>With all this talk of "random" LFOs and parameters, I'm wondering if they truly are random. >Probably not. Any computer engineering types care to comment?
Traditionally, a sample-and-hold LFO samples the current level from a source LFO - for example a sine - and holds that level until the next sample - when the source level is different - making a stepped LFO. If the source is slow, and the S/H rate is fast, you can hear the steps gradually rising and falling - and the other way around it will sound random.
Am I right?
Nowadays I have no idea how it is done, but it still sounds random to me. ;-)
"random" can mean "unpredictable", no? When you tell a computer chip to set all or some of its parameters randomly, it will have to use some algorithm to do so - it dosn't mean that the outcome is predictable, even to the computer.
The usefullness of randomisation is the ability to mimic real life - since everything that repeats in nature is a slight variation on a theme - this is the best digital machines can do --- mimicing. Our hearing is able to distinguish between extremely small variations in sound that digital devices still are unable to deliver. Only by careful programming are we able to fool the ear (tho not always of course)
To make electronic music sound organic, you have to use organic elements - these days I am experimenting with using the mouth as a filter - - -
Stick a pair (or only one - cut off the other one) of cheap mini earphones in you mouth and plug into a mixer with maximum gain - play a track through your monitors fairly loud - put your mouth close to your monitor while shaping vowels with your mouth - and record it. There you go - organic filter.
Alternatively - use an expensive mic with a condom strapped over it, and make sure nobody catches you with the mic in your mouth - they might get the wrong idea ;-)
lots of loop
The only true randomness is the kind that surprises even God :o)