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Omsonic/dBs Stochastic Inspiration Generator
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author Omsonic/dBs Stochastic Inspiration Generator
Zymos
Haven't seen this mentioned here, looks really cool-


https://omsonic.co.uk/product/stochastic-inspiration-generator-and-seq uencer/?fbclid=IwAR2p-BJUwVHtUuyC0ZZabzAVM-bL25W3fgB2PEFWiCP3Tb5c-9QIs 57f05Y



Stochastic is an Inspiration Generator ! Its a unique sequencer module that responds to your probabilistic musical direction but you don’t play ‘on’ it, you duet with it by starting with the fundamental musical atoms and controlling how likely different pitch, duration, octave and transition events will be using its controls.


What Is It ?

not a traditional sequencer – it doesn’t repeat itself (unless you tell it to!)
not a probability sequencer – you don’t program fixed steps for variation
not a random source – you can control what it will do (within limits)
not a chaotic source – identical initial conditions don’t produce identical output

Stochastic is an Inspiration Generator ! Its a unique sequencer module that responds to your probabilistic musical direction but you don’t play ‘on’ it, you duet with it by starting with the fundamental musical atoms and controlling how likely different pitch, duration, octave and transition events will be using its controls.

Overview
Each event Stochastic generates has its pitch, octave, duration, onset, offset, portamento and ratchet set by probability controls. You can exert as much or as little control over what the next event will be as you wish. This could be very simple (e.g. raise C, E, G and 1/16 to 100% and you have a random arpeggiator kicking out constant 1/16 ) or something much more interesting…

Stochastic leverages tonal harmony by exploiting its statistical hierarchy of pitches: some notes turn up a lot, some not so much, some not at all. Being ‘in’ C Major means having lots of Cs, quite a lot of Gs and Es, a few Fs, some Ds, As and Bs, but no C#s, D#s, F#s, G#s, A#s. Set the note probabilities accordingly and Stochastic will spontaneously jam in C Major. Shift the probabilities, and you morph the tonality, key or mode they define into new tonal landscapes.

Stochastic knows all the musical parameters that shape a line: you can probablise the overall octave range over which it improvises (‘register’) and the octave offsets of each note. Bass notes define harmony and inversion, so you can imply a change of C Root to C 1st Inversion by initially dropping only the Cs by 2 octaves and then swapping to drop only the Es, all in live performance. You can even set the likelihood that melodies will be stepwise or more angular.

Stochastic also knows about rhythm: you can set the likelihood that each subsequent note will be any value from an 8 bar drone to constant 1/16 pulses. And Stochastic can loop: if it suddenly strikes melody gold, hit Loop, define your loop length, release, and it will loop the phrase until you suspend loop. Hit Loop again to return to the saved loop, or hold to overwrite a new one.

Features
Probability amount control over: Pitch, Octave and Duration and more…
Looping of upto 18 steps
Multiple secondary functions (Details to be announced)
High accuracy and resolution (16 Bit DAC) 1 volt per octave CV output
Trigger output for pinging LPGs and other modules
12 High quality LED note sliders
Built in the UK with quality parts
MORE FEATURES TO BE ANNOUNCED !!!
Physical info
60 mA +12V
7 mA -12V
0 mA 5V
25 mm Depth
18 HP

History
Way back in 2009, before omsonic was born, our research collaborator Phineas Head sketched a concept for a stochastic sequencer, using a novel noise source / variable width window comparator circuit. This turned 40 years of sequencing convention on its head, challenging the idea that sequencers could only either repeat a row of notes, or randomise their order. Instead of fixing steps and randomising progression, it fixed pitch and probabilized progression.

There were sketch schematics and software models in Nord Modular but this was before the Eurorack boom and economically viable options for small-scale PCB fabrication…so it got shelved. By 2014, the Raspberry Pi allowed a stand alone MIDI version (on Python, with a Doepfer Drehbank for live probability control) and was limited only by the expense of MIDI controllers with enough controller knobs.

In the subsequent Eurorack boom probability grew as an approach in sequencing, but while several models implemented probabilistic control over whether a (fixed) step would occur (VariGate, Metron) or if a pitch would vary (Eloquencer), the step still remained the fixed unit, and the event as the variable one.

So, a decade after its initial conception, omsonic and Phin Head, in collaboration with dBs Music, have implemented Stochastic as a self contained Eurorack module.
jnduffie
Found this demo video.


Looks really interesting. I particularly like the way it randomizes the rhythm... you simply set the probability of different standard time values (e.g., 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, etc.)

Very cool.
Mr. Roboto
Looks very promising. So I‘m really interested. hyper

Maybe the developer got at least a little inspiration from the (terribly implemented) Vince Clarke Pattern Generator?
skreetis
Interesting! I’m curious to see some more demos of it in different styles.
MARK27
I love the idea of this, but I have a couple of thoughts:

1) It doesn't seem like there is much in the way of CV control. Can notes and note probabilities be changed via CV? It doesn't look like it, but it's hard to tell. Maybe this is meant as a controller. That's fine, of course, but it seems like a missed opportunity for people doing more generative kinds of music.

2) Will there be a black panel version? Most of the OmSonic released have been black panels. It would be nice to have a cohesive look among one's OmSonic stuff.
bedhed3000
MARK27 wrote:
I love the idea of this, but I have a couple of thoughts:

1) It doesn't seem like there is much in the way of CV control. Can notes and note probabilities be changed via CV? It doesn't look like it, but it's hard to tell. Maybe this is meant as a controller. That's fine, of course, but it seems like a missed opportunity for people doing more generative kinds of music.

2) Will there be a black panel version? Most of the OmSonic released have been black panels. It would be nice to have a cohesive look among one's OmSonic stuff.


I was just looking at this on modulargrid and had the exact same thought regarding CV inputs. I'd like to see options for odd rhythmic divisions too, not to mention a reset input. Maybe this is a good case for an expander module?

Either way it looks like fun.
starthief
This is pretty intriguing.

What would a reset input do, other than immediately fire a trigger? There's no beginning of a loop or bar to reset to, and it doesn't seem to be a Markov chain.
bedhed3000
I think I might be misunderstanding how the looping works. The description sounds like you can save patterns. If it works similarly to the Turing Machine, then I understand how a reset woud not really make sense.
Dcramer
Yes, if there was some way to use CV to control the note probabilities so that you could get it to change its way through different pitches love
starthief
bedhed3000 wrote:
I think I might be misunderstanding how the looping works. The description sounds like you can save patterns. If it works similarly to the Turing Machine, then I understand how a reset woud not really make sense.


Oh, I missed the loop feature entirely d'oh! Reset does make more sense now.
bedhed3000
Here's my question: If you are looping a melody, are the probability controls just disabled? If so, then I suppose once you "suspend" the loop, a new sequence starts with the new probability settings you entered while the loop was running.
nios
I didn't quite grasp it/what the point was until hearing that demo, that's actually quite quite cool. Can it transpose octaves across the melodies?
Umcorps
nios wrote:
I didn't quite grasp it/what the point was until hearing that demo, that's actually quite quite cool. Can it transpose octaves across the melodies?


If all you want is octave transposition, it doesn't need to. You can do that externally with a precision adder.

I really can't wait for this to come out. I've even created a space for it. I take the point about the lack of CV on the note weightings but I really don't think its a deal breaker. There's a lot going on with this module already. Plenty to keep me busy. Plus I couldn't fit an expander module anyway.
Mr. Roboto
For me what's missing is a 13th slider for rests. As I understood it now there will be a note on every step. Of course, this step can be 1/16 a 1/4 or whatever in length. If you use percussive sounds you will have a kind of rest therefore.

But as I understood, the "Trigger" out is in fact a Gate out, right? That would mean with sustained notes you never have any rests in your generated sequence. That's why I'm wondering if there is a (hidden) option to have a probability value for a rest. If not a 13th slider would be great or alternatively another knob.

Maybe I did not fully understand the concept and I'm totally wrong but from what I've heard and saw in the nice demo I think I got it right.
starthief
It does say "trigger output for pinging LPGs", which would have to be a short trigger rather than a gate... but also it says "duration" is one of the parameters with probability control, so that's a little confusing.

Also says there are secondary functions and other features TBA. I wonder about the A, D, P, R, L labels.
steffie268
Some questions remain to be answered, but I'm getting one of these regardless wink
hyena
really brilliant! very performative. love it!
Multi Grooves
Reminds me of the Pithoprakta somehow.
BlinkyLights
Seems pretty cool.

Have some questions still.

Will be watching this one.
omsonic
More info on features and functionality will be revealed soon ! wink
noodlesoup
I’d complain about the 21+ day tease, but the timing is irrelevant to me as I haven’t saved the money for this module and don’t even have a power supply yet, so instead I’ll just point out that the message was posted at 4:20pm which I’m sure has nothing to do with anything but I can’t stop anyone from drawing their own conclusions.

I’m super interested in the new features, but I’m already sold as soon as my earning potential catches up with my would-be habit.

I sure hope that doesn’t come across as pathetic as it is...
Zijnzijn Zijnzijn!
Very hyped for this...any word on when news is coming??
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