We often hear music makers and other artists talk of ‘happy accidents’: those moments where inspiration presents itself unintentionally, and to the excitement of its own creator. By definition they can’t really be conjured on demand, but there are some approaches that can make them more likely. Take a look at the ‘Write drunk; edit sober’ chapter in Dennis DeSantis’ Creative Strategies book for instance, in which he advocates a willful recklessness with the record button on: “Aim for speed and quantity, judge nothing, and be prepared to make lots of mistakes”.
Musician and programmer collective Sonic Faction share this willingness to contrive happy accidents. Their new Pack Tricky Traps is a toolkit that’s designed to make them that bit less accidental. The set of 16 Max for Live devices offers fresh ways of working with MIDI and modulations; quirky contraptions that are designed to be chained together to create unexpected rhythmic and melodic patterns – those sought-after accidents.
The Pack offers other creative tonics including eight tweakable, great-sounding instruments whose stripped-back parameter sets show how you don’t need endless options to spark ideas (see our recent piece about uncovering ideas using constraints).
There are plenty of inventive new options for Push owners too. Sonic Faction have added customised sequencing and modulation options that are totally new to the unit, like the multi-playhead and circular MIDI sequencers, and tools to trigger or step-sequence modulations from Push’s grid.
Head over to the Packs page to check out sounds clips and get further info on each device.