One of my favorite observations about music is from a talk I attended by Dan Levitin, the author of Your Brain on Music: "The music our brains like most contains exactly the right proportion of predictability and surprise." Vermona, makers of the uncompromising '14 lead synth (so named because it was released in 2014), have come up with a very interesting Eurorack sequencer. Rather than trading in steps or notes, it trades in probabilities and thus lets you control exactly the proportion Dr. Levitin is talking about.
It's actually two sequencers in one module, and each has four sliders to determine the probability that a trigger will occur at rhythmic subdivisions of quarter-notes, eighths, 16ths, and triplets. In "regular" mode, these probabilities are ongoing; in what's called DICE mode, it pegs them to a complete 4/4 or 3/4 musical measure.
You get separate outputs for each subdivision, as well as a "Seq Output" (x2) that provides the sum total of all the rhythmic interactions. Things can be as random or as predictable as you want; for example, if you want a straight "four on the floor" beat, put the quarter-note slider all the way up and the others all the way down.
The random rhythm is so easy to use that a synthesist with no formal musical background could literally just play with the sliders until he or she hears something they like. At the same time, someone who came into modular from being a virtuoso keyboardist could use it to come up with lines they might not have thought of if entering notes from a keyboard. The dual configuration suggests uses such as deploying one side for a bass line and the other for a top loop.
Getting back to Levitin's axiom, small amounts of randomness can be used to create parts that are reliable enough to not be "too weird" for a dance floor crowd, but humanized enough to be interesting to the ear. Here's a big picture:
The Vermona Random Rhythm will be available in the US for $349 and Europe for €249.