The quickest way to play Arcade is to load a Kit. Think of Kits like a preset - they're a collection of 15 loops and instrument settings. Every Kit in Arcade is designed so that all 15 loops will sound good together when played on the keyboard.
You can load a Kit from a single click from the Feed, Kits page, or from a Line view in the Browser. Arcade comes with more than 20 Kits, so you don't have to download anything to get started (use the 'getting started' tag or Feed card to quickly find them). You can save any changes to a Kit, or even make your own from scratch!
Playing Sounds: it's all about the white keys
Simply click on a white key on the virtual keyboard, or play the white keys between C2-C4 on your MIDI keyboard. When Arcade is opened as a standalone application, you may use your QWERTY keyboard from "A" to semicolon ";". The row above can be used to push the black keys for the modifiers. For example, "W" will act as the first black key modifier and "E" will be the second, each black key will be above its respective white key on your keyboard. You can also change the octave of the keys by pushing "Z" to go lower and "X" to go higher. (If using a MIDI controller, you might have to adjust the octave range on your MIDI controller to reach the C2-C4 octave)
If you don't want to use your hands, set a white key to Hold by right clicking on the virtual keyboard or clicking the H in the edit view. This allows you to keep playing the loop without holding a key. Trigger the key again to stop the held note. Boom, done! Notice how groups of 5 loops are intentionally laid out next to each other. For Example, the first 5 might be bass, middle 5 are mid tones, the upper 5 are high pitch sounds.
Change Things Up A Bit
While holding a white key, play one of the black keys - these are called Modifiers. There's three kinds of modifiers: Resequencer, Playhead, and Repeater. Modifiers can be set to Hold as well, so you don't have to keep your hands (or recorded MIDI) on a black key if you don't want to.
Drag the Macro sliders up and down to quickly morph the character of the sounds. Think of a Macro as a single knob that turns a many other knobs at once.
Head to the Mixer page to add FX, adjust volume, and panning of loops within a Kit. Each channel on the mixer is visually aligned with the corresponding white key.
If you want to pitch loops up or down with your MIDI keyboard, use the lower octaves of your MIDI controller (use the mini keyboard beside the Kit name to guide which MIDI notes can be used for pitching up or down). If you want all loops in the Kit to fit your song's key, use the session key dropdown (tip: use the lock icon to ensure every Kit you load stays in your chosen key). If you're simply looking to change the pitch on a single Loop, use the 'Tune' slider on the loop's Edit page.
On to the Next One
When you're ready to explore another Kit, simply click the arrow keys beside the Kit name and Arcade will load the next Kit that you have downloaded. Read more about Previous Next.
Do It In Arcade:
- Go to the Kits page of the Browser, click the 'Downloaded' filter.
- Click on the 'Load' button to load a Kit.
- Hold down a few white keys on your keyboard, try some different black keys.
- Drag some of the Macro sliders.
- Open the Session Key dropdown and choose a different Key.
- Use the lower octaves of your MIDI keyboard to perform pitch changes.
- Load another Kit with the Previous/Next arrows.