How do you all use random, chance, and accident?



when i want random i use new pam… realizing now i no longer have a dedicated random source. perhaps 2018 is the year of order for me.

i would though love to see a small, smooth, random module


I have a Wogglebug which does what I need it to do. I never use the audio outputs though. I’ve also recently acquired a Winter Modular Eloquencer and I’m pretty in love with it. You can set probability and randomization to just about every parameter. They are dropping the new firmware soon too and that will have stepped LFO and Modulation modes! So that gives you 8 (Q)CV and 8 gate outputs all with the ability to be semi or fully random.


not much actually…

in a sense “random” and “deterministic” are very much alike, purely mental/theoretical constructs…

I cannot know the music in advance. I can only dwell in the environment of its making, and produce a musical thought in its realization.


Perso, I have a Pico RND and for 3 hp it’s pretty great. Not that smooth, but with attenuation and VCA you can get something nice.

Sine output can be patched in a 4ms RCD as the input source, so most of the randomness can be synced with the rest. The two pulses outs can be used for everything, from triggering envelopes in rhythmic stuff to modulating the FM of a filter (or of a VCO). There are also S&H and noise outputs, which I don’t think I need to justify.

Personally, I like to patch the RND pulse out as the input of the RCD. Like that, you create new events which are happening even less frequently.


Frap Tools Sapèl and there’s no coming back. It’s based on Don Buchla’s source of uncertainty, but it’s dual. Two independent sections and 2 clocks per section. Every generator is independent. Two buttons for freezing. Totally cv-controllable. It’s the first module of theirs I got, now I think I will get everything they release.


Yes, I lust after that one. I am considering refocusing my GAS to gradually get best in class of everything rather than interesting sounding stuff, and the Sapel is on that list…


I like using the probability thing in pure data and automatomism to switch between different sounds- but I like it best when the sounds are very similar and the switching is one of subtle texture. It’s great in pd to have a large number of this going on at once. A whole field of sound thats shifting about in lots of tiny ways. I certainly dont have anything like the gear to do this outside of the computer.


Hi Folks

Just recently got a Frap tools “Sapel” and this thing is really fun to work with
I am wondering if anyone else is using one, just for usage discussion, no x vs. y shenanigans


I’ve been looking for the perfect random voltage module for me for a long, long time and have been delighted to find it in Sapel. I’ve only had it for a couple of weeks now, but I’m very happy with it.

I really like having two random sections that are clocked by different, interrelated clocks from teletype or tempi and each influencing the voice that is controlled by the opposing clock. Patterns in change emerge, but never get stale because of the random nature of the modulation.

Thinking about it, I’m realizing that I’m not using the voltage control over the parameters of sapel enough, yet. Would be very interested to hear patch ideas for those.


If I make a mistake I do it again to make it sound like I did it on purpose.


The evaton clx really nice for generating different but related (through logic) clocks. I like the fact that it doesn’t have a display so you need to “feel” the tempos.


Self patch it :slight_smile:
That tends to do interesting things with random sources.
I don’t know the Sapel other than it’s based on the Buchla design which should mean that you have the ability to do reasonably subtle randomisation of your random (if that’s what you want) by limiting the range of the CV you patch back into one of the other CV inputs.


I think random modules are one of the best things about Modular in general. They also seem to be something that most soft-synth’s and standalone instruments etc. overlook.

I love my Wogglebug (although to be honest I’m still not sure what all the controls do…:smile:).
It’s become one of my favorite modules. Using the audio outputs feeding Rings inputs is great.

Looks like slow smooth random is popular with a lot of folks here. The Non Linear Circuits ‘Triple Sloth’ looks to fit that bill perfectly (been meaning to build one up for a while).


First post here because random/chance/accident inform pretty much all I do musically.
Just put this together the other day that combines some different approaches.
Shapes is the master clock but I’m thinning that right down by using it to clock S/H noise and feeding that to a comparator. So the comparator only gives a trigger when the random sample > an arbitrary fixed voltage but the trigger will always be in time with the master clock (not that that is essential here).
That trigger then drives Disting’s Turing Machine setting to randomly generate a melodic line which I can lock and unlock manually.
Finally the noise density in Plonk is set low enough to be kind of random, giving something like a drummed dulcimer sound (maybe)
So thats three different kinds of random in 3 minutes…


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gysins cut up method for pd organelle


I like lots of unique random sources for most parameters in a patch. Take a simple “mono synth” type patch with a single square wave from one VCO into a filter then into a VCA. Envelopes to VCA and VCF.

I like patching a stepped random (S&H) into the PWM of the square/pulse that’s triggered by each note in sequence. I like all stepped changes to be ‘per note’ rather than constantly clocked changes. So each new key press or active sequence step will give a new random value. I’d then do the same for the filter cut off and resonance with two more unique stepped values. These would all be heavily attenuated. But it gives a lot of movement and life / humisation to a patch.

The next step would be using a VCA between the envelope modulation and the filter. Bias/open the VCA to where I like the envelope depth to be but then add some attenuated modulation to the VCA too. So that also changes how deep the envelope it.

Then do the same to some time or shape parameters on the envelopes modulating the filter and VCA.

So you have tonal changes on the pulse and filter, envelope depth on the filter changing, and enveloep shapes and times changing. Lots of attenuation / attenuverters (if not on the modules) is key to getting the most of it. But lots of subtle bits of random works great.

My other take on this is using lots of smooth sources on similar parameters so things just drift a bit, different vibe but also very nice.


In Live I use a maxforlive device randomiser on various plugins, it usually sounds horrendous - then i spend time un-weirding it, disabling randomisation and automations til it sounds (ideally) interesting but listenable. @TheTechnobear 's orac allows for a lot of experimentation and random pairing of modules which is fun. Cool topic.


I haven’t grasped what’s going on when I use Wogglebug yet and I don’t know if I fully appreciate my results neither. But the good thing about randomness is that it’s not my fault :wink:
An example:

This little patch is created from a short sample from “Bob the Bob” with The Lounge Lizards in Morphagene getting tweaked by Wogglebug, Rings and E330 are trying to play along with a 16 step sequence from Voltage Block and the CV out from Morphagene is clocking the whole thing.


DivKid on Lines? What does it all mean?

Agree with all of this, the other thing I like to is attentuated random on a VCable envelope. Typically the decay portion.


Not sure it means much, although it was Tom Hall’s video with the Nebulae from Qu-Bit and the 16 fader bank that brought me here. Although I’m really into the little module “Nearness” that originated through here too.

Yeah the CV over shape/time in the VCable envelope portion I mention. I feel like all the random sources are just “life” or “liveliness” and it’s worth exploring them on most parameters in subtle amounts.