Stretching the Arp Algorithms

Exploit track layers, track inspector settings, MIDI FX, and arp algorithms to expand the Arp possibilities.

This article is based on concepts presented in this Forum Source, and adapted for use within the Arpeggiator. Open up any synth in a Track, then create three additional Track Layers [1.1, 1.2, and 1.3]. The Arpeggiator scans the master track and each of its layers one-by-one before looping back to process another Octave in its parameter settings [1-8 octaves]. The order in which the Arp scans depends upon the algorithm that you have set in the Shapes control or a loaded preset, and also seems to consider Track Inspector settings like Transpose in determining where to go next. We're going to exploit this fact by inserting some MIDI FX plugins into the path.

In the first Track Layer [1.1], insert the Cakewalk Transpose plugin in the Add MFX section of the Device Chain. Open the Property Page, and select Key/Scale from the choices. Set the scales at From: 3 Sharps (A) Aeolian and To: C Ionian (Major). Right-click and Copy the plugin, then click on the 1.2 Layer, and Paste in the MFX.

Open the Property Page as before, but change only the scale To: 4 Sharps (E) Phrygian. In the third 1.3 Layer, repeat the process, but you'll change the scale To: 3 Sharps (A) Aeolian (same as the From: setting), but this time, additionally slide the Offset to +1 octave in this Transpose instance.

In the Arpeggiator, enable it and select 1/8 notes over 1 octave with a Forward algorithm. Play a single A5 note (we're basing the constraints around Am), and you'll hear the four notes in the scale cascaded upwards. Switch the Octaves to 2, and the Shape to Reverse, and listen to the eight downward notes produced by a single input note.

Now toy around with some chords based in the Am scale, and incorporate some of the techniques found elsewhere in Remote Control Tricks, Natural Phrasing in the Arp, and One Track Arp Mixing and Transpose Shifting. Don't neglect to change the settings in the Transpose plugins, including the Transposition Method and the Offsets, for a different scale set and octave range. You'll find that the possibilities of the algorithms featured in the Shapes section of the Arpeggiator have now been hugely expanded.

The content provided on this web site is public information which was originally posted in the Cakewalk User Forums and on the old Project5 Wiki. Project5™ and Cakewalk™ are registered trademarks of Cakewalk, Inc. Other product names or companies names may be trademarks of their respective companies whether marked as such or not. Portions of this web site are copyright © 2017 Robert J. Hammond ( A member of the Technetos family of web sites ).