Strange Loops Audio Updates FREE gRainbow Granular Synthesizer


Strange Loops Audio has overhauled its FREE and open-source granular plugin gRainbow for Windows and macOS.

gRainbow v1.0.0 is a redesigned and upgraded version of a fun but very musical granular synthesis plugin.

The upgrade includes cosmetic and performance-based enhancements, starting with a new skin. The new skin is simultaneously sleeker and quirkier, which is a strange juxtaposition of terms, in a good way.

Strange Loops Audio created gRainbow to encourage users to explore broader timbral possibilities than they might do with traditional granular synths.

Thanks to enhanced pitch detection powered by machine learning, gRainbow handles longer, multi-pitch samples better than some typical synths. The result is a more accurate pitch matched for MIDI input with less time-stretching and fewer unwanted artifacts.

Rather than limit themselves to short, single-pitch samples, gRainbow users can be even more creative when making it grain (yes, I stole the dev’s slogan).

The interface provides four rainbow-coloured visual representations of the uploaded sample: Spectogram, Harmonic Profile, Detected Pitches, and Waveform.

You can tweak core parameters like the Rate and Duration of grains and the Shape/Tilt of the grain envelope from the Grain tab. The Adjust tab allows you to change the Pan, Position, Octave, playback direction, and more.

It’s possible to set many parameters at a global, note, or grain level.

gRainbow provides a complete modulation system, including four macros, three LFOs, and two envelopes.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but granular synthesis wasn’t something I got into immediately upon discovering the wonderful world of synthesizers.

After being introduced to granular synthesis, I quickly learned that it’s often the right option when you need something that sounds other-worldly, ethereal, or haunting.

Or if you want to create entirely new textures from existing sounds for industrial or atmospheric drones and pads.

Speaking of ethereal sounds, check out Shimmer Guitar, the latest Vault drop from The Crow Hill Company, if you haven’t already.

One of the things I like about gRainbow is that it makes granular synthesis fun and approachable for newcomers while still being musical and functional enough for anyone.

gRainbow is entirely Free and open-source; download it now in AU, VST3, and Standalone formats for macOS and Windows.

Download: gRainbow (FREE / Name your price)


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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.


  1. After downloading this synth and trying to some melody matching with other songs, I am happy to say that it works quite well. If you are into making EDM type music I think that gRainbow is for you. In my case I only had a couple songs that could really pair well with this synth. Its a fun tool that has a unique UI, easy to navigate and interesting to play with. In my opinion, I think that it compares well to the Phasereplicant granular. Although the Phasereplicant has a lot more freedom to mess with gRainbow makes the process very easy!

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