Riff Machine

The Riff Machine generates melodies in the Piano roll (depending on the settings made in the tabs).

Building a riff consists maximally of the following steps:

1. Progression - A series of long notes are selected according to the general mood you desire.

2. Chords - The note series is transformed into chords ready for the Arpeggiator step.

3. Arpeggiation - The chord is chopped up and arpeggiated to create a basic 'riff'.

4. Mirror - Vertical and horizontal transformations of the arpeggio are made to add interest.

5. Levels - Note parameter levels are randomized (to a user specified degree) to add variation.

6. Articulation - Note lengths/transitions are varied to change playing 'style'.

7. Groove - Note quantization is varied to add rhythmic feeling.

8. Fit - Note range and key is specified.


    Notes created by the Riff Machine have the length of the current Piano roll snap. The Length and Variation controls won't work if SNAP is set to '(none)'.

    Any or all tabs can be selected or deselected to play a part in the final 'riff'. Some settings on some tabs will defeat those on others (setting a compatible combination is up to the user).

Step 1. Note Progression

Step 2. Chord Progression

Step 3. Arpeggiation

Step 4. Mirroring Notes

Step 5. Levels & Panning

Step 6. Articulation (note length)

Step 7. Groove (note timing)

Groove template

Select predefined 'groove' templates (click on the Pattern folder icon to load).



  • Start time - Lets you mix the original start times of the notes (turn left) with the quantized start times (turn right).
  • Sensitivity - Lets you set the snap sensitivity: how close to the grid should be a note feature (start time, end time) to be quantized. Turn the knob to right to increase the sensitivity.
  • Duration - Lets you mix the original duration of the notes (turn left) with the quantized duration (turn right). In Quantize end time mode (see below), this knob mixes the end time position instead.
  • Quantize mode menu - Selects the quantize mode. The start time is quantized in all modes.
    • Leave duration - Do not vary note duration.
    • Leave end time - Do not vary note end position.
    • Quantize duration - Quantize (align with snap setting grid) note start and end positions.
    • Quantize end time - Quantize (align with snap setting grid) note end positions.
  • Levels -
    • PAN - Note panning multiplier.
    • VOL - Note velocity multiplier.
    • MODX - Modulation X multiplier.
    • MODY - Modulation Y multiplier.
    • PITCH - Note pitch multiplier.

Step 8. Fit (note range)

Use this page to control how high and low the riff will extend and what key signature it will use.

Process controls

  • Preview up to current step - Play the riff generated by the settings up to, and including, the current tab.
  • Work on existing score - Apply the settings to the score in the Piano roll before the Riff generator was launched.
  • Length - Number of bars the riff should cover.
  • Start over - Reset all steps.
  • Throw dice - Generate a new riff with new random seed settings.
  • Accept - Accept the current riff.