I am planning to make a small, all-in-one portable case as an extension of my main case, which I'd primarily use to build clicky-clacky drum/percussion loops. I write a lot of tension-style music for libraries and want to build some more weirdness and probability into my background percussion.



Rample is the sound source, utilizing stock samples as well as my own. Pam's triggers it and the ADSR, clocks Varigate, and has enough additional outputs for clocked modulation. Varigate is extremely important here, if only for its per-step probability. I'd probably run it in 2/2 mode so I can also CV sequence some other parameter.

Also important was a feature-packed delay. I use delay a lot in putting together loops like these, and having one like the Imitor with a lot of CV inputs felt good -- I'm wary of having a lot of modulation options and nowhere to put them.

Otherwise I have the MIA for CV mixing/attenuating, the Doepfer mixer for the Rample voices, and additional utilities. Headphone output can be used as a stereo line out, so I figure that could help with the portability factor.

I want to be careful to not have any redundant modules in such a small case, and I may have missed other options that do the things I'm looking for in a better way. Would really appreciate feedback!

Have you considered an Elektron Digitakt or Octatrack?

The Akai MPC Live family running update 2.10 or later has probability incorporated. It also comes with 8 CV outputs should you want to incorporate modular gear into the mix. The MPC Live II is probably the best fit as it can be powered by its internal batteries. To me, that would make more sense than trying to create what you need out of modular gear.

Thanks -- I'll check out the Elektrons and MPC. I've never worked with a hardware drum machine and hadn't considered one for this purpose... but if one of them has a fast workflow, per-step probability, good onboard sounds/effects, and overall is more fun than putting together drums in a DAW, it could work. I like modular's happy accidents, but maybe that approach isn't necessary.

FWIW, I already own the Rample, Pam's, the dual VCA and Noise Tools, which together would shave a good amount off the cost of the modular route.

I have a Digitakt. It is great fun. Even more useful than probability on a step (which it has) is the ability to say things like "2:5", meaning trigger on repetitions 2, 7, 12... You can use PRE or not-PRE conditions to link to previous events on the same track, NEI or not-NEI for neighbour tracks, to get longer conditional subsequences. With pattern length and tempo mult/div per track, you can create quite intricate and varied rhythms. And you get all this even with the entry-level Model:Samples.

There's no CV in, but I picked up a Befaco CV Thing for CV->MIDI, which works well with Pam's, Compare 2, and other sources of interesting gate sequences.

Thanks for this! Yeah, that sounds like what I'm looking for. A lot of Digitakt videos I'm finding are using it in different ways than I'd plan to, but just reading your post gives me a lot of ideas.

Oh wow that’s cool to hear that you can run the MPC Live on battery pack.