Granular synthesis: theory and practice

It’s the best sounding granular module I’ve ever used,if that amounts to anything.

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Curious to learn more about how cornflakes does real-time granular. (The YouTube video mentions it can function as a ‘real-time effect’.) Can it granulate a continuously updating buffer (like clouds) or does it need to grab a discrete chunk of audio onto a fixed buffer (more like arbhar)?

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Arbhar can do continuous granulation (of sorts) by combining the onset detection and hold duration (with hold determining how long the continuously updating buffer is)

You can have it constantly rerecording the buffer with incoming audio or record the buffer and fool around with that. Sooo both?


Been really thinking about granular stuff lately in terms of what I want to do in and out of the box. @mattlowery had a nice post about sequential switches for juggling granular euro voices that got me thinking more generally about how to perform with these complex sound soueces

What is everyone’s preferred way to attack this? With such a wide variety from eurorack, Norns scripts, to VST’s and m4L plugins, what do you all view as the most performable/fun way to do music concrete compositions or to add that flavor to your music. Is it the primary focus of your music, or just something to add texture?

Just to link people here to some things already on lines:

  1. Re-implementation of Curtis Road’s emission control granulator - open source
    Emission Control 2: Open-source granulator

An excellent walkthrough of how to implement a granular system from scratch (in Kyma, which is a beautiful piece of software/hardware, albeit pricey) by @wave.terrains.


Hi everybody,

I am looking for a hardware device to use as a real time granulator (input coming from a mixer’s aux out), in the same way I use GRM Shuffling ITB. I thought I’d ask here as this comunity seem to know a lot of « unknkown » gems.
For now the only options I can think of are a Zynthian (Argolunar seems to be working on it), MODEP running Pd patches maybe?
Special difficulty : I won’t use modular, as I am still very fond of both my kidneys. Hum.

Any suggestion?

A good day to everybody !

A friend of mine has the Tasty Chips Gr-1. He loves it.

Yes this one looks very good indeed. I had no idea it could be used as an effect, I thought it was « only » a sample player with granular capability.

You have to buy a separate interface, but any cheap usb interface will do. Here he is using it today:

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Ok, thank you!

Any idea for a device that would fill up a buffer in real time and use it as a source, with the buffer being a moving window ?

I actually think this does too, there’s some demos out there that show that. Otherwise a few options in eurorack that would actually set up you back less than this unit even with a case.

Ok, total misconception on my side then (about those tasty chips), thank you for clarification!
For modular, my fear is that once I open the pandora’s box, it will be harder not to go this way, and for financial and time management reasons I’d prefer not to. It may be total heresy, but it is a jump I am not willing to take right now…

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Yeah my friend, guy in IG, went down whole modular route and sold it all, ended up with this setup, loves it. I’ve tried most modular granular units and they all have pros and cons, but the GR-1 seems to be the best of all, from what I hear from him.

Not at all what your asking for but i recently downloaded EmissionControl2 and have been loving its granularised sounds and its scientific appearance


Hologram Microcosm is super fun for real time granulation and many other time based effects! If you’re looking purely for granulation it doesn’t have as many controls as some other options, but it more than makes up for it with overall versatility and playability.


Gotharman’s Little Deformer 3 mk2 can granulate live inputs, as can Waldorf Iridium. Yet each is far more than a granular effect, and more expensive than a GR-1.

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Yes, I love it too!
I can’t yet reproduce the kind of things I use to do with Hourglass though, and I really miss that one…

Im not familiar with that one unfortunately. IPlusaret on ios is also impressive and well presented

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I’m curious what kind of things? I never really dug into hourglass, but others have spoken highly of it. Does it have some specific capability?