Recommend a granular synth

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
User avatar
pdxindy
KVRAF
16039 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:34 pm

Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:40 pm
Dirtgrain wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:12 pm
Ah, I'm more concerned with the parameters themselves, and what sort of control is offered. The granular synths I have that work with samples have felt limited so far, but I just got Padshop Pro and will give it a go. Biotek, Glitchmachines, Granulator II, Iota, Granny--all have cool elements, but I keep thinking there could be more.
What parameters are you looking for exactly? They are usually pretty similar at the sampler level. something like position/speed, grain window size (which has various names) and sometimes a grain window shape (more shquared to more rounded etc.). Aside from the grain size/shape and playback position, other controls would basically be effects.
I would like it if the grain length would be increased. Waldorf with the Quantum just increased theirs from 350ms to 1 second. It makes a difference for long smooth ambient washes. Bitwig's Sampler module is 300ms max. I would like it if it were also increased to 1 second.

The Quantum also has envelope parameters (A and D) for grain shape. Bitwig's sampler module could use a way to smooth the initial grain attack like that.

Dirtgrain
KVRist
289 posts since 12 Jan, 2019

Re: Recommend a granular synth

Post Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:54 pm

Iota allows selections from a spectral image, similar to box select mode in Iris 2, with each box playing per some controls. Some granular synths allow one to work with several samples--the Glitchmachines ones, for example, but they don't have nearly as many granular controls as Granulator 2. I gather that the Bitwig one is nothing out of the ordinary here--it's just the bitwig modular element that is nice (I have never seen it).

I want a granular synth that could maybe also be used as an effect (like Crusher X); that can pull selections out of a spectral image, like Iota or maybe Iris 2; that can have those selection boxes automated to shift position in the spectral image (I can do this with Iota for cool effects with delays); that has effective controls on grain size, positioning, spray/spread/offset, filtering, delay, play direction, playback speed, warp modes, pitch, randomization with maybe some template patterns for grain selection too; that can work with multiple sample with an X-Y cross fading option (like Palindrome) or maybe with some morphing algorithm like Morph 2 or Mmorph (I don't know how these work--they might be granular in nature) where one combines selected aspects of several sounds and blends them together in a way that doesn't sound granular in the end; that can be played as an instrument (Iota, for example, is limited to pad making, unless you convert the output into a sample and run it through a sampler).

DigiPour
KVRist
52 posts since 17 Nov, 2016

Re: Recommend a granular synth

Post Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:02 pm

UnbalancedBeats wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:06 am
Audio Damage Quanta +1
New Sonic Arts Granite
Would you say Quanta would be redundant if I already own Granite?

deastman
KVRAF
7249 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Recommend a granular synth

Post Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:08 pm

pdxindy wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:34 pm
Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:40 pm
Dirtgrain wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:12 pm
Ah, I'm more concerned with the parameters themselves, and what sort of control is offered. The granular synths I have that work with samples have felt limited so far, but I just got Padshop Pro and will give it a go. Biotek, Glitchmachines, Granulator II, Iota, Granny--all have cool elements, but I keep thinking there could be more.
What parameters are you looking for exactly? They are usually pretty similar at the sampler level. something like position/speed, grain window size (which has various names) and sometimes a grain window shape (more shquared to more rounded etc.). Aside from the grain size/shape and playback position, other controls would basically be effects.
I would like it if the grain length would be increased. Waldorf with the Quantum just increased theirs from 350ms to 1 second. It makes a difference for long smooth ambient washes. Bitwig's Sampler module is 300ms max. I would like it if it were also increased to 1 second.

The Quantum also has envelope parameters (A and D) for grain shape. Bitwig's sampler module could use a way to smooth the initial grain attack like that.
I was actually a little perplexed by the Quantum’s max grain time being increased to 1 second. I typically use a lot of very short grains in a dense cloud to produce the effects I associate with granular. Having such long grains seems like it’s taking a step back towards traditional sample playback.

Speaking of the Quantum, I wish it allowed a lot more grains to play at once, like at least 32 short grains.

Quanta is pretty decent. Before I got the Quantum, that had become my go-to both as a VST and on the iPad. Also, I never really tried it that I can recall, but doesn’t Reason 10 have a pretty good granular module included?
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User avatar
UnbalancedBeats
KVRist
283 posts since 6 Jun, 2008 from Spain

Re: Recommend a granular synth

Post Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:40 pm

DigiPour wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:02 pm
UnbalancedBeats wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:06 am
Audio Damage Quanta +1
New Sonic Arts Granite
Would you say Quanta would be redundant if I already own Granite?
Different beasts, in my humble opinion. Quanta has more modulation capabilities as well as signal generators, as other kvr member mentioned above. I would say that both plugins complements to each other very well.

ohwell
KVRer
17 posts since 5 Dec, 2018

Re: Recommend a granular synth

Post Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:37 am

I just noticed you’re on ableton live. Apesoft’s Pulsaret (m4l) might be worth a look too. I’m familiar with the iOS version, which is fantastic for the more academic (eg Curtis Roads) side of granular. The m4l UI seems to have an even better workflow - less reliance on sub menus.

User avatar
pdxindy
KVRAF
16039 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: Recommend a granular synth

Post Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:09 am

deastman wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:08 pm
I was actually a little perplexed by the Quantum’s max grain time being increased to 1 second. I typically use a lot of very short grains in a dense cloud to produce the effects I associate with granular. Having such long grains seems like it’s taking a step back towards traditional sample playback.

Speaking of the Quantum, I wish it allowed a lot more grains to play at once, like at least 32 short grains.

Quanta is pretty decent. Before I got the Quantum, that had become my go-to both as a VST and on the iPad. Also, I never really tried it that I can recall, but doesn’t Reason 10 have a pretty good granular module included?
Yeah... 8 is a bit low... you can use 2 Osc's though...

I like the longer grain time for making really smooth washes.

Granular is not my favorite synthesis type... it often sounds too much like granular. On the Quantum you can mix it with other synthesis types so that the granular osc is adding some body or character to another sound.

I rather like the granular mode in Bitwig sampler module in the Grid as it has some many other tools that can shape the sound so that it is sounding more unidentifiable as granular.

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
6943 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: Recommend a granular synth

Post Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:59 am

pdxindy wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:34 pm
Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:40 pm
Dirtgrain wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:12 pm
Ah, I'm more concerned with the parameters themselves, and what sort of control is offered. The granular synths I have that work with samples have felt limited so far, but I just got Padshop Pro and will give it a go. Biotek, Glitchmachines, Granulator II, Iota, Granny--all have cool elements, but I keep thinking there could be more.
What parameters are you looking for exactly? They are usually pretty similar at the sampler level. something like position/speed, grain window size (which has various names) and sometimes a grain window shape (more shquared to more rounded etc.). Aside from the grain size/shape and playback position, other controls would basically be effects.
I would like it if the grain length would be increased. Waldorf with the Quantum just increased theirs from 350ms to 1 second. It makes a difference for long smooth ambient washes. Bitwig's Sampler module is 300ms max. I would like it if it were also increased to 1 second.

The Quantum also has envelope parameters (A and D) for grain shape. Bitwig's sampler module could use a way to smooth the initial grain attack like that.
Once you start to get up towards half a second, then it seems like you might as well just use the normal playback mode with a loop, and modulate the loop playback position. I agree though about having separate attack and decay curves for the grain window, this would be useful.
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User avatar
pdxindy
KVRAF
16039 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: Recommend a granular synth

Post Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:45 am

Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:59 am
pdxindy wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:34 pm
Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:40 pm
Dirtgrain wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:12 pm
Ah, I'm more concerned with the parameters themselves, and what sort of control is offered. The granular synths I have that work with samples have felt limited so far, but I just got Padshop Pro and will give it a go. Biotek, Glitchmachines, Granulator II, Iota, Granny--all have cool elements, but I keep thinking there could be more.
What parameters are you looking for exactly? They are usually pretty similar at the sampler level. something like position/speed, grain window size (which has various names) and sometimes a grain window shape (more shquared to more rounded etc.). Aside from the grain size/shape and playback position, other controls would basically be effects.
I would like it if the grain length would be increased. Waldorf with the Quantum just increased theirs from 350ms to 1 second. It makes a difference for long smooth ambient washes. Bitwig's Sampler module is 300ms max. I would like it if it were also increased to 1 second.

The Quantum also has envelope parameters (A and D) for grain shape. Bitwig's sampler module could use a way to smooth the initial grain attack like that.
Once you start to get up towards half a second, then it seems like you might as well just use the normal playback mode with a loop, and modulate the loop playback position. I agree though about having separate attack and decay curves for the grain window, this would be useful.
Then there are not multiple grains...

Kinh
KVRian
1244 posts since 26 Aug, 2012

Re: Recommend a granular synth

Post Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:20 am

Shit, why do ya want a granular for? wha-sor-of-musik do you make dat needs a granular?

User avatar
DJ Warmonger
KVRAF
3265 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Re: Recommend a granular synth

Post Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:25 am

Kinh wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:20 am
Shit, why do ya want a granular for? wha-sor-of-musik do you make dat needs a granular?
I'm a synth freak and new techniques turn me on :ud: We're on KVR, you know.

I mean, how many times can you use saw bass, saw lead and supersaw pad? Granular is great for organic textures and evolving pads, and I always miss these.
http://djwarmonger.wordpress.com/
Tricky-Loops wrote: (...)someone like Armin van Buuren who claims to make a track in half an hour and all his songs sound somewhat boring(...)

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