Simple arpeggio effects

Sorry for another noob question but this is driving me mad.

Goal
Find a simplest way to create the arpeggio effect with options, such as being able to use more or less than 3 notes and adjusting the speed.

Let me explain what I’m currently working on. I’m making some chiptune in Renoise. I have some samples I made in Famitracker and exported, and then cropped in Renoise. They sound pretty sick. I want to apply some arpeggio effects.

The problem I’m having is first of all, 0Axx is way too limited. If I want, for example, an arpeggio of 0 3 7 12, I can’t do that. Or if I just want 0 7, I can’t do that either, because technically you can only do 0 0 7 or 0 7 0 or 7 0 7. Or maybe I want to go up an entire scale really fast. Or maybe I want just a normal 3 note arpeggio, but I want it to be a little bit slower, or a little bit faster.

What I have tried
I have tried many things as a result of googling and searching the forums here.

I have used the ZK command to change the ticks to change the speed. I find this method very limiting. There’s usually only 3 values worth using, and they’re like, way too slow, normal, and way too fast. And of course even if I was satisfied with those settings, this doesn’t solve my other problem, which is BASICALLY my desire for a easy to use pitch envelope.

I have tried manually configuring a pitch envelope in Renoise, and have found this task daunting. After a while I figured out you can just reduce the points and it makes it easier to work with. However, and I had to slow the track speed down to 32 beats to confirm exactly what was going on, the forward loop is ignoring the 0 point. It only plays point zero the first time, and then the loop only plays nonzero points in the envelope. The loop starting marker is all the way to the left. It can’t go anymore left. So this method is out too… unless someone can tell me what I might be doing wrong. However even then I find the speeds you can achieve with this method are just as limited as using ZK.

I did find the Epic Arpegiator. I find it to be way overly complicated for what I want to use it for. I really just want to set tones to be arpeggiated, and set a speed for them to play at. I watched the entire 25 minute tutorial, and it looks like an amazing tool, but after 30 minutes of trying to figure out how to accomplish a basic arpeggio effect I honestly just gave up. Sometimes when I type in a 3, it shows a 3. Sometimes when I type in a 3 it goes to a 12, and once something goes to a 12 no matter what I type in it stays stuck at 12 until I clear it. (This is in the Tone column) And like, right now, I have 0 3 and 7 set at points 0 2 and 4. How do I tell it where to start repeating? It seems to just “know” but if for example I wanted it to hold the 7 for 3 points instead of 2, like, how would I tell it to do that, just seems weird that you have all these blank points and count on it automatically “knowing.” I did get it to work, and generate an arpeggio, but then of course I wanted to alter the speed. Want a faster arpeggio, put the 0 3 7 on points 0 1 and 2, and and point 2 is stuck at 12. Why is point 2 stuck at 12? Also some of the arpeggios I generated ended up with the same problem I had where it would ignore point 0 in the loop after the first play.

Sooooo then I thought to myself, surely a VST exists that very simply does this. So I found Kirnu. And it looks perfect, exactly what I’m looking for, EXCEPT, I can’t figure out how to get it to work, at all. It doesn’t show in the Track DSPs under VST like I would expect it to, it is showing under instruments. Which is weird because if I understood right it’s not an instrument, it’s basically an effect, isn’t it? It doesn’t generate its own sound, so why wouldn’t it be under effects? I can have it selected even though I already have a sample but it doesn’t do anything. Reading the manual was really confusing:

"How to use:

  • Right click on the knob.
  • Select MIDI learn from popup menu.
  • Move some control from your MIDI device or from DAW
  • To unlearn the control select MIDI unlearn from the popup menu"

Well there’s 5 knobs, which one is “the” knob? Midi learn I see. But what does “move some control from your midi device or from DAW” mean? I don’t know what that means. I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing with this VST. But I’d like to mess with the Rate selection. It has options for triplets and has rates from whole notes to 1/128th notes. The envelope itself is extremely simple, and it has other things to mess with such as length which I assume is notelength, gate, accent, etc looks really cool. But I can’t figure out how to get it to do anything in Renoise.

Ideally I’d like to learn how to use Kirnu in Renoise, I really think if I can figure that out, that would be my best bet for what I’m trying to do. Any help very much appreciated.

edit: and I really can’t even begin to explain this.

This envelope when played completely ignores the first point at 0 cents. Does not play it at all. Start right from point 2. All three points are completely inside the loop, why would it do this? When the first zero cents point was all the way to the left it played it once, it just didn’t loop it. With this envelope it does not play it at all. Even when I change it to a positive cents value.

edit2: Now I have S at point 0, 0 cents at pt1, 300 cents at pt 2, 700 cents at pt 3, and E at pt 4, and it loops pt’s 1 and 3 and ignores 2. Whaaaa?

edit3: I have now successfully used energyXT to setup Kirnu to be used with a VST plugin. I have not yet figured out how to do this for samples. But I’m getting close. And I have Bleep which is a pretty cool plugin and will tide me over for now. For anyone after me trying to figure this out, use Workaround For Routing Midi-Vsti

As for doing this with samples, it looks like it SHOULD be possible I just can’t figure out how. energy lets you setup a samples folder, and you can look at your samples in there, but you can’t drag them in like you can VST’s. I might have to hunt down a simple VST that just loads and loops samples to do this.

edit4: I have not yet found a VST that does what edit3 came up with. I have found some sampler VSTs but they don’t loop the sample fast enough and they don’t have an option to set a base note so they’re absolutely useless for my purposes.

edit5: Oh apparently kontakt can load samples, I never knew. I have it for an orchestra kit I purchased. Works like a charm. Says it’s in demo mode though… I don’t know what its limitations are.

edit6: Found a VST called SFZ. Kontakt has 15 minute time limit. SFZ Does not. Works perfectly. Does not, however, have a volume envelope editor. I don’t think I’ll ever need one for arpeggio effects though and it looks like Kirnu has some options in that regard anyways.

OK so I fixed my own problem eventually even if it did take 6 hours of googling and noodling.

edit7: OH MY GOD energyxt dumps all your settings when you close renoise because it’s just a demo and you have to buy it to get the ability to save.

edit8: http://i.imgur.com/lgaVd.jpg :frowning:

If you click the question mark, a PDF pops up going to the area that explains quite a lot, also stuff that isn’t explained in the video.

The input routine tries to interpret your input and see what it can make of it since every “note field” is actually a button where you cannot "type"in data.
What it does is it simply routes every figure directly to the button, but to be able to type 10, 11 or 12 (or 100 or 1000 depending on how the x factor is set) it will add the figure to it. However you can’t cross the maximum value and if this happens, the routine automatically sets it to the max value. So if you already have 3 and type 3 again, it would have made 33 but when the factor is set to x100, it would cross the 1200 tones line so it would automatically set the value to 12.
I will see if i can add a change that it also figures out that when the max value is already set, it resets it (depending on the factor) and set it to the smaller figure.

Why do you need the tone mode?

I could suggest you to do the following:
-Press esc to turn on record mode
-hit left Shift + apply (take care the correct sample based instrument is selected)
-hit ctrl + c to open up scalefinder
-click any of the chord buttons there.
-change the chord spacing figure to your needs.

Now you quickly get the idea how this arpeggiator works, start fumbling with the rest from there.

I was using the tone mode because I really don’t understand how note mode works. You put a note in the pattern editor, and then in my mind arpeggios are created relative to the note in the pattern editor. What is A C E relative to a D in the pattern editor, for example. Saying “play any note, and arpeggiate it at 0 3 7” makes sense to my brain, so that’s what I was trying.

The scalefinder is something cool I didn’t know existed. I tried putting in an A minor chord and that worked. Changing the chord spacing didn’t seem to do anything at all though… anyways I’m sure I could get it to “work” eventually but there just seems like so much more you can do with Kirnu, I really wish I could find a good way to make that work without dropping 55 bucks on energyxt.

Thanks for the reply, I’m going to sleep after a long long day of messing with this. Make poke around more at it tomorrow.

The chord spacing also depends on the LPB settings. The lower the LPB, the higher you can set the chord spacing. (Do not set the LPB higher than 8 else you can’t raise the figure above 1)

Then you also have the ticks per line in the song settings that also influences the envelope (how many points per line are actually played. Set these to 6 minimum (the old tracker standard) but won’t do harm to keep this set to 16.
Btw, the ticks also influence how fast your 0axx arpeggios run if you refer to this simple solution.

To do something like 0 4 7 12 with axx commands, add another effect column and add another arpeggio command on the same line (0a47 0ac0). They stack. Then play with bpm and tickvalues to get a balance.

Oh that explains it. The song I’m working on I have set to 8 lpb because I want to put a fast solo part in it.

Also thanks for the tip I did not realize you could do that. I didn’t even think about just having more than one arp effect column. That’s really useful.

Currently working on figuring out how to use and determining if VSTBoard can make Kirnu work. Seems like you should be able to use it to just link Kirnu into a VSTi with it. But I haven’t managed to make it work yet. It’s 4:30am here though so my brain probably isn’t in the best state to be trying right now.

That or http://www.hermannse…ish/vsthost.htm which also has a 64-bit variant.

You can get VSTBoard to work with virtual Midi cable software like Copperlan.

VSTHost is actually one I tried and failed to actually figure out. Though at the time my plan was to use Loopbe. I don’t remember what I was doing but I couldn’t even get Kirnu to work before trying to get VSTHost to send to Renoise.

The free version of LoopBE is pretty crippled. Copperlan doesn’t cost a dime and offers 32 virtual midi cables for free (even Midi over IP).
Here is a topic where i have screenshots of how i used Copperlan to broadcast midi signals back to Renoise using a midi splitter VST in VSTboard:

Thanks! That’s really cool. I have yet to figure out how to setup kirnu in vstboard though. This is how I’m trying now, and I have no sound. I do get sound if I run from bleep’s audioout to the vst audio out, but of course no arp effect that way. I have also tried it with bleep and kirnu switched.

Any ideas there?

Kirnu should come before the VST instrument of course, Kirnu just arps the note data it gets, Bleep makes the sounds from notes, if I’m not mistaken

The sound comes from Renoise, Kirnu only sends Midi note data so this is what you should focus on hence you need a lot of virtual midi cables and i think that the free version of LoopBE doesn’t supply you enough of them to make it work properly.

This is the scheme:
[Midi device] -> Midi in port -> Virtual Midi In device 1 -> [VSTBoard] [Kirnu VST] -> Virtual Midi Out device 1 -> Virtual Midi In Device 2 -> [Renoise] [Selected Instrument to control]
Forget about audio outputs in VSTBoard, not interesting at all here.

Thank you very much, that’s extremely helpful. That makes more sense now.

Right now I can’t make heads or tails of copperlan and I’m looking for some documentation/tutorials for it. Once I figure that out might be back for more questions. After install the only application I can find is CopperLan Manager, and it doesn’t look anything like the screenshots I’ve seen, and I feel like there should be another actual application or something… but I might just be missing something (and by something I mean everything). Do I need this copperplug as well?

Unfortunately I may not get much time to play around with this again until the weekend. :frowning:

Copperlan works in Segments.
Use the “Editor” to configure your devices
“Midi settings” to define your amount of Virtual cables that you like to have
MIDI to CP interface to enable your hardware Midi in devices for linking, note if you toggle any on, then you should connect your toggled Midi in device(s) to a virtual midi cable and then use those defined virtual midi cables as your generic Midi in device for your host software.
CP to Midi interface:Connect virtual midi cables to external midi devices.

Use the connector to patch your Midi devices (virtual and external).
Each block branches out to the right once you select it with your mouse.
E.g. Midi will expand to the available virtual midi devices and bottom will contain your external devices. Selecting one of those allows you to either link channels or build a complete virtual cable to another device.