Granular Soundscapes using Texture

Much more than a noise shaper, Texture also features a powerful granular engine, which can generate whole new soundscapes from imported samples. 
We show how to transform audio into unique multi-layered atmospheres.

What is Granular Synthesis?

Granular synthesis works in a similar way to a sampler, but instead of playing the whole sample back from a specified start point, it plays a number of very short versions of the sample from a specified start position and each grain can be given different properties. This is what sets it aside from other sampling or synthesis methods and the resultant collection of grains is sometimes referred to as a ‘grain cloud’

Typically, the ‘grain size’ would be between 10ms and 400ms and the number of grains determines the density of the sound. In addition to these parameters, Texture allows variation of the grain size and the start position via the ‘size jitter’ and ‘position jitter’ controls. The ‘color’ control determines the point in the sample that the grains are generated from and around (if position jitter is used). This makes granular synthesis in Texture an extremely powerful method for creating complex soundscapes from a fairly simple source, that retain the intrinsic qualities of the source material whilst allowing advanced manipulation.

In this particular tutorial, we started by recording a simple guitar part into Ableton Live with no amp simulator or other processing applied. Looking for a fitting backdrop for the guitar part, that went beyond a similar effect like an octaver or harmoniser pedal and didn’t require any additional sound sources to provide pads for example, we used Texture’s Granular Mode to create a layer out of the original recording. The result is a rich and atmospheric soundscape that’s full of character.


Tutorial by Richard Gale and Chris Healey

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