GarageBand has thoughtfully added an Arpeggiator option within Smart Controls that fills in the correct notes for Software Instruments. Here you can quickly control note order, rate, octave ranges and an assortment of pattern presets until you’ve achieved the desired effect. Follow our steps and refer to the supplied project files to become an Arpeggiator ace.
1 Instant effect
One of the quickest ways to get acquainted with the Arpeggiator sound is to use the Arpeggiator patch. With a Software Instrument track selected, head over to Library>Arpeggiator.
2 Arpeggiator patches
Within the four Arpeggiator types of Synth Basics, Bass, Bells and Chords you’ll find classic sounds associated with electronic music. Each has preset Arpeggio effects attached.
3 Project tempo
The Arpeggiator effect changes as the tempo does. Tempo influences the timing applied to the playing of the extra arpeggio notes, so a slower BPM will produce a slower, spacier result.
4 Smart Controls
You can also add an Arpeggiator to any Software Instrument. Show the Smart Controls for your track (press B) and click the Arpeggiator button on the far right of the panel to enable.
5 Preset patterns
Access the Arpeggiator pop-up menu. The lower section has 30 preset arpeggio patterns, to illustrate we’ll pick Classic Groove 01 and record a MIDI region to our track.
6 Switching patterns
With a new track selected, return to the pop-up menu and select Groovy Cycle 03. Play or record a new MIDI region to see how the note pattern alternates compared to the previous track.
7 Note Order
At the top of the pop-up is a Note Order menu. This changes the way the arpeggio sequence is defined – going up, down, outside-in, random or as played. Each has a profound effect.
8 Setting rate
The rate option below offers time signatures from 1/1 up to 1/128, dramatically changing the interval speed of the arpeggio. Raise it up to 1/64 and beyond to get rapid-fire effects.
9 Octave Range
Octave Range determines the breadth of the arpeggio in terms of scale pitch. By selecting a higher number in union with Note Order, the Arpeggiator can move around the note octaves.
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