A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

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genus9
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A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by genus9 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:47 pm

Hi
I've been looking for a reasonably priced used or new analog modelling synth that will play great arpeggios, ones that will play all 8 notes in the scale both up and down in Major and minor scales. And one that is easy to program, or one that has these preset arps installed and can play at a touch of a button. I used to own a Korg Karma which had a fantastic mind of its own...WOW!
Are there any enthusiasts out there who can recommend a synth that can play these ARPs within the $250 - $500 mark (£150 - £300)

I have been experimenting with my Fantom G6 and it can take a few hours to program similar arps like this such that I have to clinically, trim the notes when editing an ARP into their exact length to fit a beat ..this is great if I have a few hours on a sunday, but there must be something simpler out there....Technology must be there!!

Anyone?

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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by TheKeytarist » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:30 pm

The first thing that came to my mind was the access virus, but that is DEFINITELY NOT a $499 synth. The second thing that came to my mind was the Waldorf Blofeld. I believe it also has a 32 step sequencer to boot. Also worth mentioning, I've heard some great ARPs from the korg radias/R3 and both the microkorgs.
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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by Synthacon » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:34 pm

Blofeld, Mopho/Evolver or a used Z1, all have great ARP's.

Are you wanting a programmable ARP?
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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by Scories » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:43 pm

I don't have one, but the ultimate arpegiator-synth must be the Korg Mono/poly.

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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by Synthacon » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:45 pm

Scories wrote:I don't have one, but the ultimate arpegiator-synth must be the Korg Mono/poly.
Certainly fun setting up different timbres on each VCO and letting it do its stuff, but possibly a little out of the OP budget.
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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by GuyaGuy » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:55 pm

Synthacon wrote:Blofeld, Mopho/Evolver or a used Z1, all have great ARP's.
yup
Synthacon wrote:
Scories wrote:I don't have one, but the ultimate arpegiator-synth must be the Korg Mono/poly.
Certainly fun setting up different timbres on each VCO and letting it do its stuff, but possibly a little out of the OP budget.
yup

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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by Soundwave » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:52 am

Image

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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by Dano » Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:32 am

Soundwave wrote:Image
Nice - I have a Cyclone and hadn't heard it it discussed or seen its picture posted prior to this (...might be wrong) as far as I can remember.
As far as synths with good traditional arpeggiators (e.g. Juno 60 style), the Novation A/K Stations have that - I think they have 16 note arps with the traditional patterns (up, down, up-down,up-down repeat note, order of notes played, random). The Novation Xio adds additional patterns as well as a polyphonic arp. The Korg R3 has all of the traditional patterns but with an 8 note max. The E-Mu Proteus 2000 series synths have very good programmable arps. 32 steps and you can repeat notes with only one step i.e. four 16th notes in a row of the same note only take 1 of th 32 steps.

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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:13 am

GuyaGuy wrote:
Synthacon wrote:Blofeld, Mopho/Evolver or a used Z1, all have great ARP's.
yup
Gotta disagree here, the desktop Evolver has no arp at all and the MEK has the most basic up/down/up-down/random arpeggiator imaginable. It was added as a bonus feature after the OS was pretty much completed and doesn't even have dedicated buttons, it's a combo press not even written on the front panel. I love my MEK but recommending it to someone who wants a good arpeggiator is a bit much. It couldn't do what the OP is specifically asking for (play all 8 notes in a minor/major scale).

I don't know anything about the Mopho as I don't own and haven't used one, so maybe it has a great one and that's where you guys are getting this from.

My favourite arps of the synths I own are on the V-Synth and XL-7. I also really like using the arp in Live in combination with the midi random and chord effects. The XL-7 (or any of the other Emu Command Stations) is really cheap and has an amazing arpeggiator and sequencer, although is a bit of a pain to edit with the tiny screen. That's the reason they're so cheap though.

Finally a point of writing style, ARP is a brand name, arp is an abbreviation of arpeggiator.

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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by Elandroth » Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:30 am

Gotta disagree here, the desktop Evolver has no arp at all and the MEK has the most basic up/down/up-down/random arpeggiator imaginable. It was added as a bonus feature after the OS was pretty much completed and doesn't even have dedicated buttons, it's a combo press not even written on the front panel. I love my MEK but recommending it to someone who wants a good arpeggiator is a bit much. It couldn't do what the OP is specifically asking for (play all 8 notes in a minor/major scale).

I've only had mine a few days, but I have to disagree. Yes the built in arp mode is an afterthought of a feature, but the sequencer makes creating custom arps of up to 16 steps easy as h**l. It shows you the actual note names too, not some weird values you have to compare to a chart or some such. I've had it since the weekend and I could crank out an arp on any scale you want in any order, easily. And although I'm sure there are settings to determine this behavior (as some patches do this some do not), it will change the root note based on the key you hit. So if you wanted a "major scale" sequence of 7 notes, that plays from root C, then E, then G - you can do that easily by just hitting the key at the right time.

I guess it's a bit more programming than what is usually considered an arp, but IMO we're talking semantics now and not actual capability. Correct me if I'm understanding the discussion incorrectly, because I think the MEK can do precisely what he wants very effectively and with an insane amount of customization in arp patterns by using the sequencer.

Although, from lookin at pictures it seems like the MED would be a bit more of a pain in the a*s (which is in his budget) than the MEK makes it.


Anyway, I'm not sure OP will find what he's looking for in that price range unless coming upon a great deal on something used. IMO get a synth module you like the sound of, then use a software sequencer over MIDI to make customized arps if the module doesn't have an easy to use sequencer built in.

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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by Angstwulf » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:26 am

Used might get you a Virus B/Classic. Combine that with any MIDI keyboard of any basic crappy level and ARP away.

Seriously, the Virus line has some of the best arpeggiat..arppeg...fek...arps ever.

The Evolvers sequencer can create some zany patterns but the true arp function is limited. But if you are committed to programming the sequencer you can make all kinds of patterns of any scale up to 16 steps. It's not a true arpeggiator but you can trigger it to start at a different note.

A good new synth worth looking at could be a Korg EMX1.

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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by Dano » Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:59 am

My favourite arps of the synths I own are on the V-Synth and XL-7. I also really like using the arp in Live in combination with the midi random and chord effects. The XL-7 (or any of the other Emu Command Stations) is really cheap and has an amazing arpeggiator and sequencer, although is a bit of a pain to edit with the tiny screen. That's the reason they're so cheap though.

Speaking of the XL-7 arp, I don't know whether anyone else has noticed this but if you have the E-Mu PK6
arpeggiator set on one of the basic patterns (e.g. up, down, random) and set to
cover multiple octaves then it doesn't save correctly in the patch. For
example, for the arpeggio to cover 2 octaves you would set the extension count
to 1 and interval to 12 (= semitones) but after saving and selecting another
patch and then returning to the arpeggio patch it will not sound right/how you
saved it. To correct this all you have to do when returning to the patch is go
to the extension interval and increment or decrement the setting then return it
to 12 and it will sound correct again - Of course this is a little bit of a
hassle though. (I'm not home sitting in front of my PK-6 right now so I might have my terms of extension count and interval switched around.) I was curious whether the same is true with the XL-7 arp.

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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by TheKeytarist » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:48 pm

Earlier, someone mentioned the novation xiosynth. I've had nothing but good experiences with the arp on my xio. It has up, down, 2 different up/down modes, random, polyphonic arp mode, and 32 different patterns. The arp is also latchable. I also noted that tone tweakers has an access virus (not sure if it's an a or b) for around $699.
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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by krzeppa » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:53 pm

In the price range you are looking for I think I would agree with others who said the Xio. It has a very good arpeggiator, and the synth is relatively cheap as well. I also loke the arp on the JP-8000 as well.

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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by GuyaGuy » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:15 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:
GuyaGuy wrote:
Synthacon wrote:Blofeld, Mopho/Evolver or a used Z1, all have great ARP's.
yup
Gotta disagree here, the desktop Evolver has no arp at all and the MEK has the most basic up/down/up-down/random arpeggiator imaginable. It was added as a bonus feature after the OS was pretty much completed and doesn't even have dedicated buttons, it's a combo press not even written on the front panel. I love my MEK but recommending it to someone who wants a good arpeggiator is a bit much. It couldn't do what the OP is specifically asking for (play all 8 notes in a minor/major scale).

I don't know anything about the Mopho as I don't own and haven't used one, so maybe it has a great one and that's where you guys are getting this from.

My favourite arps of the synths I own are on the V-Synth and XL-7. I also really like using the arp in Live in combination with the midi random and chord effects. The XL-7 (or any of the other Emu Command Stations) is really cheap and has an amazing arpeggiator and sequencer, although is a bit of a pain to edit with the tiny screen. That's the reason they're so cheap though.

Finally a point of writing style, ARP is a brand name, arp is an abbreviation of arpeggiator.
True, the Evolver DT only has the sequencer, which can be used for arpeggiator-like effects. But the MoPho and Tetra both have arpeggiators. They're fairly basic (same as the MEK's presumably) but it sounds like the OP isn't looking for anything too fancy.

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