If there’s something more ironic than a human being using a computer algorithm to “humanize” a rhythm, I’d like to hear about it.

In music, us human beings are primarily valued for our inaccuracy these days. One way that computers try to copy our haphazard ways is with randomization. In the Groove Pool, you’ll notice there’s a Random parameter.

Picture 135

As this is turned up, an increasing amount of random timing will be introduced into the clip. At high values, the results are downright sloppy and usually not useful (if I want a clip with really bad timing, I can play it myself, thank you very much).  At lower values, it can sound pretty bad as well.

The trick to getting good results with randomization is to use it in a very limited way so it’s contrasted against material that’s very steady. This creates a push and pull that can be very rhythmically exciting without sounding sloppy.

In other words, I’d suggest staying away from putting it on an entire drum part. Instead, try leaving the kick and quantized and rigid, but apply some randomness to the hihats or shakers. Or leave the drums alone completely and save the randomization for a rhythmic bleep or a keyboard part.

Bear in mind that to apply randomization to a clip without applying any other timing or velocity variation, you can use any groove out of the library at all. You just need to make sure that Quantize, Timing and Velocity are all turned down to zero.

Picture 136