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arpeggiator vs auto accompaniment


montunoman

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An arpeggiator will just cycle through the notes in the chords -- up, down, up and down, randowm, staircase, etc.

 

The auto accompaniment will provide chords and rhythms played in a particular style. You usually get drums, bass, and some kind of chordal instrument, plus other instrumentation that's appropriate to the style.

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The OP has a point, because the lines between these two features have actually become extremely blurred in the past few years. The "arpeggio" feature in Motif XS performances is comparable to the accompaniments found on arrangers, ticking all the boxes Jonathan mentions - chords, rhythms, different instrumentation etc.

 

The main difference between the S and Motif ranges and, say, a Tyros or Clavinova CVP models is that the latter provide fills and stuff you can just stab in when you want them, and the intro and ending patterns tend to be more defined, in the Clavinovas at least they even provide a set "mini ending" piece of music - which can sound strange if you're not in the right key and they're pretty hackneyed, too.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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The arpeggiator of today bears no resemblance to those of the past. Like Aidan said, many of the pre-programmed arpeggio's on todays workstations consist of multiple layers of drums, bass, chordal parts, etc. "A pet peeve of mine is that you can hardly call up a preset on one of these newer instruments and press a key without some obnoxious arpeggio pattern taking off. Very annoying".

 

If anyone actually purchases a workstation because of the arpeggiator, they really should look into a pro-level arranger. If you want just a simple, repetitive, one chord pattern to jam over like that of a workstation's arpeggiator you can have it. But if you want to be able to easily change the key of the pattern, have a variety of variations of the pattern at the touch of a button (or pedal), have easy control over the parts being played within the pattern like levels, sound selection, effects and more, then that is something that an arranger instrument can offer.

 

Those of you who still look down on arranger instruments, all I can say is, you may be cheating yourselves of some very cool features. Arranger instruments at the pro level have on-board sequencing, sampling, internal hard drives, in-depth voice architecture and editing, great effects processing and more. Everything that the workstations have, plus a very neat and fast way to come up with song ideas in the way of extremely sophisticated arpeggiators aka arranger features.

 

Dave

Wm. David McMahan

I Play, Therefore I Am

 

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All you have to do is figure out how to work it. :rawk:

 

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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An arpeggiator will just cycle through the notes in the chords -- up, down, up and down, randowm, staircase, etc.

 

The auto accompaniment will provide chords and rhythms played in a particular style. You usually get drums, bass, and some kind of chordal instrument, plus other instrumentation that's appropriate to the style.

 

This is what I thought however after watching a Motif demonstation video I'm not sure. The arpeggiator patterns had drums, bass and chordal things going. So an arpeggiator doesn't have fills, intors and endings like arrangers do?

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I think there's a bit of misunderstanding of what an arpeggiator on the more recent keyboards, especially the Motif XS actually does. Most folks thing of an arp as a note sequence played and/or repeated in some cycled pre-set pattern. While that is true to some extent, it is better to think of an arp as an event trigger. Events can be notes, but can also be a number of other things: filters opening and closing in a rhythmic pattern; modulations increased or decreased; etc etc. Also, on a higher end workstation like the Motif XS, you can vary the patterns between the different elements that make up a voice by setting strict velocity range limits (low and hi), thus only allowing the arp to trigger when notes are played within that range.

 

That is why you can create so many great combinations in performance mode (a mode allowing you combine up to four voices at a time, each with its own arp pattern if desired) on the Motif. The player has control over when and how the arp events are triggered, esepcially if careful attention is paid as to how the voice or performance is constructed.

 

Also, on the Motif, you assign up to 5 arps to any one voice and as I said, use up to 4 voices in any one performance. This means that merely pushing one button to change arps, you can completely change the feel of the voice, or use an arp slot to add the fill or end or whatever you wish. It takes a bit of programming, but it can be done. I use this sort of thing a lot in what I do in my studio.

 

And to make things even more fun, if you use a soft-synth on a laptop, say, then the layerings can get real interesting fast. The trick is knowing which sound combinations will work together. When you find a good combination though, you just want to keep playing with it!

There are 10 kinds of people in the world...those who can read binary, and those who can't.
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