Last updated on December 31st, 2023 at 08:03 pm
Arpeggiator Plugins are one of the most interesting tools for creating music and, in this article, I will be listing the best paid ones as well as free arpeggiator plugins that you can get in 2022.
It’s worth noting that most of the free ones are quite dated and only work on Windows, but I still managed to find a couple of them that run on Mac.
There are the arpeggiators that I consider to be the best:
Extremely powerful arpeggiator that is still relatively easy to use.
Harder to learn that Consequence but even more powerful.
Best Arpeggiator plugin in terms of price-to-performance (Only $17)
What’s the best Arpeggiator plugin?
Consequence is by far the best all-rounder arpeggiator plugin on this list since it’s extremely powerful and easy to use.
Of course, every arpeggiator on this list has a lot to offer, but I think that Consequence does most of the things those can better and without the hassle.
Premium Arpeggiator Plugins
If you’re really looking for a high-quality arpeggiator plugin, then you should stick to the ones on the paid side of things since most free arpeggiators aren’t that great, at least not when compared to their premium counterparts.
Consequence by Sugar Bytes (Windows, Mac)
Simple to use yet extremely powerful Arpeggiator plugin.
Consequence makes its way into this list because it could be considered a simplified version of Thesys, the next plugin on this list that is also made by the same company, while still being an extremely capable Arpeggiator.
It creates note sequences based on chords that you play, with numerous options for interpreting the incoming data.
Consequence lets you load up to three different instruments each with its own envelope, and you can play those instruments via the onboard 32-step sequencer to create complex and interesting sections for your song.
Included as well is an FX unit.
With Consequence, you get a Sample Library comprising of 800 MB content with 222 sound presets and in 15 categories, and thanks to its 16 chord snapshots which you can trigger randomly or in any combination that you please, the result will never be boring.
If you’re looking for versatility and ease of use, Consequence might be what you’re looking for.
Thesys by Sugar Bytes (Windows, Mac)
Powerful Step-Sequencer and Arpeggiator.
Thesys is a step sequencer and arpeggiator plugin that allows you to manipulate your music in various interesting ways, be it by painting the sequence with your mouse or by utilizing a MIDI keyboard, and all of this is done in a very intuitive manner.
The Randomizer is an especially useful feature, helping you avoid the predictability that often results from step-sequencers and arpeggiators, which allows you to come up with interesting variations to keep the production moving forward without becoming boring.
The Velocity and Gate Sequencer sections are there to let you control riffs and arpeggios without wasting time.
Thesys is the most powerful plugin on this list, but it’s also a bit harder to learn than Cthulhu or Cream. But if you’re someone who likes to dedicate a lot of time into learning the ins and outs of a software, then Thesys is definitely for you.
Cream by Kirnu Interactive (Windows, Mac)
Great in terms of Price-to-performance.
Kirnu Cream is a very powerful MIDI performer VST/AU/LPX MIDI FX plugin for Windows and Mac.
With Cream it’s very easy to create catching lead parts, bouncing bass lines, swinging drums, and lots of other cool stuff.
With simple and clever design, it has been made easy to learn and operate.
You can easily create cool performances by tweaking only a couple of controls.
If this is not enough for you there are so many ways you can control Cream that you never feel bored with it.
Kirnu Cream is good for everybody; hobbyists, professionals, producers, composers, or whoever needs a good MIDI performer to make their songs awesome!
Out of all the plugins on this list, I think that Cream is the best one in terms of Price-to-Performance since it’s so affordable.
You can read check out Cream here.
Cthulhu by Xfer Records (Windows, Mac)
Affordable and really easy to use.
Cthulhu is a Chord and an arpeggiator plugin that allows you to play one note and Cthulhu will automatically create chords off of that one note. This is done via the “Chord Module”.
This is great for when you’re trying to compose a song but can’t come up with new ideas.
You can press any key and Cthulhu will automatically play a chord that fits perfectly within that scale.
It comes with loads of chord presets, and it also allows you to create your own chord presets and save them.
If you import MIDI or record chords straight in, Cthulhu is able to analyze the chords you play and allow for various sorting options like Circle of 5ths, Chromatic, low note, etc., allowing for easy access over your chords.
The other half of Cthulhu is a unique pattern-based arpeggiator, allowing incoming notes or chords to be manipulated in various rhythmic ways.
For instance, starting on the lowest note and ending up on the highest (when it runs out of notes, it starts back on the first one).
You can choose whichever pattern you like, sequence them in no time and that’s it… you have the basic structure of a song.
Additionally you can get the ADSR bundle which comes with over 140 chord presets and 50 arpeggiation presets which are quite good.
This Plugin is great, really fun and easy to use…
Cthulhu costs $39 and the ADSR bundle is available for $24.
You can get Cthulhu here.
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ARPG8R by Pentacom (Windows, Mac)
Really Cheap alternative (about $10).
ARPG8R is an amazingly simple, yet powerful MIDI arpeggiator.
It’s super straightforward and does exactly what you hope it will do.
Not only that but it takes any VST and transforms it into a fully programmable sequence.
It’s much easier to use than most built-in VSTi arps, and this turns any arp-less synth into an instant rhythmic powerhouse!
If used right, this arpeggiator has the power to enhance any kind of music that has a beat.
It’s not limited to electro genres only… it can actually be used on many genres.
You can also simply engage and adjust the shuffle feature if you want a more natural feel.
Additionally, they have pretty good online tutorials on YouTube, which is always nice.
Here’s a link to one.
You can find out more about ARPG8R here.
Best Free Arpeggiator VST Plugins
I already mentioned that, sadly, I couldn’t find too many high-quality free arpeggiators, except maybe for the first couple on this section of the list, and most of them only work in Windows.
Kirnu by Arto Vaarala (Windows, Mac)
Kirnu is a VST MIDI arpeggiator plugin that could also be considered a step sequencer, and it is designed with real-time tweaking and usability in mind.
It’s not the easiest plugin to use, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll love it, and it comes with all the features one would expect from a plugin like this.
If you’re looking for an even more advanced version of Kirnu, then check out it’s updated version “Cream“.
Note: Cream is not free, but for $35 it’s definitely considered a budget option.
You can download Kirnu here.
Related: Here’s a list of the best free DAWs that will allow you to use these new free plugins.
BlueARP by Oleg Mikheev (Windows, Mac)
BlueARP is a MIDI Arpeggiator plugin with a pattern sequencer style, designed for electronic music genres.
It is based on hardware groove boxes and arpeggiators like Korg Electribes, Novation Nova, etc.
BlueARP can also be characterized as a pattern arpeggiator, step sequencer style arpeggiator, and arpeggiator with pattern input.
Now, if this one doesn’t tickle your fancy, then maybe consider checking out Consequence since this is a much more powerful arpeggiator (also premium, not free).
You can download BlueARP here.
Related: List of the best Sequencer VST/AU plugins.
Hypercyclic by Mucoder (Windows, Mac Linux)
Hypercyclic is an LFO-driven MIDI arpeggiator as well as a gate effect and step-sequencer.
The main use for hypercyclic is to generate midi that can be recorded and/or sent to other plugins.
However, it also features a simple built-in synth for testing purposes.
You can use two tempo-synced LFOs to modulate various parameters for creating interesting rhythmic effects and chord variations
A unique feature is the possibility to modulate the sequencer step size itself, which is useful for creating glitchy stuttering effects.
Another thing you can use is a groove function for playing slightly off the beat.
The groove parameters can also be modulated over time by the LFOs, adding to the rhythmic variation.
You can download Hypercyclic here.
Related: If you’re looking for a huge list of all the best free VST plugins out there, then check out this article I wrote.
RandARP by CodeFN42 (Windows Only)
RandARP is an arpeggiator plugin with many randomization features, allowing incoming notes or chords to be manipulated in various ways.
All standard arpeggiator parameters like number of octaves, note length and note order are included…
But the plugin also offers complete randomization of the velocity, gate, shift and swing parameters.
In addition, you can specify a note probability and randomize the note order, the octave order, and the number of octaves.
All the randomization features allow you to create more interesting and unpredictable arpeggiated sequences.
You can download RandARP here.
Podolski by U-He (Windows, Mac, Linux)
Podolski is a free and straightforward CPU-efficient virtual analogue synthesizer.
It features one oscillator, one filter, one envelope and an arpeggiator/sequencer section that comes packed with features.
Overall, it might take you some time to learn how to operate this plugin, but once you do, you’ll love it!
You can download Podolski here.
Related: Here’s a list of the best free Drum VST plugins.
Arppe2600vs by Glen Stegner (Windows Only)
Arppe2600va is a great softsynth that features a multitude of Frequency Modulation options which enable it to create some truly awesome sound effects:
PWM, Sample & Hold, virtual Spring Reverb, Ring Modulation, and a dedicated Noise Generator are all there!
Also, there is Oscillator Sync and Filter Color.
Arppe2600va is completely patchable via a designed Mod Matrix!
You can have up to 12 patch routings with a very user-friendly drop-down menu interface, instead of messy virtual patch cables cluttering up the screen.
It can be both used as a standalone synth or loaded in any DAW.
You can download Arrpe2600va here.
Related: Here’s a list of the best free Modulation Plugins.
Arpimedes By Tobybear Productions (Windows Only)
If you want an insanely simple arp sound without having to deal with an overloaded and confusing interface, then Arpimedes is definitely for you.
It’s the easiest arpeggiator to learn on this list, and you can only set the speed, number of steps, number of octaves, and the mode.
That’s basically it!
If you have no prior experience with arpeggiators, then definitely give Arpimedes a try!
You can download Arpimedes here.
Note: It’s part of the MIDIBag bundle, which you need to download in order to get Arpimedes.
Related: Here’s a list of the best free delay VST plugins.
ODsay by Elektrostudio (Windows Only)
ODSay, as its name implies, is inspired by the Arp Odyssey.
It is a Duophonic synth with 2 sync VCO (6 waveforms), 1 noise generator, Sample and Hold, 1 sine or square wave LFO, 2 filters (LP and HP), 1 VCA and 2 envelopes (1 ADSR and 1 AR), portamento and so on.
Everything is editable, tweakable and that gives many possibilities.
The sound is excellent, easy to modulate, with a nice analogue touch.
From noises to fat and full leads, it is a must-have.
You can download ODsay here.
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Tonus by KBplugs (Windows Only)
Tonus is an emulation of the ARP 2600.
This emulation is only inspired by the circuitry of the real unit, but it’s not really trying to emulate it and sound identical, but rather have its own personality.
There are no presets, just like on the real arp.
You can download Tonus here.
Syntler by Syntler (Windows Only)
Syntler is a groove and arpeggio synth, playable with a joystick.
Move the joystick arund and play the virtual keybord or MIDI.
For scratch and fx play, press the “scratch” button.
For groove play, press the “groove” button, then click “REC” and move the joystick around.
In my opinion, it’s one of the best sounding free Arpeggiators out there!
- 3 oscilators: 2 tones oscilators, noise oscilator.
- Unique joystik control with speed sensitivity.
- Groove and scratch/fx mode.
- MIDI keybord control.
- Tempo sync delay.
- 32 editable presets.
Crio by Solcito Musica (Windows Only)
Crio is a virtual analog/FM synthesizer that can make arpeggios, bass, solos, leads, FX-style sounds.
The aim was to make an instrument with minimal controls and maximum functionality that could be easy to learn and use while still being able to sound awesome.
- 1 monophonic oscillator with noise generator and 3 voices, including sub oscillator.
- 1 LFO with functions of wave quantization and tempo synchronization.
- 2 filters: typical state variable filter and comb filter.
- 1 envelope generator.
- 1 amplifier with booster and saturation.
- slide tone control that applies to keyboard and tone modulation from LFO.
- MIDI learn in most of the controls.
You can download Crio here.
Out of all the plugins on this list, I firmly believe that Consequence is the absolute best one since it’s easy to use, yet powerful.
If you’re on a bit of a budget, then consider getting Cream. Otherwise, stick to Kirnu since it’s a great free alternative.