The great thing about ARPIO stems from how easy it is for people to use. it does not address the complexities of computer coding in electronic music, nor ask for MIDI plug-ins. Randon includes a detailed tutorial in the "Information" section, complete with pictures, arrows, highlighted areas, and the definition of the word arpeggio to help newcomers to the app figure out how to perform on ARPIO. I like this approach because he neither over-explains the processes of using the app, nor does he frame the 15-step tutorial in a manner condescending to the audience. From here, users can learn to harness the significant aspects of ARPIO:
Speed- adjusted vertically by moving the thumbs up and down from bottom (slow) to top (fast)
Pitch- adjusted horizontally by moving the thumbs from left to right to change notes
Dynamics- adjusts the volume by tilting the phone forward and back
Pitchbend- created by tilting the phone left and right
Vibrato- created by shaking the phone from left to right... my personal favorite
The ARPIO app also features two vertical rows with differently sized dots for determining key, scale and note values. Large dots represent common note rates (1/4. 1/8, 1/16 and 1/32), while small dots represent complex note rates (1/6, 1/12, 1/24, 1/48). ARPIO does allow for different scales and patterns, which can be accessed in the upper left-hand corner of the app. However, that aspect also leads to some of its slight problems. The free version comes equipped with two patterns: "Minor Lead" and "C Major Triads." Getting the other patterns (as well as acquiring the ability to access the "Settings" to change tempo, key, scale, and octave) must be achieved by purchasing a complete "Advanced Upgrade" for $2.99. It is also possible for people to purchase separate app upgrades (four in all) for $0.99 each at the "Store" section of the app. These prices are actually reasonable when one considers that other music applications on Google Play charge a bit more. ARPIO additionally has the tendency to use up a lot of battery life over a certain period of time. I say this because, when I tinkered with the app for awhile, I would often receive notifications about it on my smartphone.
It also deserves mention that people who use ARPIO can contact Alexander Randon via social media platforms or e-mail through the app if they have questions, comments, or if they want to know about his other music software products. I did, however, encounter a problem with the "Twitter" button in the "Contact" section. Pressing the "Twitter" button causes ARPIO to crash, prompting a warning from Google Play (on Android smartphones) to either reopen the app or close it. I tried this process about three or four times and got the same result. I am not really sure why this kept happening. Perhaps, the ARPIO app contains a glitch that needs fixing.
Should people download ARPIO to their smartphone? Yes: specifically, if they are musicians or composers who want to gain some experience with electronic music without the difficult coding techniques. The app does have a few issues with battery life and defective contact links. However, given what ARPIO offers for free, it deserves some attention as a tool for people to experiment with new music.
To see a demonstration of how ARPIO works, check out this link on the Aleandernaut YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFgvGX0f-KY&t=1s
ARPIO is avalaible for free (with in-app purchases) on Google Play on Android and on Apple iOS under the name "Arpeggionome."