A dive into granular synthesis*

Hosted by Electric Indigo

Granular synthesis is a method of sound production that involves dividing sounds into very short snippets (called grains, and lasting up to about 50 milliseconds), and then playing the grains back layered on top of each other. By altering parameters such as playback speed, volume, and direction, rich textures can be created from almost any source sound.

Susanne Kirchmayr is an Austrian composer, music producer, DJ, and founder of female:pressure who performs under the name Electric Indigo. In recent years, Susanne has made most of her sounds using granular synthesis techniques. The basic raw material has most often been spoken text in various languages, but she’s also used recordings of other “natural” sounds like breaking glass or a baroque organ. 

In this workshop she’ll introduce the fundamentals of granular synthesis and show how recordings can be transformed into a wide variety of rich sounds. Susanne will discuss her personal artistic approach as well as offering hands-on examples to create your own sounds. In particular, she’ll show how to use Granulator II to transform source material into increasingly abstract sounds. Special emphasis will be placed on generating sound variations for multiple channels in order to create compositions that extend beyond the normal “stereo” listening space.