Arcade is the secret sauce for Grammy award-winners and Billboard chart-topping producers. Artists like Channel Tres, Skribz Riley, and TrapMoneyBenny tap into the power of Arcade because it can quickly chop, manipulate, and deconstruct samples to fit their signature styles. It can be a struggle to sample effectively and be a unique creator. But Arcade’s modifiers make it easy to play samples like an instrument. Let’s take a look at how you can use modifiers to easily transform any loop.
What are modifiers?
Modifiers are powerful tools that quickly transform samples into new and exciting patterns. Arcade has three fully customizable modifiers: Resequence, which creates a new sequence out of the original Loop, Playhead, which jumps to different points in the Loop, and Repeater, which repeats different sections of the Loop at various speeds.
See Resequence in action
The Resequence modifier allows you to reorder the playback of a Loop. You can set up to 16 different markers on a Loop, and sequence through them in the number of steps and order that you choose.
Click the edit button to reveal up to 16 markers that divide the Loop up into slices. You can shuffle to play the slices in any order you wish. Once you have your sequence set, press the white key assigned to the Loop you want to play and the black key assigned to the modifier at the same time to play the resequenced Loop.
Chopping and rearranging the bits of a sample recontextualizes sounds that inspire you. Daft Punk proved their mastery of this technique with the hit single “One More Time.” The space disco smash song uses rearranged strings from “More Spell on You” by Eddie Johns. Twenty years ago, that work was a heavy lift. But the Resequence modifier makes it easy.
See Playhead in action
The Playhead modifier provides alternative speeds, direction of playback, and marker positions for all Loops in a Sampler. It’s great for performing quick reverse turnarounds, speed changes, or jumping to a particular point in a Loop at the press of a key.
The Playhead Modifier uses similar marker positions that let you set up where the sample should start. You can stretch and compress the speed of a sample without a loss in sound quality.
Use this modifier to throw a Loop in reverse or turn small slices of a Loop into glitchy alien textures. When you want to warp and mangle a sample, this is the way to go.
See Repeater in action
Repeater pretty much does what it sounds like and quite a bit more. In essence, it repeats a slice of the Loop according to the Repeat Rate. You can also play the repeats in reverse, sequence the volume of each repeat, and lock the repeated area to the nearest grid value based on beat division. And because Arcade treats samples like playable instruments, you get dynamic results.
Once a slice is locked in you can shape its dynamics using the step sequencer. Add or subtract steps and adjust their volume to make the new sounds breathe. Or, adjust the repeat rate to change sounds from smooth pads to stuttering rhythms. And you can put some, or all of them, in reverse.
All of these switch-ups can be done on the fly using Arcade’s modifiers while a Loop plays. Have fun!