Best Granular Synth VSTs & Plugins For Computer Part Two
Post date:Tue, 06/23/2020 - 19:35
In the first part of our article on granular synth VSTs and Plugins for computer (LINK) we checked paid and free options, like Ribs, PolyGAS, Polygon, Biotek 2, Crusher-X 8, Quanta, and Kaiva. All of these either focused exclusively on granular synthesis or incorporated this form of synthesis along with their other features. In this second part, we examine a few more options for PC and Mac owners who want to dabble with granular synthesis.
Granulizer 2 by Inertia Sound Systems
Price: € 80.00
Granulizer 2 is a granular synthesis software synthesizer that allows for creative sound design. Its selling point is a very versatile DSP engine that gives you access to a wide sound palette. Updates to Granulizer 2 means that it has a high-quality granular engine that offers control over everything from grain size, and density to grain envelope shape, pitch, and even timing randomization. Its grain warping module features a feedback modulation scheme, so you get controls for smear, smooth, and depth, while the Grain FX module has spectral processing per grain. Along with custom-built presets, Granulizer 2 also allows you to create your own from scratch or alternatively build upon the existing ones. This product is available for Windows and macOS and will remain in tryout mode until it is purchased and authorized.
Granite by New Sonic Arts
Price: € 99.00
With Granite, you get a unique sound engine that melds a state-of-the-art granular processor, an innovative modulation system as well as a suite of per-grain FX. Unlike other bloated products, Granite features a very compact user interface and is capable of taking advantage of GPU acceleration for an immersive audio-visual experience. While it is powerful, Granite has an intuitive workflow, which has made it a firm favorite amongst soundtrack composers, game designers, and musicians. Granite has a fully functional demo with the only limitation being that user-created presets cannot be recalled. It is available for both Windows and OSX.
Palindrome by Glitch Machines
If your taste leans towards experimental sound design, then the granular morph plotting sampler, Palindrome, is worth a closer look. It uses four granular samplers with a coordinate plotting grid and complex modulation sources which allows you to create morphing sound effects as well as unusual instrument patches. Palindrome also has 8 multi-breakpoint envelopes, a comprehensive randomizer, and a scalable user interface. The more than 70 presets and 1.5 GB of included samples also makes for a great starting point. Palindrome is available for Windows and Mac but unfortunately does not have a demo version to try out.
MGranularMB by Melda Production
Price: € 49.00
For versatility, there is MGranularMB which offers the usual panorama and pitch shifting of granular resynthesizers but also goes further with graph-based transformations, pitch adjustment of each grain to harmonize and up to 20 layers at once. The result is a true grain cloud and all of it in up to six frequency bands. MGranularMB also comes with extensive modulation options as you can modulate any parameter from sources such as an LFO, audio level follower and much more. A dual user interface keeps things accessible to both professionals as well as beginners and a free trial version is available to test drive the software. MGranularMB supports VST, VST3, AU and AAX interfaces on Windows and Mac.
Omnisphere 2 by Spectrasonics
Omnisphere 2 is overkill in terms of price and features if all you are interested in is basic granular synthesis, but for an all-in-one solution, it's hard to beat. Omnisphere 2 features a vastly expanded synthesis engine that includes powerful new granular synthesis, but it also offers so much more. In addition to a greatly enhanced arpeggiator, Omnisphere 2 has a new hardware library of over 1,600 patches and comes with more than 14,000 sounds included. What makes Omnisphere stand out is that it is the only software synth to offer hardware synth integration and it is compatible with more than 65 actual hardware synths. Unfortunately, no demo version of the software exists, but Spectrasonics advises that anyone interested in Omnisphere 2 contact a local dealer in their area to arrange a live demo. Omnisphere 2 is available for both Windows and Mac.
The software mentioned in these two articles is by no means the only options available to PC and Mac owners. Other paid alternatives include Padshop 2 by Steinberg, and even Falcon by UVI, while free options range from Drop by Sample Fuel, to GranuLab by Ostinato. Let us know in the comments below or on the forum what your preferred software is for granular synthesis or share some of your sounds for us to hear.