Using LFOs to trigger parts of a chain at random

Hi, I want to add a generative element to my music (or at least some good old fashioned randomness!). I would like to create various lengthy sample chains, each one containing anything up to sixteen samples maybe each of which would be 16 or 32 bars long. The aim is to use the LFO to trigger individual components of the chain at random. I only want one element of the chain to play each time ending before another started… I figured using an LFO linked to the Start would do the trick but I can’t work out the actual settings, Wave / Multi / Speed / Depth etc and the relation between those settings and the file length and it’s subdivisions. I’m not sure whether it’s relevant but my working method is to trigger tips manually using the 9 - 16 buttons rather than using trigs. If anyone can help, with a formula or equation I’d be very grateful.

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The LFO adds to the value of the parameter so what you want to do is to set Start to SL8 (half of your 16 values if I remember correctly how the bipolar lfos work) and in the LFO set Wave to RND, and Trig to TRIG and Depth to 8. Then each trig should randomize witch slice is played.


You actually stated it cut and dry. Use an LFO to trigger. Set the L to trigger starting point. Sometimes use length also. When using slices, be sure to set slice mode on in SRC knobs. Then set length to one in AMP? Slices are assigned as trigs using knob B top mid.

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You don’t actually need to slice a sample to use this method though, right? Just the LFO on STRT does the trick.

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Though, if you slice the sample, then the LFO should pick up on the assigned start points vs random locations along the sample.

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That would also explain the clicks I’m getting.

With start you should make a 128 slices sample.

Different behavior with start, better for wavetables modulation.

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What’s the best way to play random “slices” with the LFO?

If I have 16 slices, do I set the LFO depth to 8, SPD to 16, and TRIG to TRIG or SYNC TRIG in LFO setup?

I usually use Hold. In Slice mode, Trig should behave the same, not in Start mode, start points can change after sample trigging.

Isnt Hold only effective when theres a trig?

Thanks for all the feedback. I’m still not there yet but I’m sure it’s possible to do this (I was born an optimist and despite all evidence to the contrary have remained one). Ideally, I don’t want to use slices because track trigs override my ability to use sample trigs which, although it’s not the end of the world is a nuisance for my “workflow”.

What I’d like to do, is set up tracks or sample chains in which the individual components are randomly triggered using the relevant Sample Trig (i.e. a chain on T1 would be initiated by button 9 as per usual). I intend to use long chains, typically, 8 separate sounds each lasting for 16 bars. Although, I’m not fixed to these numbers and might use shorter or even longer parts on occasion. I presume LFO’s is are the only way of doing this but I can’t work out the settings. I’m guessing that there is probably a formula regarding ratios between multi, speed and depth and this changes according to chain length and subdivisions. Any help would be greatly appreciated and please don’t worry about appearing patronising… I know nothing and I’m prepared to admit it!

Try this:

I’m using trigs, even in START mode. Perhaps I don’t need to?

Yes. So is Slice change. With Start you can modulate after trigging.

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You got already the answer above by @Kalle.

Since you are not continuously modulating something you can simply ignore the speed related parameters of the LFO.

I would suggest you use a short sample to get a feeling for the LFO modulation. Slice the short sample to, for example, 8 slices and modulate the slice number. Let it play and open the track sample in the audio editor. See how the playback position jumps around. Change the depth of the LFO and the default slice number used on the track and examine it again in the audio editor. Do this change+view cycle a few times and you will get a feeling for the values.


In Slice mode hou have to multiply depth values by 2.
Depth 127 = 64 slices
Depth 2 = 1 slice

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To play it a sample normally with an lfo on start, the equation is :

A trig per slice
START : Number of slices / 2 (+ 1 in slice mode)

PMTR : Start
WAV : Saw
TRIG : Sync Trig
MULT : 4 / Number of bars
SPEED : 32
DEPTH : Number of slices

After, you can mangle it :

Beginning : Slice mode, 64 slices. 4 bars, changing lfo speed and playback LEN.
(START=33, MULT=1, DEPTH=64)
With Reverb : Start mode, changing TRIM.
(START=64, MULT=1, DEPTH=64)

You can also set an lfo2 as random, with lfo1 speed as dest.