ARUBA HARDWARE OVERVIEWAruba’s hardware is all about realtime access and performance: A host of controls ensures direct access to key features without any menu diving. At the center are 16 large RGB pads – they are velocity and pressure-sensitive and can be fine-tuned to match your personal playing style. ARUBA’s 8 heavy-duty 360-degree rotary pots are always assigned to control a selected feature’s parameters with their assignments shown on the color TFT display. 4 display buttons give access to additional settings, MIDI assignments or secondary menus. Dedicated buttons make it easy to switch between different modes: Internal MIDI controller, drum machine style sequencer, Pad Repeat or DAW Control are always just one button-press away.The hardware Step Sequencer is programmed like a classic drum machine from the 16 small RGB buttons. Each pad can be programmed, or recorded in real-time, with its own independent sequence. You can solo, mute or trigger sequences simply by hitting a pad and control other parameters from the pots, which makes the Sequencer an excellent realtime performance tool. The MIDI Out on ARUBA’s back lets you sequence external MIDI gear and can also be used as a MIDI interface from the computer.Then there’s the transport section for DAW Control: With Nektar DAW Integration everything’s set up for instant control of your DAW’s transport functions from Aruba. In this mode, the pots let you set locators, select tracks, navigate and even set up a connected footswitch for transport control. Without DAW integration, the transport buttons can be assigned to MIDI functions or to control the sequencer. The 2 footswitches are also MIDI-assignable.Aruba’s feature set is greatly enhanced when connected to the included Nektarine software. Eight mode buttons give one-press-access to key Nektarine functions, including Mixer, Pad Setup, Instrument and FX plugin control, browsing and solo/mute. When a mode is selected, the eight 360 degree analog pots offer smooth control of the selected mode’s parameters and in particularly, deep plugin control of your VST, VST3 and AU plugins. Control the assigned plugins, sends or insert FX from Aruba – with full parameter feedback on Aruba’s screen. Many plugins are already pre-mapped for control but you can also create your own mapping, as deep as you like. ARUBA stores 16 user Internal presets for pad configuration and pot MIDI control assignments. When paired with Nektarine, an ulimited amount of pad configurations can be saved complete with plugin and Nektarine settings. Pad’s are programmed from the Pad Setup mode which also includes menus for Chord and Scale, so you can use the pads to play melodic parts or assign chords to each pad. A PAD INSTRUMENT THAT RESPONDS TO YOUARUBA’s 16 RGB-illuminated pads are great for finger drumming and trigger at the lightest touch. Pad sensitivity has already been set or trained automatically to each pads behavior which achieves consistent performance and a great trigger response. Pad sensitivity can also be manually adjusted on a per-pad-basis, if needed.Velocity curves are not just selected but adjusted. There is no need to weigh through velocity curves, just tweak until you are satisfied. A Bias parameter adjusts the overall velocity curve response from linear to logarithmic or exponential. Other velocity options include a Dynamic response where the velocity value is set at a medium point with the rest of the curve adjusted accordingly. Fixed and step options are also included if you prefer a more rigid response.Pad pressure is assignable to Aftertouch (channel and poly) , Pitch Bend or MIDI CCs. Pad pressure can be a great dynamic performance element particularly with sustaining sounds such as long kicks or effects. Once set up, press a pad to slightly bend pitch on a percussion sound, as you can do on a Djembe.Each pad is illuminated by an RGB LED, providing a total of 16 distinct colors.PAD REPEATARUBA’s on-board Pad Repeat engine is directly accessible, offering a dedicated on/off button and settings menu. Use Repeat to create rolls or other percussive lines, that would be hard to play by hand. The repeat settings are highly customizable with realtime parameters for groove and speed control – all right under your fingertips on ARUBA’s 8 potentiometers.Looking for some instant Trap-style hihat lines? The first 6 RGB LED buttons right above the display switch repeat rates in realtime. Create truly dynamic rolls by using pad pressure to control velocity while changing the repeat rates with the LED buttons. Other parameters include Repeat Rate, Gate, Accent Interval, Accent Velocity Offset, Swing, Trigger Mode and Clock Source.DRUM MACHINE-STYLE STEP SEQUENCER – WITH RECORDThe on-board hardware step sequencer is a great tool for creative beat composition. Press ARUBA’s ‘SEQ’ button and the 16 LED buttons below the pots become the much loved classic 16-step programming interface. Each pad is now a pattern, triggering the note the pad is assigned to play.Activate the sequencer’s Record button allows you to play the pads and capture/record the played notes with velocity values in individual patterns. It’s a fast and fun way to build a beat adding steps by design or intuitively. Editing is super easy too. Just press the 16 step buttons to add or remove note steps even while you record. Each step is recorded strictly to the play rate set for each pattern (default is 1/16) . Every pattern (one per pad) has a total of up to 64 steps split across 4 parts. The 16 patterns are combined called a Collection. A total of 16 Collections can be saved internally for future use.ARUBA’s sequencer is all about interaction and performance: Parts may be triggered in any combination at any time, so you can create new variations very intuitively. Each pattern, and even each part in a pattern, can have a different length – massively simplifying the creation of poly-rhythms.Reassigning patterns to new sounds is also easy: As there is one pattern per pad, it is just a matter of adding a slot in Nektarine with a new plugin – and the new sound is playing for that pad and pattern. You don’t even have to stop the sequencer to do this.BUTTON AND DISPLAY STEP INFORMATIONEvery time a step is recorded or manually entered, the display updates to show what it looks like.The 4 step rows in the display represent the 4 parts. Each part can be activated/deactivated by pressing the Parts 1-4 buttons (the 4 big arrow buttons above the pads).The play cursor progresses as the pattern plays and an arrow indicates which part is current.