Drum machine with random variation?

In this patch I use VCV pulse matrix as a drum sequencer. I use a Submarine OR gate MODULE to combine triggers from two rows into one drum trigger. The first row I use for regular patterns, but the second is set to play in random order.

I set a few trigger steps in the second row, and the effect is to generate random patterns at varying densities, like if I turn on 2 steps, they’ll trigger 2 out of 16 times, but spread randomly.

Net effect I have a regular pattern with an overlay of random hits that stay on the 16th note grid.

Are there trigger sequencers that do stuff like that, inject adjustable levels of randomness? .

i do pretty much the same thing. entrian sequencer has per-note randomness but i dont love using it for drum sequencing. theres probably some other ones. what’s more interesting to me than per-step randomness is randomly triggering longer phrases. there are a few ways to hack that or do something similar but nothing good for doing exactly that. or using markov chains for rhythm. thats one thing thats been a possible project for me.

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Let me also mention Sha#Bang! Stochastic Sequencer 4 that is an excellent module providing per step probability. The probabilty values can also be used as quantized CV.

Although it’s not a sequencer but I also enjoy the recently discovered DHE Truth family. Adding just a single random trigger to the otherwise boring pulses can result some unexpectedly fine results.

Couldn’t you just send the second row through a bernoulli gate? It also has adjustable levels of randomness.

I would probably go for Impromptu’s Gateseq :slight_smile: It’s like an Elektron sequencer, you can use probabilty to make your Drum grooves more random, while still keeping a set structure

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QAR has all kinds of options for randomness. The probability and conditional expanders allow per step/beat control of probability , while the groove expander has control of random timing - at 0% the timing is perfect, at 100% it sounds like it’s had too many shots of tequila


just yesterday I used some random drums in a patch,
(beside QAR, which is pretty good for this)
this time I used Count Modulas “Clocked random gates” to drive the SV modular Drum Sequencer. So I had a fixed pattern, but random timings.

a snippet of the patch is here:

I used to have like a whole bunch of sequencer going for things like that but then I ended up just buying Entrian timeline bundle. I can get ten channels of triggers on just one track (of ten tracks) using a split module and random stuff can be split off into a bernoulli gate. Randomness exactly when you want it.

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I would like to throw Iverson from studio 6 + 1 into the ring.

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Could you use Stochas in a VCV-Host to do something like that ? I installed it, but have only scratched the surface.

It has adjustable probability of gates passing from the input to output, I’ve also used it for drum programming, but what I’d do is send a trigger stream to the Bernoulli gate and then drive two different drum sounds with the A and B outputs – so you have a regular pattern, but a random choice of sounds to trigger. In effect, you can use it as a random thinner.

Another useful module is the Random Gates – you can adjust the frequency of the passed gates by changing the max output knob (or mod input). So if the max is 1, every gate will come out of the first gate output. If the max is 2, the gate passes 50% of the time, but randomly distributed. And so on.

Have you played with Filling Station?

It’s a 4in 16out switcher where you can setup patterns of how the mapping works. Some fun cv inputs too. It’s not strictly “random”, but it definitely can make drum parts more interesting

Great sequencer but it doesn’t have any kind of random variation does it?

Impromptu GateSeq 64 is my goto for this with its probability per step

It does, probability per track and even for the off-triggers, but not per step. I like it because of its direct midi-integration, I have my launchpad connected and mapped.

I think the closest we have to a more modern sequencer is the bidoo ZouMai, but it is a little bit buggy for me. Imho a drum sequencer needs probability, gate-length, timing, pre-/post-ratcheting, velocity and two or more freely assignable CV per step. You could achieve most of that with a combination of multiple entrian sequencers, but I just don’t like a piano roll for drum programming… I really like the elektron-approach (which seems to be the inspiration for the ZouMai).

Yep it’s the best sequencer for that for sure.

Sacrilege! Drum roll is great for entering drums. At least mine is :wink:

These drums were all typed into a piano roll: Scritti Politti feat. Mile Davis - Oh Patti [1988] sounds better - YouTube

As were all the instruments in this song: Information Society - What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy) - YouTube


I got to watch them in the studio recording that album. It was of course a legendary fiasco that cost a huge amount on money and destroyed the band. (and the drums for the whole albums were typed into my MSDOS piano roll sequencer).

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I think you can enter the notes in my sequencer, then copy/paste them into Entrian. Also, my “Polygate” module has never been used, afaik, but it turns polpyphonic cv/gate into 8 mono triggers. You know, for drums.

i wanted to try stochas in vcv but the github release only has vst3, not supported in host. maybe i’ll try building it