Olafur Arnalds Piano Arpeggiator

Official support for: bitwig.com
330 posts since 25 Apr, 2005

Post Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:12 pm

If you watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktxkEBT5CB0 this video of Olafur Arnalds explaining his 3 piano setup, he has a tool/hardware/software that creates shimmering arps on the back of a chord. So he plays his main piano and then via hardware and software another 2 pianos play notes off the back that chord (not very good at explaining - watch the video to get a complete understanding of what I mean).

I would like to do something similar in Bitwig that I can apply to software piano/synths, but have no idea how to go about doing it. It's not just a matter of playing arps, but the arps have an envelope that is different to just playing the piano i.e. they have and attack and then fade away over time. Also if I play a short chord on the piano, I would like the arps to last longer than that, again a fade in and a long fade out of the arp.

Hopefully someone understands what I mean and could maybe give me hints on how to proceed. Perhaps it's really easy and I am just missing how to do it. Appreciate any advice you can offer.


User avatar
534 posts since 8 Apr, 2014 from USA

Re: Olafur Arnalds Piano Arpeggiator

Post Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:20 am

MacPro 5,1 | 64gb | OSX 10.14.5 | Studio One 4.5 | Waveform 10 | Logic Pro X | BWS 3b10 | CubasePro 10 |


User avatar
249 posts since 17 Jul, 2015

Re: Olafur Arnalds Piano Arpeggiator

Post Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:47 am

I chopped this up pretty quick and dirty but does this seem like what you're looking for (https://www.instagram.com/p/B4mYupfhkZ8 ... _copy_link)? Basically Note Receiver on every track you want to receive MIDI and then string a chain of randomized Note Echo (using more than one is key here), Arpeggiator (sequence out and control the Note Echo, you can set this to random and add octaves if you like) & Diatonic Transposer (to control the chord notes if you want to constrain them to a key) to set up some nice after glow MIDI. Now that I think about it if you stick randomized Note Velocity devices at random points in the chain it will help disperse the notes a bit more, you can have a decaying velocity for a fade out effect.

User avatar
Tj Shredder
3242 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: Olafur Arnalds Piano Arpeggiator

Post Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:33 am

In the eighties I was involved with Richard Teitelbaums setup, which is basically what Olafur Arnald is doing with more modern technology.
I would not do something like that in Bitwig, that is better done in Max. Bitwig is good for simple rules, if you start to do more complex algorithms of reaction, Max or Pd is the tool to use...
As you can route Midi easily within a computer, it does not need to be completely within Bitwig, but I guess you could create complex rules also in a VST like Loomer Architect...

330 posts since 25 Apr, 2005

Re: Olafur Arnalds Piano Arpeggiator

Post Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:49 pm

@qoyl - thanks very much for that, I shall give it a blast.
@Tj - yeah I can imagine Olafur's is way more complicated than just an arp, but for now (as I only have Bitwig) it will have to be simple...ish.

213 posts since 21 May, 2018

Re: Olafur Arnalds Piano Arpeggiator

Post Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:36 pm

Pd is free https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pure_Data.

I really am starting to play with MIDI on Racket but that is just a general programming language. Pd is free to use and could be the way to go. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9y_xXC3jkA
Waveform and Bitwig are my DAWs and UHe is my Bae. I maybe buy one synth a year. REMEMBER SELF just one synth a year!

Return to “Bitwig”