Granular synthesis in all sorts of forms has interested me for years because these instruments can create unheard sounds instantly. From drones, textures to glitchy percussive loops, with a sophisticated granular engine, musicians can add some extraordinary timbres to their tracks. So I was very interested in seeing that Spektro Audio, known by the CV Tookit 2, has published last year already Fragments, a new granular Synthesizer – sampler for Max 4 Live. Usually, granular instruments are used to design atmospheric drones or textures but interestingly, Fragments has a different ability. Fragments was designed to quickly build from audio files new glitch and percussive loops.
Fragments is based on a granular engine that can generate up to 8 voices that can be sequenced using a built-in sequencer or via MIDI. Because each granular voice can be controlled independently, the eight voices can be used combined and played as a “glitch drum kit”. Musicians can design so very quickly unique instrument with just a sample.
All the granular parameters available in Fragments can be edited manually via the multi-sliders or randomized to any specific range. Each parameter also includes a Motion feature that shuffles around the values of that parameter between the 8 voices, adding movement and variation to the patch. The Motion direction and rate can also be set independently per parameter.
Fragments is incredible easy-to-use and you can use it to generate incredible and unique loops, from glitched vocals to chaotic drum loops.
Update 1.1: New Sequence Storage feature, Voice section & Auto Randomizer
Just before Christmas, Spektro Audio has released a big first update for Fragments that includes good new features. A new sequence storage feature allows you to store and recall quickly up to 9 different sequences. The Voice section has been massively expanded with new mute and trigger function for any of the 8 voices. They also include now a new flip button that can be used to solo voices (flip all to on and turn mute off for the voice you’d like to solo) or to creatively switch between two sets of voices.
Super exciting is also a new auto randomizer function that can randomize all parameters automatically. Beside this, all parameters now includes two additional buttons: RST (reset all 8 sliders to their default value) and Global Randomizer (disable to prevent the parameter from being randomized by the Auto Randomizer and the “Randomize All” button). Also minor bug fixes and design changes can be found in this free update.
Fragments is in my opinion a super interesting and powerful new tool for creating experimental loops. Looking forward how the developer will develop this instrument further.
Spektro Audio Fragments is now available for $19.99 USD from the official web store.
More information here: Spektro Audio