Last edited by annode ; , AM. Jan Roos. Originally posted by George Johnson View Post. Absynth can do it too. Ambient Mechanics. Another one well worth checking out is the excellent free plugin Quilcom Caster..
The link here will take you to the site plugin page, but you need to scroll down to the very end of the page to find it.. It's also worth noting this is a 32 bit plug, so you'll need something like jBridge to bridge it..
Last edited by Ambient Mechanics ; , AM. Some of my tutorials on granular synthesis — parts Now if I pressed each key in rapid succession it would roughly re-synthesize the original recording using these 'grains' of sound. If I played the sequence of keys faster, the word would be reconstructed faster, but the pitch would stay the same. Also, I could push the pitch-bend wheel to pitch up the samples, but still play the key sequence at any speed I liked. What's more, I could play back the sequence in any order, and even make the sounds overlap by holding down more than one key at a time, generating an entirely new and more complicated sound.
This is how granular synthesis works. Granular synthesis is a catch-all term for a number of different audio systems that work by using tiny snippets of sound that can be manipulated individually and are recombined to generate the final output.
Samples are sliced up behind the scenes into a series of tiny sections, each usually between one th and one 10th of a second in duration. Each slice is known as a 'grain', and a sequence of grains is called a 'graintable'. If the software made up a graintable which played back all the grains extracted from a given sample in their original sequence and at the original speed, then you'd hear the original sample reproduced. If the software played the sequence back more slowly, gaps would appear between the slices, so the current slice in the graintable is usually looped.
Played back more quickly, each grain overlaps with the next one, or some grains get skipped depending on how the software works.
To avoid clicks and glitches, each grain is faded in and out with a volume envelope, a process known as 'smoothing'. Native Instruments' Intakt is a loop playback and manipulation tool with three 'audio engines'.
As well as basic sample playback and a beat-slicing mode handling each rhythmic event in a loop as a separate sample , Intakt has a granular Time Machine mode. To the left of the waveform display you get two knobs, both marked Tempo. The smaller one on the right gives you manual control over the speed of playback of the sample, and is great for experimenting with how granular time-stretching works and sounds.
While playing the sample, if you turn this knob anticlockwise the playback gradually slows down, but maintaining the original pitch. If you go to extremes, you should be able to hear what is happening — at about five percent of the original speed you can clearly hear the playback graintable stepping from one grain to the next, each grain being looped until the next one takes over.
To the right of the waveform are some controls that show up in different guises in most granular synthesis-based software. The first is the Grain Size control, which is a pop-up list of options in Intakt. Grain Size is the length of each slice of sound, determining how finely the original sample is chopped up.
In Intakt , the list gives suggestions for which grain size to use to obtain the most transparent results for different types of material. There are similar parameters in the Warp section of Ableton's Live software — again, rather than a continuous Grain Size control, a list of options is provided: Beats, Tones, and Textures.
Tools such as Intakt , Melodyne , and Live use granular synthesis to edit and match the tempos, timings, and keys of recorded audio clips. A whole other breed of products uses granulated samples as the source sounds for instruments.
The difference is that they can all swap the usual sound-generation stage of oscillators or samples for granular synthesis engines. The same principle applies to other current granular synths. It is based on the same principle as sampling. However, the samples are not played back conventionally, but are instead split into small pieces of around 1 to 50 ms. These small pieces are called grains. Multiple grains may be layered on top of each other, and may play at different speeds, phases , volume, and frequency, among other parameters.
At low speeds of playback, the result is a kind of soundscape , often described as a cloud , that is manipulatable in a manner unlike that for natural sound sampling or other synthesis techniques. At high speeds, the result is heard as a note or notes of a novel timbre. It generates sound particles called pulsars. See Roads Sound Composition with Pulsars for more information.
To rectify this, some improvements can be made. First, you could use a Hanning window to suppress the clicks that result with every jump to a new value:. The nice thing about granular synthesis is that, in addition to the ability to change pitch without affecting speed, you can change speed without affecting pitch:.
Right here on this web site! In the publications section you will find a number of papers written on granular synthesis. Reidel Publishing Company. Gabor, D. London: Unwin Brothers. Roads, C. MIT Press 12 2 Truax, B. Xenakis, I. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Granular synthesis is a technique that involves dividing a sample into very short pieces, and then playing the pieces back superimposed and crossfaded with one another. These pieces, or "grains," are usually under 50 milliseconds long and sound like short clicks when heard individually.