Spektro Audio from Brazil have announced that their ACDGEN pattern generator plug-in for Ableton Live is now available as a stand-alone hardware box. They plan to produce a limited quantity, so if hardware is your thing, you’d better get your hands on one fast.
ACDGEN started out as a plug-in for Ableton Live. It automatically creates patterns and arpeggios based on a handful of adjustable parameters. The name is pronounced “Acidgen”, which seems quite appropriate. But the bass lines and sequences it produces can of course be used in all styles of electronic music.
The hardware version of ACDGEN brings the functionality of the plug-in to computer-less rigs, which is great if you perform live with drum machines and synths. It has USB and MIDI ports and syncs via MIDI clock. Most of its parameters are the same as in the software. There is a knob for choosing the key, and a switch that lets you select a major or minor scale. By turning the Algorithm knob, you can choose between eight different styles of patterns, which are then randomly created by pushing the Generate button. The length of the pattern, octave, and note length are adjustable. There is also a Density knob, which lets you select how many steps of the pattern are actually filled with notes.
The ACDGEN hardware edition features some parameters that are not available in the plug-in. You can select the degree of random velocity, and there is a swing setting. Patterns can be transposed by playing MIDI notes on a keyboard. Best of all, the hardware version of ACDGEN includes a MIDI CC sequencer, which you can use to control synth parameters like filter cutoff. Spektro Audio has also designed a software editor, that lets you change the MIDI settings and additional parameters.
If you’re interested in the ACDGEN hardware edition, you can order it through their website. Spektro Audio say that they’re only making 20 units in the first production run, so you’d better act fast. But if enough people jump in, I’m sure that they will find a way to make more of these.