Monday, 23 March 2009

Random Roundup or 'The Art of Surprise'



A test of random event generators featuring Doepfer's A-149-1 Source of Uncertainty, Analogue Solutions' SH-NZ and Colin Fraser's Sequentix P3 sequencer.

The S&H/ Noise variant is the classic random generator and I've had much mileage out of my SH-NZ. However, sometimes I need something more controlled, for example when randomising the decay of an envelope or addressing one of the A-152 Multiplexer's eight outputs. Another situation might be when I want positive-only or scaled voltages.

Enter the Buchla-inspired A-149-1 Source of Uncertainty. It offers attenuatable, quantised random values and is a great alternative when you need more control over your 'un-control', so to speak. The additional digital random outs further enhance its flexibility. However, being based on a digital algorithm, it's not quite as random as you might think.

The P3 is the deluxe option in this test. It offers a wealth of aleatoric possibilities or, if needed, precise control. Of course, it's no longer in production and will set you back considerably more than the A-Sol & Doepfer modules and some modular purists might call it cheating.

You can download the test (10.5MB) here.

And here's a quick demo of the P3 doing it's thing:

3 comments:

Pete Shambler said...

Great demos and info-- thanks for posting this! Very helpful.

"Random Blues" is great!

peter said...

Very nice!

Navs said...

Ta! Good to finally get it posted ;)
I think the control you get with a sequencer is great but, by the same token, you can't beat the immediacy of an analogue module.