The NDLR Is An ‘Ultra-Arpeggiator’ For People With Lots Of Synths

Here’s a sneak preview of the upcoming Conductive Labs NDLR Polyphonic Arpeggiator from Knobcon 2017.

The NDLR (‘noodler’) fits between your sequencer and keyboard controllers and your sound modules, and translates what you play into up to four parts: a drone note, bass line, pad notes, and a motif sequence.

Pricing and Availability

The NDLR is being produced via a Kickstarter project and is available to backers for US $199. See the project page for details.

32 thoughts on “The NDLR Is An ‘Ultra-Arpeggiator’ For People With Lots Of Synths

  1. I am intrigued by this product and have watched a few videos, but I still don’t exactly understand what it does. Can you program the sequences for the various parts or are they preset patterns? Can you change individual patterns on the fly? I am definitely looking for a sort of hub to control a variety of synths, but I don’t want to just mix-and-match somebody else’s canned patterns.

    1. that is kind of what I was wondering – like is it something that is meant to arpeggiate on a simple sequence – like do you plug it into say a beatstep and just have a simple pattern? do you hook it to a controller keyboard and play note or chord changes? like I see all the neat functionality of what it is doing in the demo video but you don’t really get a sense of what source you need to run it – it does seem though like there is a ton you can do with it

      1. Hey Mongr, on a traditional arp, you hold down keys and the synth arps those notes.

        On The NDLR, it arps against the chords being played, so it doesn’t need an input at all. You can play chords on The NDLR’s seven chord buttons, or use a keyboard or sequencer to change chords. With two 5 pin MIDI inputs, (and USB MIDI) you can have a keyboard being transposed by The NDLR, while a sequencer is selecting chords to play (or vise versa).

        Sometimes I use a Beatstep Pro or a Korg SQ-1 to sequence chords, but usually I just press buttons on The NDLR.

    2. Hello, thanks for your comments. If you haven’t seen the videos yet, checkout the original Synthtopia article here:

      our Youtube page at:

      Or on the Kickstarter page, you can see the videos, but scroll down to the detailed specs.

      We haven’t shown every detail there, but I’ll answer any questions you still have.

      Regarding editable patterns, we currently have about 40 patterns in there. The idea isn’t to write a song, its just a variation on the arpeggio. On the back of the napkin, I’d say there are over 6 million variations (not including length) when you take into account the other Motif parameters. That said, we will likely make a stretch goal to have custom patterns. Watch for updates on Kickstarter.

    3. Hi AuxOct,
      The parameters for the arpeggiators are currently fixed. We may make this a stretch goal. You can select them while playing. You can also navigate the menus while playing, with no delays.

      Using standard arpeggio language only partially applies to The NDLR Motif, because everything being played is based on the current chord.
      As you might expect, the pattern is a list of notes. The notes played change based on which chord is being played. And the chords are further defined by the key and mode you have selected on The NDLR. The patterns can be thought of like an “order played” arpeggio, but you probably wouldn’t recognize your own pattern once you’ve change some other parameters. For example:

      Accent has 8 settings which varies the velocity on up-beats, down-beats and 8th notes.
      Variants effect the note order being played as “forward, backwards, forward/backward, etc. much like an arp’s “up, down, up-down, etc.”.
      Length is number of notes played in the apreggio.
      Rhythm has more than 30 settings, and changes note lengths in patterns.
      Offset moves the arp timing against the MIDI clock, in increments of 8th notes.
      Position is the octave the arp plays in. Select across 10 octaves.
      We also have probability, and a modulation matrix to modulate many of the parameters.

      Now, apply this to a synth, with a patch that’s sequenced, LFO modulating filter, and all the other sound design you can do while The NDLR is firing off these “patterns”. Its pretty great, and many happy accidents. Its definitely not a sequencer 🙂

      1. Darryl, I would like to know if you planned to :
        – different incoming midi channels follow different paths in the NDLR
        – the LFO only modulate an external midi cc#
        – notes entering by one midi address, exit to several midi addresses

        I use a Cirklon with several external modules and the NDLR will be perfect for me

        I also dream since a long time for a delay+reverb midi effect, but this is not the topic for the moment, … ?!

        1. Hello Directgraphic, let me attempt to answer your questions.
          – different incoming midi channels follow different paths in the NDLR
          There are four input functions on the NDLR, 1. you can configure a MIDI input to be a controller input, which enables notes to select chords and chord types. 2. Configure an input for transposing notes. This input is passed thru the MIDI output on the same MIDI channel the keyboard is sending on 3. Select an input to receive MIDI clock. 4. Control The NDLR by MIDI CC messages.

          – the LFO only modulate an external midi cc#
          The modulation matrix is still in development, but we intend to support modulating both internal parameters, and also support sending to external devices via MIDI CC messages.

          – notes entering by one midi address, exit to several midi addresses
          This is accomplished with The NDLR interleaved poly-chaining feature. It can currently interleave chord notes to up to 4 MIDI channels, but I think we’ll expand this to 6 or 8.

          1. Darryl

            Thanks for taking the time to answer reader questions.

            It really helps readers understand a new piece of gear they don’t have direct access to, and it also lets people know that you’re paying attention.

      2. Thanks for the reply Daryl, this certainly helps me understand what this does! I think I wanted to make it a step-sequencer, but I should have realized that is really a complex arpeggiator, as described.

  2. Hoping that new demo uses very very simple sounds so we can really make out what the machine is doing. Would also like them to explain a bit about what this little box *doesn’t* do, just to help frame what it does do!

  3. I’m sure I will make no friends and will receive many replies pertaining to my mental well being, but I dislike these Lego like pieces of kit. I can’t imagine anything worse than a desktop cluttered with tiny plastic boxes and hundreds of cables.

  4. This thing looks great! Would love to add an arpeggiator to my sub phatty and improve the one on my p12 with this thing. Would be awesome to use on soft synths as well.

  5. What’s modes it plays ? Only major and minor or alsof the five other modes (even the locrian mode as well 😉 and can it play them in every key and do it have diminished and augmented chords? This should be great when they NDLR could give us this musical possibilities… So I can learn all this modes in a jam-ical way by listening to the musical emotional effects and in the same time changing the soundcolors of 8 synthesizers… I like the drone and the pad and the two motifs (one for the main melody and the other one as a counter-movement making melody). That’s what’s I like to do with this ultra-arpeggiator. Can you tell me the NDLR can do what I just described or do I misunderstand the potential of this machine?

    1. Werner, check out the manual for The NDLR at where you can find the list of modes, chord and chord types, as well as details on how the Chord buttons work. You can choose any key, and change key and mode while playing. Sonority is automatic.
      Here’s the mode list: Major, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Minor (Aeolian),
      Locrian, Gypsy Min, Harmonic Minor, Minor Pentatonic, Whole Tone, Tonic 2nds, Tonic 3rds,
      Tonic 4ths, and Tonic 6ths.

      1. Thanks a lot, Darryl, for this quick and very informatieve answer. I will have a look in the link for checking the different chords and chord types. I’m sure the NDLR is the ultimate arpeggiator-sequencer I’m looking for. In the future I will become certainly a user of your nice product. So I can play my old Yamaha dx-7, Korg Minilogue, Waldorf Blofeld, Arturia Minibrute, two Korg Volca FM’s, Wolfgang Palms’ software versions of all kinds of PPG-apps and finaly the Korg Kronos with this Ultra-Arpeggiator.

  6. Thanks a lot for the very informatieve answer. I will become in the future certainly a user of this Ultra-Arpeggiator as a conductor of my old Yamaha DX-7, Korg Volca FM, Moog Mother-32, Waldorf Blofeld, Arturia Minibrute, Korg Minilogue, Wolfgang Palm’s different PPG-Apps and finally my main synthesizer Korg Kronos.

      1. This is very good news. Thanks for this information. And yes : I like my synthesizers. FM and wavetable synthesis to design the ratio-based ‘clean numbered’ skeleton structure of my sounddesigns and subtractive synthesis to give it some more vestimentary (clothed) ‘body’…

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