Motion-fuelled granular soundscapes with Quanta
Audio Damage’s new granular synth packages complex technology behind familiar subtractive-style controls. Let’s get those grains moving Many modern softsynths disguise complex synthesis behind familiar controls, and for good reason – we’re musicians, not scientists, after all. Audio Damage’s Quanta is a perfect example of such an instrument, boiling down granular synthesis into something any electronic musician can pick up and use straight away.
Load a WAV, AIFF, MP3, OGG or FLAC file into Quanta, and the synth normalises the audio ready for playback. The vertical playhead line (representing playback position) is laid over the waveform display, and its placement can be adjusted via the Grains >> Position knob.
We’ve loaded a siren sample into Quanta. Sweeping the sample Position around a particular section creates a rave-esque stab. Luckily, it’s already tuned a fifth above Quanta’s single synthetic sub Oscillator, which we set to Square and Tune down by -24st for weight.
A Random knob flanks many of Quanta’s main parameters. By randomising sample Position and grain Length by a small amount, a ‘shimmering’ synth effect is created. It’s a bit like detuning, but a little more ‘puffy’ and distinctive.
Quanta sports two multimode filters. Using the mod Matrix, we assign one of the two FEGs to rhythmically modulate Filter 1 Frequency. This tone shaping, with the random timbral shimmering, creates a bubbling cinematic timbre or rave riff depending on the MIDI notes.