Today I had a student ask how to make old science fiction machinery sounds. The sound he wanted was for a robot starting up then slowly shutting down. We tried a few different things and finally settled on using Reason to create a random sequence of notes.
I started with a chromatic scale and then randomized it using the change events function. We played it back in Subtractor and messed with the patch until it sounded like what he was going for. The tricky part was pitch bending the sequence. Reason 3.5 does not support tempo automation, so although we could use the pitch bend wheel the notes were all at the same speed. To get around this we exported the audio and loaded it into NN-XT as a sample, then applied automation to the pitch wheel with a twenty four semitone range.