Arpeggiator on the Casio PX-560

An arpeggiator detects one or more keys pressed and plays their corresponding notes in a pattern (strictly up, strictly down, up and down, Alberti bass, random, etc.) This can be useful for playing a riff (ostinato) quickly and effortlessly for an extended period of time during a song. The PX-560 has 100 built-in arpeggiator patterns but no way to create custom patterns. Features of the Casio PX-560 arpeggiator include:

  • The speed at which the pattern plays is determined, naturally, by the tempo setting.
  • You can sustain the pattern two different ways: physically hold the keys down, or select the “Hold” option and press the keys a single time (deselect the “Hold” option or disable the arpeggiator to stop the arpeggiation).
  • The arpeggiation can apply to one or both of the upper tones simultaneously, or to one or both of the lower tones.
  • Casio designed each pattern with a specific tone in mind (selectable by pressing “One Touch” on the Arpeggiator screen), but you can assign any tone you want.

Page 17 of the User Manual appendix lists the names of the patterns but no description of them.  So, here is a partial list of the pattern names with a brief description of what they do (unless noted otherwise, each example uses the key of C):

  • 009 Step Arp 1
    • Press C4: C4, C5, C4, C3
    • Press C4+E4: C4+E4, C5+E5, C4+E4, C3+E3
    • Press C4+E4+G4: C4+E4+G4, C5+E5+G5, C4+E4+G4, C3+E3+G3
  • 012 Synth Seq 1
    • Press C4: C4 4x rapidly, C4 4x rapidly, C4 2x rapidly
    • Press C4+E4: C4+E4 4x rapidly, C4+E4 4x rapidly, C4+E4 2x rapidly
    • Press C4+E4+G4: Top two notes play same pattern as above. Bottom note plays half as many times (i.e. on the 1 and 3 of the first two repetitions, then just on the 1 of the third repetition)
    • Default tone: GM Saw Lead
    • Usage: Could be used for a percussion pattern
  • 014 Seq Line 1
    • Press C4: C4, C3
    • Press C4+E4: E4, C3, E3, C4
    • Press C4+G4: G4, C3, G3, C4
    • Press C4+E4+G4: C4, C3, E3, G3
    • Default tone: GM Squ.Lead
  • 016 Seq Line 3
    • Press C4: C4 Eb4 F4 Eb4 F4 G4 F4 G4 Bb4 G4 Bb4 C5
    • Default tone: Pulse Lead 1
  • 026 – 034 = bass arpeggios
  • 033 Base Line 1
    • Press key, plays that key 5 times, then the octave below once
    • Press two keys, plays the first key 5 times, then the second key below the first key. Example: If press C4 and E4, plays C4 five times then E3 once.
    • Press three keys, plays the first key 5 times, then the next two keys below the first. Example: Press C4, E4, G4. Plays C4 five times then E3, then G3.
    • Press more than 3 keys, the additional keys are ignored.
  • 034 Base Line 2
    • Similar to previous, except that the first key is played only once and additional notes are played above (rather than below) the first key.
  • 035 Scale 1 = plays major scale tones up to next octave from first note played and held. Additional notes are ignored.
  • 036 Scale 2 = plays minor scale tones up to next octave from first note played and held. Additional notes are ignored.
  • 051 Echo
  • 052 Trill