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Sample Logic Animation Station

Step Sequencer/Arpeggiator Plug-in By John Walden
Published November 2021

Sample Logic Animation Station

Sample Logic’s first plug‑in can bring your samples and music to life.

Sample Logic have a well‑established catalogue of sophisticated virtual instruments, and have just released their first plug‑in. Animation Station delivers a combination of the pattern‑ and arpeggiation‑creation tools found in many of their own instruments as a standalone plug‑in, which can be employed with any of the user’s favourite virtual instruments.

First Steps

Animation Station is, in essence, a standalone step sequencer/ arpeggiator. It allows you to create patterns of up to 64 steps in length and provides control over seven parameters for each step: step on/off, playback rate, arpeggio type, velocity, duration of note within step, pitch transpose of step above trigger note, and stutter rate. Hovering over any lane label produces a drop‑down menu to access presets for just that lane. You can also ‘link’ steps using a button that appears as you hover over a step. This creates a group of linked steps (they don’t have to be adjacent steps), where edits made to one step within the group are then applied to all linked steps.

As described more fully below, one of the main features of Animation Station is its emphasis on randomness. You can opt for totally random pattern generation if you are feeling particularly lucky (or experimental!), but you can also constrain the randomisation process in a number of ways to generate more subtle variations on your sequence.

The vast majority of the controls are contained within the default Linear View screen. This includes access to the preset browser, undo/redo buttons, tempo, playback speed, adding additional playback octaves, number of steps and a latch option. At the bottom of the screen is a zoom bar, MIDI export, Mod Wheel (it can control either velocity or duration) and keyswitch assignment, and a MIDI panic button.

Amongst other things, the Playback Settings panel gives you options in terms of velocity response and timing.Amongst other things, the Playback Settings panel gives you options in terms of velocity response and timing.Top‑centre, you can switch between Linear View and Circle View. The latter offers only limited editing options, but the circular layout provides rather cool looper‑style playback visuals. Top‑right, clicking on the three vertically arranged dots opens a two‑part settings panel. The Playback Settings panel lets you set a balance between the velocity set in the pattern editor and any trigger note velocity. You can also ‘humanise’ the velocity, add a degree of swing and change the playback direction mode. I’ll come back to the Random Settings panel below. The three dots next to the main...

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