Overview of Absynth Granular Synthesis
If you are new to granular synthesis, then you are in for a nice surprise! It works much like sampling, but instead of the audio being played back in its normal state, it is broken up into small Grains which are measured in a microsound time scale usually ranging from 1-50 milliseconds. Once the sound is split up into these Grains, they can be manipulated and affected in a number of different ways and can completely change everything you came to expect from the original sample. Of course, the sound can be altered slightly for a small characteristic tweak or reborn entirely as an experimental soundscape, etc. The only limitation when working with Absynth granular synthesis is your imagination. And you will quickly stumble upon many awesome variation you never could have thought of without it!
To begin using Absynth granular synthesis with your sounds, set an oscillator module to run in Granular mode and load an audio sample into it as shown in the video. Experimenting with the playback timing and pitch parameters are some of the most basic things you can do when first starting out. But once you get rolling, you will begin layering, twisting, turning and tweaking until it is no longer recognizable. Sounds take on a new life with this type of synthesis and Absynth makes it all the better by making many other forms of synthesis available, not to mention some really unique effects processing, modulation and sound shaping possibilities as well.
Understanding how parameters such as start and stop points, density, time, pitch, size, randomization, etc affect your sounds when using Absynth granular synthesis is the first step to intentionally creating something brilliant. It is one thing to stumble into something good, but it is something entirely different to shape and mold sounds with intent because you can control how it changes and how it will fit in your mix. Once you have finished following along with this basic introduction to Absynth granular synthesis, try applying some effects and using other oscillator modules to see what you can come up with on your own!
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