Tags: posts polarity-music Current Granular-Synthesis MinimalAudio Pads synthesizers Sound-Design

MinimalAudio Current: Beautiful Pad Sounds

Tutorial | Oct 13, 2023

In this video, I discuss my thoughts on the granular engine in the synth and how I miss having a record button. I demonstrate how I use my vocals recorded in a DAW to create a pad sound, adjusting the pitch and experimenting with various settings. I also showcase the use of wave tables, a morphing filter, LFOs, and effects like reverb and delay to create a textured and evolving sound.

You can watch the Video on Youtube - support me on Patreon

Questions & Answers

Maybe you dont watch the video, here are some important takeaways:

Can you record directly into the granular engine in Current?

No, the granular engine in Current does not have a record button, which is a feature I personally miss in most granular synthesizers and samplers. Instead, you have to rely on recording into a DAW using an audio track.

How can you determine the pitch of a recorded sample in Current's granular engine?

To determine the pitch of a recorded sample in Current's granular engine, you can drag the sample into a sampler within Bitwig and use the "detect root key" option. This will analyze the sample and provide you with the root key and any pitch offset needed to achieve the correct pitch.

What are some key settings to adjust for creating a pad sound in the granular engine?

For creating a pad sound in the granular engine, set the speed to zero so the playhead stays in place. Increase the spray and layers to add complexity to the sound. Adjust the granular size to determine the length of the sample and overlap the granular particles slightly.

How can you add texture and variety to the pad sound in Current's granular engine?

To add texture and variety to the pad sound in Current's granular engine, you can use additional oscillators and apply modulation. Try increasing the unison or detuning the oscillators for a thicker sound. Experiment with filters, LFOs, and effects like chorus and reverb to add movement and depth to the sound.


This is what im talking about in this video. The text is transcribed by AI, so it might not be perfect. If you find any mistakes, please let me know.
You can also click on the timestamps to jump to the right part of the video, which should be helpful.

[00:00:00] [Music]
[00:00:14] So now that the subscription is finally out of the way and we can talk about the
[00:00:21] synth itself and create some sounds. In the first video I created some kind of
[00:00:24] bass sound with current and this time I want to use the granular engine to create
[00:00:29] a nice easy pad sound and the first thing I miss on the granular engine and I
[00:00:36] usually miss on every granular synthesizer ever and also samplers is
[00:00:40] the record button. I want to record directly into the buffer and experiment
[00:00:44] with different sounds and how they sound with the granular engine. This is at
[00:00:49] least my opinion so this needs to be standardized on every granular
[00:00:53] synthesizer ever record feature right. So to record something or to use my
[00:00:58] vocals in here so we have to rely on the DAW itself. So I record here something
[00:01:04] on an audio track but I use here the quick sampler because it's you know
[00:01:09] quick. So yeah I record something into a different buffer so here I just record
[00:01:16] my voice.
[00:01:24] Something like this I mean it sounds pretty beautiful. So we can drag here
[00:01:29] just just into the sampler itself but we don't know the pitch. So to get the idea
[00:01:35] what kind of pitch this is we can you know fiddle around for hours or we can
[00:01:39] just drag this here into Bitwig into a sampler and inside of the sampler we can
[00:01:45] use the detect root key option here. So let me let me drag this here over here
[00:01:53] and say detect root key and it's D#3 - 16 cents. So you can type in here it's
[00:01:59] D# as a root key and it's off by - 60 cents. Okay so now that we have this we
[00:02:10] can just delete here everything and just use current only and I want to test
[00:02:15] here if the pitch is correct by just playing this back and use here the
[00:02:20] wave table.
[00:02:22] That's perfectly in tune. Okay so in the granular engineer I want to use at least
[00:02:39] zero speed so the playhead stays in place. I bring the playhead over here
[00:02:45] increase the spray, increase the layers and then I want to change it offset
[00:02:54] which changes basically the playhead playback off left and right channel.
[00:02:59] Maybe we don't need to modulate this actually.
[00:03:09] So this is here the granular size. So how long basically the sample is. So I want to
[00:03:18] keep this here this certain amount so it overlaps or the granular particles
[00:03:23] overlap a bit.
[00:03:26] We don't need to sync here. There's also a high pass in here which is nice
[00:03:37] because we want to use the wave table and put some synthesized sounds below it
[00:03:42] right so we can cut off here some of the low end.
[00:03:47] Maybe increase the loudness a bit. So now we go back here to the wave tables and
[00:03:54] use saw. Increase the unison.
[00:04:05] Something like that and we want to put this through a filter of course and I
[00:04:11] use here a morphing filter a morphe 12 and morphe is basically you can morphe
[00:04:16] between a low pass and a high pass and a notch.
[00:04:22] That's nice so I want to use here an LFO. The LFO goes to three bars and I want
[00:04:35] to randomize this and I modulate you to cut off for that.
[00:04:41] I want the second LFO. Switches to LFO here. Also slow six bars maybe. Also
[00:04:50] randomized and I want to randomize here the morphe. Not too much. You don't want
[00:04:58] a pure high pass. We just want here just a bit of movement. Maybe spread so you
[00:05:07] can change here the low cut or low pass for the left and right channel
[00:05:13] differently. And we need to change it and the envelope for the amplitude. So here
[00:05:22] it's just you know a sustained sound so we introduce here a long attack. Let's
[00:05:29] say four seconds and a long decay. Maybe seven seconds. Five.
[00:05:40] [Music]
[00:05:56] That sounds nice. So we use the second oscillator here but this one goes let's
[00:06:01] say seven semitones higher so in the dominant basically or the fifth.
[00:06:11] And this oscillator goes also through the further one here. And here I want to
[00:06:23] also use an LFO. Only a tiny bit of randomized here and also pretty slow
[00:06:31] two bars maybe three bars. And then I use this here for the volume for the second
[00:06:36] oscillator to bring in the dominant just sometimes.
[00:06:41] [Music]
[00:06:59] Phaser.
[00:07:02] [Music]
[00:07:10] Yeah that's also something you can modulate so another LFO.
[00:07:14] Randomize. It's pretty fast to work with current actually. And right click set
[00:07:22] bipolar so we modulate in both directions.
[00:07:26] [Music]
[00:07:34] And by the way I missed some kind of feature where we can change how many
[00:07:38] voices we want to have at maximum. At the moment if I play multiple voices
[00:07:42] sometimes I can hear that certain older voices switch off.
[00:07:48] Right you can hear it.
[00:07:54] If I just start enough voices then you can hear sometimes all the voices switch
[00:07:59] off but I use a long amplitude envelope here. Okay that's to be fair.
[00:08:05] It's pretty long and I usually want to put reverb on it anyway so it's not that bad.
[00:08:13] So here I want to start with a chorus and it's moving too fast. So I'm pulling
[00:08:23] this down a bit of randomized.
[00:08:27] [Music]
[00:08:38] Then of course I want to use a reverb so use a swarm reverb here.
[00:08:43] Let's go for preset ambient space and use nebula.
[00:08:49] [Music]
[00:09:00] After that maybe
[00:09:03] cluster delay.
[00:09:07] [Music]
[00:09:23] [Music]
[00:09:27] [Music]
[00:09:33] [Music]
[00:09:39] [Music]
[00:09:43] [Music]
[00:09:47] [Music]
[00:09:51] [Music]
[00:09:55] [Music]
[00:10:01] [Music]
[00:10:04] A bit more high pass.
[00:10:07] [Music]
[00:10:13] [Music]
[00:10:19] Nice.
[00:10:21] [Music]
[00:10:24] Okay let's see if we can put in here some samples.
[00:10:30] Uh noise. Dust noise. Let's see how this sounds.
[00:10:36] [Music]
[00:10:44] What else do we have?
[00:10:47] Crackle.
[00:10:56] Yeah let's use that. Cut here everything. Every low frequencies away so we
[00:11:03] get rid of the rumble.
[00:11:08] You can mix this in.
[00:11:15] Maybe pitch it down.
[00:11:24] Let's hear how this sounds.
[00:11:27] [Music]
[00:11:39] Oh yeah let's put this through a filter here.
[00:11:43] This is sample filter.
[00:11:47] [Music]
[00:11:53] Let's use the pitch option here. Double click this.
[00:11:59] And let's use a different filter here. Comp basic bp.
[00:12:19] Let's go plus 12. 24. Can we type this in here?
[00:12:26] Yeah.
[00:12:28] Yeah sounds nice.
[00:12:46] [Music]
[00:13:02] Maybe call it to 36.
[00:13:06] [Music]
[00:13:19] [Music]
[00:13:44] Oh it's in series. Okay I need to switch it to parallel.
[00:13:50] Yeah that's much better.
[00:14:02] [Music]
[00:14:13] So there's a lot of texture in here with the sampler.
[00:14:16] Granular engine brings in some organic feel from my voice
[00:14:20] and then we have here some stable frequencies with the saw
[00:14:24] and the second fifth.
[00:14:29] [Music]
[00:14:43] Yeah I would say I saved this as a preset here
[00:14:47] and I put it in the description below so you can download it and can try it out
[00:14:51] for yourself in current if you own it actually.
[00:14:55] And you can also of course experiment yourself with some vocals inside of the
[00:14:59] granular engine. It's always fun to do. Maybe they add something like this
[00:15:04] like a recording feature into the granular engine would be really great.
[00:15:08] And yeah that's it for this video. Thanks for watching. Leave a like if you
[00:15:12] liked the video. Subscribe to the channel. Thanks for watching and I'll see you in
[00:15:15] the next video. Bye.