9 Best Arpeggiator VST Plugins 2022


9 Best Arpeggiator VST Plugins 2022

Running out of ideas? Trying to make a chord progression or riff more interesting? Looking for musical inspiration? Want to create some killer synth lines?

An arpeggiator is especially useful when you’re in any above the scenarios and even others. Sequencers and arpeggiator can literally turn three notes into an exciting sequence you’ll be proud to add to your project. And that can spark more inspiration.

In this guide, we look at the best arpeggiator VST plugins. Let’s get to it!

Consequence by Sugar Bytes – Best Overall

Consequence by Sugar Bytes – Best Overall

Sugar Bytes’ Consequence arpeggiator creates sequences based on the chords you give it to work with. Three instruments can be loaded up and manipulated with a variety of sequencing options.

Amazon.de said they knew of “no comparable tool,” Waveformless said it helped them create new ideas, and Computer Music thought it was another solid, forward-thinking creation via Sugar Bytes (who seems quite prolific in this domain of VSTs).

At the heart of the Consequence workflow is the chord sequencer, which lets you choose from 16-chord “snapshots,” which can be defined in the Chord Memory section. There are five sequencers that control different aspects of your creation. There are even deep modulation options along with filters and effects.

The sample-based library comes with many instruments, from violins to synths, with controls for Octave, Pan, Level, and Crush. A trigger mode can be selected for each instrument.

Consequence includes 237 sounds from organic instruments and synthesizers, three oscillators with 32-step sequencer, multi-effect section, envelope per instrument, onboard 4/4 kickdrum, polyphonic triggers per step, MIDI out, and more.

Consequence does look a little intimidating upon first brush. The user interface, while nicely designed, is quite intricate and complex. And to be fair, it may not be the easiest of arpeggiators / sequencers to get used to. But it isn’t so hard that you can’t familiarize yourself with it in a short amount of time.

And as the video below demonstrates, you can do a lot of cool things with Consequence. So, while it is a bit of a tossup, we’ve chosen Consequence as our best overall option. It will do everything you need and more. But we must admit that there are a lot of other cool VSTs on this list, in case this one doesn’t ring a bell for you.

Consequence is compatible with Windows and Mac.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

VPS Avenger by Vengeance Sound – Best Premium Option

VPS Avenger by Vengeance Sound – Best Premium Option

Some of the most capable arpeggiators, not surprisingly, are synths. After all, many synths come with arpeggiators built in. So, in addition to VST plugins that identify as sequencers or arpeggiators, we will be looking at several synths with powerful arpeggiators in this guide.

Vengeance Sound’s VPS Avenger is yet another one of those hyper-powered synths with endless features, and we’ve featured it in past guides too.

Its feature set is extensive as you would expect – eight oscillator modules, various transformation parameters, eight ARP modules(!), eight step SQ modules, eight mod envelopes, eight pitch envelopes, four AMP modules, four filters, four SHAPERs, four LFOs, drum sequencer, six routable FX busses, wavetable envelope / editor, and a great deal more.

VPS Avenger also graces the user with 620 multi-samples, 218 special samples, 154 resampler waves, 168 drumkits, 168 drum sequences, 596 wavetables, 219 granular samples, over 1,000 factory presets, thousands of OSC shapes / waveforms, 30 FX types, 47 filter types, and much, much more.

VPS Avenger is like an electronic music producer’s dream. The sounds are full and rich, and highly customizable. With all the controllable parameters, you can tweak endlessly to achieve desired results too. It’s not the easiest to use of synths out there, but it’s not outrageously difficult either. Give it some time and you’ll be satisfied.

You’ll also be happy to know the built-in arpeggiator is also quite capable. Whether to get a sequencer with a sketching synth or to get a synth with arpeggiator functionality is always a bit of a conundrum. But given everything VPS Avenger offers, we’re happy to call it our best premium option, because it is an incredible synth!

VPS Avenger works on Windows and Mac.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Cream by Kirnu Interactive – Best Budget Option

Cream by Kirnu Interactive – Best Budget Option

Kirnu Interactive’s Cream is a powerful MIDI performer that can be used in your DAW as well as in live settings. Whether it’s creating captivating leads, moving bass lines, or beat perfect drums, Cream is capable enough for a variety of applications to help you create and develop stimulating musical patterns.

More than a mere arpeggiator or sequencer, the developer focused on making Cream as easy to use as possible. And that means you can get up and running fast at the turn of a couple of dials, without spending days trying to figure out the interface (what a relief!).

That makes Cream ideal for all types of users – newbies, hobbyists, composers, producers, or anyone else who might be hunting down a viable arpeggiator.

Cream includes Chord Memory, which allows you to play entire chords with just one note. Included are 16 memory slots as well as the ability to save chord memory presets. Chords can also be inverted, and you can copy and paste between chord memory slots.

The Pattern Sequencer comes with 12 patterns per track, and it makes the process of creating complex sequences from simple snippets easy.

Cream comes with four independent tracks with independent key areas and MIDI in / out functionality. So, four MIDI engines can be programmed with different simultaneous outputs. You also get 12 patterns per track with nine step data controls.

And that’s just the tip of the Cream iceberg, which is compatible with Windows and Mac.

Cream is nicely designed. It has a slight industrial feel to it, but the interface is still relatively clear and easy to understand. It shouldn’t take too long to get used to it.

As the video below demonstrates, Cream makes it easy for you to take a relatively standard pattern and do fun things with it. Whether it’s gating the signal or adding octaves, you can instantly transform your sequences to make them a lot more exciting. Not that this can’t be done manually too, but Cream certainly speeds up the process a bunch!

Cream is fun, easy to use, and quite affordable. Given these factors, it’s a shoo-in for our best budget option!

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Thesys by Sugar Bytes

Thesys by Sugar Bytes

Sugar Bytes’ Thesys is a popular 32-step MIDI sequencer. De:Bug Magazine was amazed that interesting sequences could be created rapidly, Mac Life found it powerful and versatile, and Computer Music said it blows away standard arpeggiators, and loved how it made mincemeat out of live work too.

Thesys comes with a Pitch Recorder, pattern sequencer, real-time manipulation of patterns per keyboard, internal synth, independent loop lengths for all five sequencers, 18 sequencer lanes, and MIDI Out and Drag ‘n’ Drop. Basically, you can craft multiple sequences simultaneously, which is cool!

Thesys’ internal synth is primarily for idea sketching. While it may not be suited to recording (unless you’re absolutely enthralled with it), it’s good enough to help you work out your patterns before taking them elsewhere.

We could go on about the features, but we would be here all day. What you need to know about Thesys is that it’s a powerful tool for building patterns for your favorite virtual instruments. Whether in the studio or the stage, Thesys will deliver.

Thesys works on Windows and Mac.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

MIDIQ by W.A. Production

MIDIQ by W.A. Production

W.A. Production’s MIDIQ is a creative tool to help you find your muse. It will turn simple concepts and chord sequences into fully developed ideas, with harmonies and bass lines that intrigue and inspire. Perfect for anyone who’s having trouble coming up with inspiring musical ideas to go with their riff or chord progression!

Producer / beatmaker / sound designer Eugene said it was great for creating amazing melodies, DJ / producer / remixer Tekhoover offered that he’s using MIDIQ daily, and DJ-producer Gloo Audio thought it was a great tool for creating music without knowing all the ins and outs of music theory.

MIDIQ leverages a simple pattern language for repeating chords. Along with its toy-like “slot machine” interface, MIDIQ delivers instant gratification to anyone who is challenged by the notion of trying to come up with chord progressions or inspiring melodies.

How it works is that when you add or change a pattern symbol, the algorithm will create a chord for the position in addition to eight alternative chord sequence for the pattern of symbols. Switching to a new variant is as easy as clicking on one of the chord boxes.

Versatile from the inside out, with MIDIQ, preset data is automatically saved, and it even lets you copy and paste, drag and drop, and drag to host. Chord progressions can be fed through the arpeggiator with several plugin instance in parallel. For those who love polyrhythmic patterns, this is your ticket.

So, when you want to create a new track but aren’t sure where to start, when you would like to mess around with ideas, or for those times when you would like to expand your musical horizons, MIDIQ is sure to come handy, and it’s moderately priced besides.

MIDIQ works in any DAW with MIDI routing support, and it’s available for Windows and Mac.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

ARP2600 V by Arturia

ARP2600 V by Arturia

Here we have Arturia’s ARP2600 V, which is a semi-modular, versatile synth that takes after the original hardware unit. Chad Hugo loved the VST’s ability to recall complex patches, Tim Carmon thought it was true to the hardware console, and Touter Harvey was blown away by the “phat” sounds onboard. Honestly, I’m blown away too.

ARP2600 V comes with all the functionality that made the original great – three voltage-controlled oscillators, Osc2->Ocs1 synchronization, 24 dB/octave low pass resonant filter with self-oscillation, one LFO (can be synchronized to host tempo), sample and hold, ring modulator, noise generator, ADSR, and AR envelope follower.

You also get an ARP2500 multimode 12 dB/octave filter (LP, HP, BP, and Notch), original ARP sequencer model 1601, four tracking generators with real-time interactive LFO creation ability, voltage processors (can be used as inverters, mixers, or lag processors), effects (chorus, reverb, MIDI-syncable stereo delay), polyphony from two to 32 voices (with Unison options), 500+ presets, and more.

The graphical user interface is a thing of polished beauty. It was obviously inspired by the original hardware, but what can you really say about it? The orange accent on a grey background is stunning, and while it’s intricate and complex, synth fiends will love it to death.

It’s no surprise that the ARP2600 V is so beloved. It doesn’t matter what sounds you choose, whether it’s synths, organs, pianos, or otherwise, they are all quite stunning. And as the video below shows, the arpeggiator is quite wicked too! I’m super impressed.

Although it’s not overly expensive for what it is, ARP2600 V obviously comes at a bit of a cost. If you can fit it into your budget, though, it’s totally worthwhile.

ARP2600 V is available for Windows and Mac.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Hive 2 by u-he

Hive 2 by u-he

u-he’s synths often come up in guides like this, and it’s no surprise, at least not to us. They make great synthesizer VSTs suited to different purposes, and Hive 2 is just one among many.

Hive 2 comes with three synth engines, two oscillators with standard waveforms or 2D wavetables, up to 16x unison, tunable sub-oscillators, drag and drop modulation, 12 x 2 modulation matrix slots (curvature, rectification, quantization, sample & hold, slew rate), four user-definable XY control pads, as well as an eight-step shape sequencer with four independent outputs.

It also comes with an arpeggiator, step sequencer with real-time recording, scale quantizer, two function generators, seven rearrangeable effects (EQ, distortion, chorus, reverb, delay, phaser, and compressor), panel presets for oscillators, filters, envelopes, LFOs, sequencer, FX and modulation matrix, solo button, microtuning support, and more.

Yep. This is a “kitchen sink” kind of synth. It has almost every kind of feature you can possibly think of. And the sounds are all lush and warm. The arpeggiator perfectly complements the built-in sounds too.

Hive 2 is available for Windows and Mac, and it’s a powerful, versatile synth with a great arpeggiator.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

TAL-BassLine-101 by TAL

TAL-BassLine-101 by TAL

TAL-BassLine-101 is basically as it sounds – it’s a monophonic bass synth featuring a vintage analog sound (although it seems to do other sounds too, like pads). With a simple and intuitive user interface, getting started with this synth is straightforward and easy.

TAL-BassLine-101 comes with a 24dB zero feedback delay resonance low pass filter, and it can handle extreme settings.

Also included are MIDI Learn / automation, alias free oscillators, arpeggiator with a few sync modes (host, MIID clock, not on), original (RC) and linear portamento mode, step sequencer with up to 96 steps and recording option, six voice poly mode, sequencer MIDI export with drag and drop, over 300 presets, and more.

This bass synth features plenty of great sounds. It’s no wonder so many people love it. The video below demonstrates some of what this versatile synth can do for you.

There are in-depth videos on TAL-BassLine-101’s arpeggiator too, so you know this thing is stacked.

TAL-BassLine-101 is affordable and it’s compatible with Windows and Mac.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

hypercyclic by mucoder

hypercyclic by mucoder

It’s no secret that there are only so many sequencers and arpeggiators out there. Sure, many synths are outfitted with them, but in some cases, they can end up being a bit of an afterthought (although not with the synths featured in this guide). One way another, you can end up sacrificing arpeggiation for synth, or synth for arpeggiation.

Either way, we wanted to connect you with more options rather than fewer, and it just so happens that mucoder’s hypercyclic is one of the best free options out there.

This “MIDI-mangling” arpeggiator, gate effect, and sequencer is LFO driven. It will take your MIDI input chords and happily “mangle” them up for you, spitting them out as gorgeous arpeggios (the output can drive other MIDI instruments too).

Though hypercyclic comes with a synth for testing purposes, the main way to take advantage of this free VST is by using the MIDI it generates with other plugins. The tempo synced LFO can be used to modulate a variety of parameters, and you can even modulate the sequencer step size. The groove function will let you create patterns that are a little off beat too.

Plenty of interesting effects can be created with hypercyclic, so if you simply don’t have anything else, or you’re using a synth that doesn’t have an arpeggiator, it’s worth giving this one a go.

hypercyclic is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Learn more: mucoder

What Should I Look For In An Arpeggiator VST Plugin?

To an extent, arpeggiators all do the same thing. But it would be a big stretch to say all arpeggiators / sequencers are the same. We’ve seen everything from conventional arpeggiators to forward-thinking creative tools in this guide alone.

So, if you’re feeling the pressure to choose the right tool, don’t fret. We consider several factors below, to help you choose the ideal VST.

We look at:

  • Features
  • Synth or arpeggiator / sequencer
  • Budget

Let’s look at each of these in depth.

Features

What features do you need? Some arpeggiators and sequencers are way over the top in their feature set and sophistication. Others are a little more basic.

If in doubt, go back to how you ended up here in the first place. You needed an arpeggiator. Why? Your answer to this question should offer the guidance you need.

And while there are a variety of options in this guide, we don’t think any of them are bad. So, go through the descriptions once more if you’re having trouble deciding.

Also, if you’re choosing a synth, be sure to watch some demos and reviews. After all, you’re going to want to know how a synth sounds before buying it!

Synth Or Arpeggiator?

As I mentioned earlier, this is really the key conundrum. Should you get an arpeggiator / sequencer with lesser synth functionality, or should you get a synth with lesser arpeggiator functionality?

I’m not saying there isn’t a happy compromise. It is possible to find something that’s suitable to you.

But it would be wise to think about your overall skill level and theory knowledge. As well, even skilled musicians and producers sometimes have trouble coming up with new ideas on the fly. Having access to more creative tools can’t possibly hurt you.

If you have a bigger budget, you could obviously invest in multiple options. If not, you’re going to have to make this decision for yourself.

Budget

With plugins ranging from free to about $200, the options presented here are quite varied. This is not an amount that should break the bank, but it’s never a bad idea to consult the old wallet before making your final decision.

Buy conservatively if you’re a little short on funds right now. We don’t recommend going into debt to buy musical gear of any kind. If you have change to spare, there’s nothing wrong with picking up your top two or three favorite tools!

Top Arpeggiator VST Plugins, Final Thoughts

Should every producer have an arpeggiator? I hold to the notion that you should at least have a synth that does arpeggiation well. Otherwise, you are missing out on a lot of creative possibilities. If you know your music theory, or if you’re creatively inspired enough to make your own sequences, then this is all you need.

On the other hand, if you’re constantly making new beats, don’t always have the time to come up with new ideas, don’t know where to go next with your music, trying to find inspiration, or any combination thereof, having a dedicated arpeggiator VST plugin is not going to hurt one bit.

We hope you found what you’re looking for. Now get out there an make some music!

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