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Soundevice Digital Randomachine

Creative Randomisation Plug-in By Paul White
Published July 2024

Soundevice Digital Randomachine

Available through United Plugins, Soundevice Digital’s Randomachine introduces adjustable random processing elements that can be useful in adding variation to an otherwise monotonous part, such as a drum loop or pad sound. There are six separate ‘sound changers’ and each time Randomachine is triggered, multiple parameters change for each processing element. Triggering can be in response to audio input transients, DAW tempo, or MIDI. In Transient mode there’s a sensitivity adjustment, while sync’ing to tempo allows different note‑value increments to be set, and MIDI mode is triggered by incoming MIDI notes.

As with other plug‑ins available from United Plugins, authorisation is through a personal key code that allows the software to be run on multiple machines, updates are always free and all common plug‑in formats are supported including AAX.. An intelligent CPU‑saving sleep mode is activated when no audio is present. There’s external side‑chain support, and Logic Pro users are catered for with a MIDI Controlled Effect version that allows audio to be fed in from a side‑chain. Bypass is also click‑free with no latency issues. Processing is 64‑bit and runs at any sample rate to in excess of 192kHz. Various oversampling settings are available and, as usual, the higher the oversampling, the greater the CPU load.

For each sound modifier there’s an amount control that sets the degree of randomisation, and if you set this to zero you’ll prevent any variation of that parameter. Pitch introduces random pitch changes and Formant varies a formant filter. Pan targets left/right panning, while Ambience adjusts the time and space parameters of the in‑built reverb. Time creates timing changes that can either be drastic or subtle, while Distortion varies the degree of saturation. Double‑clicking the control knobs provides a finer degree of setting via a pop‑up numerical keypad.

The controls for each processing element are arranged as knobs around a central zone, and this shows the MIDI notes when MIDI control is selected. Each knob shows its numerical value and the dots around the edge move when triggering occurs. The central region also pulses to show triggering. In Transient mode, the sensitivity value is shown and this can be changed by click‑dragging in the central area. In Sync mode the note value is shown and can be changed from a pop‑up menu. The triggering mode is set at the bottom of the GUI and presets can be accessed at the top of the GUI.

Adding some formant shift, maybe a tiny amount of timing variation and a hint of variable distortion really does break up the monotony of repetitive parts.

Having control over the intensity of the individual random stages certainly helps breathe life into otherwise static drum loops. It can also be used to ring the changes for arpeggiated sounds or other musical element that needs a touch of organic variation, though I found it most useful on drum loops and percussion parts. Adding some formant‑shift, maybe a tiny amount of timing variation and a hint of variable distortion really does break up the monotony of repetitive parts. The random panning feature can also be useful in adding interest to ear‑candy sounds. It’s such a simple concept, but it’s a great one: I have the feeling that this is one of those plug‑ins that will see a lot use, particularly in loop‑based music.


£42 (discounted to £8 when going to press). Prices include VAT.

$53 (discounted to $10 when going to press).