The nature of music is repetition in pitch, rhythm, and dynamics - but not too much!
Here's a few of the tricks I use:
1) Slides in pitch usually work. Slides in rhythm don't. So - if you're taking a
varying pitch CV and adding a sine or a ramp, that usually works esthetically.
But if you're modulating a rhythm, that usually won't (there are, of course, exceptions).
2) Quantizing a signal can be good. VARYING the quantization (say, by adding a slow
ramp or slow sine) to the pre-quantized signal can be even better.
3) Don't worry about relative primality. Unless you are absolutely OCD about getting
your LFOs into perfect 3:2 time, you WILL have relative primality, and unless your
LFOs have some phaselocking (say, thru the power supply voltages) they won't
stay phaselocked for long as they warm up.
4) Infrasonic random (like from an Oakley Noise Dual Filter, which itself is an extended
clone of a Moog percussive module that nobody ever remembers but that CoTK has
cloned) is a powerful random. I believe Buchla also has a similar module. But-
you can create it yourself by taking noise > sample and hold > slew limiter, and vary
the S/H and slew limit time constants to get the durations you want.
5) Random "sequencers" are god-in-a-box for this. There are a couple out there-
the basic principle is to have a shift register of bits; the shift register recirculates,
copying the lowermost bit to the uppermost (or vice versa). BUT - there's a
finite chance probability of mutation - of flipping the bit. The resulting full contents
of the shift register goes to a DAC and is used as a CV. This works amazingly
well to autogenerate melodic hooks... the probability of a bit flip can be set really
low to create a slowly evolving theme; i.e. one bit flip every 10 or 20 seconds
works really well for keeping attention (disclosure: I wrote the TTLFOGRE code
that lets an SSL Tap Tempo LFO or Modulation Orgydo exactly this). But you can
do it with the Euro Random Looping Sequencer too:
6) Change the timbre of a repeating phrase. Say you've got a Dotcom Q960 or
other wall-o-knobs sequencer pounding out the same couple of bars over and
over - it gets boring fast. So, use a phaser or wavefolder, CVed at some relatively
slow pace. If you're using a filter, wiggle the cutoff. Wiggle the resonance (if your
filter has CV resonance like the Dotcom Q106). Ping that filter with a rhythmic
square wave to get a beat.
7) Fade across several chains. The SSL 1520 Segwencer does this, but only
for offsetted voltages, which makes it hard to use on an LFO output. Another
way is to use an Oakley Multimix, which has attenuverter inputs. A third way is
to use a Dotcom Q125 CV Processor to invert a CV and then use the inverted and
noninverted signals as inputs to a pair of VCAs (or alternatively, use the Walsh
trick and run the envelope signal to the filter cutoff in a relatively "normalled" patch
Darn it, I gotta make a demoing video on this.
"Life is short. But we can always buy longer patch cords" - Savage