Ableton Live Arpeggiating Analog Polysynth

Today’s One Synthesizer Sound Every Day involves using the arpeggiator built into Ableton Live. The arpeggiator, found under MIDI Effects, is a pretty simple tool, there are the usual up, down, up/down patterns as well as random, random once (repeats a random pattern), and random other (doesn’t play the same note twice).

This one minute and fifty second microtrack is composed of two layers of arpeggios created by routing Ableton’s arpeggiator to my newly restored Roland Juno-106. I added some filtered tempo delay and mixed in some reverb on the fade out to polish it off. I wish I had a piece of hardware that did exactly what Ableton’s Arpeggiator does (perhaps with the addition of a tap tempo button). In fact I started a discussion about this on the Electronic Musicians Network, a Facebook group started by my friend Robert Luna. Friend me, then message me there if you’d like to participate in the group. I’ll write an article soon compiling my research into dedicated hardware arpeggiators and hardware sequencers. Here are the arpeggios combined.

Two Layered Arp at 114 BPM

6 thoughts on “Ableton Live Arpeggiating Analog Polysynth

  1. Indeed it does. Which led me to a thought while writing the article. If all one was using in Live was the arpeggiator, one could setup a controller for the adjustments and then hide the computer away, so that you’re not tempted to stare at the screen.

  2. Hi, i have a juno 106, and i´m trying to do exactly the same in ableton, but i can´t do it!!!1.. How can i arpeggiate the juno in ableton?…

  3. @JOE The Juno-106 does not have a MIDI local on/off setting, therefore in order to arpeggiate in realtime you need to use a separate MIDI controller. Or you could record some chords on a MIDI track, then put an arpeggiator on it, and send the output to the Juno.

  4. When I send the arpeggiated notes to the Juno it seems to go out of time a bit, it’s really weird, almost like its receiving too many notes, I’m starting to think the midi on the Juno is kaput, what do you reckon.
    Thanks!

  5. That is possible, but I would start by troubleshooting everything else first. If you’re getting the notes to play it’s unlikely that something inside the Juno is causing a MIDI problem. Are you using the Juno keyboard to arpeggiate? That won’t work because there is no local off setting on it. You have to either use a controller or send it chords from the sequencer.

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