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ask those in the know: essential granular synthesis parameters?

May 27 2010 | 4:06 pm

I tried this question before, and didn’t quite get the response I needed to draw some solid conclusions. Maybe this isn’t quite the ideal forum?

Can you answer this simple question:

What, in your experience, are the fundamental control parameters of granular synthesis (within MaxMSP). In purely practical, creative (as opposed to theoretical) terms, do you prefer to control grain duration, polyphonic density, grain pitch, amplitude envelope/slope/shape……. any others? Just personal preferences, in order of importance would be nice. You’re helping a PhD candidate design an optimally accessible granular synthesis engine for disabled musicians, thanks


May 27 2010 | 4:07 pm

They all matter, AFAIAC. I use ’em all.

May 27 2010 | 4:18 pm

sorry, I meant in order of importance

May 27 2010 | 10:08 pm

this certainly does help me, especially making creative control decisions; the influence of the capabilities of the users is only in my mapping strategy: I’m limiting my interface to 3 or 4 modalities (via an FSR and an X/Y pad), so I’ll contemplate your advice, and prioritise those parameters deemed valuable by the context; I could always try a ‘modular’ approach, where the user controls elements of the mapping strategy itself! I also like the ‘language’ analogy.

May 29 2010 | 5:13 pm

If you have a x/y pad and want to make it as intuitive as possible, you could also try to interpolate between 4 presets, placed in the four corners of the pad.
And concentrate on makeing the presets somehow ;)

The pattr storage system makes this really easy..i have an abstraction lying round somewhere…

May 29 2010 | 5:45 pm

there you go :)

May 29 2010 | 8:41 pm

@ mudang

hey thanks; i’m glad this thread is still ‘live’, and you’ve given the question some thought. I love the 4point interpolation, it’s an approach I was contemplating (based on Ross Bencina’s Metasurface), but i’m not familiar with the [pattrstorage] doodah; it’s very very elegant; nice one and thanks again.


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Forums > MaxMSP