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Homework #3: "Granular"

  • optional reading: Artful Design, Chapter 5 except: "The Birth and Rise of the Laptop Orchestra!"

In this project (which is an option for your 220b Final Project in 2021), you are to explore and make use of Granular synthesis: 1) experiment with time-varying control over its parameters and 2) create a musical statement; it may be helpful to craft a live granular experimental testbed using physical input (keyboard, mouse, and/or joystick).


Tools at your disposal

  • ChucK
  • LiSa (Live Sampling); use multiple instances for layering / panning OR roll your own granularizer!
  • check out instrument redux, redux interpolated, and source sound from Twilight for laptop orchestra | (also the game-trak version: twilight-trak)
  • recorded sounds (any, please give proper credit)
  • Audacity/Ardour (for intermediate + final recording/assembly)


What to do:

  • 1) spend some time exploring and collecting different sounds (online or recording them; check out freesound.org)
    • give proper credit as appropriate / note the origin of the sounds in your README
  • 2) process/transform/arrange/compose.
    • check out the code examples from class here
    • use ChucK / LiSa to process/transform/arrange the sounds
    • plan and create time-varying, continuous control over at least 2 parameters in the synthesis process (grain length, grain tuning, grain position, volume, envelope, density, or other)
  • 3) think about using granular synthesis to create foreground musical gestures, soundscapes, layers
  • 3) as before the bulk of the arranging should be done in ChucK, with intermediate editing and late-stage assembly in Audacity
    • figure out what you want to do, experiment, try a lot of stuff, have fun


Please refer to the final project deliverables: here