Jazzy Arp Lines

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treeelf
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Jazzy Arp Lines

Post by treeelf » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:34 pm

Hi Everyone,
First post for me, I'm looking for some tips on creating evolving yet repeating arp lines. Influences like minilogue and mathew jonson are what i'm after. I know that "hitchhikers choice" has been discussed here before.. I'm not worried about creating the actual synth tones.. just the ability to manipulate or create fun and playful arp lines!
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hydrogen
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Re: Jazzy Arp Lines

Post by hydrogen » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:58 pm

Try an arpeggio locked into a certain key... monomachine can do this and is really good at that sort of thing.

what program are you using?
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treeelf
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Re: Jazzy Arp Lines

Post by treeelf » Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:19 pm

I use ableton. I've been using the ableton arp alongside the key plug in to keep it in a minor key etc, as well as Cthulhu. However I'm just not getting lines that are playful enough easily. I don't want to sound like I want the easy way out, but I know that often to get these types of sounds its easier than it might seem.
I have had some mild success doing it, and its usually just random chance that a line will sound good or maybe the notes get cut off due to funky MIDI issues and you get some interesting on off messages that create a fun line.

Perhaps I just need to keep pulling my hair out, haha.
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AK
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Re: Jazzy Arp Lines

Post by AK » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:55 pm

Hi mate, what do you mean by 'evolving yet repeating'?

The timbre of the synth being used is evolving or the melodic content of the arpeggios?

There's tons of stuff I can think of but I'm not sure exactly what you mean so I don't want to ramble on in case I'm missing the point, but just to say, whatever chords ( if any ) you have going on in a track, that's usually a good base to choose notes to work with, or you can create arpeggios from scales/modes associated with the chords much the same way as a soloist solo's through chords in tons of different types of music. It matters a lot as to what is going on musically at any given point in your track.

With decent arpeggiators, you can 'mute' notes too, creating patterns that end up sounding nothing like an arpeggio, you can use/switch timing, forward/backward, 8ve amounts, random etc etc. There's tons to be concerned about so that's why I was unsure as to whether you were coming in with a potential music theory question or a device question about appegiators themselves...

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Re: Jazzy Arp Lines

Post by nrjizer » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:20 am

I don't know a lot about Minilogue, but a lot of Mathew Jonson's sequences/arps have a lot of motion to them because he's working the controls of the SH-101 in real time to adjust the sound. Another trick to try is to send the melody sequence to an aux track that has, say, a sharp cutoff HP filter before a wet delay, and to have a LP filter on your melody synth. Thus when you open the filter, the high frequencies get a nice delay to them. Or alternatively, put some of the notes in your melody at an octave or two higher than the rest, so that the high notes also get a nice delay.

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Re: Jazzy Arp Lines

Post by treeelf » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:29 am

AK wrote:Hi mate, what do you mean by 'evolving yet repeating'?

The timbre of the synth being used is evolving or the melodic content of the arpeggios?

There's tons of stuff I can think of but I'm not sure exactly what you mean so I don't want to ramble on in case I'm missing the point, but just to say, whatever chords ( if any ) you have going on in a track, that's usually a good base to choose notes to work with, or you can create arpeggios from scales/modes associated with the chords much the same way as a soloist solo's through chords in tons of different types of music. It matters a lot as to what is going on musically at any given point in your track.

With decent arpeggiators, you can 'mute' notes too, creating patterns that end up sounding nothing like an arpeggio, you can use/switch timing, forward/backward, 8ve amounts, random etc etc. There's tons to be concerned about so that's why I was unsure as to whether you were coming in with a potential music theory question or a device question about appegiators themselves...


I suppose what I mean by evolving yet repeating is what you just described. Being able to drop notes out of the pattern, and having 8ve jumps within. I have accomplished this to some degree by having the pitch function before the arp, and then manipulating the arp gate % as well as the pitch function. This gives it some variety and a little more life than a simple repeating pattern.

Basically I would just like to start a track very simply (kick hats etc) and just have an arp line evolving throughout the song, where nothing really ever changes to the actual rhythm or notes except for odd times where something might be dropped or changed in pitch to give the track some dynamics.

nrjizer wrote:I don't know a lot about Minilogue, but a lot of Mathew Jonson's sequences/arps have a lot of motion to them because he's working the controls of the SH-101 in real time to adjust the sound. Another trick to try is to send the melody sequence to an aux track that has, say, a sharp cutoff HP filter before a wet delay, and to have a LP filter on your melody synth. Thus when you open the filter, the high frequencies get a nice delay to them. Or alternatively, put some of the notes in your melody at an octave or two higher than the rest, so that the high notes also get a nice delay.

I like your idea of having the delays for just the high notes. Thanks I'll play with that for sure.
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Abelton - Massive - FM8 - Waves - Wave Alchemy - Moog Little Phatty - Vermono Mono Lancet - Zoom H4N

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Re: Jazzy Arp Lines

Post by steevio » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:33 am

its an interesting topic, i'm modular based so i'm not sure how this translates in software or what software to use, but i use a system of adding intervals to create unusal 'jazzy' arps.
i was finding that whenever i quantised to a scale the arps were somehow predictable sounding.

i came up with the idea of running 4 seperate arpeggios of only two (or three) different notes each, (with repeated notes and rests etc.) then adding them together in different ways. you very quickly get complex arps depending on what intervals you chose, and they dont sound like they fit a particular scale, they sound more free and unpredictable, and 'jazzy'.

difficult to explain in short post, but i'll try. say you have an arp that has two notes C and F, that is an interval of 5 semitones, and say you have another arp with a different pattern thats C and A#
that is an interval of 10 semitones.
if you run them together and add the intervals together (in modular this is done with a module called a Precision Adder, but there must be some software that can do this ?)
you get these combinations of notes at different times during the sequences;
if C is zero,

C + C = C
C + F = F
C + A# = A#
F + A# = D# (next octave)

so a fairly simple arp of 4 notes, however as soon as you introduce more arps with different intervals, and/or transpose any of the arps, it gets complex quite quickly. the importnat thing is that you are not bounded by a scale. (throw in running some of the arps in different step lengths and it gets really interesting)
some of the simple additions may fall into a scale, but the more complex ones usually go off scale in an interesting way, and because there us more likelyhood of the simpler additions and less of the complex ones, the overall feel is musical, but unusual, like a jazz musician throwing in the odd off key note here and there. however its all totally mathematical, and not bounded by classical music theory. ( adding intervals together from various physical instruments is impossible, they become chords)

in my rig i can quantise the resultant arp to a scale, and whenever i do, it usually sounds boring and predictable to my ears, so i never do.

i hope thats some help.

treeelf
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Re: Jazzy Arp Lines

Post by treeelf » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:15 pm

Thats a really great idea, I'm going to try that. Thanks for the explanation! I agree that if you run the entire arppegio through a scale function it tends to sound very predictable, so this might be the solution I'm looking for.
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http://www.soundcloud.com/tree-elves
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Abelton - Massive - FM8 - Waves - Wave Alchemy - Moog Little Phatty - Vermono Mono Lancet - Zoom H4N

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