A Music Producer's Guide to Random Note Generators

As a producer, sometimes you just need a little boost to get your track going -- and a random note generator might do the trick! Instead of poking around the piano roll or experimenting on a MIDI keyboard, try using a note randomizer to light your creative fire.

Random Note Generator Plugins vs Built-in DAW Tools

To get started using a random note generator in your DAW, the cheapest way option is going to be one of your built in tools. For example, FL20 has an excellent Randomizer tool in their piano roll that we'll highlight below. Other apps like Logic and Ableton have note chance features that restrict your MIDI roll to one key, so it's harder for you to hit wrong notes. This is helpful if you don't know music theory, though it's not exactly a note randomizer app.

While built-in tools can give you an initial taste, third party DAW plugins usually include extra feature sets. Instead of generating purely random notes, apps like AudioCipher, Scaler 2 and Captain Melody have underlying algorithms that give your melody an extra edge. Keep reading to learn about the different options available to you as a producer.

Best Melody Generator Plugins of 2021

Melody Generator Plugins in 2021

Making music should be fun. That's why so many producers go for third party apps over built-in DAW randomizers. Regardless of the app you choose, you're going to get a better visual interface and feature set from a dedicated app. That's because each of these app interfaces was created with greater care than built-in tools. For a complete list of our recommendation, see this article on the best melody generator plugins of 2021.

AudioCipher - #1 Random Melody Generating Plugin

If you're looking for a new way to come up with MIDI ideas fast, look no further than AudioCipher. With this low cost app, you can generate new musical ideas by typing in words and dragging them onto a virtual instrument. The app works on MacOS and Windows with DAWs like FL20, Ableton, and Logic Pro X.

To get a better sense of how AudioCipher works, check out this quick beatmaker demo here:

Exploring Built-In Options

Some digital audio workstations come with a random note generator that you can use to produce melodies from thin air. Fruity Loops currently offers one of the best options. Their Piano roll Randomizer tool includes controls for key and scale`, octave range, MIDI fx levels and more. You get a variation knob to twist, to help determine much randomness your final output has.

The Random Note Generator in FL20

To learn how to access and use the FL20 randomizer tool, check out this article. You'll have an easier time breaking through creative blocks and making your next moves as a songwriter. That could mean focusing on the instrument sound selection, adding counter melodies, or coming up with a rhythm section. Whatever you choose to do with the seed idea, you'll be past the initial stage of choosing notes to work with.

The Random Pitch tool in Logic Pro X

You can find a random pitch feature in Logic Pro when you open the Piano Roll. Click on the Functions button and in the MIDI Transform submenu you'll find Random Pitch.

When you select a series of existing MIDI notes in the Piano Roll, Logic's tool will use your pitch range settings to change the pitch value of those notes at random. You can continue listening back and hitting select and operate to change the notes until you find a pattern you like.

Despite meeting the criteria for a random note generator, the interface is not particularly attractive and it's limited in what it can do.

Ableton's MIDI Fold and Note Chance tools

Looking for a melody generator in Ableton? Consider trying out these two built-in features of the DAW. For beginner musicians, this is an easy way to improve your click-and-drag composing in the Piano Roll. The Fold option shown in the image above will allow you to limit MIDI notes to a specific scale. This helps you avoid hitting notes that are out of key and that don't sound as good.

But if you're after a built-in random note generator in this workstation, what you really want is the chance tool. Like a lot of Ableton features, it may seem esoteric but with some time you'll become more comfortable with the meaning of the Scale and Choice dials.

I hope you found these tips helpful and that you can use them to get started on some new tracks today. Have a favorite way to come up with random notes for your music projects? Let us know in the comments below!

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