Instruments

Malström Graintable Synthesizer

Malström is not your everyday synthesizer. It doesn't act like one and it sure doesn't sound like one. We bring you the missing link between rocket science and music technology.

Malström

Malström creates its otherworldly sounds using Graintable technology. Never heard of it? Neither had we, we had to invent it. This technology is a cross between granular synthesis and good old wavetable synthesis. And the result? You'll just have to hear it to believe it.

The Malström Graintable synthesizer features all imaginable filtering and modulation options, and a couple of unimaginable ones too; Try some real-time waveform stretching, some spectral modulation, or some awesome wavetable sweeping.

Malström comes with a wide range of meaty and exotic Graintables, letting you create anything from lush pads to scary squeals, from the pretty to the gritty. And that's just the sounds coming from Malström itself; try using this monster's audio inputs to filter other Reason devices, and let some of Malström's magic rub off on your drums or sampled vocals. With a device like this, no one can accuse your sound of being ordinary.

What's Graintable Synthesis?

Sure you want to know how Graintable synthesis works? Ok, here's the academic explanation.

Graintable synthesis is neither granular nor wavetable synthesis but a combination of the best of both methods. The results are exciting, controllable and texturally extremely varied.

The basis of a Graintable is a sampled sound, which has been pre-processed using an extremely academic and complex method. A whole leaflet would be needed just to describe this. Suffice to say, the result is a perfect set of periodic waveforms that, due to the pre-processing, can be manipulated in a variety of ways. The Graintable can be treated as a wavetable: sweep through it, move through it at any speed without affecting pitch, play any little section repeatedly, use it to pick static waveforms, jump between positions etc.

Moving tables

Granular tricks can also be performed on the Graintable. One of those tricks is the Shift function, which uses resampling to manipulate each grain in order to shift the formant of the Graintable through the harmonic spectra without altering the pitch.

The Index parameter controls the position in the Graintable currently played. Sweeping the Index is being done by using real-time controllers or modulation and can be a powerful way of adding life to a sound. Furthermore, each Graintable has a built in "motion", which sweeps the table according to pre-specified criteria depending on the Graintable used. In its most basic form, Motion simply controls the speed of the Graintable playback but also controls how a waveform is looped etc.

The bottom line

What does this mean musically? Well, imagine a sampled stack of detuned sawtooths, really thick, with chorus. By controlling sweep speed you control the fatness (down to the sound of one sawtooth). Or imagine a voice Graintable where you can extract any vowel, sweep back and forth and modulate the harmonic content. Cool, isn't it?

Yes its cool, but first and foremost musical. Graintable synthesis makes Malström a truly uniquely sounding synthesizer, ready to add a little uniqueness to your music.

Intro to Graintable Synthesis9:00

Semothy Jones' Malström Hit5:17

Jakwob Bass Using Malström5:51