Category Archives: GrainPIC

Graphical cloud granular synthesis program written in SuperCollider

Shorts #26 Ecstatic Rivulet

[play] Shorts: #26 Ecstatic Rivulet (2007)

Commissioned and titled by Clyde Niesen

For this piece, I wanted to use a field recording that I made while camping over the summer. Visually, the campground looked like it would make a suitable set for a horror movie. The animals were correspondingly loud and screetchy at night and so I made a recording with my cell phone.

I listened to the recording a few times and it made me think of GrainPic, a project that I had intended to abandon. Everything I do with this always sounds kind of rough and unpolished, which is why I stopped working with it. But it seems to fit well with my memory of that campground.


Train Filter

[play] Train Filter (2005)

This piece uses GrainPIC to control filters over a sample of Broadway mid-morning traffic in NYC. Each filter is described by a cloud, which sets a resonant high pass filter and a resonant low pass filter, creating a resonant bandpass filter. The 1/q of each filter moves towards 1 as the cloud is played. The pitches of the filters move towards pitches in the Bohlen-Piece scale. The envelopes on each moment of filtering obscure the traffic sounds, so instead a train sound is evident.


Rain Clouds

[play] Rain Clouds

I’m writing a SuperCollider program based on Xenakis’ description of granular synthesis in Formalized Music. My program has a graphical interface very similar to UPIC. The working title for this program is GrainPIC. This piece is generated by a prototype of this program and is a proof-of-concept. Xenakis envisioned cloud synthesis with only sine wave grains, so the prototype only supports sine grains, however, I expect to change this shortly.