A Hardware Randomizer

Hi folks

You know in Ambient music Randomizing is very useful. So you can randomize loops,patterns notes,pitch and volume. I know an Octatrack can Randomize(probability). But is there a smaller hardware unit that just does this sort of thing?

Many thanks

This? https://blokas.io/midihub/docs/randomizer/


You could use small modular stuff like the empress Zoia.

A Futureretro Zillion can get very "random"results. Discontinued now, so it would involve a hunt in the 2nd hand market.


Thanks guys. I’m surprised there’s so little of choice out there. Obviously i could use the Octatrack but a smaller device would be very useful.

NDLR is great for midi randomness :slightly_smiling_face:

Lots of unpredictable stuff to discover, the mod matrix makes it a random heaven, great for ambient I think!


That is my choice too.

SquarpPyramid has a Randomizer midi effect. Randomly changes notes parameters of velocity, pitch, octave or length. You can set the upper and lower limits for how far the randomised effect goes (doesn’t have to be equal), and you can also set the probability % that the effect will happen.

I was looking at that last few days. I didnt know it could do probability. I thought just chord progression stuff.

Are you you looking for parameter randomization to generate patches or trigger propability?

The Blokas Midihub can randomize any midi cc (with min/max range), but IMHO parameter randomization requires a well thought algorithm, otherwise it will result mostly in unusable noises.
Not sure what’s good in hardware, though…

Trigger propability on the otherhand is found in a few seqs and drum machines, Beatstep Pro, Keystep Pro, Pyramid, Squid, Drumbrute Impact for example…

It was after watching an old BBC Eno interview where he said he uses it all the time(probability) to change different parameters so that nothing is the same but is kept none muddy by sticking within set parameters. As you say a well though algorithm i guess that you have control over. I know he uses a computer here but if a small hardware device could do this simply then all the better.


IMO we get the most freedom and control over probability in the modular world, which can be hardware … but will not allways be in a small box.

The creative combination of LFOs, envelopes, sequencers, quantizers, and let’s call them “sources of uncertainty” can deliver very interesting fluctuations and evolvements.

Ever tried a Krell-patch?

Unfortunately im all synths and not into modular. But yes thats the sort of thing i’m looking to do.

Maybe you might consider a very small system only consisting of the modules needed to generate events, which are then controlling the other gear?

From my experience I can tell that most “standard” synths or “standard” sequencers just don’t have the flexibility, which is needed to get into generative music. There is almost always a lack of options, which allow a kind of “feedback” loop, which is driving and changing the events on and on … if this makes any sense.

AFAIK some guys here have experience with using midi feedback on the OT. The Pyramid should support this also, but I have never done this myself.

A pair of linked standard sequencers could also create interesting patterns over time (this would be sequencing a sequencer).

EDIT: For parameter fluctuations the Pyramid allows that midi-LFOs and midi-CC tracks are mixed. If this is used wisely, it can create pretty inertesting ever changing pattern. This I have tried with success. I think the same is possible with midi-tracks of the OT as well. If we additionally use tracks with different lengths or speed, we should get quite a controllable modulation mayhem :wink:

Thanks. Thats interesting ideas. I have written to Conductive Labs about this and their NDLR. Which i believe has programmable motif capablities. Its simple enough for my limited programmable capabilities. I think it can do drum randomness as well which would be a bonus.
The Pyramid looks interesting. Maybe another option as you suggest. :slight_smile:

The NDLR is pretty nice. Though after using it once/twice I have a feeling this has kind of a learning curve of an OT. All the parameters on screen – at least it shows the parameters animation/modulation – that helps. Most of the time I had a hard time setting the LFO to my likes.

Interesting Pete. I can understand that.

This seems like a great happy accident machine to me

And Gaz Williams looked at it last week

That looks super cool and a dedicated random button too. These crowdfunding project how long do they take before the item is released?

It’s already out I think