The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Synths for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Arpeggiator/Sequencer Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 14th September 2011
  #1
Arpeggiator/Sequencer

Can we discuss the difference between an arpeggiator and a sequencer, as the distinction seems to be getting lost over time?
An arpeggiator sequences the notes of a chord (minimum 2 notes). It can go up, down, up & down, and often randomly, but you have to define a chord to use it.
A sequencer plays notes in series, user defined. So it can play any number of notes in any order, around a scale that has no chordal background. Many Roland synths had an arpeggiator, many other vintage synth companies offered sequencers (Moog, Arp for example).
Old 14th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I think you kinda just did all the discussing
Not to much left to say.
Old 14th September 2011
  #3
Old 14th September 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Mardi Gras's Avatar
 

An arp is just pre sequenced patterns that play once you hold a key or keys down.
Old 14th September 2011
  #5
LOL heh
Old 14th September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 
rachel's Avatar
There is more to the story. An arpeggiator can also be a phrase sequencer, so that you
trigger an arpeggio in a certain key and then play it back on a keyboard in a different key
thus playing out a progression. This would be the elemental concept of Berlin Style.
Gear that can do this includes the Roland System 100, Microkorg, Octopus and others.

I am surprised that Berlin mode is not available in a x0xbox, or the 777/mobius.
If someone ever mods the SH-101 sequencer, this should be a feature too!


rachel
Old 14th September 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 
blinky909's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel View Post
I am surprised that Berlin mode is not available in a x0xbox, or the 777/mobius.
If someone ever mods the SH-101 sequencer, this should be a feature too!
are you talking about transposing a running sequence? the SH-101 and TB-303 do that, as does the Pro One.
Old 14th September 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by blinky909 View Post
are you talking about transposing a running sequence? the SH-101 and TB-303 do that, as does the Pro One.
True, but unfortunately, the SH-101 doesn't transpose it's CV outs.. ughh.

One day, I'll open mine up, and mod it so that it's CV out is taken directly from it's internal synth to fix this slight problem.

The MidiBox is king tho. 16 channels of uber flexible sequences / arpeggiators / kitchen sinks.

The sheer flexibility of the V4 is unreal. You can do cool stuff like transpose sequences from a midi keyboard, but then force those new patterns to a predefined scale, say C maj is ace.

Mike
Old 14th September 2011
  #9
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
A sequencer plays notes in series, user defined. So it can play any number of notes in any order, around a scale that has no chordal background
That's just the half truth: It's note necessary just notes that can be programmed with a step sequencer but other parameters such filters etc - with or without programmed notes.
Old 14th September 2011
  #10
Yes, there is more detail in both the 'sequencer' description and the 'arpeggiator' description. I think my point is that anything that repeats a series of notes in a quasi loop seems always to be called an arpeggiator, especially in forums such as this.
In fact it's usually a sequencer.
I think the key confusion comes from misunderstanding the special property an arpeggiator has.
The name derives from the classical term 'Arpeggio':

Quote:
arpeggio (plural arpeggi or arpeggios) is a musical technique where notes in a chord are played or sung in sequence
Whereas a sequencer plays any note in any order.
Old 15th September 2011
  #11
Deleted User
Guest
... and a sequencer plays information of any kind in a sequence, from the term sequence.... hmmm that' deep

An arpeggiator does not necessary plays chords in the synthesizer world, it can play just one note in different octaves etc (that is not a chord by musical terms).

But there are newer "smart" arpeggiators. How does they differ to the old classic up/up-up/down-down/down arpeggiators... or sequencers?
Old 16th September 2011
  #12
Lives for gear
 
shaft9000's Avatar
 

an arpeggio refers specifically to notes being played along a predefined logic regarding what it does with keyboard CV input.

an analog sequencer is simply an ordered set of voltages
that can be applied to anything voltage-controllable; not just notes - the filter, VCA levels, other sequencers...down the rabbit-hole you go

i am not referring to any linear-time sequencer btw. only terms fundamental to synthesis.

the "sequencer" in your workstation or DAW is a linear event macrosystem; in this complexity it is another thing entirely - an elaborate player-piano which has nothing to do with synthesis itself as sequencing relates.
apps like Live or Numerology may blur this distinction slightly, but otoh Live is not similar to CV sequencers at all. Nothing digital really is;
this is the nature of the beast that requires physical patching and a voltage standard - instead of arbitrary time/percentage 'values' and latency.
Old 27th November 2015
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Yungwimen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel View Post
There is more to the story. An arpeggiator can also be a phrase sequencer, so that you
trigger an arpeggio in a certain key and then play it back on a keyboard in a different key
thus playing out a progression. This would be the elemental concept of Berlin Style.
Gear that can do this includes the , , Octopus and others.

I am surprised that Berlin mode is not available in a x0xbox, or the 777/mobius.
If someone ever mods the SH-101 sequencer, this should be a feature too!


rachel
So a few years ago you mentioned the phrase sequencer. Taking a look at this thread now and what you said almost 5 years ago, I am also very curious about this Berlin Style you spoke of. Were you talking about Berlin's acid music scene? Or was there some other kind of genre, maybe simply called Berlin Style that I'm not familiar with? It sounds interesting.
Old 27th November 2015
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Cool thread. Can we also throw in the definition of 'patterns' as they relate to keyboards/synths and midi? It always confuses me. Aren't they just arpeggiators or sequences assigned to one key? How do midi channels handle this? Can you arpeggiate a group of patterns then? Ugh.
Old 27th November 2015
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
Stingrays's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Can we discuss the difference between an arpeggiator and a sequencer, as the distinction seems to be getting lost over time?
An arpeggiator sequences the notes of a chord (minimum 2 notes). It can go up, down, up & down, and often randomly, but you have to define a chord to use it.
A sequencer plays notes in series, user defined. So it can play any number of notes in any order, around a scale that has no chordal background. Many Roland synths had an arpeggiator, many other vintage synth companies offered sequencers (Moog, Arp for example).
For me:
1. Sequencer is a midi recorder/player. Record what you want and then play.
2. Arpeggiator is a prerecorded patterns player.
Old 27th November 2015
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
gjvti's Avatar
 

well, I would say like this -
there is one substantial difference
- sequencer plays notes and data as programmed - in some cases sequencers allow sequence transposing, but that transposing doesn't change scale/chordal structure (if it is minor/major than it is minor/major after transposing)
- modern arpeggiators also allow sequencing (notes and other data), however that predefined data is played according to live input - it can be major, minor or whatever depending on midi notes received (you can have live chord progressions, what is generally not possible with sequencers where chord progressions need to be pre-programmed).

Arranger approach - QY100 and other predefined style players with chord recognition still to be categorized in this regard though
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump