

knolan
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 498
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:42 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Synthesizers with awesome arpeggiators

Post by knolan » Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:20 am

madtheory wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:38 pm
That sounds really cool.
I know you like this aspect of things - it's the quirky aspect to it that it's not supposed to do that make it really good. It's a CASIO - but I kid you not - put through an excellent reverb and it can sound like a PPG. No exaggerating!. It was just a clever little instrument. They often sell for about £100 on ebay (and I may buy another one for longevity because I do want to reintroduce one back into my setup) so if you had a spare £100 it'd be worth it.

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5328
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Wurlitzer Opus 1536, Model F, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, Thermostat, Buck Owens' Moog.
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: Synthesizers with awesome arpeggiators

Post by madtheory » Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:30 am

Hmm, reading your description again, I think the Cyclone can do this. I might actually sit down with the manual again. That thing is a bear to program, worse than an Ensoniq Mirage. Currently my box is a Drummer, not a Cyclone. Give me some time :lol:

knolan
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 498
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:42 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Synthesizers with awesome arpeggiators

Post by knolan » Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:35 am

madtheory wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:30 am
Hmm, reading your description again, I think the Cyclone can do this. I might actually sit down with the manual again. That thing is a bear to program, worse than an Ensoniq Mirage. Currently my box is a Drummer, not a Cyclone. Give me some time :lol:
If you mean the Bass-Bot TT-303 - I downloaded the manual (have to say it's not a great manual) - and from what I can glean from the sections on making patterns and its arpeggiator, it's certainly _very_ interesting and a nod in the same direction; but I don't think it's the same.

It looks like you start off by designing a fixed note patterns - and then arpeggiate using those patterns and where you can 'drop out' given notes in the pattern in real time as well as transpose it - so in some respects it's more flexible - but it doesn't offer the realtime ability to change the pattern (or chord) while maintaining the 'meter' which the Casio does - but - it's still incredibly interesting and easily as useful in a real time scenario; and I only quickly glanced at a few sections of the manual so happy to stand corrected on any of that.

I wasn't aware of this device but I may buy one - thanks for flagging it. I'm big into real time control of sequences and arpeggiation and this definitely looks intriguing. If its note patterns replay, including realtime modifications to its arpeggiator can be recorded externally as MIDI events then this could be a very powerful addition to any setup. Will be interested in any thoughts you have on it.

Cheers, Kevin.

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5328
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Wurlitzer Opus 1536, Model F, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, Thermostat, Buck Owens' Moog.
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: Synthesizers with awesome arpeggiators

Post by madtheory » Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:09 pm

That's interesting about the Bass Bot, though I actually meant the Oberheim Cyclone.

knolan
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 498
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:42 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Synthesizers with awesome arpeggiators

Post by knolan » Sun Mar 29, 2020 1:28 pm

Brilliant!

Lots of interesting ideas arising - inadvertently !

Never even heard of the Oberheim Cyclone before - but when Googled it - there's one on sale right now on the the Spheremusic auction to end next Saturday!

http://www.spheremusic.com/Bargaindtl.asp?Item=10596

Excellent thread!

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5328
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Wurlitzer Opus 1536, Model F, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, Thermostat, Buck Owens' Moog.
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: Synthesizers with awesome arpeggiators

Post by madtheory » Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:33 pm

That's funny, I thought we had discussed it before! Episodic memory- totally unreliable :lol:

They usually go for around €300. I believe there was some connection between the developer of the Cyclone and the Zyklus. The guy told the whole story on the Sound on Sound forum many years ago, but that got lost in the change to the current forum software.

Hugo76
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1433
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:57 pm

Re: Synthesizers with awesome arpeggiators

Post by Hugo76 » Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:04 pm

Regarding arpeggiators, I think it's crucial to be able to program ones own patterns. Of the synths I own, the arp on the Virus TI2 is awesome, as is the one in the Yamaha MOXF. The Triton series also has great arpeggiators. This includes the Micro X, which has the Triton engine. Regarding the M3, I just gave up trying to understand the KARMA technology (mind you, I didn't try too hard).

The Roland MC-909 has a great arpeggiator, which is a breeze to program on the big screen. Oh yeah, that also goes for the V-Synth.

I think the E-mu Proteus 2000 and that line also feature programmable arps, but I've never looked into that on my Proteus.

Another synth with a very interesting arpeggiator, is the Audiothingies Micromonsta. It's also possible to generate randomized arpeggio patterns.

knolan
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 498
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:42 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Synthesizers with awesome arpeggiators

Post by knolan » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:06 pm

madtheory wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:33 pm
That's funny, I thought we had discussed it before! Episodic memory- totally unreliable :lol:

They usually go for around €300. I believe there was some connection between the developer of the Cyclone and the Zyklus. The guy told the whole story on the Sound on Sound forum many years ago, but that got lost in the change to the current forum software.
Interesting! I own a Zykus - still haven't integrated that in to my setup either - it takes me years to get round to what it takes others months to do!

I think I cut and pasted that entire SOS thread into a word document somewhere - must look for it. I did that because (Bill Marshall?) the creator of the Zyklus got chatting to Stephen Kay over that thread where they were considering how what you'd get if you passed Zyklus realtime sequences into the Karma engine!

@Hugo - I agree - Karma is FAR too complicated. I've said this to Stephen Kay too :-) IMO among the very best MIDI sequencing technologies ever created - Stephen Kay is a very talented musician and designer - but - IMO it should have a far easier interface - perhaps Ableton like. I'd love to see him develop it into a software only utility with an amazing GUI. I've tried to red the documentation on it - and still want to - but - it's hundreds of pages to cover all aspects of it. His definition document on the categories of Generated Effect is so abstract I really struggle to grasp what he's on about. But - with the Karma Software on computer (a separately purchased package to the Karma engine on the workstations) you can design you own Generate Effects.

so for example - you can import any MIDI pattern from any drum machine say, and then "Karma-ify" to turn it into Generated Effect, and then import it into your OASYS or Kronos (or Karma, Triton or Motif) and then exploit the manipulation of that pattern in realtime using the Karma engine. So it's truly remarkable - but as you point out - extraordinarily challenging to get to a point where you can get it to do things you might find useful in any kind of production / composition.


@madtheory - I'm definitely intrigued by the Cyclone now!!

Hugo76
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1433
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:57 pm

Re: Synthesizers with awesome arpeggiators

Post by Hugo76 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:48 am

knolan wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:06 pm
@Hugo - I agree - Karma is FAR too complicated. I've said this to Stephen Kay too :-) IMO among the very best MIDI sequencing technologies ever created - Stephen Kay is a very talented musician and designer - but - IMO it should have a far easier interface - perhaps Ableton like. I'd love to see him develop it into a software only utility with an amazing GUI. I've tried to red the documentation on it - and still want to - but - it's hundreds of pages to cover all aspects of it. His definition document on the categories of Generated Effect is so abstract I really struggle to grasp what he's on about. But - with the Karma Software on computer (a separately purchased package to the Karma engine on the workstations) you can design you own Generate Effects.

so for example - you can import any MIDI pattern from any drum machine say, and then "Karma-ify" to turn it into Generated Effect, and then import it into your OASYS or Kronos (or Karma, Triton or Motif) and then exploit the manipulation of that pattern in realtime using the Karma engine. So it's truly remarkable - but as you point out - extraordinarily challenging to get to a point where you can get it to do things you might find useful in any kind of production / composition.


@madtheory - I'm definitely intrigued by the Cyclone now!!
Yeah, that's my impression too. Can you recommend any good tutorial videos on programming the KARMA software? It'd be cool to understand more of it.

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5328
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Wurlitzer Opus 1536, Model F, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, Thermostat, Buck Owens' Moog.
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: Synthesizers with awesome arpeggiators

Post by madtheory » Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:36 pm

knolan wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:06 pm
I think I cut and pasted that entire SOS thread into a word document somewhere - must look for it. I did that because (Bill Marshall?) the creator of the Zyklus got chatting to Stephen Kay over that thread where they were considering how what you'd get if you passed Zyklus realtime sequences into the Karma engine!
Oh wow! Please share that if it turns up :)

Karma sounds amazing, and I too think Kay is an amazing talent. I am not stuck for ideas at the moment, so I haven't switched the Cyclone on in a while, nor did I get around to trying out the Drummer. I'm not stuck for ideas because I've been transferring 4 track tapes, CZ-5000 sequences and Cubase files. Findig that stuff I couldn't finish/ develop in the past, I can now. Mainly because I am far less critical/ judgemental. But probably also just experience. Still learning though! Someday I'll get my head around modes and keys, it's fascinating to me how film composers exploit that and produce so much good material.
Last edited by madtheory on Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply