I am constantly using Midi effects and tricks in my own workflow. I look for plug-ins that output midi data (Audio Damage Axon for example). The video above from The Ableton Cookbook shows you how to record the Arpeggiator’s notes while manipulating the device.
“The traditional signal chain in Ableton goes from the MIDI clip to a MIDI effect and then into an Instrument or Instrument Rack, where the MIDI information is interpreted and output as audio. This means that, if you press record on a MIDI Clip that has an effect on it, you’ll get a recording not of the effected MIDI signal, but of the unaffected MIDI signal. If you want to capture these affected MIDI events, you are going to have to do some MIDI routing. In this video, I show you how this is done!” – theabletoncookbook.com
It’s interesting to peak into someone’s left brain meets right brain work flow. You can pick up a few Ableton tips and tricks in this video and see how pushing pixels turns into sound.
“So in this tutorial i have used Ableton’s Simpler, Arpeggiator and utility to create some complex beats out of simple ones. The idea here is you don’t have to program everything by hand if your more into the idea of chance music or your just lazy or want to control things in a different way!” – Bill Day
I never knew that dragging a audio selection onto a MIDI track would automatically create a Simpler with the audio set up. Did you learn anything new?
The Covert Operators are Ableton freaks like myself. Their website is full of tips, tricks, videos and free stuff to download. They also offer a few things for sale. Tonight I bought one of their products called Traces 1. Traces 1 is simply 50 Arpeggiator Racks created with different live Midi Devices. I’m constantly looking for ways to break out of my own mind’s repetitive mode especially when it comes to melodies. You know the deal; you sit down to create a new song and all you end up playing is the same four notes you always play!
The first edition of Traces focuses on arps, with 50 Arpeggiator Racks, ranging from simple beat sequences to complex melodies that can be altered in real-time. Combining the Racks with each other delivers even more sequences with literally thousands of combinations to try out. From instant glitch to subtle backgrounds. And how about using several Arpeggiator Racks at once? – www.covops.org
Here an audio sample I put together using Fabfilter’s Twin as the synth, Impulse loaded with GoldBaby’s free Cassette 808 drums and a few Traces 1 arp presets:
Here’s an audio sample of Impulse loaded with GoldBaby’s free Cassette 808 drums and a few Traces 1 arp presets controlling the actual drum beat (nice!):
With both the above demos I only have 1 note, 4 bars long laid into a clip. The Traces 1 presets are creating all the movement. It’s true you can make these yourself with some time but even I learned a few things by looking how they put these together. By the way here is a related post I did about using an arp on drums: click here
Spectrasonics has been creating a series of videos for it’s upcoming super soft synth Omnisphere. The latest video is quiet excellent. Eric Persing knows how to get you excited about a product. The video takes a time line tour of arpeggiators in vintage synths. You get to see a Moog Modular, Roland Jupiter 4, Jupiter 8, Juno 60, Sequential Circuits Prophet VS, Roland JP-800 and Access Virus all “arping” away.
I like the implementation of the step sequencer/arpeggiator in Omniphere too. The “oh nice” moment comes when he drops a Jazz midi groove template into Omnisphere and the arpeggiator locks to it. The Omnisphere arpeggiator also has a swing parameter which is vital in today’s electronic music.
Native Instruments from Berlin are one of the top plug-in manufacturers. One of their early smash hits was a recreation of the FM synthesizer the Yamaha DX7 called FM7. It could load original DX7 patches but was far easier to use. Many people finally unplugged there old DX and TX’s and put them on eBay.
This year they released the FM8. They added many new features but one component is the bees knees: the appeggiator. I probably would not have upgraded my FM7 but when I saw how much fun this thing was my credit card was out. Something tells me Native Instruments always had plans to release their own sequencer but the market was too saturated. Most of their new plug-ins are loaded with mini arps and sequencers. All of them are great. “NI” should not have a case of sequencer envy.
Open the plug-in and pick a nice synth patch in the browser. Click on arpeggiator. In the global section click “on”. See the little yellow square stepping though the pattern editor? Hold down a key on your controller and you will hear whatever notes you play being effected stepping along. You can slide the little black triangle in the pattern editor to shorten or lengthen the loop.
Now here’s where all the fun is. See next to each lane on the pattern editor there is a little black dice icon? It’s a random button. Do it! Click them all! Do you hear what I hear? Thats the sound of fun. Thats the sound of… “Oh yeah cool idea I can use in this song!”.
Next try out the shuffle. It’s very strong which in my book means its very good. Lastly, take a look in the global section where you turned the arp on and find the drop down menu. There you can find some pre-programmed sequences. You can also save your own which is handy when you want to try out different sounds with a cool sequence you created.