Bent circle — a granular circular delay

This began as a circular delay. But I got bored and threw some granular modules into the mix. Then I got bored again and began feeding them around, so that the pitch of each granular module would affect the next, creating a sort of shift register/pitch delay stereo field. Then I liked it.

It sounds like falling ice (in a good way) and is great for drama (in a… depends on your tastes way, probably).

The delays are panned L-C-R, and the feedback path moves R–>C–>L. Each delay has its own clock divider and independent pitch control. Since the pitched output is fed into the next (potentially) pitched delay, rising and falling pitches can be produced, along with little arpeggios or sequences.

Additionally, the granular modules… well, they do granular things, so those arpeggios play out in trills and cut up notes and passages that sound almost reversed. This is a very digital-sounding delay, but it is anything but clean replication of the input.

Finally, the delays are fed into a reverb lite. I was going to place diffusers in the feedback path instead, but CPU was an issue, and so I decided to let a reverb lite do my diffusion for me.

The left and right delays are dual mono; the middle delay sums to mono from the audio input; the delay distribution and reverb output is stereo. The dry signal is stereo.

Controls:

Left — tap tempo (also accepts MIDI clock)

Middle — turns on a randomly assigned freeze that shifts with the base tempo

Front panel:

I’m going to begin with the bottom and then move to the controls at the top. Across the bottom:

Each delay line has an independent clock divider and pitch control. These are color-coordinated, so the pitch control in sky goes with the clock divider in sky, etc.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you set too many of the pitch controls to too high a pitch, you may experience clipping.

Moving to the top:

There are controls for grain size — which ranges from max (1000 ms) to about ~1.5 ms (which makes robot noise and ring mod sounds); I generally like the control at ~ .800 or higher, but the range is there for exploring

Grain density — decreasing this can introduce tremolo effects and other shifting sounds (especially as different pitches will produce different speeds of tremolo)

Low dampening — a high-pass filter in the feedback loop; granular modules can produce a lot of low frequencies; you can use this to play around with the tone of the patch but I would advise against lowering it below ~55 Hz, as low frequencies will begin to build and oscillate (in an unpleasant way)

Tone — a low-pass filter in the feedback loop (the two filters create an adjustable band-pass); a higher frequency will produce a brighter sound

Feedback — all of the above controls interact with this; since so much of the feedback path (density, the filters) can diminish gain, the feedback amount has a fairly wide range… the downside of this is that in settings where the grain size, grain density, and tone are high, while the low dampening is low, you can produce runaway feedback well below a setting of 1. I would suggest starting with a value of ~.500 and adjusting from there, depending on your other settings.

Below these are an LFO and a pushbutton called “Position mod” — when the pushbutton is pushed, the LFO is directed to the position control of the granular modules; I left the LFO visible so you could change the shape (I like sine–the default–and sawtooth, personally) as well as the rate of the LFO; introducing position modulation can make the grains sound as those they are reshuffled or even reversed

Reverb decay, reverb mix, mix — familiar controls

I also previewed this on IG: https://www.instagram.com/p/B_liwNLnVWC/

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  • Modified: 4 weeks ago
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