Build your own Arpeggiator – Andre’s Production Diary Part 40

Hi guys, it’s Andre.

It’s now the 40th episode of my Production Diary. Since 40 weeks I’m learning everything about radio imaging and production from Andy, Oli, Fabi, the rest of the Benztown crew and our several guest authors of our blog.

Most DAWs have built in Noise Gates or just Gates. A Gate controls the volume of an audio signal. In the most simple form: a Gate allows an audio signal to pass when it’s above a certain threshold. It’s working similar to Strip Silence. A Gate is perfect for recording. You can easily eliminate annoying side noise.

To explain the whole function of a Gate would take too long for this post, so here’s the matching Wikipedia article, for those who are interested in the technical background of a Gate:

Today, I’m gonna show you how to use a Gate to build your own Arpeggiator. Not every synth has an Arpeggiator or they’re just uncomfortable to work with, so here’s my trick to build your own one. You just need a Gate, which is able to sidechain.

I’m gonna show you, how I created an Arpeggiator for this pad:

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The Gate needs an input, so I created a Trigger track with drum kicks, which controls the Gate. It’s not hard to create that. The screenshot is pretty self-explanatory (click to enlarge). In the edit window you can see my Trigger track and my pad track. In the mix window, you can see my I/O settings. I send the signal from my Trigger track to Bus 1-2, which is the key input for my Gate. The drums in my Trigger track can’t be heard. They only control the Gate.

According to how I place the drums in my Trigger track, the Gate controls the signal of my pad. Change the parameters in your Gate to achieve harder or softer Arpeggio effects. When you’re working in grid, it’s no hard task to create cool Arpeggio synths which, perfectly fit the beat. Just place the drums how you want and watch the Gate do the rest.

Here’s my final Arpeggio pad. Take this as inspiration and try it on your own.

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Cheers and have a nice weekend.

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