FROM THE LAB: Check out our new music example series Patch Notes on Youtube!!!

We’ve looked at a few of the more predictable functions in the Ornament & Crime, with Piqued mode (with Euclidean rhythm-sequenced envelopes) and Harrington 1200 mode (generating chords based on a sequence of notes). One option that is steeped in chaos and unpredictable motion, is the Low Rents mode, which uses the Lorenz Attractor differential equations to generate 3 dimensional shapes, each axis of which can be tracked as a control voltage source.

For a great description of the Lorenz Attractor concept, watch this video from the “It’s so blatant” Youtube channel.

In Ornament & Crime, each of the 3 axes of the 3D modeled space are assignable to the 4 CV outputs on the module. In fact, the module is constantly generating 4 separate 3 dimensional models simultaneously: Two Lorenz attractor models, as well as two Rössler attractors, another related set of chaotic equations. In addition to these 12 independently routable CV sources, the module can also sum or XOR two of the axes values. This leads to more randomized and chaotic voltages (yes, please!)

Once we start incorporating modulation and triggers into this process, the generated voltages can become quite complex. Using the Trigger inputs, we can either reset pairs of the attractors at a time or all of them at once, as well as freeze them in space. The CV inputs can modulate the frequency of the attractors, or mix between the Lorenz and Rössler voltage sources.

So how do we use these chaotic, fluctuating voltages? Any destination we might route an LFO or fluctuating random voltages, to start. We will explore some possibilities in the coming Patch Notes video for this tutorial, but one interesting application is to send the signal to a quantizer, or an oscillator that automatically quantizes, like Mutable Instruments Braids. By selecting a limited scale, for instance a Pentatonic scale with only 5 notes, we can get the effect of arpeggiated sequences, as well as more dramatic pitch modulations.

What tools are you using to generate complex and chaotic voltages? Let us know in the comments!

Our next round of courses starts soon, including The Many Faces of Maths! Join us!!


Strange Attractors With Ornament & Crime

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