Another Rudimentary Granular Effect

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…

1 Like

+1 for these^^

1 Like

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:

1 Like

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!

1 Like

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:.


right there with ya!

As far as lpb control goes, I’ve been duplicating patterns and running them at different lpb as it makes for more options/flexibility/control for different samples and song tempos. It is also possible to mute various note-column “playheads” within a given pattern, offering more flexibility. I’ll upload another version with more functionality in the next day or two. @Neuro_No_Neuro Nice new version :slight_smile:
Glad to figure out some native grain cloud capability! Still hoping for sampler-integrated granular from @taktik at some point, if we’re lucky :crossed_fingers:

Wondering if an LFO with a faster speed could affect the stepper to be faster… would that speed up the grains in any way? Maybe less work for @taktik ?

Here’s another version:
grain cloud 1 init.xrni (104.0 KB)

So, there are 3 slightly offset forward scrubbing playheads by default, but by muting note columns in each phrase, 3 (again, slightly offset) backwards playheads can be enabled, and/or 2 random playheads.

This version has the maximum pattern length of 256 lines for each pattern in the instrument, but varying lpb values: 256, 128, 64, 32, 16, 8, 4, and 2 lpb, including an additional “blank” pattern of 256 lbp to copy and alter as you see fit. The lower lpb value patterns can make some nice rhythmic effects, but are quite long! I’ll make some shorter versions at some point. As they currently are, they make for some nice long-repeating, pseudo-random phrases when the random playheads are enabled.

I think there is a lot more potential using this technique although it might be a bit time-intensive to set up the playhead patterns… You could theoretically have playheads that scrubbed back and forth, clustered in one section then jumped to another… lots of possibilities. I have notes triggering probabalistically, but that could certainly be disabled. Skies the limit here, I think.

I also added pan spreading to my version, as well as a lowpass filter and reverb in the effects section. I left the instrument filter empty, so, per grain filtering is very much an option, although the filters may behave unpredictably when asked to retrigger at such rapid rates.

anyways, hope this is useful to some of the rest of you besides me and @Neuro_No_Neuro!
Drop in some samples, try different patterns, and twist away :upside_down_face:


Neat! Thank you :blush:

Yeah, this is WAY more flexible - now we’re having granular speed. Very nice work here, @slujr

Everybody, please check this out. @taktik - can you incorporate this in a collected manner inside of a Sampler? This is the very best granular effect that has been created with Renoise - it’s spot-on. Please add this into Renoise Sampler as a finished method of sample playback?


@taktik I will second this needing native support. We all love Renoise and I hope this feedback is taken constructively and with good will.


OK, so I’ve updated the instrument and improved its functionality. Most of the relevant bits are commented in the instrument itself, but we now have 12 playheads… 3 running from start to end (one of which plays the grains backwards), 3 running from end to start (one of which plays the grains forwards), 4 random playheads (two playing grains backwards), and two scrubbing “ping-pong” playheads operating in reverse of each other. There are a lot more phrases now, too, to offer more rhythmic and timing flexibility. From 256 lpb for 512 lines, all the way down to 2 lpb for 64 lines. Different patterns will suit different source samples, and the low lpb phrases offer some interesting rhythmic effects.

Anyway, have fun with this and enjoy our newly extended native granular synthesis capabilities :slight_smile:

ReGranulizer v1.xrni (1.0 MB)


I’m going to download later, but big respect for doing this.


Holy Cow! Thanks a ton, @slujr !

1 Like

ya, my pleasure. gotta share the love! Hope it gets a ton of use. seems pretty powerful, actually


THIS is how granular stuff SHOULD sound @slujr. Very good. Here’s a snippet of a track, and it’s not done yet, going to attenuate it a bit more. The granular part using the tool (with my little modifications to the Macros) is at 40 seconds in. A video generator by Ivan Dianov paired with the audio in Apple Motion, further processed with Photomosh Pro.