By "aleatoric" I mean recordings which are based largely on some kind of randomness.
I'd love to get a conversation going about approaching sound design from the perspective of curating (is that a good word for it?) little bits of audio from longer recordings which were created without some specific end goal in mind. Although I spend plenty of time gathering chunks of sound to assemble into some specific final result, I also really enjoy just playing around with plugins and other noise-makers and recording the results regardless of what happens.
My favorite technique for this is loading up a tool like Aalto or Numerology and going to town on a complex patch, routing things around in a series of tiny experiments. If I feel like actually banging on stuff, I'll just set my little Edirol to record while I throw things around the environment. The whole point is to turn off the part of my brain that deals with intent and simply have fun in a "naive" way for a while.
Once I have the audio recorded, I archive it so that I can come back to it on a rainy day. I've found tons of inspiration while rapidly sorting through hundreds of these recordings at a time. I just load up all the files in Ableton Live and quickly scan through each one by dropping the play marker at different points. If something strikes my fancy, I isolate that part of the waveform, put some basic fades on it, and load it into the sampler for more processing, pitch layering, etc.
For anyone else that enjoys this approach, what are your favorite techniques for efficiently sorting through the recordings and turning them into something useful in your music compositions/sound designs?