Ambient Sound Toy

Here’s an incarnation of a graphic interface for creating and controlling probability-based ambient audio soundscapes.

This is a set of 8 rack units. Each one contains a preset bank with a handful of sounds. You can trigger them as a “single shot”, by pressing the play button. A sound will loop indefinitely when the “Loop” mode button is selected.

On the left hand side of each unit is a “random trigger generator”. Clicking the button marked RND engages the random trigger for that channel. The frequency knob controls the “rate” at which new random numbers are generated. That is, every time the LED goes on or off, a random number between 0-100 is generated.

If the random number is less than the value of “Amount” then the sound will play. The “Prob” knob adjusts the “amount of probability” or the threshold below which the random number will trigger the sound.

It’s best to test each sound by just playing it once with the play button. Some sounds are quite long. These long sounds are best triggered with either a very slow rate of chance or with a low probability of occurring.

I’ve added the ability to save configurations for the full rack of eight units. You could tweak an existing patch and click “Save” and it will be updated. Tweak an existing patch but type in a new name is equivalent to “Save As”.