Signature Presets, Polyphonic MIDI Re-Pitching, Overdubbing and More
The granular audio effect plug-in from Delta Sound Labs migrates from version 1.0 to 1.1. While a 0.1 increment seems small, this update is far from that. Building off the success of version 1.0, Delta Sound Labs's Richard Graham and Edwin Park have had their ears to the streets— implementing many sought after features. These new features have even generated the interest of Atlanta-based Sound Designer Richard Devine, who has created a batch of signature presets included for free in the 1.1 update.
Richard Devine Signature Presets - Included Free!
If you're a fan of electronic music, Richard Devine is a man who needs no introduction. His sound design work can be found across the world—from films to TV commercials, video games, concerts, Instagram live feeds and more. His creativity can partly be defined by his unique field recordings, such as rocks thrown inside oil tankers, recording 12,000 bees, mysterious ringing rocks in Montana, burning embers underwater, and Ambisonic 'babbling brook' field recordings for Google.
This same creativity was utilized in his creation of 13 unique presets for Delta Sound Labs granular plug-in Stream. Best of all, these presets and a few others come free with the 1.1 version of Stream. Check out this video from Richard Devine's Facebook post:
What are Grains?
To answer a fundamental question about granular synthesis, grains are simply small clips of audio that can be layered, re-pitched, reversed and further manipulated to create all new textures from an audio source. Stream has a unique way of doing this that produces a clean, less cloudy sound than typical spectral or frequency-based granulators. Stream is perfect for making textures, atmospheres, ambiences and for filling out compositions. Check out this video that walks you through the GRAINS panel of Stream:
Overdub Mode: Great for Live Performing
Stream excels at creating live looped layers and textures. Version 1.1 introduces an 'Overdub' mode that when engaged let's you can continuously layer audio from a live instrument or your voice. You can also adjust the decay of the layers with a new feedback control that functions much like a traditional looper. For those familiar with delays, this function is similar to the feedback control — the higher the number, the longer the layered sound lingers. The lower the number, the more quickly it fades out.
Re-Pitching Grains, Granular Instrument?
One of the neatest features of Stream is how it re-pitches individual grains. Load Stream as a MIDI Controlled Effect in Logic Pro X or simply drop it on a MIDI track in Ableton. Insert an audio clip in Stream's buffer, hit a few notes on a MIDI keyboard and see what happens!
In the default Monophonic mode, Stream re-pitches each grain to the pitch of the struck note. This is really great for creating pedal tones and drones for an ambient track or cinematic textures and effects, especially when you hit low notes.
Additional Artist Presets
In addition to Richard Devine's presets, you will also find presets from Bill Van Loo, an independent musician, producer and recording engineer. Musically, Bill's style ranges from hip-hop influenced rhythms, to uptempo electronic jams, to carefully composed ambient soundscapes. His influence is rooted in several traditions, namely Detroit techno and the dub reggae-inflected sound of Berlin artists such as Basic Channel and Rhythm & Sound. Creating moving ambient sound sculptures comes naturally to Bill, and Stream is the perfect vehicle.
While Delta Sound Labs seemed to pack a lot of new features into Stream with a small version increment, we have to wonder what is in store for Stream's future. And as I write this from being quarantined for over a month, I can't help but love that Stream has allowed me to be creative with what I have. The number of unfinished projects, riffs and progressions I have sitting idle is astounding and with all this free time on my hands, I've been having a blast reigniting old projects and creating new samples.
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