MATRIXSYNTH: MidiCake Arp embiggens the smallest mono synths

Tuesday, April 09, 2024

MidiCake Arp embiggens the smallest mono synths

video upload by Richard DeHove

"It's a rare day that I'll abandon the superb sequencers of the DB-01 for an external source. Much is lost when you go external - accents, filter modulation and pitch envelopes just for starters. Yet the MidiCake Arp gives in return: Powerful one-finger pattern-play, gate length modulation, 32nd notes and even patterns with portamento.

So here are five example Arp patterns ranging from somewhat cheesy to somewhat dark. Ideally I would have used lots of other effects, but I wanted to keep everything compact so one DB-01 gets the DM-2w delay, the other gets either the Astronaut reverb or Nemesis delay.

For some reason the Arp locks the DB-01s LFO sync to one rate, so the LFOs are always free-running. Other than that it was very smooth. The DB-01s are of course in "key" mode because that's what's needed to trigger them. A useful byproduct of this is that the DB-01 portamento can now be used in sequences!

The MidiCake Arp is an amazing little machine. Complex, but amazing. After many hours I know I'm just scratching around doing pretty obvious things yet that's still very satisfying. I rather like that its possibilities are so vast you can choose your own way into its abilities. In the five examples I mostly have 'play' mode enabled which means the patterns run as a continuously synced whole. In others 'play' mode is off and I manually trigger things (tracks 4 & 5), which is much more unforgiving, but gives a little more flexability. In any case you can see how simple the basic notes are against the complexity of the result.

As usual I've kept everything simple (ie without drums etc) so you can get a good idea what's going on. And no DAW post-processing of any sort.

0:00 Flutterings
0:56 Memories
2:16 Pokery
3:25 Sliders
4:42 Regrets

Lots of downloads for supporters on Patreon:
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