Music production is an art and science to making music using technologies. It’s a combination of being a musician in first place but also being a geek about virtual instruments and how to use a basic DAW to put down that ideas. – All about Granular Synthesis in music production
Now coming to Granular Synthesis, it’s a technique that all music producers should know but not necessarily need to use it. It’s a handy tool for every producer to know how it works and how it can be used. Its especially handy when you have a specific sound in mind but can’t find any sample to do justice.
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What is Granular Synthesis?
Granular synthesis is a method of sound synthesis that works on the time scale of micro-sound.
It is based on the principle of sampling. However, the samples are divided into small chunks of approximately 1 to 100 ms. These small pieces are called grains. Multiple grains can be layered on top of each other and can play speed, phase, volume, and frequency, among other things.
At low playback speeds, the result is a certain soundscape, often described as a cloud, that can be manipulated in a way different from natural audio sampling or other synthesis techniques. At high speeds, the result can be heard as a tone or tones of fresh timbre. By changing the waveform, envelope, duration, spatial position, and grain density, many different sounds can be created.
These can be used for musical purposes: as sound effects, raw material for further processing by other synthesis effects or digital signal processing, or as complete musical works in their own right. Common effects that can be achieved include amplitude modulation and time stretching. Stereo or multi-channel dispersion, random shuffling, decay and morphing are experimentally possible. Sound engineering and Music Production course in India like Gray Spark Audio where you get to learn about this music production technique.
A grain is a unit of sound energy that has any waveform and typically lasts a few milliseconds, close to the threshold of human hearing. It is the continuous management of these small sound events (which are recognized as one large sound mass) that gives granular synthesis its power and flexibility. While the methods of grain organization vary greatly, the formation of grains is usually relatively simple. A basic grain generating device would consist of a Gaussian envelope generator driving a sinusoidal oscillator. A narrow bell-shaped Gaussian fill curve is generated by the equation: The signal from the oscillator enters an amplifier that determines the spatial position of each grain. Quadraphonic amplification is very popular for granular synthesis because of its great spatial positioning capabilities. A typical grain duration is somewhere between 5 and 100 milliseconds. If the grain duration is less than 2 milliseconds, it will be perceived as a click. Musically, the most important aspect of an individual grain is its progression. Grain-to-grain variability plays a significant role in the flexibility of granular synthesis. Fixed waveforms (such as a sine wave or sawtooth wave), dynamic waveforms (such as those generated by FM synthesis), and even waveforms extracted from sampled sounds can be used in each grain. A huge amount of computing power is required to perform granular synthesis. A simple granular “cloud” may consist of only a handful of particles, but a sophisticated “cloud” may consist of a thousand or more. Real-time granular synthesis requires an infinite supply of grain generating devices. A few currently available microcomputers are capable of implementing real-time granular synthesis, but the cost of these machines is still quite prohibitive. Therefore, most granular synthesis occurs while the composer waits, sometimes for quite some time. This time factor prevents many electronic and computer composers from working with granular synthesis. (All about Granular Synthesis in music production)
Greek composer Iannis Xenakis is referred to as the inventor of the granular synthesis method.
Composer Iannis Xenakis (1960) became the first to provide an explanation for compositional idea for sound grains. He began by way of adopting the following lemma: “All sound, even non-stop musical version, is conceived as a grouping of a big quantity of primary sounds accurately spaced in time. thousands of natural sounds seem in the attack, body, and decay of a complex sound. sounds seem in greater or much less a short time c language (Delta t)”.
Curtis Roads was the primary to put into effect granular synthesis on a laptop in 1974.
Twelve years later, in 1986, Canadian composer Barry Truax implemented a actual-time version of this synthesis method. “Granular synthesis has been implemented with the aid of Truax in numerous approaches.” (All about Granular Synthesis in music production)
JellyFish - A new Granular Synth Plugin
great regarded for its expressive controller gloves, Mimu is now stepping faraway from musical wearables for a moment to release Jellyfish, a “granular dream weaver” plugin.
So what does that certainly suggest? basically, you’re getting a granular synthesis engine which can be given actual-time audio enter and generate all-new sounds – drones, pulses, soundscapes and more.
The Jellyfish comes with a library of its own samples, and you may also import your personal or use the aforementioned stay audio choice. There are two modes – Drone will hold looping the audio so that you’ll usually hear a legitimate (beneficial for pulsing outcomes) even as in event mode you’ll simplest pay attention a sound while you begin interacting with the Jellyfish graphic that may be moved around the waveform to cause special parts of the sound.
if you want to play The Jellyfish out of your MIDI keyboard, you can use the MIDI Markers characteristic, which allows you to assign parts of your sound to the keys. you can either pitch a single sound throughout the keyboard, or assign one-of-a-kind components of it to specific keys so that you can switch among them.
You get masses of manage over the granular engine, and it’s feasible to modify the playback mode and velocity, too.
you may take a deep dive into Jellyfish in the video above. It runs on laptop and Mac in VST/AU/AAX and standalone codecs and charges £99. discover extra on the Mimu(opens in new tab) website. (All about Granular Synthesis in music production)