INSTRUMENTS / GENERATORS
Sytrus - Arpeggiator
Sytrus has a unique method of creating arpeggios (Arps).
Arps are defined by Envelope (usually volume, modulation or filter) arpeggiator 'break-points' that can be applied to the Envelope nodes. See
Working with Envelopes for more detail on the basics of Envelope manipulation and also where you can
open the Envelope Sequencer Tool.
There are three types of Envelope Break Points used in making arpeggios (the middle three in the picture left), Previous,
Same, Next. The first and last nodes relate to the loop start and end points (Loop Sustain start
and Loop Sustain End respectively).
When a chord is played and the envelope is set to arpeggiate, each of the notes in the chord is played in turn within the envelope loop, as defined
by the Arp break-point flags. Arp break-points are described in more detail below.
To add or change an Arp break-point, Right-click on the envelope node and select 'Arpeggiator break' from the
popup menu, then select one of the following break-point types from the sub-menu.
- None - Use this to clear an unwanted break point.
- Previous() - At the
break-point plays the next note below the previous note played.
- Same() - Plays the same
note as at the last break-point.
- Next() - At the break-point
plays the next note above the previous note played.
Making an Arpeggio
- Generally we advise using the Envelope Sequencer Tool opened from the Envelope menu. However for this tutorial will give you
a feel for operating with the arpeggiation controls directly on the Envelope Editor window.
- Open Sytrus and load the patch labeled Default (this is a simple sine-wave on Operator 1).
- Select Operator 1, set the Editor target to VOL and the Articulator part to ENV (this will open
up the volume envelope for Operator 1. The same windows should be open as shown above.
- From the Envelope Options menu ()
select the Open state file... menu item and open the 'Arp - classic up.fnv' state file.
- You should see a simple triangle-shaped Envelope with a Same break-point on the first node and a Next
Arp break-point on the last node. Playing a chord will sound the classic upward repeating Arp.
- Change the last node to Previous and note that Arp descends. Experiment by adding some more Envelope nodes and break-point types.
You are now on your way to creating your own Arps - have a look at some of the other Arp presets to learn how they work.
NOTES & TIPS:
- Arps need chords: To hear an Arp you need to play a chord (otherwise there is no 'previous' or 'next' note for Sytrus to play).
Single notes will work, sounding the rhythm of the Envelope.
- Envelope loops: If you want your Arp to repeat while you hold down the chord, the first node should be set to Sustain
loop start and the last node should be set to Sustain loop end (it is possible to add both Arp 'break points' and
'Loop sustain' flags to the same node).
- Envelope release: Avoid Envelope releases with Arp presets ('release point' envelope data after the 'Sustain loop end' node)
as the envelope will play the whole chord.
- Timing: Make sure Tempo and Global selectors are activated in the Envelope settings so that
the Arp plays in time with the BPM of your project, and timing of the notes does not drift.
- Per-Operator Arps: The speed of the Arps can be varied on a 'per operator', basis. Very complex and 'cool' patterns are possible.
- Speed: The envelope 'decay' (DEC) knob can be used to increase or decrease the speed of the sequence. The knob is set to 2X speed