Arpage

Arpage-01
Arpage is a nice, straightforward arpeggiator program that includes four independent arpeggiators and a few unique features. It appears to be unmaintained (the last update was in 2013) but seems to work fine. Arpage is also undocumented except for some helpful tooltips.

To use it, I started JACK (via QjackCtl), launched an instrument (I used amSynth), and launched Arpage. Arpage doesn’t have a menu entry, so I ran it from a terminal:

$ arpage

I connected Arpage as follows:

MIDI keyboard > Arpage > instrument

Clock

I played a chord on the MIDI keyboard and heard the chord but with no arpeggiation. That’s because Arpage doesn’t have its own clock; it’s a JACK Transport client that requires some other program to be running as the JACK Transport master. See this post for more information.

In my testing, Hydrogen, Qtractor, and klick all worked fine as the JACK Transport master for Arpage.

Once the JACK Transport master was running I could experience what Arpage does. Having used arpeggiators before I found its operation to be mostly straightforward.

Note Order

Arpage has the standard Up and Down directions. It also has Played (the sequence in which the notes were played), which is less common but very useful. The tooltip indicates that Up-Down and Down-Up are not implemented (they appear to be the same as Up and Down, respectively). I found that Random doesn’t appear to be implemented, either (it appears to be the same as Down).

Range and Interval

Arpeggiators often have a “range” feature to span over multiple octaves. For example, with the range set to +1 octave, playing C4 and G4 would also include C5 and G5 in the arpeggio. Arpage has that capability but it’s implemented differently. To get +1 octave I set Range to 12 and Interval to 12. To get +2 octaves I set Range to 24 and left Interval at 12.

To extend the range downward I inverted the values shown above; e.g., for -2 octaves I set Range to -24 and Interval to -12.

Other values are possible other than multiples of 12. For example, I found it interesting to set Range to 12 and Interval to 5.

Latch

Many arpeggiators have a “hold” or “latch” feature that allows the arpeggio to continue playing “hands free.” Arpage has that feature but it’s not on the user interface. I found out about it when I hovered the mouse pointer over the words Pattern Latching. A tooltip displayed the following text:

MIDI Controller 64 (Sustain
Pedal) will latch (or capture)
the currently held pattern.
(No-Hands mode!)

I used my keyboard’s sustain pedal and confirmed that this works but it’s inconvenient since my sustain pedal doesn’t “latch.” I might be able to program an external MIDI controller to send MIDI CC 64 to Arpage.

Once notes are latched Arpage provides two interesting options. If Tapout is checked, pressing a note that’s part of the arpeggio removes the note. If Locked Latching is checked, new notes won’t be added to the arpeggio.

Notes

The Patch control appears to send a MIDI program change message when the value is changed. In my tests any value change resulted in amSynth being set to program 96.

I had cases where Arpage played too fast immediately after starting the JACK Transport master. In those cases I reset the Note Value and all was well.

Arpage automatically saves the state of each of the four arpeggiators (the files are stored in the ~/.arpage/ directory).

More About Arpage

Version: 0.3.3

Author: Mark Vitek

Web Site: http://sourceforge.net/projects/arpage/

Linux Journal Article by Dave Phillips

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Posted in Tools

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