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

A progression of long notes over at least 8 bars will ensure subsequent steps have maximum effect. To specify your own progression, enter the notes into the Piano roll prior to opening the Riff Machine and select Work on existing score at the bottom of the window.


This step can be excluded from the Riff Generator by deactivating the switch.

  • Reset - Reset to default settings for the panel.
  • Random - Randomly select values for the panel.
  • Show details - Show / hide the details of the panel.


Select predefined note progression patterns (click on the Pattern folder icon to load).


These controls augment/modify the selected progression. Note that some controls will only have an effect if the original progression includes some variation in that parameter (PAN for example).

  • Time mul - Time multiplier, change the length of the notes.
  • PAN - Note panning multiplier.
  • VOL (Volume) - Note velocity multiplier.
  • MODX - Modulation X multiplier.
  • MODY - Modulation Y multiplier.
  • PITCH - Note pitch multiplier.
  • Absolute Pattern - On: any note slicing is based on the Piano roll grid. Off: Each note is sliced relative to its own start time.
  • Group notes - Groups any chopped-up notes, use the grouping function on the Toobar shortcut icons to activate note grouping.

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)

Step 8. Fit (note range)

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.