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Arpeggiator solutions for old hardware synths?
Old 14th September 2012
  #1
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KOTARE's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Arpeggiator solutions for old hardware synths?

Just curious:

For all of you who have an old synth or two (or ten), for the ones which have no on-board arp but which have MIDI in, what do you use as an arpeggio controller?

I could just set up an arp engine in a DAW (like Ableton or whatever) but are there any specific standalone software engines which could do the same? I use FL10 at the moment so each in-software VST eats into the RAM etc...

Any other elegant solutions?

At this point I have a Polaris and an AX73 which both lack arp (and would really come to life with one, especially the Polaris), a Poly61 which has an on-board arp (which totally takes it to another dimension - I love it's dirty filter - why is this thing thought of so poorly?) but no MIDI out, a Poly6 currently going through BETA upgrades with the new KiwiTechnic thing, and a ProphetVS which has an onboard arp and MIDI out.

I could just MIDI out the arp on the VS to the Polaris and AX73, right? Thing is that the slider on my VS needs a little attention (a small fix) so at the moment I can't really access the arp parameters via the LCD screen - I have to use the VS editing software on my laptop - and a hands on arp is what it's all about for me, adjusting the frequency and octave range on the fly in small time subdivisions.

Any thoughts?
Old 14th September 2012
  #2
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Yoozer's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KOTARE ➑️
I use FL10 at the moment so each in-software VST eats into the RAM etc...
MIDI plugins should only use a fraction of what sound-generating plugins use, otherwise there's something seriously wrong.

Quote:
Any thoughts?
Truly standalone arps are not that common, I believe - the Waldorf Gekko is one, and MAM (Music And More) has the MAP-1. Both of these are no longer in production.

A Novation Nova is pretty cheap and has lots of arpeggiator patterns (and it's a neat VA). It's not a truly dedicated arpeggiator, though, but compact.
Old 14th September 2012
  #3
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Forbidden Planet's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Oberheim cyclone, in their perf/x series, vintage hardware with arpeggios beyond your wildest dreams
Old 14th September 2012 | Show parent
  #4
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer ➑️
Truly standalone arps are not that common, I believe - the Waldorf Gekko is one, and MAM (Music And More) has the MAP-1.
This is what I wanted to hear.

And thank's for the heads up on the Nova. Having something external from the box to better use them live, and live in the studio too. Thanks!
Old 14th September 2012 | Show parent
  #5
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forbidden Planet ➑️
Oberheim cyclone, in their perf/x series.
Woah! Bingo. You have used one?
Old 14th September 2012
  #6
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lysander's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Mutable instruments midipal.
Old 14th September 2012
  #7
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acealive's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Midipal :

MIDIpal | Mutable instruments
Old 14th September 2012 | Show parent
  #8
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by lysander ➑️
Mutable instruments midipal.
So, if I used this with my Polaris, for example, would I have to use another keyboard as the master keyboard? Or could I hold down a chord on the Polaris and this device will trigger an arp pattern?

It may be unavoidable, but the idea of having another keyboard as a controller really irks, especially as the host synth has all of it's dedicated sliders and knobs at fingers length.
Old 14th September 2012
  #9
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Does the Polaris have MIDI Local Off?

If so:

Polaris MIDI out > MIDIPal MIDI in
MIDIPal MIDI out > Polaris MIDI in

If you want to record with your computer, you can also choose for this:

Computer MIDI out > MIDIPal MIDI in
MIDIPal MIDI out > Polaris MIDI in
(and if you use the Polaris as a MIDI controller, Polaris MIDI out > computer MIDI in)

Then you enable/disable the MIDIPal's arpeggiator as needed, but in that case the computer only records the chords. If you want it to record the actual MIDI notes, then the MIDIPal should be between controller MIDI out and computer MIDI in.

This is actually a pretty great idea - no more hunting for nonexistent Gekkos an MAPs - thanks lysander!
Old 14th September 2012 | Show parent
  #10
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer ➑️
Does the Polaris have MIDI Local Off?

If so:

Polaris MIDI out > MIDIPal MIDI in
MIDIPal MIDI out > Polaris MIDI in
Brilliant. Many thanks - 100 bucks is quite reasonable to be honest.

On a related issue, I really have issues with sequencing hardware from DAW, so finding a decent external sequencer with a few extra features will be the next step I think.

Thanks again.
Old 14th September 2012
  #11
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asynchro_nous's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hmmm that Midipal does mucho cool stuff.
Old 14th September 2012
  #12
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jbuonacc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
expensive, but a Nord G2 or G2 Engine could be very good for this.

not sure if the original NM or MicroMod can output arp patterns via MIDI, but it might be worth looking into.
Old 14th September 2012
  #13
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🎧 15 years
Just curious, what are your issues with sequencing hardware from a DAW?

I use Ableton Live with hardware synths exclusively and don't encounter any issues that have me considering going back to a hardware sequencer. I actually jumped ship from an RS7000 (which, btw, is possibly the most badass hardware sequencer/arpeggiator you will find if you do decide you must go that route) to Live and have not looked back. Live's arpeggiator plugin is great and the CPU load is negligible.
Old 14th September 2012
  #14
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🎧 10 years
there are lots of ipad or ipod touch options.
Old 14th September 2012
  #15
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rafkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'm using an old Korg electribe EA-1 to trigger a Waldorf microwave xt which has his own arpeggiator and it's great!
You can easily transpose with the pads and octave buttons, or pushing 3 or more pads and the mw modulates in real time; no latency, no bugs
Old 14th September 2012
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
I used to use Ableton to a MIDI out, or CV out of a Bass Station Rack. But I recently got a MAX49 and it has some decent arpeggios as well as CV out.

The MAX isn't cheap for what it is though. But it is very fun to map effect controls to those faders.

Sold the Bass Station since I never used it as a synth and was only using it for MIDI to CV.
Old 14th September 2012
  #17
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alexp's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I have an Oberheim Cyclone that I use for all my arps. Its absolutely fantastic.



alexP
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #18
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KOTARE's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by silent5 ➑️
Just curious, what are your issues with sequencing hardware from a DAW?
Mainly that I use a step sequencer, say in 64 steps, but I find it hard to jam on step sequencers in the DAWs that I have used in a creative way, with modulation to the timing/pitch of MIDI notes etc, reversing, randomizing, just that creative aspect of sequencing where, interfacing with a good sequencer, you find unexpected results.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #19
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BaconTastesGood's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KOTARE ➑️
Mainly that I use a step sequencer, say in 64 steps, but I find it hard to jam on step sequencers in the DAWs that I have used in a creative way, with modulation to the timing/pitch of MIDI notes etc, reversing, randomizing, just that creative aspect of sequencing where, interfacing with a good sequencer, you find unexpected results.
MIDIPal is great (I just got one), I just wish it had more knobs.

For hardware sequencing, the RS7K is tough to beat if you want something that is a true sequencer and also capable of doing beat/loop oriented work. Most other sequencers are far more loop oriented and not as good for building songs. The exception being the Cirklon, but expect 5+ month waits to get those.

Just so happens I'm selling my RS7K, so if you're interested and in the US let me know
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