Very Simple Grainer

All right, enough piddling about with theory and math and such. Let’s get down to making some noisemakers. I’m going to do things a little differently this time. I have constructed a dirt simple four voice granular synth – it is cut to the bone but still usable. Here it is.

When I was a Reaktor newbie I hated the complexity of granular instruments in the factory library and the user library. I had to cut through great tangled swaths of cruft to get down to the essence. So why not start with the essence?

Play with it, mess with it and figure out what the controls do. It should be perfectly self explanatory. Dig in and have a look at the structure. Add some of your own samples. Short 10 to 30 second snippets work well. The root note should be zero – see the last post on constructing sample maps for more information.

Ask questions. Let me know what you’re not sure about, and how you think it can be improved. I have some plans for this instrument and I’ll be posting about the changes as I make them.

Above all, play the instrument. I love the sound of a naked granular synth, with no extra reverb and chorus and filtering and other extraneous glop. Hold down a couple of notes and play with the speed and grain size controls. Pitch a harmonically complex sample down or just play it in a low register and hear the details that emerge. Not too shabby for a dirt simple instrument that barely even registers on the ol’ CPU meter.