Jan 22

Another fantastic idea from Zoom – the new Zoom ARQ Wireless Bluetooth Control. It is a Drum Machine, it is a Sequencer, it is an electronic tambourinesque percussion instrument, it is a Synth, it is a Midi Controller, it is a looper with a built-in accelerometer. What can’t this thing do?

You should see it in the shops about April time $599. Zoom say it is for Electronic Music Production and performance. With its wireless Bluetooth Ring Controller, you can get out amongst the crowd.

The ARQ consists of two powerful components–the Base Station (AR-96) and the detachable Ring Controller (AR-96c):

The Base Station has 468 drum/instrument sounds, 70 types of synth sounds, and loads of digital FX. Dual 1/4? line-level audio inputs enable phrase recording and looping. There are also stereo 1/4? line-level outputs, as well as a dedicated 1/4? headphone jack with its own volume control. A USB port allows connection to your computer, and an SD card slot lets you save patterns and loops, import prerecorded audio, and update firmware.

The detachable Ring Controller communicates with the Base Station, as well as DAWs, via wireless Bluetooth. It offers 96 velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads for clip launching and playing drum sounds, instrument sounds, and sequences. Phrases and sounds can be played chromatically, or you can choose from dozens of preset scales in any key. Its unique Grip Detection automatically prevents accidental triggering of the pads under your hand. There are dedicated buttons at the top and bottom of the Ring for REC/PLAY/STOP, as well as Filter/Delay/Reverb/MASTER FX on/off. An onboard 3-axis accelerometer generates MIDI control messages to alter sounds and effects in real time. Its internal Lithium-Ion battery automatically charges when the Ring is placed on the Base Station.

Here’s what Zoom have to say about it:-

Not only does ARQ allow you to create incredible drum parts and patterns, you can also use the Ring Controller as a live instrument. Play it while mounted to the Base Station, or remove it to take your performance to the front of the stage. ARQ comes with a multitude of editable PCM drum and instrument sounds organized into 50 genre-specific kits, and you can also develop 50 kits of your own, complete with effects. Once you perform with ARQ, you’ll never use another drum machine again.

It’s a Circular Sequencer–No Computer Necessary

Traditional devices take a linear approach to sequencing, but ARQ is anything but traditional. For the first time, you can visualize your music as a true loop, up to 5 parts at a time.

Individual patterns or complete songs can be constructed one step at a time or by recording a real-time performance, with an onboard mixer for setting volumes, muting, and soloing. Instruments can be assigned to single or multiple pads and up to 3 parts can be created at a time. Up to 33 parts can be played back simultaneously, and the timbre or note of each part can be changed with the touch of a button. 400 patterns can be combined in any order to form a complete song, then flattened into an audio loop that can be played back from a single pad–all without the use of a computer.

It’s a Fantastic Synth

ARQ’s powerful sound engine offers 70 preset “one-shot” sounds–sampled waveforms that can be pitch-shifted as they are played over multiple pads–as well as an onboard synthesizer that allows you to build completely original timbres. Choose from 531 different oscillator types for sonic variety, then add digital effects such as filtering, delay, and reverb, along with sound-shaping controls like envelope generators and stepped or smooth modulation.

It comes with a Base Station (AR-96), a Ring Controller (AR-96c), an AC adapter (AD-14) and the Operation Manual

zoom_ARQ_drum_machine

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