Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to commonly asked questions about Midicake products
What Is it?
Midicake ARP is a 4 channel MIDI arpeggiator that uses an innovative, parametric approach to musical sequence generation. It integrates and synchronizes with other midi controllers and instruments to make new and exciting music.
Can each channel output to a different synth?
Yes, ARP has 4 arpeggiators and each can output on a different MIDI channel.
Can it receive clock?
Yes, either via MIDI DIN, USB MIDI, or USB Host.
Does it support CV?
No, ARP is primarily a polyphonic device and the multi-channel and layering capabilities would mean a lot of CV ports. It is also powered via USB, so only 5V.
However, Each arp channel has a MONO Voice Mode and combined with an external MIDI to CV converter can easily work with CV-only devices.
Does it swing?
Yes, swing is achieved through Groove Patterns.
You can select a 2 step pattern with the second step delayed and you'll have that classic swing feel. The default patterns make this easy. However, you have up to 16 steps in each pattern so you can create much more complex grooves too.
What is the sequence length?
ARP isn't a traditional step sequencer, its arpeggios are parameter driven.
The sequence length depends entirely on the different parameter values and how they interact. For a "bar" of 96 MIDI clock ticks, how many steps are played per bar depends on the time parameter. Then the steps and repeat parameters determine the number of individual steps played before the sequence repeats.
Throw in modulation, rhythm patterns, and effects and the sequence might not repeat for a very long time; into the realms of generative composition.
It doesn't take long to get your head around how the different parameters affect the sequence, then you can experiment with the vast possibilities open to you in combining parameters in different ways.
Does it work like a classic synth arpeggiator?
Yes and no.
ARP is parametric, which means that each note it plays in a sequence is driven by a set of pre-determined parameter values. Where a classic arpeggiator uses the incoming notes (and sometimes the order in which those notes are played) to determine the sequence. ARP instead uses incoming notes to determine the scale in which its pre-determined sequences are to be played. This means that you a) don’t need to be Mozart to get really complex and great-sounding melodies and b) every sequence is deterministic, so it will always behave in the same way.
The rhythms, themes, and feeling you create with the parameters are maintained regardless of the notes you play on the keyboard.
It's pretty cool.
Why is there no such thing as random?
"A deterministic system is one in which no randomness is involved in the development of future states of the system. It will always produce the same output from a given set of inputs."
Our design philosophy was not to rely on random generators, many other controllers do that. The patterns created by Midicake ARP are deterministic and repeatable. Not random, just complex.
However, you can achieve pseudo-random effects using the FX modulation with any of ARP's parameters.
Does it support modulation?
Each arp channel has 2 independent modulators, these can be used to modulate any of the parameters over time.
Each arp also has an FX setting which acts like a modulator, but uses a seeded sequence to generate repeating patterns of values that affect a parameter on each step of the sequence.
These methods enable you to program a modification of the sequence over time, that can make for some amazing results.
What are the product dimensions?
Dimensions: 205 x 150 x 58 mm
Weight: 1.2 kg
Does it have mounting points?
Yes, it has 100mm VESA mounting points on the underside. It is not designed for rack mounting, but you could make adapter plates.
Can it be used to arpeggiate a synth live?
Yes, ARP will generate an arpeggiated sequence when you press note keys on a connected MIDI device.
Or you can press play and use your MIDI Device to set the currently playing scale.
Does the Price include VAT?
No. We ship worldwide, so we cannot calculate VAT and shipping until we know your delivery address (at checkout).
Purchasing ARP in the UK requires us to add 20% VAT, to the sale price.
What are the delivery times?
We ship from the UK using DHL Worldwide. Our suggested delivery times are usually 3 to 5 working days.
Our experience is that it is usually much faster. 1 day to the UK and 3 days to the EU and North America are typical.
Please note that responsibility for delivery lies with our shipping company and is outside of our control. Therefore, Midicake can not guarantee delivery times and will not issue any financial reimbursements for late deliveries.
If there are any delivery issues though, we will do our best to chase deliveries with the shipping company and try to resolve any problems as quickly as possible.
What are the Import Tax and Customs Fees?
We ship from the UK, therefore, depending on your location, you may be liable for import duty and customs fees.
All fees are handled by our shipping company.
Please see our terms and conditions for more information.
Customs fees are set by your local customs authority and you should seek information from them for up to date estimates.
Please note that the figures below are for guidance only and are based on our experience. Midicake is not responsible for the actual fees and will not issue any financial reimbursements for inaccurate information!
To the EU, Import Taxes are applied at 20% and then customs fees of around 2 to 4%, depending on your local rules.
To the USA, Import tax is currently 0%, so only the customs fee of around 2% is charged.
To other countries, the tax varies quite.
We believe that the overall cost (with import fees) still represents very good value, given Midicake ARP’s capability, features and ability to inspire musical creativity.
Why don't you use resellers?
We do not, currently, use resellers and only sell directly from our website. We are proud to be an independent and innovative maker and simply cannot afford the markup that resellers expect.
A reseller adds their markup as well as covers import fees. For them to be competitive with our direct sales, Midicake must supply to resellers at around 30% below the sale price. We cannot currently afford to do that and stay viable as a business. We would have to increase our prices to survive and do not wish to do that.
We support customers in the same way as any reseller and are committed to our 12-month warranty. As detailed in our terms and conditions.
We ship using DHL Worldwide, who have proven to be outstanding, both in delivery times and efficient handling of customs fees. Our 3rd party payment systems (Paypal and Stripe) are safe and reliable.
What's a good product pairing for Midicake?
Any MONO or Polyphonic syntheziser, either Software VST or hardware, can be used with ARP.
Of course, with mulitple channels, you can use mulitple synths.
If you are looking for a single device that can make multiple sounds, here's a list of Multi Timbral Synthesizers
To connect to multiple MIDI devices, you can chain them using MIDI Thru or use a MIDI hub device.