HELP (READ and TRY)
KEYBOARD
ARPEGGIATOR SECTION
HELPDESK
MENU
LFO SECTION
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KEYBOARD
ARPTON™ turns a PC keyboard into a MIDI input device and provides you with a way to play live music without use of a conventional music keyboard.
Every key assigned to the music note, sends MIDI messages to the selected synthesizer. To play music you can use computer keyboard and/or mouse.
You can press simultaneously few keys to play chords, and use mouse to play additional notes (Solo part, for example).

NOTE: Due to the differences in electronic design some computer keyboards have restrictions on possible combinations of simultaniously pressed keys. Some of the pressed keys in such combinations cannot be properly detected by a computer and, as a result, do not produce a sound. Instead, you can hear the warning "Beep" from your computer, because simultanious pressing of keys is not typical case for a regular use.

  • Use SHIFT key to block messages NOTE OFF, so all pressed notes continue to sound after releasing.
  • Use PAGE UP/PAGE DOWN keys for octave transposing +/- 3 octaves.
  • Use ESC  key ("All Notes Off") if some notes remain pressed after you have released all keys.
  • Use arrow keys to select a "Group" and "Instrument/Program".
  • Use F1 key to show / hide key's names.
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Buttons TRANSP
You can transpose your music keyboard, using buttons TRANSP.
Position of a red light shows you one of 7 possible settings.
You can use PAGE UP/PAGE DOWN keys on your computer keyboard for the same purpose.
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Display NOTE and Button '#/b'
Display NOTE, located on a right side of the keyboard, shows you a name of the pressed note, and a current octave to which that note belongs.
Button '#/b' above allows you to choose how to name black keys.
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Button RESET
This button sends a MIDI message ALL NOTES OFF and terminates all current sounds.
Push this button if some notes remain pressed after you have released all keys.
You can also use ESC key on your computer keyboard for this purpose.
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Buttons CHANNEL
A group of 16 buttons allows you to select MIDI channels, to which MIDI messages will be sent.
Active channel is marked with a green light.
By default, different Groups of musical Instruments are assigned to different channels.
You can reassign any Instrument to any channel at any time, and/or use channel buttons to navigate between 16 preselected Instruments.

Reserved channels:

  • Channel 10 is always used for drum sets.
  • Channel 3 is reserved for playing Solo parts on an Upper section of the music keyboard when SPLIT is On (red light on the button SP). The letter 'S' under the button for Channel 3 is used as a reminder.
    Lower section will use the Instrument assigned to the active channel. To play with two different instruments, different channels and different Instruments should be used for both sections.
  • Channels 2 is reserved for playing chords in Arpeggiator mode when THRU is On (red light on the button). The letter 'T' under the button for Channel 2 is used as a reminder.
  • Arpeggio always plays on an active channel (with green light).

Example:

  1. Turn ON Arpeggiator using button ARP.
  2. Turn ON buttons SP and THRU.
  3. Select Channel 3 and choose Instrument to play Solo.
  4. Select Channel 2 and choose Instrument to play Chords.
  5. Select Channel 1 and choose Instrument to play Arpeggio.
NOTE: You can select Channels and Instruments for Arpeggio, Chords and Solo in any order, but before you start playing you need to select Channel 1, because Arpeggio will always play on an active channel.
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Display GROUP / INSTRUMENT and selection buttons.
Display consists of two sections:
  • Upper section displays a name of the selected Instrument Group for the active Channel.
  • Lower section displays a MIDI Program number and a name of the selected Instrument.
Using Buttons below the Display you can select any Group and any Instrument (Program) whose sound you like.
You can use arrow keys on your computer keyboard for the same purpose.
You can select an Instrument from the Instrument Table, located at the bottom of your screen in HelpDesk area.
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Button HLD (Hold)
Without HOLD: all notes are sound only for as long as the corresponding key is held down.
With HOLD: all notes are sound until at least one key is held down.

When Arpeggiator is OFF:
If you continue to hold one key, all previously pressed notes remain pressed as long as at least one key is still being held. If you press new notes they replace previous notes and form a new chord.
If you hold more than one key, all previously pressed notes remain pressed, and all new notes are subsequentially added to the same chord.

When Arpeggiator is ON:
Without HOLD:

  • The Arpeggiator output pattern varies dynamically as keys are pressed and released.
  • When no keys are being held down, the Arpeggiator stops immediately and produces no output.
With HOLD:
  • This function freezes the chord buffer, locking the current captured chord into the Arpeggiator.
  • Captured notes remain in the buffer and new notes continue to be captured as long as at least one key is still being held.
  • When no keys are being held down, the Arpeggiator stops after it finishes the full arpeggio cycle.
  • The first note of chord which is played following the release of all keys begins a new capture session.
  • To stop arpeggio immediately - turn button HOLD OFF.
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Button THRU
This is the ON/OFF button.
Works only in Arpeggiator mode.
THRU OFF - pressed notes are not echoed to the output, only notes that the Arpeggiator generates itself.
THRU ON - all pressed notes are echoed to the output, so you can play chords, and ARPTON™ will generate arpeggios from those chords at the same time.
Chords always play on a channel 2. The letter 'T' under the button for Channel 2 is used as a reminder.
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Button SP (Split)
This is the ON/OFF button.
When SPLIT mode is ON, a music keyboard is divided into two sections: Upper and Lower. It makes possible to play with different Instruments for each section. Split point which separates the sections is note F in a second octave from the left.
Lower section always plays on an active channel (with green light), Upper section always plays on the channel 3. The letter 'S' under the button for Channel 3 is used as a reminder.
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ARPEGGIATOR SECTION
Arpeggiator implements the effect known in music as arpeggio, which means 'like a harp'.
ARPTON contains a very sophisticated Arpeggiator which can be used as an additional effect, producing musical variations during your live performance, or as a powerful tool for creating arpeggios and loops for professional composers.
Arpeggiator can be used in many different ways to create virtually unlimited number of variations.
Arpeggiator captures all pressed notes in internal buffer, and scans that buffer using different algorithms and settings.

When button HOLD is OFF:

  • Arpeggiator builds an arpeggio using only currently pressed notes.
  • Every new pressed note is added to the arpeggio, every released note is removed from the arpeggio.
  • The arpeggio cycle is continued while at least one note remains pressed.
  • When all notes are released, the arpeggio stops immediately.
  • The arpeggio is always recorded in 'arpeggio.mid' file until the arpeggio stops (all notes are released).

When button HOLD is ON:

  • Arpeggiator builds an arpeggio using all pressed notes.
  • Every new pressed note is added to the arpeggio, every released note remains in arpeggio.
  • The arpeggio cycle is continued while at least one note remains pressed.
  • When all notes are released, the arpeggio continue to play until the arpeggio cycle is complete, or a new note has been pressed.
  • To stop arpeggio immediately - turn button HOLD OFF.
  • The arpeggio is always recorded in 'arpeggio.mid' file until the arpeggio stops.
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Button ARP (Arpeggiator)
Allows Arpeggiator to be turned ON (red light on the button) and OFF (no light).
ARPTON™ can be used as a polyphonic musical instrument, and/or MIDI player, whether or not the Arpeggiator is running.
When Arpeggiator is ON, ARPTON™ combines all its features with additional ability to process all pressed notes using different algorithms.
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Button DIR (Direction of arpeggio)
ARPTON can create and play arpeggios in different directions: UP, DOWN, UP/DOWN.
Using button DIR you can select desired direction.
Display above the button shows you selected direction in a graphic form.
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Button OCT ("Octaves" - range of arpeggio)
ARPTON creates and plays arpeggios producing cyclical upward transposition of the Arpeggiator output by one or more octaves.
The captured chord is effectively extended into additional higher octaves as if the actual notes has been duplicated in those octaves.
Button OCT allows you to select the desired range of arpeggio: 1, 2, 3 or 4 octaves, so all the notes will be repeated in each octave of the specified range.
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Slider SPD ("Speed" of arpeggio in BPM -Beats Per Minute)
Allows you to change the basic tempo of the Arpeggiator over a range of ~ 50 .. 240 BPM.
The Arpeggiator runs on its own internal clock source. The red light on the slider blinks on every forth note.
When you change a position of the slider, a display shows you a tempo in Beats Per Minute (BPM).
Arpeggio plays four 1/16 notes on every beat.
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Button PLAY
Button PLAY can be used for immediate playback of ARPEGGIO. MID file in which ARPTON automatically saves the last arpeggio cycle.
Every new cycle replaces that file, so you can record and replay it again and again until you get the desired result.
If you satisfied with the result you can rename that file for later use with your favorite music composer. You can include a full arpeggio cycle in your composition or cut areas to create loops.
During a next arpeggio cycle ARPTON will create this file again.
Every time when you turn the button PLAY ON, saved arpeggio starts playing from the beginning.

Using button PLAY with PLAYER.
ARPTON includes a PLAYER which you can use after clicking on a tab PLAYER in a HelpDesk.
See section HelpDesk to learn how to use the button PLAY with PLAYER.

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Display for Arpeggiator Section
Display for Arpeggiator Section consists of two areas:
  • Left area serves the Button OCT and displays a selected range of arpeggio.
  • Right area serves the Button DIR and displays a selected direction of arpeggio in a graphical form.
    When you drag the Slider SPD, right area shows you a tempo of arpeggio in Beats Per Minute (BPM).
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LFO SECTION
Low Frequency Generator (LFO) is used by Arpeggiator for VELOCITY modulation (periodic changing the volume of arpeggio). LFO modulation causes the VELOCITY values of Arpeggiator output notes to vary over time.
The VELOCITY is dynamically processed using different LFO forms (selected with a button FORM), and different timing (adjusted with a slider TIME).
LFO is effective only with Arpeggiator. However, even the Arpeggiator is OFF, you can still change LFO settings for a future use with Arpeggiator.
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Button FORM
Button FORM is used to select the waveform of LFO generator for VELOCITY modulation.
Available selections: UP, DOWN, UP/DOWN, SQUARE, NO MODULATION.
Display above the button graphically shows the selected form.
The highest level of form corresponds the highest VELOCITY value.
When the Arpeggiator is turned OFF, the form is automatically set to NO MODULATION.
When the Arpeggiator is turned ON again, the previous form of LFO is restored.
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Slider TIME
Slider TIME affects the LFO and allows you to change a duration of one direction (UP, DOWN) of selected waveform.
This setting is completely unrelated to arpeggio tempo settings.
When you change a position of the slider, the display shows you a time in seconds. Using TIME instead of frequency is more convenient for getting desired results.
The red light on the slider blinks when new direction starts.
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Slider MOD (Modulation)
Slider MOD regulates the level of VELOCITY modulation from the built-in LFO.
Modulation results in decreasing VELOCITY parameters relative to the maximum value:
  • At the maximum setting, VELOCITY values vary in a full possible range (maximum modulation).
  • At the middle setting, VELOCITY values vary between maximum value, and one half of maximum value.
  • When the slider is set to zero, the VELOCITY of output notes remains maximum and constant (minimum modulation).
When you change a position of the slider, a display shows you a digital value of modulation level between 0 and 1.
When NO MODULATION is selected (using button FORM), this slider can be used to change a Volume of arpeggio.

NOTE: When Arpeggiator is turned OFF (using button ARP), LFO modulation is not available, and this slider serves as a Volume regulator.

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Display for LFO Section
Display for LFO Section is multifunctional display, which is used as follows:
  • When you change LFO form by clicking a button FORM, the display shows you a current form of LFO.
  • When you drag the Slider TIME, the display shows you a duration of one LFO direction in seconds.
  • When you drag the Slider MOD, the display shows you a digital value of modulation level between 0 and 1.
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HELPDESK

HelpDesk is a tabbed panel located at the bottom of the screen.
It includes:
  • 'Instruments' tab
  • Help tabs: 'What is?', 'Help', 'How To'
  • Tabs: 'Player', 'Synthesizers', 'Preferences'
  • Additional tabs for Demo version: 'Full Version', 'Get Full Version'
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Instruments Table
Instruments Table contains a list of available Instruments for selected synthesizer.
If selected synthesizer has an internal list of Instruments ARPTON loads that list.
If selected synthesizer does not have an internal list of Instruments ARPTON loads a list of General MIDI Instruments.
You can select any instrument by clicking on its name.
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Player
PLAYER is used for playing MIDI and MIDI-Karaoke files through ARPTON's synthesizer.
  • Files with the .mid extension are standard MIDI files.
  • Files with the .kar extension are MIDI-Karaoke files, which can contain lyrics.
PLAYER panel contains:
  • button 'Select music file'.
  • text area to display lyrics, extracted from MIDI-Karaoke files.
  • slider 'Player Tempo' for changing a playback tempo.
  • slider 'Player Volume' for changing a playback volume.
To load a file into the PLAYER:
  • Press button 'Select music file'. Window 'Open' appears on the screen. It displays all the files with extensions .mid and .kar in default folder.
  • Select a file and click the 'Open' button to load selected file into the PLAYER.
  • (You can navigate through all your file system, select any drive, any folder, and any file.)
  • If the file contains lyrics they will be extracted and displayed in the text area.

To start a file playback, just push button PLAY on ARPTON (red light on).
Pushing button PLAY ON from the tab PLAYER, always starts the last loaded MIDI or MIDI-Karaoke file.
Consecutive pushing of button PLAY stops or starts playing the file from the beginning.
Moving from the PLAYER to another tab in a HelpDesk during a file playback does not affect the playback.

NOTE: Pushing button PLAY ON from any tab except PLAYER, starts playback of the last saved arpeggio.

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Synthesizers
This tab shows you a list of synthesizers installed in your computer. You can select any of them to produce the sound when you play ARPTON.
Synthesizers from different vendors differ in a quality of synthesized instruments and some of them add a significant delay between the moment when you press the key and the moment when you actually hear the sound. This is especially noticeable if you have a software synthesizer, and low speed PC with a small amount of memory.
You can select the synthesizer which gives the best results. To play arpeggio, it is recommended to use a hardware synthesizer, which is a part of your soundcard.

NOTE: The Player always uses the Java Sound Synthesizer.
To get more realistic sounds it's recommended to download and install Deluxe Soundbank from http://java.sun.com/products/java-media/sound/soundbanks.html.
If you have an external synthesizer module you can connect it to the MIDI OUT port on your computer. Everything you play on a keyboard goes to the external device.

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Preferences
This tab allows you to select one of available colors for ARPTON, and select any color you like for a background. When you exit the program, selected colors will be saved automatically.
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MENU
MENU can be used instead of the on-screen HELPDESK.
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MENU "File"
Use menu item "Open" to select MIDI or MIDI-Karaoke file for the PLAYER.
Use menu item "Exit" to exit the program.
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MENU "Colors"
Use menu item "Keyboard" to select the color of ARPTON.
Use menu item "Background" to select the background color.
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MENU "Synthesizers"
Use menu to select one of the available synthesizers.
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MENU "HelpDesk"
Use menu item "Show/Hide" to hide or show the HELPDESK on the screen.
Use menu item "About" to get the Installation ID for your program, which you need to request the Activation Key for your software.
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