An arpeggio is a musical technique where the notes of a chord are played in a sequence, rather than all at once. This creates a sweeping, flowing sound that adds movement and interest to the music.

Your Woovebox comes with not one, but two different ways of creating arpeggios.

Method 1

You can to turn any of the sixteen tracks into fully customizable, complex, intricate arpeggiators.

Traditional arpeggiators found in most of today's gear are often inflexible presets that quickly become stale and uninspiring. Fortunately, your Woovebox comes with something much better; conditional triggering, various modes of auto-chord following, and variable pattern lengths, allowing you to turn any of the 16 tracks into fully customizable, complex, intricate arpeggios.

Key to turning a track into an arpeggiator, is to set its track length to something shorter (and preferably a prime number, such as 3, 5 or 7 steps).

Second, the way the track reacts to the current chord being played, determines how any steps are translated into note pitches. It goes without saying that arepggios therefore lean heavily on the chords you programmed on the chord 'Cd' track. Set FLW.C (follow chord) parameter on the 'Glob' (global) page to 'CLS.3' (quantize pitch to the closest notes that make up the first three notes of the chord) or 'CLS.A' (quantize pitch to the closest notes that make up the entire chord).

Now, program some notes of varying pitches. Use conditional triggering and/or modification to make the notes change depending on the playthrough. You will be generating complex arpeggios in no time.

Note that you can apply further tweaks to further give your arpeggios their own unique character, by applying swing (parameter 9/A1 on the 'Glob' page), applying the some delay effects, and/or by having the frequency cutoff LFO (13/A5-16/A8 on the 'Fltr' page) subtly (or not so subtly) modify the the arpeggio over time.

An example of a very basic arpeggio driven by a G-A-E-B chord progression.

Method 2

While the forementioned way of creating arpeggios tends to be the most flexible and easiest, an alternative technique exists to create arpeggios.

This technique is much more in line with the old school way of creating arpeggios. The technique uses the pitch LFOs ("P.LFO") for modulating the pitch of a note, and quantizing the modulated pitch to a select few frequencies (these frequencies being the notes of our arpeggio). The frequencies are automatically preselected based on the chord that is playing on the 'Cd' track.

On the 'Pich' (Pitch) page, set 'L.1.Md'(LFO1 Mode) and/or 'L.2.Md'(LFO2 Mode) to 'Chrd'(Chord) to quantize the Pitch LFO's output to the nearest note that matches any note form the currently playing chord (regardless of octave). For example, if a sine wave is configured for the Pitch LFO with a depth of 2.0, the pitch will sweep the chord's note over two octaves.

Note that 'L.1.Md'(LFO1 Mode) can be configure to output a quantized version of LFO 2's output instead by setting L.1.Md'(LFO1 Mode) to 'Chd.2'(Chord, use LFO 2 as input). In the same manner, 'L.2.Md'(LFO2 Mode) can be configure to output a quantized version of LFO 1's output instead by setting L.2.Md'(LFO2 Mode) to 'Chd.1'(Chord, use LFO 1 as input).

Advanced use and textures

Because these types of arpeggios only take up one oscillator, it is possible play two arpeggios per voice, or incorporate the arpeggiation as part of sound design and principal synthesis, if an algorithm is selected that combine two oscillators (such as FM, AM, etc.).

This allows for the creation of animated textures and intricate pads.

An example from the Woovebox demo track "Game Over"; using pitch LFO quantization to create textures

Use in Chiptune

By further specifying LFO waveform, speed/rate, hold and LFO re-sync/re-trigger, various arpeggios can be accomplished, including the "fake chords" popularized by early 8-bit computer and video game music (aka the "chiptune" genre).

In chiptune music, "fake chords" are a technique used to create the illusion of chords on a monophonic sound chip, such as those found in early video game consoles and home computers. These chips could only play one note at a time, but composers would use arpeggios, fast note progressions, and other tricks to give the impression of multiple notes being played together as a chord. This allowed chiptune composers to create more complex and harmonically rich musical pieces within the limitations of the hardware.

A quantized pitch LFO allows for the quintessential "fake" chords as used by chiptunes.

Start making more music with less

Pocket Animal Audio Pty. Ltd.

ABN 42 671 534 526
Woovebox is a pending trademark of Pocket Animal Audio
All product, company, and standard names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders