Granular in MAX

Continuing the discussion from Teletype Studies for Max (including "homework"):

Mark, et al: Any tips on good tutorials or objects to investigate for granular explorations in MAX or do you favor the NW objects? I’d definitely like to explore using the ES-8 to live sample and slice my modular signal in time. Would those objects allow for live recording still being able to be functional or are there certain objects geared more for live mangling and others for non-live?

As I continue to ponder phasing out my Octatrack if I’m going to use MAX, I will eventually need to explore this angle probably.

Thanks!

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I’m a big fan of sugarsynth, which I think is still the best granular patch using only basic msp objects:
http://formantbros.jp/sako/download.html

This thing is bonkers, too, but I have yet to look under the hood: https://sounddesignwithmax.blogspot.ca/2014/07/endjinn-synthesiser-for-beap.html

Finally, I wouldn’t neglect the basic granular osc in beap, either.

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Mark, did you design the Endjinn then?

Karl, I saw your link to the sugarsynth earlier this week, but haven’t had time to investigate. Thanks!

Yeah - Endjinn is my work. Pleased to hear you find it bonkers @analogue01 :slight_smile:

I literally only looked at the NW granular stuff for the first time yesterday, and I don’t think it does granulation live - just files.

The super easy (and great sounding) external for that is grainstretch~

http://www.timorozendal.nl/?p=456

You can do stuff like grain clouds from live input, or grain pitch randomisation easily. It also does up to 16 overlapping grains (in the [p more grains] bit) which sounds awesome for thick chorus style sounds.

Really easy to use. Just bear in mind that a lot of stuff in additional patchers (eg [p grain_settings]) can be used in streaming mode - they are just not hooked up in the streaming example, so copy them into that patch.

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Oh, I almost forgot, if you’re on a mac, the new spindrift~ external from Michael Norris is A+ granular, tho not always 100% stable.

http://www.michaelnorris.info/software/spindrift

Ah yes - on my ‘to do’ list…

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Looking into building my own granular playback patch (again, or should that be ‘finally’?..)… and there sure aren’t very many satisfying tutorials out there. I also dislike most of the forum patches I’ve tried… except for the classic sugarsynth/granular2.5 patches.

Fav new discover: the ola.granular patch from the gen examples. Getting really nice sounds out of it, but i’m having trouble understanding the code in order to kill some artifact problems I’m finding.

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fwiw getting artifact-free buffer stuff out of max is just super hard - best to roll with a well-made external (which you could use a multiple of in a specific way) or just keep it edgy. (possibly already the conclusion of this topic hehe)

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What are the good externals out there these days?

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kinda feel like karma~(s) could do most granular stuff you would need ? and it’s pretty reliable ?

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You’d tink it would be easier to do with gen~ these days… not that I really understand what I’m doing

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Hmmm, yeah I guess I could toss karma~ in a poly~

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I think it’s more that there’s like a lot of scenarios that need a crossfade at the right time, and neither max or gen really have any tools to help with that. which is crazy cuz I have to imagine that’s a super common use case. but yea that’s exactly why karma~ was made, but it’s high level. I definitely wish for something like an interpolated peek~ and poke~. I may try making that, actually.

and yea also softcut is great & yea I literally can’t stop brining it up.

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The Petra library (http://circuitmusiclabs.com/projects/petra-for-max/) is in the Max Package Manager. It’s excellent. You can do quite a bit just using the demo patches as jumping-off points.

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Just used your softcut max patches everywhere on a track by the way and it was great. Is softcut suitable for granular synthesis? I seem to remember the granular norns script wasn’t made with softcut but maybe that changed since?

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I mean, if you set the loop start and end points short and move them around a longer buffer, mess with the fades, then that’s granular, yea ? if there’s live input maybe you’d want to dedicate a separate recording voice. I guess most proper granular relies on having a lot of playback voices, in norns yr limited to four, but in max you can place as many instances as u want. It’s kinda CPU intensive though when you start adding more voices, I seem to remember karma~ being better there. the petra library above looks like it has more options for the windowing/crossfades/envelope which I assume is useful. it’s fixed in softcut~ right now but I think there are some more curves under the hood. and petra is probably much more CPU friendly with hella polyphony.

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No, and neither is karma which has similar goals

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ya I think I’m mainly speaking for like one-voice chunky kind of granular (which I enjoy !) for the polyphonic/very small grains stuff petra library is probably gonna serve ya better

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yeah, i’m more interested in figuring out the particle/cloud stuff

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To be clear, softcut loops can be arbitrarily short with subsample accuracy. But they lack many typical parameters for granular synthesis and have orher core features that are expensive and irrelevant

You could put softcut in a poly, disable recording, handle all timing and rate changes in max. But timing would be loose (message queue) and you can do that with other stuff anyway

Weird that max doesn’t have something built in like supercollider BufGrain. Granular engine external seems straightforward

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