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Arpeggiators and MIDI

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:01 am
by cornutt
So, I'm still kind of new to synths with arpeggiators -- I didn't own one until I bought my V-Synth a couple of years ago, and now with the Solaris, I've got two. With the V-Synth, if I record MIDI for a part that uses the arpeggiator, I've got two options: (1) record the MIDI notes as played, or (2) record the notes output by the arpeggiator. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach? A few things I've thought of:

Recording notes as played: Obviously, the ability to change the arpeggiation pattern. If I don't like the pattern I used, I can use a different one for playback. Or, I can change it while the MIDI plays. The arpeggiator may have tighter timing than the DAW software on the computer. I can play with the arpeggiator tempo independently of the song tempo. If I don't like some chord I played, it's easy to change in the DAW editor. Possible disadvantage: If I used a random pattern, it won't play back the same way twice, so any interaction I did with it while I was playing it will be lost.

Recording the arpeggiator's output: I can mess with the recorded pattern; change a note here and there, that sort of thing. I can send the MIDI notes to another synth (one that doesn't have its own arpeggiator), for layering or whatever purpose. Random patterns are captured and will play back the same way they sounded when they were recorded. I can reverse the whole track and the pattern will play back in the opposite direction. And no mussing around with MIDI clock to keep the arpeggiator in sync during playback. Possible disadvantages: Not easy to substitute a chord; you'd pretty much have to punch in. Timing may not be as tight.

Re: Arpeggiators and MIDI

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:19 am
by sawan
record both at the same time.

Re: Arpeggiators and MIDI

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:01 am
by Mr Knesh
Record both at the same time AAAANNND buy a minimoog.

Re: Arpeggiators and MIDI

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:32 am
by Stab Frenzy
One cool thing I've done with recording the midi output from an arpeggiator is splitting the notes in my DAW (eg the three different octaves of the pattern) and then putting them on different tracks and then recording them separately. The track I used that on I made three different patches on my modular which were slightly different and then recorded them separately. I could then pan them differently so the arpeggio moved around as it played. Have a listen to the result:



Regarding recording the note input vs. the arp output, I personally favour attempting to get things sounding like you want them to end up before hitting record so would vote for the output. I have been burnt by doing things that way before but it teaches you to commit to things which results in improving your decision making, at least in theory. :D

Re: Arpeggiators and MIDI

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:08 am
by lazerface
damn..nice track stabs.

Re: Arpeggiators and MIDI

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:26 am
by Stab Frenzy
Thanks but I can't take the credit for the melody, it's a Geoffrey O'Connor remix I did with all the original parts taken out except for that processed organ bit and some whispering. And it has way too much bottom end.

Re: Arpeggiators and MIDI

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:54 am
by Solderman
I found some rewarding results by recording a arpeggio performance from the Virus via Midi notes into the DAW, then playing that back to the Virus again with a different, slightly more complex arpeggio template that started off-time from the original one. Midi clock sync was naturally used on both. Only the audio was recorded on the second pass.

Here's a clip of one of the better results I had:

It still goes off-time in some places, like an odd time signature now and then, but I suppose that could have been corrected if I'd recorded Midi the second time. I also could have separated the bass and tenor notes into their own Midi tracks and not gotten so much floppy portamento.

It helps to have a Midi patchbay to do it this way. :)

Re: Arpeggiators and MIDI

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:41 pm
by meatballfulton
sawan wrote:record both at the same time.
Some synths do allow sending the keyboard output over one MIDI channel and the arpeggiator output out another. That way you're hedging your bets at the cost of an extra MIDI track in the DAW 8-)

Check your manuals to see if your synths support this :read:

Re: Arpeggiators and MIDI

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:13 pm
by sawan
or, use a controller keyboard routed into your daw and record your playing. at the same time, have that track send midi to your arp's input, and then record the arp's output to a seperate track.