What's the difference between a sequencer and arpeggiator?

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Flash Gordon
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What's the difference between a sequencer and arpeggiator?

Post by Flash Gordon » Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:45 pm

I love the sound of synths, but don't know a lot about them. Does the little phatty have a sequencer and an arpeggiator? What's the difference between them?

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Prime NL
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Post by Prime NL » Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:48 am

From wiki :

A music sequencer (also MIDI sequencer or just sequencer) is software or hardware designed to create and manage computer-generated music.

An arpeggiator (often shortened to arp) is a feature available on some hardware synthesisers and virtual instruments. It allows the player to automatically step through a sequence of notes based on the player's input, most often from a keyboard MIDI controller, thus creating an arpeggio.

The LP doesn't have a sequencer....but it does have a arpeggiator.

jamezdd73
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Post by jamezdd73 » Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:17 am

A sequencer requires you to feed the notes in manually before hand, and then it will play them back to you as you played them in (or quantized/lined up on the beats). Long, complex, fast unplayable parts are often sequenced in electronic live music.

An arpeggiator is a function on most synthesizers which will play each note individually when you hold down a chord.

So when you turn the arpeggiator "on" on the LP, and play a chord, it will play each note of the chord individually, in a pre-programmed pattern.

Whilst the LP doesn't have an internal sequencer (i'd love to see one someday, however), you can use an external source (such as a computer) to program a sequence that could be played via midi.

Hope that helps
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narrowcaster
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Post by narrowcaster » Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:47 pm

One addition to the good answers above -- a sequencer can sequence more than just notes. You can also use one to create preset patterns of change in other parameters, like filter cutoff or whatever else (either as a sequence of control voltages which you then route to the desired parameter, or as a sequence of MIDI instructions).

Flash Gordon
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Post by Flash Gordon » Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:08 pm

So if I wanted to recreate the song "On The Run" by Pink Floyd, could that be done with an arpeggiator? I think they did it with a sequencer.

Also, what about "Vital Signs" by Rush.

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Portamental
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Post by Portamental » Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:21 pm

The sequence for Pink Floyd - On the run is :

0 6 10 6 20 16 20 24 at 160 BPM (beats per minute)

if you ever get a Mopho (nice companion for a little Phatty) ;)

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Post by jamezdd73 » Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:10 am

The motif used in On The Run can't be made with an arpeggiator alone, you will most likely need a sequencer for it. (although Jordan Rudess can play it with his hands)

There's a video on youtube where an LP is being used to play On The Run. The guy in the vid is using Ableton Live to sequence the Phatty.

Here's a link...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpS-lE9FJ-Y
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GregAE
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Post by GregAE » Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:25 am

For anyone interested, a standard MIDI file of Pink Floyd's 'On The Run' sequence was posted on KnobTweak a while back. It's actually part of a ZIP file that was created for the Voyager, so it resides in the Voyager folder. To grab a copy of the sequence, look for a file called "On the Run.zip"

The file description reads:

"Everything needed recreate the sound of the synth sequence from Pink Floyd’s 'On The Run' (from Dark Side of the Moon) on your Voyager. File includes the Voyager OTR preset, a standard MIDI file of the classic 8-note sequence and instructions."

Would be cool to have the same thing for the LP. Anyone want to take a stab at programming an OTR patch for the Phatty?

- Greg
Last edited by GregAE on Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

patobrujo
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Post by patobrujo » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:48 am

Portamental wrote:The sequence for Pink Floyd - On the run is :

0 6 10 6 20 16 20 24 at 160 BPM (beats per minute)

if you ever get a Mopho (nice companion for a little Phatty) ;)
Sorry for the stupid question, those numbers are midi notes?
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GregAE
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Post by GregAE » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:58 am

patobrujo wrote:
Portamental wrote:The sequence for Pink Floyd - On the run is :

0 6 10 6 20 16 20 24 at 160 BPM (beats per minute)

if you ever get a Mopho (nice companion for a little Phatty) ;)
Sorry for the stupid question, those numbers are midi notes?
Not sure how to interpret those values, but the MIDI notes are:

E2 - G2 - B2 - A2 - G2 - A2 - D3 - E3

Set your sequencer to 166 BPM.


- Greg

Flash Gordon
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Post by Flash Gordon » Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:24 pm

GregAE wrote:
Not sure how to interpret those values, but the MIDI notes are:

E2 - G2 - B2 - A2 - G2 - A2 - D3 - E3


- Greg
I think he's doing a different pattern here the 2nd note is lower than the 1st. G2 is higher than E2, or is it? I'm a guitar player.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccBoypwQ ... re=related

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Portamental
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Post by Portamental » Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:43 pm

patobrujo wrote: those numbers are midi notes?
Actually, they do need a bit of explanation.

These are offsets, in quarter tones, from the root note (I don't remember exactly what the root note is). Built this way, you can transpose at play time the sequence by simply pressing a single key, that includes octaves too. Great for playing in another scale or for improvising and moving the sequence up or down on the fly.

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GregAE
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Post by GregAE » Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:10 pm

Flash Gordon wrote:
GregAE wrote:
Not sure how to interpret those values, but the MIDI notes are:

E2 - G2 - B2 - A2 - G2 - A2 - D3 - E3


- Greg
I think he's doing a different pattern here the 2nd note is lower than the 1st. G2 is higher than E2, or is it? I'm a guitar player.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccBoypwQ ... re=related
You are correct - a MIDI 'G2' is higher than an 'E2'. Basically, MIDI notes simply go up the scale like this:

C2 - D2 - E2 - F2 - G2 - A2 - B2 - C3 - D3 etc.

However...

In the 'Making Of... The Dark Side Of the Moon' video (the YouTube link you posted is an excerpt), David Gilmour programs the same sequence I posted, but he begins on a different step. He starts the sequence on an 'E3' and programs the notes from there:

E3 - E2 - G2 - B2 - A2 - G2 - A2 - D3

Of course, it doesn't matter where you start programming the sequence, so long as you get the right series of notes. Since the lowest note (E2) starts on a downbeat, I copied the sequence that way.

Try it! :D

- Greg

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Post by anoteoftruth » Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:08 pm

why is it that everyone that owns a moog knows how to play "on the run" haha. It's like the "stairway to heaven" of synth songs haha.
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Flash Gordon
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Post by Flash Gordon » Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:03 am

Thanks GregAE, now I get it. I'm going to try playing it on guitar now. 8)

So if the bpm is 166, does that make the notes 1/16 or 1/8 notes?

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