EFFECTS / MIDI
VFX Sequencer will take note input from the Piano roll or a MIDI Controller and transform chords into melodic phrases according to the pattern you program or patch selected. VFX Sequencer is a pattern arpeggiator and step sequencer designed to be used in Patcher to send note sequences to connected instrument plugins.
NOTE: Use your Mouse Wheel to change the position of notes.
- View Mode (Top-right icons) - Show Simple (Note Matrix), Advanced (+ Step Type) and Complete (+ Engine & Filter) controls.
- Sequence - Left-Click to show all sequence presets in the bank.
- < > (Arrows) - Step forward and backward through the Sequence list.
- Dice (icon) - Choose a random sequence from the presets.
- Auto scroll - If more than 16 steps are used, the Note Matrix display will scroll when played.
- Page lock - Fix the view to the current group of steps.
- Page buttons (1 to 4) - Jump to the 1st to 4th grouping of 16 steps.
- Notes - VFX Sequencer allows you to sequence up to 5 of the notes in a chord, N1 to N5 as shown on the main window. Although when Step Type is set to Chord (Chr) mode any number of notes may be played. N1 is the lowest note in the Chord. N5 is the highest note in the Chord (as a default, unless a different order algorithm is being selected).
The order N1 to N5 are arranged in the Matrix Editor determines which note in the chord will play and in what sequence. For example N1, N2 and N3 will play the lowest to highest notes in the Chord, in sequence. N3, N2 and N1 will play highest to lowest.
If you play a Chord and only N1 is set across all steps, then only the first note in the chord will be played.
For each step there are ranges of additional controls. For example, 'Step Type' allows you to Skip, Tie, Randomize or play Chords for example.
- Steps - Each page shows 16 steps (1 Bar) with up to 64 steps (4 bars) available.
NOTE: When using the lanes for the remaining controls (Veocity, Octave etc. below), the steps will still indicate their Note settings labels, so their context is clear.
- N1 to N5 - These map to the first 5 notes in the input chord. From the lowest N1 to the highest N5 note. Up to 5 note chords may be sequenced, although when Chord is selected in Step Type, more than 5 notes can sound. If you play more than 5 note chords in 'Normal' mode, then only the lowest 5 notes will be used.
- Root (Root) - By default, N1 sets the root note of the Chord played. The difference is N1 transposition can be changed under the Arp Engine settings.
For the (Root), regardless of what Order algorithm is selected, it always returns the root note of the detected chord (if any). Also the (Root) note is not limited by the 'Input range wrap' setting.
- Scale (Fixed) - Uses a defined fixed note which can be scaled to the Scale / Key Signature set under the Arp Engine settings.
- - (Default) - Use the velocity of the input note.
- 1-127 - Set velocity according to standard velocity values.
Transposition in octaves.
- - - No change (default).
- -3 to +3 - Offset in octaves for the input note.
- Poly - When selected only Note 1 (N1) is transposed. So, if you have 'Step Type' set to 'Chord', 'Octave' -1, playing F4 and A4 will output F3 and F4.
+ A4. When deselected all keys for a given step are transposed by octaves.
Gate Time multipliers per-step.
- 1/2 to 1/8 - Shortens the Gate Time.
- - - Default 1/16th.
- 2x to 32x - Lengthens the Gate Time
Step 'play style' options.
- Rnd (Random) - Plays a random note from those input.
- Chr (Chord) - Play the notes as appear at the input. If a Chord appears it will be played. NOTE: Any number of notes may appear in a Chord.
- Tie - Legato mode or slide depending on the settings of the target instrument.
- Rst (Rest) - Extends the previous step to lengthen the note.
- Nrm (Normal) - Plays a single note which its length equals step duration. The default. Up to 5 notes may be sequenced.
- Off - Silent.
Transposition in semitones.
- - - No change (default).
- -12 to +12 - Offset the input note in semitones. NOTE: Alternative ranges may be set under the GUI Options.
- Poly - When selected the note will be transposed according to the setting under 'Arp Engine > Force to scale > Scale'. When deselected will transpose all notes by the semitones setting.
- Arp mode - Change how the arpeggiator operates:
- On – Normal mode.
- Off – All input is ignored.
- Thru – Notes are passed without arpeggiating. However the following settings will still be applied: Input range, Output range, Transpose and Force to scale. In this way you can use VFX Arpeggiator as a real-time MIDI transpose tool and/or keyboard range filter.
- 2/3 auto on/off - When the 2 or 3 notes are played the arpeggiator will run, otherwise, it will be off.
- 2/3 auto on/thru - When the 2 or 3 notes are played the arpeggiator will run, otherwise, single notes will pass through without being arpeggiated.
- MIDI in Ch - MIDI input channel. All (Omni) or 1 to 16.
- MIDI out Ch - MIDI output channel. All (Omni) or 1 to 16.
- Input range filter - Set the lowest and highest note VFX Arpeggiator will process.
- Input range mode - Modifies the 'Input range filter' behavior:
- Truncate - Default. Notes outside the range are not arpeggiated.
- Pass thru - The range specified is not arpeggiated.
- Input range wrap - Notes outside the range are wrapped back into the set range by applying up or down octave transposition. For example, if range wrap is set to C3 to C4. Playing A2, C3, E3, G3, D4 will wrap the bold notes to A3, C3, E3, G3, D3 (bold notes were wrapped into the range C3...C4). This can be useful to keep arprggiation, such as a Bass sound, in the correct range or limited range instruments (orchestral) the same.
Order algorithm - How input notes are ordered and assigned to the matrix. NOTE: Chord detection may also be active, and so this can change how notes are ordered.
- By pitch - The default. Lowest note is N1, highest note is N5.
- By pitch desc - Last played note is N1.
- As played - Chords are ordered from lowest note to highest note, N1 to N5.
- As played desc - N1 will always be the last pressed key.
- By velocity - Highest velocity is N1.
- By velocity desc - Lowest velocity is N1.
- Chord (normalized) - Chord inversions are ignored. If you play C4+E4 a Cmaj chord is detected. Ordered list will be C4+E4+G4 (complete Cmaj chord). If you play inverted Cmaj – G3+C4+E4, output will be the same, because chord is normalized.
- Chord (as played) - Inverted chords will remain inverted.
- Replace missing notes - When your pattern has more notes than you play, this setting determines whether to mute these steps (don’t play) or substitute missing notes with the set ones. NOTE: Examples below assume you set N1, N2, N3 and N4 and input (play) only 2 notes.
- Don't play (default) - E.g. Two notes held for N1, N2, N3, N4 = N1, N2, mute, mute, mute ...
- Cyclic - E.g. Two notes held for N1, N2, N3, N4 = N1, N2, N1, N2, N1 ...
- First key - E.g. Two notes held for N1, N2, N3, N4 = N1, N2, N1, N1, N1 ...
- Last key - E.g. Two notes held for N1, N2, N3, N4 = N1, N2, N2, N2, N2 ...
- Fixed key - E.g. Two notes held for N1, N2, N3, N4 = N1, N2, Fixed, Fixed, Fixed ... where 'Fixed' is the note you set under 'Arpeggiator > Fixed note' (see below)).
- Transpose missing notes - Transposes the missing notes where they would play according to the rules set in 'Replace missing notes'.
- None (default) - No transposition.
- +1 / -1 Octave - Replaced notes are played +1 or -1 octave relative to the input note.
- In quantize - Input quantization allows you to re-time notes from 1/16th note to 2 bar alignment. Tip: When input quantize is on, you should press keys a little beforehand, because input keys need to be already captured when the next step/beat starts.
- Smart bend - This parameter works in conjuction with Force to scale: Scale, it rotates the input notes before feeding them to the arpeggiator engine and matches the selected scale to apply the adjustments per each note.
- In the case of (Force to scale) is set to off, the Smart bend functions as chromatic transpone.
But whenever a scale is being selected, it starts to work as modal note adjustment shifter.
Values above 0 transposes notes up, while values below 0 tranposes the notes down. As an example: The Force to scale: Scale is set to: Major, placing N1, N2 & N3 in the note matrix, and the input notes are: C3, E3, G3. If Smart bend sets to +1, the output notes will be: D3, F3, A3.
- Arp latch - OFF: The arpeggiator only plays while notes are input (default). ON: The arpeggiator keeps playing the last input notes until new input is received. TIP: For live performances it may be useful to assign this switch to a sustain pedal to activate it to free your hands from the keyboard to do some other stuff.
- Steps - Set 0 to 64 (4 bars of 16 steps).
- Sync - Step length as a fraction of 1 bar. From 1/64 to 3/8. NOTE: The default value is 1/16, 1 step = 16th note. 1/12 is 8th triplets or 16th dotted.
- Force scale: root note - Off/Note 1 - Detect the chord from N1's pitch. Otherwise set the scale from the chromatic note options. NOTE: Yes Db is C# we were not about to double-list all the flats.
- Force to scale: scale - Sets scale / key signature for 'Force to scale' mode. Works together with 'Force to scale: root note'. NOTE: If you set anything except 'Off/chromatic»' two things will happen:
1. Notes will be fit to the given scale (either all or only semi-transposed notes, depending on 'force to scale: mode' option. 2. 'Scale step' matrix parameter will transpose notes in scale steps. E.g. If
your scale is C Major, you pressed D4 and scale step=+1, the output note will be E4.
- Off/chromatic (default) - The 'Scale step' matrix control will transpose in semitones.
- Detect from chord - Use the input notes to guess the scale / key signature.
- Explicit options - Choose: Major, Minor, Harmonic minor, Melodic minor, Pentatonic Major, Pentatonic minor, Pentatonic neutral & Pentatonic blues.
- Force to scale: mode - Works with the 'Force to scale: scale' parameter (above):
- All notes - All notes are transposed.
- Semi-transposed - Steps with 'Scale Step > '-'' (no change) selected, won't be transposed.
- Gate time - Set length of steps from 1 to 125%.
- Swing - Set swing from -50% to +50%. Time shifts even steps, as a fraction of a step length. For example, Swing (33%) means even steps will be delayed for 33% of the step length. For negative values, start earlier.
- Restart on - Pattern restart event.
- Beat 0 - First beat in the Bar.
- Note - When a note is received
- 1st Note - The sequence will continue until you restart FL Studio's playback.
- Play - FL Studio playback.
- Fixed note - Select C0 to G10 (MIDI notes 0 to 127). From the Note Select lane, you can set any step to Fixed, input notes are ignored and the 'Fixed key' value used.
Set all steps to 'Fixed' to use VFX Sequencer as a step sequencer.
- Output note velocity - Use the input velocity or modify it.
- Velocity lane - Use the Velocity lane values for each step.
- Input note - Use the input velocities.
- Lane + input note - Modify the input velocity by the Velocity lane values (multiplied and rescaled between 0 and 127).
- Pattern shift - Cyclic step shifting (rotation of the pattern). It’s useful, when your pattern doesn’t match the down-beat and you want to re-align it or to rearrange the notation to fit the composition. The shift is cyclic, so when you shift the patter right, the
last step won’t disappear but will jump back to the start of the sequence.
- Transp. oct - Transpose the sequence -3 to +3 Octaves.
- Transpose - Transpose the sequence -12 to +12 Semitones.
- Rand vel - Randomize step velocities with a random value from 0 to 100%. Positive and negative changes are possible. NOTE: The setting determines the range over which random values may occur, not the actual value.
- Rand gate - Randomize gate length from 0% (no change) to 100% (maximum) change. Positive and negative changes are possible. NOTE: The setting determines the range over which random values may occur, not the actual value.
- Output range (wrap) - Range for input notes to wrap (left field is low note, right is high note). Notes outside the set range will be octave transposed up or down into the desired range.
- Rand start - Randomize note start time from 0% (no change) to 100% (maximum) change. Only positive changes (later starts) are possible. NOTE: The setting determines the range over which random values may occur, not the actual value..
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
- Octave numbering - Because no-one can agree and several standards exist, choose how you would like to number note octaves. FL Studio used C0 to B10.
- Scale step range - Choose over what range the Scale Step lane operates. Choose: -12 to +12, 0 to +12, -7 to +7 or 0 to +7.
Connecting VFX Sequencer
Add a VFX Sequencer from the Plugin database, Plugin Picker or Plugin Menu into Patcher. Make sure its note input is connected to the From FL Studio module (or another VFX module) and its output is connected to the note input of a generator (synth) instrument. Its Sequences will apply to the note properties that are being sent to the instrument.
Right-click the plugin icon in Patcher to activate outputs so they can be linked to instrument or effects targets in Patcher.
Code: Oleg Mikheev.
User Interface: Miroslav Krajcovic.