My Arp Arsenal
In the ever-evolving realm of music production, virtual instruments have become the cornerstone of creative expression, enabling composers, producers, and musicians to craft intricate and captivating sounds within the digital landscape. Among these, Arpeggio VST instruments stand out as dynamic tools that offer a gateway to exploring mesmerizing melodies and harmonies through the magic of arpeggiation. Seamlessly blending technology and artistry, Arpeggio VST instruments have redefined the way we approach music composition and production, offering an array of possibilities to transform even the simplest chord progression into a symphony of complexity. In this article, we delve into the enchanting world of Arpeggio VST instruments, unraveling their features, applications, and impact on modern music creation.
Here are 16 Arp VSTs that I have in my arsenal within FL Studio, both free and paid:
Hypercyclic by Mucoder - FREE
The main use for hypercyclic is to generate midi that can be recorded and/or sent to other plugins. However it also features a simple built-in synth for testing purposes.
You can use two tempo-synced LFOs to modulate various parameters for creating interesting rhythmic effects and chord variations.
A unique feature is the possiblity to modulate the sequencer step size itself, which is useful for creating glitchy stuttering effects.
Another thing you can use is a groove function for playing slightly off the beat. The groove parameters can also be modulated over time by the LFOs, adding to the rhythmic variation.
Podolski by U-He - FREE
Created in 2005 and still going strong. Podolski is a free, straightforward, CPU-efficient virtual analogue synthesizer. One oscillator, one filter, one envelope and an arpeggiator / sequencer. Simple, but with a few tricks up its sleeve. Create high quality sounds with ease.
Polyphonic (up to 16 voices), mono, legato and arpeggiator modes
Combination arpeggiator / 16-step sequencer with extra modulation source
Blue Arp by Oleg Mikheev - FREE
BlueARP plugin is a programmable pattern arpeggiator / step sequencer. It is available both on Windows (VST plugin) and on OSX (VST and MIDI-FX plugin), free of change, ready to use in your music production and performances, either commercial or not.
It has no pesky limitations or nudging to buy a ‘pro-version’, no annoying ads.
It is perfect for that fast ‘trancey’ and ‘cosmic’ arpeggios, arpeggiated bass lines, gated pads; it works for step sequencing as well. Also it may have some unexpected applications like triggering drums.
KirnuCream by KirnuArp - FREE
Kirnu Cream is a very powerful MIDI performer VST/AU/LPX MIDI FX plugin for Windows and Mac. It works on both 32 and 64 bit systems on Windows and 64 bit on Mac.
Cream is intended to be used in both live and offline DAW usage.
If you are sick and tired of conventional MIDI arpeggiators, performers, and sequencers you should try Cream and see yourself how it differs from the rest. This one is my favourite ARP.
Dirty Harry by De La Mancha - FREE
Dirty Harry is an unashamedly DIY lofi synth based on the samples of 2 homemade, lofi noisemakers, the Atari Punk Console and the BugBrand WOM.
Dirty Harry offers 20 unique waveforms in all their mono/monophonic glory. For extra grit, the oscillators can be synced or ring modulated. Fidelity can be lowered further still with a reduction in sample quality, distortion and a unique ‘bad contact’ emulation. 2 tempo sync LFOs allow modulation of filter, pitch and contact, with one LFO modulating the depth and frequency of the other. There are envelopes for volume, pitch and filter, with different contours and pitch options. Throw in an arpeggiator, pitch drift and portamento and you can see that whilst it may be lofi in sound, it doesn’t lack for sound design features.
Eclipsis by VSTZone - FREE
Eclipsis is hybrid wavetable synthesizer with three oscillators each with his own frequency and subtractive modulation. Additional modulation possible with 6 LFO assignable trough modulation matrix with 9 sources and 39 modulation targets. Arp/Gate (Dynamics) module with abillity to assign routing to 7 targets. Two effects racks, each containing Reverb, Chorus and Delay effect. Unique preset randomization, subpreset saving/loading for easy preset creation and more.
Arp/Gate module with 8 selectable targets, adjustable number of Steps (4-32), frequency control and divider (example: divide one 32 step pattern to 2 patterns with 16 steps), playback control (Forward, Forward and hold, Backward, Backward and hold, Ping Pong /Forward-Backward/).
This is my 2nd favourite ARP VST.
RandArp by Code FN42 - FREE
RandARP is a VST plugin arpeggiator with many randomization features, allowing incoming notes or chords to be manipulated in various rhythmic ways. All standard arpeggiator parameters like number of octaves, note length and note order are included, but the plugin also offers complete randomization of the velocity, gate, shift and swing parameters. In addition, you can specify a note probability and randomize the note order, the octave order, and the number of octaves. All the randomization features allows you to create more interesting and unpredictable arpeggiated sequences.
DSK ZetH by DSK Music - FREE
– 3 Oscillators, ADSR
– Octave select and micro-detuner
– 3 AdvancedLFO (multiple outs)
– Advanced Filter
– Effects (Space, delay, flanger)
– Midi automation
Eon Arp by Modalics - $29
EON is an arpeggiator that gives you unparalleled rhythmic and melodic control allowing you to shape intricate, beautiful & highly musical phrases easily.
EON allows complete rhythmic mastery, allowing you to easily create anything from groovy chord chops to insane polyrhythmic melodies.
EON is best used with your midi input and synths of choice, but we’ve also added +100 chord sequences & scales as well as a mini synth to make sure you’re up and making music as soon as you launch.
The Mini Synth includes:
- 2 Wavetable Oscillators with dozens of wavetables
- Sine sub oscillator
- Unison control
- Filter module with Keytracking
- ADSR Controls
- Filtered delay
Arppe 2600VA by Volt Kitchen Group - FREE
Based on ARP’s legendary semi-modular analog monosynth! This amazing softsynth sounds very close to the original ARP 2600. Like the original, it’s a monosynth (no polyphony). But, also like the original, it has a multitude of Frequency Modulation options which enable it to create some truly awesome sound effects.
- Oscillator Sync and Filter Colour (to adjust between LowPass and HiPass filter types).
- Arppe2600va is now completely patchable via a cleverly designed Mod Matrix!
- You can have up to 12 patch routings with a very user-friendly (and visible!) drop-down menu interface.
- All controls are mapped to MIDI CC#’s, and you can override the default settings by using the MIDI Learn feature.
DSK ZitH by DSK Music - FREE
– 3 Layers (53 waveforms)
– Octave select, ADSR
– 3 Advanced LFO (multiple outs)
– Advanced Filter
– Effects (Space, delay, flanger)
– Assignable Automation Capability
REZ3 by Ugo Audio - FREE
Rez is a seemingly basic monosynth, but it’s capable of a very wide range of sounds. While Rez has a bunch of cool features, the beating heart of Rez is its filter. It’s made from multiple chained filters acting as a single powerful filter and it’s highly resonant, providing Rez with its distinctive character. Top that off with distortion, a phaser, various oscillator modulations, delay, and a killer programmable arp and step sequencer, and you’ve got a powerhouse of a synth in a very small package.
From funky squishes, beastly basses, and screaming leads, to tight arpeggiations, swirling rhythms, atmospheres, bells, and interesting effects, you’ll find it all here. Additionally, it comes with two skins – Yellow & Black, or Black & Yellow.
- Programmable phrase arpeggiator
- Step sequencer (arp driven) with four mod destinations
Syntronik 2 CS by IK Multimedia - FREE
Syntronik 2 sets the new standard in modern virtual synthesizers. IK’s advanced sampling techniques, combined with a hybrid sample and modeling synthesis engine, power a comprehensive collection of rare and sought-after synths with stunning sonic accuracy and the deepest editing.
This is a massive update to the previous release, adding 12 new synths, exciting new, advanced, and much-requested functionality, and a huge number of all-new presets for the 22 original synths taking advantage of all these new features.
TranceGate by KiloHearts - FREE
What if ___ _____ easily chop up ____ __ the sound __ _ rhythmical pattern?
Well now you can! Trance Gate is a gate sequencer which quickly adds a rhythm to a pad or lead, chops up a beat or adds more staccato to an arpeggio.
The world of anthem trance lies at your feet!
Although this is a Gate FX plugin, the results you get from this is like an arpeggiator.
DroneDrone by SynthesizerWriter - FREE
This is a sample bank that is played in “Decent Sampler”. So, in order to be able to play the samples, you first need to download Decent Sampler which is free. If you have never heard of Decent Sampler, I absolutely recommend that you at least try this. Then go to pianobook.co.uk and browse the hundreds of samples made by other musicians and uploaded into pianobook, mostly free. There are some paid samples but they really don’t cost much. It is a must-have and a great source of top-quality sounds. The “DroneDrone” has a preset “Arpeggios” and is also free.
Orb Arpeggios by Orb Plugins - €99
Orb Arpeggio is part of the Orb Producer V.3 that consists of 4 AI plugins. The Arpeggio module is an instant easy-to-use module, providing cool arpeggios to give you instant satisfaction, with tons of parameters for the advanced users searching for a complex arpeggio system.