Kontakt Hub has released Granularis, a freely downloadable (only for registered users) granular sampler engine for NI Kontakt developed by Sound Aesthetics Sampling.
Granularis is currently in beta, as it only includes the granular engine patch for Native Instruments Kontakt without any sound content. A forthcoming version (also free on Kontakt Hub) will come with a large number of samples that take full advantage of the engine. It will also feature an advanced engine with the option to modulate parameters like grain size, attack, pan, tune, sample position, etc. The users can still put the current Beta version to good use by importing their own samples into the mapping editor. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that you’ll need the full version of Kontakt in order to save your changes to the instrument (that includes any custom-made patches with imported samples).
In its current form, Granularis is an interesting tool to check out if you like experimenting with granular synthesis and also happen to own a copy of Kontakt 5. While it certainly isn’t more powerful than a dedicated granular synthesizer such as Ribs, Granularis is a fun little instrument for users who want to quickly transform any sound into a granular pad or a drone. The controls are straightforward and intuitive, with two filter modules (one for processing individual grains and one for the main output), six built-in effects (Reverb, Delay, EQ, Phaser, Flanger, LoFi), grain adjustments (size, amount, spread, attack), and a few randomization features.
To import your samples into Granularis, click the wrench button in the upper-left corner of the interface, open the mapping editor, and drop the desired samples onto the piano roll. Kontakt Hub has announced that a tutorial video with in-depth instructions on how to use Granularis will be published soon. I tried the engine with a few different samples, including some vocals and percussion sounds, and the results are indeed interesting. The instrument is noticeably easier to use than some more advanced granular synth, yet it successfully transforms loaded samples into completely different sounds. One slightly annoying thing about the interface is the fact that the LEDs which are colored bright red when they’re switched off and turn blue when switched on. I’m used to bright colored LEDs indicating that something is working, so I kept dragging that cutoff knob and wondering why I can’t notice any difference in the sound. Hopefully, this minor issue will be fixed in a future update.
Please note that you’ll need to be logged in to your Kontakt Hub user account in order to download Granularis for free. The price is £15.00 for non-members, although the registration process is also completely free. Only a valid email address is required. Once registered, click the “Claim For Free” button on the product page linked below, and the download link will appear in your Kontakt Hub user area.
Granularis is available for free download via Kontakt Hub (2.13 MB download size, ZIP archive, contains 1 NKI patch for NI Kontakt 5).