Painting Drum Arpeggios to the Sequencer

The [SF] buttons in PATTERN or SONG can store what Arpeggio Type is active at the current time. You can assign a different Arp Type to each of the six [SF] buttons. These can be recalled in real time. This allows you to transfer the MIDI data to a track of the sequencer using the […]

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The [SF] buttons in PATTERN or SONG can store what Arpeggio Type is active at the current time. You can assign a different Arp Type to each of the six [SF] buttons. These can be recalled in real time. This allows you to transfer the MIDI data to a track of the sequencer using the RECORD function. For example, let’s say you want to use an arpeggiator to create a drum track in PATTERN mode. Here’s an example:

• Call up a blank PATTERN, go to [MIXING]
• Press [EDIT]
• Press [TRACK] to light its LED, if not already lit
• Press Track [1] to select PART 1 edit parameters
• Press [F1] VOICE
• Press [SF1] VOICE
• Turn “P.WithVce” = ON

If you turn “PARAMETER WITH VOICE” to ON before you select your VOICE, then when you select the VOICE it will automatically copy the Voice’s associated Arpeggios into your MIXING setup.

Here’s how that is done:
• Cursor up and select Bank = PDR
• Number = 001 Power Standard Kit 1 for your PART 1
Each of the Preset Drum Kits has some arpeggios associated with them. You can, of course, select any drum kit and any arpeggio. We are using this shortcut so that the assignment of arpeggios to the [SF] buttons is quick, and easy.

Set Arp Parameters
• Press the dedicated [ARP EDIT] button
• Press [F3] MAIN
Here you can setup the Part Arpeggio parameters

• Switch = ON
• Hold = ON
• Change Timing = Measure

The “SWITCH” parameter will allow the PART to respond to the arpeggio. The “HOLD” parameter will mean you do not have to manually continue to hold the trigger key down. And CHANGE TIMING means the Arpeggio type selection will only occur at the top of a Measure – so you can hit the button to recall each arpeggio anywhere in the measure prior to you wanting it to start. Not all VOICES will have arpeggios assigned – and certainly not all Voices will have the ARP Switch active in VOICE mode, so even though you use “PARAMETER WITH VOICE” to copy parameters from Voice mode, please recognize that you still may need to Switch the ARP ON, set the HOLD function and set the Change Timing parameter.

• Turn ON the main [ARPEGGIO ON/OFF] switch

You may have noticed that in SEQUENCER mode (and PERFORMANCE mode) there are multiple ARP ON/OFF switches. Activating the Arpeggio is a two-step procedure. The reason is because in these modes there are four arpeggiators, each with an individual PART ON/OFF switch, and of course the MAIN ARP ON/OFF switch. This allows you the flexibility to turn them all OFF or ON together, yet you can arm each one individually. We are using one of the arpeggiators to record this one PART to the sequencer.

The main ARP ON/OFF must be ON, for any PART Arp to work. Therefore both switches (main and PART) must be ON and you must trigger a key within the Key Range (NOTE LIMIT) set for that particular Arpeggiator.

• Press [F2] TYPE to view the BANK/CATEGORY/SubCategory and TYPE
You will be able to see/select the ARP Number next to TYPE at the bottom of the screen and the Name of the Arp Type on the top line

• Press [SF1] ARP1
When you touch a key you can now hear Drum Arp #4570 (Main B _ 70s Rock)

• Press [SF2] ARP2
You can now hear Drum Arp #4571… notice it changes at the top of the next measure due to our CHANGE TIMING parameter setting! (Main C _ 70’s Rock)

• Press [SF3] ARP3
You can now hear Drum Arp #4573 (Intro A _ 70’s Rock)

• Press [SF4] ARP4
You can now hear Drum Arp #4574 (Fill-in A _ 70’s Rock)

• Press [SF5] ARP5
You can now hear Drum Arp #4569 (Main A _ 70’s Rock

• Currently nothing is assigned to [SF6] ARP6 You can tell because no eighth note icon appears next to ARP6

Initially, Arp Types are set with LOOP = ON, but please realize that this is a programmable setting. Arps can be set with LOOP OFF independent of the Pattern looping, in which case their Phrase Length plays once and then stops. These five arpeggio Types happen to be related. Please recognize you can select any arpeggio Types that you like and simply place them on the six Sub-Function buttons [SF1]-[SF6]. They do not have to be related. It may in fact be preferable to select your own arpeggios – we only point out the “PARAMETER WITH VOICE” feature so you are aware that if you discovered a VOICE in [VOICE] mode and want to use its arpeggios, you can quickly have the MOXF copy those parameters to your PATTERN or SONG MIXING setup.

[SF5] – is like the main “A” groove. Simple and straight…
[SF4] – is like a fill-in that could lead you to the next main groove. It’s a one-measure fill-in
[SF1] – is like the main “B” groove. A little more complex rhythmically
[SF3] – is another fill type one-measure thing (even though it is labeled an INTRO- it can be used as a fill or pick-up
[SF2] – is the drummer opening up for the chorus

Now you can listen to these and imagine that you could plan to build the first 32-measures of a drum track as follows:
[SF5] = Measures 001-007 (First Verse)
[SF4] = Measure 008 (fill-in)
[SF5] = Measure 009-015 (Second Verse)
[SF4] = Measure 016 (fill-in)
[SF1] = Measure 017-023 (Chorus 1)
[SF3] = Measure 024 (fill-in)
[SF2] = Measure 025-31 (Solo)
[SF3] = Measure 032 (fill-in)

In PATTERN mode I do not have to record all of this to one SECTION I might decide to break this into smaller workable SECTIONS. Pattern Mode allows you to concentrate on each musical section. So in this example I will break it down with the first 8-measures to SECTION “A” as follows:

Our first move could be:
[SF5] for 7 measures
[SF4] for 1 measure

When recording directly to a PATTERN, you must set the number of measures you will record prior to recording. This is simply so that the MOXF knows when the Pattern Phrase should cycle.

• Press [PATTERN]
• We have selected a blank Pattern
• Set the LENGTH parameter to 008 measures

You do so by moving the cursor to the MEASURE/BEAT Counter. The last number is the LENGTH setting. Set it so that it reads; 001:01/008
Learn to read this as telling you that the transport is currently located at Measure 001, Beat 1, out of a Phrase Length of 008 measures.

• Press [RECORD]

The [F1] SETUP screen appears. Please notice that your options above the [F] (Function) buttons now include a shortcut to the ARP EDIT screen [F3] ARP ED>. As you begin to work and experiment with painting arps, this shortcut comes in very handy. You can quickly view your Arp parameters via [F3] ARP EDIT and you can return to the Record functions by touching the [RECORD] button again.

• Set the LOOP parameter to OFF

This is important in PATTERN mode when working with arpeggios because you want the sequencer to stoprecording when it completes our eight measures, automatically. This Loop parameter only refers to the record function. Playback will automatically loop in Pattern mode.

• Set the QUANTIZE parameter to OFF

It is initially important to record with QUANTIZE OFF so that any “swing” applied to the arp is accurately documented to the data recorded to the Track.

The [SF] buttons will allow real time access to changing the Arp TYPE selection in real time as the sequencer records.

Now when you are ready to record your first moves to a sequencer track… Briefly toggle the main ARP ON/OFF switch OFF and back ON to reset the arpeggio to the top and start from silence. Make sure your MEASURE counter is reading Measure: 001:01. If not press the transport’s “TO TOP” button |<

You are ready to “paint” the first two arpeggio types to SECTION “A”. Press [SF5] to select it.

• Press the transport’s PLAY BUTTON [>] to begin the count-in. The default count-in is 1 Measure. We are in 4/4/ time – Touch a Key on the downbeat after 4 clicks to begin recording.

And when the measure counter reaches measure 007, (anywhere within measure 007) press [SF4] – the sequencer will switch to that Arp at the top of measure 008. And because we turned LOOP OFF, the sequencer will automatically punch out and stop when it completes recording the phrases.

Summary: We have setup and recorded the data contained in the arps [SF5] and [SF4], and have written them out as MIDI data to the track’s EVENT LIST. It will no longer be necessary to have the Arp On for this data to play, because its data now exists on the track as if we had manually played it ourselves. We can now edit that data as we can any MIDI data on a Pattern Track.

Let’s get ready to play it back.

• Turn OFF the main ARP ON/OFF switch
• Press PLAY [>]

As you can hear, we have the basic pop groove. There is a nice open hihat transitioning measure 004 to 005, and there is a basic fill in measure 008.
So that we can gain a clear understanding of what we have accomplished thus far:

• Press [EDIT]

This will take you to the MIDI EVENT LIST – where each Note-On event’s position (measure:beat:clock), duration (Gate), and Velocity is shown. You can Cursor Down to hear each individual event.
• Press [EXIT] to return to the main screen
• Press [F4] PATCH

Here you will see that our recording is “patched” to the grid of 16 track on to Track 1 and is identified as001:M008. This translates to “Phrase 001” with a Phrase Length of “008 Measures”

Now that we have SECTION “A”, I can create a variation on this 008 measure phrase – I may want to have a slightly different fill-in for measure 008 than at 016. This is where you can bring in the REMIX function. REAL TIME LOOP REMIX is a PATTERN mode function to create endless variations from the MIDI data recorded to a Phrase. We will take a quick look at how this can be used to spice up the rather basic drum fill in measure 008

By setting the INTERVAL to 8 (every 8 measures) I can try out literally thousands of variations for Fill-ins, Breaks, Rolls, etc. See the dedicated article/tutorial on REAL TIME LOOP REMIX for details on this extremely powerful tool to continue your customization of the arpeggio data. Remix is another advantage in working out your drum phrases or any arpeggio phrases while in PATTERN mode – because it offers you so many musical alternatives to the stock data.

Let’s try few so you can see how this works. Return to the main PATTERN screen
With Track [1] selected…
• Press PLAY [>]
• Recall SECTION [A]

You do so by lighting the [PATTERN SECTION] button and touching button [1]

• Press [F5] REMIX
• Set the screen that appears so that
TYPE = 6
VAR = Roll 3

• Press [ENTER] to audition the Remix

When you press [ENTER] immediately “CANCEL” and “OK” options appear above [SF4] and [SF5] respectively. You can try out differnt remix setting the higher the TYPE and VARIATION number the wilder the Remix. The “remix” will be applied to measure 008.

When you find one that you like press [SF5] OK to create a new PHRASE. If you press [SF4] CANCEL – the original Phrase is restored.

For more on REMIX – see the dedicated article: “Real Time Loop Remix”

The INTERVAL being set to 8 means that only measure 008 will be remixed.

This is a non-destructive edit, until you press [SF5] OK, so you can audtion as many different ‘remixes’ as you desire. When you find the keeper, press OK

If you press [SF5] OK, a new Phrase, 002, will be created and “patched” to the [F4] PATCH grid. Your original Phrase, 001, will still exist but the new one will be selected for this Section.

Rinse and repeat for SECTION “B”

Set the LENGTH to 008 measures; Select [SF1] ARP1 prior to beginning recording and while recording during measure 007, press [SF3] ARP3

And finally for SECTION “C”

Set the LENGTH to 008 measures; Set the [SF2] ARP2 initially and during measure 007 you will press [SF3] ARP3 for the final fill-in

Now to accomplish the linear 32-measure form you can create a PATTERN CHAIN that is A-A-B-C SECTION

“A” measure 001; SECTION “A” measure 009; SECTION “B” measure 017; SECTION “C” measure 025

A PATTERN CHAIN (found from the main pattern mode screen at [F6] CHAIN, is simply the sequencer record function documenting the play order of your musical Sections. Here you can experiment with which Section is to play first, second, third and so forth. Chains can be created in real-time by pressing the [RECORD] button while on the [F6] CHAIN screen. Or can be created offline by pressing [EDIT] while on the [F6] CHAIN mode.

One of the advantages of recording your music initially in PATTERN mode is this: You now can play around with the structure of the composition. I may decide that I want to add another Verse before going to the “C” section. AABAC. There is a classic story that the band Genesis when working on their huge hit, did not have a title for the song, but while they were working out the arrangement on paper at one point the structure was A-B-A-C-A-B. This, of course was their huge hit ABACAB… only musicians knew what it meant. The name kind of stuck – even though the actual final version did not follow that section structure. Classical, pop, jazz, and even country musicians alike have used this lettering system. It addresses the fact that you might change your mind during the development of the music.

If you are working in SONG mode when you discover that you might want to change your mind about the musical flow of your sections… the MOXF sequencer provides a SONG JOB called SPLIT SONG TO PATTERN which is designed for just this purpose. It allows you to define a region of measures and target a specific SECTION of a PATTERN. Please see the article on DRUM TRACK CONSTRUCTION for a discussion of how the SONG and PATTERN modes of the Sequencer are designed specifically to work together in music composition. Moving data back and forth can be done easily with Song and Pattern jobs designed to move individual phrases or entire movements of music containing multiple parts.

In our next section we will discuss the differences you encounter when “painting” arpeggios to a linear SONG.

With only a few differences, you can/could record the 32-measure example above directly to a linear song (SONG mode). This can be accomplished while other tracks have already been recorded or you can start your composition by laying out a drum framework. As you can see, there is total freedom in how/when you can implement this feature. Simply place your main drum grooves (arp Types) on the [SF] buttons and your fill-ins on other [SF] buttons and as the Song advances you can intuitively construct the drum track. With SONG mode Punch In/Out function you could simply prepare and insert fill-ins where appropriate.
Here again is our 32-bar DRUM track as follows:
[SF5] = Measures 001-007 (First Verse)
[SF4] = Measure 008 (fill-in)
[SF5] = Measure 009-015 (Second Verse)
[SF4] = Measure 016 (fill-in)
[SF1] = Measure 017-023 (Chorus 1)
[SF3] = Measure 024 (fill-in)
[SF2] = Measure 025-31 (Solo)
[SF3] = Measure 032 (fill-in)

Because SONG mode is linear, I simply make the transitions one after the other. Making sure I press the [SF] button in the measure just before I want the Arp Type to change.
• Press [RECORD]
• Press [>] Transport PLAY to start the count-in… you will need to press a key on the downbeat of 1 to begin the arpeggio.

By setting the sequencer to Record mode and then using the [SF] ARP select button, you will have real time access to the ARP1-ARP5 assignments we have made during the record process. This may take some practice but is very intuitive because you can hear the drums as you make the changes. By setting the CHANGE TIMING parameter to “Measure” you need only select the next ARP you want to recall sometime during the measure prior to when you want it to play. For example, I want to start out with [SF5] and then somewhere during measure 007 we want to press [SF4] – so that it begins play at the top of measure 008. Once it begins to play I want to press [SF5] to return to that arpeggio. You can temporarily slow the tempo down if you are under too much pressure… Remember: tempo can be adjusted back to speed later.

Now you can “paint” (transfer) the drum arpeggio data to the track… using just the [SF1]-[SF5] buttons… because you set HOLD to ON, you do not have to hold down a key, the drums will continue to play. But because SONG mode is linear in nature you will have to manually end recording. You can use the PUNCH IN and PUNCH functions to help you automate the recording. It is as important to STOP on time as it is to START ON time. (See our Troubleshooting section below for some tips on fixing unfortunately placed data)

All the arpeggio types are categorized by main Category (instrument) and Sub-Category (genres of music). And can be non-destructively altered in real time via ARP FX. There are over 6700 arpeggios total. When looking at Drum Type arpeggios you will notice that many have a two-letter prefix in their name… these are general suggestions (only suggestions):

MA = Main A section
MB = Main B section
MC = Main C section
MD = Main D section
each is a little more complex (busy)

IA = Introduction type
FA = Fill-in A
FB = Fill-in B
FC = Fill-in C
etc. Each is more complex as you move A, B, C…

BA = Break A

EA = Ending A
And so on… You do not have to follow any of these suggestions – use any arpeggio pattern as you see fit. You do not even have to follow any rules about instrument and you can mix ‘n’ match Types from multiple genres… there are no rules. There is only more or less appropriate when it comes to musical taste.

PUNCH Record: We mentioned that in SONG mode you may opt to use RECORD TYPE = PUNCH. This would allow you to set a measure where the sequencer begins printing data and when it will stop printing data. You may think that you are quick enough to press STOP on time. But trust us, you are a human… (You’d have to have the timing of an android, like Data, to nail it on the 000 clock tick). If you were to do it, it would be by accident. Do note, however, that the PUNCH OUT will not stop the arpeggio from playing. It will simply stop the sequencer from recording – which in the end is what you want to accomplish.

Other methods exist to handle this as well. With the ARP MAIN and ARP OTHER setup screens you can further customize how the arpeggio behaves. For example, there is an arpeggio Trigger Mode setting “Toggle” where you can start and stop the arpeggio when you touch the keyboard. Alternatively, the arpeggio can be set to Loop = Off, which will make the phrase play once and stop. Explore and experiment!

Summary: In this fashion you can intuitively add drums to your composition – creating fills where appropriate. You can record them first or you can record them after you have recorded other tracks and you are listening back to them… And with a little imagination, you can use this technique for arpeggio Types other than drums. And the beautiful thing about this is that once you have ‘painted’ (output the arpeggio data) to a track, you are free to re-assign the [SF] buttons with additional arpeggio Types and work on other portions of your composition. Enjoy!

Triggering the start of the arpeggio is done manually. After the count-in (default is a 1 Measure count-in) it is the player’s responsibility to trigger the KEY to start the arpeggio. If you are early or late, the event data may be clock shifted. The arp will automatically sync with the sequencer – if you start the arp recording 20 clock ticks late, the entire pattern will be shifted 20 clock ticks late. In other words the spacing between events will be maintained. You can CLOCK SHIFT the entire set of events in the Phrase early or later as necessary.

Press [JOB]
Press [F3] EVENT
Set the region of measures to include the entire phrase
Set the number of Measures/Beats/Clocks you need to shift the data
Select the Direction = ADVANCE or DELAY

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