Manual grains

Hi, I am trying to play a sample of two seconds, a bassline.

What I want to do is to play it in sync with drum modules that are hooked to a Pamela’s new workout. When I play it with a sample looper and trigger it with The pam’sm it plays only 1/3 of the sample and then repeats when the new trigger kicks in. What I want to do is to trigger the sample on it’s entirety on sync, and then be able to transpose it without altering the speed. I have tried to do it with manual grains but I am not achieving the duration effect on sync or the transposing. Can anyone guide me a bit on how to do this ? I just came back from finishing a project and I haven’t touched my rig for a month now … thanks !

First, I’m curious why were you using a sample looper instead of the Sample Player to trigger a sample?

Second, based on how often you were resetting the loop and the length of the loop in the buffer, was 1/3 of the sample playing unexpected to you? I couldn’t tell from your description.

Third, currently the only way to time-stretch is to feed a sawtooth wave into the start parameter of a Manual Grains, set the duration to something shortish (<100ms) and continually trigger at 10-20Hz. The frequency of the sawtooth wave sets the duration independent of the pitch transposition. Does it make sense to you why this would work?

Sorry, i meant a sample player.

I though that when manual grains was announced it was going to be some kind of time stretching like the one you can do on Live, where the sample doesn’t change it’s speed or duration and can be freely transposed. Is that kind of timestretch planned to be added at some point ?

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It is called Manual Grains because the grain production is under complete manual control which provides you with the most flexibility. If you understand how granular time-stretching works then you can reproduce time-stretch with the Manual Grains unit as described. However, if you want simpler access to time-stretching then that will have to wait for the more automated granular units which are planned but have lower priority than say for example the polyphonic sample player.

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Sorry but granular time-stretching is something new to me, I would like to learn though, is there documentation or a video about it ?

Thanks !

Thanks to Neil, there is a video:


It does make sense, but honestly, I would never have thought of doing it this way - thank you - mind expanded a little :smiley:

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Thanks for that, got it now. But how do you sync it to an external clock ?

The Aliasing Saw unit used to control the grains start positions (effectively the play position) has a sync input that you can use for this purpose.

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Great, I will do more experimenting today. Thank you for the input !

Away from my modular for a few days but if you wanted to time stretch/squeeze loops of know bar length (assuming 4/4 time) then the following calculation can be used to determine the frequency of the Saw wave modifying the start parameter:

Saw frequency (Hz) = 60 / (Desired BPM * No.of bars in loop)

I have sample packs of drum loops etc of 1, 2 & 4 bars so the above approach should work in this situation.

Will test when I get back


I just tested it, got it in sync. It’s amazing … Thanks for the formula !


this reminded me of Beastie Boys - Intergalactic at the beginning of the song.

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Any way we could get grains longer than one second? A option you could set the max length to 2 or 3 seconds instead of just 1?

Can’t you do that now by editing the control?

maybe! ill check it thanks.

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one other thing, it would be nice to be able to smooth out the grains a little more. For example instruo arbhar and morphagene can have more fading of the edges of grains so it sounds more pleasant, easier on the ear. @odevices is it possible to get more fading/smooth the edges of the grains?

It’s already there in the squash parameter:

I know about the squash parameter but still find its hard to get smooth sounds sometimes.

Then grain envelope is not the problem, right? Perhaps you could explain what you mean by smooth?