Control Quanta is customizable to your taste and playing style. In a world gone mad for analog devices, acclaimed American developer Audio Damage has created a truly elegant virtual instrument designed to push the digital potential of granular synthesis to its limits, while ensuring it remains accessible for producers of all skill levels. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals. Working these, the range of waveforms that can be defined is pretty much limitless. The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers. Granular synthesis may be one of the most interesting and, confoundingly, more difficult processes to achieve predictable results.
Iannis Xenakis was probably the first to find musical purpose in the reordering of minute slices of sound by cutting and splicing prerecorded tape. First up are our flexible envelope generator, a 99-point loop generator. The manual omits the parameters of the Grain Tune knob, but you can tune the grains plus or minus two octaves, incremented in cents. Threshing Grains The crucial engine driving Quanta is, of course, the Grains section. Once the sample is loaded, the large rectangular window presents a rounded-off, stylized overview of the waveform See Fig. Audio Damage has released a virtual hybrid synthesizer Audio Damage Quanta. However, if we were to take a sample then reorder and compile the grains, we would hear disruptions and discontinuities in the resulting sound — not unlike the bumps and clicks you might hear in a poorly-looped sample.
Graduating from bands to composition then production, he relishes the chance to play anything with keys. Each one can be assigned infinite segments, easily configured by clicking the existing envelope line to create new breakpoints, which can then be dragged up or down to change their value. With either looping mode engaged, a grey vertical segment between two breakpoints is designated as the looping section; simply drag either edge line in either direction and it will snap to the next breakpoint. And I would have quite liked to see a little visual image of the sample waveform too. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents.
Another great feature here is that Audio Damage have built in an automatic normalizing feature that ensures your sample is normalized upon import. A sometime lecturer in videographics, music production and photography post production, Hollin has been a freelance w. At the current state of sampling, linear playback of audio content and looping forward, backward, or alternating portions of the recording are commonplace. The top row of knobs controls the number of grains and their length, each with a knob to dial in a degree of randomness for each voice. The sounds on offer are pretty varied, but most have a recognisable granular texture that, like Marmite, you probably love or hate. Plugin Boutique or its Suppliers do not accept any liability in relation to the content of the product or the accuracy of the description. The signals from the granulator, an oscillator, and a noise source are joined collectively and send into a pair of filters, and the output of the filters travels through a gain stage.
Please note that some of the links on the site are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, Sample Library Review will earn a commission if users decide to make a purchase. I would probably be lost without them. The resulting highly-stylized waveform is easy on the eyes, while the blue vertical line intersecting it can be dragged forward or backward to determine the playback anchor — corresponding to and simultaneously controlled by the Position dial in the Grains section. Each of these, as well as the volume and grain playback direction controls, has an associated Random knob, used to vary that parameter for every generated grain within the dialled-in range. You can simply drag and drop your own sample or select one of the factory presets to begin building on a pre-existent sample within Quanta. The concept of chopping audio samples into very short component grains for the purpose of time stretching and atmospheric manipulation has existed for decades.
Some of the sounds in the rhythmic category are more obviously rhythmic than others — when your basic sound is so highly textured and dynamic, it can be tricky to impose an additional sonic attribute which is clearly locked to the beat. Figure 1: Two instances of Quanta, side by side. Following a recent stylistic refresh, which discontinued some rather dated skeuomorphic designs in favour of new clean, geometric interfaces, Audio Damage have now delivered Quanta, their take on granular synthesis. Annoyingly, leaving the browser page resets it to its default state, with all banks unopened. This is the world of granular synthesis, and Quanta seems to have harnessed this power and presented it in the simplest form I have seen so far. Use your Linnstrument, Roli Seaboard, Haken Continuum, or Madrona Labs Soundplane among others to directly access per-note pressure, pitch bend, and modulation.
Adding a subtle amount of randomization here thickens the sound up considerably. Can be injected directly into grain engine. The controls here are very intuitive and you can easily see how every possible function is contributing to the finished product. Between the number of Grains and Length controls is the critical Shape dial. An unlimited number of breakpoints is supported, the segments can be curved, and an arbitrary portion of the envelope between two breakpoints can be looped in a single or bidirectional manner. There's always an element of surprise, as the outcome of the granular process is hard to predict. You can load samples from a drop-down menu on the sample page, but dragging them from the finder is much quicker than navigating folders.
Ten options impose an amplitude envelope on each grain, ranging from unforgiving, clicky squares to smooth sines, with quite a few options in between. Sound complicated but the results are great. When triggered, horizontally scanning dots represent each of the up to ten Voices being played. You might think that smashing up a sound into a gazillion grains will result in some kind of buzzing nonsense, but there is everything here from dreamy pads, to rhythmic textures, lush strings to indescribable atmosphere. To the uninitiated, the world of synthesis can be a very confusing landscape. Modulate Quanta has mod coming out its ears.
There are all sorts of different synthesizers out there; from analog to digital, physical modelling to sample-based and even more. Cons: No internal undo or filter cutoff value display; could be nice to see some kind of automatic sample tuning or root key detection feature in a future version. Keeping thing even simpler than the granulator in terms of controls, the analogue oscillator could hardly be easier to program. Quanta is a full-featured ten-voice true stereo granular synthesizer, with up to a hundred 1000ms grains per voice, and full control over the grain state, with direct randomization and modulation of most parameters. While Wavetable dynamically filters its matrix rows to just show those in use, Quanta shows all rows, whether active or not, so you often have to do quite a bit of scrolling back and forth between values you want to edit.