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Working with Smart Controls and the Arpeggiator

For the second bass recording, you’ll work with the arpeggiator to create a bass part that accompanies itself. The arpeggiator plays a sequence of notes for every note you press. If you play a chord, each note of the chord is played a note at a time in the specified pattern or preset. The best way to get a feel for the arpeggiator is to explore the settings already applied to the region in the Fingerstyle Bass Arpeggiator track. Keep in mind that the arpeggiator is applied to an entire track, not the specific region, so any region that you add or any playing you record to an arpeggiated track will play the arpeggiated pattern unless you turn it off.

  1. Close the Musical Typing window to make more room in your workspace.
  2. Select the Fingerstyle Bass Arpeggiator track header, if it is not already selected.
  3. In the toolbar at the top of the window, click the Smart Controls button.

    04fig29.jpg

    The Smart Controls pane replaces the editor at the bottom of the window.

    The controls that look like they are mounted on a bass guitar can be used to adjust the sound of the instrument, but you can ignore them for now. For this exercise you’ll focus on the Arpeggiator button and Arpeggiator pop-up menu located in the upper right of the Smart Controls pane.

    04fig31.jpg
  4. Solo the Fingerstyle Bass Arpeggiator track. Start playback. What you hear is the sound of the Groovy Cycle 01 Arpeggiator preset.
  5. Continue playback. Click the Arpeggiator button to turn it off. The notes play one at a time, just as you practiced them in the project tasks.
  6. Click the Arpeggiator button to turn it back on. Stop playback.
  7. Click the Arpeggiator pop-up menu to see the various options.

    • Note Order is the direction of arpeggiated notes.
    • Rate is the note value for arpeggiated notes based on the song tempo.
    • Octave Range is how many octaves the arpeggio covers.
    • Arpeggiator Presets are listed below the line starting with Classic Cycle 01.
  8. Start playback. Try several arpeggio presets. They all sound pretty good. When you are finished trying presets, choose the Groovy Cycle 01 preset. Stop playback.

Now that you know how to turn on the arpeggiator and change the preset, you’re ready to record.

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