MATRIXSYNTH: 3 Modules #19: Clouds, Ripples, µScale

Dave Smith Instruments
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Thursday, August 17, 2017

3 Modules #19: Clouds, Ripples, µScale


Published on Aug 17, 2017 Comparative Irrelevance

"Clouds! Clouds for days! I can't seem to touch this thing without it spitting out lovely ambient pads.

There's a couple of interesting things going on here, I think. For one, this patch dabbles in what granular synthesis literature typically calls "wavelets". This is just a word for grains with basic waveform contents, but they tend to produce nice granular... clouds.

Second, it "exploits" the fact that Clouds V/Oct sets the pitch per grain – kind of like a S&H – instead of continuously changing it. In other words, you can use an audio rate signal to set the pitch and still get nice sustained notes as long as the grain size is relatively high.

Patch notes:
Ripples' resonance is turned up to self oscillation levels (but not completely maxed), in order to produce sine waves at the outputs. One of those outputs is fed into Clouds – as an audio source.

Another is sent to µScale, quantized, and then passed to Clouds' V/Oct. You may notice that the pitch rises when I turn up the resonance. This is because the increased resonance amplifies the produced sine wave, which lets µScale reach higher notes. With subtle resonance adjustments you can hear the output move through different inversions of the quantized chord.

The third sine wave is sent back into Ripples' FM input. By turning up the FM amount, a more harmonically rich signal is produced. You can hear this at around 4:30, as I unfreeze/re-freeze Clouds' buffer. At about 6:00 we're back to the sine wavelets.

High grain density coupled with Clouds' built in reverb, means that the output sounds like full chords instead of individual notes. Playing around with the notes on µScale lets me change the harmonies.

Thanks for watching!"

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