What does it do?
Despite it’s name, ARPocalypse is not an arpegiator. ARPocalypse is a 8 step rhythmic pattern generator. Simply put it takes chords of up to six notes and plays them in a predefined sequence in sync with your sequencer.
How does it work?
At the heart of ARPocalypse is the 6x8 note matrix. The eight columns represent the eight steps in the sequence. The six rows represent the six notes in the chord. By toggling each cell on and off patterns are be built up. Below the note matrix are an array of knobs and buttons controlling velocity, gate time, swing and legato.
MIDI chords or notes are input into ARPocalypse and the output routed to a MIDI sound source to play the chords in the selected pattern
How do I use it?
There are two ways – the easy way and the hard way.
The easiest way is to use ARPocalypse is as a VSTi. Load it into your VSTi rack. Create a MIDI track and route the output to ARPocalypse. Create another MIDI track and route the output from ARPocalypse into the MIDI input of that track, and route the MIDI output to your sound source. And that’s it.
Please note that this only works with version 1.01 and higher. If you still have version 1.0 please download the latest copy from here.
Using ARPocalypse as an effect is a little bit more complicated as it runs as a VST audio effect. To use it create an audio track and add an instance of ARPocalypse as an insert on the track. It does not process the audio in any way – it just needs a place to live.
Once you have an instance of ARPocalypse it should now show up in both the MIDI inputs and MIDI Output list of your sequencer. Create a MIDI track and route it’s output into the MIDI input of the ARPocalypse. This track is where you need to place your midi track for the input into ARPocalypse – I route the output of my synth into the input of this track so I can play it live.
Next create a second MIDI track, and route the output of ARPocalypse into the input of this track, and route the output of this track to the synth you want to control.
That’s it. A bit of a pain but blame the way VST midi effects are implemented.
The MIDI Input section contains only one control knob. This knob changes which notes are used in the event of more than six notes being played simultaneously.
LOW – The lowest six notes are used.
HIGH – The high six notes are used.
Played – The last six notes played are used.
The MIDI Output section contains only one control, which controls which notes you’re playing relate to which notes on the Note Matrix.
LOW – The lowest note played corresponds to the bottom row on the Note Matrix
HIGH – The highest note played corresponds to the bottom row on the Note Matrix
Played – The first note played corresponds to the bottom row on the Note Matrix
The note matrix contains the pattern to be played. The rows correspond to the note in the chord being played, the columns relate to step of the pattern.
So, the pattern shown will play the 1st and 6th note of the chord for the first step. The 5th note for the 2nd step and so on.
If you play less than six notes the high notes will result in no output (i.e. the first step would only play the first note of the chord).
The Information screen shows information about changes made to the plugin. For instance when changing the value of a knob the display will show information about the parameter you are changing and it’s value.
LEDS – the LEDS indicate the current step being played.
Sync ON/OFF – Syncs to host tempo
TEMPO – Controls the tempo when not synced to host
Sync Control – Number of beats per step.
Knobs – Each of the eight velocity knobs corresponds to the velocity of each step. Range is from 0 – 127.
On/OFF – Turns velocity knobs on/off. When OFF the velocity of the played note is used.
Bt – Selects which beats the Values knob will affect. 1 Selects all beats, 2 selects every second beat and so on.
VALUE – Moves all the velocity knobs chosen by the BT knob to the same value as the VALUE knob.-
KNOBS – Each of the eight gate knobs sets the gate time for each step. Range is from 0 – 100.
ON/OFF – Turns the gate knobs on/off. When OFF a gate of half the step time is used.
Bt – Selects which beats the Values knob will affect.
VALUE – Moves all the gate knobs chosen by the BT knob to the same value as the VALUE knob.
KNOBS – Each of the eight swing knobs sets the swing time for each step. Any value above 0 pulls the step forward before the beat. Range is from 0 – 100.
ON/OFF – Turns the swing knobs on/off. When OFF no swing is applied.
Bt – Selects which beats the Values knob will affect.
VALUE – Moves all the swing knobs chosen by the BT knob to the same value as the VALUE knob.
BUTTONS – Each button turns on Legato for each step. If Legato is selected any note that is also selected in the next step will be held over regardless of the selected gate time. The note will not be retriggered when the next step starts. Any note which is note selected in the next step on the Matrix will stop playing according to the selected GATE value.
On/Off – Turns the legato function On/Off
ARPocalypse concept, design and development by Wiz.
Great thanks to Tobybear for his Delphi template and answering my questions when getting started.
Thanks to all at the kvr-vst developers forum for their help and keeping me inspired by their work. Especially to aldi who help me with my tempo syncing issue. If you’re into VSTs you should visit www.kvr-vst.com.
Got an idea for a plugin? Well don’t send it to me. Invest a bit time like did and learn to develop your own. It’s really not that hard if you’ve ever programmed before.
You use ARPocalypse at your own risk. It has been tested extensively with Cubase SX 2.2 and works fine.
ARPocalypse is supported on a best endeavours basis. Any bug reports should be sent to ARPocalypse@wiz.nildram.co.uk. I’m just one guy and take holidays so please don’t be upset if I take some time to reply.
You don’t have to – but if you use ARPocalypse perhaps you’d consider donating some money to me. The price of a couple of pints of beer seems like a small price to pay. If you use it on a commercial recording why not drop me a line and offer to send me a copy. Sounds like a small price to pay for a tool you found useful.
You can donate by clicking on the PayPal link on my website www.wiz.nildram.co.uk/ARPocalypse