ARPIE is minimal, compact, hackable MIDI arpeggiator designed by Brighton based guru hotchk155.
An arpeggiator it is a device which takes chords (From a MIDI keyboard, for example) and converts them into rapid sequences of notes, which can then be played through MIDI-compatible synthesizer hardware or software. Arpeggiation is a very common technique in electronica and chiptune music and is an excellent creative technique.
A dedicated hardware arpeggiator is usually something that might set you back a few hundred dollars. With ARPIE you can build your own fully-featured arpeggiator for a fraction of this cost, and it is designed to be hacker-friendly to boot, utilising Arduino compatible open-source firmware and openly documented hardware design.
In your ARPIE kit you will receive two, high-quality printed circuit boards and all the components and hardware required to assemble the device, including two ready-programmed microcontrollers (Atmega328 and PIC12F1822). A PP3 is required for battery operation (not included)
Soldering is required to complete this kit. Surface-mounts will be pre-soldered so you will only need to fit the through-hole components.
So... here is the low-down on what your ARPIE can do:
- Arpeggio modes: Up, Down, Pendulum, Random Order, Manual Order
- Octave span: 1 – 4 octaves
- Note repeat modes: None, Lowest note, Highest note, 3 forward-1 back, 4 forward-2 back
- Step length: 1 beat thru 1/32 beat including dotted and triplet time steps
- Octave transpose: –3 thru +3 octaves
- Chromatic transpose: –3 thru +12 semitones
- Chord hold mode: on/off
- 16 step pattern editor allows you to apply a rhythmic pattern of mutes/rests over the arpeggio. Interactive control over repeating sequence of mutes which does not have to match the arpeggio length, allowing you to create weird and wonderful rhythmic and melodic effects.
- MIDI receive channel: 1-16 or OMNI mode
- MIDI send channel: 1-16
- MIDI note velocity: 0-127 in 16 increments
- MIDI note gate length: 15 increments up to one step length plus tied-note mode
- MIDI Synch mode: None/Master/Slave (can receive MIDI clock from IN or SYNCH sockets)
- Internal tempo generator for Master/standalone use with controllable bpm and "tap" function
- MIDI panic (all notes off) feature
- MIDI thru on controllers (e.g. Mod wheel, pitch bend) and notes
- Selectable options on MIDI thru functionality
- Switchable "lock" mode to ignore note input on a given ARPIE (useful when controlling multiple ARPIEs)
- Works great with other ARPIES. Cheap enough to use a bank of hardware arpeggiators in a composition or performance setup for hands-on tweaking.
- Performance possible without attached MIDI controller by selecting CMaj/CMin/C7/Cmaj7/Cmin7/Random chord insert and using transpose features to change to noother root note
- Minimal, but easy-to-use control surface is based on 16 data LEDS, 16 data buttons, 13 command buttons
- Three standard 5-pin DIN sockets for MIDI IN, MIDI OUT, SYNC IN
- Receive, Transmit, Beat Clock and Chord Hold LEDs on control surface, plus firmware diagnostic/power LEDs on main board.
- Integral 9V PP3 battery holder and 9V DC socket (centre positive 2.1mm barrel)
- Small size (98mm x 87mm x 35mm approx dimensions) and light weight (approx 125g without battery)
Manuals, schematics and software for the Arpie are here:
The ARPIE is one of the best designed kits I have seen. Very neat and great fun to tinker with.
PLEASE NOTE: In case it was not clear from the above - ARPIE is a MIDI Arpeggiator and requires separate synthesizer software or hardware to be connected to it to make sound. It does not make any sound by itself! It also requires a MIDI keyboard to make full use of the ARPIE.