Understanding Granular Synthesis

Explaining granular synthesis and giving demonstrations with the Kyma GrainCloud and SampleCloud sound objects.

Granular synthesis is a synthesis technique where we can assemble new sounds from very short “grains” of sound. We can do this with wavetables or longer samples, breaking them down into these short grains before reconstituting them back together in unique ways. Because we can change all of these tiny parts that make up our new sounds, there are exciting opportunities for real time control and performance.

Subharmonics in Pure Data

Quick and easy Pure Data tutorial, making chords from subharmonics (like the Moog subharmonicon). The result is a kind of Coltrane-y generative music system.

Subharmonics are whole-number divisions of a frequency (as opposed to regular harmonics, which are whole-number multiples of a frequency). The resulting “subharmonic series” (or “undertone series”) is an inversion of the overtone series, with subharmonics getting closer the lower (i.e. higher division) that they are. Played together, these harmonics create harmonies quite distinct from those created with overtones.

I go up to the 9th subharmonic here, but of course you can just keep going.

There’s no talking on this one, just building the patch, and listening to it go.

More Pd Tutorials Here