Fragments: A Max For Live Granular Synth
Fragments, the latest from Spektro Audio, is a Max For Live granular synth with tremendous potential for creating new musical ideas and new sounds. The 8-voice granular engine is designed to create percussive loops in glitch rhythms which means the sounds you get will vary greatly depending upon the sample loaded. Imagine an endless landscape of new ideas and sounds. The layout and functionality of the device is designed to be manual and intuitive so Fragments has capability for first-time users as well as the more advanced.
To get started, users need to load an audio sample or loop into the “Audio Sample” section of the device. For best results, Spektro recommends longer loops like drums loops or vocal phrases. The 8-voices of the granular engine can be sequenced via the built-in sequencer or played in via MIDI. Once a sample is loaded and a sequence selected, just press play in Live and Fragments will start creating a loop. Adjustable parameters include “Pitch”, “Distance”, “Position”, “Cutoff”, and more. Each of the parameters is controlled via its multi-sliders and each of the 8 sliders in each parameter represents the value of one of the 8-voices, allowing for great maneuverability with sound design. Values within each multi-slider can be randomized in a specific range of your choosing, creating a more live and exciting loop with the touch of just one button. Each of the parameters also contains a “motion” feature that lets you shuffle around the values for the 8-voices. This randomizes values differently every time the loop is played and allows users to change the direction and rate movement. All of this easily makes loops more exciting and interesting.
The pattern in the sequencer will dictate the entire loop. Once the sequence is programmed or something is played via MIDI, variations on the sequencer can be auditioned easily by moving the pattern left, right, up, or down on the grid with the click of a button. Modulation on the sequencer includes 5 waveforms: sine, triangle, ramp, random, and smooth random. Once a sequence has been tweaked on the detailed parameter level, Global Functions provides the ability to add final tweaks to the loop. Toggles for grain shape, filter and delay, cutoff, transposition, drive, and delay slide (sets the time the delay will take to go from one value to another) are all included in the Global Functions. Lastly, there is a Randomize All button. This allows users to randomize every parameter and global function they are using and discover some crazy loops and sounds we don’t think you’d create otherwise.
Fragments is an exciting tool for the creative music maker. Granular synthesis creates some wild sounds and the parameters and sequence adjustability of this device make manual manipulation and exploration of these sounds something users with at least some experience can really dive into. Check out more about Fragments on Spektro Audio’s website HERE.