First Look, Live
Granular Synthesis - How To Create New Sounds from Old Samples!
Creating delightful and intricate sounds using granular synthesis techniques can be a challenge for many producers. Granular synthesis takes the sound waves of source audio and chops them up into very small fragments or “grains” that you can then edit and manipulate. In this granular synthesis tutorial, we will outline the key concepts, techniques, and tools you need to master this powerful and intricate sound design process.
Understanding the Basics
To get started, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how granular synthesis works. To begin, you take a sound wave and chop it up into tiny ‘grains.’ These grains are usually sampled at 44.1kHz or higher, depending on the complexity of the sound and the desired length of the grain. To manipulate the sound, you can then change the parameters of the grains, such as their density, size, and speed. By changing these parameters, you can will create an entirely new sound.
Using Granular Synths
Now that you know the basics, it’s time to start using the tools available. You can use third-party granular synths such as Granulator II, which is a VST plugin that uses an innovative waveform-analyzing algorithm to accurately choose grain samples. Or you can use digital audio workstations (DAW) such as Ableton Live or Pro Tools that comes with some built-in granular synthesizers. Both of these tools are great for manipulating grains.
In addition to the tools mentioned above, there are also some great effects you can use to further manipulate your grain-based sounds. Echo, reverb, and pitch-shifting are some of the most popular effects that work well with granular synthesis. Echo adds a delay to your sound; reverb makes your sound feel like it’s in a big hall or room; and pitch-shifting allows you to change the sound’s fundamental frequency, making it sound higher or lower.
Granular synthesis is an intricate and powerful sound design technique that can transform any sound into something entirely new. With the right tools and effects, you can create any sound you can imagine. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced producer, using granular synthesis techniques can take your sound design to the next level.