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Thread: Making those repetitive synth lines...

  1. #1


    Agree? Yes No

    Default Making those repetitive synth lines...

    I like step sequenced/arp synth lines. But I have yet to find a way to make them that i really like, that is fun and simple. Here are some of my options:

    Real-time record, quantize, loop - just seems like a rediculous way to do it.

    fruityloops which has a step sequencer - works ok but the interface for it is dinky and hard to mouse around with.

    reason - a lot of people like this program but I don't because of the incessant scrolling required. I would also like to control external synths which reason doesn't do.

    Synthpop music is loaded with arp and step-sequence style lines, i would just like to know how other people here accomplish this, in a way thats not to tedious or cuumbersome to inhibit songwriting.
    James D. Stark
    Synthpop/Darkwave Artist
    ----\'----,---\'--<@
    http://jamesdstark.com
    http://myspace.com/jamesdstark
    http://www.cdbaby.com/all/jamesdstark

  2. #2


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    Default

    THERE ARE ZILLION WAYS MY FUTURE JEDI..
    HINT HINT....
    Arp is based on chord structure.
    Think sequence. NOT ARP.
    Only boring & stupid people rely on tools...
    Just draw your chord melody in monophonic patterns in your favorite sequencing program.
    www.myspace.com/pswk
    www.popstarwhokills.com (ElectroRock)
    www.myspace.com/youngjoon (Breaks)
    www.myspace.com/grep (IDM)
    www.myspace.com/requiemnoise (Industrial)

    \"There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.\"
    - Pablo Picasso

    \"The world only goes round by misunderstanding.\"
    - Charles Baudelaire

    \"It is quality, not quantity.\"

    \"why is it feel like a greatful dead show here? like that hippe that constantly talks about one band and how they changed their lives.\"

    PLEASE NO MORE \"I am a robot music.\" You are not a robot. Learn to program better like human beings.\"

    Electro is House music. If you don\'t like House music, please don\'t put down Electro, because it is trendy to say it. It might suprise you that Electro and House music were invented by Gay Black Americans in the mid 80s. They weren\'t invented by the beatless people who like to coin new trendy phrases.

    I am so tired of \"I want to be Depeche Mode or Erasure for the last 25 years.\" I hope I am not the only one. 25 years is a quarter of century and about a 1/3 of human life. If a person spends a 1/3 of his or her life having the same tastes, I don\'t know if that person acquired enough information to have an interesting life or has a problem understanding he or she is no longer a teenager.

    So called artists who never change, why do you call yourself an artist again?

  3. #3


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    Default

    I understand what ARPs are... but in synths they are more often used for repeating synth lines like I am after. For instance turn the arp on a keyboard, then just hold down a key and it constantly repeats the note with the clock, and you can add other notes & vary it. This for me is the most fun & inspiring way of doing it because you can play in real time. However the built in arp on my K2500 really sucks. Its very inconvenient to change/setup and it has issues reguarding the clock.

    I've been trying to avoid "drawing" in synth lines. I would much rather click buttons, virtual or real. I don't relish the idea of programing these in a "piano roll" style interface. Maybe what I'm looking for is sequencing software that is geared towards this type of programming. I mean basically I want 909 style programming, except the ability to change the notes. I mean I've hooked up my Korg ES-1 sampler which is 909 style programming to my juno 106 and its really cool. but unfortunately I can't really control the notes easily, only the rhythm.

    I am happy to use any tools, cheats, or shortcuts, anything to make my song creating process more efficient. Basically I'm used to doing things the hard way, and am trying to find tools to make it easier. I programmed my entire last album using only my keyboard's internal sequencer...
    James D. Stark
    Synthpop/Darkwave Artist
    ----\'----,---\'--<@
    http://jamesdstark.com
    http://myspace.com/jamesdstark
    http://www.cdbaby.com/all/jamesdstark

  4. #4


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    Default

    built in arp dont work well, because it might not play in the scale you are on.... most people program their patterns. i am not kidding.
    www.myspace.com/pswk
    www.popstarwhokills.com (ElectroRock)
    www.myspace.com/youngjoon (Breaks)
    www.myspace.com/grep (IDM)
    www.myspace.com/requiemnoise (Industrial)

    \"There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.\"
    - Pablo Picasso

    \"The world only goes round by misunderstanding.\"
    - Charles Baudelaire

    \"It is quality, not quantity.\"

    \"why is it feel like a greatful dead show here? like that hippe that constantly talks about one band and how they changed their lives.\"

    PLEASE NO MORE \"I am a robot music.\" You are not a robot. Learn to program better like human beings.\"

    Electro is House music. If you don\'t like House music, please don\'t put down Electro, because it is trendy to say it. It might suprise you that Electro and House music were invented by Gay Black Americans in the mid 80s. They weren\'t invented by the beatless people who like to coin new trendy phrases.

    I am so tired of \"I want to be Depeche Mode or Erasure for the last 25 years.\" I hope I am not the only one. 25 years is a quarter of century and about a 1/3 of human life. If a person spends a 1/3 of his or her life having the same tastes, I don\'t know if that person acquired enough information to have an interesting life or has a problem understanding he or she is no longer a teenager.

    So called artists who never change, why do you call yourself an artist again?

  5. #5


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    Default

    I dunno ... I suppose I am just one of those who programs his sequency arps simply by turning the BPM's on my Atari ST sequencer down to about 50 or 60, pressing record, and playing the durn things manually ... then quantize. Or I might try doing one on my Korg Poly-800's built in sequencer and recording it. Very primitive I know ...

  6. #6


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    I went through the same thing, thinking there was some magic arpeggiator setting that would do the trick. But you've just gotta roll up your sleeves and program away. I do sometimes use the arpeggiator for inspiration. Turn it on, start banging away at chords, and when I start hearing new stuff in my head I start programming it.

    -Mark
    www.djintrovert.com

  7. #7


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    I have the best Arpriagtor I could ever want on a Korg P61 you can push it up down and twin then change octave .........I onluy use this baby live .........But I can drown out any Meatl Guitarists or Drumming but with the most beautifull sound.....This was the case at an Adam Ant Convention when I played synth lines to Antmusic and drowned the drums Terry Lee Mahl the Original Adam and the Ants Drummer was there! ...gave that song a synth line that know one wood forget! Chords are fun the best example of an ARP based Album would be Apoptygma Berserkes-Album 7...absolutely amazing!!
    music for deviant boy\'s and girls f**k playing master and servent\'s
    this is the new s**t

    http://www.thethoughtcriminals.com

  8. #8


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    Default

    actually i spend alot of time just writing arp patterns and sequences in fruity and exporting them into the fruity score format.
    it allows me to just toss in the root notes for the progression and let it do all the work for me. really speeds up the progress.

    good starting point for songs.

    then again i also will spend a day or 2 writing sequences and exporting them. just so i have a spare folder of things to drop in a track if i'm stuck or bored.

    it's lead to some really great accidents.

  9. #9


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    Default

    I agree, you have to program it if you want the sequence/Arp to sound right. What I do as a starting point is to pick a key first. Then I go on to play various chord progressions within that key. Then I step sequence/Program the chords I played as an single arppegiated notes. Sounds good but can be very tedious Hope this helps a bit
    Shall We?

  10. #10


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    Default

    in response to built in arps not working well, maybe you are not aware of how some arps work. The one in my K2500, works in a fashion which it only puts notes in the arp that you actually press down. It doesn't follow any specific scale, only the notes you actually play so its not limited in that sense. This is the way I programmed all my repetitive synth lines on my last album.

    I appreciate all the responses, gives me a good idea how other people do it. I think i like binaryzero's technique the best "brainstorming" in fruityloops and just exporting midi data to another program. What I like about fruitloops is you can make lines so fast because the interface is designed for step programming. Versus cubase (which i use) can be a pain to make the exact same sequence, and interrupts my creative flow.
    James D. Stark
    Synthpop/Darkwave Artist
    ----\'----,---\'--<@
    http://jamesdstark.com
    http://myspace.com/jamesdstark
    http://www.cdbaby.com/all/jamesdstark

  11. #11


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    sweet!

    one day i knew i'd have a tip useful to someone!

    i love doing that also with audio as well, just making tons of little arp loops or drum bits to just save into a folder.

    comes in handy for song starters or adding that little bit of needed oomph when all seems lost.

  12. #12


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    Well yeah, the arpeggiators I have will do the same thing. You can set it to play in a scale, or you can set it to only play the notes you hold down. I just prefer to control the order in which the notes are played. I find it more interesting when you vary that and change it up as the song progresses, rather than have the same arp line repeating over and over again.

    -Mark
    www.djintrovert.com

  13. #13


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    I use an ARP sequencer synced to a Kenton Pro-4 MIDI>CV converter. First thing I do is come up with an interesting sequence on the ARP. This sequence can then be triggered via inputs on the ARP by gates on the Kenton, and/or transposed using CV's. Using a Roland OP8m CV>MIDI converter I can record the sequence to my midi sequencer and use it with any MIDI or CV synth. Very hands-on approach. The Garfield Electronics Minidoc has two arpeggiator outputs that can be adjusted in realtime. Synced up to a trigger from a Kenton Pro-4 or other source, it can send arpeggiated lines in time with the MIDI sequencer to any synth with an arpeggiator input.

  14. #14


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    I just take an sm-50 microphone and chant "bicka-baa bicka-baa bicka-baa bickabickababa" into soundforge. then i loop lit and run it through a resonance filter and a roto-pan at 138 bpm....


    boom chi splat chi boom chi splat chi
    bicka baa bicka baa bicka ba bicbikababa

    only a joke people, so don't get your knickers in a twist
    -->brad<---

  15. #15


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    Wow. You guys are total tech maniacs! You all must have good jobs because all that stuff costs serious $$$. I feel like a caveman in how I do my stuff. I just program a beat pattern on my drum machine, record 3 minutes of it onto track 1. Then I play it back and start messing with the bassline until I find something I like. I record that on track 2 (play it live, no sequencing). Then I build on that for the various synth lines. Vocals go on last. Then on to the next song. This is the total d.i.y. punk rock method of synthpop!

    I guess after I come into some serious cash, then I can join the rest of you with lots of softsynths, sequencers and digital multitrack recorders!

  16. #16


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    Or just run up your credit cards like the rest of us.
    Complicating. Circulating.
    Operating. Generating.

  17. #17


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    who ever said i paid for my softsynths?

  18. #18


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    Default SEQUENCER!

    Originally posted by ERIC31
    Wow. You guys are total tech maniacs! You all must have good jobs because all that stuff costs serious $$$. I feel like a caveman in how I do my stuff. I just program a beat pattern on my drum machine, record 3 minutes of it onto track 1. Then I play it back and start messing with the bassline until I find something I like. I record that on track 2 (play it live, no sequencing). Then I build on that for the various synth lines. Vocals go on last. Then on to the next song. This is the total d.i.y. punk rock method of synthpop!

    I guess after I come into some serious cash, then I can join the rest of you with lots of softsynths, sequencers and digital multitrack recorders!
    Well, since this post I got a Roland MT-32 module and my old QX-21 sequencer fired up and actually learned how to use them together. It works like a champ. Now all my drum and basslines are sequenced. I still play them real time then quantize and speed them up to whatever tempo I need. It doesn't take much time so when a new tune pops in my head, I can get it down and recorded within a few minutes!

  19. #19


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    I remember when life was that simple, and all I had was my Alesis MMT-8 to record stuff for my Kawai K1 and Boss drum machine. This was in 1992 I think. Ah, the simplicity.
    ====
    DAVID VESEL -- synthetic music for humans
    On the Electrogarden Network
    Official Web Site
    Your mileage may vary.

  20. #20


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    To ERIC31 and David Vesel:

    It's not what you got, but what you do with it. Never let lack of equipment stop you, ever.

    Arpeggios are probably the hardest things in the world for me to do ... on average I would say I've had to do 5 takes on each arpeggio sequence until I get it exactly right. But it's satisfying when you hear the final results.

    Another way I do them (which I have before) is to program an arpeggio on my Korg Poly-800's built in step sequencer, dial it up to the approximate bpm I want, then record it, later putting it into ACID as a loop.

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