GRIP Grain Cloud Synth 1.9
Supports MPE, adapted for Komplete/Maschine
GRIP Polyphonic Grain Cloud Synth
Uwe G. Hoenig, 2018
Version 1.9 includes some adaptions for using GRIP with Komplete/Maschine. Big thanks to Stephen Wey for this! See the version history below for details.
Note: Needs Reaktor 6.2.1 or newer now. Version 1.8 (which is compatible with Reaktor 5.9.2) is included in the download.
Compatible with existing presets.
- Some presets (same sounds as in the audio example in the user lib):
- A live demo:
Help and contact
To contact me please use the comments in the Reaktor user library:
• is an instrument between sampler and synth
• is based on Reaktor's Grain Cloud module
• is a late successor to my "Travelizer" from the NI library
• offers a nice set of samples and presets
• can be played polyphonically from a MIDI keyboard or other controllers, including MPE controllers
• comes with a Lemur template for Lemur on iPad
• produces a great variety of sounds, depending on the samples and settings
• offers extensive and some rather unique modulation possibilities
• can also be used with live audio input
Some tech specs
• granular synthesis based on pre-loaded samples or live input
• up to 30 simultaneous grains per voice
• granular parameters include pitch, pitch slide, position, legth, distance, gain, envelope and various jitter parameters
• can use stereo samples, signal path is stereo throughout
• live audio in is mono only (will be stereo soon)
• LP/BP/HP filter (stereo)
• two LFOs, polyphonic
• four envelope generators, polyphonic
• one envelope follower, polyphonic
• two random generators, polyphonic
• a reverb (taken from "Prism"), polyphonic (yes!) and with modulatable reverb time
• a simple delay effect with feedback
• the panel includes many LEDs for visualizing the modulations, this layout is made for six-voice polyphony
• Reaktor 5.9.2 or newer
• GRIP can be quite CPU-intensive; reduce the instrumet's voices if you encounter crackles etc.
• a current-generation i5/i7 cpu is recommended for 6-voice polyphony (GRIP's default)
To play GRIP
- use GRIP as a plugin instance or stand-alone, both work fine
- start the clock in Reaktor stand alone / the playback of your DAW (as GRIP uses the clock for various modulations)
- select the GRIP instrument, choose a preset bank and a preset
- feed it some MIDI note, modwheel and aftertouch data
Tip: Start with panel "B" which shows only the most important parameters and makes it easier to explore them
To go a little deeper
- try the BIG knobs first when tweaking presets
- try choosing other samples for a given preset (with the big Sample knob under the ugh logo) – and load your own samples
- right click on the white label bar above the sample display to access the sample map and to load samples
- activate Reaktor's info function to get some mouseover info for the knobs etc.
- see the info on the "G R I P" label next to the ugh logo for a list of modulation sources
- see the info on the "Grain Cloud Synth" label for some more info regarding modulation
- get familiar with the modulation slots that you find all across the panel, see next section
- if your keyboard sends poly pressure, try replacing "CPress" (channel pressure) modulation sources with "PP1" (poly pressure); you need to send notes and poly pressure on MIDI channel 1 for this to work
To change or set up modulations
- each modulation slot consists of two flip menus, an intensity parameter, an on/off switch and six LEDs for the six voices
- each flip menu selects a modulation source, the two sources get multiplied (think of sidechaining: Modwheel controls LFO to pitch mod)
- choose a mod source in one menu and "On" in the other for a simple modulation without sidechaining
- set the mod intensity by dragging on the value field and switch the modulation on (with the small round switch)
To use live audio instead of samples
- use "Reaktor FX" as insert effect on an audio track
- activate the "Live" switch in the lower left corner
- the "Sample" frame is replaced by an "Audio In" frame
- feed Reaktor some audio, check and set recording level
- choose something like "1/8" to trigger the amp envelope
- recording is active as soon as you enter live mode; use "Freeze" to halt it
- recorded audio CANNOT be stored with presets
- recorded audio is LOST when switching between sample and live in mode
• Modulation sources:
Vel = MIDI note velocity, unipolar
Rel Vel = MIDI note release velocity, unipolar
Note = MIDI note number; centered, bipolar
PBend = MIDI pitch bend, bipolar
CPrs = MIDI channel pressure, unipolar
PPrs = MIDI poly pressure, unipolar
ModWh = MIDI CC1, modulation wheel, unipolar
CC 74 = MIDI CC 74, used by MPE controllers, unipolar
LFO1, LFO 2 = the two LFOs, unipolar or bipolar
EnvF = envelope follower, unipolar
LinEnv = linear envelope, unipolar
ModEnv = modulation envelope, unipolar
FiltEnv = filter envelope, unipolar
AmpEnv = amp envelope, unipolar
Curv = curve below the wave display, unipolar
Rnd1, Rnd2 = the two random generators, unipolar
DispY = y axis on the wave display
NGate = MIDI note gate (no velocity), unipolar
1/4 - 16/T = rhythmical pulses, 50% length, unipolar
X, Y, Z = the corresponding controls on the panel; these can be switched between monophonic and polyphonic (-> affecting the voices individually), unipolar
VcSprd = mod value increases with voice number, unipolar
PP1, PP2, PP3 = poly pressure on MIDI ch 1, 2, 3 (hard-wired – be sure to send notes on the corresponding channel)
On = 'on' switch (=1)
Half = a value of 0.5 (use this to quickly scale a mod source – or if you can't decide between 'on' and 'off' ;-)
Off = 'off' switch (=0)
Inverse = "-1" to inverse the signal from the other mod input slot
• (Re)Trigger sources
(on the envs, the LFOs and grain distance)
Note = MIDI note on
Grain = start of a new grain
Grid = hitting a new line on the position grid
N & Gr = 'Note' and 'Grid' trigger combined
STNote = Single Trigger Note, monophonic
ZBttn = the 'Z' macro button on the panel
4/1 - 16T = rhythmical triggers
AnyPC = any MIDI program change message is used as trigger
AnyCC = any MIDI CC message is used as trigger; gate is held as long as the cc value changes
PC&CC = AnyPC and Any CC combined
• Time quantization sources
(on various parameter modulations)
Off = no time quantization occurs
1/1 - 1/16T = quantization on chosen beat value
NoteOn = quantization occurs on MIDI note on
Includes some adaptions for using GRIP with Komplete/Maschine. Big thanks to Stephen Wey for this! He writes:
- reduced the automation IDs in the easy panel to ones that KK can use (they were far too high)
- added a built in mapping for KK/Maschine with organised tabs,
- added meta tags for the presets so KK can 'see' it as an instrument synth
- applied the mapping to all snapshots. It's all built into the ens - people just need to import it.
- When related to note pitch information, "Distance" now also receives pitch values including glide (portamento), rather than only the current note numbers.
- GRIP now offers support for MPE controllers like Linnstrument and Roli Seaboard.
Use the MPE switch in the bottom left corner to activate it. Leave it off if you don't use an MPE controller. With MPE, pitch bend, channel pressure and CC 74 are received separately for each voice, which allows for more expression. If MPE is on, GRIP expects notes which are distributed across midi channels 2 to 7 while midi channel 1 serves as the basic channel.
The switch labeled "CC 74>1" below the MPE switch routes CC 74 ("Slide" or "Timbre" in MPE-speak, sent from all MPE controllers) to GRIP's "ModWheel" (CC 1) modulation inputs. In other words: CC 74 is treated as modulation wheel, which makes it very easy to adapt existing presets (which usually use ModWheel for some modulation) to MPE. Simply activate both buttons and play through the snapshots with your MPE controller to see how they respond. Bank 7 features some new sounds which were made with MPE in mind, start with those.
When MPE is on, the pitch bend range parameter changes to offer you 24 or 48 semitones of pitch bend range.
Both switches, "MPE" and "CC 74>1", as well as the MPE pitch bend range parameter are considered system settings and are NOT stored with the presets.
- New modulation sources:
Rel Vel: release velocity (only a few midi keyboards but all MPE controllers send this)
CC 74: midi controller 74, which is sent by all MPE controllers. See the note above for routing this to "ModWheel".
Inverse: this corresponds to "-1" and is meant to inverse the source that is chosen in the other mod input slot
- The "Gain Dir" switch now offers a new option "auto" for the grain playback direction. With "auto", grains are played forward if the playhead moves from left to right, and backwards, if the playhead moves from right to left. This allows for more natural and smoother scrubbing effects.
- The Amp Envelope now has a "steady" switch. Activate it if you want to "bypass" the amp envelope (meaning that its output is set to max all the time). This can be useful for live mode or if you plan to use channel pressure to modulate gain, for a more bowed than plucked loudness control.
- disables the workaround from v1.5 and includes a different approach to avoid the pitch bug
- Includes a workaround for the annoying pitch bug ("new note starts with the pitch of a previous note"). The workaround removes this unwanted behaviour in most cases. Please ler me know via comments if it works for you.
- GRIP now offers an EASY mode: on panel "B" only the most important parameters are visible, which makes it easier and more convenient to explore them. You can switch between panel B or A at any time to get the reduced and "easy" view or acces to all parameters, respectively. Panel B is also a good starting point if you don't plan to use many modulations but want to automate GRIP's knobs from your DAW.
To start making a new sound on panel B, please select a snapshot template from the "EASY" bank. These snapshots are tailored to panel B and have all the invisible modulations turned off.
- cleaned up automation IDs
- included a more useful default preset
- fixed some small things
- GRIP now includes a Lemur template (iPad) for performing with the synth. The template can send five independent MIDI poly pressure signals to the synth (on five different MIDI channels) which allows for very expressive per-note modulations. Two of the poly pressure signals are generated with "RoboKnobs" from SAVEAS which can record, play back and loop knob movements (see here: https://liine.net/en/community/user-library/view/467/). More info on how to set up and use the Lemur template can be found in a Read me file in the ZIP.
- the modulation source menus in GRIP now includes PP1 ... PP6 for six poly pressure streams (on MIDI channel 1...6). These entrys moved to the end of the sources list. If you made presets using the older PP1...PP3 entrys, these assignments now show up as "dummy 1...3". Please change these to the new PP entrys (besides that, all presets are full compatible with version 1.2). The "dummy" entrys and PP6 are reserved for future use.
- added some presets for the Lemur to get you started
- the bank "21010" with live in presets from Bernd Kreil was added (thanks!)
- the non-working modulation entrys for "Freeze" (in live in mode) were fixed
- the sine oscillator in the Sample frame now receives pitch bend
- some new presets, optimized some presets
- added preset bank "201228" from Bernd Keil with 42 new sounds (thanks!)
Improved live input mode:
- added 20 presets for live input mode
- feedback now works when GRIP is set to more than one voice
- live input mode can operate in strereo now; the wave display shows only the left channel
- a small switch in the Audio in frame enables stereo mode (this increases CPU load, so activate only when needed)
- can also work polyphonically now; each voice gets the same audio from the outside, but its own feedback signal. To save CPU, use 1 voice unless you REALLY want live input mode to work polyphonically.
- feedback now has a switch for cross feedback and a modulation slot for feedback intensity
- added some modulation sources for Freeze
- Fixes the lousy panning (balance) implementaion of v1.0 – NOW the samples play in stereo and pan jitter works. Expect broader sounds. :-) Thanks, Paul!
- Initial release