The Interface: Ultimate control on a per-step basis!
he Step Animator engine is the driving force behind ARPOLOGY. Developed from the ground up, the Step Animator engine welcomes a new approach, animating sound over time. The dynamic controls of the Step Animator are strategically arranged to maximize power and creative control in an efficient interface. This kind of control is the first of its kind and is like no other Arpeggiator, providing the flexibility to quickly sequence complex rhythmic and melodic patterns with amazing results. It is mind blowing that such unique and inspiring sounds can be achieved all at the MIDI level. The Step Animator sets ARPOLOGY apart as not just another sample library, but also a complex sonic animation tool that can generate infinite creative results.
Thanks to Step Animator’s integration at the MIDI level, ARPOLOGY is not only a powerful virtual instrument, it can also be used as a MIDI effect via Drag & Drop (see Feature Overview) with any virtual instrument in virtually any DAW. This function allows the Step Animator to control thousands of MIDI equipped instruments with up to 128 steps of sequencing power.
Here are some of the main features available to animate on a per-step basis. For a more in-depth look, check out the video section.
Sequence a pattern with a custom combination of notes, rests, stutters, glides, and free all on a per-step basis. Stutter creates a stuttering of the played notes. In addition, the rate of a stutter can be set to various note resolutions each on a per-step basis. Glide slides the pitch of the played note to the next note in the sequence. Free allows for free playing (no sequence) during the duration of the step of the animated sequence. These features transform and elevate MIDI into whole new world.
One of the most important parameters in step animating is velocity, which controls instrument volume and can be assigned to a cutoff filter. With ARPOLOGY, there are two options for how velocity is interpreted by the instrument, input or output. In input mode, velocity is driven by how a keyboard or MIDI controller is played, user MIDI input performance dictates velocity input, which is then passed through the Step Animator’s velocity processor. In output mode, the pre-programmed step sequence dictates the output velocity and send the data as a hardcoded sequence so that a pattern plays exactly the same way every time, not influenced by MIDI input velocity performance. For a more hands on approach, velocity can be controlled via the mod wheel. In addition, there is a Velocity to Volume knob that allows for scaling and balancing how intense velocity input or output controls an instrument’s output volume.
Length is one of the features that really sets the Step Animator apart from the every day arpeggiator. It establishes independent duration (resolution) for each step. Choose any duration from 1 bar in length per step to as short as a 1/96th note. Length offers the flexibility to easily sequence a wide range of patterns unconfined to a single beat resolution, from something very simple to something complex scored out over time. The potential is limitless with the Step Animator’s ability to sequence the duration for each step individually, up to 64 steps!
An important component of the Step Animator is the Arp type. Arp type sets the style of note triggering that will be played on each step. The options range from alternating single note styles (directional/arpeggiating) to a chorded (gated) multi-note style.
Each step can be individually transposed via MIDI just like a traditional pitch sequencer with a + or – 3 octave range. This yields great flexibility for making custom melodic sequences in no time.
Duration controls the release time of samples on a per step basis. Adjusting this value can result in samples that play as short staccato notes with little to no duration, or extremely long making the release of the sample bleed into the next step.
Pan the stereo imagine on a per step basis.
Many parameters within the Step Animator contain a “R” button, which can be activated for randomization using the Random Animator’s Random feature. This includes items such as length, duration, pan, transposition, arp type, note type, number of steps in a sequence, etc.
There are 3 play mode options: Latch, Freeze, and Random. Latch will hold a note or chord as played until a new note or chord is played. This allows for sequencing and effecting without having to play any more notes. Freeze, holds the step that is currently playing in a sequence and repeats playback of the single step until Freeze is deactivated. Random play mode will auto randomize which ever parameters have been pre-selected for randomization with “R” button each time the sequence plays completely through the cycle of steps. For example, if duration is set to be randomized (“R”) and the Animator is in Random play mode, every time the Animator reaches step 1 of the sequence the duration will randomize to a completely new set of parameters. This feature is a fabulous tool for live performance and when used in the right context can yield very powerful results. In addition, the step pattern direction can be set to play forward or in reverse order and the speed can be set to play at half or double speed with the click of a single button.
Every instrument patch is designed with 3 key switches: Stutter, Glide, and Freeze. This allows for on the fly manipulation using a key note to stutter, glide, and or freeze any step in the sequence when the key switch is pressed.
Music theory made easy!
Since every step can be set to any note length and the sequence to any number of steps, it could be a real challenge to create sequences that are complete whole bars/measures aligned to the beat and meter. To make things super simple, set a desired meter, to 4/4 for example, then as steps are added to a sequence a read out is displayed in the parameter display box indicating what note lengths need to be added in order to complete a bar at the established meter. To expedite the process of devising perfect metronomics, there is a quantize button. When pressed, this feature will auto quantize the current sequence based on the established meter. This makes it very easy to craft custom presets that are perfectly in time. Skip the theory altogether and use the Preset Browser.
The Presets Browser
With over 150 ready-made presets, the Preset Browser is the go to solution for drastically changing the animation of an instrument quickly and on the fly. Consider it the central nervous system of the Animator, simply arrow through presets in real-time while playing an instrument as well as load and save custom presets.
In addition to the Step Animator, every instrument comes stocked with a Main Effects tab.
Features include: VIDEO
- MULTI-CORE EFFECT SEQUENCERS – for real-time effect automation
- TRIGGERS – 48 unique effect chains VIDEO
- LFO – to make things wobble VIDEO
- WAVE – additive synthesis engine
- PITCH – sequencer for quick and easy pattern based transpositions on the fly
- MULTI MACROS & BUTTONS – for real-time sequencing of instrument parameter controls