I scored a little unique piece of software today and have been sitting in the dark in my living room playing with it ever since.

Let me introduce you to Pentacom’s ARPG8R
It’s a fully functional 32 step arpeggiator that operates as a VST or AU plugin for your DAW software. You plug it in in a similar fashion to Logic’s arpeggiator object in the environment, but you can also route it using Live or any other software for music which supports virtual instruments in VST or AU format. There’s also a version for windows.

I got a little confused when trying to set it up so I’ll go over the basics here and now:

1. Download the plugin and make sure it’s installed.

2. Open the apple audio midi application and make sure that the IAC Driver is active.

3. Create an instrument track and activate ARPG8R

4. At the bottom of the ARPG8R plugin window there’s a report which says simply MIDI Out Port – OFF – That’s actually a selector – click the midi plug icon and select IAC BUS

5. Create a second instrument track and activate any instrument at all.
This is the sound you will be arpeggiating so choose something with some attack. But really, anything will do.

6. Assuming you’re using Logic here:
Now go to the environment window (#9) and choose the “Click and Ports” Environment layer

Here you want to do a few things:

A. Create a new instrument

B. Name it ARPG8R

C. Cable it from your Physical Input’s IAC Bus output to the ARPG8R
literally just grab the little triangle at the IAC driver’s label and pull it down to the icon for the ARPG8R instrument you just created

D. Now hold down the option key and click on the ARPG8R instrument’s connector triangle.
A sub menu open and you route ARPG8R here to the mixer/instrument you want to arpeggiate.

E. Logic now asks you – Do you want to clear the port settings? – Yes you do.

7. Now return to the arrange window (press the #1 key) and you’re ready to arpeggiate.
Remember: You play the ARPG8R track, NOT the instrument track.
ARPG8R will only arpeggiate notes which are played into the actual track of the plugin, and not on the intrument track itself.

This is actually handy because you can be arpeggiating some of the notes in a part, and not arpeggiating other notes without having you create another of the same instrument. Limitation = creativity (at least in my opinion – so there you go.)

8. If you were following along and attempting to get ARPG8R working as you read, by no you should be hearing lovely vintage arpeggios and be ignoring me and on to your new instrument with a renewed enthusiasm.

If it isn’t working, then my guess is that there’s something wrong with the IAC bus you chose on the plugin’s window, or there’s a cable problem in the environment.

If you’re still having problems, I suggest you close out of this project and begin again from the top, reading more carefully and following my step by step instructions.

Once you get ARPG8R running, you can save the setup as a template option, or import the environment layer into your default setup and save it as a new template so that you don’t have to set this up every time you think you might like to use a 32 step arpeggiator plugin.

I’ve been sitting here in the dark absolutely loving this thing, and paying special attention to the “custom” mode. Those little numbers in there make wonderful and sultry patterns that are making me happy enough to write this plugin up.

Check it out for yourself:


Only $12 (1,100 Yen)
From Pentacom, Japan