What is Arcade’s Note Engine?
The Note Engine provides up to 88 keys of chromatic playability allowing users to play chords, melodies, basslines and more. Users can download Note Kits from their favorite Lines, or create their own with a Custom Note Kit. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, our Note Engine will blow you away.
How do I get started with Note Engine?
Note engine was designed to immediately inspire and be played, so all you have to do is download a Note Kit in our Feed, Search Tab, or Note Kit Tab in your favorite Line’s page. Or create your own custom Note Kit to start cooking up some custom, tasty sounds.
Just like our Sample Kits, you can simply hover your mouse over a Note Kit, select “Download Kit,” wait for the kit to download, then select, “Play Kit.”
Playing Sounds In Note Engine
When opening a Note Kit, the first thing we are met with is a clean, simple, and welcoming interface. Four unique macros designed for the kit offer easy sound manipulation, while eight full octaves present themselves on the bottom of the kit and provide excellent visual feedback on which notes you play.
Note Engine is polyphonic, meaning you can play more than one note at one time. You can use an external MIDI controller to play notes, or, if you’re just starting out or on-the-go, you can use your computer’s typing keyboard to play notes. If you are using your computer keyboard in your DAW to play a Note Kit, look for a feature often called “Musical Typing” or "Virtual Keyboard."
For more information on using Musical Typing features, check out this article.
How Do I Modify My Sounds?
You can easily modify, change, add and remove the samples used by navigating to the “Tweak,” button on the upper right-hand region of Arcade’s Graphical User Interface. Once opened, you will be met with an advanced set of parameters that can be changed with the digital encoders and modifiers within each Layer.
Layers allow the user to add up to three samples to be played simultaneously when pressing a playable key. Three Layers of sound Sources for mixing in the Note Engine makes this synth a robust powerhouse of creativity. You can choose samples by clicking on the waveform under Layer A, B, and C sections on the far left of each Layer section. Once selected, the Source Browser will open, where you can search, preview, and download samples you’d like to use in your Note Kit.
Once you’ve found that perfect sample to Layer in a Custom Note Kit or a Note Kit from your favorite Line, you can proceed to modify that Layer, or simply start playing your sounds that you’ll be including in your next big hit!
What are all of the modifiers I see in each Layer?
Note Engine includes powerful tools that let the user develop mind-blowing sounds. There are many advanced settings that you can change in each Layer. If you are a beginner and would like to know how to modify these parameters, it is recommended that you develop a fundamental understanding of audio. Keep an eye out for updates on our Support Page as we develop more material to help beginners understand these functions. For the Pros, go bananas!
Layer Edit is the section in Note Engine that allows the user to really dig deep in the modification of your Layers. Some kits are loaded with multiple Layers, others may include just one or two. Custom Note Kits allow you to start from scratch.
One game changing feature is our new Attack, Hold, Decay, Sustain, and Release (AHDSR) feature for our Filter section. Let the magic happen.
Several other features to note in Layer Edit:
-Waveform and Loop Splice/Edit
-New Round Robin Loop function
-Tune feature in Semi/Centitones
-Filter with several cutoff/rolloff presets
-Amp Envelope, Filter Envelope, and Pitch Envelope
-Advanced Settings including Range and Legato
-Master Volume and Pan functions
Opening the mixer brings the user to an interface that allows custom mixing within the kit with sonically brilliant FX you can add directly to each individual Layer, including two Aux Sends and the Master Track. Pros will be familiar with this. For beginners, when sending signal from multiple tracks to an Aux Send, you can add effects to multiple Layers while keeping your processing resources to a minimum. Adding FX to the Master Track will affect all layers and sends. Think of it like a river, where multiple forks funnel into a single outlet.
Our Modulation page includes incredible options that allow the user to add four ways to automate the ingredients to their groovy recipe, including an LFO (Low Frequency Oscillation), Sequencer, Envelope, and, introducing a new feature that is sure to please… Custom LFO!
Just like assigning encoders (knobs/sliders) to Macros and Modulators in previous versions of Arcade, you can assign encoders to your Custom LFO by right-clicking the desired encoder and selecting your preferred modulator to create massive movement and changes ranging from mild to wild You’re in the driver seat!
Unlike an LFO, Sequencer, or Envelope where the mechanism is automated by predetermined rates and rhythmic modulation, Macros are simply a way to group encoders together to manually modify and fine tune on one of the four sliders that are present on the main page of your custom or downloaded Note Kit in Note Engine.
Grouping effects into Macros can be amazing for simple modification, or as a tool that simplifies writing automation to multiple modifiers while recording MIDI tracks.
With more features, flexibility and freedom, Note Engine in Arcade 2.0 is a massive addition to former versions that is sure to take your production to the next level.
If you have any specific questions about how to use Note Engine or other features of Arcade 2.0, please reach out to our support team.