Generative Techniques - skill share thread

Hey gang, I haven’t seen one crop up yet, so figured I’d start the inevitable generative techniques thread:

Would love to see others folks generative ‘bag of tricks’, or approaches they’ve found success with. Let’s see/hear your favorite Krell-y, Autechre-y stutter-y, self-assembling bleep bloops!

Attached below is one of my favorite go-tos: A cycling AD generator with end of rise/end of cycle gate outs, triggering a random. The random then gets mult’d back to the speed of the cycling envelope, and over to the pitch of an oscillator or similar. The EOR gate from the cycling envelope is also used to ping a Low Pass Generator in time with the new random values, giving you a nice ‘litling’ kind of gesture. The attenuation from 8ver can be used to add/subtract random modulations to taste.

This whole approach could be built on by using the same timing pulse to drive events in another voice, clock an ‘unsteady’ sequencer, etc!

rampageSOUexample.vcv (6.0 KB)


Extremely Slow LFO is wonderful for extended modulation.

This rack starts silent, crescendos, then decrescendos, over the course of 30 minutes.

30 minute drone.vcv (24.1 KB)


oh dang, this is great! I love the idea of reaaaaaally slow modulation as a sort of tectonic structure for larger compositions


I noticed if you take the nysthi LFOMultiPhase, flip it to unipolar and use the 270 degree output, when you reset it , it starts at 0 volts , climbs to 10 volts, and back down to 0 again. and you can just take 1 divided by how many seconds you want one cycle to be and type that in the hertz display. I like this module because it’s super efficient on cpu and you can get a bunch of those going at different slow speeds controlling vcas with different modulations running through the vcas and you can get all kinds of stuff like volume, tuning, pitch ranges, fading through different waveforms, or whatever, all phasing in and out over time as your patch runs.


great idea for a thread! generative is my bread and butter when i vcv-rack (yes, that’s a verb now). so check out my youtube channel. i have many videos where i go through how i build generative patches.

one “technique”, if you can call it that, is to just throw a few modules at each other, start modulating them, and see what happens… sometimes that works out well, as in day 46 and 47 of my 50-day challenge earlier last year, where i abused some fm-op modules:


Hi Matthew, I took yours, and made a real mess out of it! Thanks! Sounds great!:grinning:


looks awesome, and def! :metal::metal:


extremely cool - thanks for sharing! excited to dive into yr youtube channel :loud_sound:

This is quite a fundamental approach. What I like is one VCO connected to an other via Sync. You can get some pretty sounds out of that. My second approach are multiple sources for the VCF. I added three sources in the mixer to send it to the VCF.

Then a little randomness, a little noise and of course some reverb. Voilà :slight_smile: Patches like these are very much fun to knob around with.

Simple Ambient.vcv (10.7 KB)


This is my generative idea: I like to set up two arp 700 modules and plug in some interesting arps of different lengths. I then run then with different clock divisions relative to each other. I use a S&H module to change the pattern, governed by a different clock division again and let it run. I also use offset LFOs to modulate the oscillators. It produces a very polymetric sound, that is shifting constantly because of the changing oscillators. Attached are two examples of this, one with just the arps, one with bass and other bleeps added too.

Thanks, Jim


Oh dang, both of these look awesome - thanks for posting!

@martin - good call re: sync - feel like there’s so many unexpected + interesting timbre options that comes out of that approach

@McMij super cool - I like that this has some Reich-y phase approaches, but the S&H keeps it evolving rather than running strict phase patterns.

Would either of you be game to share these patches as well? would love to hear how they sound!


oh, forgot - patch attached :slight_smile:
You might have to fiddle with the knobs. And there are surely some more options modulating the Delay and Reverb.


Simply put, Mr Chainkov. Goes way beyond being locked to a scale for all octaves and pure random patterns. There’s a sort of human feel to it a lot of the time, going for closer notes more often than far away ones, quantizes notes internally, all that good stuff.


Here are the two links to patch storage:



The fist one has a MIDI keyboard playalong bit on the bottom, feel free to ignore if you want something truly generative!


oh man - this sounds awesome! Ditto these two arp-based ones @McMij !

@Espen - glad to hear you bring up the Mr. Chainkov model. I’ve had some fun making Markov chains in Max/MSP to generate MIDI, but yet to try out this one in VCV. Would love to hear anything you’ve cooked up with it, or some fun strategies that you like using it if you’d be game to share!

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Also, shamelessly tagging @bonino on this thread - would love to see/hear about some of the things you’ve been cooking up, too if you’d be game to post - I remember being blown away by some of the stuff you were posting on IG + FB awhile back :speaker: :speaker:


this post answers a very real need that i had a while ago. LFOMultiPhase might even replace seriously slow LFO in my patches because of this (sorry Eric Sterling, just make SSLFO capable of the same thing and i’ll use it till the end of time).


The track I created from the rack above is now part of a long-form ambient compilation. 34 hours of new music in “postcards from slow places”.

My track is track 21. Rectangular iceberg



I was poking around looking for which Rack envelope generators had an end-of-cycle output, and I couldn’t resist making Rampage retrigger itself, and then decided to use the second envelope to mess with the settings on Clouds.

rampageSOUringsexample.vcv (9.7 KB)

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