Another Rudimentary Granular Effect

Yet another cry for real granular effects IN Renoise, NOT VST.

I have been messing around with the Convolver convolution reverb effect. In essence, it is a very rough delay/sampler that applies an IR (impulse response) as a reverb. That’s two effects in one. It’s a delay in a way because it’s ‘Pre-delay’ function is available, from 0ms up to 500ms. The Pre-delay is basically a sampler, that can have its sampling length adjusted. Adding an LFO on random at 5LPC can give the Pre-delay a varying sample length by adjusting ‘where’ it begins. It’s imposing a delayed start on a convolution signal. Place a reverb IR in the Convolver and then modulate the Pre-delay with a random LFO. A gentle chopped-sample played out over the top of the original sample, very granular.

Where this falls short is how it does not allow modulation for a ‘start’ position or a ‘length’. By wiggling these two sliders around with the mouse, you’ll get all sorts of neat artifacts (crackling, buzzing, etc.).

I’m wondering aloud (via type). If these extra sliders could gain modulation, would we actually have a very rudimentary ‘actual’ granular device? Rock and roll, rudimentary granular effect with signal delay :smiley: Then, if we could have an actual signal splitter, and place that in a doofer with say, 4 convolvers, with an actual pitch altering device, and greater pre-delay time… Heck, we’d have a really pretty smear-generator.

Ah what the heck, please just give us the granular control from the other tracker, Radium. It’s beautiful and would just be part of the sampler…

Please @taktik? Pretty please?


I second this motion. Native Granular, multiple playheads and parallel effects containers. Some pitch shifter and frequency shifter effects too please.


Renoise is absolutely begging for granular functionality, it feels like we are already so close. Granular makes a lot of sense considering Renoises already very robust audio editing and instrument tools.


Can’t this already be done with sample commands? I don’t see a need for a separate granular effect…


Unfortunately, no. Granular sample manipulation is a very fine process, otherwise I would not ask for it. There are a few tools that can get very close; they are single-stream, heavy on the processor, and not as accurate as the actual effect. Happy to share what can be done with the processes I’m looking for:

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Still, Renoise can get close using native functionality…here’s a rudimentary demo:

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I’m aware, it’s not what I’m asking for. Thank you for making the video, though! That is very kind of you :slightly_smiling_face: The Slice selection option is pretty cool - it is a calculated approach and is really great for working at high speed tempi. At the speed it’s operating at in the video, it has a nice ‘choppy/skippy” effect.

The reason I’m seeking the granular effect built into the sampler is because I’m already creating very calculated, yet abstract music. The principle that I’m seeking within the confines of my tracks is a true granular randomness.

I do understand and respect your point of view, though. This particular effect is one of two things I’d like to see in Renoise - the other being the ability to overlay patterns askew, as in SunVox.

I’ll share with you what I’m creating to give you an idea of ‘why’ I’ve been requesting this functionality:

Whether it’s to anybody’s taste is questionable, but I aim to replicate the music that I used to be able to create in Max/MSP standalones- with the added capability to not be generative sequencing. Max/MSP being the king of granular patches, it’s really the one thing that I dream of being implemented in Renoise. In fact, I used to use Reason for 17 years and they adopted granular synthesis about 5 - 7 years ago- still, I still choose Renoise for it’s amazing sequencing capabilities and rock solid sampler.

I’ll reiterate- your example is great, just not quite as capable as what I’m asking for. Thankfully, I’m not alone in this request, which is why I keep asking for it. I hope it won’t upset you very much, as Renoise is excellent in my eyes.

Finally, if it’s available IN Renoise, it’s one less plugin to use (which I won’t use anyway). I’m all about keeping it all within Renoise.

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I totally get it…I just wanted to make sure others knew of some of the capabilities of Renoise that they might not have know about already.

And, yeah-- I would much rather have the majority of features I need in the tool itself, and Renoise, of all the DAWs out there, seems to be a good match for a granular tool, since it’s so good at sample mangling and whatnot. :slight_smile:

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Is this not possible in renoise through the use of phrases? I’m not familiar with sunvox’s capabilities…

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Yes and no - phrases can be placed anywhere within a pattern, but I believe (correct me if I’m wrong), the phrase stops playing at the end of the pattern. Then one has to become a bit more creative with their phrase placement within patterns. I prefer to just be able to “scoot” the actual pattern block up/down. Less thought involved.

Enable looping and autoseek inside the phrase editor for continuous phrasing :slight_smile:


Phrases repeat by default until an explicit note-off instruction is received. Easy to create complex overlapping polyrhythmic or polymetric cycles :wink:

kudos on the OP, btw! that’s an interesting trick stretching the convolver’s parameters to create some grain cloud type effects. I will definitely try it out

I, too, would be thrilled to see true native granular capabilities in renoise…

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+1 for these^^

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OK, this thread got me thinking/experimenting and I think we can actually have some interesting granular-adjacent capability with a little work up front. As @bcgreen pointed out, and as many of us know, you can use the sample offset/slice command to do some faux granular synthesis. Now, if we use the (up to 12) note columns in instrument phrases to create multiple “playheads,” and tie various modulation parameters to macros (ie adsr attack time, decay time, release time, pitch drift via random lfo, etc.), and use sxx commands (in addition to yx commands if you want) for each note column, you can get some pretty nice sample clouds going. I’ll upload an example xrni here soon. back to the lab, lol…

quasi granular 1.xrni (642.2 KB)

OK, have a look at this. Try playing it while looking at the waveform and mess with the macros. This is 3 “playheads” with two sweeping from start to finish slightly offset from each other, and one sweeping from back to front (each “slice” playing forwards). Try the pitch randomization, etc. quite a variety of sonic material from one little patch. This is just a crude first draft, but you get the idea. Pretty quick to set up the playheads with copy and paste and interpolation of start and end sxx commands… playhead speed is controlled by lpb in the phrase. Unfortunately that value is not automatable via macro unless someone knows a way that phrase lpb can be changed on the fly from the pattern editor? You could always create multiple patterns with different lpb values and switch between them using the zxx command.

The nice thing about this method is you can easily swap out the sample. Also, very minimal cpu drain, at least on my rig. Try it and let me know what you think!

I’ll definitely be exploring this method further in my own music :upside_down_face:


Sounds neat! Will try this weekend :slightly_smiling_face:

Funny you should mention this…earlier I was playing around with using two tracks as ‘play heads’. :slight_smile:

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after fucking about with this for a bit this morning, I’m convinced this technique (using phrases in conjunction with sxx command for playheads) is legit. A whole new playground of sample grain manipulation opens up. Will definitely be using this technique.

OK, this is incredible. I was able to get some pretty beautiful sounds from one of my samples. I will need to dissect this further.

I still wish this was native to the sampler, although the nit picky side of me also appreciates that I can micro-edit the placement and style of how and where this is occurring!

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Updated the instrument a bit:

  • Added another phrase column (4) to act in reverse of (3). Not sure if it’s doing much, but what the heck!
  • Added Filter Cutoff, Resonance
  • Added Random Panning
  • Added Convolution Reverb “Amount”

What this instrument can’t seem to do is adjust LPB within the Phrases, which would make it truly granular - adjusting grain speed would create a greater amount of grains played back within the same amount of time. Because we have adjustable Decay/Release we have a nice ‘smear’ effect, and the random Panning and Convolution Reverb will add a nice amount of ‘space’ to it.

Quasi-Granular v2.xrni (2.0 MB)

Replace samples for both the instrument and reverb per your choosing.


Would be great to have individual (speed/bpm)lpb control over phrases indeed, independently of the main tempo. Proposed it many times, though mainly from using pattern commands inside the phrases :sunglasses: . From now on I’ll keep macro control in my prayers as well :drummer:.