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How to achieve this sound? Arpeggiated Synth. Keyboard Controllers
Old 7th December 2017
Gear Head

How to achieve this sound? Arpeggiated Synth.

Hi guys,

I'm fairly new to synthesis... classically trained on Piano. I only know some basics and I really want to be able to achieve this specific sound.

Example #1 : Unnatural - The Jezabels
And how is she pulling it all off live???: Unnatural - Live

Example #2 , in the intro: Stand and Deliver - The Jezabels )
Live version: Stand and Deliver - Live

Best Example #3 Pleasure Drive - The Jezabels (Live version)
I desperately want to be able to perform these kind of sequences live.

It's an arpeggiated synth. In the clips I've seen live, she plays a single note for each bar. How does this work? and are there any tutorials on this kind of thing on YouTube?
I know some basics on how arpeggiation works but these sequences seem slightly random... in example 1 she plays a single note for each bar, but each bar has a slight variation of arpeggio (the last bar the notes go up higher near the end). It's not just the same arpeggio going up and down each time, and what's more, mix of major and minor chords...

(I see she uses an Arturia KeyLab 88 live if that changes anything... but also another keyboard I can't quite make out)
Old 7th December 2017
Gear Head

Bump. Any help?

Basically want to be able to recreate that live setup...
Old 7th December 2017
Gear Maniac
Transistores's Avatar

Maybe because half of the linked videos are not available?

Seems that keyboardist triggers sequences from the grid controller (don't have one to tell what they really can do) - either midi messages to synth / long prerecorded samples / chord information to the controlled synth with arpeggiator. In some cases it simply may be prerecorded audio track. Personally I'd resort to prerecorded audio for all stuff that is sequenced/arpeggiated if you have to play anything else or sing at the same time. Unless you play improvisational music and arpeggios are the center of attention like in the case of Oneohtrix Point Never or Nils Frahm.

The feature of playing pressed keys one after another in arpeggio pattern is called arpeggiator - aside of synths, there are midi keyboards which can do it (Akai LPK, for example), maybe grid controllers can do it too, but I didn't research it.

There are some synthesizers which have arpeggiators on board (most obvious - microKorg), but using arpeggiator live is quite hard because the results are a bit random - sometime unwanted notes are slipping in - and depending on the context it either can make music more rich or mess up the rhythmic structure. And they have different way of triggering key sync - some start arpeggio pattern each time you play a keyboard (find a demo of Polysix from the Korg legacy collection to see what I mean), other wait until the next step by the internal tempo occurs and only then insert new notes (get demo of Tal-U-NO-LX for the primer). Some give option to select the type of sync (like above mentioned microKorg) - in each case look up if anything said in the manual on the subject and on forums.
Old 7th December 2017
Lives for gear
usedtohaveajuno's Avatar
I can't hear evidence of it being an arpeggiator in the last video - it might just be a programmed sequence, but then she is using a transpose function to bump the root note of the sequence up and down ... I do this on my SH-101 all the time so I'll assume more modern sequencers are also capable of it
Old 7th December 2017
Lives for gear

I think Ableton Live has very good, complex and flexible arpeggiators, esp used in conjunction with the other midi effects. I don't see where this band might be using a computer though.

The recent-ish Yamahas I've played have complicated arp patterns built in and they transmit arp notes over midi. Ideally you also want something like the SH-101 sequencer that can function as a programmable apreggiator. I don't have anything newer than the programmable arp on the Korg DW-8000 which is very cool but only plays arp'd notes on the synth. Maybe the Alesis Micron or Akai Miniak sequencer (same synths), it's been a while since I used one though.
Old 7th December 2017
Lives for gear

Also things like the Arturia Beatstep/Keystep or Korg SQ-1?
Old 7th December 2017
Lives for gear
A.I. Batule Chee's Avatar
First of all, thank you for introducing this band to me, I really like it.
Most of the arpeggios on their songs are really simple and usually presets on any synth that has arpeggiator, up/down and alter with latch are my guess. As the poster above me said, it's hard to play live with the arpeggiator, but not impossible, you just need to play with good timing. Now, the third song you posted is different, that's not an arpeggiator, that's a sequence, she is probably using the sequencer on that DSI synth, so that means she programmed the notes. Get a synth that has both functions, like a Bass Station 2, and you can achive the results you're looking for.

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