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RE: Miels Davis loop
The Malström Graintable Synthesizer in the Reason rack is also very much
to play with. I use a Evolution uc-33 midi controller with its knobs,
sliders, and buttons, to control any of the devices in Reason in real time.
It comes with some presets already mapped for the major instruments in the
Reason rack, including the Malström. The other have to be mapped manually.
After hearing Michael's wonderful Miles piece, I was inspired to experiment
with it. I routed Reason's drum machine through it, playing and changing
some randomly generated patterns. I also connected their matrix pattern
sequencer with the Malström, again just playing and changing some randomly
generated patterns. I then added 2 dr rex loop players to play some back
ground rhythms while I played with the Malström. It was a lotta fun.
Thanks Michael for the inspiration.
You can also play the Reason instruments with a midi keyboard, which I
didn't use last night. I'm not sure if Reason can handle external audio
signals? Anyone work with this?
Here's a bit from Reason's Help:
The Malström is a polyphonic synthesizer with a great number of different
routing possibilities. It is based on the concept of what we call
"Graintable Synthesis", and is ideally suited for producing swirling,
distorted, abstract special effect types of synthesizer sounds. In fact,
could go so far as to say that the Malström can produce sounds quite unlike
anything you've ever heard from a synthesizer.
The following are the basic features of the Malström:
Two Oscillators, based on Graintable Synthesis.
Two Modulators, featuring tempo sync and one-shot options.
Two Filters and one Shaper.
A number of different filter modes in combination with several routing
options and a Waveshaper makes it possible to create truly astounding
Three Envelope generators.
There is one amplitude envelope for each oscillator and a common envelope
for both filters.
Polyphony of up to 16 voices.
Velocity and Modulation control.
A number of CV/Gate Modulation possibilities.
A variety of Audio Input/Output options.
You can for instance connect external audio sources for input to the
Malström, and you can also control its output.
Theory of operation
To give you a clear understanding of the inner workings of the Malström, it
might be in order with a brief explanation of what we call Graintable
What we refer to as Graintable Synthesis is actually a combination of two
synthesis methods; Granular Synthesis and Wavetable Synthesis.
In granular synthesis, sound is generated by a number of short, contiguous
segments (grains) of sound, each typically between 5 to 100 milliseconds
long. The sound is varied by changing the properties of each grain and/or
the order in which they are spliced together. Grains can be produced either
by a mathematical formula or by a sampled sound. This is a very dynamic
synthesis method with a lot of variation possibilities, although somewhat
hard to master and control.
Wavetable synthesis on the other hand, is basically the playback of a
sampled waveform. An oscillator in a wavetable synth plays back a single
period of a waveform, and some wavetable synths also allow the possibility
of sweeping through a set of periodic waveforms. This is a very
straightforward synthesis method that is easily controlled, but somewhat
limited in variation possibilities.
The Malström combines these two into a synthesis method that provides a
flexible way of synthesizing sounds with incredible flux and mutability.
It works like this:
The oscillators in the Malström play back sampled sounds that are subject
to some very complex processing and cut up into a number of grains. From
here on, these sounds will be referred to as Graintables
This results in a set of periodic waveforms (a graintable) that, when
spliced together, play back the original sampled sound.
This can then be treated just like a wavetable. I.e. It is possible to
sweep through it. Move through it at any speed without affecting pitch.
any section of it repeatedly. Use it to pick static waveforms. Jump between
positions. Etc. etc.
It is also possible to perform a number of other tricks, all of which are
described further on in this chapter.
From: Miko Biffle [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, June 29, 2004 11:59 PM
Subject: Re: Miels Davis loop
> I used Granulab which does the chopping into slices and rearranging
> them -
> don't want to explain granular synthesis here - the piece was
> basically created by feeding the original recording into Granulab, and
> finding the best placements for three or four sliders, the rest
> happened on its own without any intervention from my side.
I've found Granulab to be an amazing way to spend entire evenings just
feeding it stuff and being amazed by the results! It's a very simple
interface to explore, but has amazing depth once you start to learn how the
various modules interact.