Emergence Is A FREE Granular FX Processor For Windows & macOS

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Daniel Gergely releases Emergence v0.3, a FREE granular processor for macOS and Windows.

The world of granular synthesis is kind of muddy waters to a certain degree. When we talk about sample-based synthesis, wavetable pops up more often than granular.

Instead of morphing between multiple waveforms, granular synthesis breaks a sample down into many pieces (grains). You can then modulate various parameters like the length or pitch of the grains.

Quite often, just by randomizing or modulating the playback of the grains, you get something unique and unexpected.

If you like to create rich ambient soundscapes and textures that can be ethereal, gritty, glitchy, and just about anything else, granular synthesis could be for you.

Emergence works by continuously recording your input signal into a buffer. The content is then played back as grains, handling up to 600 grains.

The plugin has four streams with individual control over Increment, Time, Pitch, Reverse, Length, Balance, Pan, and Volume. How you set those parameters will control the generation of the grains.

Emergence offers grain pitch transposition of +/- 24 semitones. You can also freeze the buffer contents.

Each stream is color-coded, and a waveform display provides clear visual feedback.

Just under the waveform display, you’ll find some Input and Output controls, where you can adjust the Buffer Size and Max Grain Count, etc.

Emergence offers ample modulation options, too, with up to four multi-wave LFOs. Each LFO provides Frequency and Shape controls.

Beyond the LFOs, you get a couple of Randomizers with Frequency and Probability controls.

The random aspect of granular synthesis is its beauty. It’s more experimental than most types of synthesis, and in that sense, it’s much more fluid and organic.

It can be a fantastic tool if you are working on something textural and want to experiment. But, it’s also great when you are stuck for inspiration elsewhere; a granulator could throw up something you’d never have created otherwise.

This latest version of Emergence comes with a lovely resizable GUI that offers built-in help when you hover over various controls. It’s available for macOS when it previously wasn’t, too.

Daniel Gergely, who has made Emergence available for free, has a Patreon (linked below) and BuyMeACoffee page. If you like the plugin, check out those pages and support the developer.

Emergence is available in 64-bit AU and VST3 formats for macOS (10.9 or higher) and Windows 10.

More info: Emergence (1.69 MB download size, ZIP archive, 64-bit VST3/AU plugin format for Windows & macOS)

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About Author

James is a musician and writer from Scotland. An avid synth fan, sound designer, and coffee drinker. Sometimes found wandering around Europe with an MPC in hand.

8 Comments

  1. Granular processors are really cool but what I really miss are good, free granular resamplers. The ones where you load up a sample and play as an instrument. The only ones I can think of are PolyGAS which is a buggy, broken mess and Quilcom CASTER which doesn’t save the instrument between project loads. IIRC GranuLab also does it, but it has its own set of own big limitations limitations for this purpose.

    • if you have ableton there is a free granulator which imo is the best one out there. FL studio has a pretty good stock granulator as well.

  2. Can anybody tell me how CPU intensive it is?

    I understand that granular processors in general are heavy on the CPU, so I’m wondering how this well this runs.

    Thanks

    • CPU usage can vary widely depending on how many grains are playing at the moment.

      You can can easily limit the number of grains with the knob labelled ‘Max. Grain Count’ to keep cpu load at a level that works well on your system.

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