Anybody have any favourite methods or secret weapons for generating "happy accidents?" It seems like a pretty big part of production for most people - starting out with a synth, or patch, or a bunch of samples, and not knowing exactly where you'll end up. I know not all happy accidents can be planned... but sometimes, you get can set up the right circumstances for it. I'll give an example, but I'm really curious to know how other people go about things.
Lately, I've been liking bouncing a few different sung/spoken/gutteral/human parts to audio, and then chopping it up and moving it around a bunch of tracks, each with a pitch correction plugin set to a different note in my song key. Then I can move little chopped up samples around (both in time, and to the different pitch-corrected tracks) and hear how they help create a groove together, and everything will be nicely in the key of whatever scale I set the pitching plugs to. I can't really plan how this will sound in the end, but... it's often really cool. After getting a groove going, and a feel for how the samples react to the auto-tuning, I can tweak and fine-tune things to sound less random and more organized.
I like the results I get so much I end up doing it in every song I make for myself these days.
Working with modular-synth style hardware or plugins is also a pretty classic way to get happy accidents... just patching things randomly with lots of sample & hold keeping things random and evolving.
Anyone else care to share your ways of getting bizarre and random sounds - and fitting them into your tracks?