Audiomodern has come out with a new Ableton Max 4 Live device called Random Riff Generator Pro, which is a MIDI device that puts out midi signals to whatever kind of instrument you like creating fun riff’s that are in key with the click of a button.
When you open up the Random Riff generator you are greeted by a clear and easy to use interface. Starting from the top you have two knobs Steps which lets you set up to 64 steps in a loop and Loop which let you set your loop length of up to 64 steps.
For a riff to sound good it has to play in key with the rest of your track this can be done over in the Scale section with 42 different types of scales to choose from like Major, Minor, Pentatonic, Blues, Locrian, Lydian, Diminished and Augmented to name a few. The harmonizer button allows you to harmonize for example a Riff that was first created in D minor to be played in F major or any of the other of the scale types.
The quantization section allows you to set the speed of the played notes from 1/1 up to 1/32 with dotted and triplet options as well. To keep from being a static sequence you can add some groove to your riff with the shuffle slider. The direction control beneath the shuffle slider lets you set the direction your riff is being played at in four different modes Forward, Backward, Back & forth and Rotate.
When the start button is activated Random Riff Generator will start playing the loop when Ableton is in play for live pay however you get the option to set it to keyboard mode by clicking the Auto button this plays your Riff on a note press of your midi keyboard, for example, keeping in the key and scale that you have set.
The Left, Right, Up and Down controls allow you to shift your whole Riff in those directions instantly changing the feel of your riff but still being similar to what you had before great for keeping your riff from becoming monotonous and repetitive.
The big Dice in the middle of the Random Riff Generator lets you randomize the Pitch, Duration, and Volume of the notes that are in your Riff depending on which one of the buttons you have selected at the time.
Click the dice a few times till you have a Riff that you like and if need be you can edit everything in the piano roll itself which allows you to zoom in and even fold the piano roll to only the notes used in your Riff.
All of the notes in your riff can be pitched up and down by 2 octaves whilst playing this helps when recording your midi to another lane as you don’t have to cut and paste different recordings of your midi to get what you need.
Saving different Riffs is a nice feature in Random Riff Generator with up to 36 slots to save to this allows you to create and save all kinds of riffs with different timings, pitches and even different scales and recall them with the click of a button.
In conclusion, Random Riff Generator Pro is a really nice inspiration device it won’t write you a whole song with the click of a button but it will provide you with some quick and easy to access inspiration when you need it and that is all I would want it to be. Random Riff Generator Pro is a great little tool to have when you are stuck on a track and don’t know what to do anymore making it quick and easy to get over that little bout of writer’s block you had going.
- Easy to use.
- Fun to play with.
- Not too expensive.
- Instant inspiration.
- Really needs a retrig function when paying different saved slots.
- The user interface could be a bit bigger but it’s a M4L device so that’s kind of a moot point.
Audiomodern Riffer is now available for Windows and MAC as VST, AU plugin.