A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by omvibes » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:22 pm

No-one has mentioned the Novation Nova yet? The module should come in your budget (just about), I forget the exact specs but the arp is programmable, plenty of options, sounds very nice as far as I'm concerned, and very flexible - 6 part multi-timbrality with individual effects set-ups as well. Far better than the Novation K station which I owned (and am now selling)

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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by TheKeytarist » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:42 am

Yup. Multi tambraly can be a great advantage when combined with arpegiators. The novation nova is is a great deal if you can find one.
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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by tallowwaters » Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:04 am

Going to have to agree with a few others on the Virii series. My Polar's best feature was the insanely cool arpeggiator, lots of fun, funky patterns, but out of your price range.

The microKorg arp drifts out of tempo, but the R3 is pretty serviceable, and one of my favorite synths to boot. The V Synth lets you program your own, as well as controlling various motion sequence type events
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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:49 am

Elandroth wrote:
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.
Yes you can program the sequencer to do that, but that's not the arp. The sequencer won't alternate between notes if you hold two keys down like a normal arp. The desktop Evo (which is the one in the OPs pricerange) doesn't show you the names of the notes either, you get a number which is the note value in half-semitones, which is pretty confusing to enter. I agree this is arguing semantics and that the Evolvers are very capable machines and the OP should get one anyway though. :D

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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by TheKeytarist » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:13 pm

The xio and the nova are most defiantly in the OP's price range. The access viruses are all great synths, but they are not all in the OP's price range. If searched on eBay, a second hand virus can be a great deal. On the other hand a xio synth has about 2 different price points. Either A. $329 new or B. About $190-200 used.
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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by krzeppa » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:47 pm

TheKeytarist wrote:The xio and the nova are most defiantly in the OP's price range. The access viruses are all great synths, but they are not all in the OP's price range. If searched on eBay, a second hand virus can be a great deal. On the other hand a xio synth has about 2 different price points. Either A. $329 new or B. About $190-200 used.
Agree, I think if you are looking for the lower end of your budge to go with Xio. However, I think the Nova would be the better choice. The thing sounds amazing, and the arpeggiator is very good. I don't know how you feel about a desktop modules; but it you don't need a synth with keys, I would definitely take a good long hard look at the Nova

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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by RD9 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:52 am

The Novation Supernova rack can be bought for about $400-500 USD, has an amazing sound engine, and has *really* awesome arpeggiator features that are easy to use. Very powerful.

Arp features:
  • internal/external clock sync
  • 64bpm-194bpm range
  • latch option
  • local/external trigger
  • up/down/pendelum1/pendelum2/custom programmable patterns
  • 120 pattern bank
  • monophonic/polyphonic arpeggios
  • up/down/played arpeggio note order
  • sync anywhere between 32nd triplet all the way to 8 bar dotted (12 bars)
  • octave range sweep (even if you play notes in a single octave only, it can auto duplicate+transpose themselves so your arpeggio can turn into a multi-octave arpeggio)
  • can send out the arpeggio midi
  • real time transposition
  • 4 types of quantization
  • gate control (25%, 50%, 75%)
  • more...
Last edited by RD9 on Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by Phollop Willing PA » Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:17 pm

Would the AKAI MINIAK do? I tried it out in the store, but wasn't sure if sequence and arp information is sent over MIDI. I might demo one at home this week, the local music store wants me too buy something...

http://www.musicradar.com/gear/all/keys ... 761/review

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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by TheKeytarist » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:16 pm

I know that the miniak has the same sound engine from the Alesis micron. I don't remember quite how much hands on control the op wants, but even the xio, with some menu diving, has more hands on control. Just a thought.
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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by Phollop Willing PA » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:28 pm

Tried the AKAI MINIAK at home today for a couple of hours, and could not get the arps to midi transmit. When I pressed a key, the note would transmit via midi, but only the initial one, not the arp. It appears the same way for the drum parts sequencers too. I tried all channels in both sends and recieve.

Must be like the KORG MS2000R that way, in the sense, there's a step sequencer built in, but it won't go over MIDI, which is a shame because if it did, the MS2000R would definately go into the classic collectible category. Can you imagine being able to use the MS 2000R as a midi step sequencer for other midi devices?

Now it's possible I may have not set up the AKAI MINIAK properly, midi wise, but I really don't think so. I'm going to try the same experiment in the music store and get the opinions of the keyboard sales staff on this effort. Also, I didn't have the manual, but it really isn't hard to get around it.

On a side note, the AKAI MINIAK is a really nice sounding budget keyboard, and seems to be made better than say the MICROKORG. I would recommend this keyboard for anyone just starting out in electronic music and composition.
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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by silikon » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:51 pm

How about a used Alesis Ion? I used to own one, and I'm fairly certain they have an arpeggiator that sync's to midi... Plus, it's a wicked VA in it's own right. I kinda miss mine.

Alesis ION Website

You can usually find one on eBay in great condition for between $USD400-500...

Just my humble opinion.
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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by TheKeytarist » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:54 pm

I'm glad some one mentioned the ion. Just as the microkorg has the same engine as the ms 2000, with less knobs; the micron adds to the features of the ion. The ion has more hands on control than the micron. Interestingly enough, the micron is more powerful.
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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by Fatbenelton » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:12 pm

Somebody mentioned it early on but it got lost in the evolver argument!

Korg Z1 - wonderful polyphonic arp with user programmable options. Sounded fab driving my MKS80......Should be within your budget and it's a fab synth as well!
Jonny Jones

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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by TheKeytarist » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:39 pm

Those are both awesome suggjestions because

A. The mks 80 is analog so that aready makes it awesome
B. the z1 is a korg so it has to have a sick arpeggiator
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Re: A reasonably priced synth which plays great ARPs

Post by Fatbenelton » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:05 pm

Awesome indeed......
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