Who's got an old Yamaha rompler with 500-600 XG sounds,
a hundred + drums styles, and the fiddly bits to control them?
So there's an IK Multimedia UNO hardware synth on ebay,
current next bid of $102 ($199 generic GuitarCenter price)
It's arpeggiator is better than average, and has a hold function.
You can midi connect the rompler and UNO by 5pin midi ports, so your rompler keys trigger the UNO arp, which in turn plays the rompler sounds.
So a simple 6 note run can be played by the arp with multiple octaves, up and down twice, or whatever you choose in the arp options. Cycle thru the huge array of rompler sounds to find the keepers.
Press the computer app-of-choice record button, and let fly...
Play one sound with minimal repetition, another with a long version,
and another with randomization, octave count based on whay you cook up...
Also the rompler will have many drum sounds and kits, to arpeggiate over
the rompler's chosen beats. Boring bass lines are another area to be reguvenated. The 'real' fun starts when using the many linux effects on sounds you've chosen. Cutting up the varied recorded parts and layering them in audacity can be very successful. Recorded runs of high notes can be played slower in audacity, and duplicate tracks can be added, offset for syncopated or rythmic spacing, and volume varied to taste...
Those among us who are not Rudess-class players (yet) can apply
basic cranial apptitudes to electronic hardware genious, and (cue the reggae beats)
The sonic options will require some thought to develope a workflow
that is not just
consumption of diskspace and time.
Choose a genre, some beats, and surround them with sound variations on a theme
The UNO is also a portable beast of a hardware synth on it's own, with some free extra soundbanks available. It can fit in a desk-drawer at work, and be tweaked at lunch/coffeebreak, as it's a flat panel where the odd spill likely won't get thru the dial cutouts unless one is very slow to the rescue...
The UNO firmware updater requires win 8 and higher, so getting one already with the latest version would be smart, if you have no windows users handy.
I still have the original release version, which works fine for what I've mentioned.